Friday, 29 June 2012

Francistown, Maun & then?????

Prov 11:25  "A generous man will prosper , he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed."  Well we are now in Maun after a very exciting meeting in Francistown where the joy of the Lord was released and people set free.  It was so much fun seeing the tears rolling and then the joy coming.  Now in Maun after another 6 hour bus journey.  We have already done one meeting last night after arriving and have another three lined up until Sunday evening and now also a meeting for the leadership again tomorrow morning.   So we need refreshing but the Lord is refreshing us and giving us what we need.  Interesting what we are learning in the spirit and the strongholds over peoples lives and asking the Lord for breakthrough in their situations.  Some places no problem but other places its is really hard ground that is needing breakthrough.  We would ask you to pray for keys to see the breakthrough come in this place.  Jim is preaching tonight on "Are you your fathers child".  We are very expectant with the time here as when first meeting the Pastor and listening to some of his testimony knew that they Lord had brought us here to him.

We are now staying with the Pastor in his home, he is wonderful but struggling a lot but hungers for everything God has for him and his people.  They are very poor and their church is in a tent as they cannot afford a building yet but are praying for breakthrough in this.  Maun is what they class as a village of 60000 people, not quite a town yet according to the Pastor. :)    So please stand with us to see God move powerfully in their lives and situations.

Jim currently has a cold so would ask that you would pray for him.  But other than that all is going well.  Please stand with us in prayer as to the next steps after Maun.  Currently thinking we will take a few days after the meeting here to rest a little and be refreshed in the Lord and enjoy some of the tourist spots here with the Delta river not too far away and then look at heading towards Zimbabwae for the next part of the journey.

So until next time, thank you for continuing to stand with us to see what the Lord is doing in this place.
With love to all - Jim & Sarah from Maun Botswanna :)

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

We are blown away by what God is doing!

It's a beautiful winters day here but its reaching 28 degrees so nice and warm for us.  We have had just a blessed time since writing last.  The Lord has healed our bruised bodies and we are all functioning at full capacity.  Since arriving on the Saturday night the Lord has to this stage opened three opportunities to preach and impart its just been amazing.  We have been hosted by Holiness Union Church, Pastor Israel who seems to be one of the key men that the Lord has led into our lives.  He has fingers in many pies and has opened many opportunities for us to preach and minister in different places over the next week which is just amazing.  But last Sunday firstly we preached in his own church.  The Spirit was moving powerfully and we were straight away released in the power of God, people being touched and set free.  Jim spoke on sonship in Christ, no longer a slave but a son.  Prior to that God has released me imparting to people the anointing and power of God.  It was such a blessed time.

In the evening the door opened for us to minister into another church called Bible Life Ministries, Pastor MacDonald.  This was a really interesting time.  Jim spoke on the story of Joseph and the inheritance that was to come but first he had to walk a journey and for people not to give up in the journey.  In the spirit there were huge walls but the Lord brought breakthrough and we saw people set free from demonic strongholds.  It was really fascinating as we hadn't seen people being thrown about quite like that so much as the demonic tried to flee.  God is strengthening us with a courage and a boldness which is just fantastic.  That night people were set free and I just loved seeing in peoples faces as they were set free an acceptance of themselves in God. 

Then yesterday during the day Jim and I were blessed with some down time and a ride out to a local private game park  We saw elephants, zebra, campala, warthogs, baboons to name a few.  It was great.

In the evening Pastor Israels' pastors and leaders all came together and we had another time just with them and we saw the spirit moving powerfully setting them free and releasing joy.  It was wonderful to see such a refreshing come for them all.  We were so blessed by this. 

We are continually blown away in seeing how God has opened doors for us.  Here we are in Africa previously not knowing anything and here we are staying in someones home ministering all over the place and being shown around.  It is just Gods provision and blessing and the bonus to be used by God to set people free is just awesome. 

