Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A few Mozambique June 09 pics...

in my "element" with the children :-)

Shannon makin friends wherever she goes :)

Kurt praying for healing

Kurt driving across the river

setting up camp in the Bush!

boys in the church house

Baobab tree :)

coloring in..

Kids Ministry was so much fun!

Crossing the Limpopo River is always an ADVENTURE!! for the first of my trips in 3 years, not one of the vehicles got stuck!

Night Crusades, here come the masses...

Funeka having the time of her life with the beautiful child

"Let the little ones come to me" :)

oh she's so cute!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

War on the Unborn.....AND their Mothers

So a few weeks I read Atonement Child by Francine Rivers--even though it's a novel, it is one of the most powerful books I've ever read. The central is the journey of a beautiful young girl who was made pregnant from being raped by a man whose face she never saw. Even the Christians in her life--friends and family--encouraged her to have an abortion. Even though her emotional pain and confusion was great, she could not bring herself to abort the child....

Throughout the book, case after case--from the doctor who performs the abortions to the women who have had abortions to young girls being pressured to have abortions--shows the agonizing result of abortion.

All this to say, my heart has been more than stirred to do something about the war on the unborn. I've been praying each day for confirmation from the Lord--what action to take....if now is the time, etc. And in these last few days, I feel like I've received all the confirmation I need. The Lord is clearly leading me in that direction :)

*Just this past Sunday morning, Brian (who had no idea of how I'd been praying) made an announcement concerning an OPPORTUNITY to get involved with the local Crisis Pregnancy Center! I had tried to find out on the internet if there was one here in Springs but had not had any success. I didn't even know this center existed!

**Just yesterday, I picked up the local newspaper, which i haven't even paged through since I moved here 2 months ago, and I turned right to an article about Abortions being done in Springs. Even though there are legal abortion clinics available, young girls often go to back-alley [illegal] guys to have it done which are much more dangerous but much cheaper and more secretive. This answered the question that had been in my heart for weeks now: "Are abortions being done in Springs?" the answer is unfortunately an emphatic YES, in greater numbers than we can calculate.

***Last night I had a nightmare. I was in a classroom with many young children. All the sudden a siren went off to alert us that we were under attack. (we were apparently at war) So myself and all the children ran to the wall and knelt down, covering our heads to brace ourselves for....what i did not know. This is where it gets gruesome. Then a small, dead child was being dangled on the other side of the window by the enemy (whoever/whatever it was). This was to put fear in all the children's hearts. I remember one of the little girls being struck by the sight and screaming, "That's my best friend! and now she's dead!" I couldn't even bring myself to look at the sight of the dead child. I only tried to cover and comfort the children with me--even though the enemy was threatening to do the same to each one of them ..... that's the end of the dream and it held an intensity that I felt minutes after i woke up. There was even fear in my heart after i realized it was "only a dream".

I stumbled upon this verse this morning and could scarcely believe what i was reading: "You desire honesty from the womb, teaching me wisdom even there." Psalms 51:6
I wondered why in the dream, the children were in a classroom setting, if they were to represent the unborn. This verse tells us why!!!

"Lord here am I. Send me to the young girls/women facing the decision of having an abortion. Show them there is a way out. Open their eyes to the true brutality of abortion. Use my voice for the voiceless. What a privilege it will be to fight for them....."

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Mozambique Training and Evangelism Time

Wow, I didn’t mean to let it go this long before I posted again!First I must give a bit of a recap of our trip toMOZAMBIQUE: Kurt, Shannon, Funeka and I made up the team from Salt and Light. We joined with 9 others from a couple other relating churches. After a time of training in the Kruger Park, the team split into two groups. [no attacks from the monkeys this year Heidi!!]

After crossing the Limpopo River, (always an adventure!) my group headed to Mapai to hold a Geographical Training Time for the pastors. It was mostly pastors from Assembly of God churches who attended-about 15 pastors in all. To be honest, we were shocked to find that some of them didn’t have a solid understanding of salvation, so instead of teaching some of the deeper things of the faith, we were encouraged to stick with foundational topics of the faith such as Prayer, Grace, and Sharing your Faith...

Besides the training times with pastors, we spent our time praying for the sick in hospitals, children’s ministry after school hours, and building relationships the believers. Some of this was also done after we left Mapai and went to Chicumbane.

I must say the flies were absolutely horrid. They swarmed everywhere because our camp was set up right next to a crawl [lots and lots of cattle]. Whenever we were preparing meals we practically had to designate a person to fan the food to keep flies from resting/feeding on it. There were many moments where I could see that about 15 flies were resting on me. One had to constantly be moving to keep them away. It definitely forced me to be able to put up with insects.

There were also these huge flying ants that came out at night especially around the fire. They looked like worms with wings and I suspect that they talked to each other and targeted me most of all to bring terror to ;)

Each evening we held a crusade where hundreds of people would come just from the sound of music on loud speakers and word of mouth throughout the day. In such a rural area, the locals don’t often see sound equipment and experience the benefits of technology like we were showing through the Jesus Film and The Passion of the Christ. Many responded to the salvation call each night, and we prayed for the sick each night.

Throughout the week, everyone on the team was given the opportunity to testify/preach many times. Which WOW builds your faith so much! Reminded me of when Jesus said “My nourishment comes from doing the Will of Him who sent Me….” One of my favorite times was when our translator’s wife invited Funeka and I to come and have tea with her. This included holding the baby she was looking after and playing with the children as well. Really it was such a kind act for her to invite us to have tea with her because we couldn’t easily communicate due to the language barrier. And even though there was grace and we did understand each other through body language and laughter ;) the time we spent together truly made me want to work hard and learn Portuguese. You see even though it’s not her first language, most Mozambicans can speak it because the Portuguese colonized much of the nation years ago….

