Category Archives: Testimonies

An adventure with God

P1150561 (South Africa upon arrival.)

It was last year late September, that I heard – first from people, then from God – that I was to go to Stellenbosch, South Africa to partake in a year of youth and student pastor training at our churches head quarters. And though the idea excited me, I was clearly unsure about it at first, until I heard from God about it.

Now I have approached my last week here in Stellenbosch, before returning to Namibia and then immigrating to Germany.

This is a letter of reflection … may God speak to you about your own life, as you read it.

So 1st October I resigned from my teaching job in appropriate time (our school year in Namibia ends in December).

January 2014 came and I was about to leave Namibia to go and live in South Africa, in Stellenbosch for a year. I had never in my life visited the Western Cape before, nor was I familiar with church services of 1000 people, rather than the 150 I was used to. I did not have family here, I did not know where I would stay or with whom, I did not know what the training would entail in detail or whether I would be able to relate to or love the people I was about to meet.

Whoever has ever visited Swakopmund in Namibia and also visited Stellenbosch in South Africa knows, that when it comes to surrounding nature, the two could hardly be more different. I love the desert and the Atlantic Ocean (like in Swakopmund) and here in Stellenbosch I was to be surrounded by mountains, oak trees, squirrels I would see daily, rivers that actually carried water and so called rain spiders, that have a solid hands-palm size, are black and hairy and enter your home when the rain comes and are able to jump.

P1150596(surrounding areas to Stellenbosch)

There are those moments where you repeatedly in seasons of your life would certainly affirm you have not only hatched, and grown feathers, but are also already able to fly and soar like an eagle. I had such a moment when I moved to Namibia end of 2010, just to be surprised that I had just left the nest for the first time in my spiritual journey and yet knew nothing about flying – contrary to my assumption. Now I would again encounter such a moment when arriving here in Stellenbosch… and even though I knew much more about flying at that stage it was a sorrowful flapping and had nothing eagle-like about it.

But with every such desperate flapping of ever-tiring wings, I learned lessons that would change my life. Allow me to elaborate on merely five of them (I chose some that most people, Christian or not, will be able to relate to):

Flying-lesson 1: God knows me AND he knows the people that are now around me, that is: my boss, my colleagues, etc. If I want to be offended, I must be offended with God, rather than with them – God intentionally put them there, knowing how our characters would clash!

THAT sorted things quickly and painfully! It would be the first and most hurtful lesson to learn, but one ever so valuable!

Flying-lesson 2: People are different! (This sounds like an obvious lesson, but believe me, when you are in it, it is not.) They respond to things differently than I do. What excites me doesn’t excite them. The social values I find enculturated in me are not theirs. My ideas do not always create excitement in them and the way I do things is not theirs. Oh yes, and communicating about it, doesn’t always help.

In short… you discover you are not a good communicator, for otherwise not as many misunderstandings would happen. And without friends that love you even though you come across rude most of the time in their culture – the time would have been aweful.

P1160370(Youth Service snap-shot: matching text with scriptures)

Flying-lesson 3: Never assume you will not undergo a culture-shock. There is that moment, after having arrived when flapping-lesson 2 hits home hard. You have found yourself constantly misunderstood and feel like you are swallowing everything handed to you as challenges, but others are not. It is good to have a mentor to pray during this time and bring the issues you are having to God as quickly as you can and as often as needed as to avoid offence or bitterness.

Flying-lesson 4: Language barriers are real, even when you understand basics of a language. The best way to deal with it is be open about it, let people know when you need translation and do your best as to learn the language!!! I started off this year struggling to follow a simple conversation in Afrikaans, asking people to speak slowly or to swop into English. During the past months I have taught Bible School year 2 in Afrikaans, comfortably pray for people in Afrikaans and answer phone-calls in that language at ease.

The challenge I am now left with is being tri-lingual and sometimes my brain gets the wrong language *laughs*.

Flying-lesson 5: You learn things, you never planned on learning. However never underestimate the power of a servant’s heart. I noticed the other night as I was about to fall asleep: I know the exact coffee, tea and ‘other’ drinking habits of 34 people here at Head Quarters. Why? I make them tea, coffee, … . Is it my job? NO. But I learned for what reason who of them likes and appreciates it how at which stage of their daily routines. For the one it is all about the touch on the shoulder when I bring the coffee, for the other it is just that short friendly smile interaction and for some it is just what it is… an urgently needed cup of coffee.

