Tuesday, December 24, 2013

God's provision!

I have had many discussions with friends over the past few weeks about our years.  The theme that keeps coming up is that we have all been through the valley this year.  Some of it has been internal, some has been external, but all of us, it seems, have been brought to the point of crying out to God because there was no other choice.  

One story stands out in my mind.....

A friend was taking the train home from work where he would then get his car and drive the few miles to his house.  He was worried because there wasn't enough gas in the car and he has no extra cash to remedy the situation.  He called his wife and asked her to pray.  Needless to say my friend was at that point.  His prayer was "Oh God!  I can't solve this one!  There is no way out of this!  You promised that you wouldn't leave me ashamed in the day of adversity......PLEASE JESUS!!!!"  On the platform of the train station he met a friend who also needed a ride home because he was in the same financial situation and his car wasn't running.  My friend says "Ok, but I have no gas and no money to buy any, so we will try."  His friend told him "Well guess what, I have an extra 10 dollars and its yours if you just help me get home"

Both men in the story are godly men who love their families and are walking pure before God!  They haven't done anything wrong or sinful to put themselves in the financial situation they see themselves in, it is just that God is walking them through something hard and valuable at the same time.   God showed them both that day that He sees exactly where they are at and cares deeply about their needs and will never leave their families or forsake them! 
 
I have been there many times this year!  (See my post MY PORK TROTTER MIRACLE and MY MATTRESS MIRACLE)  

We are living in dangerous times at Christians.  As American's we are no longer allowed to openly speak our minds and as Christians living in the last days the Devil is out to steal kill and destroy all that God has placed in our hearts. 

We HAVE to walk through the valley!  All other options but Jesus have to be stripped away from us so that we can learn to Stand Still and See the Salvation of the Lord!  

This scripture has been running through my mind for a bout a week now........

Psalm 27:4-5

New International Version (NIV)
One thing I ask from the Lord,
    this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
    all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
    and to seek him in his temple.
For in the day of trouble
    he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent
    and set me high upon a rock.

May our one and only hearts desires be to dwell in the house of the Lord, to be found hidden under the shadow of His wings.  That is the only safe place!  That is the only refuge where we will find true and lasting security and provision!  



       


Monday, December 9, 2013

wrapped in weakness

Now that we are reaching the end of another year the time for self reflection has arisen.
(did I just use the word ARISEN!?   oh my)

For me 2013 has been a year full of.....how shall I put it.....personal trials that threatened at times to pull me under the rip tide of my flesh.  The lies the Devil has thrown at me have made me wanna put my hands over my ears and sit in a corner humming to myself.

"What do you think you are doing in Zambia?  This isn't a game!"  And my personal favorite "You have no clue what you are doing, you should just go home and leave this to the experts"

I have had to wrestle with my assumptions of what I thought was correct and all I have been taught over the years about submission and authority.  I have had to learn aspects of myself that have scared me, shamed me and brought me to my knees before God.    The glaring pride of my own achievements masked in humility.....GROSS!!  

To put in in other words, God has had to shake my tree so that the gross worm ridden fruit had to fall to the ground.  Jesus, the ever vigilant gardener of my soul has had some serious pruning to do in 2013. 

In the coming year when trials come, when difficult times hit and you are forced to your knees in dependance on the provision of God, please remember that God SEES YOU!  God HEARS you and God will NOT forget you!  

You must understand that I am writing this to myself as much as I write it to you.

I heard the most amazing message yesterday that helped remind me of the fact that God is in control!  Pastor Carter spoke about the sign of Jesus' birth and about how he would be wrapped is swaddling clothes.  All babies were wrapped in swaddling clothes, so what was so special about this baby?

I won't re-preach the sermon, but I will give you the point he was making.  Jesus, the creator of Heaven and Earth.....he who formed man out of dust with a BREATH...humbled himself and allowed himself to be wrapped in our weakness FOR OUR SAKES!

Meaning this today.....God CHOOSES to use you and I for his glory not for what we bring to the table, but because when He wraps himself in our weakness and frailty his glory shines the brightest.

