Learning how to be a sheep

Learning how to be a sheep

The speaker crackled as the pilot announced our descent. Nervously, I grabbed Kasia’s hand as we descended into my homeland… South Africa, hello old friend. I was ready to go home, ready to see my family and friends, ready for the next step God prepared for me. I just wasn’t ready to say goodbye to my team…my family.

We had spent ten months in each other’s company. For the last eight months, I had watched these people grow and mature as the Gardener Himself pruned and fertilized them. They watched me cry, laughed with me, supported me, prayed for me and loved me. They were my family for eight months… and now I had to say goodbye? God, am I ready to be on my own again after being part of a team for so long?

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Concrete Heart Turned MuShY

The last couple of days spent with good, old friends, speaking about all the great things Dad has done this year in my own life and heart revealed so much more than I could have anticipated.

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Mountain-top God

Mountain-top God

Anyone that knows me will know that I absolutely love being outside and that being in or around mountains is without a doubt where I am in my happy place. So imagine my excitement and anticipation for our visit to the small town of Incahuasi high in the Andes mountains of Peru with Oom Hendrik. This stop on the journey was one of the main reasons why I decided to do my particular journey to South America in the first place and my expectation was well-met - the first day I wanted to jump out of my skin with excitement. Sleeping in the attic-room of a house with narrow stairs (just like childhood-Heidi), boiling water in an old kettle on a gas stove (just like Bainskloof), having quiet time overlooking the mountains with cold air rushing through my lungs, experiencing the thinness of the air due to our high altitude, seeing the women in their traditional attire with bright colours and big hats, driving a few hours to a remote village to hand out little Bibles - I could well imagine heaven looking something like this.

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Luke 10 - High up in the Andes mountains, Ecuador

Luke 10 - High up in the Andes mountains, Ecuador






 

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This was what it was like to be Jesus

This was what it was like to be Jesus

Turning water into wine. Telling fishermen to be his followers. Followed around by spiritually-hungry people, searching for truth. Feeding five thousand people with a little boy's lunch. Setting people free from law and leading them into grace. Yes, that's my Jesus. This same Jesus allowed Distant Worlds to get a taste of what that felt like during our week in the Andes mountains.

It was a dream come true. Rattling, shaking and bumping up zigzag mountain passes to the village of Incahuasi. This was where we would sleep for five nights. We drove for four hours on 100km on a single-lane, dusty, serpentine path. In the Andes Mountains. I almost couldn't believe it.

The mountains were colossal, stretching 3130m into the heavens. My eyes were as wide as saucers as we drove past mountain villages, with hand-sown rice fields and horse-drawn carts. The women wore the most beautiful, colourful, handmade clothes. Not much has changed in these villages from 100 years ago.

We shared bibles with many far-away schools in isolated towns. The average amount of students were 40 in the whole school. It was interesting to note that most of these people had never even left their mountain town. They didn't know about things such as beaches, skyscrapers of drive-thru McDonalds. They knew more about mountain trails than LonelyPlanet and their diet consisted of things they had planted and cultivated themselves. A whole new world. "Lord, what do I say to these children? We come from two different worlds. We don't even speak the same language - they speak Quechua and I only speak primitive Spanish. Holy Spirit, speak through me please..."

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Come and let us build a puzzle... (we went on a Luke 10 journey)!

Come and let us build a puzzle... (we went on a Luke 10 journey)!



Our Luke 10 journey in Ecuador...where do I start? What do I say? You see, I feel like I’m a five year old, standing in front of a wall sized puzzle, trying to chose one single piece to describe. It is like having the menus of Mac Donald’s, KFC, Burger King, Subway and Cinnabon in front of you and you have to decide on one favourite meal!

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Willem Taute
Awesome dankie Jansie!
Sunday, 27 October 2013 14:44
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CRAZY FAITH

CRAZY FAITH



Have you ever thought what your reaction would be if you were to live in biblical times, or if you were to meet up with someone from that time?

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A stormy day, a foolish question and a blanket = GRACE

It is a rainy Sunday in Guatemala today...out of the quietness inside of me I feel this strange urge to write a blog! So with my cup of tea and blanket, I am starting to write something about something that I haven't thought through at all...it's a new thing for me!

