You Are So Special…


 

And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a Living Soul.

As usual in my walk with the Lord, I have often read scriptures and not really thought very deeply about them. It’s amazing how we can read a verse a few times and nothing ‘jumps’ out at us, and then one day we read it again and it comes to life! Such is the greatness of our heavenly Father – such is His great love for us. His hand is upon our lives day in and day out, carefully steering us on the path of life which He has planned for us.

“…let us make man in our image, after our likeness…. How wonderful that the Father, Son and Holy Ghost decided they should create a being which was different to all creation on earth up to that point. Somebody special, whom God desired to have fellowship with. Not only would God be able to see and talk with Adam but also, He would bless him with the whole earth to have as his own. And so, mankind was originally created in the image and after the likeness of God.

“…God formed man out of the dust of the ground…” As I ponder these words, I try to imagine what it might have been like at the time that Adam was ‘formed’. Was the dust that God used to form Adam the same as the dust that we know today? God had not yet cursed the ground from which Adam had been formed, so it could have been a veryAdam, dust of the Earth different substance from what we know. Adam was surely very different compared to humankind today. He not only had face-to-face fellowship with God, but God brought all the living creatures to him so that he could name them. How many animals can you and I name right now off the top of our heads?

“…and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life…” God placed His own breath into Adam – Adam became a living soul. God had breathed Adam’s spirit into life. He was no longer just ‘dust’, but now became a living soul with his own spirit and own body. There was breath in the bodies of all the animals and other creatures on earth, but God had not breathed into them. Adam was created a very special and unique being. A being God had formed for His own joy.

We know that all this changed when Adam and Eve disobeyed God. Therefore, as God promised, Adam and Eve died spiritually and were condemned to a place of solitude from Him. Spiritual death meant that humankind would no longer have communion with God. After Adam had reached 130 years old, he had children in his own image and after his own likeness  – our direct line of hereditary.

I thank the Lord that He sent His son Jesus to restore the situation back to what it was originally in the Garden of Eden. Jesus gives this opportunity to every human being, regardless of culture or nation.

He “… breathed into his nostrils the breath of life..”. As we come to know Jesus and Him crucified, we receive the breath of life from God. This is no ordinary breath. Not a breath that has been mass-produced or thoughtlessly brought into life. No, this is HIS breath – the breath of the almighty Lord of Hosts – the breath of true life, and we are heirs of this wonderful breath as we acknowledge Him.

Each one of us is a unique creation – made greater than any other being on this earth because God desires to have Uniquenessfellowship with us. God ‘formed’ each one of us – not thoughtlessly mass-produced, but individually crafted. We are HIS workmanship created for good works in Christ (Good works where? – IN CHRIST!).

Don’t let the world tell you that you are just like everyone else. You are not like anyone else! When you became reconciled with Him, you were given your own unique spirit, breathed into you by God Himself. You were uniquely ‘formed’ by the Master tradesman to be used by Him and have the fellowship He so desires to have with you.

Hold your head high and know that you are very special to the one who breathed life into you, irrespective of how many times you feel you have disappointed Him or those around you. Know HIS breath of life is in you now… and…forever more!

From: “…time with the Master…”

Published Bi-Monthly

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Mission Malawi – Chapter 23


September 1996
We now find ourselves preparing to go back to Joburg to see what the Lord will have for us. In the natural, we have nothing to go back to. No place to live, no work and once we arrive back in Johannesburg, we will have no money. Well, one thing we have learnt is that we can now trust the Lord to take care of all these concerns. Perhaps in a couple of years’ time we will be writing another diary of what happened after this!

Kathy, I and our youngsters, are very sorry to have left the little mission base, as we know a part of each of our lives is there. We witnessed the hand of God, first hand in our lives many, many times. There were plenty of days that were very difficult and a few times we wanted to run away, but now that the Lord has brought it to an end, we are very blessed and mightily encouraged. We truly saw everything that we had learned, being outworked in real life.

I asked Kathy if there was anything she would have changed were we given the time over again and she said, “No, every detail happened because God allowed it and our lives wouldn’t be the same today if He had not planned it that way”.

Titus will continue to run the mission base and the little business to support the work, so they may not be a burden to anyone. Andy and Sue will go back to England to share with others all they have learned in Africa over the past two and a half years.Young disciples at the mission

During our two years and seven months there, the gospel was preached, to many. Many heard the word. A large number committed their lives to the Lord. Others came and were taught for a short time – but only two (in the end), were willing to be discipled and lay their lives down totally for the Lord, so that they might go out and do the same thing.

“Behold, the sower went out to sow and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate them up. And others fell upon the rocky places, where they did not have much soil and immediately, they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil. But when the sun had risen, they were scorched and because they had no root, they withered away. And others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out. And others fell on the good soil, and yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty and some thirty. He who has ears, let him hear.”

Jesus was right when He said, “For many are called, but few are chosen.”

Establishing that mission base, called “Church at Lilongwe”, has taken so many wonderful people and Kathy and I don’t know how to thank you all. For those who have prayed for us and the work, your faithfulness has been Building on the mission base in Area 49, Lilongwerewarded, as we conclude our purpose for being there. For those who have written, your contributions have helped to encourage us through the not so good times. For those who contributed materially so that our physical needs were met, the Lord will bless you, ten-fold as that work now multiplies.

On the fourth of January 1994, the Lord said to Hein and me ….
“…And the things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, these entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also. Suffer hardship with Me as a good soldier of Christ Jesus…”

By His grace and power alone, we can say this command has been fulfilled for now, and we look forward to that which He has planned for us in the future.

We thank the Lord for keeping us safe during this time and for the many lovely people we have met from all over the world, not to mention the great amount He has taught us. We thought we were going to Malawi to teach others, which we did, but we were the ones that were really being taught, and for that, we will be eternally grateful.

