Dear Ethiopia...


When I first laid my eyes on you and the rolling hills you sat upon. I thought what amazing luck I have that God had created such beautiful things and gave me the eyes to see them.  I am forever changed by your existence. You are a place filled with so many stories and I feel so privileged to share some of these stories with you. I can't think of anything that excites a greater sense of childlike wonder than to be in a country where you are ignorant of almost everything. Suddenly you are five years old again. You can't read anything, you have only the most rudimental sense of how things work. You can't even reliably cross a street without endangering your life. Your whole existence becomes a series of interesting guesses.  These interesting guesses were what brought our team to a lot of interesting places ranging from the far North to the ever ongoing South. You taught me the names of these cities, and I saw that each one of them tell a different story. You introduced me to people that showed me characteristics of Jesus in such a simple and beautiful way. I learnt about the importance of our dependance on God and also what it truly means when Paul writes in Philippians 4:11 "...in every situation I am to be content."  I learnt that everything in life needs some sort of foundation, I came to the conclusion that Jesus must be this foundation. Just like the wise  builder built his house on the rock. I learnt that rest is necessary especially when we do it in His presence. He gives answers when we listen. I learned that one smile can heal a heart that had walls so tall and painted blue, but now has a door to let people through.  Ethiopia you showed me how the Father gives so much more to those He loves. We ask for one ministry point He gives us all of Ethiopia. Kindness is your specialty and somehow you grasp the importance of giving, not only things but yourselves as well. I am truly humbled by it.  I will be forever grateful for these foundations you reminded me of. Thank you for showing me what love is by also showing me what it is not.  I will carry it in my heart.  I will carry you in my heart.  YoursTill we meet again  

 

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Miracles in Mexico


 Where do I start with the favour that we experienced from God in Mexico? I can't even explain the amazing time we had. Since we entered the Mexican airport we experienced the fullness of His favour. One of our last days in Mexico, our host took us to the Chichen Itza temple (one of the 7 world wonders) and so I'm sitting in a bus, coming back from a long day of being a tourist. It's our first time traveling with a group of tourists, we even got the sticker on our chests. Strange. While listening to some Ed Sheeran and my thoughts, I just feel so much peace. Peace that can only come from Him. With this feeling inside of me, I definitely know I'm exactly where I'm suppose to be.  Surprisingly, we found out that we have a huge family that live in Mexico. It was  special to spend hours and hours, having adventures and conversations with them. We even stayed up until 2am in the mornings after having a midnight adventure(driving around Wal-Mart) and eating dinner at 1am. I didn't think that I could feel so at home with people I only know for 2 weeks.  He is a good good Father that really LOVES me and wants to use me for His kingdom. I could never understand why me? But now I do. Thank You Father! I can't wait so see what God has instore for me for the next few weeks! ;)  
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Hadhih Hadia - "This is a gift"


 

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What do you mean it's not about me?

Wait! What? This is not about me? 

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Sho sho... India.

