Friday, March 30, 2018

Why Are You and I Needed in Missions?

A great article from Mission Next: https://missionnext.org/

Why Are You and I Needed in Missions?

Mar 23, 2018 | Gifts and Skills
John Piper famously said, “Missions exists because worship doesn’t” (Let the Nations Be Glad!, 1993). I would hazard that you and I are needed in missions, then, as an outpouring of our own worship. To plant a seed in others, so they begin to worship again. To point to God as the author and perfecter of our faith, the one worthy of worship.
Missions involvement won’t look the same for every person, either. Some are called to the far-flung reaches of the world, while others’ mission field lies across the street. (My knees knock the same way regardless. I’m sorry, God, you want me to talk to who again? Must I?).
Thankfully, though – while the calling is unanimous (oh hi, Great Commission), the execution of it varies. God made each of us and has gifted us with unique attributes that are built to give him glory.
Consider the below as just a couple reasons to get involved in missions.

Get creative

Jesus told his disciples two thousand years ago that the laborers were few, though the harvest was plentiful (Matthew 9:35-38). Two millennia later, the shortage remains.
Consider using an existing skill set or developing new skills to reach the nations for God’s glory. Healthcare workers, community development specialists, pilots, teachers – these are just a few examples of opportunities to channel your God-given abilities (and even your career). Many secular industries’ jobs are just as needed on the mission field!

Not everyone can go on missions – and sometimes, that includes you

Not everyone can go on a trip, let alone make the move to full-time missions. Family needs, current career situation, physical limitations, the season of life you’re in – God can still use you. He calls you to share the gospel wherever you are, whether to an unbelieving family member or to the neighbor across the street who wonders just where you go every Sunday morning.
Further, those who do go need a support team at home. This team may lend financial support, yes, but emotional and spiritual support are just as needed. This is a great way for you to get involved where you are!
See if your church has a missionary-care team you can join. Pray for the groups from your church that are going on short-term trips. Lend financial support as you are able. Attend post-trip events to hear about how the Lord worked in the trip participants as well as those in the field.

What next?

Check out MissionNext, of course! MissionNext connects goers and senders (those who remain at home but can financially and/or spiritually support goers) with missions organizations around the world. You can rest assured you’re connecting with legitimate opportunities to spread the gospel worldwide. Learn more. 

Meagan Davenport

A business analyst and social media manager who loves to travel with the gospel in mind. Find her at meagandavenport.com or on social media @naanandmarzipan.
Meagan Davenport

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Just a quick update on our upcoming trip to the US. Louise and I will leaving on March 20 and arriving in Charlotte March 21. We will be visiting our children and grandchildren until April 1, when the youngest will be baptised.

Our itinerary is still a bit vague as we have not heard from all our partners yet, but this will give you a good idea of dates and places.

April 2 on - in the Greenville, South Carolina area.

April 12 - North Augusta (preaching and presenting at Holy Trinity April 15)

April 16 - St Christopher's in the Low Country of SC
April 17 - presenting in the evening
April 18 - meeting in the morning
April 19 - open
April 20 - lunch time meeting
April 21 through 23 - open

April 24 on - undecided (perhaps TN, NC, or PA)

April 27 - Charlotte, NC

April 29 - to be determined - perhaps somewhere in SC

May 2 - return to South Africa

As you can see, there are still many open spaces to meet!

We are including a new Mission Prayer Card created for us by SAMS' wunderkind, Sarah Norris.

Please help us get it out there by passing it on to your friends and contacts. Some friends have shared it on their Facebook page.

With our current partners we are still underfunded, but we believe that there are many folks out there who would love to partner with us if they only knew about us and our ministry! We really only need about another 200 new folks giving $10 per month, or 100 giving $20 per month, or 50 giving $40 per month, or 25 giving $80 per month, or 20 giving $100 per month.

So, help us get the word out there, please!

Please do continue to pray for the situation here in South Africa as well as tension continues to mount! Thank you!

Look forward to seeing y'all soon!
Blessings.
Johann and Louise




Monday, March 12, 2018

Reaching into the future...

In his second letter to his disciple, Timothy, Paul wrote: "...what you have heard from me...entrust to faithful brethren who will be able to teach others also." Like our Lord Who fully anticipated the continuation of what He had begun to do and teach through the medium of His trained disciple makers, Paul fully expected an apostolic succession in respect of what he had passed on to his protege.

Indeed, if we do not pass on what we have learned to others who are able to train others also, our life work will end with us. Unfortunately many have not learned this basic Gospel lesson of training to train...and so it is no surprise to see the church in decline in spite of the frantic busyness of the clergy. What has been received must be passed on if we are to survive.