Thank you, FatherSharing the Gospel with young men

Epilogue
It is really our hearts desire that something in these chapters has somehow brought you closer to God. We thank God each and every day for the few experiences He has allowed us to go through so far in our walk – only the tip of the iceberg has been scratched. God is real and He really does provide. The question is: Are we able to allow Him to provide for us?

Paul says that we should work out our salvation in fear and trembling.

Each day we draw a little closer to God if we listen to that which He is teaching us, if we are not too busy with ‘things’ which block out our Holy Spirit ‘frequency’. If we follow the path of seeking and speaking to Him daily, we will come to trust Him more and more. As we show faith in the small things, so He will grant us favor in the larger things, not only in this world, but in the Kingdom to come.

Bless You All.

Characters

Raymond and Kathy – Children: Theresa-Anne, Wayne, Simon, Bethany and Daniel
Worked in Johannesburg, South Africa and decided to sell all and live a season of time being led by the Lord. Their last son, Daniel was born during the time of this journey.

Today they are living in Vereeniging in South Africa where they now have three lovely grandchildren. They own their own business, which is used to generate funds for the furthering of the Gospel. They share the Gospel and disciple others in small home groups.

Hein and Erica – Children: Joshua
Worked in Cape Town, South Africa and decided to forsake their jobs as medical Nurses and live a season of time being led by the Lord.

Today they live in Alberton, South Africa and have three children. Hein works in a company where he is able to share the Lord and disciple others. Erica is teaching at a Christian School.

David and Zelifa
Lived in Malawi and were the hosts for the beginning of this work. They had five children.
They remained in Malawi where sadly David passed away and there is no updated news of Zelifa.

Frank
A Pastor with a Charismatic Church in Malawi. He was married with five children.
They remained in Malawi but there is no updated news of them.

Timothy and Joseph
Malawian brothers who had gone to South Africa to find employment and a better future. They were based at the Mission in Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa. There is no updated news of either of them.

Chris and Sally – Children: Heath, Matthew and Leigh-Megan
Worked in Durban, South Africa for a large corporate food company and decided to sell all and live a season of time being led by the Lord.

Today they live in the Nottingham/Derby area in England. Chris is self-employed and shares Jesus wherever his work takes him. Sally is teaching at a Christian School. They have two lovely grandchildren.

Arthur
Worked in Johannesburg, South Africa for a large corporate company in the field of Electrical Engineering. He decided to sell all and live a season of time being led by the Lord.

Today he is married with 3 children and one fostered child. They live in Thohoyandou, South Africa where they are actively involved on an outreach Mission base serving the community.

Titus
Was found at the African Market in Area 49, Lilongwe, Malawi where his small business had come to an end. Wayne brought him home to meet us and his discipling season began.

Today he is married with 5 children and works at the headquarters of an international aid organization. He continues to share the Gospel in Malawi wherever he goes.

This is the last in the series of Mission Malawi, if you have not participated in the richness of the story of young missionaries in the warm heart of Africa – Malawi go to the beginning and read about an amazing experience.

“…time withe Master…” is an on-going series of teachings, about lifestyle in the Church and is published bi-monthly.
If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others, Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers and very often when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’
button).

Mission Malawi

Our daily Garden


As we travel along our daily road of life, we can find ourselves, broadly speaking, in one of two states of mind – filled with fear and anxiety or abiding in the peace of the Lord.

Let us imagine walking into a neatly laid out vegetable garden. The rows of plants are straight, and access between them and down the rows, is very easy. As we walk between the beds, we see lovely tomato bushes on either side of our path. Looking further ahead, we notice that all the vegetable gardens contain the same vegetables on the left and on the right – all perfect and looking delicious.

Temptation is too great and eventually we decide to pick a lovely bright red tomato from the bed to the left of us. Imagining the taste, we are about to experience, we take a large bite and begin to swallow. Our system is suddenly shocked!! The taste is anything but what we imagined! A bitterness like we have never experienced before. Trying to spit the contents out of our mouths does not really help as the bitter acid settles down into our stomachs – wow! The taste lingers and in fact, everything we think of at that point is affected by the sourness of the flavour in our mouths and stomachs.Vegetable Garden 2.png

A short time passes, and we recover. Looking at the tomato plants in the opposite bed, we are tempted to try again, because they look so beautiful. From the opposite bed, we gently break off another tomato. Cautiously, we venture another taster. What an amazing difference! So juicy and pleasant. We hurry for the next few bites until the tomato is finished! It settles in our stomachs beautifully… and so satisfying!

Why are the two plants so different? Surely it must be to do with the type of food the roots are drawing from the soil.

Our path in life is very similar. Either we will feed from fearful situations or we will feed from peaceful situations. The ‘veggie garden’ of life, from which we will select, has been planted either by God or by the Evil One. The Vegetable Garden 3.pngsituations of life that the evil one would distract us with, are sown in fear (the sour tomato). He offers opportunities based in fear (like the acid soil), which, on the outside appear normal, but finding ourselves in those given situations, we start to feel fear of failure, fear of non-conformance and fear of physical things (phobias). It is whilst we are in fear that we are weak and vulnerable.

Weakness brought on by fear is not a sin but could certainly lead us into sin if not dealt with in the early stages. Anger is a fruit of fear. We become angry as a reaction to something which brings fear to us. Then we may well act differently to our norm, as a result of that fear.

Situations that God would bless us with are grounded in grace and peace. Jesus came to this earth to restore the things that were lost to mankind in the garden of Eden. Our old sinful nature was one of those things. He not only came to take our sins away, but to give us a new heart with rightful desires.

The old sinful nature is a magnet for the evil one’s distractions. He simply sows a fearful thought into our minds and as we accept it, the sourness invades our inner man and then everything we see, every action we perform, becomes tainted with bitterness. Fear requires more fear to feed itself, otherwise it will fade.

