Tuesday, August 3, 2010

South Africa-Jo'Burg

Our last stop for our time in Africa was in the capital world-cup city-Johanesburg! I again would be lying if I said I wasn’t driving there in fear and expecting the worst after hearing so much stuff about the city-but again God’s faithfulness proved to be true!

We arrived in J-burg the day before my 23rd birthday and I wasn’t too excited about it as We were told we would be staying at a YWAM complex in the inner city, where you mainly want to just stay indoors unless you have a vehicle to transport you from A to B. I was scared! And to top it off, the first thing we hear from the YWAM staff during our orientation talk was, “Are you Willing to Die doing the work of God, what is your theology on missions and death…????” J-burg is not a safe city to any extent and as much as that statement created fear in me, I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt that God has big plans for that city. The heart of the YWAM base there is to raise up the youth to change their nation, to change their hurting city and even though we started out in the city with fear, I left with HOPE and believe J-burg will be a city after God. As the song “God of the City” cries…”greater things are yet to come and greater things are still to be done…” I pray this over J-Burg and over the youth that will lead the country.

During our time here, we were blessed to work alongside 2 other YWAM teams who were staying at the base. One team was from Swailand and the other from Argentina. They were a great blessing to us as we were able to build relationships over the language and cultural barriers and literally see God bring together people from all over to work out His plans. One group worked at a kid’s camp called “the winds of change” another group went and played sports with local kids at a sports complex in the neighborhood and a third group went to the fan park in the city and talked and prayed with people. All groups had amazing stories to tell about how God moved. I was part of the school and fan park groups. The fan park was a great experience as I began to see one of God’s promises fulfilled in my life.

At the very beginning of DTS, when we were learning about hearing God’s voice, God had given me a vision of me playing soccer with some African youth in an indoor arena. I had no idea what it meant, but I continued to see the same picture throughout DTS and just felt like the holy spirit was saying my passion for soccer was going to be used to show God’s love….and it was so werid b/c when we got to the fan park, there was this
5v5 field set up that looked like an indoor arena and I had the opportunity to play soccer with a bunch of guys there in the afternoons….a totally cool confirmation for me that God continues to speak like He does int eh bible and He is faithful to fulfilling His promises!!!

Working at the school was also a great experience as I was put in the 6-7th grade class and able to teach and encourage them in their faith. For many, Christianity was just about church, but in our 2 weeks we really sought to open up their eyes to the power of God and His desire to have a meaningful and personal relationship with them through prayer, studying His word and serving Him. It was crazy some of the stuff these younger kids were already doing. One girl in particular, Toheble, started evangelizing in one of the roughest parts of town and had started her own women’s prayer group/church from people she had talked to. A 6th GRADER!!!!!- what an amazing testimony to me that God will use whoever is willing, and a challenge as I asked myself, “am I willing and bold like Toheble”? These kids are on fire for God and they are what bring me Hope as I pray for J-burg. They are running after God, interceding for their community for the nations and seeing God use them in some great ways!

On another note-beyond working in the school and fan park, God revealed some pretty amazing things to me personally while in J-Burg. Upon arriving in J-burg, I was feeling discouraged about ministry and feeling inadequate but I felt God calming me with the words, “it’s not over yet, take hope, I wills show you amazing things in these last few weeks.” I began reading 1 John and God continued to bring me to 4:4--“The one who is in me is greater than the one who is in the world”. The power of the living God rests in all of us-but believing in this has been a hard journey for me this DTS, especially when it comes to healings. I had never experienced any type of healing, but I wanted to believe in it either way and I wanted to declare with faith that God is our healer. So in Durban, my faith was tested. I had an ankle injury that left me sitting on the sidelines during our VBS week and leaving me very frustrated and confused as I wanted to believe that He truly wanted to heal me so I could continue interacting with the kids…yet it still continued to bug me. So I had a choice- I could have declared God’s goodness in the circumstance or sulk…I continued to have faith that I would see God’s miraculous power, and about 2 weeks later, God remained faithful. My ankle was not healed, but someone else’s foot was!
One of my Argentina friends (David) had been suffering a swollen foot and at first I felt odd asking if I could pray for it b/c it was a small injury, but I knew that it was annoying him and I also believed God wanted to heal him. So through my broken Spanish, I finally riled up enough courage and prayed for Him knowing I had to be obedient to what God had been saying. Later that afternoon, David came and told me that his foot was completely healed. I couldn’t believe it- it was such an incredible confirmation to me that GOD IS INDEED GOOD AND THE ULTIMATE HEALER! But God wasn’t done yet!

I had also been suffering from a horrible cold and the a few nights after David’s foot healing, I developed very swollen glands and was up all night in congestion. The next morning during our prayer time, I was really discouraged b/c I was supposed to be helping with worship, but I had no voice, I felt like crap and did not feel like going to the kid’s camp. But God silently prompted me to turn to Psalm 86:17 where it says “show me a sign of your goodness” so I began to pray that throughout worship. At the end of our worship time, they asked all the sick people to gather in the center to get prayer (there were many of us L), and as they were praying, my throat suddenly opened up and I could swallow again. It was the craziest thing I have ever experienced!!!!!! I couldn’t stop smiling and was jumping in my skin to share and testify to God’s goodness after the prayer. So I share that to bring hope and encouragement that even though sometimes we don’t see God’s power work when we want it to (like with my ankle injury), He is still at work in one way or another. We may not always understand it, but He will show His goodness to us!

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