The amount of lessons I learned would be much longer than any email, blogpost or letter can hold. I chose these five at random and trust you will be able to relate to some of them.

P1160456(Youth Service snap-shot: what is the Gospel to you?)

I feel privileged when I look back at this year. I never had as many spiritual growing pains ever in my life – and I cannot tell you how grateful I am for all of them! I can see how I grew. I can see how not only my knowledge and intellect was fed and increased, but how I grew relationally equally much!

I was privileged to live with the most amazing woman of God, and her life-style and how real God is to her life, challenged me daily. Thank you, Co – I grew because of the legacy you left with me!

I was privileged to experience financial, time, relational and informational … impartation by Shofar Christian Church, our pastors here, my home base church of Shofar, friends, colleagues, students, and people I met. I never had too little, I never found myself wanting because of you… and I now not only have heard about covenant relationships, but I have experienced them first hand! You changed my life!

P1160460(Youth Service Worship snap-shot)

However my biggest thank you goes out to my family. The skype conversations were like a lifeline at times, your sms’s and whatsapp messages, the times spent on holiday, … you are amazing! My parents who supported me throughout, even though I presume they sometimes find it hard to relate to how I live my faith. My siblings who encouraged me, gave advise and where always also a part of the journey, my grandmothers and other relatives, that shared in my journey by reading regular emails.

I am about to say my good-byes to some of the most amazing people I know to return to Namibia. And while my heart is filled with sadness, it is also filled with gratitude, awe and excitement for the future.

Many of my friends as far away as Thailand, Germany, UK, America, Namibia, South Africa, Brazil, India, Australia and New Zealand and Pakistan… have prayed for me throughout this year. They carried me on eagles wings (the wings I did not have), they interceded and inquired how I was doing, they held me accountable, encouraged me and cheered me on. They loved me and journeyed with me, most of them via newsletters I would send out. To you I want to say: if I changed and matured in this time, it was because of Christ in you! I love you and I pray we will journey together some more!

I loved my year here! It has been the most exciting and amazing journey! Yes, it had plenty challenges… but it was like climbing mountains… it is hard to get up at times, but once on top it is breathtaking. You are the ones who made it possible!

May God bless you!

Yours,

Jessica

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Another way of using Facebook

I have spent plenty hours in my life on Facebook, and I presume, so have you. At the same time, I am a professing Christian and I desire to share the Gospel of Christ.

In the midst of all the turmoil our world finds itself in, I find it shocking how most facebook posts merely satisfy a sickening hunger for sensationalism. Whether it be posts depicting mutilated animals, videos of atrocities of war, posts with photos of parties gone out of hand with people being hectically drunk and obscene… the list continues and I am sure you have your own few you could add.

The questions I need to ask myself and suggest you ask yourself are:

what feelings get promoted by such sensationalism? Is it a hunger to share the Gospel, to pray, to love, … or is it mostly shock, disgust, anger, frustration, fear, hatred, judgmental opinion and a sense of being better than ‘they’ are, …

what do I want others to witness when they think of me (even on FB)? Is it such sensationalism, judgmental opinion, anger and bitterness towards others that act and think otehrwise… or it is a desire for them to seek a loving God, who forgives, reconciles and calls us to love and pray and be the change this world desires.

what can I do about all this? Is it the right choice to just “fast” FB for a while… or should I rather learn to use it effectively for the building of His kingdom on earth? Or do I decide that God has no say in my usage of facebook?

I decided I need to do something about my usage of facebook so it honours God. I do share truth (but never without the necessary love for all parties involved.), I however also decided I would use facebook to witness. So I came up with an idea that I will share with you today, hoping some of my readers here might catch onto it and will follow in a similar attempt.

I decided to post a testimony a day. (Brutally honest and vulnerable at times.)

Yes, I literally have a post on my wall saying “Testomony Day …” and then I testify in short of one thing that God has done for me today.

Some days it is challenging to find a testimony I deem worthwhile, but there always is one. Why? Because I serve a living God with whom I have relationship… and with that there is always something happening.

Why do I prefer to share a testimony a day than other things that cause sensationalism?

I find sensationalism counterproductive. Let us be honest… seeing enough mutilated animals does not promote our love for animals… it merely promotes our hate for people who act like that.

