Thursday, November 17, 2011

There is a River Whose Streams Make Glad the City of God

When the Lord gave me Psalm 46:4 as the reason we would call the women’s shelter “A River Runs Through It” I read the rest of the Psalm. God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. There is a river whose streams make glad the City of God, the holy place where the most high dwells. God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; He lifts His voice, the earth melts. The Lord almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Come and see the works of the Lord, the desolations He has brought on the earth. He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth. He breaks the bow and shatters the spear, He burns the shields with fire. Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.
I read the Psalm over and over and each time I received more from it. I had mentioned to Sile a good friend of mine here about how God had given me the name of the women’s shelter and then gave me this Psalm and I read it to her. Right away she had said that it must be posted somewhere, like on a sign or something. I found it ironic because the Lord had just given me that as well. While I was sitting and talking with Sile, I checked my phone as it had a message on it from a friend who said that I must read Habbakuk 2. I hadn’t spoken to this friend in awhile and had not told her of this revelation we had just received. I opened my bible and the words that stood out were- Then the Lord replied: “Write down the revelation on tablets so that a herald may run with it.” I looked up the word herald in the dictionary and read-Sign of what will happen, somebody or something that is a forerunner of something or gives an indication of something that is going to happen. Then I reread the Psalm with that in mind. God is so AMAZING! But there’s more to the story. A few days after this the Lord had told me to just take a fun day because I had been working so hard. So I asked Sifiso if he wanted to go with me. He was game and we headed toward the Piggs Peak area to visit a little shopping area I once was, where a Christian group played and sang on the street. The Lord had laid it on my heart to go to this area so off we went. As we travelled we came to the Nwenya Glass Factory and I usually come here each time I come to Swaziland but I hadn’t been here yet this trip. Right away I felt that the Lord had wanted us to go so we pulled in. As we window shopped we did stop to buy some chocolates and ate them as we continued onto each store. If you’ve never been there it is a slew of stores that are developed to help the Swazi people as each one is a small micro-business and made to sell the handmade wares. We travelled up the stairs and began to walk to the end of the row of stores when I felt God drawing me toward a store called Black Mamba that sold sauces, most of which were hot. I had no idea why but we went in and tasted some samples and as I turned around to walk out, there it was-there was a mirror on the wall with lettering on the wall that went across the mirror to the other side telling the story of how the business began and I heard Him in my heart tell me that this is how we are to display the Psalm. But verse 4 will be bolded and in red letters as if they were Jesus’ Words. I thought how perfect to have it written across a mirror, as part of our program for the battered women is to teach them that they are beautiful inside and out just the way the Lord created them to be. I was amazed at how He was working all this out and how the vision was growing into something we can surely grasp hold of, of what this city, “The City of God’s Glory” would be.

God uses His Creation to teach us.

As we traveled back down the mountain in quiet solitude, I was torn between feelings of awe of what the Lord had just shown and revealed to us and feelings of sadness as my best friend was getting ready to journey back to the states. And off to the left as we traveled there stood a little hill that had been burned up, the grass and brush were all black, but right in the middle was a large, beautifully bloomed flower and I thought how odd for it to grow in such a deadened area. I asked Pastor George to stop the car as I had felt that the Lord wanted me to go up the hill and check it out. As I did, He showed me that the orange flower was me as I was in my purpose and plan He had for me. Off to the side of the bloomed flower was another flower that had poked through the ugly burned ground too, but it was not bloomed yet; He told me this was Tammy and she must go home to be with her husband because there she will bloom as that is His plan and purpose for her. I was amazed at His words because I had been feeling sorry for myself as I knew God had laid it on Tammy's heart to cut her trip short and to go be with her husband. I was feeling sorry for myself because I would be left here all alone. Although we are never alone when we belong to the One and Only God, He is so good in showing us things that we need to see and I am in awe of His ways. I am confident that His Will for Tammy was to go home and His Will for me was to stay longer. Tammy has done a great thing for His Kingdom in being here and she is doing a greater thing for His Kingdom in going home because I knew she was so torn. Just as I am about staying with my family so far away. We can take comfort in knowing when it's God's Will, He makes a way for families too. I love Him and I Praise Him!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A River Runs Through It

While traveling out to Bhunya the Lord kept putting on my heart “A River Runs Through It” and I asked, Lord, what is that all about? And He told me that that was what I was to call the women’s shelter. My first thought was, “Wow, I really like the name as it will be built alongside the river and the name is catchy.” Then I wondered, “there has to be something biblical here in this name He gave,” so I looked in my bible and the Lord gave me Psalm 46:4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells; I thought, “Amazing! As the city is called Enkazimulweni and it means “ The City of God’s Glory,” to which we have named this project and the village that the Lord will build there. I read the footnotes in my study bible and was surprised as the Lord had already revealed to us that we are to develop small micro-businesses for the villagers there and for the women that come to stay at the women’s shelter. We will do agriculture God’s Way and teach sewing skills to the women at the shelter. Anyhow, the footnotes read- Many great cities have rivers flowing through them, sustaining people’s lives by making agriculture possible and facilitating trade with other cities. Jerusalem had no river, but it had God who, like a river, sustained the people’s lives. As long as God lived among the people, the city was invincible.

