Oct

21

abram-79

I grew up around people who worship ancestors.

What is ancestor worship?

Ancestor worship is when a person believes that dead people are spirits who are able to pray for, or go to God on their behalf. Here in South Africa, amongst many Basotho, they will sacrifice animals to enable them to speak with the spirits of all who are dead in their family.

The belief is that their ancestors are very close to God.

In fact, they believe that ancestors are with God  regardless of whether they were living for Him while they were alive. Rather than believing that Jesus is the way to the Father, they believe their hope lies in the ancestors and yet, those who hold this belief are afraid. The greatest fear of the people is that  they will be killed if they don’t please their ancestors. In many cases you hear people stating that someone in the family angered an ancestor and that is why they (or their parent) died.

Because of this they work to appease the ancestors normally using different kinds of animal like cow, sheep, or goat, to do a sacrifice. The blood of animals is important in doing sacrifice for the ancestors, it is all about the blood of animals.

We as Christians know we have been redeemed through the blood of Christ at Calvary and Jesus did it once, for all. We thank God for that.

On other hand when you are sacrificing to ancestors you must sacrifice every year. Animals are very costly, many people have little money,  and yet they make sure that they have animals for sacrifice. This causes great pressure and stress for families. Basotho believe that if the ancestors are happy everything will be ok for them, they will be blessed in every way.

Most of what they believe is a lie from the enemy and Satan has been holding them in bondage through this lie for long time.

God has made it very clear from His Word that there is only one mediator between man and God and it is Jesus. Hebrews 7:27.

What Jesus did at the cross was enough and all blessings come through Him. 

Please pray for my people and all those who continue to believe in their ancestors.  May they come to know God’s Truth and the gift He provided through His Son, Jesus.

Oct

18

Aims-79

Three years after my return to Canada I returned to my home away from home- South Africa.

I have found this short visit home to be an amazing mixture of the expected and the unexpected…
I expected to feel comfortable and at home in Harrismith and in Qwa Qwa.
I expected to see God move through the coaches and ministry guests and subsequently, to see lives changed.

What I didn’t expect was to have God challenge my personal vision. 

The heart and foundation of the vision haven’t changed however, the details that once seemed so clear have  become blurry. It has caused me to wonder if they were from God or my own desire/need for a vision that was more concrete.

As I prepare to head back to Canada my heart vision is clear- one day I will once again be involved in full time missions.

What remains to be determined are the fine details, but God and I… we’ll figure it out in His timing.

Oct

11

HANDS-79

Lifted hands signify a variety of things.

These past two weeks it has stood for classroom involvement, curiosity and questions, concerns and clarification and . . .

Surrendering to Christ.

Team members and coaches came together and demonstrated God’s love through drama, testimonies, and teachings. As they allowed themselves to be used by God, we have seen well over two thousand youths hearts change.  Many for eternity.

We are God’s hands and feet.

As we recognize this fact and allow God to use us (as He did this international team) we impact His people with His love and  ignite change.

BE the CHANGE today.

If God is calling you to experience missions firsthand join us on a trip, follow this link to find out more.

Oct

2

everything drama

A musical drama tends to transcend the spoken word, cultural barriers, and even stereotypes.

This drama brought to South Africa is one well known in America, made popular by the song “Everything” by Lifehouse.

It is a drama which speaks of our Creator and His desire for us and follows the internal battle each one of us face as we look to …. things, other than Him.  It demonstrates the inner turmoil many of us have gone through- the timeless battle of good vs evil.

It speaks of CHOICES.

This drama is one small yet powerful aspect to our assemblies and conference scheduled over the next week and a half.  In addition there will be personal testimonies, music, and classroom teaching on HIV/AIDS prevention and education.

We invite you to join us on this journey as we reach the youth.

Pray that the truth about HIV is exposed and understood. Pray that hearts are softened and ready to receive all God desires, and that decisions are made which have lasting impact…

If God has prompted you to become a financial partner with us as we reach the youth, use this link.

 

Sep

25

blog assembly

Collaboration is a constant within our work at Ignite, however this level of collaboration will be the first.

Sunday is the arrival of a mission team of two who will work with our coaches to impact the youth of Qwa-Qwa.

Monday through Wednesday meetings will include this team training the coaches AND the coaches training the team, all with the focus to propel the youth towards life changing decisions.

On Thursday they  start as a unified team… one school after another igniting God-purpose, destiny and the truth about HIV/AIDS, answering hard questions and providing opportunities for growth and change.

