Chitenge Chapter – A Testimony

It is everyone’s desire to live their dream.  When one gets the chance a moment of truth arrives.  It tests what you are made of.  Will you allow fear to force you to take a step back or will you jump into the unknown?  Since I was ten, being a missionary was my wildest dream.  It seemed impossible, yet my heart told me that is what I was made to do.  11 years later the opportunity arrived to go to FTLT.  What did I do?  I jumped.

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After an entire year of training we were finally ready for the big outreach.  Excited and prepared we headed for Malawi.  We found a land of freedom, safety, rich soil and Islam.  My heart broke.

Ministry started on a lovely Sunday.  David and I traveled to a remote area, where a church had recently begun.  In the midst of their challenges, they persevered and gathered to hear the Word.  Inspired by an earlier teaching we did this year called Chronological Approach, I started teaching the Bible from the Genesis.  The message led to the mighty sacrifice our Lord made for us.  It expressed how it was vital that the Son of God was the one to sacrifice his own life for us.  One of the biggest question Moslems have is: How could God be man?  How can God have a Son?  They Holy Spirit just took over and I pray that the newly converted Moslems faith in God’s Son was reaffirmed and strengthened.

 


Farming God’s Way…  An ordinary glance at these words, doesn’t show how it makes a girls’ dreams come true.  But there is no turning back.  It’s time to wear my heart on my sleeve.  I had a dream that I would be a farmer’s wife on the mission field.  Hard work, living with the seasons and depending upon the Lord for rain is part of my dream.  Learning how to farm has been a great gift that I truly want to use.  Damien and Erika taught a group of pastors how to farm in Molange.  They were so excited they prepared the field beforehand and did experiments based on examples they got from a book.  They have such a thirst for knowledge.   They have a desire to learn and apply!  God has native people working in the field who are capable, hardworking and willing.  Praise the Lord!

 

We travelled up the lake, visiting rural churches that needed encouragement and help.  We never expected how much they would appreciate our visit.  We arrived by boat at Nalungu and were greeted by a choir of kids.  They were singing about Paul and Silas praising God in prison.  Something clicked into place at that moment.  Although those great giants are in heaven right now – their work has not stopped.  Not only do we still have their letters in the Bible, but we are following in their footsteps, encouraging each other in Christ’s love.  We are youngsters just getting started in ministry.  We are unimportant, inexperienced…  Why would God use us?  I feel like Moses, saying:  “Oh Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant.  I am slow of speech and tongue.”  Ex 4:10.  Yet God put me in this team and sent me, knowing the mistakes I would make.  He entrusted his precious people into our team’s hands, knowing that we are all ultimately in the PALMS OF HIS nail pierced hands!  Will we fall?  Will we fail?  No, for love fills the holes of his hands.  Nothing will ever be able to separate us from his GREAT love!

While we were there, we shared our testimonies and preached.  Adults and children gave their lives to the Lord and they were saved!  A lady had rheumatism and couldn’t make it to a crusade we had.  She however listened to what was being said over the loud speakers.  The next day she came and said that she believes in Jesus and she has been healed!  She walked all the way to share her testimony.  She could walk when only a few hours earlier she was bedridden.  Wow!  During children’s ministry I showed them pictures about the war that is taking place within their hearts.  I showed them how God wants them to be his children, but how the Devil is fighting for that not to happen!  Part of the illustration shows how the Devil uses witchcraft to ensnare us.  They gave their hearts to the Lord, denouncing those evil snares and welcoming the Holy Spirit into their hearts!  Shortly thereafter the kids joined the main service.  The pastor said:  “Any children who have been to a witchcraft school come forward.”  All the children went forward.  He prayed for them again – reaffirming how Jesus is the Lord of their lives now!  One of the kids described how a witch came to him just before he was prayed for.  The witch took back muti she had placed within him, afraid that it would be destroyed by prayer.  Soon after that, that child was set free.  That witch has no more power over him.  He is free in Jesus’ Name!

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My team became my family.  Pastor Peter and his wife became our spiritual parents.   I cried when I said goodbye.  They mean so much to me.  I love them.  This chapter of my life is called “Chitenge”.  A woman’s most valuable possession in Malawi is a chitenge.  She brings her children into the world with one.  She serves her family with a chitenge wrapped around her waist daily.  It was my greatest desire to have one!  A woman came forward, a chitenge folded neatly in her hands.  “This is for you Amayi (my mother).”   My heart pounded with thankfulness.

