Monthly Archives: July 2010

July 20th Visit to Daveyton

We just got back from Daveyton.
 
We started by going to see Gladys since we had some disposable diapers for her mom.  Gladys cried when we handed them to her.  We noticed her little boy (maybe 6-7) lying on a bed.  He had had a high fever and “fits”, so the doctor said he has to stay home from school for a week.  Gladys said it had happened before when he was very young.  There was much concern on her face – kids with seizures usually don’t go to school.  Pray that he will not have anymore seizures and will be fully recovered quickly.  (He sounded like he had the virus I am just getting over.)
 
From there we decided to cross back over the dirt field to find the woman who speaks English that we had promised to visit last week, but couldn’t find.  As we were about halfway across I heard someone call out “Barbara” – it was Minky.  We had a blanket for her and wondered if that was why she called to us. 
But actually she had some sad news for us – Beauty died this morning at the hospital.  Pray for her 4 sons (2 sets of twins) – one set is actually her grandsons (her daughter died and she was left to care for them).  She has a husband, but from what Minky says he drinks alot and isn’t much of a father.  He may not even be related to the boys.  Minky said some agency will have to sort out who takes care of the children.
 
We left Minky and headed across the field, not really wanting to meet anyone, but knowing that we should.  (We have no idea if Beauty knew Jesus as her Savior.  She did eagerly listen to our stories, but couldn’t speak English.  A lot of the people can understand English but not be able to speak it.)
 
We weren’t sure exactly where “the woman” lived, but saw a woman giving her little boy a bath.  Another woman was joining her.  I told them we were looking for a woman who speaks English that we were to visit last week but couldn’t find.  The woman smiled and said, “that’s me!”  Her name is Rosie (love it when they have English names!) and she said we can come back next week.  (She was on her way somewhere.)
 
We then headed back across the field to tell Pala the story of Abraham.  She came out with her little boy.  He was a precious little boy – less than a year old – who was albino.  It was hard to tell the story since the baby was crying, but I muddled through.  Her husband came home and gave the baby a sucker to eat – stopped the crying!  The baby crawled to the door, pulled it open and crawled in to be with his dad.  After the story I shared I Pet 3 about wives bringing their husband’s to the Lord by their behavior.  She told us that she had decided the same thing – that she must change – quit being jealous, etc.  Pray that she will seek after God and find Him to  be the one to meet her needs.
 
Then we walked back across the field (starting to not regret the huge piece of carrot cake I ate at 10:00 this morning (birthday celebration)).  I thought it was time to leave, but we ended up joining Dianne and walking across that field yet again and going to another section of the Township to see a young woman Chris (the pastor who has been making visits) asked us to see.  We found her and asked if she could join Nellie and Margaret for Bible stories on Wed mornings.  She agreed, so we went in search of Nellie.  She then took us to see Margaret.  We ended up at Margaret’s house with Nellie, Margaret, Mr. Bazi, Sarah, Roniya, Katy, and little Zanele!  Denise told the story in English, Nellie translated it into Zulu!  They invited us back next week.  Pray that they were sincere!
 
Then we walked back and yes crossed the field again!  My black shoes are always orange when we come home :)          *Names changed

Delivering Blankets to Our Friends at Daveyton Township

We could sense God’s hand on our mission when we were about halfway to the Township. First, before we drove to Daveyton, we had made arrangements to meet the man who had the blankets. When we got off the Motorway (SA for Interstate) and made the first turn, there was the van we were to meet – up ahead. He went through the first light, then pulled off onto the side of the road! So, we pulled off and got the blankets. Larry’s directions (for meeting up) said nothing about stopping so close to the exit, so at first we thought the driver had recognized our car. But, no – Larry had misread the directions. If the van hadn’t been up ahead for us to see, Larry said we would probably have driven at least 30 minutes before we realized something was wrong!

We decided to take 25 blankets. There have been around 10 of us lately going to Daveyton but yesterday there were only 6 and the blankets were wool-big and heavy. Plus, Larry was concerned that if they were piled up in the car people would see them and there would be mass chaos and the possibility also of breaking into the car. So, we stopped and put them into black trash bags. We were only going to give them to the people with whom we had been storying.

At mine and Denise’s first house, Pala listened to our story. (Gen 3 – the fall) She’s probably around 20, maybe younger with a 1 month old & 6 year old (I think- it was hard to understand her). The first time we visited her she had had a stroke! We prayed for her and the next week – her face was back to normal. Yesterday she said she was 100% better! Praise God for His healing!   We told her the story found in Genesis 3 (The Fall). 

