That the World will Know Him.

But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us spreads and makes evident everywhere the sweet fragrance of the knowledge of Him.  II Cor. 2:14Processed with VSCO with b5 preset

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Witsand // Slangrivier, South Africa

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Swellendam // Railton, South Africa

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Montague // Ashbury, South Africa

IMG_0952IMG_0694IMG_0747IMG_0773IMG_0751IMG_0943IMG_1412IMG_0761IMG_0762IMG_1022IMG_0703IMG_0712IMG_1023The ‘mission’ can be seen in a myriad of ways in which the kingdom of God expresses itself– highly varied and always redemptive!

God the Father sent Jesus in grace to remove shame and distance that we created between us and Him. To draw us unto Himself from being orphaned in sin to being adopted as His own. Not because of anything we have done or deserve, but because of his great expansive Love.

That we might know Him.

If you would like to learn more about our discipleship school please visit our website. Applications are now open for October.

 

 

 

The Father’s Heart.

“In my Father’s house there are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am, you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” – Jesus

Jesus said that I know the way to where he is? That he has prepared a place for me to be in his family? To have the same Father with him? What does it mean to be fully adopted by God, that I can not only pray to Him, but I can know and call Him Father?

This is the foundation of everything we are doing here in South Africa. The Father’s House is not simply a Bible school– this is family.IMG_6797
In Matthew, Jesus said that it is better for someone to tie an enormous rock around your neck, kick you into the deepest part of the ocean, and let you sink, rather than allow you to cause a child to stumble. Protecting the trust of the vulnerable is a big deal to Jesus—and for a good reason! We were designed to live out of trust.*

This hunger for deep trust can only be satisfied through a relational connection with God the Father.

Often, how we view our earthly father is how we perceive God to be. Yet, no matter the actions of our birth fathers, Jesus’ words in scripture reveal a defending and protective love of the Father for His lost children– this includes all of us!

Jesus died on the cross so that you could have an eternal Father. Regardless of your relationship with your earthly father, He is a ‘Father to the fatherless’ and He yearns to settle the lonely into a home. – ps. 68:5,6IMG_6937
I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty. – 2 Corinthians 6:18

It is his desire to be called Abba- which means ‘to be carried’. He wants to take us into His loving arms…to trust in His comfort, to lean against His chest. It is His will that we know we are loved by a perfect Father. It was by design that we are created to live in the fullness of a Father’s love. IMG_8864IMG_6694IMG_8877IMG_6737The Lord, Jehovah, is the merciful and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, maintaining this love to thousands and forgiving of iniquity, rebellion, and sin. – Exodus 34:6

Jesus went to the Cross to avenge the stolen innocence and broken trust we all inherited after the Fall. When he declared that we all had to be ‘born again’, He was saying, “We’re going to start this trust thing over again. I’m placing you in the Father’s arms, where you will experience unconditional love, acceptance, and care.”*IMG_6657IMG_6663IMG_6667IMG_6669IMG_6648This is the heart of Scripture! Everything in the history of creation points to His passionate Love for us- isn’t this truly amazing news?!

He will meet your needs when you cry out to Him- especially your need to be loved. Through this Love, we learn how to trust again, to build relationship with Him and with one another- relationships in which your heart is truly satisfied.*
IMG_7154 (1)IMG_9286IMG_6910IMG_6904IMG_6746His desire has always been for a family. God is love. If you know your Father, you start to mimic Him. You start to love like He loves!

No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us. We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be a Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God– and can know and rely on the love that God has for him. – 1 John 4:12-16creche 1IMG_6764IMG_7412IMG_7446IMG_7462IMG_7065outreach 1IMG_7088IMG_9395IMG_7047 (1)IMG_7063 (1)IMG_7586IMG_7579
When the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive the full right of sonship. Because you are sons and daughters, God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, Abba, Father! So you can no longer carry the identity of a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you an heir. – Galatians 4:4-6

For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—he has died as a ransom to set us free from our sin committed under the first covenant. – Hebrews 9:15IMG_7146IMG_7014For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. Seeing us in love, he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will- to the praise of His glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. – Ephesians 1: 4-6 

*Photos:

