My first thought in retrospect concerning 2014 is: “Where did it go?” I know that it is common to feel like something has moved quickly when it is finished, but for Trina and I this year really did seem like a blur! The first […]
Matthew 28:18-20 (NASB) speaks to us of one of the most fundamental purposes in Christianity, 18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the […]
Trina and I have just returned from Harare, Zimbabwe where we co-host a Southern Africa leadership conference. This is the eleventh year we have participated in these meetings and it was definitely one of the best experiences we have had.
We draw influential leaders from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Zambia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa. Other nations have also been represented over the years, but these four make up the primary block whose Church Leadership we consistently encourage. The DRC is predominantly French speaking and one of our primary hurdles over the years has been finding adequate translation. This year we had a wonderful translator that showed boundless energy from the beginning to the end of the meetings.
We had well over a hundred pastors in attendance of the week long event. Many of those present lead other pastors and what they take from the conference is passed on to a larger segment of the Body of Christ. We combine times of teaching, fellowship and personal ministry/council in order to provide a wide range of encouragement to those who attend. Often our African leaders are so busy with the daily demands placed on them by the work that they have neither input from others into their own ministries nor time to sit back and be encouraged by the ministry of others. During this week, our team works in shifts from nine in the morning until nine at night to help fill these voids.
There are a significant number of female pastors and wives of other pastors that often feature very prominently in the ministry. Trina brought a wonderful teaching on the topic of spiritual submission that impacted the men and women alike! It is a huge relief to now have Trina consistently travelling with me. She really fills a void that has existed for some years and her role will certainly continue to expand as we go forward.
In addition to this, The Holy Spirit also really emphasized character this year, especially the need for all Christian workers to be willing to “overcome” any obstacle that stands in the way of accomplishing what God wants. One of our primary conference organizers, Jonathan Chatendeuka, lives in a community that only receives water one day per week in a restricted quantity! Resistance is a part of anything God is doing and we must not get discouraged or lose heart when facing it!
The testimonies of the leaders concerning their own works were tremendous. People are coming to know Christ and the Kingdom of God is expanding in all of the areas that were represented at the conference. The primary need for the Church in Africa is training and we are doing our best to train and raise up others to do the same. Bibles are a huge need in all of the areas that we are working to train pastors and their congregations. We need both more money to purchase them and the wisdom of how to transport them within Africa.
Trina and I will be spending much of September in the Eastern and Western Cape of South Africa. After this we will be in Johannesburg and several parts of our own Provence, KwaZulu-Natal. Your support is both fruitful and effective. Please continue to remember us in your prayers!
The Lord has dropped in my heart some perspective as we are approaching the traditional time of the Thanksgiving Holiday in the USA. I know that the Holiday has its roots in the celebration of the early American settlers who depended on God alone for their very existence. Likewise, I have always been taught and personally endorse that we should take note of our many abundant provisions and make them known. I sense however a shift in my spirit away from the focus of circumstantial blessing.
Proverbs 29:18 (NASB) says,
18 Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained, But happy is he who keeps the law.
Trina and I have known a special joy for years as we preach and share Jesus with many people. We now spend a little time each month delivering food to people whose circumstances range from difficult to utterly dire. We also have developed relationships that have soberly outlined our need to pray and minister to the persecuted Church in many parts of the world. It is important to note that these pursuits and discoveries have come at a cost to our natural comfort. We don’t have near the material availability we once did and it is especially difficult to be separated from our natural family in the USA.
Strangely though we find that our happiness has increased. As I’ve considered this seeming contradiction, I’ve been lead to conclude something very important to the Christian experience. It isn’t what you have or where you find yourself that makes you fulfilled, it is who you are doing it for that is important. Once you know Christ, to be found in His Will is what brings true happiness. This experience has changed my “vision” from the traditional view point I have held at the time of the Thanksgiving holiday.
Please understand that you don’t have to be in challenging natural circumstances or any other specific natural paradigm to walk with the Lord. You do however need to find Jesus and His plan, whatever it may be, for your life. This will give you a thankful heart that may well be a new experience.
Blessings in Christ,
Rodney and Trina
We are all moved in!
There is always a mixture of dread and excitement when moving. The dread comes with leaving memories of a place you have grown to love, the hassle of packing boxes, possessions getting broken and scratched, switching the utilities and then unpacking it all over again. The excitement is in a new place, new spaces for decorating ideas, nice neighbors, friends helping, the car being shielded from the endless supply of monkey and bat poop, not having the power go out every time we switch on the kettle, and the list goes on. All in all the excitement far outweighs the dread!
The new house is only a few kilometers from the old house and looks quite similar with some nice upgrades. We are a little closer to the ocean, have an extra bedroom and bathroom, a carport and electric gate to name a few!
Our biggest blessing has been our African family who helped the move go much more smoothly than anyone could dream. Rob built a fence to keep Reuben in. Tracey, Levi, Pauley and Paul helped Rodney load up everything and carry it all to the new house. Liezel, Tracey and Ruth helped me unpack and put everything away. Moira, Kelly, Liezel and Sarah brought delicious food to sustain us in the process. Liezel and Sarah made curtains……………Wow what a family!
Reuben, the dog, and Turtle, the hamster, are getting aquatinted with their new surroundings. Reuben has already introduced himself to all the neighbors…..none of them get too close to the fence now.
We are all settled and in less than a week……….but where is the…………oh well guess we will have to go shopping for a few things…
Love to all,