As our lifestyle transforms to be more like Jesus, we live more ‘in Christ’. The more we live ‘in Christ’, the more we will eat from the ‘veggies’ of Grace and Peace.

We need to make a conscious decision to daily walk out of our new nature – the ‘Christ’ nature. Why should we remain in our old nature, which is so attracted to fear, when we can daily walk in HIS grace, forgiveness and peace?

Remember, the veggies all look the same. If we choose from the wrong bed, we will very quickly know. Instantly spit out the sourness and replace it with a vegetable of grace and peace. Feed off HIS vegetables and we will experience peace and forgiveness.

From: “…time with the Master…”

“…time with the Master…” is an on-going series of teachings, about lifestyle in the Church and is published bi-monthly.
If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others, Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers and very often when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’
button).

My Armour or God’s Armour?


How many times do we feel that we have need to go out and ‘fight the good fight? How many times do we feel that if we don’t go out and fight the good fight, we will be disappointing God? How much of our own strength can we commit to this task when we have so much on our plates?

I have tried many times, rising early, believing that THIS day, I will be a good example of God’s child and stand firm, only to discover, like Peter the disciple, I am truly very weak!

The truth is, in our own strength, we cannot please God and our loving Father is very aware of this fact. The old nature, which we inherited from Adam, is just not equipped to please God.

Our loving Father has already poured out His peace into our hearts, so we should just take hold of it and allow Him to work IN us and THROUGH us, in HIS time. The ‘THROUGH us’ work will be a result of the ‘IN us’ work, just like the fruit of a tree. The tree does not have to concern itself with the fruit making, it’s bearing is a natural process. The quality of the fruit is dependent on the intake of the roots.

So it is with us. Spend time with the Lord in prayer, reading the Word and fellowship with other members of His family, and your ‘fight the good fight’ will be a natural process, not something you have to constantly drive.

What a blessing the scripture says:
Put on all of God’s armour so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies and tricks of the Devil.Armour of God 2

God’s armour…not MY armour. The ‘good fight’ is God’s battle and He encourages us not to try and fight this battle in our strength. Instead, He says…. “submit to me…”. We are His instruments, clay in the potter’s hands…

Gird your loins with truth….. loins are normally associated with giving life – we will only be able to fight the good fight to the level of our own relationship with our Father. The deeper we are in Him, the more effective our fruit to bring new life to those around us – the natural process of fruit bearing. Is it God’s fruit from within, or do we have to force it by the power of our strength?

Put on the breastplate of righteousness…. A breastplate is something that covers a large area of the body and is bright and shiny. The breastplate is seen first when a person approaches. If the breastplate is damaged and dull, it does not create a good impression. A bright shiny breastplate indicates cleanliness and righteousness. Does the fruit of righteousness shine through us as a natural process or do we have to force it by the power of our strength?

Shod your feet with the preparation of the Gospel …. Our Father’s desire is to disciple the nations. Our feet are going to take us to our families, communities and Nations. As we go, we will take the Gospel with us. The Gospel will regenerate minds and lives will begin to change. Is the fruit of the Gospel evident in us a natural process, or do we have to force it by the power of our strength?

Take up the shield of Faith …. A shield of trusting God (faith) will protect us. Sometimes we find ourselves in situations where we believe God has the power to resolve a condition, but we cannot seem to trust (or have faith) that He will do so for us in our time of need. It is at this time, that our trust in God is stretched. The more we stretch our trust, the more we will be protected in any given situation. Is our trust in the Lord evident as a natural process or do we have to force it by the power of our strength?

The Helmet of Salvation…A helmet is vital for survival, protecting the brain, the central command station. It is in the brain that the evil one begins his mission to lead us away from God. He plants a tempting thought and we begin to entertain it. If this thought is not put out of our minds, the scripture says it will take us on a path of death. Salvation in our lives is as secure as a helmet on our heads. Jesus died on the cross that we might receive Salvation as a gift (free) – all we must do is…receive it! Within the Salvation process, our minds are renewed. Are we allowing God to work IN us as a natural process in order that He can work THROUGH us, or are we resisting Him in our own strength?

From: “…time with the Master…”

This is a bi-monthly series of spiritual teachings.
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Mission Malawi – Chapter Twenty-Two


END IN SIGHT?………..

Since February, life has been hectic with the usual spate of attempted robberies, but by the Lords grace we haven’t lost much. It’s very sad to witness the amount of thieving especially from those who come to stay with us saying that they want to be taught the gospel. I guess times are so bad now people will try anything and obviously ‘third world’ Africa is even more desperate. Sadly, one of those we had been teaching for over eight months left on a sour note. We discovered afterwards that he really only wanted us to pay for his education and had managed to deceive us for that whole time. Well, the Lord knows and we have been enriched by the experience.

April 1996
Kathy, the Kids and I left for a short break to Zim at the beginning of April. We had planned to go for three weeks and had left the mission in the capable hands of Andy and Sue. We were a bit concerned because they never had transport, but having had that experience ourselves for six months and learned a great deal, we weren’t too concerned as we would only be away three weeks.

Our funds were extremely low – in fact we didn’t have enough for the journey. We received a message that the headmaster and his teachers from the school where Theresa-Anne has been helping would like to come and visit us before we leave for Zimbabwe.

The visit was really amazing as they all squashed into our little lounge area. The headmaster spoke about this ‘little white haired ‘mzungu’ who had helped so many children with their English studies and how to find their way to the Lord. He said they were very grateful to the Lord for sending Theresa-Anne and thanked Kathy and I as parents for trusting them and allowing Theresa-Anne to go there. They presented TA with a gift wrapped in a cloth. When she opened it later it was K220.00 – exactly enough for us to get to the Zimbabwe border!!!Teaching

Well, well, well. The Combi broke down just before the Mozambique border and we were set for a repeat of the previous year’s journey. My Mom was with us again (as if she hadn’t learnt the last year!!), and we decided to plod on somehow.