I decided that sharing a testimony a day, is a way of flooding the facebook with testimonies of people like myself, who are fallible, who are imperfect, who have fault; but who none the less can testify of Gods love and patience, grace and forgiveness and how His provision comes through daily.

My prayer is that at least one of these testimonies will make the one of other facebook friend think about whether they can have a relationship with God too, whether there might be a God after all, and perhaps even admit that Jesus might be exactly what they need in their lives. 

For those that are Christians already I pray the posts are encouraging and exhorting to their lives.

Perhaps you will join me with a similar endeavor of using your facebook to witness. If so, let me know about it… share it in the comment section… .

Let’s BE the change, by being a living testimony even in the virtual world.

God bless you!

Feedback from yet another mission trip

I have been part of a mission trip to Switzerland and Germany. The following is a summary and intends to encourage you to go on missions and outreaches more.

We departed from Cape Town International Airport and met for the first time as a whole team right there at the airport. Our desire was that God would knit together our hearts so that His love and unity would become evident to all though our lives and as a team. Well God has been faithful to the full extend!

We flew with Emirates Airline via Dubai to Zurich, then took a rental car and continued to Kerns, the area where we were supposed to hold the Europe Shofar Conference. (Shofar is the short form for Shofar Christian Church, which I am a member of.) God moved mightily and we all arrived in a sort of youth hostel in the midst of the European Alps. Surrounded by lush green, huge trees, mountains, meadows, rivers with icy water and cows that carry big bells around their necks.

P1150711

There we met up with Pastor Jaco from Shofar London and his team as well as the people from Switzerland. We were a very multicultural and international group and it was a miracle how God immediately knit our hearts together. I think one could rightfully claim that we instantly loved one another.

P1150697

We spent the whole weekend together, fellowshipped, did some children ministry for their accompanying children and had numerous sessions with the adults where we gave testimony of Gods goodness and the pastors shared messages with all. It was a time of exhortation and encouragement. We also went on a hike along one of those icy rivers:

P1150764 The good news: those rivers are icy cold, BUT there are no snakes, scorpions, huge spiders or thorns.

After a wonderful weekend together, we drove to Stuttgart by bus and then continued by rental car again to Gaildorf, a smallish town in the middle of fields of southern Germany.

When we crossed the border, I felt a supernatural excitement rising inside of me! I was literally running around in the bus from one team member to the next telling them the obvious – that we are in Germany now.

I have known hospitality in Germany for years… but what we encountered there was SO much more than I ever knew existed. We were welcomed with absolutely wonderful foods!

That same evening we met with the leaders for dinner and then for a praise and worship evening. It left us absolutely in awe and filled us with joy to discover how at ease we all worshipped in Spirit and in Truth. There was instant unity through the Holy Spirit and it was a wonderful night of worshiping our Lord and Saviour.

Tuesday we as a team went to a hill that looks upon the town. The initial plan was to pray for Gaildorf. We did – later – but what preceded it was even more special than any one of us had imagined. We as a team, alone, worshipped in an open field; then God would reveal to somebody some area He wanted to bring healing or deliverance to; next whoever felt that was for them lifted their hand and two others would come alongside that person and pray for him/her. It was a morning of many tears… tears that brought healing to us. The prayer for Gaildorf that followed was absolutely amazing and prophetic! How interesting, that God would take us more than 9200km and would allow us to pay so much money in South African Rand to find deliverance and healing for ourselves there on that hill.

That evening we had a repeat of what we had experienced on the hill for the congregation. We worshipped and just like on the hill, God would reveal what He desired to heal, deliver from or bring to fruitition. Many had an encounter with our loving and almighty God.

Wednesday morning half of our team travelled on to the Netherlands, while 6 of us remained with Jan as our leader to continue ministry.

Wednesday we went out with a number of congregants in smaller groups to do street evangelism. The group I was with consisted of two men, a teenage boy and myself. We went to a hostel for asylum seekers and experienced how we were invited into the home of a Muslim to pray for his sick wife and were able to establish relationships.

Wednesday night we again had a service. I was the translator of our team since we had gotten to Germany as almost no one spoke German in the team. That night my speech-centre froze to the laughter of a whole congregation as I started translating from German to German. i.e. I had translated from English or Afrikaans to German and back all the time. Now I was hearing German, in my mind the words got translated to English and when I opened my mouth out came only German. The harder I tried to get it right, the worse it got. So I took a short break after which all was fine again.

