Thursday, May 11, 2017

URGENT PRAYER REQUEST

Please watch and pass on this video...and please pray with us for abundant rain in the catchment areas. As you will see in the video, the situation is dire.

video

Pray also for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit...southern Africa has been plagued with ethnic division and violence for hundreds of years, and need the blood of Jesus to cover the ancestral blood that cries out for vengeance. These countries have a unique opportunity to show the world what it means to be one in Christ...there are so many ethnic groups here that have all sorts of reasons to hate each other...but the blood of Jesus can heal the wounds of the past and usher in forgiveness and reconciliation. That is what we are praying for...

Monday, April 24, 2017

Latest News...

There is something about Cape Town at this time of year that fills one with anticipation. It has been a long, dry summer and the Western Cape water crisis is at its peak. Dam levels are at record lows…so low that the water literally tastes and smells like pond scum. But there is the promise of winter rains…good rain has brought an end to the drought stricken areas in the northern parts of southern Africa. By God’s grace and mercy, we pray that the rains for this area will be moderate, but sufficient to stem the tide, as it were.

Politically, the country faces yet another crossroad. The current situation is being likened to the excesses of the Apartheid era. Calls for the resignation of the current President are heard throughout the land from every sector of society, including from within his own party. People euphemistically speak about this period as a “very interesting time”. Indeed.

But biblically, drought and political instability have often served to bring God’s people to their knees and the situation in southern Africa is no different. This past week, 1.7 million people gathered on cleared farmland in the Free-State area specifically to pray for the country. In churches across the land, God’s people are being called to pray…and God has promised that when His people turn to Him, He will turn to them, hear their prayers, and heal their land.

So, we are all anticipation on so many levels.

On a personal note, Louise and I are still trying to sort ourselves out as far as settling in is concerned. We do have our South African ID booklets and a place of residence, but we are still working on our driver’s licenses and getting Louise’s mum’s car in her name. Yes, we have purchased the Queen’s blue chariot. While this is not ideal for long distance travel, it does get us around the Cape area and will have to suffice until we can raise more funds.

It seems strange to talk about culture shock, as South Africa, and Cape Town in particular, is Louise’s home country, but things change over the course of twenty years and we have found that, although the country has a 1st world veneer, the reality is a lot different. In spite of the fact that many modern things are in place, such a fibre optic cable, it takes a long time for anything to actually work. Life is also a lot more expensive than we remember and we will really have to budget carefully as we plot our course forward.

Much to my disappointment, we did not get to train the team up in Mozambique…yet…the training has been postponed for various reasons and we are waiting on the Bishop there to give us a new date. Please pray that this all falls into place sooner rather than later as the folks on the ground really want to get this discipleship program up and running!

Louise and I have moved into our new office as well. The GtC Director, Trevor and our fellow team member, Wayne have worked tirelessly in making this a beautiful and very functional environment for us. In many ways they have all spoiled us rotten! They are very gentle in allowing us to find our place in the team slowly but surely. We also have our official GtC email addresses thanks to Michael and Rae…and they are:


Note that these are not personal, but official emails, so please continue to use Vanderbijl@gmail.com for all other correspondence.

Our new snail mail (for letters and small, flat articles only) address is:
201 The Chelsea
Electric Road
Wynberg 7800
Cape Town, South Africa

For care packages or any other larger deliveries, please use:
Braehead House
1 Braehead Road
Kenilworth 7708
Cape Town, South Africa

Our South African Telephone number is: +27 (72) 958-5845

Please do let us hear from you soon! We love you and want to stay connected.

Many blessings and hugs.


Johann and Louise

Thursday, April 13, 2017

PRAY WITH SOUTH AFRICANS FOR SOUTH AFRICA.

On the 22nd April, South Africans will gather for a National Day of Prayer in Bloemfontein, estimated to kick-off at 12 PM South African time.
Would you prayerfully consider joining us in prayer on that day?

Check out this video message from Angus Bachan: 

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Has the whole world gone mad?

Inline images 1
Has the whole world gone mad? Political turmoil seems to be a common denominator across the globe. 

As we prepare to leave the US for our new assignment in southern Africa, we are receiving disturbing reports of riots, marches, destructive behaviour or protestors, and call for the removal of the President. Add to that the concern about the lack of water in the western Cape…dam levels are at their lowest in living memory. (See links below.)






Surely this is a call to prayer if ever there was one.

I am reminded of a prayer practiced by Mark Batterson. He calls it the 7:14 prayer as it is based on 2 Chronicles 7:14. At 7:14 AM every morning, he and his parishioners hit their knees and pray for the healing of their land. May I ask you all to join Louise and me in this type of prayer for southern Africa? 

God willing, we will leave for Cape Town on April 10 via Addis Ababa. As we only have one and a half hours lay-over in Addis, we are praying that either the flight from Washington DC is early and that a favourable wind blows us over the Atlantic so that we arrive a lot earlier than expected or that the flight from Addis to Cape Town is delayed…we would prefer to arrive in Cape Town with our luggage rather than without! 

Louise’s family will meet us at the airport and take us to Villiersdorp where we have to do so many things before moving into our new wee flat in Wynberg on Friday! We have to collect our new South African IDs as we are considered residents now. We also have to open a South African bank account and get South African driver’s license. YIKES! All in a few days…pray that this will be possible. We would rather get our licenses in a small town than in the city!

Growing the Church has let us know that we will be going to Mozambique to train a team of disciplers there beginning April 25. Please pray for our acquisition of visas at the border…this has become possible again since the cease-fire agreement, but it can be a sticky process for US passport holders.

All in all, our visit to the US has been wonderful. We have some great memories of times with our children and grandchildren to take with us, we have managed to catch with many dear friends, and have made many new friends as well. God has spoiled us thoroughly and we are thankful. 

