Tag Archives: Life

Normal life with a mission

Many times people have asked me what I actually do – being in Africa, working as a teacher … and if there are chances to evangelize, and work for God too. This time, let me tell you how exciting an ordinary week of mine can be – especially with God.

I am a teacher…at a private school in a small coastal town called Swakopmund in Namibia (a country in southern Africa). I teach 33 lessons a week – most of them sports (Grades 3-7), Religion and Moral Education (Grades 5-7) and I have my own register class (a grade 5) where I teach Natural Science and Mathematics as well. Most learners of that private school come from wealthy households and people might think they need less attention as they surely lack less. They do not know HOW MUCH they are mistaken. Every day, I come across learners that desperately desire to be taken seriously, be listened to earnestly, be heard, be loved and that seek who they are with every inch of their being.

So here is a typical week:

I get up daily at 04h50 to spend an hour in prayer for my learners (for otherwise I would not make the day)…then get ready for school…and cycle 4km from my flat to school. There I encounter friendly and challenging faces, moods, colleagues and learners. They all are in need for someone to honestly ask how they are, and they all need to be served with loving kindness that only Jesus can grant sufficiently – but to be honest many do not want to hear that part.

When teaching I encounter questions from learners that allow deep insight into their souls. They are looking for a reason to live… a reason to form values and morals, they are in need for a better reason to continue learning than a short answer of how it helps in later life… they struggle with their peers, are saddened by fights among class mates… are terrified of test results (because they get measured too often only by performance results)… and struggle to understand adult behaviour and choices at times.

They get told what to do when, where to perform how and many times sit next to someone they dislike in their class – just because it helps keeping them quiet. They sometimes have been given up… their dreams have been demolished and they seek for a place and world where they can just BE who they at that stage hope to be.

I started a project in my RME classes last year. I made them write a letter to me (or rather an imaginary diary that would then answer them) talking about what moves them inside and inviting them to ask questions (primarily) on faith that they have. They were allowed to do so, using an anonymous name. I started it with my register class of last year… this year continued it with all the grades 5-7 of my school. And the results are shocking, moving to the core, heart breaking … they make you laugh and cry… hope and despair… and they call out for a change!

Here are some typical questions and needs that come to light through these letters:

– How can I deal with my friendship challenges (fights, disagreements, …)

– I cannot concentrate in school because I am so concerned for my mom – how can I help her?

– I get bullied by … what can I do?

– I hate my life… and I am thinking of committing suicide.

– There are so many accidents happening – why can’t people just drink responsibly?

– I want to be good again – how can I do that?

– I have been to my hometown. There is great poverty. What can I do to make a change?

– My parents are not living together any longer. I struggle with that and sometimes I wonder if it is my fault. Can you tell me what I can do to fight my sadness?

– I get mad so often…but I don’t even know why?

– Why does God love sinners?

– How do I know God is real?

– Why is there so much violence because of religion?

– What does nothing look like?

– Who created God?

– How does God communicate with us?

– Did Jesus really die for us?

– Why are we here on earth?

– Religion says God created the moon, however science says something else. How can I know who is right?

– I think I am gay… what now?

– Can I be a Buddhist AND a Christian?

– I smoke and drink…and no one notices.

– No one seems to have time for me.

– I want to spend eternity with Christ. HOW CAN I BECOME A CHRISTIAN? Please tell me how!

There are so many more things they tell me… they ask… and some are funny and humorous, other shocking and state more severe need to interact than even the worst one’s above. I answer every single one of them… in letters – handwritten. I offer for them to continue writing. Some take me up on that offer. And all I do… I pray… I ask what really moves them and what questions they still have… and the results are honesty beyond words, questions that I feel need to find a place at home but quite apparently don’t (for whatever reasons). I do not judge… I listen. And I allow their pain to be displayed in full force and I bring that to the cross of Calvary.

Besides that I teach them… about healthy living, team work, the miracles of our body, core values and morals; about Judaism, and Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and African Cults in comparison to Christianity, the Bible, the person of Jesus, Christian worship and Christian persecution. We discuss who we are… the ‘self’, the community we live in… matters of life and death such as abortion, artificial insemination, death sentences, euthanasia, medically assisted suicide and many more.