Thursday was our day off as a team. We visited Rothenburg ob der Tauber for a touristy day off. That evening we were invited to the German equivalent of a braai/barbeque.

P1150803 P1150808 P1150811  Pictures taken during our trip to Rothenburg ob der Tauber.

I must admit… we all probably gained weight. The food was absolutely stunningly over the top amazingly “lekker”! Our hosts were the most loving and precious people and such a blessing to us!

Friday we had our last day in Gaildorf. We started by anointing the farm and the hosts where I had stayed with the other single ladies of our team! It was such a precious moment of consecration and mutual trust. God really touched their lives as a family!!!

Friday night we started the service at 19h30. At 23h30 the whole congregation was still present, and no one was prepared to leave … the Holy Spirit was ministering to us all. I have seldom experienced his presence as powerfully!

We left Saturday morning for Frankfurt, where I was privileged to meet my brother Ruben for a cup of coffee (he’s a soldier in the German army and I hadn’t seen him in more than a year!)

Our flight back was pleasant though long and our goodbyes to one another sincere.

What I take home is the sense of deep gratitude to have been privileged to be part of this mission trip, to serve, to laugh, to cry and to minister among brethren in a foreign country that is at the same time the country of my birth.

I can only encourage you to go, the next time an opportunity like this one comes around.

Please feel free to visit youtube and view our two short videos of all our action. Type in “Shofar Missions Outreach Switzerland June 2014” and “Shofar Missions Outreach Germany June 2014” .

I trust you will enjoy the videos.

Abundant blessings!

When God says ‘yes’.

Just as there are times, when God says no, there are those miraculous times of His saying yes. Often an unexpected yes followed by a series of miracles that establish a completely new basis of trust in our relationship to our Saviour.

After receiving a determining “no” from God last year in May, I then encountered His “yes” when September came around. This post is the testimony of that “yes” that came about.

It was mid September (the 19th I think) when I received news that I would be going to South Africa to the head quarters of my congregation to take a youth and student pastor training. I had been unaware of them considering such an option and had just settled to going back to teaching for an undetermined amount of time. So my response of utter surprise was “sounds great, but what are we talking about?”

I was filled in only on the idea that I would be taking a youth pastor training as of January 2014. The few other details I received said nothing about what my training would entail, what would be required of me, how I would get around financially, etc. and it left plenty room for insecurities, frenzies of panic, an amount of reluctance and frustration.

Well, matter of fact was that after that short conversation, there seemed to be NO way of getting more information. A convergence conference was on, after that a week-long pastor’s summit. And all the people I urgently wanted to speak to were unavailable. The school I was working at, had a policy of resigning before the 1st of October. I was in the middle of my planning for a field trip that was about to leave with 18 youngsters on 29th September. That left me with 10 days of not knowing more and having to make a decision.

Sometimes God’s “yes” come in packages that challenge us to walk on water. I fasted and I prayed. And even though my heart was settled on staying a teacher right where I was, I heard God saying “yes” to the offer I had received.

I had a choice to make. Either I could stay and remain with the securities I wanted. Or I could take a leap of faith in accordance of what I had heard from God and been unable to discuss much. I did what the world would call foolish, I took the leap. The day I departed for the field trip, I handed in my formal resignation at the school. I left with a sense of relief… so now the adventure would start.

The “yes” I had heard was a definite “yes” from God. Leaders around me had the wisdom not to advise what to do, but to advise to seek God’s counsel on the decisions. i.e. they refused to do the job of the Holy Spirit; and I am still grateful for that!

None of the doors since then just stood wide open, but all were unlocked. By that I mean… every single door caused spiritual growing pains in me. Every single door required me to walk on water a bit more. And every single door brought me closer to God, to the calling on my life and formed and transformed my character to be more Christ-like.

There were moments of struggling with God, there have been moments of desperation, moments of offence with God (for, as He showed me, He placed the leaders I have in my life, so any offence I’d take through them, I actually take through God) and working through it to the place of surrender and forgiveness.

And there were moments of rejoicing, of deepest satisfaction about what I am doing, moments of awe and gratitude toward who He is and what He is busy with.

When God gives His “yes”…

  • do not expect a walk in the park.
  • first hear from GOD about matters.
  • expect growing pains.
  • expect Him to be glorified through it.
  • decide to trust.

