Joy.

We recently worked out  that since our decision to rent our home back in 2011 for prep to come to SA, we’ve moved house 12 times. 13 is the magic number. In December we shall move house for the final time, to Port Elizabeth. I read back through some of the posts on this blog back in 2011/2012 & was struck by how much the Lord has used all of the change of plans to set up “Penuel”, to humble us. We arrogantly thought this thing was going to be straightforward & that the path of serving children in the care system would be smooth. It has been pure joy, but it has also cost us more on a personal level than we ever thought it would.

Us. Taken by Joseph.

With every step & in each fresh season of friends & family opening their homes to us… we have been amazed at the Lord’s faithfulness & how He alone has worked everything together for good in our lives. He has proven Himself again and again to be faithful to His words. In the midst of change, I find myself needing God’s words to bring comfort, love and life like my life is dependant on them.. I need to know what He’s saying. His voice comforts, brings kind correction & reminds us of who we are when we so easily forget.

Us.

It is only God’s perfect love that hooks us, constrains us & draws us to be scattered or “sent out”. We want to love & serve in order to see this great harvest of both children & adults, come in. It keeps hitting me how inadequate we are, how little we actually know, how we will never fully understand what it is like to be South African. Yet in our weaknesses, He says that His grace is sufficient. That He is more than enough to meet every need.

When I first started out discerning God’s voice, I used to think that if I prayed diligently then maybe once in a while I would hear Him. I expected His voice to be so loud, so grand, that whenever He did speak to me through ordinary thoughts, I would unknowingly dismiss them. Worship had to be all about Him right? So when God spoke to me in worship, I would try hard to focus in on Him, so as not to be distracted. ha! Then I realised that there was and is, a still small voice behind me saying “this is the way; walk in it” (Isaiah 30:21). How do we know it’s God & not our “own” thoughts? After renewing our minds with the Holy Spirit (Romans 12:2) His words line up with scripture, always comfort (it’s His kindness that leads us to repentance) & bring life. He promises that we will know His voice (John 10). It’s our birthright as children of God.

We had a lovely time with the boys in boys haven a few weeks back. We were talking about God speaking with Samuel as a boy & how He still does today. The boys all put their hands out in prayer, expectant that God was going to give them something. We talked about how God speaks, then we asked Holy Spirit to come & to show the boys what He wanted to give them. It shocked me how quickly they received something from Him. Buhle saw a picture of baby Jesus & said he felt God was telling him that Jesus came to the earth for him. Themba saw a picture of a big, big heart which he thought meant that God really loved him & wanted to give Themba His heart. Wow. Then, Ntando  (aged 6) saw a series of pictures. First of all of baby Jesus, then Jesus aged 2, then aged 4 & finally aged 6. When I asked him what he thought God might be saying, he replied: “Jesus knows what it’s like to be me”.

2013-11-12 15.17.38

I love that the gospel of the Kingdom is simple. It has to be, or else there would be barriers preventing some people from knowing Him. If we needed masses of intellect to understand the gospel, it would give us opportunity to boast that we’d figured it out. The gospel is simple enough that a little child can understand it, believe in Jesus & believe that He speaks. “But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things – and the things that are not – to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before Him” (1 Corinthians 1:27-29).

So in this season of gearing up to move house one more time, Isaiah 61 are the words I keep coming back to & am praying over His children: “Instead of your shame there shall be a double portion; instead of dishonour they shall rejoice in their lot; therefore in their land they shall possess a double portion; they shall have everlasting joy.” We have given the new haven the name: “Mihlali” meaning “joy” in Xhosa. Thankyou Jesus for joy!

2013-11-12 15.20.19

 

Please note that all names have been changed to protect the identity of the children…

3 thoughts on “Joy.

  1. I am in awe of what you guys are doing over there. I pray that god will continue to speak to and through the young beautiful children you are working with and that as result change their lives and impact on yours in a massive way.
    I feel very humbled to know you Richi and to have worked with you at events such as autumn soul. God is doing amazing things through you both. May he pour out his blessings on you and your family. X julie

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