  1. Our Family. A group photo representing leaders, staff and students from the most recent Father’s House school. I cannot begin to put into words all that God’s Spirit does in and through each of us as we gather in the ‘upper room’.
  2. Our Home. Set in the beautiful Langeberg Mountains, an original 1860’s home where we live and learn in ‘class’ every day.
  3. Harvesting. Some of our practical missionary work is to bless our farm, Le Roux & Fourie Vignerons, where we live as well as neighboring farms by doing grape and pomegranate harvesting depending on the season. Along with the harvesting we are always learning about the vines and symbology of Jesus being the true Vine in John 15.
  4. Village Immersion. We visit local township communities to meet and talk with people on the street, playing with children, and asking them if they’ve heard about the love of Jesus, if they need physical healing, and praying with them. Almost every village immersion, several people come to know Jesus for the first time as their Savior. One of my favorite days of the week.
  5. Creche. [Kindergarten in English]. We visit the Creche once a week to play with and love on the farm children that are babies to pre-school age. Very poor and very under-cared for. They have runny noses and dirt from head to foot- not getting the attention that children so desperately need. So we go and play with them and love on them, clean them, change their diapers, pray over them. Whenever we leave, they are always asking in Afrikaans when we are coming back. It’s a very simple ‘mission of love’ but such a precious opportunity to carry the Father’s heart to them as many of them have absent or somewhat abusive earthly fathers.
  6. Kids Club. Wednesday evenings we gather all the farm children from primary school age to teenagers to play outside, feed them dinner, and then pray with them and do a little Bible lesson. The kids REALLY look forward to this every week, and it has a huge impact on their lives and calling them higher to believe that their dreams for a better future are not far off, but that God really sees them and is there to meet their hearts desires.
  7. Hospital/ Outreach. Weekly, we go out specifically to pray for the sick and believe for healing along with sharing the gospel and connecting deeply in prayer for emotional and physical needs. During our two week extended outreach we were praying with a man named David in a wheelchair who’s back was healed and was able to walk again!
  8. Table Mountain. Every school we take the students for a weekend in Cape Town and one of the highlights is climbing the famous Table Mountain and praying there together for the nation of South Africa. The climb is not only exhilarating, but symbolic of our walk of faith in Jesus, enjoying each other’s company and encouraging one another on to the finish! The breathtaking views from the top are worth the climb!
  9. Baptism. As a family, we spend a time of fellowship on the Western Cape coast where students have a choice to be baptized in the Indian Ocean. Together we celebrate changed hearts, redeemed life in Jesus, and the significance of living in the knowledge of being fully adopted by the Father.

 

*Quoted: Keep Your Love On. by Danny Silk

 

Living in the Wineland, South Africa

“Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal.” – John 12:24-25

I am here getting settled at my new home in South Africa and the first few weeks have already been full of adventures!

Our discipleship school will begin next week, so in the meantime, I have been exploring and having some fun with the team I am living with here on the farm.

One day last week, two of the girls and I hiked one of the nearby mountains for a full view of the vineyards. The valley is so incredibly beautiful and I am filled with awe and thankfulness to be here and excited for all that God has in store.IMG_6550IMG_6553IMG_6555There is always a lot of activity on the farm where I live. With it being harvest season in the winelands, I was able to join the workers in the vineyard for harvesting early one morning and also stopped in the wine cellar to  learn a bit about how the grapes are fermented and bit of the winemaking process. IMG_6592IMG_6595IMG_6591IMG_6603IMG_6602IMG_6597IMG_6606 Also last week, my housemate Barbara and I visited the little farm Kindergarten down the road. The farm workers take their small children here to be cared for during the day while they are away working in the vineyards.

The Creche is simple, and the children do not have an environment that really fosters learning or even playtime. The little ones were so happy to see us come to give them some attention, and I really look forward to spending more time here, loving on them and speaking life into their little hearts and minds. IMG_6509IMG_6513IMG_6530IMG_6526My life here is very simple and all about family. Even when the day is busy, we take time to prepare meals together and our table is surrounded with loads of joy and laughter. I am so thankful for this season and also full of expectation for the coming weeks as we will be leading students during the Father’s House discipleship school.