We live in a society where we sometimes want God’s “yes” to be like a candy shop. But candy shops only produce obesity. God desires us to grow closer to Him, He desires to be glorified and He will walk alongside you on the waters.

This is the most exciting, fulfilling and rewarding adventure God has ever taken me on. Yes, I am still on that adventure. What comes after that, only He knows. It is SO worth it! When God invites you to a “yes”, then go for it – if you are willing to grow, you will not regret it!

When God says “NO”

There are moments in our Christian lives when God says neither “yes” nor “wait” but contrary to our religious ideas gives us a loud “no” when we least expect it.

To make a long story short that is exactly what happened to me this year. I had a desire on my heart that I had brought before God time and time again. Knowing part of my calling from God, I got frustrated with where I was and started longing for where I could eventually be. Don’t get me wrong…I believe we should constantly strive to reach the best we can be at what God gives us, however I started despising what God had given me. Deep inside my heart, there were moments when I only exercised frustrated obedience to what God had last instructed me to do. However that is a long way from being submissive and surrendering unto God.

So beginning of this year, it finally seemed as if God was getting to move in the direction I had hoped for so long. I made an enquiry… a short one…doubting if I’d ever get any answer to it (as I had not received answers to similar enquiries in the past) and within hours basically got offered a job. My dream job as it seemed. They continued to pursue me and over the next couple of months ALL doors imaginable seemed to open. It even seemed God was preparing me for the job.

I then went overseas to meet the team in May. The idea was to see if I fit the team before signing contracts. Two weeks before my flight, I broke my foot surfing. From that moment on, it strangely seemed like doors that God had opened were closing. The question remaining: “Is it God showing me that this is not what He has for me, or is it the devil trying to keep me from my destiny with God?” I decided it was the latter. So I still went overseas…on crutches.

When I got there, everything seemed perfect. The teaching was solid, the possible colleagues were really friendly, the ministry seemed to flourish. However the joy I had had up to the point of breaking my foot about it, didn’t set in. So I started to pray for God to reveal to me what was going on.

I received verses from people I trust… and from God, which I didn’t quite understand…and although they seemed to imply something positive, I was hesitant. Only when receiving the full verse I understood why. Psalm 106:15

Then a dear friend that I shared my dilemma with made me aware of something essential. For the past 6 years, I had been reluctant in my obedience to God. I had never embraced what He had given me, but instead had behaved like being on the platform of a train station, waiting for my train that would say: “calling”. Whilst I was still talking to my friend, God’s voice clearly called out from my inside: “Is what I have for you, not enough?”

Long story short, I didn’t need more invitations to repent than that. I deeply repented, then put my dream and the prospective job on Gods’ altar, allowing Him to do with it what He seemed fit.

The next day it happened that I was reading the story of Balaam (Numbers 22:23-27). It was one of those moments, when the Bible starts becoming alive. It matched my own story SO much… Balaam going where he believed he was supposed to go, the donkey moving off track to avoid an angel from God with a drawn sword, Balaam hitting the donkey, the next time the donkey thus moves aside to the other side, crushing Balaams foot. Only THEN Balaam sees the messenger from God.

To me Gods’ will was clear now. I declined the job. Shortly after the event, joy was restored. My heart was even filled with gratitude for Gods’ correction to my life.  When I returned home, it truly felt like home for the first time. I decided to fully embrace my job, not waiting impatiently for Gods’ next move, but loving with all my strength, leaving it to God whether He thinks it’s time to move or not.

This “NO” was clearer than most “no’s” I have ever had in my life. It was painful and humiliating to accept it initially. But God provided even in these moments. Often we fear Gods’ “no” so much, however all He wants is to help us stay on track so we can walk within His will. I trust Gods’ plans are higher than mine and His thoughts better than mine. I am grateful for His “no” and am excited about God.

Deliverance from sin

The problem often isn’t the one sin as such… it is our relation to sin.

The Bible informs us that there is no big and small sin – there only is sin. Sometimes our focus has been shifted to believe that one sin is greater than another. Likewise a dangerous shift in focus occurs when we start being disgusted only by some sins and not by others.

For many of us Christians (and I include myself) the time has come to pray and open our hearts completely… to be again convicted of the gravity of sin and the mercy of forgiveness. So that iniquity, (no matter whether it is lies or sexual sin) again disgusts us in the way it disgusts God, so that we turn from it and sin no more (for we are ALL sinners)…ALSO, I pray that we start LOVING the sinner with all our heart… and do not judge the person …but hate the sin.