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God created each of us with a unique purpose.  Before creation he knew us by name and placed gifts within us.  These gifts were designed to be shared with the world for his glory!  I could see how he used our team individually and how their purpose in Christ was a glorious reality.  I have finally understood why I am who I am today.  It is not a surprise that I love music, drama and dancing.  Dancing and singing with the Malawians to the Creator of the world under a magnificent starry sky, is what I was made for.

Teaching the youth a drama, expressing how Jesus freed us from sin was so much fun!  Preaching and illustrating how David chopped off Goliath’s head, being mimicked by my translator was super!  Who we are is not a mistake – it’s part of God’s glorious plan.  He wants to use us to his glory and reveal a part of himself through us, to the world!

All my hopes and dreams will be captured in one look at Jesus’ face.  I can hardly wait for that sweet day when I’ll be swept away to be with my King forever.  In the meantime, I’ll make sure my lamp keeps on burning.  My heart’s deepest prayer is that Malawi will put their trust in Christ and join me – living in anticipation for the sweet moment, when we will see him face to face!

God bless
Christle

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This entry was posted on November 11, 2012. 2 Comments

Quilt Phase

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God has invited his daughters and sons to depart on a great and wild adventure with him!  There are mysteries, dangerous quests, brilliant journeys and epic moments that are lying ahead.

God has created every daughter of Eve to be his “ezer kenegdo”.  Eve was given to Adam as his “helper”.  At first glance our role doesn’t look like much, but in Hebrew it refers to something far more powerful – it means “lifesaver”!  This phrase is used to describe God in Deut. 33:26, when he was desperately needed to come through for his people!  Eve is a life giver; she is Adam’s ally.  Each woman has an irreplaceable role to play.  We have fierce devotion, the aptitude to suffer great trials and a vision to make the world a better place.

God is inviting his daughters to become the story tellers of God’s Word.  The Word of God is living and active.  It penetrates the soul and spirit, joints and marrow and judges the thought and attitudes of the heart.  Hebrews 4:12 reveals how powerful God’s Word is!  When it is read day by day, it is like a scalpel that cuts away sin, fears, bitterness and doubt!

The Word of God is like a great quilt that consists of different pieces of fabric sown together.  Each fabric must be separately prepared, before it can be added to the quilt.  Every story that is told from God’s Word is a picture that further reveals who God is to us.  Women are the sowers, the menders in the family.  When daughters of God read the Word chronologically from the beginning till the end to their families, the full picture of who God is and his love for us is revealed.  Jesus Christ is the scarlet thread that sows every story together.  God is the quilt maker, intricately planning that great story from Genesis till Revelation.  God’s daughters are the tools in his hands – the needles – that God uses to reveal His great story unto the households of the world!

While seeking God concerning what to do next year it was laid strongly upon my heart to chronologically tell the story of our great and awesome God to young teens.  I believe that God’s Word will cut away every doubt and fear that has taken route in their lives and be replaced with faith and truth!

I’ll start in the Old Testament and end in the New.  Every story in the Old Testament is a shadow foretelling the fullness that is yet to come.  Col 2:16-17, “These things are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.”  God required the Israelites to bring offerings that would atone for their sins.  It had to be male, first born and spotless before it could be offered.  Jesus was the last Lamb.  Pilate said before Jesus was sacrificed on the cross: “I find no fault in him!”.  Jesus Christ was spotless (sinless), first born and male.   Everything fits together!    “This is my body the lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world.”  What a great revelation seeing how Israelites offerings were a shadow of the reality that is found in Christ.

May God’s “Ezer Kenegdo’s” go out and become needles in the Quilt Maker’s hands!

I’m excited to embark on the first stretch of my quilt phase, as my team and I prepare to God to Malawi.  We have seen God’s hand of blessing upon the upcoming outreach.  He truly is the great Provider!  We praise Him for the funds that He has provided through his people!  May the Lord bless them richly, pressed down, shaken together and running over!

Our FTLT-team desires to spread God’s love to the Yao tribe, ministering by the guidance of His Holy Spirit and equipping the people with skills that are sorely needed.  God desires Africa to no longer beg for bread, but to become the bread basket of the world!  I praise God for training us with “Farming God’s Way” and “Kingdom Economics” so that His World’s great principles may be taught and applied in Africans’ daily lives!