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Panajachel challenge - White Team v1!

Panajachel challenge - White Team v1!

Thursday-morning in rainy Panajachel, a day like any other, time for work right

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6 Days In A Hammock

6 Days In A Hammock


















(This is still a blog from the Amazon from March)

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Me be templing mon!

 

Weet jy nie, weet jy nie jys 'n tempel? / Don't you know you are a temple?

 The last little while I've been reminded of this children's song; being a temple and what that means. The song speaks of being a temple for the Holy Spirit. Spending some time in 1 Peter as a d-group we discussed what it means to build our "spiritual house" on the cornerstone of Christ. Not by chance I am also busy journeying through Kings, the story of the extravagant building by Solomon; a place for God to live, for His glory to be made manifest. The purpose of the temple was so much more. The extent of the adornments, the wealth of the materials - all to inspire worship.  According to Peter we are all called to be temples - to inspire worship. We are all called to be gatekeepers - to lead people into His presence. On a journey like this the nature of this varies and it is sometimes challenging to live as a temple in all environments - but as a team we are exposed to various situations where that is precisely what we do, living a God-seeking lifestyle automatically inspires others to do the same. Here are a few snapshots of my past month, templing around in Jamaica: *Loving the community children in St Annes, spending some time playing soccer, listening, giving attention.*Explaining to a 14 year old that the whole point of Jesus is that you dont first have to "make yourself right" - that is grace!*Sharing the gospel with a streetchild on the dirty pavement in front of a KFC.*Spending some time with old and forgotten people, a much-needed listening ear and young eyes that can still read the Bible.*Being faithful in giving ourselves as sacrifices in serving through physical labour.*Doing a powerful drama in the middle of downtown Sunday evening crusade happenings, feeling the tangible presence of the Spirit.*Sharing testimonies of God's faithfulness this past 6 months.*Living the lifestyle of church with 10 team-members. A few examples, and its so easy to wonder about the effectiveness, the degree of worship it inspires. But that is not what a temple is called to do. A temple is called to be. What happens in others hearts is not our concern. We're called to simply be who He created us to be, built on the cornerstone of who we are in Christ through our salvation, trusting in a mighty God whose ways are far above ours. The reality is that this calling is on all of our lives. It is not a global challenge but a daily challenge. Do you leave a room, finish a conversation, spend time with people and leave them in a state of wanting/needing to worship God; through your testimony, your life, your inspiration? Don't you know you are a temple? "Cathedrals, have tried in vain, to show the image of your face;We are, by your design, signature of divine!"
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Blessed Beyond Belief in Barbados

Blessed Beyond Belief in Barbados


God's heart is for every person on earth to have an intimate relationship with Him

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My Gardener

My Gardener
 

The adventure of getting to and away from Venezuela was fast-paced and exciting; to such an extent that after our whirlwind stop in Trinidad and Tobago we sat on the plane and thought... oh yeah, we're going to Guyana. Having a sneaky suspicion that we might end up doing a Luke 10, while flying into the airport and seeing the expanse of the jungle around it, I had visions of trying to find a man of peace in a local village with the sloths as bystanders... 

