Monday, May 30, 2005

Street Evangelism (3)

Ya so here I am with a million excuses as to why I have not written a report on the street ministry since last year. Actually I’ll spare you all and just tell it like it is. Just excuse the going back to the future bit.

On the 18th December last year just the week before Christmas we handed out Christmas cards and chocolate to the people we met. Helga and Sean were with me. We had quite a ball and struck up some interesting conversations with all types of people. Just about everyone we handed out to asked us, “How much do these cost?” Our reply was on these lines “ Absolutely free, gratis, no follow up calls, no telemarketing….” and so on. This gave us the gap to talk about God’s wonderful gift of salvation to mankind and His incredible love for us. We did not work this out before hand it just kinda happened.

I remember we handed out to the petrol pump attendant at the one garage and there was quite a well heeled dude filling up his BMW and I went up to him and gave him a chocolate and a card and I told him that this is for him as well. Christ died for everyone in the world. He just kinda smiled at me and said thank you.

Shortly after Christmas I had a fight with my Kreepy Krawly in our swimming pool and needless to say the Kreepy whipped my butt or actually broke my toe and bruised the rest of my foot. So it was very painful to walk for about two months even if it was just going to the toilet. So guess what? No street evangelism for a while.

Then we eventually got back out on the street in March again with Clint and Sean. By that time I could manage a very speedy hobble with not much pain. It was a blustery windswept night, the kinda lekker south easter that blows holes in your body. We met a young man early on in the evening who just rushed past us in a caste iron hurry. Saying he has no time even for just taking a tract. As he walked past me I was already praying for him without realising it. Suddenly he turned around and started talking to the three of us. Asking us tons of questions for about 10 to 15 minutes. I then invited him to give his life to Jesus. I would like to say that we led him to Christ there and then but sadly he declined the offer. We had quite a few encounters that night but that one has stuck in my memory.

Sometimes people throw the tracts away right there and then but we the wind often blows them back to us and we just pick them up and hand them to someone else.

After that evening in March we ran out of tracts and have just been waiting to get all the logistics sorted out to order some more.

During this time (Jan –Mar) one of the women who we met on the street has come to do Alpha and has had a wonderful renewal of her faith by His Holy Spirit. She gave her testimony during the Alpha celebration evening in February and is currently attending the cell group which I facilitate and coming to church with Allie and myself. God is good. All the time and all the time…..God is good. Hope you said it with me.

So as you can see when you serve Jesus everything is just plain sailing without any problems at all. So if you have any problems then our Lord doesn’t want you to do that ministry. Yeah…….right……..pull the other one. No not that toe it’s still healing, the other one. Jesus said “If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine. If you cling to your life you will lose it ; but if you give it up for me, you will find it.” He also said that in this world we will have trouble but that he has conquered the world. Go find the scriptures yourself.

So if you do have opposition and difficulties in your ministry pray and ask Jesus and listen to the gentle whisper of His Holy Spirit which will guide you through your trails and give you the strength to persevere.

LoCTY (= Love of Christ to You)

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Allie's Testimony

To give a little background before I found my Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ; Val(my sister)and my Mom (now dead 8 years) prayed for me for years (sort of reminds me of St Augustine!) So before I actually came to accept Him I into my heart, I had people praying for me.