Eventually, to cut a long story short, we were helped by a couple who live in Malawi. Their towrope snapped and they were forced to leave us just before the Zim border. We were so grateful for their help as it cost them a whole days journey (and a tow rope!!).

Two men from Zim who were on their way back from Cahora Bassa Dam towed us into Zim with a piece of seat belt less than a meter long!! Both had been drinking beer their whole journey so it was a very hair raising trip to say the least. The Combi breaking system doesn’t work well when the engine is turned off – we spent the last part of the journey praying like we had never prayed before – at 120km per hour!

All was well and we slept the night at a filling station. The next day we plodded on slowly until Kathy’s parents came to the rescue again.VW_kombi_Wheels

The Combi was again sent down to Johannesburg, South Africa, for repairs. Some weeks later, Theresa-Anne and I journeyed to Johannesburg to collect it while the rest of the family stayed on the farm with Kathy’s parents. Unfortunately it wasn’t yet ready. Just to help things along I got a bout of Malaria while waiting in Johannesburg.

The friend that I was staying with took me to a hospital in Johannesburg. I explained to the Doctor on duty that I had come from a Malaria area and that in Malawi we were able to get medicine from their local supermarkets, which was a course of tablets we could take for three days. He simply laughed and said, “who’s the Doctor here?”. I was given aspirin and told to go to bed!!

As the Malaria worsened, I asked my friend to take me to another Hospital where they diagnosed Malaria and gave me the treatment.

Theresa-Anne needed to write her ‘O’ level exams in Lilongwe but there was no way I was able to undertake that journey in my condition. The Lord was good and we were able to set up for her to write in Zimbabwe at the British Consulate. Leaving the almost completed Combi in Johannesburg, back we went to Zimbabwe on a bus and she wrote the exams.

After that, we both again returned to Jo’burg to collect the Combi. Once again the Lord undertook for us and the brother that had previously repaired and paid for the Combi, once again repeated the blessing for us. After final repairs were made, we journeyed back to Zimbabwe to join the rest of the family.

Just outside Harare the fan belt broke and the engine overheated (Oh Lord – how many more times!!).
The Combi came to rest at the entrance to a farm and I went in to seek help. A very precious couple who farmed in the area helped us with a fan belt, but by that time, Kathy’s parents had dispatched help for us from the Farm.

While waiting on the side of the road, some men arrived and tried to distract my attention. While they were busy, one of their group spiked the back tyre. They tried to open the sliding door. When we realised they were trying to steal from us, I drove off in a hurry. It’s then that I felt the flat tyre. We stopped at the first garage to ask for help. While I was at the office, the thieves arrived following us in their car. Theresa-Anne was screaming but I couldn’t hear because the Combi windows were closed. When I saw what was going on, I ran out with the wheel spanner in my hand. I’m afraid my ‘missionary cap’ came off as ran towards them. The gospel was the last thing I was going to give them!! Well, thank the Lord, they took off without any further incident and I drove the combi into town with the flat wheel to the safety of a large hotel.

That was the last straw as far as the Combi was concerned.

As we sat on the farm, we were then seriously challenged as to whether or not it was the Lords will for us to go back to Malawi. Originally planning to be away from the group for 3 weeks, 5 months had passed!

In those five months, the mission in Malawi continued as if we hadn’t been away. During Kathy and my prayer times, we began to sense the Lord was saying that our time there was now complete and we should go back to Joburg and wait on Him for the next season. Those we had worked with over this period of time should now be ‘set free’ to continue sharing the gospel with others as the Lord led them.

The final confirmation came in a prayer time where the Lord showed us that if we were to stay with the Malawi brothers any longer they would begin to find their security in us, rather than the Lord. They needed to take all they had been taught, and start making disciples.

Still beset by further vehicle problems, we eventually got back to Malawi, using one of Kathy’s Dads pickups. To us, this was a further indication that the Malawi season of time was drawing to a close. We had not lost our peace during these latest vehicle challenges but we could feel that overcoming them appeared to be getting more and more difficult – was our Father’s hand of blessing starting to lift off our circumstance? Was He telling us to move on to a new season?

By Gods grace, Andy and Sue and the young men had done a marvelous job during the time we had been away. Teaching was still going strong and the little shop managed to survive, so the work stood the test of five ‘Malawi’ months.spaza

Meantime, Zimbabwe customs went on strike and we were unable to get a permit for the Combi to stay on the farm for an extended time. This meant we would only be able to afford a very quick trip back to the mission in Lilongwe before getting back to Zimbabwe to prevent the Combi being confiscated. Hence a swift journey out of Malawi to save the ailing Combi. At that point we felt the Lord was definitely showing us it was time to close off our part of the Malawi work.

“…time withe Master…” is an on-going series of teachings, about lifestyle in the Church and is published bi-monthly.
If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others, Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers and very often when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’
button).

How Deep is Your Well?


How lovely it would be to have our own personal drinking Well? The water at the bottom of a natural source is beautiful. Cool, clear and full of nutritious minerals – untainted by the outside world. Drinking water from a Well such as this would certainly have health benefits for us, I’m sure you’ll agree?

The challenge is getting to the water if there was no outlet. The sides of the Well would most likely be very steep and the deeper one goes, the darker it would get. Quite a scary experience!

The water near the surface may be good, but it would not be of the same standard as the water at the bottom of the well. As the water nears the surface, it can become affected by other contaminates, agricultural chemicals, city waste and other not so healthy additives….

…and so is our relationship with the Lord.

He says to us:
“Come and drink of My Well. The sustenance you will receive, will be pure and life giving. The Well, which I offer you, becomes richer the deeper you go with Me. The Water of Life is so nourishing that not only will it revitalise you, but as you pass it on, it will give life to others”, says the Lord.

