Jul

6

 

IMG_4793

God doesn’t judge the way the world does, based on possessions, power, influence or fame.  Instead, He looks at how we love and how we demonstrate that love through the simple day-to-day things.

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ “ Matthew 25:37-40

In this parable Jesus’ message is clear –how we love others and respond to their needs is how we love and serve God Himself.  They are one and the same.

Food for the hungry.  A drink for the thirsty.  Welcoming a stranger.  Clothing the naked.  Comforting the sick.  Visiting the lonely or imprisoned.

What these acts have in common is that they are simple – things that any one of us can do.  They are also things that only the person being helped will notice.

Notice in this parable that those serving didn’t realize it was Christ they were serving.  “When did we do that?” they asked.  Winning His favor wasn’t their motivation.  Instead their motivation was to serve purely out of love for others, even the least of them.  As a result, their attitudes and actions were credited to them as righteousness.

Continuing on in the parable, you’ll see that those who didn’t help others, who may have had they known it was Christ they were serving, were separated out and judged as having the wrong heart, wrong motives and wrong actions.

Our Father is delighted when we love and help others without expecting anything in return.  That’s how we experience the pure joy of serving.

And we needn’t think we have to do everything, fix everything or give everything that we have.  That is not the goal.  The goal is simply to love others well, and it’s the simple things can make such a difference!

Lord, please help me to be present in each moment, and to notice the people and needs around me.  Show me how to help in the simple ways that reflect your love each and every day.  Amen.

 

May

30

fear-198933_1280

I love the Psalms because they are so raw, authentic, and passionate.

They show us that we have a God who cares about us and wants to share in our triumphs and pains, in our hopes and fears.  He loves our praise, but He’s also ok with our cries, complaints and rants.
God wants it all.  That’s what being in relationship is all about.

“When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You.  In God, whose word I praise, In God I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid. What can mere man do to me?”  Psalm 56:3-4

David was crying out to God because he was being pursued by his enemies.  He was feeling weary, discouraged, and fearful from fighting all day long.  And notice that he doesn’t say “if” I am afraid, but “when.”  Because it happens.  It happened to him, it happens to me all the time.

Like David, I have felt exhausted and battle weary at times.  I have felt trampled, hurt by naysayers and scared by doomsdayers in my life.  While I may not have actual soldiers chasing me with their swords glinting in the sun, my enemy (and yours) is even tougher, craftier and more persistent.

When negative comments and thoughts about myself and the world around me make me feel insecure, inadequate, and afraid that’s a sure sign that I’m putting my trust in something other than God.

Fear is a red flag that I’ve taken my focus off of God.

I love how David rallies his courage in this Psalm.  He remembers that he belongs to God and that God is with him.  He puts his trust in God and trust is the “firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.” 

God wants us to place our trust in him – only him.
Anything short of that is actually idolatry…ouch!

So David turns his worries into praise, and he conquers his fears knowing that God has his back (and front and sides…)  As David strengthens himself in the Lord he realizes that no one and nothing can harm him or prevent him from fulfilling God’s purposes.

God will deliver him from the hands of his enemies, and God will deliver us as well.

Our fears stem from a lack of trust.
Not trusting that God has our backs.
Not trusting that God is with us.
Not trusting that God is speaking and that we’re hearing His will.
Too often, we listen to the voices of our enemy instead.

Where are you placing your trust right now?
Lord, please show me what it looks like to trust You in each area of my life.

May

14

IMG_2292

We located a House of Refuge, conference centre, AND office space!

It feels surreal that after searching everywhere God brought us back to the center of Qwa Qwa to find this property.  But He did.

This home has EVERYTHING we need to house 3-4 orphaned/at-risk girls with a house mom.  The property has additional buildings which will provide a conference centre, classroom, two offices and a bathroom.  This will allow us to relocate our Qwa Qwa office saving us $350/month in rent!

To make this God-dream become reality, we need YOU!  

For Ignite to purchase the home we must pay cash (SOON) and the cost is $48,000.
At first I was intimidated thinking it was impossible but then I realized that it would only take:

  • 48 people donating $1000 each (or)
  • 96 people donating $500 each (or)
  • 192 people donating $250 each (or)
  • 480 people donating $100 each (or)
  • Or any combination

Can you help today?  

Sow a gift
Help us provide shelter and safety to a pregnant teens, classrooms and office space for the work we do.

Pray
Help us intercede for favor- that our offer is accepted and the finances come in to allow this purchase.