Tonight we are preaching at another local church in a village and tomorrow Pastor Israel is putting us on the bus to go to Francistown which is about  two hours north of here where two churches are coming together for us to minister to tomorrow night.  Then on Thursday we are on another bus heading west for about 7 hours to Maun where we are being hosted by other churches and preaching in different places there, all of which we are unsure of yet but we are just being told where we are going and when.  Its just amazing.

So that is getting you up to date with things as to what is happening and where we are.  The Lord spoke to us this morning out of Isaiah 55:10  "For as the rain comes down and the snow from heaven, And do not return there, but water the earth, And make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth.  It shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it."
The Lord is giving us seed to sow and someone in NZ gave a word to us about the ground being fertile, well last night a lady gave me a picture and she saw the seed sprouting quickly so we were greatly encouraged.  We know the Lord is giving us seed to sow as we have nothing but what he gives us, but it is being sown and will produce a crop and we ask you to stand with us and pray for multiplication.  2 Cor 9:10  "Now may He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness while you are enriched in everything for all liberality which causes thanksgiving through us to God."

All of this is causing thanksgiving back to God and we are just so blessed by this as this is His testimony which in turn gives thanks to Him.  Thank you everyone and please continue to stand with us in prayer each day as he opens doors.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Bus crash in Botswana - Rejoice in the Lord always.

Well we had an interesting introduction to Botswana - yes a bus crash.  It was amazing and most probably the worst accident I have been in to this day (but not bad I am sure to some of you out there) but thankfully the Lord looked after us and protected us. The front tyre of the bus blew out travelling about 120ks per hour and the bus tipped from side to side as it careered off the road into the bus.  How it never hit cars and no one was killed we will never know apart from the protection of the Lord.  We were flown all over the place but thankfully only came out with a few cuts and bruises.  It was literally a miracle that we didn't roll.  One girl was thrown out of the bus in a serious condition, others hurt in various ways but it could have been a whole lot worse.  The Lord gave us peace and we went about praying for people and was blessed especially by one lady who felt the fire of God healing her so much so that she was laughing and crying all at the same time. 

Two days earlier I was reading a word for today and I share it with you as it gives us strength.  It writes "The walk of faith is one of delight - and difficulty.  When you signed on for the first, you signed on for the second.  Paul was on a sixteen month missionary journey - one of miracles and church building.  But he ended up in prison on trumped-up charges and was left to rot there.  How did he respond?  'Rejoice in the Lord always.  Again I will say, rejoice'.  You say, 'How can somebody rejoice in prison?'  When you see your disappointment as God's appointment, you start to understand its purpose.  Paul had books to write that would change the world, so God needed to get him 'off the road'.  Listen to what he wrote from prison:  'I want you to know... that everything that has happened to me here has helped to spread the Good News.  For everyone here, including the whole palace guard, knows that I am in chains because of Christ.  And because of my imprisonment, most of the believers here have gained confidence and boldly speak God's message without fear' (Philippians 1:12-14)  Hidden in some of your biggest disappointments you will find treasures of truth that literally transform your life and your future.

When we finally arrived to our destination we were welcomed with the red carpet treatment.  We have been so well looked after by Pastor Israel.  We are speaking in his church tomorrow morning and then another church tomorrow evening.  We have been out in the bush already and prayed for a family.  The Pastor has everything mapped out for us it is just amazing, so many doors are opening it is just wonderful and the next couple of weeks seem to be all mapped out going to this place to speak and then to that.  In his heart a man plans his course but the Lord determines his steps!!