 At the airport the travel team was charged with the task of finding accomodation for the night; and the options looked dire. When the custom official doesn't even know the concept "backpackers" you realise that this is not your run-of-the-mill tourist destination. We spoke to one of the official airport taxi drivers but even pitching our tents somewhere seemed unlikely.  So imagine the magnitude of finding myself in the kitchen of a wonderful Guyanan lady, joking in English, witnessing the art of preparing roti a mere three hours later; with the smell of delicious Indian Curry driving any memory of running for the bus in Caracas the morning. The magnitude of that very same airport taxi driver guiding us to a Pastor (so rich in Godly wisdom) that opens his church and ministry for us.  The next morning Denise took us on a discovery adventure to the "farm" a few minutes walk from the church and here the magnitude of the situation literally overwhelmed me.  We met Mr. Norton, tall and grey, taming the forest and cultivating various fruit and herbs. I felt like a little girl in a wonderland of discovery. Wherever we turned our eyes we saw a different kind of fruit, peppers, papaya, pineapple, banana, squash, platannos, passion fruit, bread fruit, sour sops etc. As if that was not enough he showed us his herb garden, ginger, thyme and citroenella to name a few. Under the wooden house a line of seedlings was being prepared to be planted. And a creek provided the soundtrack to the unfolding pictures.   "Do you live alone?", Luiza asked. Mr. Norton chuckled, "How can I be alone when God is here with me," came the reply in a thick Caribbean accent. "God is the true gardener" I said without really thinking. The next day I was reminded of my comment and the truth of the metaphor. Reminded of a Father that farms in my heart. That takes the same pride and interest in every single process. That prepares the ground. That is sanctifying and removing weeds. That prepares seedlings for a season to come. A diverse Spirit, that produces fruit that take me by surprise. Fruit that glorifies and edifies, fruit that points to the Son. A life-giving creek that never runs dry. The rest of our time in Guyana was very blessed, I wish we could spend more time in the country with it's lovely people. Spending time at the girls home in Hauraruni was at times overwhelming, wanting to help and speak healing but also feeling so unequipped. My heart was breaking as we drove away but at the same time I am grateful for being able to entrust those hurt and broken gardens to my Gardener, trusting and resting in His way of restoring and doing it!  Awake, O north wind, and come, O south wind! Blow upon my  garden, let its spices flow. Let my beloved come to his  garden, and eat its  choicest fruits. (The Song of Solomon 4:16 ESV) Live a lover's life, circumspect and exemplary, a life Jesus will be proud of: bountiful in fruits from the soul, making Jesus Christ attractive to all, getting everyone involved in the glory and praise of God. (Philippians 1:9-11 MSG)
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Restoring joy...

Restoring joy...

wow so much...not enough time or words... i'm going to theme this one : Restoring the joy of my salvation! and i'm going to start off with an apt piece of literature written by a man who seemed to have a true revelation of the Grace of God: DAVID.

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Danie en Gerda Marais
Oh Max, I'm so exited for you. God has seen your willing heart and poured out His love in you and though you for those He love so ... Read More
Friday, 31 May 2013 06:49
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The Tale Of The Hairy Coconut

The Tale Of The Hairy Coconut

Venezuela. A country that has been sitting on the drawing board of Distant Worlds for many months. A name that has been written on our itinerary and on our hearts. And finally, a country that we can say we have been able to share the Good News with. 

Due to turmoil within the country's borders, Distant Worlds was kept from going to Venezuela. We detoured to Santa Marta for ten days, waiting upon The Lord for our next step. Sure enough, while praying, Venezuela seeped into our prayers again. Here is a point-form summary of how we were able to enter Venezuela. 
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In the marketplace


Our journey took an unexpected turn due to the civil unrest in Venezuela and we were detoured to Santa Marta. The team has had a great time just pouring out what we have received, serving with La Esparanza chuch and South American Missions.  And what an interesting time we've had! The South-Americans have quite an outward focused culture. Since that first week in Sao Paulo I've been amazed by the sense of community facilitated by living on your front porch and in the streets. As a result, outside-church seem to be the order of the day. We've had church and other meetings under amongst others a mango tree with a monkey watching the proceedings from a rooftop, an orange tree, in neighbourhood parks, a city park, a closed-off street etc. The culture has also facilitated a "new" manner of evangelism for our time here... Picture this, a group of gringo's* invading a park filled with late-afternoon, post-work Colombians, inviting them to a central place. Here they do dramas, share a bit of who they are, why their God has the power to save, and a testimony of His grace in their lives. This as been our " gameplan" on a few occasions, and I love it! There is a reason why Paul was found preaching in the marketplace. There is something to this approach that is inclusive and accessible, something that is sadly so often lacking in traditional churches. Something that is fresh and new, it makes people take notice! The story is shared to tourists, beggars, street vendors and business men alike. The story is presented in a simple and pure way with no extra baggage. And man has God shown up! The Spirit moved in the dusky heat, hearts were touched and lives changed through simple conversations fueled by His love. What a creative God we serve - the inclusive, loving, inviting, not-bound-by-church, marketplace God!  *Gringo: grin·go n. pl. grin·gos Offensive SlangUsed as a disparaging term for a foreigner in Latin America, especially an American or English person. This gringo is reminded on a daily basis of how much God loves people! And that He loves me enough that I was made a minister of reconciliation, that if you say you are a Christian but you don't have a heart for the lost, you're missing something! 
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Distant Worlds gets detoured!