My husband Raymond and myself found Jesus in a mighty way just about 4 years ago and we have never looked back and never will. He is our Lord and Master and the controller of our lives. We thank Him every day for coming into our lives, for knocking and knocking on the door of our hearts and never giving up until we opened up and let Him in.
I always knew who He was and always "believed" (in my head, not my heart)as I was brought up a Roman Catholic by a Mom and Dad who always went to church, sent me to a Catholic school, I did my First communion, was confirmed but immediately stopped going to church once I had left school. Maybe going only at Christmas time. I was even married in a Catholic church to Lisa's Dad, but the words I spoke and the vows I took did not mean much - they were done because that is what had to be done.
I was divorced from Cecil twice, first time when Lisa was 5 years old and the second time when she was 14. By that time we had our son too, Adam. He was then 3 going on 4.
I did not bring my children up in the way of the Lord. They of course knew about Him and my Mom was the instrument in keeping them in the right path, taking them to Catechism, making sure they did their First Communion and Lisa was also confirmed. She used to be involved in the Youth group of our local church but somewhere along the way she also stopped this and going to church. Adam was not even confirmed as my Mom had died by then and I could not be bothered.
I put God on the back burner but always, always knew that something was missing in my life. I was 31 when we were divorced for the second and final time and went on a totally wrong path, jolling, sleeping with anyone I met, drinking and partying! I was never a "bad" person but was not a good person either. I met Steve and for 3 years was in a disastrous relationship - he was mentally and emotionally abusive to me and hated Lisa and tolerated Adam. Finally I met my wonderful husband Raymond at age 37. He was 4 years younger than me, had been divorced twice and very badly hurt by both wives, he had no children and gladly and wonderfully accepted both Lisa and Adam. Lisa was 18 and Adam was 8. Both of my children accepted him gladly too and after knowing each other just over 1 year we got married. We married at my sister's place with a minister (who a friend told us about) but although we again said our vows, we still did not have God in our marriage. When I was nearly 42 we had Matthew. I was approximately 3 months pregnant when Lisa went over to U.S.A. After I had my beautiful son Matthew, I had to have a major operation, hysterectomy as well as a bowel and bladder repair which had both dropped. Something happened to me during that Op which led to me going into a terrible depression and having to be admitted to a hospital under a Psychiatrist and also 6 sessions of E.C.T. (Electro Convulsive Treatment). I was put on an antidepressant called Aropax (which I am still on after 8 years) due to a clinical imbalance (my body is not able to produce seratonin on it's own) so the pills help my body to do this.
During this time, I started searching for Jesus. Still I did not take the step. Three years after this I took myself off these pills and what a disaster - I went down into a deep hole of depression from which I struggled to get out. I even had to resign my job (where I had been for 8 years) as we could not tell when I would be well enough to go back and they would not wait. No compassion shown to me as many people do not understand depression and think that you can just snap out of it! After a month I was better after going back onto the pills and I was re-employed half days - praise the Lord - I LOVE working half days.
Lisa was a wonderful and compassionate daughter during this time and a tremendous source of comfort and strength both to me and Raymond.
This time the Lord knocked so hard at the door of my heart and I really started searching in earnest. By the November of that year 2000, I started going to the Goodwood Methodist Church through an invitation by my best friend from school days (with whom I had been friends since 13 years of age). Raymond and I bumped into her at a restaurant one Saturday morning and somehow got on to the subject of God. I went with her that Sunday evening to church, loved the worship and Mike Crommelin the minister. I asked Raymond to come with me and 3 weeks later he came (not really wanting to - did not agree with "organized" religions - he had been a Jehovah's witness for 4 years before I met him and had become majorly disillusioned with them). We have not looked back since then. We did the Alpha course in Feb. of 2001 and since then have served on the team in various capacities. I got involved with the children's ministry in our social concerns section and visited at a children's home and was bringing a little coloured girl, Madelyn, every second weekend since she was 7 - she is now 11. (I have taken a break from the social concerns for this year and as Madelyn is reconciled with her Mom and goes to her every second weekend I have stopped taking her home.) I used to visit St Joseph's every second Friday and play with the kids. They are really a blessing from God and helped in my own healing. We were also both Sunday school teachers (I still am but Raymond has taken a break this year – he is visiting other Christian churches in the area as this is what God has been asking him to do)
At Sunday School I am with the 6 year olds and Raymond was with the 16 year olds. We also ran the soup kitchen on Goodwood main road for 2 years and although we are not running it now, (we do it only once a month now), I still make a huge pot of soup every 2nd Saturday, and Raymond does Street Evangelism about twice a month on a Saturday evening, down Voortrekker Road. We also have both done the Emmaus walk - a spiritual walk which is run all around the world. We did it at Manyano centre in Paarl.
Raymond is also involved in the Men’s ministry of our church called ‘Maxi-Men’ which is held every second Monday evening at someone’s house. I also go on the alternative Monday to our Women’s fellowship called JOY (Join Young and Old) at Adele’s place in Monte Vista. Raymond also goes to a Saturday morning men’s fellowship at the Salem church in Bothasig. Raymond is also involved with the Youth Emmaus called Chrylasis and is on the prayer team.
We belong to a cell/bible study group of which Raymond is the facilitator, every Thursday evening. We are currently doing the “Purpose driven Life” by Rick Warren. Wonderful!!
We love going to church and worshipping the Lord and this really is a "happy clappy" church (which in earlier years I scorned and said I would never go to one of those churches!) We praise the Lord in spirit and in truth with clapping of hands and with our bodies and minds. We absolutely love it and love Jesus. Our church is a Holy Spirit filled church and you can feel the love and warmth there. This is my testimony and I know that I know that I know that the Lord has something major planned for me and Raymond to do in the future. We wait upon His calling.
My Matthew (8 years old now) is being brought up as Lisa and Adam should have been, with Jesus very much in his life. You ask him who is the strongest and the biggest and he points straight up and says Jesus and God! If we forget to say grace before meals he reminds us and every film that comes on and has swearing in it, he switches off!
My son Adam (21) is in the U.S.A. at the moment working on the Carnivals and he wonderfully and mightily accepted the Lord Jesus Christ into his heart in March a few weeks before he left to go over. I praise the Lord our God as we have been praying and praying for him!
He is even ‘preaching’ to the other guys over there who do not know Jesus and is playing his Christian CD’s loud even though the others think he is mad! Thank you Jesus!
We now just want to serve God and do whatever He wants us to do in our lives. He has a perfect plan for all of us and we will continue to trust in Him and be His people of Grace.