No matter which sin. Sin is sin and it will be punished by death the Bible says. Knowingly remaining in sin or maintaining a sinful lifestyle is open rebellion against God.

However know the good news: JESUS died for the forgiveness of ALL our sins, so that we may stand before God without blemish! When we come to Jesus and repent (make a 180degree turn away from it) and ask for forgiveness, He WILL readily and gladly forgive us.

As for today I would like to speak of one sin amongst many: homosexual relationships.

All I ask is read… and allow God.

I will not tell you what the Word of God says this time… not in respect to sin – for you know it already as you feel it is wrong and you feel convicted. Should you have any questions in regard to that though, please feel free to ask. Let me tell you a bit about my relationship that was that way:

I loved her… I had some months before I got to know her, left my congregation for the sake of another woman… I struggled my but off to leave the congregation but my desire was stronger than my faith. Now 4 months later, I was in love with her. She was not one of those ladies that looked lesbian from afar… she was however what I longed for… she had great humour, seemed self secure, yet was vulnerable and no afraid to show it at times… we talked with open hearts when we did… and we both trembled when we first kissed, knowing this was more. To make a long story short… she was all I up to then had ever dreamed of. I loved her… and I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her.

At some stage in my relationship, I started to pray. It had been a long while since I had prayed… and I hadn’t opened my Bible in ages it felt. But I started to pray because –strange as it might sound – I wanted to ask her to marry me.  God is gracious and He used that situation to reach out for me yet again:  I had a dream… and in that dream I found a treasure chest… like in the movies… with a great lock in front of it… and in my hand I held the key. On the key it said: “Jeremiah 2:19”. I put the key into the lock and wanted to turn it. In that instant I awoke. The dream still is vivid in me today as I recalled it then. But when I awoke, I did not know what the scripture contained…nor did I care to look it up till late that day in the afternoon (this was in November 2006). When I did, I actually flung the Bible into the corner of my room… such shock did I get. I later checked and found out, I had never before in my life read Jeremiah – which added to the uproar and unravelling I felt inside.

I prayed over the scripture for about a week… but didn’t get any answers. My life seemed perfect – so did my relationship. However even though I had long forgotten about the scripture, my life in general seemed to change. I cannot describe it really… but I remember my friends at university got worried – they thought I was depressed. I knew I wasn’t. I had been depressed before in my life… and this was something completely different – I was dying… from inside out… and it was spiritual. But how could they understand? I didn’t even want to know about it myself. It was December that year that I started to read my Bible again… away from all distractions and to talk to God earnestly. And it was in early January that I ended up in my old church… and came to a point in life where I knew: “I don’t WANT to live without her, but I CANNOT live without God. And to have both is impossible.” And these were truths that were echoed in my spirit and soul so loud I could not deny them any longer.

So after 3 days and nights without sleep…struggling with God about the decision that was upcoming… I called my friends in the middle of the night. Friends from university… telling them what was up and that I couldn’t help but follow God’s call and terminate my relationship to my girlfriend. They had seen me the weeks preceding and admitted that though they couldn’t understand my decision, they supported me fully.

I was ready to fight. And I did. Later that morning after relentless fighting alone with God and my soul, I asked the pastor to assist me in the final step of my choice. His wife, he and I went into a quiet room… they asked me to repeat after them a prayer of salvation. However they included the sentence: “I renounce the spirit of homosexuality.” It took three attempts until I was PHYSICALLY able to say those words into the spiritual realm… but when I did, the spirit left and I was set free.

I will not lie to you… it was only the beginning of the battle. I still had to go home, call my girl friend, split up with her, clean my house spiritually (i.e. I tossed everything that did not honour God into big plastic bags and into the trash it went!) and continue a battle against my body. I split up…and I have never heard or established contact with her again. I threw away music, videos, photos, clothing, jewellery, and friendships that were connected with that life style. I wouldn’t have been able to make the transition otherwise. I mourned my relationship for quite a while as I had loved. And I knew there would be no easy way. But I had come to the conclusion that I loved God more… and that no matter if my feelings would ever change from being homosexual, I would live a sanctified lifestyle and live it to honour God and in complete obedience to God.