Distant Worlds gets detoured!

Our bodies have been described as temples of the Holy Spirit and as clay in the hands of the Potter. It is an awe-inspiring, intricate tool for the Kingdom, made according to a blueprint designed by an Almighty God. 

 
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When your team becomes your family...

When your team becomes your family...

What defines a family? Does the term only refer to a collection of people that are united by their similar genes? Is it possible to apply this term to ten people you've known for only four months?

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Corneli Brink
Thanx for sharing Chanan. May you and this new family of yours bring light and encouragement to the Amazon
Friday, 19 April 2013 12:23
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pink, my favourite colour?the story continues...

 

More recently i am convinced that the greatest battle you will ever fight is for your FIRST LOVE! The greatest call you will ever answer is the call to RETURN to your creator! The greatest purpose of your existence is for intimacy. You have been saved for GOD! "And this is eternal life, that they know You, the Only True God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent." [john 17:3]. What an Awe inspiring God we serve, the King of the universe loves and pursues a creation that's predisposition is to betray and reject HIM! But before you begin to think that this is another one of those pieces that will make you feel guilty about being a human listen to this Story ...

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Charmaine Strauss
Love your testimony Maximushki, love you!!! Go lady go!
Wednesday, 17 April 2013 14:05
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Brazil - God Doesn't Need Google Translate!

Everything that the Holy Spirit taught me just during our first week in São Paulo, Brazil, can be condensed into that one sentence: God doesn't need Google Translate. He really doesn't!

 

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Awestruck

Awestruck

Awestruck by a Holy Creator God

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Amazon adventures

Have you ever crashed in a jungle by plane ?Well... neither have I.But I think the adrenaline levels I have experienced, landing in Manaus are pretty much the same as before the actual crash...Imagine a river so wide that out of the airplane you would mistake it with the ocean. And along the riverbed, an unending garden with all the shades of green you can think of. Beautiful from up there, but landing on what looks like to be on a bed of trees ( Because you see only jungle and no runway ), is quite frightening! Jhup, that's when I KNEW "we are in The Great Amazon" !When we landed, we were starving, so we had a quick lunch in the airport! ( 2min noodles in a pot with lukewarm water, I have you know! ) The guy from the YWAM base, where we stayed for our time in Manaus came to fetch us and so we were off...We had the opportunity to serve the people at the base with some labor of love and to minister to them. We also went out with them, evangelizing in the community, serving in the river tribes, worked at the orphanage and just spent some time together in fellowship and Bible study. Those people showed me a whole new picture of what God's love looks like. The way they endure and persevere with what God has given and shown them, blew my mind. They really are a lighthouse shining God's Kingdom in a dark dark spiritual realm..Crazy facts.-We played with a baby alligator. -We swam in the Amazon river. -I held a snake in my hands that was my length and a bit. -We ate a cooked fruit witch looked like a prune, smelled like a butternut, had the texture of a pumpkin and tasted like corn. -We were 14 people on 1 canoe, crossing the amazon river at night, without a light.-We hiked 2hours to the river tribes and 2 hours back through the -----Amazon jungle. -We got lost in the Amazon jungle. -My camera fell off into the most filthiest longdrop at the river tribes but with a lot of trouble and VERY dirty hands I managed to get it out. -My camera works. -The Lord loves us very much!

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Thandie Dumisani
Believing for more for you Jana! Can't wait to hear more!
Sunday, 07 April 2013 12:22
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First stop... BRAZIL!

First stop... BRAZIL!

Welcome to... BRAZIL!! Distant Worlds landed in São Paulo on Tuesday and were split up into smaller groups to go stay with families.

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Maxine Botha
Nice Channanigans! we miss you but am so proud of you troopers. Keep being who you are and let God´s love flow in and through you!... Read More
Friday, 08 March 2013 19:30
Chanan Booysen
Thank you so much Max! Missed you too this week, looking forward to catching up soon ... Read More
Monday, 11 March 2013 20:52
Chanan Booysen
Thank you so much Max! Missed you too this week, looking forward to catching up soon ... Read More
Monday, 11 March 2013 20:49
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