Our part? To be the hands and feet.
Your part? To intercede, believe, and expect God-results with us.

Together we can impact a nation one person at a time!

 

 

Sep

4

IMG_0954

As we pass our mid-year milestone, our leaders have been reflecting on what the Lord has done and praying for what is to come.  With a heart for equipping leaders, Jill Marshall heads up our Discipleship and Outreach programs.  Here is some of what she shared.

How have you seen the Lord work this year?

During the first half of this year, we conducted 2 Foundations for Christian Growth classes, one for our coaches and one open to all leaders, 16 students in total.  We also conducted an Epistles Bible Study Intensive with 28 people in attendance.  It has been wonderful to see men and women grow in the Word of God.

What is one highlight or testimony from the year?

This year has also been amazing in terms of stretching us as a leadership team as we’ve trusted God for His provision on so many levels (finances, wisdom, strategy, courage, unity, etc.).  Finances have been tight due to a suffering economy in both the US and in SA, but the Lord has met our needs in so many unexpected ways.  Through new donors in both the US and SA, through the sacrifices of staff members, and through creative ways to do more with less.  God doesn’t always answer prayers the way we expect, but he always answers.

How have you been blessed as a leader?

It was a blessing for us to partner with Freedom Ministries in hosting a mission team from the U.K.  While here, the team served at Freedom in Wilgepark and also at an Enrich network church in Qwa Qwa.  Even though I was in the US at the time, I was greatly encouraged by the pictures and testimonies.  Lives were changed by the encounters they had with Christ through each mission team member – their love, their actions, and their words.

What are your hopes for the remaining of the year?

I’m very much looking forward to the next Bible Study Intensives and Discipleship Classes, as each one paves the way for our long-term dream of a Bible School in Qwa Qwa.  I’m also looking forward to the guest teachers and mission team we will be hosting later this year.  I pray that their time with us is as enjoyable as it is impactful, as life-affirming as it is life-changing.

What are your prayer requests?

  • That our discipleship students continue to hunger for God’s Word, study it diligently, live it out, and passionately teach it to others.
  • That the Lord supplies every need for our upcoming ministry guests and mission team – financially, spiritually, and physically.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our ministry partners?

Thank you for laboring alongside us – your finances and prayers are having a tremendous impact in the lives of many people.  Lives are being changed and leaders are rising up for Christ.  Thanks for helping to make that possible.

Aug

23

IMG_1157

Pastors Leon DeHaan and Rick Kearney recently taught our Romans Bible Study Intensive.  Here are some thoughts Rick shared with us about his time spent here.

“After my return from QwaQwa and the resultant recovery from both jet lag and the flu I was asked by many people how my trip went“Amazing” was the first word that popped out of my mouth, but I knew that it was woefully inadequate to describe what had happened to me during that week.

I went to South Africa with the intent of ministering, but left feeling like the one who was ministered to.  When asked again how my trip went, and when time and circumstance allow, I now answer like this, “Close your eyes and imagine that you are standing in the doorway in the back of a too-small room holding about thirty adults who are engaged in worshipping their Creator.  No music, no light shows or video clips, just hearts and voices raised in praise.  Now imagine that they are singing in a language that is foreign to you; you recognize none of the words.  Yet, somehow, the presence of God is so evident that there are tears streaming down your face.  After singing they pray and then sit down, waiting for you and your translator to step forward.”

Then I ask if they want to hear more.  I am a man who is not ashamed to cry and have in fact been known to cry at some of the simplest things; but what God did during my week with Ignite South Africa has wrecked my heart.  I find myself staring into the distance, lost within my mind at the glories of God.

Henry Blackaby, in his tutorial “Experiencing God”, teaches that rather than inviting God into what we are doing we are to see where He is at work and join Him there.  In the days that I spent with the Pastors and Coaches, as well as attending and teaching at Freedom Church, I was privileged to witness God in action.  To see how His love broke down racial and ethnic barriers and created a hunger for His presence.  It was like seeing Paul’s prayer in the first chapter of Ephesians coming to life and being played out before my eyes.

Do I feel called to full-time missions work?  I don’t know, but there is something in my heart that was not there before my second trip to QwaQwa.  The heart and the hunger of those we were with almost place a demand within my soul to return.  

Thank you.  I count you all as friends and look forward to when we meet again.”

If you are interested in serving with us, please check out our website for more information, or contact us at missions@ignitesoughtafrica.org.

Apr

22

prayer

Living in the mission field can look idyllic.