“Be washed by the Waters of My word. My Word will make you clean. A cleanliness such like you have never experienced before. Day by day, the waves of my living water will wash over you. Tier upon tier, strength upon strength, My Water will change you. The process of sanctification is not pleasant in the natural, but as I gaze upon you – I see My finished work, complete in Me. Yes – My work in you is complete”, says the Lord. “I see no more sin in you, I see no more heartache or pain in you, I see no more sickness, but as I look at you My child, I see peace, Joy and blessing. Blessing to Me and blessing to those around you”, says the Lord.

“I have placed a desire in your heart to seek Me. A desire that wants you to be more like Me. Do not be afraid of this desire”, says the Lord“. Allow Me to have My way with you. Do not be concerned with those around you who try to pull you away from Me. As you drink of My Well, all those fears will melt away. Take courage and seek the deeper part of My Well. As you go deeper in Me, do not fear that things appear cold and dark. Do not fear that you cannot see clearly with your spiritual eyes, but allow Me to guide you. Trust in Me. I have commanded My angels concerning you”, says the Lord. “I will guard you”.

“There are many around you who drink from the water near the surface”, says the Lord. “You can tell them by their fruit. The water is Water 3tainted and not able to give them the full needs of My relationship with them. They hear with their ears but do not listen. They have eyes but they do not see. They have hearts but only understand what THEY want to understand. All this because they drink from a tainted Well”, says the Lord.

“The more you drink from the deep waters of My Well, the more you will desire Me. My living Well will give you new sight. A sight with which you will see Me as you never have seen Me before. A sight with which you will see My Spirit in you. A new sight with which you will see your sinful nature. Do not fear when you see your sinful nature”, says the Lord, “but trust ME. At that time, trust Me. Do not turn away because of fear and seek the water at the top of the Well – that water will only comfort your flesh, My child.”

“Your reward for trusting and following Me will far outweigh anything this world can offer you. All that you see now will pass away, but that which you drink from My Well, will last forever…”, says the Lord your God.

Our Father is waiting on us to ask Him to take us to the deep part of His Well. Try Him. He is seeking those who want to go to the deeper places with Him. There is a worldly saying which says…”You’ve tried the rest – now try the best…”

Go ahead and ask Him now, right in the midst of your current burden. The darker things seem to get, the more brightly His light will shine in your heart – the deeper the place we drink from, the greater the peace and Joy.

How deep is your Well?

From: “…time with the Master…”

“…time withe Master…” is an on-going series of teachings, about lifestyle in the Church and is published bi-monthly.
If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others, Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers and very often when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’
button).

Mission Malawi – Chapter Twenty One


15.03.96
Well, this is the day that the Lord has made – we will rejoice and be glad in it!! Just a few minutes to share again before the work of the day begins and thoughts are consumed and lost forever.

I finally had a reply from the elders of one of the large denominational churches who had volunteered four mature believers to assist in the outreach. I was truly blessed by that until this morning when they came and withdrew their support on “denominational” grounds. I told them what a terrible disappointment this is for God and that the Devil has now succeeded in dividing a combined attempt to reach the lost.

By Gods grace we are now alone on this little mission. In our weakness He is strong – our hearts are willing and pure for Gods purpose.

Again, anger and disappointment sear through my heart. Please change me Lord. I have a deep peace about what is happening, a peace which can only come from you.

20.03.96
Hallelujah!! – the outreach went ahead. We showed the ‘Jesus Film’ in Chechewa, set up in the middle of the local market on a cool African evening. We couldn’t count how many people came but we estimate around 250. After the film our team began their long awaited turn to preach. Generally, they were warmly received and counselling commenced.evangelism

During the preaching however, a homeless man approached one of our team and stood right in front of him. He moved very close to his face and became very agitated. As our brother tried to preach, the homeless man began to dance and gyrate so as to block him from seeing and talking to the people. Others in our team saw this and ran over to the scene and immediately began praying…recognizing a demonic presence. “Lord we submit to you…by Your power and might clear this stronghold please in Jesus name”. The man sat down on the ground, perfectly still and quiet!

Afterwards each member of our little team were surrounded by a group of people asking questions.

Two home cell groups have been arranged for those who wanted to hear more (including the homeless man!!). Others were sent to local Churches of their choice to attend Sunday services and to gain further teaching and discipling.

Attempts to find accommodation for Andy and Sue have been fraught with misleading and dishonesty at every turn. Housing officials and private people alike. We can’t afford to pay the new rental in the house that they are staying in and so now we are in the Lords hands.

We have just found out that the scooter which was given to us has no spare parts. Amazing that the agents have been misleading us for two months. This means that now Andy and Sue will not have transport when we go to Zim.

Our funds are also extremely limited now as we have had to take funds out of the business for everybody’s needs. How often Lord, will I find myself in this situation? I don’t want to run away from these works that you are doing in me to help me learn to trust you more. I thank you for the grace which you have already poured out on me.

Other ministry work appears to be coming along well. Theresa-Anne teaches English at a local denominational church and this obviously provides much area for sharing with the children. Andy is leading two house groups a week, which he is very blessed about (particularly when he has to walk and ride through tropical thunderstorms to get there!).Teaching

Two of our young men teach “R.I.” (Religious instruction) at the local government school and it’s a joy to see how the little children are responding to the gospel.

We lead two other house groups per week within the area, which deal mainly with marital and other “domestic” challenges. We have prayed much since we came that the Lord would pour out His Spirit over this area, and we are really seeing answers, which is encouraging for those whom we are discipling.

The group we conduct at Customs and Excise is perhaps the most encouraging for us. The Lord has really touched the hearts of these men and women and changes in their lives are reported each week. No doubt the department is seeing the benefit as well!

Kathy and Sue attend an “inter-denominational” Ladies Bible study group where they have some lovely fellowship with the “missionary community”. Today, the group was praying for peace around the world. Kathy and Sue were led to share with the ladies that sometimes the Lord uses war, destruction and famine to turn lost souls to Him and that we should always for HIS will to be done.