SAMS has let us know that we are closer to our support goal, but that we still need about $700 per month extra. We know that quite a few folk promised to become part of our support team, but they may not have given yet. Pray that we will be fully funded by the time we leave.

We are grateful to all or our wonderful team members. Thank you for your faithfulness to the spread of the Gospel.
We will send you our snail mail address as soon as we know what it is. For those who have sent care-packages before, this will be so much more secure than before!

With much love and blessings.

Johann and Louise van der Bijl


http://showme.co.za/paarl/lifestyle/nature-outdoors/dams-latest-levels-winelands-and-cape-town-42/

Easy Peasy



OR…make checks out and send them to:
SAMS-USA
P. O. Box 399
Ambridge, PA 15003

Please be sure to clearly state that the check is intended for Johann and Louise van der Bijl.


If you wish to support our vehicle/travel fund, do so via check only and write in the memo line: van der Bijl vehicle fund

Friday, March 17, 2017

Resting in relationship

It seems to me that most of my posts of late have been teetering on the edge of frantic. Sign up now! Sign up now! Sign up now!

But last evening I was reminded that our journey in life is all about relationship. The Psalmist indicates that while some trust in the power or generosity of fellow humans, he trusts in the name of the Lord his God. And trust presupposes relationship.

Someone recently said that our going to serve in southern Africa was because we are obedient. That is true, but even willing obedience is founded upon relationship.

If we did not know that our God is who He is, we would not be going. We are going because the God who demonstrated His love for the world in sacrificing Himself to make such a relationship possible has called us to go. And He who calls us is faithful. Like a good shepherd, He cares and provides for each sheep.

The proof of this is, of course, His Word. There we see in the lives of each biblical character that what He has promised, He will do. And indeed history, both general and personal, bears witness to this reality. As we look on back down the path into the past we can honestly say that the Lord has always been with us and has always done what is best for us.


So, we rest in His goodness, kindness, graciousness, mercy, love, wisdom, and power, knowing full well that we are not alone. He has promised that as we go into His world to make disciples of all nations, He will be with us even to the end of the age.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Just in case you missed it!


You can find out how to contact us by clicking on this link: http://samsusa.org/johann-and-louise-vanderbijl/

After having served in Gambela, Ethiopia for a wee bit over two years, and having completed the task the Lord sent us to do, Louise and I are moving on into our next adventure...serving the Lord and the people of southern Africa.


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

We have booked our tickets!

We have booked our tickets to Cape Town!

No, we are not yet fully funded, but we made the decision to move forward anyway for several reasons.

·      We believe the Lord has challenged us to do this trusting Him as the one who has called us to this work. It was as if the Lord was saying, “Stop praying about it and just do it.” So we did…

·      Many folks have told us they would sign up and we trust that they will…they just have not yet. Others have promise to increase their current support as well.

·      The country of South Africa is becoming increasingly unstable and we feel we need to be there and do what the Lord has called us to do…to teach teachers the reconciling message of the Gospel.

·      Louise’s mum is becoming increasingly frail and we believe now is the time for Louise to spend as much quality time with the Queen as possible.

·      SAMS-USA has considered our request and given us their blessing even though they will certify us for a shorter period until our full support comes in.

We still have quite a few stops to make before we leave the US on April 10 and believe that we are yet to make many new friends along the way. Our children and grandchildren will also need to see us before we leave…it will be tough saying goodbye, but we know that there will be many more opportunities to visit in the future.

If you have not yet signed up to support us, may we ask you all to prayerfully consider doing so as soon as possible, please?

Just click this link and complete the form:


We trust that you will all continue to pray with and for us as we enter into this new phase of our lives. Please do let us know how we can pray for y’all as well. Keep sending those newsy emails…they are a source of great encouragement as they serve to remind us of our worldwide connections!

Thank you all for your love.

Blessings.

Johann and Louise

Easy Peasy



OR…make checks out and send them to:
SAMS-USA
P. O. Box 399
Ambridge, PA 15003

Please be sure to clearly state that the check is intended for Johann and Louise van der Bijl.


If you wish to support our vehicle/travel fund, do so via check only and write in the memo line: van der Bijl vehicle fund

On our way...almost...

Just to let y'all know...we have booked tickets to Cape Town April 10 believing that we will be fully funded by that time. We will write more about this decision soon...but the Lord's call on our lives is certain and we must obey. Please sign up now. https://secure-q.net/Donations/SAMS/3723

We are doing a great work. We can not come down now.

I was recently asked to seriously pray about taking a teaching position at a US seminary. After having established that this was no prank, I found myself at sea…under normal circumstances, I would have jumped at the chance of serving with great men and women of God whom I love dearly and for whom I have a profound respect.

But we have a call on our lives…a call to serve the Lord in the Province of southern Africa.

Nevertheless, we were asked to pray about it, so we prayed.

The night before this email popped up in my inbox, we had attended a local Bible Study. Andy Stanley was talking about Nehemiah’s decision to decline the invitation of Sanballat, Tobias, and the crew to meet them on the plains of Ono. Five times Nehemiah says: “I am doing a great work. I can not come down now.” Sensing my distress and struggle, Louise looked me squarely in the eye and repeated these very same words. “We are doing a great work. We can not come down now.”

We prayed some more…as I said, I love these guys. What an honour it would be to teach with them. My heart was torn.

Then this past Sunday, at one point during the sermon I ceased to hear the voice of the pastor and only heard the voice of the Holy Spirit. The sermon was based on the story of Jonah. Were we seeking a place on the ship to Tarshish when we were called to go to Nineveh? It was like a burden was lifted off my shoulders. We had prayed and God had answered.


Still, it was not an easy email to write.