Especially when viewing photos of a country so lush in beauty including the natural landscapes as well as her people. Yet just as the apple looked appealing to the eye and thereby lulled both Eve and Adam into thinking it benign, so we can become passive in our work and calling.

At the start of this school year God has caused schools to seek us out to help them when dealing with challenges. We are now seen as a God-planted resource for behaviors ranging from truancy to teen pregnancy, from drugs to abuse, and more.  We also serve as a spiritual resource. They have requested coaches to attend school assemblies to encourage students through God’s Word before exams, and for crisis intervention through prayer as a youth acts out as they profess to worship satan.

Unlike America where everything is so “nice”,  underneath the surface perfection and beauty of Africa lies desperation, pain, and a thick sinew of fear that chokes the normal person. The occult is woven within some “christian” churches, and satanic worship is rampant – actively seeking the youth.  It is in fact, in these latter areas, that God has been using our coaches to a greater degree. We are seeing youth free from the bondage of fear and all else occult related, and making the choice to live for Christ.

The supernatural is a part of life here, more of a reality than a regular paycheck and God is moving!
He is saving, delivering, and setting His people free!

If you are from mid-west America I understand it may be difficult to believe or understand some of what I share, I too come from that background.  However, if you suspect I may have exaggerated (I minimized) or weaved a story (I cropped) I would ask that you still  join our ranks as a prayer warrior and allow God to lead your prayers.

Our small group of coaches/staff are the frontline soldiers in the trenches, so often too focused on the war that we forget to notify those back home of our needs. We need prayer. LOTS of prayer. 

The current attack has been twofold: the health of coaches and their families, and provision. The last few days our team was  hit hard with two coaches that are either in, or just released from the hospital and two others that unexpectedly lost close family members this weekend. This will leave the remaining coaches understaffed for classroom teaching this week, increasing their workload.
Here are our prayer requests:

Pray for protection, healing (of heart loss and body), discernment, strength to teach, and unity amongst all staff and coaches. Pray for provision of resources, and wisdom in stewardship.

We know we can count on YOU our faithful Ignite partners to pray and sow, we are so blessed to be a part of this team! Follow these links to pray specifically for our staff or sow a financial seed, and …. thank you!

Apr

4

IMG_0051

In partnership with Freedom ministry we hosted a team from England as they served in Qwa-Qwa this week. Here are a few “take-a-ways” they shared as they debriefed last night:

“I felt challenged when I approached the homes. I have ministered on the streets and find that easy, but to go to the homes was new to me. The first home we went to had me humbled by their love and welcome.  Even though they had so little, they quickly opened one of their few jars of homemade canned peaches to share with us. I was cut to the heart realizing that I truly do not know anything about generosity.” Pastor Roy

“I felt as though in many ways I took more than I gave, and realized three days with them was not enough.  The relationships I had started to form had me humbled and I will always remember the family and their daughter Malefu.” Naomi

“In one of my homes the first question the family asked was ‘why do some white people like blacks while others don’t’.  Our whole team was quiet, even our interpreter!  I finally responded stating that perhaps they don’t understand God’s love like others do. I could tell by her face that through that answer she received healing from past hurts. God changed my perspective showing me that He cares about the individual, and some miracles- although not as obvious as blind eyes seeing, are every bit as miraculous! ” Wesley

These are just a few of the many comments the team shared about their time in Qwa-Qwa.  A few additional “stats” include:

  • Three lives changed for eternity as they made decisions for Christ.
  • Multiple gardens sown to feed hungry families
  • Broken windows replaced
  • Plumbing repaired
  • Children whose lives were impacted by the spoken Word and demonstrated love of God. 

Join me in praying that God’s love overwhelm, and His blessings multiply upon this team, who have sacrificed their time and resources to serve here in Africa.

Feb

27

Leon and Audrey

Pastor Leon and Audrey De Haan of Thrive Ministries International will be arriving March 4.

They will join us for two weeks of ministry that begins with an Enrich Pastoral Conference on the 8th. The topic they will be teaching is one I find they model well – Building a Strong Marriage.

Additionally, they will teach at the coach development meeting on Friday, Sunday they will preach in Harrismith at Freedom Ministries, and complete their trip by leading the 4 day Bible Intensive Class on the Pauline Epistles.

We anticipate enjoying fruitful ministry time as they share the wisdom God blessed them with, as well as a fun sightseeing day or two.

Please keep the De Haan’s in prayer as they travel and minister God’s Word even as they purpose to partner and serve with us.  May God continually refresh and renew them every step of the way!

Learn more about partnering with us in ministry.