I was asked to assist at one of the Home cell groups of a large denominational church, which is proving a real ‘bumpy ride’, as this is a group of real intellectual Ex-Pats from America and England (Help Lord!!). The gospel is simple and experiential, very different to theology, which can sometimes cause barriers when trying to receive the true gospel.

28.03.96
We have been able to successfully register a church (in order to allow us to stay legally in the country – not for the purpose of starting another denomination!!). This process normally takes three years so we can really see Gods hand on this situation and we therefore believe that the Lord may want us here for a while longer.

Kathy and the children are all well. Theresa-Anne has been registered to write her GCSE Cambridge Mathematics and English exams in May and June. The Lord has miraculously opened doors for this to come about and we are very grateful for all the precious people who are helping us here. Please pray for her.

Kathy has begun Simons reading and writing program and they are both enjoying it very much in their little school room out back. Bethany is a bit left out, but Sue is doing a sterling job of keeping her ‘pre-schooled’ for a few hours each day. Daniel (wow, how many more!!) keeps Nanna (my mother) on the hop during school hours.

Wayne is always a great help to us and has become a very practical/mechanical young man. Who would have thought that he would be such a blessing to us from such a young age – bless him as he grows Father. I am so proud of him as I see how he goes about daily chores – busying himself with something, keen to be involved. God has placed deep insight and great sensitivity into this young man and because of that, God will use him always in quiet but effective ways. He has so much to offer others and will give freely as God directs.

Andy and Sue have recovered from all their ‘tropical’ sicknesses and are now well on the way to becoming fully blown African missionaries, having survived many shattered illusions. They are such a great help to us and a real asset to the mission here.

I can’t help but marvel at the Lords power when I think of Andy and Sue. From the day they arrived here to this day, there have been such wonderful changes in their lives as individuals and in their marriage. Many ‘grey’ areas have been cleared up for them and there is a true freedom in their relationship with each other.

Andy, who was on medication for a form of epilepsy, has now been completely healed and no longer takes medication daily (or at all). He does a full normal days’ work including driving, which he was not able to do before. Thank you Jesus for your healing!

Andy shared with me how, with the help of the Lord, he has been able to truly comprehend that his ‘old self’ (the one which suffered these terrible attacks), did in fact, die with Jesus on the cross around 2000 years ago. As he became aware of past hurts and angers in his life, he was able to deal with them. They began to lessen, and so the healing became more and more evident in his life. The past hurts and unforgiveness were an area in his life where the evil one had dominion. This therefore became a stronghold in his life. As he shed these feelings, the light became stronger and stronger, resulting in a physical strengthening.

Mission Malawi is a bi-monthly publication from …”time with the Master…”

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others, Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers and very often when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.
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Mission Malawi – Chapter Twenty


26.02.96

The days are flying by and as usual in our walk there are ‘ups and downs’. I know that although it’s like that, I shouldn’t be ‘feeling’ as if I’m on an emotional roller coaster. If I was truly ‘in Christ’, my emotions about the ‘self’ would have died and I would be consistent in my ‘feelings’, not ‘up’ one day and ‘down’ the next. Much has happened this month.

 Chris and Sally have left for S.A. to prepare for their trip to England. It was a miracle to witness their trip coming together, here in Malawi. They were granted a four year visa for England which included a work permit. One week before all this occurred, it seemed as though they would not get into England. Amazing how the Lord had to send them to this British Consulate (Lilongwe) for their papers. We are praying for them as this will be a very difficult journey for them. We have a contact phone number for them and pray that we will hear from them soon.

 Arthur has phoned from S.A. to say that he won’t be returning. I have to admit and confess my sadness over the situation. We pray always for the Lords will to be done in our lives and then when things happen not according to our will, we get upset – Oh Lord, will I ever change? 

 I am really sad that he won’t be returning to us. It’s as if one of the arrows has been removed from my quiver.  The walk that we have been called to is not an easy one. Arthur, my brother – the blessing – the support. We have shared many things – deep things, that we had a special liberty to do when sharing together. Thank you for this season of time Lord, I have learnt much through this special brother that called us “his precious family in Malawi”. May you be with him always, at every turn.

 Wherever Arthur goes, God will use him in the most amazing way. This is God’s Kingdom branching out – many will come to a deep knowledge of Christ through our precious brother.

 My heart is sore but as usual, our Lord has words for me. Oswald Chambers wrote, “It is easier to serve or work for God without a vision and without a call because then you are not bothered by what HE requires”. What wonderful, deep wisdom found in these words. No expectation – no disappointmentPerseverance

 Our relationship with God is a fruit of perseverance. The more we persevere in our physical situations, the deeper God will take us ‘in Him’.  That’s because the more difficult a situation becomes, the more we see of our true hearts – our true nature. It’s in that time that we need to seek the Lord for strength to continue and for Him to change our ways to become more like Him. Yes, this road is very narrow and indeed FEW will find it…. because FEW will be able to persevere.

 8.03.96

All the papers for the trailers and Combi have been sent and approved from S.A. It was miraculous how this has come about.

 I did not feel comfortable with asking brethren in S.A. to help us in this issue, as word has filtered back to us that we are viewed as somewhat of a burden in some quarters. I know where this comes from and realize it is a deliberate attempt by the Devil to cause division. However it is a difficult one to not think about.

 The papers were kindly processed by an old school friend. We really bless this precious friend for the trouble he went to and pray that the Lord will richly bless him for his efforts. Without his willingness, it would have meant a trip back to S.A. The vehicles may now be imported.

 The rent agreement for the house that Chris and Sally were in, comes to an end on the 31st March. We are praying for a place for Andrew and Sue. We believe with all our hearts that the Lord will do something – here we go again (thank you Lord)!!