Let me break it down further.....It doesn't matter that I don't have a clue half the time.  All that matters is that I stand where God tells me to stand and simply watch him work.  He doesn't NEED me to reach the hearts of the street children on Lusaka.  He is the creator of heaven and earth!  He chooses then instead to wrap himself in my weakness so that I am constantly and forever reminded that Jesus Christ is the center and the answer to all our questions, concerns and hurts.  


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

november 2013 update...READ IT!



 2013 HAS BEEN A YEAR FULL OF CHALLENGES, BUT IT HAS ALSO BEEN A YEAR FULL OF PROGRESS. HERE ARE SOME OF THE HIGHLIGHTS FROM THIS PAST YEAR...

OUTREACH TEAM
This year we have seen more volunteers from South City Church become involved with the street outreaches. We see this as crucial to the work. Local church should be involved in outreach. Streetwise is providing just one such avenue at South City Church. We get excited about getting others excited to join the work. 
JOE: TEEN CHALLENGE COMPLETED
As of October 2013, Joe Chibanze, former street kid, drug dealer and street-life food-chain CEO (top of the chain) has completed a year at the Teen Challenge Kafue Center. He is currently helping out at the center until he departs for Swaziland to continue the program with life skills training. Joe has been invaluable on the streets, and he is a true-life story of how Christ can change a person. Just a few weeks ago we sent Samford to Teen Challenge and we hear reports that he is doing SO well! Soon David will be joining him. We are getting so excited to see God moving in the hearts of these guys. 
MOONLIT 5K FUN RUN
On September 19th, 2013, over 100 participants gathered together for a worthy cause: to support the Streetwise Outreach and raise money for it’s future endeavors. Spearheaded by Ilke Green and Nikki Timmerman, the goal was to raise awareness and support for this street kid ministry, which operates locally under South City Church. 
The result: 10,000 ZMW (a little over $1800USD). We were amazed and gobsmacked at the turn out. People from all over Lusaka, many of whom we have never met, came out to run and enjoy the event. 
STREETWISE CRAFT CO.
After years of praying about helping the street kids with something viable for their future, the idea of Streetwise Craft Co. was born. 
We are in the process of creating antique-style products for sale, with two goals: introduce a product that currently does not exist in the Lusaka market, and create a trade school which would teach street kids skills like woodworking, painting, hand lettering.....basically how to see a job through with pride and dignity in a job well done. 
We have been able to sell at craft markets around the city and have been met with an enthusiasm for the project that has left us amazed. 
We want to see kids becoming productive members and leaders in society. To recognize their God given abilities and talents. To understand that their life is valuable and worthy. 
For more information, go to: http://www.streetwisefurniture.org/about.

WHAT DOES 2014 LOOK LIKE?
Our priority in January will be to begin looking for a suitable workshop in which to develop the products. Right now we are working out of our dining room. As you can imagine that is getting a bit crowded. We want to have a place where the kids feel welcome and at home. Available to them will be two meals a day, instruction on how to use tools and projects they can begin, as well as a facility for them to bathe themselves and wash their clothes. 
We eventually want to move into power tools so that we can make higher end furniture for a slightly different market. 


WHAT DO WE NEED AND HOW CAN YOU HELP?
• Tools! Check out our wish list on amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/2GG1N4NGTEGK5/ref=cm_wl_rlist_go_o?
• We are looking to rent a workshop in January. 
• Do you have a skill that you think might be of some value to the work here?
• Support us as a family: If you would like to contribute to us as a family, the easiest way would be to click here: https://www.tscnyc.org/donate_tsc.php. Select “Make a one-time gift.” In the “Donate to” drop down, select “Missions–Missionary.” Our name will appear in that menu. 
The start-up of streetwise craft co. will require tools...
and a safe, suitable workshop.
YOU CAN GIVE DIRECTLY INTO STREETWISE!
We will send you a receipt for tax purposes.
BANK ACCOUNT DETAILS:South City Church | Standard Chartered (Mandahill): 0100 521 067 500Swift Code / Sort Code: SCBLZMLX