Saturday, 28 July 2012

Chimoio - Gods planned appointments!

Hello from Chimoio!

Wow what a time we have had here.  God is so good!  Firstly to backtrack a little as I see its been a while since we have written.  Firstly we arrived safely after a great trip on the bus to Harare where we were met by a beautiful couple with such a story on their lives of God it was just wonderful to sit and here their testimonies and to be welcomed in their home.  Their names were Dave & Maxine Broom, they run a ministry called Renewal Ministires and have been to NZ several times so some of you might have heard of them.  Anyway their hospitaltiy was heaven sent literally and they made sure we were put on the bus the next day for Matere which took us to the boarder of Mozambique and then onto more transport to Chimoio.

We have been here since and the Lord has opened doors all over the show it has just been wonderful.  Whether it has been one on one meeting with people or stepping out into larger meetings or preaching at the prison, Gods footprint has been all over it, it is such a blessing to be used like this.

Dreams and words given have spoken into peoples lives in such powerful ways we are just humbled by the intricate way in which the Lord shows his love for his people.  The first day here we met a woman in a supermarket and the Lord spoke to me about her heart needing healing and to meet with her again and she came up behind me and so asked if we could meet and she said yes.  It was just amazing because when we met with her she said a word that jumped out at me because it was the exact same word we had been given before coming and here we were sitting in Chimoio speaking to this very woman who God had highlighted back in New Zealand.  Just amazing.

The people here are very hurt and tired and needing hope sown in and so very definitely we know that we have been brought here to sow hope, life and joy where it has been stolen, but this time mainly to the expat community.  So we felt we had something to offer to those in need and so spoke to the people we  were staying with about opening some meetings to the public.  So we stepped out in faith and put news around for the meetings.  We had two meetings, not very big but brought life and encouragement to those that were there. 

We were then asked if we would go to the prison.  So we went and were so blown away by what the Lord did there.  There is quite a story which was so cool but some of the highlights of it was a man was physically healed but something that was powerful was once again another word that had been given to us before we came about a man who had fallen off a horse and that it would bring breakthrough.  I felt the prompting of the spirit to ask in this meeting if that man was there and yes sure enough a man stepped forward and just broke down in tears and the Lord touched his life and those around him in a powerful way.  But the interesting thing is that in Mozambique it is very rare to see a horse and so for a man to fall off in Mozambique is highly unusal.

After that the Lord has brought more expats for ministry and also opened up another opportunity at another meeting to minister with people who wanted it.  God is bringing breakthrough in peoples lives in a powerful way and it is so encouraging to see.  So we are still here at the moment and these people have also got into our heart.  Oh Lord what are you doing?  In each place we feel we are so much a part of the place that we don´t want to leave and feel our heart wrench whenever the Lord moves us on.

At this stage we are possibly moving on further north in Mozambique possibly on Monday but feel at this stage things are not finished here yet.  We are preaching tomorrow (Sunday) and ministering a little out of town and so look forward to what the Lord will do there.  Psalm 68:9  "You gave abundant showers O God, you refreshed your weary inheritance."  The Lord is giving showers to those who want it and bringing refreshing to the weary and we are so blessed to be a part of seeing this come and know that people will move forward by faith in a new way.  Thank you Lord.

So that is where things are at at this point, just pray that the Lord will continue to bring people into a new place in Him and that they will move in power and authority and bring healing to the people around them.  Pray for us in the next steps and timing of when we are to go and to where.  We are interested while in Mozambique to visit Iris Ministies in Pemba.  We have had a bit to do with the Iris ministries people here in Chimoio but feel we would not like to go back to NZ and being so close to Pemba without visiting Heidi & Rolland Baker's ministry so just praying on that as we would not like to go there just for us if there are other things that the Lord has for us and his people in need.  The other country we still feel to go to is Malawi but at this stage the doors are for there are not clear yet and so just waiting on timing and the contacts in which to visit there.  So still step by step. 

On a personal level Kate is seeming to be doing very well in NZ and enjoying where she is staying so that is great but please continue to pray for her and that she would know the Lords presence on her life in a personal way.  Pray for us for continued health and protection and safety for us in all aspects.  Much love and thank you to all.  Know that the Lord is answering your prayers and we look forward to coming home and sharing all that the Lord has done!  Bless you all!

