Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Do you stand out as a follower of Jesus?

"This is a fine line in being a Christian and being a follower of Jesus. You see their are many many Christians out there, more yet, people who say they are, but there are very very few followers of Jesus. So my question to you is, Do you fit in as one of those Christians? or Do you stand out as a follower of Jesus

When the villagers ask me if I am Muslim, or a Shaman, or a Christian... I simply tell them I'm a follower of Jesus. Which then leads them to ask the question, How do I follow Christ? not how do I become a Christian?"
-Pastor L (Africa)

-Shared by Lance

Monday, August 17, 2015

Is His Word Enough?

In Nehemiah chapter 8, we see the importance of God's word. So let me ask this, "Is God's word absolutely enough? Think about in the church, if we take away the air conditioning, the comfy seats, the cool lights, the rockin' music, is solely Gods word enough?" The answer is YES.
This summer I spent 2 months in Ivory Coast, Africa where every Sunday I was in a different church. No air conditioning. No comfy seats. No smoke machines or colorful lights. No crazy band and rock Christian music. None of that. All there was were the native Africans and their voices singing... dancing and praising God and studying His word together.

This summer through church in Africa God showed me His word is more than enough. None of the other things matter, His word is what matters. We put on a show in our churches of cool music and lights when none of that matters but our voices and spirits being lifted up to Him and studying His word. Because it is enough for us and it is what matters. 

Sitting in an African service, all in French with no translation half the time, drenched in my own sweat, I was happier than I have ever been. Because God showed me His word was enough for me and my soul. Through His word and the Holy Spirit, He spoke so much to me. Also, think about all the people who have to meet in secret to have church. They do not have anything except Gods word. I pray that we could all realize how important Gods word is and love His word like those risking their lives around the world to study it do.

Ivory Coast

Sunday, August 16, 2015

It's Not Easy

Recently I went on a trip to Bulawayo, Zimbabwe in Africa. What can I say? It was the most incredible place I have ever seen. I was so blessed to have been able to have that experience. I was there for 52 days. We visited orphanages and schools and shared the Gospel with them. Over all, 54 kids that we know of received Christ. It was so awesome! The people were wonderful. They were all so polite and the children spoke in unison when you asked them, "How are you?" They would each say something like, "I am very well. Thank you and how are you?" They spoke with rich accents and had rich dark skin and rich bright smiles. They were amazing. They treated us "makiwah's" (white people) like kings and queens. I will never forget their hospitality and generous hearts. 

Here's the problem: I left. I don't know what to do with myself because I don't see my precious friends Tando and Michael every day. My heart is broken because I can't play with the greatest orphaned babies that ever existed. My eyes are filled with tears because I can't hug my friends at church every Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday. Where did the time go? 
My heart did not come with me back to America. It stayed in Bulawayo with my friends and orphans of whom I came to love so dearly. I miss them. I miss the baby snot I would have to wipe off their face every time I held them. I miss the white girl hip hop jam outs I would have with my team at one of Tawanda's concerts. I miss the freedom of going into schools and praying with students and sharing with them the love of Christ and what He did for them. I miss telling them that Jesus wants a relationship with them if they only surrender their lives to Him. I miss the responses. I miss the hearts of each person I came into contact with. I miss the thirst and hunger to hear truth. I miss being asked the hardest questions. 
I miss Zimbabwe. It's not easy not being there. It's not easy being here. 
The hardest thing I ever had to do was leave Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. 

But God is a faithful God. If it weren't for Him, I would not be able to get through the day. He constantly provides strength and endurance. He is even giving me countless opportunities to serve Him in America. 
So, Africa, until I return, I will be praying for you. Know that I love you. Know that you have stolen my heart. But most importantly, know that God is with you. You are so important to Him. Don't forget about me. I'll be back soon. 

 “And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there.  I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me.  However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace."   Acts 20:22-24