This past weekend, Louise and I had the privilege of passing on what we have received to those who are, in many ways, our future. 30 Youth Leaders from the Diocese of Cape Town met together to be trained in Strategy. There are so many other things they could have been doing on Friday evening and on Saturday and yet they came.

As always Louise and I pray before, during, and after such training sessions, basically to ask that the Lord, who knows all hearts and desires and secrets, give us the words to say what the unique group needs to hear. As such, even though the material remains the same, the manner in which we present it, the stories we include, and the timing of each segment differs each time. This time we found that family matters, the role of parents, praying for your spouse to be, peer pressure, among other things often came up in our discussions.


At one point, we spoke about the Early Church being accused of 'turning the world upside down' and it soon became apparent that our group's desire was to have that same "accusation" levelled against them! May the Lord bless them and prevent that flame from being snuffed out!

A few came up to us at the end and asked when we would be available to help them train others in their parishes...how exciting! Pray for these young people, dearest brethren...pray that nothing stops them from growing into a mighty movement for Jesus!

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Lessons for Leaders...and Followers

Whoever has said that the Old Testament is no longer relevant to Christians today has not read Kings and Chronicles! Looking just at the lives of Solomon, Rehoboam, and Jeroboam, one can see how leaders today still make the same disastrous mistakes even though they have the advantage of, not only the Scriptures, but also of history.

While Solomon starts his reign on the right foot, asking for wisdom rather than any other desirable thing, he ends his reign by forsaking God’s wisdom and following the political practice of the day, namely allying oneself to other nations through marriage…in this case multiple marriages…unequally yoked marriages.

Rehoboam, his son, does not even consult God in matters of the State and he disregards the counsel of those who had learned wisdom through the observation of the consequences of Solomon’s bad choices. Rather he seeks advice and direction from those as ignorant as himself in matters of government…his wet behind the ears peers! When world leaders (or church leaders for that matter) seek to curry favour with others for whatever reasons…whether to gain their applause or their votes or their money…they embark on a journey that will ultimately lead to division or destruction, even of that which they seek to build or maintain.

And Jeroboam! One would have thought that if ever there was a man who would have learned valuable lessons from watching the folly of his leaders, it would be him! Oppressed and exiled by a jealous leader, rebuffed by an immature and arrogant and insecure leader, told by a prophet that he would lead in their stead because of their collective lack of godly wisdom…one would think that he would seek to govern in a way that would bring unity and would foster humility and righteousness and justice…but instead he stumbles even further away from that which would bring peace and stability and prosperity to the people!

Surely our leaders in both the political and the spiritual sphere ought to read Chronicles and Kings! If they refuse to learn from Scripture or from history…if they turn a blind eye to the consequences of bad decisions – and they are not hard to find, in fact just a border crossing away…they will surely follow in the footsteps of countless others who have chosen to lead their own people into the abyss of ruin and poverty.

Why is it always so difficult to bend the knee and to seek what is good to the Holy Spirit? Is it pride? Is it stupidity? Is it sin? Are our leaders blind? Compromise leads only to more compromise. Where is the backbone? Where is the wisdom? Where is the bravery and the boldness needed to stand when all others fall?

But then, dear brothers and sisters in Christ…where are we? Are we praying for our leaders as we are instructed to in the Holy Scriptures? Really praying for them? Or are we just pointing fingers? Are we lifting them up daily - hourly - to the throne of the King of kings and the Lord of lords? Asking God to grant them true repentance and His Holy Spirit as Guide – or, indeed, asking God to remove them and replace them with those who will learn to listen? Does He not say that He holds the hearts of leaders in His hands? 

Perhaps we receive what we deserve…perhaps our hands are not as lily white as we like to believe…

Friday, March 2, 2018

Synod of Bishops

What an encouraging statement from the Synod of Bishops of the Anglican Church in Southern Africa!
We were encouraged to hear of developments in ACSA’s response to the Anglican Communion’s International Season of Intentional Discipleship and Disciple-Making. Through Growing the Church (GtC) discipleship training teams are being equipped around the Province using the LEAD Programme – Leadership for Evangelism and Disciple-Making. These teams are starting to train disciple-makers in their Dioceses. We welcomed the work of the Anglican Communion’s Discipleship Group, under the banner of “Living and Sharing Jesus-Shaped Life”.
We welcomed a progress report on planning and preparations for the next Anglicans Ablaze Conference: 3rd to 6th October 2018 at the City Hill Auditorium, Hillcrest, in the Diocese of Natal. The theme is “Living a Jesus-Shaped Life”. Registrations are open and all the information is available at www.anglicansablaze.org. We noted that there is enormous excitement building up in many parts of the Province. This year we are hoping to have 3,000 people attending.