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Moving on from Bulawayo to Mozambique

Dear friends,

It has been an interesting time here and the last few days the helper in the house has brought us her relatives and friends to pray for, so plenty of opportunity to impart what the Lord is saying to people and pray for them in their situations.  Walking into town this morning we came across a girl who had been having seizures  what we believe for several hours and needing medical attention lying on the path.  She was not conscious and it was quite scarey at one point, but  as we began praying for her saw life come back into her eyes and see her respond so that was encouraging.

We believe it is now time for us to move on from here and so we have booked a bus heading to Harare the captial of Zimbabwe and then onto Mutare which is the boarder town of Mozambique and then onto Chimoio where we will stay with some friends that we met in South Africa who are working in Mozambique.  So we catch a bus on Thursday morning and hopefully will be in Chimoio on Friday.

We have had a good time here and feel very much a part of the people here and could easily come back if the Lord were to bring us, so we will see what the future holds in regards to Bulawayo.  We have made some good connections and feel there is a lot here that could be imparted into the churches should the Lord open doors for that to happen.

Something we are pondering on is the Love of God and the goodness of God that leads people to repentance rather than the fear of God. Rom 2:4  and this morning in Jonah 4:2 "for I know you are a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger abundant in loving kindness.  One who relents from doing harm.  The Lord has certainly sparked some questions in us here and our theologies and what is happening in churches but it is all good as it makes us look more fully into what you believe and why.

Please pray for our travel on buses again on Thursday and Friday.  This time on a very nice bus that is supposed to be a lot safer so we will see. :)  We will touch base after arriving in Chimoio.  Blessings to all.  Love Jim & Sarah

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Psalm 18:43 You have delivered me from the strivings of the people.

Dear friends - hello,

We are learning more and more how the African church here functions.  Really good to understand.  A word the Lord gave me earlier in the week was from Psalm 18:43 "You have delivered me from the strivings of the people".   We have realised in what we are seeing how far the Lord has brought us in learning about His Grace and His love that it is not in what we can do, or how much we pray that matters to Him, but our heart toward Him and our resting and trusting in Him.  We can pray all we like, we can do all the godly things, serve people, look good on the outside but our hearts can so much be so far from him it is not funny.  We can be the evangelist, the prophet, the pastor, the whatever, but unless we have that relationship with the Lord, we have absolutely nothing.  We can bring people to the Lord, get commitments from people that bring in numbers to Christ, but will that fruit last as their hearts have not even understood the heart of God toward them.  We are seeing so much how much the spiritual fear of the demonic world actually pushes people to Christ rather than the understanding of His love for people.   There is so much that we are thinking about and the Lord is wanting us to teach on and hence why he is pushing us to spend time at the moment in the dreams he is giving to write sermons so believe he must have a use for them in the future.

Another topic that I am processing is "Fear or Faith".  I have been given some words that have brought a fear of going into the future and what might happen, but I am learning to discern more and more about what is of God and what is of man.  God is one who speaks faith into things, not fear - he brings peace not doubt and so I know the Lord is giving us so much to preach on when returning to New Zealand.   So I want to encourage you that if somebody speaks something over your life that doesn't bring faith then put it to the side.  It may happen what was spoken, but with God there is always a hope and a future and something to step into, not away from, he doesn't give a sense of 'foreboding' and I actually think that is something here over this nation.  They have only had trouble for a long time and hence fear what may be ahead, very uncertain times here.  We were blessed the other day when we went out to the village and a lady came and spoke truth and faith into us that it pushed us out of holding back and realised something we had picked up along the way but it was broken when she spoke faith into us and so we speak faith into you -   STEP UP AND STEP IN PEOPLE BY FAITH INTO WHAT THE LORD HAS PUT ON YOUR HEARTS!!!  Not holding back but by taking it by force as it says in Matt 11:12 "And from the days of John the Baptist until now, the Kingdom of Heaven has suffered violence and the violent take it by force"