After the story I shared Isaiah 28:20 – a verse that really spoke to me – it was put there just for me and Doug. Just kidding – “The bed is too short to stretch out on, the blanket too narrow to wrap around you.” – It jumped out at me because our blanket is way too narrow! Doug had complained that I was hogging the blanket and so I showed him that it hung over about 3″ on my side! Anyway I shared that verse and told her about mine and Doug’s disagreement and how that verse had made me laugh. Then explained that the verse is really talking about things we go to for comfort and security that just doing really provide. Then I told her that a church had bought blankets and we had one for her, but when she covers with it to remember Romans 15:13 – our only source of hope/security, joy and peace. Afterwards we asked to pray for her and she said she needed hope. Her husband doesn’t always provide for her children. Pray that he will be able to provide/ desire to provide and that Palissa will see God at work! It’s tempting to take her food, but that would remove her husband’s responsibility and maybe even hurt him. I think the men in that community must feel much defeat and hopelessness. Pray that he will come to the source of hope! His name is Phinehas.

Then we went next door to see Gladys – who takes care of her mother (had 2 strokes). (If anyone wants a sewing project – making washable adult diapers or washable pads for girls would be wonderful. Email me! musgravetogo@gmail.com)   Anyway, we left her with a blanket and also shared the scriptures. There were 2 other young moms there who listened and seemed to be believers. Gladys is the one who wanted nothing to do with God. She is becoming more open to listening.

Then on to Minky! We met up with Doug and Larry who said Minky was not home, so we just grabbed 1 blanket to take to Beauty (Minky’s neighbor who is usually lying on the mat outside in the sun; last week she was in bed sounding like she had pneumonia). Beauty’s son (probably actually her grandson – I remember Minky telling us that the mother had died and the grandmother was responsible for 4 children.) He was sitting outside her door and told us she was in the hospital. We talked to him for a few minutes and gave him a blanket.

As we were talking to him, here comes Minky, all out of breath! Denise asked if she was ok because of her breathing! She said yes that she had been running. (Perhaps to get a free blanket???) Well, since she was there we asked if we could share our story and what could she say – there might be a blanket coming her way!! We had her read Gen 3 out loud from a Zulu Bible and “followed along” in our English ones. Thankfully she mentioned each verse #. We then discussed the scripture with her, prayed and left. (We both wondered if we should have gone back to the car for a blanket. But, Doug & Larry had given blankets to 2 of the people who live in her house, so we felt ok.) I think we are going to take her one next week – that way we might just see her again!!

Then we headed to the far side of the Township to give out 2 more blankets to Margaret and Nellie. On the way we met up with Jeffrey who asked if we were selling something. We said no but that we were just meeting people and hoping to start some Bible studies. He looked so excited and said he wanted to be in a Bible study. He gave us directions to his house. We told him Doug and Larry could perhaps meet him the following Wednesday. He wanted to get a time and place arranged! Jeffrey will meet D & L at 11:15 on the football field next Wednesday! Pray that he comes and we are on time. Nellie and Margaret were not home.

We had one more house to stop by – we had promised last week that we’d come this week, but we couldn’t find the women. Pray that they are not offended and will welcome us next Wednesday.

The other groups had good visits too. Doug & Larry have identified probably 2 men to study with plus our Jeffrey. Pray also that a place for a church to begin meeting can be found. There is a pastor ready to lead. His challenge will be deciding what language to preach in – there are sooooo many choices!                                                                             *Names changed

Question 5

5)  Why the conflicts?  We recognize that we are separated from God by our sin – we rejoice that Jesus loved us so much that He took the penalty for our sin when He died on the cross for us – we begin our new life, walking in faith in the light of His Truth while resting (since He did the work!) – So, why does church get so complicated?  Why are there so many different denominations?  I believe if we go back and study, honestly look at major church splits, we will observe that most occurred because of people standing up and saying “this isn’t right” – people taking a stand against apostasy and refusing to compromise.  They either leave and start over or stay and force the apostates to leave.

There are certain “hills to die on” and these must not be compromised.  Order of service, musical style and other “personal preferences” become divisive when we take our eyes off of the purpose of the church.  The church is God’s instrument to make disciples who make disciples who make disciples.  Satan likes nothing better than to get us to focus on ourselves instead of taking the Word of God to the world.  There are a lot of gatherings of people that are not really “churches” and these “churches in name only” should be deserted by Bible studying, Bible believing people.

5 Questions (continued) – Questions 3 & 4

3) Can we really blend insights from different “faith traditions”?

How exactly does one blend conflicting theologies? I Corinthians 10:21 says, “You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord’s table and the table of demons.”  Would it not be wise to know what god/God you are expecting to meet in the eternal realm and then conform to his/His standards? 