Please keep praying for us and especially n the area of protection and to keep in the Kingdom of God of righteousness, peace and joy through any trial/testing that may come.  We need his strength in every area but we ask for more and more joy.   Our God is greater than anything that may come against us.  Psalm 91 spoke loud and clear to us last night, that we are hidden in the shelter of his wing and though thousands may fall at our side, no harm can befall us outside of His will and purpose for us as Paul writes, it only serves to make the gospel known!!  With love to all, Jim and Sarah

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Ist blog from South Africa - Are you a "Blessing Bestower or a Blessing Blocker"

Greetings from Johannesburg South Africa!  We had a fantastic flight over and arrived to be met by Rod Talbot (missionary with World Outreach from New Zealand) at the airport and taken back to his place to be greeted by freshly baked hot muffins by his wife Lynley and later to be sitting down watching the All Blacks play in Christchurch.:)

South Africa is a very dry red brown land with huge expanses with development happening everywhere you look.  Lots of really really nice cars, obvious wealth around the place, yet you will see people living on the street.  

We have had a 'soft landing' here in Johannesburg but I am not complaining as it is really nice to enjoy some of the easier sides of Africa while we can and aclimatize and learn some of the local lingo.  Robots are traffic lights, bakkie is a ute, whopooe is a bird, pik and pay a supermarket, biltong is dried meat, bobootie a local dish and so on.

When flying into Africa I straight away realised some of the differences compared to our previous country of China.  We can speak english here.  You can be a missionary.  Both of which bring such a great freedom in being able to share the gospel openly.  The security issues of China not overshadowing everything you do.  However we know there are and will be other challenges.

Where we are staying there are missionaries from Mozambique here so enjoying listening to some of their stories, hearing some of their journey & struggles and having opportunity to pray with them and for them.  In hearing their stories we are learning much about the countries we intend to be heading to and the challenges that we may face and how very different they are to here.

We were blessed to go to a local church on Sunday, a congregation of over 3000.  I was honoured to be a part of a womans' group today run by the great granddaughter of Smith Wigglesworth.  Her Son is the Pastor of the church.  A word that the lady running it gave was "you can either be a "blessing bestower or a blessing blocker" and hence when the Lord had given me words of knowledge for healing, I stepped out in faith on what she said and brought the words which opened up the way for prayer and ministry to happen and the glory of the Lord to be released.  It was certainly a highlight for me to be able to pray and minister to people and see the power of God moving.

We then had some fun this afternoon, went and played ten pin bowling.  Really nice but as we were driving back to the house we hit rush hour traffic, six lanes on one side full of slow moving traffic, quite a site really as you watch the vehicles maneuver all over the place including the sidewalk to get where they want to go.

The Lord had me looking at the life of Jacob yesterday and I would like to share a verse that spoke to me.  Gen 28:15  "I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go and I will bring you back to this land.  I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you"  It was a great encouragement to me in the fact that God is with us but also that he will do what He said he will do and so we look forward to what and how He is going to do what He said he will do.!

That's all for now, love to everyone and thank you for your continued prayers and support!
With love, Jim & Sarah - and please continue to pray for Kate while we are here.  Thanks.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

As we go.....Take time and enjoy the view

As we go I want to encourage you with a couple of things that the Lord showed me last night.

I had two dreams, one of going campervaning and asking friends to join us.  The husband was keen but the wife was busy.  I went campervaning with my parents who belonged to the camper van association and because of this, they had certain privileges (Our Father in heaven has privileges!).  After getting the camper van set up,  we went to the main dining hall for dinner, one of the privileges of being in the association, was free dinner.  And I sat down at the table and they served us steak.  It was wonderful and then I saw myself sitting by the lake resting looking at the view while someone walked past me going somewhere.

What I took from this is we have a choice.  We are given the opportunity or invited of going with our Dad.  But many of us find ourselves too busy to actually enjoy God and his creation and take up his offer.   And as I went with my parents I sat down and enjoyed a feast and then enjoyed the view of the lake, just resting.  (Jims' addition to this - Sometimes we can be sitting by the lake but thinking of all the things we need to do at home :)

The second dream was where Jim and I were sitting at the top of the mountain enjoying the view when a cyclist came flying past us so fast on his bike, but what was ahead of him was a very quick drop down the other side and a narrow ledge.   But because the cyclist was going so fast he didn't see what was ahead of  him and he wouldn't be able to stay on the road as he would need to slow down to maneuver it and we watched with intripidation as we saw he was going to come off.  But even as he came off the road and went down the side of the bank, somehow he managed to stay up on his bike.