On a practical detail level -

This past week has seen me at a womens bible study.  Very interesting and I hope to join them again this coming week.   Jim & I were invited out to join a medical team that go out to the bush and teach them basic health but also share the gospel which became our turn to minister and see the tangible presence of God released which they commented on as they had not seen it happen out there before, so that was cool, hopefully we will join them again this coming week but we will see.   We were invited last night to a church service which was classed as a 'prophetic deliverance service' which Jim and I received a prophetic word which was great confirming our call to preach to the nations and what the Lord has ahead which confirmed other words people had given us.  And mainly the Lord is putting words into our heart to preach so we are feeling the push to sit down and write some sermons.   We still have our colds which we want to see a breakthrough in but I think it is just the way the Lord is telling us to rest and write.  So on that note, need to go and do this.  Love to all!
Jim & Sarah from Bulawayo Zimbabwe.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Life in Zimbabwe - 2 Cor 5:14-15

Hello all.  We are in the most beautiful accommodation in Zimbabwe I think the Lord could find.  We are in a home where some Australian doctors I think own it and they come several times a year to visit places and help in the country and in the meantime people like us are able to use it.  We are blessed with a beautiful garden in which to sit and relax and a cook/cleaner so far more than we thought and so give thanks for everyday!

Since our travel Jim and I have got full on head colds so are going through the tissues.  The first day here I was blessed to be invited to the first international womens conference here in Zimbabwe.  It was very interesting and we are learning alot about the churches here in Africa and the challenges that they are facing.  The speaker posed some very interesting questions on doctrinal issues that I am still questioning and spoke to her at the time on.  But it is one issue here amongst others, is false doctrine, but then who is to say we have it right?  If you fight and quarrel then you are still of the world.  It is all about Christ cruicified and other things just seek to distract us from the truth and purpose of His love and forgiveness.

The next day we spent time with a contact given to us previously which was really wonderful and learnt a bit of what goes on here.   We were blessed as they showed us around town and gave us some insights.

Then yesterday we were picked up and taken to their church which we really enjoyed.  The Lord gave some words of knowledge for healing and opportunity to present them, so was blessed to be able to pray for some people.  We then were invited back to their place for lunch which was just wonderful and we spent time more talking on various issues which was just great.

Something the Lord has showed us and we are praying into are some of the strongholds over peoples lives here and would ask that you would pray with us to see things change in these arenas.  Such as fear, despair, hopelessness - a no way out thinking & succumbing to it, death, worry & anxiety and also disunity.   None of these things are of the Lord but looking at some of the history in this place is understandable why these things are so strong but nothing is impossible for the Lord and pray that His love would break through into each situation where people struggle in these areas.  Alot of these things we believe are buried deep within peoples hearts and things are covered over as things are changing.  Please pray protection over particularly me as I become aware of these things that I don't pick them up or carry them as my own.

There are no definite plans at this stage ahead.  This afternoon we are praying for a neighbour who saw us praying for a lady who came asking for help and so wants us to pray for her. Tomorrow we are going to Dave's house and joining in on some teaching on the prophetic that he is teaching some pastors and then Wednesday meeting with a lady who helps with the settling of children into homes.  Something people are very good at here is helping those in need as there are opportunities everywhere, whether it be a soup kitchen, or orphanages or whatever. 

2 Cor 5:14-15
"For the love of Christ compels us because we judge thus; that if Christ died for us, then all died and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves but for Him who died for them and rose again". 

Something we are learning and asked for impartation in Botswana for, was the African way of preaching and teaching, it is really an art form that is wonderful.  We so enjoy the preaching in these nations. :)

Much love to all - Jim and Sarah

Friday, 6 July 2012

Now in Zimbabwe - some fun detail of the journey :)

We have arrived safely in Zimbabwe are catching a bus at 5:30am and finally arriving at 7:30pm in Bulawayo Zim.  We were blessed to see Giraffe crossing the road, along with Zebras on the way back. We had over 12 hours of squished up, falling off the seat, holding onto luggage, travel and now we know the type of one of the buses we were on, one was called - a chicken bus - why because they cater to livestock.  So we did it typical african style.   At the boarder the bus took off and then realised that we weren't on it yet so came back for us as we were still waiting to get our visa through the country.  They really looked after us after that being the only white people on the bus.   It was all in all an interesting trip, one of praying as it was so fast and all I could remember was the last bus accident and so having to come into peace and rest midst it all was a challenge for me.