Leather and Dust Chapter

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June was a time of running God’s good race to Matlala and MIA2012 mission’s conference! The Church was gathered together, equipped and empowered to Move Into Action throughout Africa.

Children of God from all over stood together praising the Lord, learning how to effectively reach out and serve people. Workshops were held effectively training us for battle. I was trained in Aural Communication for three days! I learnt how to convey, interpret and study the Word’s stories, so that people may receive the Gospel with faith! “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.” Romans 10:17.

It is important to know that 15% of all Americans are illiterate. They cannot read the Bible. 30% are functional illiterate, only able to read numbers and important words. 45% can read, but prefer to learn by aural methods. It is only 10% of the society that actually prefer to learn via reading! Only 10% will read the Word of God! People need aural communication!

Africans use stories to record their history in their minds. They tell and retell their tales, committing them to memory. God is concerned about all people groups – literate and illiterate! He desires to save people from a death resulting from the lack of knowledge! He longs to reveal his truth – not mystify it! Jesus has given us a message, recorded in his Word. Our mission is to aurally communicate the truth – were turning back is not an answer. Those who can hear listen!

A label titled “leather and dust” caught my attention during this time. We are people created from dust, traveling with God’s armor. The spiritual belt of truth God and the shoes of readiness of the gospel of peace, are all made of spiritual leather. As bearers of leather and creations of dust we set out for Matlala. We became Bible study leaders, sharing this adventure the young and old. United, protected and in prayer we serve the community together taking a step of faith. We wanted to proclaim the Gospel in word and deed, disciple the unreached and bless the community.

God’s army did House Visitation, Community Service, Building projects, Hospital outreach, Intercession, Prayer, Spiritual warfare, Children Ministry and Journal & Photo’s. Charge!

We did not fight against flesh and blood, but spiritual forces of this dark world. After our first day of house visitations, I twisted my ankle badly to the extent that walking on it first made me feel faint, clouded my vision with darkness and lastly made my ears sing! But I praise God that we were able to stand our ground, taking up our shield of faith and swinging the sword of the Spirit – the Word of God – towards this attack that was manifesting physically. My fellow warriors prayed for me and God healed me so that I could continue ministering to God’s people.

We found many broken people – needing freedom, restoration and forgiveness. Jesus didn’t die for perfect people. He came for the broken! He called us to show His love to the unloved. Romans 5:6 says: ‘while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.’ While there people gave their lives to the Lord, renewed their commitment to him and turned back to his goodness. Seed was planted amongst the unreached. I pray that God will use those who continue to work there to water the seed so that it may grow!

I call on my fellow brothers and sisters to continually pray for Ma Lina as she currently works amongst Matlala’s villages. I pray that the Lord will strengthen her on her journey and give her the strength that she needs to fight the good fight!

Truth Chapter

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There is something about conquering mountaintops and pushing through a dense thicket of thorns that helps you reflect upon who you really are. Your baser nature is brought to light. Your personality’s good and bad areas stand in stark contrast with each other! It is a moment of truth that is tough to face, but necessary.

This chapter started on the 13 April 2012. We travelled to an isolated place near Tzaneen called the Wolkberge. We spent 11 days on misty mountains enduring cold evenings, hot days, tiring hikes, hills, cliffs, wild creatures, thorns and thistles. The beauty of the mountains, the fresh air, pure water from the earth’s belly and milky way nights were spectacular.

The experience was designed to prepare us for missionary trips, improve our survival skills and increase our team work. We learnt to rely upon one another, endure, face nature’s raw elements and enjoy God’s creation to the fullest! Our two months of physical training prior to the adventure was worthwhile. It was needed to endure an estimated 11 km hike each day! We were mentally equipped with navigation and first aid training. We waded into the bush with maps, compasses and bare hands!

Our mission was to find a waterfall and bring back proof of our arrival there. We marched upon a winding road, a towering mountain and camped in stormy weather. The Bush of Tribulation was our greatest concern. Thanks to our teams’ scouts, navigators and God’s grace we found an easier way to break through the thorny vines in an hours’ time! We ascended into the hills thereafter, avoided cliffs and descended to the long awaited waterfall! It was a thrilling moment to finally arrive and achieve our goal!

We were given the platform and opportunity to plan, perform and apply what we have been taught. We were physically, emotionally and mentally challenged and stretched beyond our normal capacities. We were rewarded with waters of peace and mountains carved by the Potter’s hands. It was breathtakingly beautiful!