For this to me we once again were enjoying the view (some people may think we just enjoy the view :), still on the same road and journey as the cyclist, but he was going too fast to actually enjoy the beauty of the view or see the road ahead of him and it made it difficult for himself by coming off the road.  I want to encourage you to take time and enjoy the view and to be honest you will be much better off for it as you will see what is ahead of you and not come off the road.

The Lord reminded me of Psalm 23 in this and so I re read the whole thing - it was powerful to me on a whole new level after these dreams and I want to share it with you again and ask that you 'take time' along with me, to enjoy where you are at and are going without rushing ahead wanting to get somewhere that it causes problems and enjoy the feast the Lord wants to put in front of you!

Psalm 23
The Lord is my shepherd
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name's sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley
of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall
follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Infestation of bugs on the wall....

This morning I had a quick picture the Lord showed me.  We had some bugs on the wall and he showed me it didn't take much to get rid of them, just needed to spray them and they would die.  But as I asked the Lord with Jim in prayer as to where these bugs came from and why they had got into our house, the Lord showed us an area in our lives where we had a little bit of unbelief.

I share this picture with you as so easily something small can get into your 'house' like fleas and unless untreated it can become an infestation that is harder to deal with than if you dealt with it straight away.  The Lord showed us an area that needed a slight adjustment in our speaking and in our thinking that had allowed these very subtle if not slightly smiling bugs (deception) into our home.  It was easy to deal with through repentance and realigning our thinking with what the words says and it was no big deal, the bugs were dealt with and killed and our wall once again was made clean.

I encourage you each day to come to the Lord in prayer and show you anything that might need dealing with so that it doesn't become a big matter to have to be dealt with later where others might need to be called into to deal with the problem.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Launch out into the deep......

I loved the reading from the Word for Today from yesterday.  It really spoke to me and reminded me of the season of where we are at in the Lord.  A season of stepping out into the deep and seeing God do what he says he will do.  The point of Step Up & Step In, was very much in this line, that the Lord was asking us as a people to step out of our comfort zones and into the deep waters allowing God to prove himself as to who he is.  In that we can't do it,  but He can do everything!  He will fulfill his promises!

The word for today for June 7 says "Launch out into the deep" Luke 5:4.
  Dr Robert Schuller's hobbies include raising koi fish.   Asked why some grow big while others stay small, he replied, "If a koi fish lives in a small tank it will never grow longer than five or six centimetres.  In a larger pond they can grow up to 23 centimetres long - in ponds the size of mine they's get to be 45 centimetres long - but if they live in a huge lake where they can swim and stretch, they can grow up to a metre long.  The size of the pond determines the size of the fish.  Similarly, little ideas in little minds produce little achievements.  But little ideas embraced by big-thinking minds produce enormous achievements."
  Jesus said, "According to your faith be it unto you" (Matt 9:29).  The size of your faith and your vision determines the outcome of your idea.  Edison had to install electric lights for free in an office building before anyone even came to look at them.  The first sewing machine invented was destroyed by a mob in France.  Morse waited for ten years before the world showed any interest in his telegraph.  And when the idea of travelling by railroad was introduced, people scoffed because it was widely believed that travelling at 50kph stopped blood circulation in the human body.
  Ronald E. Osborn said, "Undertake something difficult; it will do you good.  Unless you try something beyond what you have already mastered, you'll never grow."  You attain in direct proportion to what you attempt, which is why Jesus said to His disciples: "Launch out into the deep".

William Carey said "Attempt great things for God, Expect great things from God".  We step into Africa by faith knowing we can't do it but in Christ we can do all things through him who strengthens us.  When we are weak, he is strong.  And we look forward to the huge haul of fish that the Lord has for us as we step into the deep waters.  Let us encourage you to also step into the deep into whatever the Lord has put on your heart, trusting that he will do what he says he will do!