We finally arrived to met by a wonderful local missionary Mellanie Jones who was insisting to the bus people not to go until she arrived as it can be rather dangerous at night for people like us standing around.  We were met with a beautiful chicken roast meal which was so nice and a nice bed with a decent pillow and yahoo coffee! (well actually chichory coffee) which we have got used to, so it was just wonderful.

Mellanie has organised somewhere for us to stay here which is a house that we can self cater in so that is just great and has also organised some meetings with people in regards to ministry and what might happen while we are here so such a blessing.

Zimbabwe is so different to Botswana.  For one it is more beautiful from what we have seen at this stage, less desert and more trees.  It is also more colonial and that is obvious in the housing and the infrastructure of the place.  Interesting history here we are learning of the government and inflation and fall of everything over the past few years and the slow recovery.  Really fascinating and something Jim and I need to understand more of.  In the spirit we have noticed a difference already so it will be interesting to see what the Lord reveals over more time here.

So until the next update, we are safe and sound in Zimbabwe being well looked after.
Love to all - Jim & Sarah

Monday, 2 July 2012

Amazing time in Maun - What is it to be child like?

We have just finished four days of meetings, really like a semi conference every night preaching and seeing God moving powerfully in their lives and then last night another meeting with the leaders.  What to say, we are looking forward to a few days of rest but we are so thankful.  God gives seed to the sower!  We have been so blessed as the Lord has given us what has been needed for the people and to see such freedom and joy come into their lives we are so blessed.  People powerfully delivered of demons, people healed of pain and sickness and issues of the heart.  People set free by the power of the Holy Spirit in joy and freedom.  For the Pastor, he felt so refreshed and strengthened and knew it was Gods timing in bringing us.  People were so full of the Holy Spirit they couldn't stand up to speak, it was just wonderful seeing them filled with joy leaning on the podium in order to stand up :)  They were just so blessed and spending four days with people have put them in our hearts and this morning as we said goodbye it was like our hearts were being torn out but we believe we will be back at some time the Lord willing.

In all the places we have been in Botswana there is an open door for us to come back and to bring teams with us so that is very encouraging and look forward to what the Lord may do in the future.

We have just booked into a place by the river for a few days to just spend time with the Lord alone and see what the next steps are.  We are both well, Jim recovering from his cold.  Although I am getting a little homesick for my girl and as we look that we still have another 2 and a half months think,  "Lord what have you got ahead?"  We have only been away from New Zealand for 2 and a half weeks and yet already so much has happened it seems like a lifetime!  I know we will certainly be different when we come back and already am seeing Jim stepping up into so much more authority it is amazing.  And seeing things bow to the name of Jesus here is just amazing.  One of the most precious things yesterday that we will remember forever is a girl who the Lord set free in such a powerful way and then to see her come back to the leaders meeting hungry for more even though it was her first time in the church.  It broke our heart as she was told she could not stay as she was just so hungry for more of God.

We have had such a variety of stuff happen in two weeks, the contrasts are amazing.  From the comforts of South Africa, to the bus crash, to washing in a basin, to God opening doors for ministry and homes for us to stay in, it is just amazing!  God keeps reminding us that he will do what he promised!

A revelation I have had is about what it is to be "child like in faith", an understanding is the innocence of a child, innocent of sin, unhindered by hurt or pain.  I have had the revelation of child like in trusting the Lord for his provision of food and shelter before but this is bringing a whole new level of understanding of the innocence that we need to come back into in the Lord.  These past few days we have seen so much pain, so much hurt in peoples lives, so much sickness, HIV, abuse and I had a dream that showed me of murder and in processing this the Lord is teaching me about His forgiveness that brings people back to that child like innocence before pain, before hurt.  And is murder any different of any other sin and to love and forgive.
Powerful questions that tests your heart so we are going to enjoy just processing some of everything that has happened over these past couple of weeks and see what the Lord is revealing to us.

So bye for now but know that God is doing powerful things and will continue to do so as He has promised. 
With love & thanks, Jim & Sarah