And when the school day ends after 8 lessons of teaching every day… I go home… and do the work only teachers know of really. Then I come before God… and I prayfor grace when talking to parents that are desolate of ideas to help their child, for patience and other fruit of the spirit when dealing with my learners, for ideas to teach curriculum and syllabus appealingly…and so much more. And I thank God… for loving me… for granting wisdom… for giving hope and a future… and for placing me, where I admittedly sometimes dislike to be…but know I am at the centre of His will for the meanwhile.

So if you ask me what I do… I might just as well answer… I am a servant of the Most High God! … and I need your prayers and His grace daily!

Advertisements

Comparison Christianity and Islam Part 2

The idea behind this post is to educate. Further comparisons will follow in similar fashion.

(Information will partially be taken from: thereligionofpeace.com . That is not to say that I agree with all of their content, but I judge the content in this case as unbiased and a good representation of it.)

Differences Between Muhammad and Jesus

Muhammad…

Jesus…

Said Allah hates those who don’t accept Islam.
(Qur’an 30:4, 3:32, 22:38)

Said God loves everyone.
(John 3:16)

“I have been commanded to fight
against people till they testify that there
is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad
is the messenger of Allah”

(Muslim 1:33)

“He who lives by the sword
will die by the sword.”

(Matthew 26:52)

Stoned women for adultery.
(Muslim 4206)

“Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”
(John 8:7)

Permitted stealing from unbelievers.
(Bukhari 44:668, Ibn Ishaq 764)

“Thou shalt not steal.”
(Matthew 19:18)

Permitted lying.
(Sahih Muslim 6303, Bukhari 49:857)

“Thou shalt not bear false witness.”
(Matthew 19:18)

Owned and traded slaves.
(Sahih Muslim 3901)

Neither owned nor traded slaves.

Beheaded 800 Jewish men and boys.
(Sahih Muslim 4390)

Beheaded no one.

Murdered those who insulted him.
(Bukhari 56:369, 4:241)

Preached forgiveness.
(Matthew 18:21-22, 5:38)

“If then anyone transgresses
the prohibition against you,
Transgress ye likewise against him”
(Qur’an 2:194)

“If someone strikes you on the right
cheek, turn to him the other also.”
(Matthew 5:39)

Jihad in the way of Allah elevates one’s position in Paradise by a hundred fold.
(Muslim 4645)

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for
they will be called Sons of God”
(Matthew 5:9)

Married 13 wives and kept sex slaves.
(Bukhari 5:268, Qur’an 33:50)

Was celibate.

Slept with a 9-year-old child.
(Sahih Muslim 3309, Bukhari 58:236)

Did not have sex with children.

Ordered the murder of women.
(Ibn Ishaq 819, 995)

Never harmed a woman.

“O you who believe!  Fight those of the
unbelievers who are near to you
and let them find in you hardness.”

(Qur’an 9:123)

“Blessed are the meek, for
they shall inherit the earth.”

(Matthew 5:5)

Ordered 65 military campaigns
and raids in his last 10 years.
(Ibn Ishaq )

Ordered no military campaigns, nor
offered any approval of war or violence.

Killed captives taken in battle.
(Ibn Ishaq 451)

Never took captives.
Never killed anyone.

Encouraged his men to rape enslaved women.
(Abu Dawood 2150, Qur’an 4:24)

Never encouraged rape.
Never enslaved women.

Demanded captured slaves and
a fifth of all other loot taken in war.
(Qur’an 8:41)

“The Son of Man came not
to be served, but to serve.

(Matthew 20:28)

Was never tortured, but tortured others.
(Muslim 4131, Ibn Ishaq 436, 595, 734, 764)

Suffered torture, but never tortured anyone.

“And fight them until there is no more persecution and religion is only for Allah”
(Qur’an 8:39)

“Love your enemies and pray
for those who persecute you

(Matthew 5:44)

Blessed the brutal murder of a half-blind man
(al-Tabari 1440)

Healed a blind man
(Mark 8:28)

Ordered a slave to build the very pulpit
from which he preached Islam.
(Bukhari 47:743)

Washed his disciples feet.
(John 13:5)

What are the Greatest Commandments?
“Belief in Allah and Jihad in His cause”
(Muslim 1:149)

What are the Greatest Commandments?
“Love God and love thy neighbor as thyself.”
(Matthew 22:34-40)

Demanded the protection of armed bodyguards, even in a house of worship
(Qur’an 4:102)

Chastised anyone attempting
to defend him with force.
(John 18:10-12)

Died fat and wealthy from what was
taken from others in war or
demanded from others in tribute.