Friday, November 11, 2011

The beginning God's Vision Revealed

I came to Swaziland in 2010 to find where our organization could be of service through God for the Swazi people; this was my third trip. After that trip I went home and developed programs and a website and tried to get people involved. When nothing seemed to happen I got discouraged because I knew God had told me to begin this nonprofit. I prayed and prayed and prayed about this and at God's perfect timing He told me to toss the programs away, take down the website and just go and make it more personal, He told me to go and love them as if they are my own children because they are His. I did this and God has blessed me with this trip here in Swaziland and He has been working everything out miraculously to help the people. We are also conducting a bible study for women called "Empowering Women Through Jesus Christ". Many women live in severe oppression and many are abused by their husbands, through this study women will learn their worth in Christ and learn to pray for and love their husbands to Christ. We see a strong hold on the men here by the enemy and God has shown us a book called Winning Spiritual Warfare that we are giving to the Swazi people. It is a small pocket book filled with much information about how to claim God's promises for our lives. We pray God's Will will be done in all of this and especially for the property in Bhunya. God has shown us this property and the story behind how He showed us He wanted us to do something there is amazing and I would love to share it with you.
We have been attending the Redeemed Christian Church of God in Manzini and one Sunday one of the Associate Pastors, Pastor George, came to us and began telling us about this land he owned in Bhunya that he has given to God. He told us that he told God He could use the land for whatever he saw fit. He had been praying about it and hadn't received all of what God had wanted it to be but asked if we would pray too. We were amazed by his story and his humble way. He asked if we would be willing to go look at the property the next day and we agreed. We were to meet at Emafini Christian Conference Center at 11:00. We had to go into town that morning to get some things printed, while there it took longer than we had expected and I had forgotten my phone back at the conference center/hotel so I couldn't call Pastor George to let him know we were running late. I left the materials at the printers along with a book about praying God's Word for the attendant to write a few of the prayers for her personal use. We were late in getting back to Emafini and Pastor George had already traveled onto Mbabane as he had some errands to run there. We called him and set out to meet with him in Mbabane to travel together to Bhunya. We were having difficulty in connecting with him and when we finally did we had realized that we were previously parked right next to him but God had us park across town and walk to where he was. It was like God was stalling our steps for a reason and we were soon to find out. As we were standing in the parking lot talking to Pastor George, deciding which car to take to see the land in Bhunya the Chief for that area pulled in right next to us. We were all amazed as we needed her approval on this project and she was leaving for the States the next day and we would not have gotten her go ahead on this project. Out of all places and times for her to show up, we knew this was a divine meeting. Pastor George introduced her as Chief Wisdom Thembie Zwane. It occurred to me later that I had prayed for wisdom that morning, I had to chuckle as I could see God's work all over our meeting, His sense of humor in my prayer and how he stalled our steps so we would be in the right place at the right time to meet the Chief. We talked to her about what we had received in prayer; the Lord told me this land would be a place of refuge that people would come from all over to seek spiritual healing, He said there would be abundant food (gardens) and water, Sifiso, the cook at Emafini is a godly man that has partnered with our ministry and he also prayed and received a vision from the Lord that it would be streams of living water. We parted ways with the Chief as she left us with her blessing and was quite pleased with what God had given us. We received a call from the printer that the machine stopped working because it needed time to cool off so we couldn't go get the materials yet, the attendant mentioned that it pleased her because it gave her a chance to write more of the prayers out of the book she borrowed from me.

As we traveled to this mountainous area, Tammy, my colleague and best friend that started this nonprofit with me who also has a big heart for the people of Swaziland, had said that God had just given her a revelation that this land would be a place that people would flee to from all over to seek refuge. When we arrived we were in awe of God’s creation, the beauty of this large valley and mountainous region and the living water of the beautiful river. We smiled as we stood at the river as both Sifiso and myself had received water in our vision from the Lord. We spent much time in prayer over the land and we felt God’s peace there. We knew He had big plans for this tranquil place and we prayed that people would come and receive what God had planned for this. We were all amazed at God's hand on this project.