We were challenged with many human fears. Heights, dangerous animals and physical limitations concerned us, but our faith in God took precedence there over! We had to step out in faith, undeterred by our human weaknesses and limitations and become like Peter who stepped out onto the water. He defied nature’s laws and accepted Christ’s challenge to trust Him! We were tempted to focus on the storm surrounding us when we climbed higher, pushed through pain and saw snakes, but we chose to stand firm upon the Rock of Ages.

Jesus was the author and finisher of our faith – he enabled us to keep on going when our muscles were strained and more mountains loomed ahead. Our mantra was “to finish strong”! As Paulus said in 2Ti 4:7, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith”. I praise God for carrying us through our adventure together!

God has truly created every one of us to be more than overcomers! We must just step out in faith and keep on moving forward!

Preparation Chapter

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Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ

I arrived in Pretoria with an excited expectancy in my heart.  I knew that God would use FTLT to train me – but I never expected this!

The FTLT- people are totally in love with the Lord.  They are striving to develop our characters, to teach us about missions, practically expose us to household and missionary work, while teaching us about the Lord.

My fellow students are David, Mwawi (from Malawi), Bekhani (from KZN) and our newest additions are Erika (from the Freestate) and Damien (from Durban).  It has been a great privilege to meet them!  I believe that our team has been put together by the Lord!  We encourage, motivate and instruct each other.  Whenever I can’t go any further during our PT classes – they encourage me saying:  “This too shall pass!”.  I’m looking forward to the moment when we are all functioning to our optimal abilities to God’s glory!

We have entered a season of preparation!  Wow – what a realisation!  

My season of preparation:

All who are called of the Lord, goes through a process of preparation.   God called David, a Shepherd boy, to become the King of Israel.  To become a king – he had to go through training.  In our eyes it seems impossible for a shepherd to be used in such a great manner – but God’s thoughts are definitely not ours!

 God sends people through shepherding phases, so that he can raise them up as Kings for his glory!    The more we want to be used by the Lord – the greater the preparation will be.  I cannot become God’s queen, until I’ve become his shepherd.  FTLT has been a marvellous tool in the Lord’s hands to form me and prepare me for his Kingdom’s purposes.

 Getting out of my comfort zone: 

Back at home, I understood my life.  I was comforted by my routine and ordinary environment.  But when God invites us to move out of our comfort zones – He can use us for missions that seem impossible!  

Judges 6 speaks of a time when the Israelites were being oppressed by the Midianites.  A man with the name of Gideon decided to thresh his wheat in a wine press. Intimidated and scared he was trying to take care of his family under very harsh circumstances.  Jdg 6:12  “And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him, saying, The LORD is with thee, thou mighty man of valour.”   God sent an unbelievable message to him.  God was calling him out of bondage, to save a nation!

 When God challenges us to save the world – we must be willing to move out of our comfort zone. 

 Jdg 6:34  “But the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon, and he blew a trumpet; and Abiezer was gathered after him.”  Gideon was in war, the enemy was right behind him and he called on God and his people to help!  Victory came thereafter and the Israelites were freed!

I pray that God will give me the grace to become a mighty woman of valour!  God’s presence and help guarantees our victory.  When God gives us victory over an impossible mission – people will know that it was God and not us!  I hope you were encouraged by what I have learnt.  I can’t wait for the next lesson that I’m going to learn!  May God bless you and keep you!

 Love  Christle

This entry was posted on March 14, 2012. 3 Comments

Survival Chapter

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My Family!

My epic Focus Team Leadership Training began on Friday 20 January 2012.  I was introduced to a new home, with new people and new responsibilities.  My mind set was: focus on God – observe – adapt – survive.

I share my new home with 3 daughters of Eve, 4 sons of Adam and 1 Canis lupus familiaris (our puppy).  The best part of FTLT is that everyone is sold out for God!  We pray, worship and believe as a unit!

I have learnt that survival is crucial.  One must rise and shine at 5 am.  Clean as if your life depended on it.  Listen and apply Lydia’s cooking instructions.  In conclusion I hope that I’ll be a master chef by the end of the year! ^_^ Amen. 

Computer and missionary courses have changed my outlook on missionaries radically!  This blog was one of my computer assignments!  I’m so excited to learn more!  

God has been very good to me.   VIVA FTLT – LONG LIVE THE BRIDE OF CHRIST – VIVA GOD!
 
May God bless you!
Christle
 

 
This entry was posted on January 27, 2012. 7 Comments