March in South Africa sees the dawning of the autumn season. Temperatures have fluctuated quite a bit. One week we saw temperatures of 100*F, only to drop into the high 60's a few days later. When you pack for Cape Town, South Africa, you need to be ready for all seasons. They call it the city of four seasons in one day. You never know what you are going to get!!!!
March began with us joining Jireh-Seed Ministries in an intensive stream of outreaches that spanned a 4 day period. The outreaches included ministry on a train, in a downtown park, hospitals, shanty towns, townships, and even a couple of house visits. A number of people experienced the love of our heavenly Father through physical healings, encouraging words, deliverance, and salvation.
We have continued to participate in weekly hospital outreaches. In our last blog we told a testimony of a man who had third degree burns and had all the pain leave after prayer. We encountered him again a couple of weeks later, after he had undergone a couple of skin grafts. He was ministered to once again and Jesus caused tingling in the areas where the grafts had taken place. He was eager to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ and became a son of God that day. Thank you Jesus!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Another testimony from the hospital was in regards to a woman who had an abscess on her bottom (bum). Jen and our friend Hanre approached this woman who was surrounded by her family. This family was of another belief system and used an oil to rub on those they pray for. A member of the woman's family had some of this oil in his hand. Hanre asked for the oil, prayed over it in Jesus's name, and then dabbed the oil on the woman. After prayer, the woman felt significant improvement in the pain level. One thing she could not do was sit or lay on her bottom (bum). Hanre told her that she wanted to see her on her bottom (bum) before they (Hanre and Jen) left the hospital. On their way out, Jen and Hanre were flagged down by the woman and her family. The woman was now sitting and experiencing no pain. That's what our Jesus does!!!!!!!!!!
On March 11 a major fire occurred in one of the informal settlements. An informal settlement is an area where a community of people have chosen to erect shack-like structures as their homes. The structures are not of high quality and the tenants often use paraffin stoves, which we have heard are some of the main contributors to fires in these areas. Technically, the people do not have legal claim to the land, but South Africa does have a law that permits the homes to remain if they occupy the area for at least 24 hours. The fire in this settlement destroyed an estimated 3500 homes, displaced approximately 15,000 people, and killed 3 people. It is just crazy to think that we ministered to people in this settlement a little over a week prior to this fire (see pictures above).
We had the opportunity to join with an organization in the area named Thula Thula. This organization specializes in disaster relief. They collect donations and distribute them to those affected by disasters, which in this case was a fire. A local school permitted the use of a portion of their property for donation drop off, sorting, and storage. We helped to sort through loads of donated clothes, everything from infant to adult. The community was very generous. We also had the privilege to participate in the distribution of the items. This took place on a football field (that's soccer field for you American folk). People affected by the fire were given the opportunity go through and gather toiletries, clothing, bedding, and more. They were definitely blessed by the distribution.
As mentioned in our previous blog, Cape Town is in a severe drought. Although we have had a couple of small, fast-moving storms come through, the reservoirs are sitting at about 18% of capacity. Please continue to pray for the rain.
Next week we will be joining a team of different churches and ministries to host a 2-day outreach/crusade. This event is shaping up to have a radical impact on the community in which it will take place. Pray for hearts to be ready for the Gospel of Jesus Christ, God to stretch forth His hand to heal, our conversations to be seasoned with grace and full of salt so we will be able to answer every person, the community to be transformed by the love of God, and whatever else Father lays on your heart to pray.
One thing that God continues to impress on us is the importance of spending time with Him in prayer, worship, and study of His Word. We have been attempting to spend as much time as possible with our Heavenly Father. A verse that He has highlighted to us is Matthew 6:6, "But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you." We had become so accustomed to doing things in our own strength, and we are learning that staying in step with Him is the only way that we are going to reach this nation. Jesus revealed the Father everywhere we went. If we are going to reveal the Father, then we need to spend time alone with Him and get to know His heart and His ways. The Israelites saw God's acts, but the scripture testifies that Moses knew His ways. Let's be ones who don't just see God's acts, but know and understand His ways.
We love you all and pray that God would grant you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the precise and correct knowledge of Him. Be blessed as you grow in His grace, mercy, and love for you.
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