Do You Remember What I've Done? 2

Yo Saints !!!!!!

So there I was feeling pretty chuffed with myself for heeding the gentle whisper of His Holy Spirit and wearing my heart on my sleeve for you wacky (but much loved) bunch of people. And then there were a coupla emails and phone calls back to me. The general line of comment was something like this "Hey bozo, where is the attachment? Where is the testimony, did you FORGET to attach it?!, Do you actually know how to work your email package?"
Phew you guys are a tuff audience. Actually I was just doing the good husband, trusted confidant thing. I had not asked Allie her permission to send out her testimony to the bunch of you, but I did that last night and she is happy to do that.
So here it is and something extra as well as I also include the way God used this testimony yesterday and just remember this started with Paul and Belinda's testimonies.
All of you out there have a miraculous testimony, although you might not think so, your testimony can break down walls, barriers and be an incredible instrument for God. Your testimony is a living day by day sacrifice to your Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ which takes in the past, present and future, never be ashamed of it, wear it as a shining badge inside and outside you, a badge that shines/reflects God's glory. I just smile when people say God don't do no miracles today. The greatest miracle in the universe is when we are reconciled back to God through the blood of Jesus Christ, when we reach that point in our lives when we acknowledge Him as the Lord of our lives, King of Kings, King of Glory.
Below are two emails between Allie and Belinda.

Hi Monds,
See the email below from Belinda.

