Nov

14

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By Rev. Paul Maleke

I thank God for bringing Ignite South Africa into my life when He did.

I first took the FCG course which proved to be more than I was expecting as its name state, Foundation for Christian Growth. But in real terms it is nothing foundational rather intensive. After finishing it I took on God’s Plan as a second leg but I failed to finish it due to different storms which attacked me from all sides. So I took it again this year and I believe it came at the right time. I believe this whole plan was orchestrated by God himself.

As a result of attending this class I managed to establish a couple of classes at church for different level. The adult Bible study was established because of this God’s Plan for Christian Service course and a courtship class was also started seeing that we had more and more youth who are falling pregnant and becoming single parents.

Because of a better understanding of intercession, I began to teach relevant teachings to the youth and their parents. My teachings were improved and became more direct and simple for anyone to understand and as a result I saw growth of up to 50% of older men (fathers) attending the church and visitors who are touched by the gospel they received or heard from church. I have learned so much from this class.

We thankful for Pastors that are passionate about God and His direction and praise Him for multiplying their efforts!

Sep

5

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Prosperity. Success. We may define it differently, but we all want it – for ourselves, for our children, for our children’s children.  Fortunately for us, in Joshua 1 God gives us the secret to prosperity and success.

And the secret is…Wait for it…Obedience.

The Lord was busy encouraging Joshua in his new role as leader of Israel.  Joshua had big shoes to fill after Moses, and was likely feeling a bit intimidated and unqualified.  So the Lord promised to always be with him, and encouraged him to be strong and courageous not once, but 3 times. (4 if you count his soldiers saying the same thing.)

But the part that struck me in the encouragement was the call to obedience.

“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.  Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” (Joshua 1:7-8, emphasis added)

While strength and courage are important, its obedience that leads to prosperity and success.  And who doesn’t want to be successful wherever he or she goes?

Now, both the world in general and our American culture in particular have much different definitions. For example, Merriam-Webster defines prosperity as “the state of being successful usually by making a lot of money.”  We tend to think of wealth, possessions, influence, and power, and then project that view on God thinking if we obey God we will be wealthy.

Yet reality doesn’t pan out…

Because God doesn’t define prosperity or success the same way we do.  I love what Jen Hatmaker says in For the Love.  When it comes to how we interpret the Bible, “If it isn’t true for a poor, single, Christian mom in Haiti, it isn’t true.” In other words, God’s Word must be true for all.  If it isn’t true everywhere, then it isn’t true anywhere.

So if we determine that obedience leads to material wealth and power, yet it doesn’t work for that poor, single mom, then we’ve misunderstood the character and Word of God.  Prosperity and success must mean something else…

The Lord tells us if we obey, then we will be prosperous and successful.  Imagine if our values and goals, words and actions, marriages and parenting, work ethics and relationships were all rooted in God’s Word.  Imagine if we modeled Christ in every area of our lives.

That sounds pretty prosperous and successful to me.

Praying for prosperity and success in your life and mine.

Aug

29

Declaring Fearlessly

Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.”  Ephesians 6:19-20 (NIV)

Paul had just been encouraging the Ephesians to be strong in the Lord, to draw their strength from His and to clothe themselves with the full armor of God so that they’d be able to stand against the devil’s schemes. We’re in a spiritual battle and the enemy wants nothing more than to keep us from following Christ and from reaching others for Him. So he’s telling us to stand firm, gear up, and pray, pray, pray.

He tells us to pray for all the saints, then goes on to ask for prayer for himself. Why? Because he’s an ambassador in chains charged with sharing the Gospel. We can think of the chains figuratively, but in Paul’s case he was literally in prison in chains at the time.

As an ambassador, Paul was Christ’s representative. Christ chose him, entrusted him with the Gospel, commissioned him, sent him out to share it, and qualified him to do so. We are Christ’s ambassadors as well.  2 Corinthians 5:20 says this: “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”

God makes His appeal through us. What an awesome privilege and responsibility that is!

Even in jail, Paul’s priority was doing the will of God, sharing the Gospel, and encouraging others to do the same. Paul doesn’t ask for prayers to get out of prison. His own comfort and freedom weren’t top priorities in his heart or mind. Rather, he asks to declare the gospel fearlessly – without fear of the enemy, without fear of man – as he ought to speak. 

Whether we are in chains or able to go freely, we ought to proclaim the Gospel boldly, without fear. So what are some of the things that are holding us back from doing so?

Fear of rejection? Fear of persecution? Fear of embarrassment or humiliation? A lack of love for our fellow man?

Ask the Lord to reveal any fears that you have so they can be dealt with and you can be reconciled with God, ready to battle for Him and for those who don’t know Him.

Jul

6

 

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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!

Jan

27

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and what a kick off it has been!

In the midst of our (well thought out) plans and schedules God has allowed a multitude of changes to surface.  Previously the twists and turns would have caused significant anxiety, today we find our whole team discovering a deeper peace, sense of direction, and increasing anticipation for what God is doing.

So while schools are changing, classes rearranging, and roles morphing, God is stirring up the gifts and talents within us.

Leadership has increased.  Volunteers multiplied.  Partnerships have expanded.
and it is only the beginning . . .

God has positioned us for a miracle year and we are ready to receive!