My other favorite time was when a group of us went hut to hut to see what doors would open to share or pray for the sick. And there was SO much opportunity. One of the guys we visited standing there with his wife and child asked us to pray that the demons would stay away from their home. We talked to him about the Authority we have in Jesus Christ, but it comes by the power of the Holy Spirit. He was a believe so we prayed with him for the baptism of the Holy Spirit and they had huge smiles and said afterwards that they felt different

**you can see pictures from the trip on my facebook. there is a recent albumn for Mozambique !!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Week 2

This second week has been filled with more free time. Besides helping Lisa a little around the house and helping Brian and Tumi with a few quick jobs in the office, I've had lots of time to spend with the Lord as well as plenty of time to run in my new neighborhood. Even though it's winter, the middle of the day is perfect to go for a run :)

Monday night was "family night" for the Deans and their newly adopted daughter/sister from America. Lisa made an awesome dinner and brought it into the lounge for us to enjoy while we watched lots of movies. Snuggled up on the couch with blankets between Rebekah and Helen, I was honestly overwhelmed yet again in those moments how the entire family has taken me as their own. I'm realizing that there is still much the Lord wants to teach me firsthand about family before it's time for me to start my own.

Tuesday night was a Leaders Dinner at the church house for current leaders and potential leaders. Such a beautiful time with tablecloths, candles and flowers, incredible food.......so special. Brian shared loads of wisdom with us. I was reminded of how privileged I am to sit under his leadership.

Wednesday night was the "Looking In" time here at the house where new people in the church are invited to come for 4 wednesdays in a row (like a Vision and Values time). It's so helpful in knitting the visitors in right away in relationship and understanding the biblical model of local church. It was such an encouraging time as well to hear from each individual why they first visited and decided to stay with the Salt and Light family. Each one clearly brought by divine appointment.

Brian is with a team ministering in Qwa Qwa this weekend (a training time for the leaders there) SO.....

We watched girly movies tonight: Room With A View, You've Got Mail, and The Lakehouse :)

**** Now here's the exciting news. the Lord has opened the door much sooner than I thought for me to serve in the surrounding nations of south africa. I'm leaving on Tuesday with a team for Mozambique! We will be there for 9 days to help with leadership training, encouragement, as well as showing the Jesus Film and holding crusades in the evening. Of course we'll be camping out in the bush and taking bucket baths.

Oh Joy!! Let the ADVENTURES begin....

Saturday, May 30, 2009

May 2009

What a month it has been! How my life has changed in the last 4 weeks...

I finally finished the journey called college....by the GRACE of GOD I assure you. Anyone around me during the last four years will tell you that I procrastinated almost every project, presentation and cramming session. Oh yes, I talked about planning ahead and things of the sort to boost my mediocre grades, I really did try to pay attention during my lectures but most days as I sat in my desk, chin resting in one hand and a paralyzed pen in the other.......

I was somewhere else: across the ocean playing with street kids who spoke a language i did not know, being bumped around in a Landrover in places like Mozambique, holding babies with AIDS, praying for the sick in hospitals, showing the Jesus Film, sharing my testimony, camping out in the bush or sleeping in dried up river beds: dirty? usually. discouraged? sometimes. but living a life that makes sense in the light of eternity? ABSOLUTELY

Rescued from the "American Dream" where little white picket fences, 8-5 jobs, and a 75K income all-too-often stifle the true DREAMS, the PROMISES AND CALLINGS OF GOD...

Last week, I took a step towards living one of those dreams. Ever since I was about 16, the Lord has spoken and confirmed to me for years that He was going to call me out of America. I just didn't know where or when. and not necessarily to big cities but to villages and tribes, places not yet reached with the Gospel...I began to dream of people who could only be reached by a 4x4 vehicle or on foot....little mud huts where men and women and children may not realize it but were waiting for someone to come and tell them the greatest news they'd ever heard.

May 9th I graduated from college. a B.A. in Journalism/Public Relations. Lord, let it be used for Your Kingdom or not at all....

The next week and a half were spent saying goodbye to my church family in Tyler Texas where the Lord discipled me greatly in things of the Kingdom over the last 4 years. Life-long friendships were made and hard lessons learned. My "Harvest Church Intl." family will always be a part of who I am. That's how family works...

May 21st my new church family--Salt and Light--met me at the Johannesburg International Airport with a huge "Welcome Home Sarah" sign and a ton of hugs. Oh it was the best! I had missed them so much these last 9-10 months. What a privilege to come across the ocean on a one-way ticket to FAMILY. Who am I to be placed in such a family as this?

The last 9 days, I've just been getting settled in my new home with the Dean family here in Springs South Africa. Brian and Lisa (who lead the church here) insisted that I not work this first week or so and just really focus on getting "settled". I honestly can't believe how their four children--Rebekah, Jesse, Helen, and Zoe--feel as if they're my own siblings.

It's been wonderful to have down time--something i've only dreamed about for the last year, but at the same time, I can't wait to really start linking arms with my new "teammates" in the church in whatever ministry the Lord has. Wherever there's a need, Lord open my eyes and use me as an instrument in Your Hand.

Let the SERVING begin.....