Well, yes I was sitting the lounge yesterday watching something on TV whilst Matt and Chadd were playing. The phone rang and it was Belinda!. We had such a lovely long chat. The last two times we saw each other was firstly 8+ years ago at my Mom's funeral (I was 6 months pregnant and I think she was 1 month). Then shortly afterwards when I had Matt and he was just born and she was still pregnant, Val and I went to visit. We did not see each other again, perhaps the time was not right. But what am I saying, God's timing is perfect and that is why He has brought us together again!.
She said that she had just read Val's letter and was looking out of the window wondering how she could reach her Mom and Dad. By the way her Mom is my sister Val's best friend who worked in Barclays bank with her before she became a nun. Her Mom and Dad are also Roman Catholic and she considers Belinda a bit of a black sheep as she and her husband Paul now belong to the AOG in Edgemead and not the Catholic church. She turned back to her computer and there was an email waiting for her. MINE!!
She read it with joy and tears and sometime later phoned me and we had a beautiful conversation, sharing and laughing and just overwhelmed that we had such similar testimonies. A 'coincidence'? I don't think so - more likely a GOD incidence.
She asked also if she could share my testimony with her Mom and Dad and others and I said of course. Testimonies are to be shared with everyone. Even the shortest of testimonies is a great witness to God our Loving Heavenly Father.
Praise God from whom all blessings come.
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose".
Romans 8:28
God Bless
Love Allie

God is good.

From Belinda

I just finished reading a letter from Aunty Val...from PE.

AND just turned to my computer..... and opened mail from her sister!!!

so amazing...... I am about to read your testimony now.

Thanks in advance.

I know that this communication is not by chance.....

I know that God has a plan.

I am so excited.

chat later...


Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Do You Remember What I've Done?

Dear Precious Saints !!!!!

So I'm getting a few emails and phone calls asking "Are you well? Where have you been? Do you need someone to talk to? I'm really missing your mail.When r u gonna write yr book?," some of you have probably noticed that your inbox just ain't been so full lately (probably breathing a sigh of relief). I gotta watch the comments and stuff 'cause you know I'm painfully human at times and all these encouraging comments could go just straight to my head and then my head would swell to such an extent that I would not be able to get out of the office to go home. But please don't stop saying wot ever you wanna say. I really don't have any excuses it's not that I haven't had anything to say and share its just that I don't always know how to express it out here in black on white.
Well as per usual I'm working (yeah I do that) and I decide to check my email. Ah, a email from Allie (my wife). I innocently open it up totally unprepared for the contents (she did tell me earlier on, but I forget!?) and on the attachment is Allie's testimony. She had sent it to a couple whose testimony we had recently read. Well I read through it (this is the first time that she has written it out) and phew it was just blow away time. Outside some union members were chanting and demonstrating, but me I was a mess I was crying without even realising it. You know we are so quick to forget God's love, grace and mercy in our lives, we sometimes meander off into a side street which is a dead end and there we sit howling at the moon, shaking our fists at God all kinda bitter and frustrated. Where ever you are now, whatever you are doing just take a moment to reflect, meditate on what God has done in your life so far and what it has cost Him and if your heart is hard let His spirit come in and soften your heart and if you what. I have a my own cry room, it is the last toilet cubicle against the wall....I'm getting a sign for the door.

Concerning the Gentiles (datz most of us), God says in the prophecy of Hosea, "Those who where not my people, I will now call my people. And I will love those whom I did not love before. (Romans 9:25 from Hosea 2:23)

"If my life is fruitless, it doesn't matter who praises me, and if my life is fruitful it doesn't matter who criticizes me." - John Bunyan.

Will I believe You when You say
Your hand will guide my every way
Will I receive the words You say
Every moment of every day

I will walk by faith even when I cannot see
Because this broken road
Prepares Your will for me

Help me to rid my endless fears
You've been so faithful for all my years
With one breath you made me new
Your grace covers all I do

I will walk by faith even when I cannot see
Because this broken road
Prepares Your will for me

Well I'm broken but I still see Your face
Well You've spoken
Pouring out Your words of grace

I will walk by faith even when I cannot see
Because this broken road
Prepares Your will for me
(Walk By Faith written and performed by Jeremy Camp)

LoCTY !!!!!!

PS Thank you Paul and Belinda keep shining.
PPS Just in case you are wondering or confused the "I've" in the subject header is definitely not me but God!

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