29 July Not sure why the text never showed up when I posted this…here it is.
27 Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.
Yesterday was just another one of those days that I was reminded how much fun it really is to serve Gods people through Celebration Church. Obviously I am a huge believer in the power of the local church in the community as we band together in the name of Jesus and reach out to the lost and hurting, empowering everyone to put God first and foremost in their lives. In addition to feeding and ministering to the children we also do our best to lift up and empower the widows in the community.
Yesterday afternoon was our monthly Widows Tea, when we gather all the ladies together for tea and cakes as well as some fellowship time, testimonies and sharing from the Word by one of the Pastors. We recruit all of our staff pastors to come and serve the ladies just as a small gesture to honor them. Yesterday brought 30 of these incredible ladies, many of whom are real heros in my eyes. Losing a husband is a devastating situation no matter where you live but in Africa the culture can make these situations nearly unbearable. Not only do many of these ladies have little or no skills, they may also very likely be infected with HIV/AIDS brought home to them by their late husbands. These women have little and no “rights” in this culture and many times the husband family will arrive to take all the possessions as well as the home, throwing the wife and children out into the streets.
Listening to the testimonies from a couple of the ladies yesterday made me realize just how thankful to God I need to be each and every day for all He has done. One of the ladies talked about how grateful she was to God for bringing new customers for her business. Now mind you, her business is selling worms, spending her days digging to obtain her “product” and she was genuinely happy that she was able to make her living for her and her children in this manner. Another of the ladies was simply thankful to have Celebration Church in the lives of her and her children and without that love and support she just could not have made it through. Lets remember today and every day to be thankful for all that the Lord has done for us. No matter how bad your situation may seem to be, there’s always someone else who is likely in worse shape than you. Reach out beyond yourself today. You will be amazed at how very small your problems will seem when you stretch out a hand to another. What an awesome God we serve.
Tags: Add new tag, events
It truly is all about the children. This is the mantra used at Childrens Cup, I believe that was coined by founders Dave and Jean Ohlerking and 2 of my all time personal heros by the way. God continually illuminates this truth to me here in Africa in so many different ways. We have had some meetings with one of our partner organizations that supplies a great deal of the food we are distributing here. There were a number of other partners in the roundtable and it was great to hear the stories of all the many thousands of hungry children being fed all across Africa. One survey that was done just this week really hit home. Out of 58 children surveyed at one of the feeding points, 9 reported that they would have anything else to eat that day other than the food being provided. That means that 84% of these kids are getting their only meal provided through the efforts of our volunteers and partners. Seems a bit hard to believe in America I know but that is the unfortunate reality that is Zimbabwe right now. I am so grateful to be a part of simply feeding the next generation here but the best part is we are also pouring the love and light of Jesus into all of them. These kids are the future leaders of Zimbabwe and what better way to a brighter future can there be other than by raising up Godly leaders?
6 Train a child in the way he should go,
and when he is old he will not turn from it.
Heaven gained another beautiful flower while Celebration Zimbabwe lost a staff family member this week. Siphiso Mhlanga was our receptionist and dedicated servant with our Sauerstown campus. At 25 years old our time with her was way too short and we will surely miss her smiling face from the front desk at our offices. She was always the first face I would see coming into the office and always looked forward to hearing her sing “Paaaasssstor Miiike” upon my arrival.
We experience a lot of death here in Africa, so much more than in the U.S. Funerals are a very big part of ministry here but this one hit closer to home. It’s really been a blessing to be a part of the response which we have poured out on the family. Most of our staff was able to go to the house to pray with the family first thing the following morning. We then were able to actually shift our Wednesday mid week service and held it at the family home as a memorial service. There were a good number of visitors there that were able to see first hand the love of Jesus in action. Tonight we will do another service in Sauerstown and expect a large crowd. Celebration Zimbabwe has been able to help the family with the funeral and burial expenses which will be tomorrow. We are looking for God to bring great things out of a sad situation. Please pray for our staff and Siphiso’s family this week.