I entered a process of filling my spirit and nourishing my spirit again with the Word of God, reading the Bible… going to church, praying regularly with prayer partners who knew the whole story and meeting once a week with an evangelist that worked through deliverance with me. It took 10 months… but then things had changed. I had decided to renounce the lifestyle, no matter if God would change how I feel about women. But HE delivered me completely. I have never since seen in a woman what I have seen in women so many years of my life. I do not feel that kind of love any longer for women… and never have since. Instead I feel that kind of love for men.

What once was, is part of who I had been… it serves as a testimony today, to reach others with the love of God… but does not determine who I am in Christ, for I am a new creation and was fully restored.”

That is my story. Perhaps it will encourage you to share what at this stage you are afraid to share … I have come to know my weak spots spiritually. There are days when I cannot watch movies others take as ‘normal’ … there are books I cannot read at times. I have learned to respond to the Holy Spirit immediately, because if I do not… I trip and fall into sin. So I try to be sensitive to the Spirit at all times… respond as vigorously and immediately as I can fathom and stay as far away from sin as possible. Today I do no longer struggle to maintain friendships even with people who feel they are homosexual. God has given me a powerful testimony and has blessed me with the ability to share it without condemnation.

You have to choose. No one can take that from you. And the choice isn’t an easy one – but the struggle and fight is worth it and you do not stand alone… an army of angels will be right there by your side…and Jesus with them.

I have tried to show what I believe is a problem with many Christians… the fact that we judge too quickly and that we are no longer disgusted by sin itself. We have started to choose which sin may disgust us – but God doesn’t make that distinction… and God loves the sinner and made a way for every one through Jesus Christ.

Likewise I have opened my past, for you to gather a glimpse to see and be a witness that I speak out of love… not condemnation.

I cannot and I will not choose for you. I will pray for you. I will not bible-bash you to decide the one or other way. I have said what I was led to say… and will not pressure you with it. You know my heart and my story now. It might not be yours… for all I know yours might be completely of a different nature… but I pray you will be able to transfer of it what you need to hear.

I am your friend…and I will stay your friend. And I refuse to judge.

G.O.D. in Swakopmund, Namibia

On June, 2nd 2012, with a backpack full of Bibles and other evangelistic material we went to the wood crafters market where we had been reaching out before (see other reports on this blog).

There we met with Carol-Ann, who had even more Bibles for us and Leon and Dorette. We gathered and singularly invited everyone, then got together and started with singing “Jabulani Africa”.

Many new faces were among those we had met before and the message was simple: God has a plan for everyone. The vital question of where we spend eternity. The problem. God’s love. The most important decision.
Romans 3:10 + 23; John 3:16; John1:12.

They listened, the Holy Spirit translated and they followed every part of the message as God gave it to everyone individually.

It is God’s love that compels us… and the fear of the Lord that keeps us from sin. The BIBLE gives us the direction, it is the message of God and it is the LIVING Word!

We spent a good 30-40 minutes with them when I we prayed for salvation. I then asked those who had just gotten saved to be brave and rise with me. One of our aim was to give them/ equip them with the first Bibles.

We congratulated them on their decision, welcomed them, hugged them…as new members to the Kingdom of God…and brethren. With every step there was joy unspeakable… some young men had joined us though they were just passing by gotten saved and now they are brethren. GOD had a plan for them…for today!

We received their contact details to help slot them into a local church and stay connected. Then we distributed the rest of the Bibles to those that were saved already and had joined us today. 14 got saved that one day…every single one precious to God and to us.

It marvels me to see how God chooses to work… when we decide to avail us to Him. And even though sometimes we are reluctant to go… as our flesh doesn’t “feel like it” it happens to become the time of a lifetime! Carol-Ann who joined us for the first time said afterwards she hadn’t had a better afternoon in 20 years! She and her husband run a Christian radio station and have agreed to donate Bibles on a regular basis now. I just LOVE how God works!

Praise God!!!! Hallelujah!

Letter summarizing the results of the G.O.D.

Millions of Christians proclaim the Gospel around the world!

Mon, 2012-06-18 23:04  |  Sheik

• 6 Million Christians proclaim the Gospel around the world!
• Over 25 Million people reached!
• 3 Million decisions for Christ!

Miracles:
• Woman awakes from coma!
• Blind woman from Switzerland can see again!