Or consider this scenario:  “Half of the wood he burns in the fire; over it he prepares his meal; he roasts his meat and eats his fill. He also warms himself and says, ‘Ah! I am warm; I see the fire.’  From the rest he makes a god, his idol; he bows down to it and worships. He prays to it and says, “Save me; you are my god.”  They know nothing, they understand nothing; their eyes are plastered over so they cannot see, and their minds closed so they cannot understand.  No one stops to think, no one has the knowledge or understanding to say, ‘Half of it I used for fuel; I even baked bread over its coals, I roasted meat and I ate. Shall I make a detestable thing from what is left? Shall I bow down to a block of wood?’  He feeds on ashes, a deluded heart misleads him; he cannot save himself, or say, “Is not this thing in my right hand a lie?”  (Isaiah 44:16-20).

Does it make sense to serve/follow a god who was created by your own hands?  We probably consider ourselves much too sophisticated to even do that today.  But how about serving a god who was created in your own mind? That god is only as smart and as powerful as you are!  Scary – huh?

Even scarier – that god might just be more powerful than you are.  What if that being that you created in your mind is then embodied by a demon? 

(OK – I think I digressed a little into question #2, but in some ways questions 2 & 3 go together.)  We need to ask the question, “Who is like Yahweh?”  How convenient that this week my reading was also from the book of Micah whose name means, “Who is like Yahweh?”  The book also ends with the question:  “Who is a God like you?” (Mic. 7:18).   The God of the Bible pardons sin/ forgives transgression – when we turn and fear Him.  He does not stay angry forever, but delights in showing mercy and compassion.  We see that He is love from the very familiar verse – John 3:16 and also in John 10:14-18. 

I was reading in II Kings this morning and saw a perfect example of trying to blend different faiths.  All of chapter 17 is filled with an attempt to blend worship of God with worship of other gods.  Read John 10:1-5.  We need to be very careful of the “voice” we are following.

4) Why Christianity is not a “religion”.

The Merriam-Webster (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/religion) defines religion as: a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith.    

Religion as defined by an animist:  a system of beliefs, feelings and behavior which issue in rites rituals and liturgies.  By these he manipulates familiar spirit-beings to provide success, happiness and security in all of life. It is through the practice of rites and rituals that the animist regains a sense of control and security that give meaning to his existence. (P43 Quest for Power)   

Christianity is not considered to be a religion because it is defined as a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.  I Corinthians 15:1-4 states in a “nutshell” the work Jesus did so that we can have that relationship.  “Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.  For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received:  that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that He was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.”  Romans 10:9-10 states how we come to have that relationship.   If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.”  Acts 2:21: “For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” 

Please post your comments – insights – and scriptures!!

World Cup Outreach in the Township

Dianne & Lembrana - One of our Bible Study Friends

 

Kids Enjoying the Fun

 

Margaret (one of our Study Leaders) with Friend

 

More Pics of the Kids

 

This is the Township Doug & I are visiting on Wednesdays.  Several Bible study groups have been started there.  We praise God for the opportunity to be a part of His work in the Daveyton Township.

Recently I was reading an article . . .

If you read our July Update, you know what article I was reading!  Let’s plunge into the 5 questions.  

1) Why do we have a need for a “spiritual connection “at all?

2) Why should we “define” what spirit(s) we are following?

3) Can we really blend insights from different faith traditions?

4) Why Christianity is not a “religion”

5) Why are there conflicts between Christian denominations?

Let’s start with the first 2 questions.

1) Why do humans have a need for a “spiritual connection” anyway?  Could it be that we were made to have a relationship with our Creator?  Do we not see this from the beginning of creation: God “walking with” Adam, Enoch, and Noah; talking with Adam and Eve, Cain, Noah?  Then in Genesis 4:26 we see men beginning to “call on the name of the Lord.” 

2) Why should we “define” what spirit(s) we are following?  It does not seem to be disputed that there is a “spiritual realm.”  If there is, and since “good and evil” exist on earth; would it not be logical to believe that good and evil exist in the spiritual realm as well?  (I wonder has Ms. Ekim questioned the source of her revelation.)

I recently spent time with 2 women who call themselves “Sangomas” – Traditional Healers.  One of the women said she is a Christian since she does her healing in Jesus name.  But calling upon the spirits of dead ancestors is clearly forbidden in Scripture, so could it be that she is not hearing from Jesus but perhaps a demon.

There is a warning in I John 4:1-3. “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.  This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God:  Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God.  This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.”  Ms. Ekim says she “bows to no one” but surely she would have to acknowledge that she is following rules set by someone.   From where did the Taoist teachings come?  How does one know the spirits behind the practices followed are thinking of your best interests?  Is there a constant sense of peace . . . of joy within your soul?

Now it’s your turn!!  Leave your comments, insights and scripture references!!

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