Share
PLEASE share this email and opportunity with everyone you know and help us take the next step.

Thank you for partnering with us!
To sow into the shelter electronically you may use this link, for other giving options or if you live in South Africa, click here.

May

2

sunrise-1237616_1280

Do you have any cares these days?
I know I sure do.  Cares about family, work, friends, what’s going on in the world around me… yet God tells us to cast our burdens, cast our cares upon Him.

“Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.”  Psalm 55:22, NASB

The Lord tells us to give these cares over to Him and let Him take care of them.  He encourages us and states that He will carry the weight, freeing us up to simply trust in Him.

He invites us to look to Him as our sustenance, our provider, the one in control of all things. My cares aren’t silly or trivial to Him, because I’m not silly or trivial to Him.  And the same goes for you!

If you have children, think about a time when they lost their favorite toy, stressed out about a test, or worried about being asked to the dance.  While none of these signaled the end of the world, it felt that way to them.  And you cared about it because you care so deeply for them.

Big or small, our burdens matter to God because we matter to God!

God’s promise is that He will never let the righteous be shaken.  That’s me.  I’m righteous, so this promise is for me.

And if you trust Christ as your Savior then this promise is for you as well.

Righteousness doesn’t mean doing everything right, rather it means being in a right relationship with God, and that happens when our sins are forgiven through Christ.

Picture placing your burdens on a hook at the end of a long fishing line.  Now cast that line as far as you can.  Watch it flying farther and farther until it hits the water with a “kerplunk.”

See that bobber thingy floating way out there? Say yes…

Now cut the line! 

As you cast your cares unto the Lord, resist that urge to reel them back in and trust. . .

Apr

21

hands-79

Each of us holds something in our hands.
Whether it an opportunity, a hurt, or a gift we all are holding something and often we don’t even realize what it is.

I remember a season in my life where what was in my hand was not flattering, it was offense.  I had been hurt, deeply hurt by another and yet because it wasn’t “proper” to be angry so I stuffed it.

I buried it so deep within me that I did not see it.

But over time, it became apparent to those close to me that something was wrong and thankfully…. they shared.  This allowed me to do the introspective work I needed to do to get right. To forgive.
To move on and be free.

I encourage you to look at what is in your hands.
Don’t wait for someone (if they dare) to question you about it, check for yourself right now.

Are you clutching something in desperation?
Gripping something in anger?
Or loosely holding something in an open palm?
and then figure out . . .  what is it?

God has given us one life to live.

Create your life to be a gift to others – one that builds up, supports, strengthens, and gives.
I promise, choosing life is something you will never regret!

 

Ignite South Africa is a nonprofit org in Michigan and South Africa with a mission to model, equip, and ignite godly leaders.  If you want to be a part of this mission, check out ways you can join us on our website.

 

Mar

29

IMG_2001

How have you invested in your future?

Many of us know it’s wise to invest money in retirement, stocks or bonds. In doing this we plan to improve our future as our investment multiplies over the years.

But, how often do we consider investing something other than money?
Something such as time, talents, and skills.

How do we do that you wonder?  Well, it’s in the little things like asking someone how their day is going.
Taking a moment to open a door, help someone with groceries, or even say hello to another in the store.

Think of it, many of us have found ourselves in a crowd at some point in our life and yet felt invisible.
Alone. Unseen.

WE have the power to change this for another when we invest ourselves in others.

Along this line, our team chose to invest in the children of Leratong on Good Friday.
Through drama, testimonies, play, and time sharing we were able to connect and love on them.
I’m not sure which of us benefitted more, the children or our team!

It reminded me that as our money multiplies when invested, Jesus shared a similar principle in the parable of the talents; “Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have (used and) gained five more talents besides them”   Matt. 25: 20b.

Follow this link to check out the photos from the day!

Mar

22

boy-79

Jesus reminds us to “let the children come to Him ” therefore on Good Friday a group of our staff and volunteers will be spending the morning at Leratong, a local children’s home/orphanage in Qwa Qwa.

We are excited to put together a program for the day that will bless, delight, and show each child how much they are cherished.  Our plan is to demonstrate God’s love through play, time together, and of course, sharing the Gospel message.

Join us as we pray that our team is able to demonstrate and model Christ’s love to the 50+ children, and that they enjoy the special treat we leave behind!

Mar

7

board-939244_1920

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6.