The first Global Outreach Day (G.O.D.) is over, and we are thrilled about all the things God did on this day. This year the following leaders actively took part in the Global Outreach Day along with their networks:

A.E. Adeboye (30,000 RCCG churches in 161 countries), Ché Ahn (10,000 HRC-churches), Wayne Alcorn (ACC Australia), AlphaMark Anderson (Call2all), Richard Ciaramitaro (Canada), Loren Cunnigham (YWAM), Global Day of Prayer (Prayer Network of 350 million Christians), Global Media OutreachSuzette Hattingh (Indonesia), Mathew Kuruvilla (Heavenly Feast, India), Samuel Rodriguez (40,000 Hispanic churches in the USA), Russian Union of ChristiansRussian Church of Evangelical Faith ChristiansRoyal RangersRobert Stearns (Network of 300,000 churches in 178 countries), Márcio Valadão (Brazil), Bill Wilson (Metro Ministrie USA ), and many more.

The official start of the Global Outreach Day was during the Holy Ghost Service in Lagos, Nigeria, on the night of June 1st. The G.O.D. was the talk of the town, having been made known through newspaper articles, banners and internet presence. I could feel the excitement and the great expectation in the one-mile-long building where we met and where I shared about the launch of the first ever worldwide evangelistic day. The meeting was aired on television in Africa. While it was already June 2nd in Samoa and the first outreach activities were beginning to take place, over a half a million Christians in Africa were praying together for the G.O.D. Then a wave of evangelism spread around the world. Shortly after midnight in Nigeria about 1,000 people followed an invitation to give their lives to the Lord.

During the days following the G.O.D., we heard testimonies from all over the world. Here just a few of them:

• Pakistan: Tens of thousands of Christians met boldly in public places, schools and universities and even at police stations and preached the Gospel to Muslims.

• Brazil: More than one million Christians were active in over 300 cities. One local church in particular passed out over 400,000 tracts, mobilizing 50,000 Christians.

• Mongolia: In the capital, Ulan Bator, over 2,500 Christians evangelized, including the Minister of Defence as well as a nationally renowned former criminal. Christians prayed for a woman who had been in a coma for four months. The doctors had given up all hope and were more than surprised when she awoke from the coma the following day. She has in the meantime returned to her home.

• Switzerland: A young woman prayed for a person who was almost totally blind, and that person could see again thereafter.

Our partner Global Media Outreach reported the following website traffic statistics during the days preceding and including the Global Outreach Day:

18,277,415 Visitors 
2,697,817 Indicated Decisions 
307,467 Initial Emails 
1,083,043 Discipleship Visits 

I wish to thank all of you who took part in this event for your cooperation. Only together will we be able to take in this worldwide harvest. Several leaders, including A.E. Adeboye, Loren Cunningham and the leaders of the Global Day of Prayer have told us that they believed this G.O.D. was only the beginning and that this event will grow in importance over the coming years. Please be a part of this movement and get your network involved. Each year, on the Saturday following Pentecost Sunday, the Global Outreach Day will take place, and we will be mobilizing Christians around the world to help us spread the Gospel everywhere.

Next year’s date: May 25, 2013 – Global Outreach Day

Yours in Christ 
Werner Nachtigal

Outreach to the DRC, Swakopmund, Namibia

It started off with holy discontent and the need to BE the change. As part of Shofar Christian Church, we as a small group felt the need to reach out. To live adventurous faith by adding hope to the lives of others.

So on 15th April 2012, after having collected second hand clothes and food supplies from church members, we packed them in cars and headed off to foreign territory – the DRC (the poorest part of Swakopmund, Namibia).

Driving as a group of white and brown people, we were somewhat still alien to the surrounding area. Upon arrival we were welcomed by Elizabeth and many children and their parents. So we spent time with the kids… playing and laughing…whilst poverty and need seemed looming imminently.

After clothes and supplies had been sorted, we started distributing. It seemed the number of people present doubled within the second of us starting the distributions. And heavyhearted we had to acknowledge that what seemed like a lot still back at our church would never even suffice to give everyone at least a piece of clothing.

It was an afternoon of laughter, loving, singing and dancing… and observing with God’s heart the need of people He early loves.

Please pray…

…for the children and their families at Ubuntu Day Care that their need will be met

…for Elizabeth…that GOD may bless her abundantly for what she accomplished there

…for us…to go again soon…and to BE the change

and for yourself…to become part of the change right there…where you live…and where need is imminent. May God give you a holy discontent too.