 Kathy and I have planned a trip to Zimbabwe at the end of this month to see her brother who is leaving for Australia. The Combi temperature warning light is on again and we pray that the Lord will help us solve this problem before we go. The finance for the trip has come and papers are all in order.

 EvangelismWe have been led to arrange an ‘outreach’ meeting at the local market place. This has come about because a young man followed me around for two days and when he wasn’t able to speak to me personally, left a message to say, “The Lord says you must hold an outreach meeting here in Gulliver (the area we live in). Do not attend any other meetings until you have begun planning for this meeting. When you have preached here, God will show you where to go next”.

 Having a great respect for what God does to those who disobey, I decided to put some serious prayer into the situation. It’s not 

really in line with what the Lord showed us to do when we first came here. I must confess to not being exactly keen about the idea of ‘preaching’ in a Malawian market place, but if that’s what the Lord wants, then ….thank you Lord.

 We have a very comprehensive little team of ‘disciples’ who are able to do all the follow up work of teaching and praying in the houses of the new ‘converts’, so that none will be left to perish after hearing the word.

 We will also be able to have the assistance of a ministry, who show The Jesus Film in Chichewa, using a generator.

 The local bible college have freely given advice on outdoor evangelism and altogether it has so far been a wonderful exercise of how the body of Christ can work together.

 Malawians are great evangelists. They love to get up in front of an audience and share the word of God (jackets flapping madly!!). Our young guys, although really excited about this outreach, are aware of the seriousness of the follow up teaching and praying ‘operations’. It’s also good that the whole exercise is local, especially for the people of this area.

 We have contacted all local authorities and churches. I invited the local churches to send teams of mature believers for the purpose of assisting with prayers and counseling. No replies yet. We have stressed that this is an outreach to the lost on behalf of JESUS CHRIST, not a particular denomination. How encouraging it is to sit here writing, hearing the young men practicing their preaching of the gospel, for which the Lord used our team as vessels, to bring to them – thank you Lord. We have begun fasting for this outreach (3 x single day – no food at all, only water – full 24hrs.).

“…time withe Master…” is an on-going series of teachings, about lifestyle in the Church and ‘Mission Malawi’ is published bi-monthly.
If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others, Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers and very often when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’
button).

 

 

Mission Malawi – Chapter Nineteen


 o3.o1.96

Well, “Christmas” and new year have come and gone for another year. Some Christians have again been drawn into the pagan origins of Christmas celebrations for the wrong reasons. How the Lords heart must break at this time when He witnesses the goings on during this season. He weeps and says, “Why do you only focus on Me at this time of the year? Don’t you know I have made you a people set apart, a Royal Priesthood? But instead, you follow the ways of the world in celebrating something which lacks My power and majesty. It is in the death of My son, whom I GAVE for the forgiveness of your sin, that My power is made manifest.

You sing songs and give gifts in My name, but your hearts are not with Me. I need your obedience to fill My heart with Joy. Not only over this season of time but ALL year round, each and every minute of every day”.

 It’s sometimes very difficult to understand how God works. The other day I sensed God saying to me, “Am I a man that I should explain my ways to you?” The words came as a bit of a shock to me but after deliberating on them, I could see the truth and when I realized the real awesome, mighty power of God (which words cannot describe), I wondered how I could dare to question Gods ways. Who am I? It is only for me to obey not to question His mighty ways.

 I felt that way this morning during my prayer watch between 4-5am. The challenges that faced Kathy and I have become so big. Where to start?

 Our immigration permit expires on the 4/2/96 and cannot be renewed. This means we have to go out of the country for three weeks and then we are able to return on new permits.

 The one trailer which we brought with us has also reached the end of it’s permitted time in the country and must be imported in to Malawi before the end of February. It cannot be imported until it is released from South African customs, which cannot be done but at the border post in R.S.A. This means a trip to S.A. at great expense (which we don’t have!).

 The lease for the house which Chris, Sally, Andy and Sue are staying in, expires at the end of March. Chris and Sally are leaving on 24th January as the doors have opened for accommodation in England, but the question is: Where will Andy and Sue stay?, not to mention all the furniture we have been blessed with that is in the house.

 The Owner of our house is not certain whether we can stay on as he may want to move in. At our last meeting he said he would let me know soon.

 If we go out of the country, there will be no transport here for the brethren to continue the businesses. Andy and Sue will be on their own and will have to manage with the bicycles.

 Arthur phoned from R.S.A. and it seems he is uncertain when or if he will be back. Another great shock!

 So, we sit. Does God want to end this work now? ”

 Another call from S.A. tells us that Rene (my mother), has no place to stay and needs to come to be with us. I would love to have her here, but how will she cope?

what now lord
What Now Lord?

 There is a certain anger which wells up inside of me when I’m trapped in this kind of circumstance. There is nowhere to turn. I feel like screaming at the Govt. departments and saying, “It’s for your people that we have come here, not for our own gain – where is your support for us? – why should we have left what we did just to be treated like this?”

 It’s then that I realize it is only by God’s grace that we are here. We are under His “orders” not our wills. HE must decide what will happen. We must follow the Shepherd and trust that He will not desert us. But it’s so hard to trust during uncertainty like this.

04.01.96

I prayed this morning and felt myself becoming softer and softer. It was like a great pair of hands enveloping me. I hear the accuser saying….”The calm before the storm” but by God’s grace, I choose not to buy that thought.

 We have been in this kind of situation before and the Lord has never failed us. Each time it occurs I have forgotten the past experience and how wonderfully God worked and shielded us. So, it now seems like a new experience and the pains are being felt all over again. 