Moses is telling Israel that they will be going on without him, but not to fear because the Lord will be with them. If it isn’t scary enough to head into unknown enemy territory, imagine charging ahead when the leader you’ve come to know and trust is staying behind. I’d be afraid for sure! But this reminds me of how often we look to other people or other things for safety and security when we should really be looking to the Lord.

Next Moses summons Joshua, who will be the new leader, and basically gives him the same message. I imagine that Joshua was feeling pretty fearful and inept for the sudden promotion, especially with all eyes on him. So Moses tells him to be strong and courageous.

Sure, it’s one thing to say it, but how do you actually do it? How do you just be strong and courageous? How do you trade fear for courage, and trembling for strength?

Moses goes on to remind Joshua of God’s purpose for him – that he’s been called by God to lead Israel forward. And if God calls us to do something, we can be certain that He’ll give us what we need to carry it out.

Next Moses reminds Joshua of God’s promise – that the Lord Himself has sworn this land to Israel. And we can be sure that if God makes a promise, it’s guaranteed because He is faithful and never goes back on His word.

Then Moses focuses on God’s presence – affirming that the Lord will go before them and with them. Here I picture God Himself clearing the path and being someone we can rely on each step of the way.

Lastly, Moses reminds Joshua of God’s permanence – that He’ll never fail, forsake or leave. God is with us always, even when others step out of the picture for whatever reason.

These truths are why we should have no fear, but these truths are also the how. They are how we can trade fear for courage in any situation. By remembering God’s purpose, promises, presence and permanence we can rewire our thinking. By turning our focus from the scary situation to God Himself we can dissolve our fears causing courage and strength to rise up within us.

What would you do if you were not afraid?

Feb

12

API_6

The sanctity of life message has always resonated with us however, in 2014 it became a passion amongst a group of our pastors and leaders as well.

It all happened after LIFE International provided a church leader training.  Approximately 30 of the attendees continued to meet as a group every other month to discuss how to impact their communities.

Why would this be important?

Because of the signs.  The signs that litter every pole and every bare space advertising pain free abortions as the option for unplanned pregnancies.

Because of the pain.  The pain that can be seen in so many faces.

Additionally, the Department of Health 2011 statistics report that the Free State Province (ours), leads in the number of legal abortions per year by over 9,000. They also report that legal abortions (this number) only accounts for 42% of all abortions within South Africa.

Because of all these factors, for the next two weeks we have asked LIFE International to equip our team to support and help the many who are post abortive, or those who find themselves with an unplanned pregnancy. Our team desires to reflect God’s love and heart as we walk alongside men and women who are struggling with these life-decisions.

Feb

5

FP Team 3x6

Back row L to R: Constance, Moeketsi, Nefthali, Thabang, Phillip, Sipho, Aaron, Moeti, Dudu and Busisiwe.  Front row: Sibongile, Martha, Nnini, and Nthabiseng.

God is taking our staff team on a journey where they are learning to specialize in areas, as well as individually mentor new volunteers.  Let me share:

Busisiwe Mosia our Director of Flashpoint for the past four years continues to  use  her leadership and collaboration with the schools to strengthen our team and expand our opportunities within Qwa Qwa.

Moeti Moloi is our Volunteer Coordinator and also works in our Discipleship program.  His gift of leadership and encouragement supports his fellow coaches. He is mentoring Constance as a CIT and Nefthali in our Discipleship program.

Aaron Sibaya as Administrative Support ensures all coaches have what they need for schools and encourages them along the way.  Aaron is mentoring Sipho.

Thabang Tshabalala as our Data Specialist works to compile, input, and report our data results twice yearly.  In addition, after reviewing results will propose ways in which we could improve our program.  Thabang is mentoring Moeketsi.

Nnini Sibeko as Administrator and Conference Organiser uses her gifts to organize attendance, events and assists all staff wherever needed. Nnini is mentoring Phillip.

Martha is our Writer and storyteller.  Her goal is to help you experience our Flashpoint program and classes through a variety of mediums. Martha is mentoring Nthabiseng.

Sibongile as Environmental Specialist sets the mood by preparing our environment both physically and with song/worship.  Sibongile is a gifted vocalist and is mentoring Dudu.

We are thrilled to see our coaches step into these new roles knowing it is a small part of the God-miracle that is unfolding this year.  In addition, we are delighted to welcome our seven volunteers who joined us for training.  We pray their time with us is fruitful, fulfilling, and God-willing may they join us as permanent team members in the future.