In that day the mountains will drip with sweet wine, and the hills will flow with milk. Water will fill the streambeds of Judah, and a fountain will burst forth from the Lord’s House, watering the arid valley of acacias. – Joel 3:18

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Zura

My first morning in Pemba, I was In the hammock reading quietly and enjoying the sunrise when a parade of beautiful Mozambican mamas came and sat on the edge of my porch.  I greeted them in my limited Emakua. ‘Selama! Mohavo? Kihavo!’ One of the ladies rushed to my side, put her arm around my shoulder and asked my name in Emakua. She smiled, ‘Kaysha y Zura, amigas!’  I don’t know why this made us instant friends, but I was thankful for the quick acceptance as her amiga.

Zura is one of 12 ladies at our base hired to do laundry for the staff here. This is an amazing opportunity for these women to have jobs as it is extremely difficult for Mozambican women who don’t speak English to find work in the city.    They meet at my porch every morning to gather the laundry and wash and sing, a true highlight to my day as I’m journaling and reading above.

Every chance she could get, Zura would come to my side and chat in mixed Emakua and Portugese even though I could not understand most of what she was saying, I felt her hunger to understand and relate. I would read verses from the Bible to her in English as well, knowing she couldn’t understand. But it didn’t matter. We were amigas.

One day we happened to cross paths outside the gate. Yay! It was her day off from work! She grabbed my hand and took off for the village. I assumed she wanted me to meet her family she had described to me briefly.

Approaching her house she was greeted by three beautiful daughters. Gloria, Narzesa, and Jesuina. Zura spread a mat outside in the dirt and motioned for me to sit.

The girls scrambled on top of me, touching my face, stroking my hair, stealing my sunglasses and laughing at everything I said.  Before I knew it I had braids in my hair and the little one had adopted my Portugese dictionary as her own picture book.      My heart was completely undone as Zura indicated that she was a single mother providing for these babies on her own the best she could. Her middle child, Narzesa, had a concerning laceration on her foot that was sticky and muddy with flies landing around the cut. I helped her wash the foot, and put clean band-aids over it that I had with me.  I felt the smallness of what I had to offer against so much need.

That week someone left a Portugese Bible at our house accidentally. I snatched it up and began journaling verses to Zura.

“For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” Then Jesus said, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” – John 6:33, 35

She loved the Word. She was glowing with a new brightness in her eyes. So much so, that we began writing notes back and forth in the journal every morning.      Then this message broke my heart. She asked if there was any way I could help her family with my two hands. She barely makes enough income in a day to bring home food, much less to pay her rent and clothe her children adequately.

I knew this was coming. If it was myself in her shoes as a mother, how could I not ask for help?

I prayed desperately for a way to answer her. I continued to give her verses and promised I would ask God to give me wisdom as I am very small on my own.

The next morning I felt God gave me a picture that He wanted to heal Narzesa’s foot. He wanted to affirm and assure Zura and her family to know Him as their protector and provider and that they can run to Him to meet ALL their needs. He is such a good, good Father.

I held the word in my heart and prayed about who I could ask to go to her home and join me with great faith in prayer for this healing that would be a new sign of love and his goodness.

I felt God highlight Leo and the boys. It was part of His plan for them to pray for their own neighbor. I asked the boys the next day and they readily agreed to meet the following evening to go to Zuras house.

I wish I could describe the power of prayer in her home that night. The presence of God was overwhelming as Leo prayed. I was expectant to see radical healing, still the cut appeared the same to me. Leo confidently told me we were done and that it would be healed.

Before leaving, we washed Zura’s feet to honor her in her home. She received all of this in honest humility and with light, grateful tears.

“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” – Romans 8:31-32

The next morning I gathered my housemates to visit Zura. We brought bread and peanut butter and I also brought her a Portugese Bible I was able to get my hands on.

As soon as we rounded the corner of the path to her house the girls came out running! I scooped them up in my arms, trying to catch Narseza long enough to look at her foot.    If only I had a photo to show the extent of the injury before– her foot was completely healed and the wound covered with new skin!!

Wow! Thank you Jesus our Healer! Zura pulled out the welcome mat and we praised God together! All of us laughing and hugging and talking over one another.             Every day since, Zura is praising God. Their circumstances haven’t changed, but their spirits are full of hope and their eyes filled with joy.

“Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” – Jesus