Demanded nothing for himself.
Died without possessions.

Advocated crucifying others.
(Qur’an 5:33, Muslim 16:4131)

Was crucified himself.

According to his followers:
Had others give their lives for him.
(Sahih Muslim 4413)

According to his followers:
Gave his life for others.
(John 18:11 and elsewhere)

Easter Evangelism

Easter is coming up… people are getting excited about a long Easter weekend end, chocolate bunnies, Easter eggs, some even about going to church for Easter breakfast, …

However … what is Easter about? What difference can I, can YOU make … this Easter.

On Good Friday, we as Christians remember the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, God’s son. It was the darkest day of mankind, when Jesus became sin, for us to be righteous (2.Corinthians 5:21) before God; when Jesus died, for our transgressions and iniquities. When He looked into the faces of those that hated Him to still love them and ask God to forgive them and us and YOU (Luke 23:34), and let Him pay the price of death for it.

On Easter, we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Who after being dead for 3 days (1.Corinthians 15:4), rose from the dead and lives ever since. After the remembrance of the darkest moment and greatest moment of love that God has for us, we now celebrate God’s eternal victory over Satan. It is a day of celebration of deliverance and redemption; a celebration of grace and mercy from God.

So this Easter…why not try something different than you did before?

Choose to spread the Gospel… go with the trend and get some chocolates – small ones in wrapping similar to a sweet – then go to http://www.fathersloveletter.com/ and print the letter in languages most spoken where you come from. Print the letter on beautiful paper, fold the paper nicely, or roll it with a ribbon around it and attach the chocolate.

Prepare yourself a whole stack of it. Gather some friends… go out to the streets and distribute them, wishing the people a happy and blessed Easter.

You will encounter smiles, surprised and thankful faces… people are barely reluctant to receive gifts on Easter, so the time is ideal. And what they will hold in their hands is a love letter from God to them.

This Easter, chose to save a life by spreading the truth, which has saved yours. Jesus Christ, Son of God, Lord and Saviour, Redeemer… has risen and lives! Praise God!

 

Change your Life

Bored? Frustrated? Lonely? Fed Up? Unsatisfied? Longing for a change?

Longing for a new life? A purpose filled life? A life with God?

No money or energy or time for a life coach and you don’t believe in them anyways?

Ok, here we go:

A lot of things will not change how you feel immediately, but will give you encouragement to change. However every change comes with a cost.

So the first question you need to pose yourself is: “What am I willing to let it cost me?”

I would advise you to write down your answer on a blank sheet of paper. On the back side of that paper write down, what irritated, frustrates, annoys or angers or disappoints you most in your own life at the moment. Basically what you want to change.

Now erase all those that you cannot influence directly because they are not yours to change, but somebody else’s. Then let us get going!

Every person loves a life with a certain amount of change or adventure and a certain amount of security or things they are used to. So the next question that needs to be answered is: “What do you love doing?” Then try answering these questions: “What causes you to feel joy and love?” “What motivates you most?” “What causes you to want to bring upon immediately when you see it?”

Knowing those answers will lead you in the right direction, so write them down if you can. Looking at all that, you have to start looking for ways to change circumstances or direction. Write any ideas down. No matter how silly they might sound.

However it doesn’t matter how much you try if you do not know what you are living for. Some of you might be Christian…others not. No matter which of the two you are… unless you find the purpose of your life, you will never be satisfied and at complete peace.

Finding God is a process that comes with a cost too. Growing in a relationship with Him contains not only fun times…but also perseverance and even hardships at times – but it pays off!

If it is a habit you need to make or break you might want to read my blog post on the matter.

If it is your relationship with God you want to improve…start praying.

As soon as you decide that the vicious cycle, the monotonous rhythm of your daily routine is costing you energy you do not have, you can break it.

Pray… until your jeans wear through at the knees, you go hoarse, you feel uplifted, something changes, you have an answer, you know Gods heart…and He knows yours completely…pray until you cannot think of anything you would rather want to do!

The strength to change, lies within your will to change… you might not have the strength…but God does.

Trust God. Read your Bible. Call on Jesus. PRAY. PRAY and WORSHIP in all circumstances -and experience break through.