 After that prayer time, these are the words I received: “When God brings a time of waiting, and appears to be unresponsive, don’t fill it with busyness, just wait. Never run before God gives you His direction. If you have the slightest doubt, then He is not guiding. Whenever there is doubt – wait. Never act on the impulse of feeling, if you do, you will cause difficult situations to arise that may take months or years to untangle. Wait for Gods timing and He will do it without heartache or disappointment”. And so, by His grace that’s what I’ll do……

12.01.96

The Lord is definitely doing something, but I wonder what? As I’ve learned previously, it’s not for me to question but merely to obey (by His power).

 I have received a letter from the Immigration dept. to say that I may proceed with my application for a Temporary Employment Permit which, if successful, will last for two years, in the meantime I don’t have to leave the country until the application has been answered, one way or the other (thank you Lord).

 In answer to my prayers about Rene, she arrived yesterday from Cape Town. She was in a terrible state, hardly able to walk or remember anything. Anyway, there is a great improvement after only one day. Kathy has been such a great blessing with Rene and I’m really grateful. Both Kathy and I really want to look after her, to help her find peace and a sense of belonging. It will be a very trying job, but we trust that the Lord will guide us and give us the necessary strength because we understand this to be the right thing to do.

 We should look after our parents so that they may have life and fellowship in the body of Christ and not amongst the world in special ‘homes’. We should have the opportunity of giving back to them something of which they gave to us as they brought us into the world.

 It is a wonderful time to minister into fears, regrets and doubts. Lord please let us know that we have the grace you have so willingly poured over us.

“…time withe Master…” is an on-going series of teachings, about lifestyle in the Church and is published bi-monthly.
If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others, Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers and very often when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

 

 

Mission Malawi – Chapter Eighteen.


30.11.95
Our little grocer business is growing well. How I marvel at the Lords hand. We started off eight months or so ago, with three crates of cold drinks to sell which would give us about K160.00 turn over. Today, by Gods grace we will turn over about K1000.00 per day!

Why not start at the beginning of the series?

As our needs have increased God has blessed the business accordingly, it has just been a case of us watching carefully for the doors HE has opened and obeying HIS word as we go through. Hopefully I will be able to share on a daily basis, the miracles God performs in connection with this business. Up to now there have been so many other things to write.

Malawi RestaurantIn regard to the shop at the market we felt that perhaps a small restaurant would be a good idea. Memories of the last one come flooding back, but this time I believe we have the right ingredients (not just for the food!), and this seems to be in the Lords will and not our strength. We needed a place for people to sit and eat so Titus went to investigate at the site. Almost opposite, there is an open structure which the owner has not been able to use for four months. The only site available in the centre of the market!! What a blessing. Titus will go and negotiate with the owner and we will continue to leave it in the Lords hands.

On the domestic front the Lord has opened the door for much sharing in the area of marriage and past hurts. Sometimes we lose sight of the work which is going on in our own hearts. We become so engrossed in ‘outreach’ we forget that God is trying to work in our own hearts through these external circumstances.

Of course, the ‘Team’ is not exempt and require much pastoring and shepherding. “Christmas” time brings back memories of ‘back home’ – family gatherings and large christmas dinners. How easy it is for us to dwell on those things. It’s in those times of depression that the Lord reveals our hearts once again. He is a jealous God and wants all of our attention.

He does not demand that we don’t love our families, but that the love we have for Him must come first – above all else. As we dwell on the things of family, friends and the world, we are able to see just how much we are still tied to those things in our hearts. God allows this circumstance not that He would gain some malicious joy from seeing us in pain, but that we would be aware of just what percentage of our hearts love him and where the balance is. We must pray to receive this teaching and not become downcast and miss what God is showing us.

We are hoping to go up to the Lake next weekend and see if the Lord will open up some land for us. It seems that all land sale has been suspended along the lakeshore until government surveying is complete.

05.12.95
Today we placed a larger than normal bread order due to an increase in our sales. The bread delivery was due as usual around 7:30 in the evening. The day’s sales in the shop weren’t good and by 3:30pm we hadn’t had enough money to pay for the bread.

As we sat in our lounge area wondering what to do, we noticed an unfamiliar white car rolling backwards passed our drive entrance. It was being closely followed by a rather large lady trying to chase it!Christian synchronicity

We rushed out to see that the car had stopped just short of a deep drainage ditch outside our pavement. The driver got out the car and started shouting at the lady for allowing the car to go backwards. Once the situation calmed, we discovered they they had run out of petrol and the wife was trying to push the car uphill past our house. When she could no longer manage she simply stepped aside and the car rolled backwards!

We were led to invite them in and I asked Arthur if he would mind taking the husband into town in the Combi to buy some fuel.

This was not something I would normally do because I was aware that the Combi was our only form of transport. We relied on it 100% and I didn’t want it exposed to any danger unless we really needed to use it.

On his return, the husband was clearly shaken. He said that he had never experienced such kindness –especially from white people!

He asked me if he could contribute to the petrol we had used taking him into town and proceeded to stuff some notes into my pocket. I didn’t take much notice of what he had put in my pocket and we enjoyed the rest of their visit. They duly left – very grateful for what had happened.

By 7:00pm the bread delivery hadn’t arrived and we had mixed feelings of relief – having not enough money to pay and anxiety because our order hadn’t arrived.

We counted the day’s takings from the shop and we were K135.00 short for the bread payment. Kathy reminded me of the money in my pocket. I pulled it out and counted – K135.00 exactly!!

08.12.95
Theresa-Anne has been asked to help teach English at the local Baptist Church School. Even though she is still busy with her ‘O’ Level qualification and is so young, the need for English teaching is so great. She has agreed to help them every day for no pay so that the arrangement will not break the law in any way.

Arthur takes her to the school each day on the bike.

10.12.95
Arthur has requested to go back to South Africa for a break over the Christmas holidays. He is such a blessing to us and we will miss him, even for this short time.

“…time withe Master…” is an on-going series of teachings, about lifestyle in the Church and is published bi-monthly.
If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others, Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers and very often when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’
button).