Our arrival into India was ubrupt and crazy, chaos was an understatement. Animals, tuk-tuks, trucks, cars and crowds scattered everywhere. New Delhi is a bee hive of hasslers, vehicles and markets - all trying to promote the best price. Just as ubrupt was the 'Dehli belly' many of the guys suffered from during this time. We arrived in New Delhi on a Monday, from Bangkok, after a lay over in Sri Lanka. As expectations go, Slumdog Millionaire was on my mind, there is a reality of slums yes but there is such a diversity in India itself. Every state has cultures and languages within it. India itself has 16 official languages, so you can just imagine all the different dialects. This country grows on you, although i missed home many times. The people of India are humbling, the streets are lively and the smiles give enrichment and encouragement. So that one is encouraged to spend time there. Why do I say this, the truth is - in cities like New Delhi itself everyone wants their cut, everyone we spoke to in the Market we stayed in, needed in some measure something more than good conversation. This was challenging because the opposite was true at the Orphanage in Kota where the children just wanted time spent with them.  I met a lady begging for money with a burn mark on her face that severed her features. She had three children with her, each asking in desperate plead.  I wondered about her story and gave them money, then she asked if i would drink chai (tea) with them, she then told me her parents died in a fire when she was younger and she is left by herself with her children. She later asked for money, i continued ignoring the question. Slowly but surely faith became the topic of our conversation. I made the point that Christ cares for His children and God is a loving Father. She looked uneasy and offended, she then explained how much she prays to many Hindu gods. She asked for money again, I understood she was in need but I wanted her to taste the life giving water! The Spirit has much more than I can give, but she was blind to what I was trying to bring across, I mentioned Jesus and He was nothing more than an offense. This is what we as Disciples must realize - that the Message of our redeemer is offensive to the world because it is potent, it talks to the very Spirit and gives Life in abundance! We cannot withold His need for others to be with Him, so I gave it to God.  We met up with another Global Challenge Team, Northbound, the following week. A train departed with both Northbound and Work Your Way as our ministry points where combined at the Emmanuel Christian Orphanage in Kota, just South of New Delhi. From a crowd of random strangers to a crowd of children at the Orphanage was an interesting transition.  These children I encountered accept you as one of them, they just want to wrestle and speak about cricket, ask for bible stories at night and be with you. I forgot how freeing it was to be a child, to be careless and playful. To make friends at a split second without the pressure of on going smalltalk that might lead to a conversation. It reminded me of how I grew up, I'm not far from being a child but now even more so.  The mornings would be spent planning and quiet times, the afternoons we would play in break times followed by a service every night.  The reality is many of these weren't children anymore, many of them have scars on their faces and bodies, stitches and marks but scars would still remain. Bruised and broken, untouched and forgotten in the past, this place and sanctuary provides  provision of Christ to these children. The Orphanage doesn't just oversee their basic physical needs but teaches eco-living to the kids so that in the future they may be independent in agriculture. Their faces have been hardened trough life, childhood severed by unfortunate events. The staff knows the weight of how every girl and boy grows up is life and death. The children now live with a sense of adulthood, but their hearts have been turned to Jesus and they really do have childlike faith, each child is capable to move mountains and hearts as their roots grow into Him.  One Northbound member, Christian, got bitten by something and was poisoned while playing with the kids, we feared for his life as he lay in bed, motionless, his face in agony, we prayed while we called the ambulance. His body stood stiff as he cried out in pain, uttering "I love you" while we carried him into the emergency vehicle that would take him to the hospital. We didn't know if it would be the last time we see him. He accepted the fact that he might die and saw a silhouette of his dad in the van. He started singing to God and the pain dissappeared, he suddenly could move. We worshipped and thanked God for healing Christian even before it happened and then it just ...happened!!  We all enjoyed just being one of the kids, time spent with them is more precious than anything we could give. I questioned whether it could be sustainable, but i guess that's faith in the Lord. He promises that He will fulfill the good work He has started.   The truth is that trust comes in faith of the Lord, faith is dead without works, works are not done out of obligation but relationship, relationship comes by being made righteous to be in His presence, and you are made righteous because of this faith. I thank God for His Glory displayed in India as my King, Priest and the ultimate Father, calling is to be the same!! 
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Nepal Fever

Nepal Fever

At first glance you won't think that Kathmandu has so much locked up in itself. It's a poor city with many rich people.

 Our time in Nepal was spectacular! Oh, turquoise team! During training we could see that Jesus placed us all in this particular mini team for a reason.  We just had to wait and see when and why.. Let me introduce you to the turquoise team, just in case you need to hear from us again :) Drumroll... Madelein, Chanelle, Annique, Anseri, Quinton and Coetzee.  When I started off thinking about writing our piece for the small team I never thought that I will be able to cram two incredible weeks into one blog, never the less one word. As i was thinking of our many different experiences - just awe-struck, Jesus deposited the word Revival. Revival - it means new life. It is not n new life of self-effort or self-initiated activity. It is not man's life, but God's life, the life of Jesus filling us and flowing through us.   This is exactly what God came to do in Nepal. Our Teacher taught US. His own possessions. WeHadFUN.  As we discovered words for our time in Nepal the word fun came up. We laughed and cried. We were overwhelmed most of the time, actually.. the only times that we weren't feeling this way was when we were fast asleep. We were on a journey to discover the Body. We were constantly reminded that we all have Jesus in common. We have The Holy Spirit living inside of us.. This makes all else irrelevant. Whether we are from different nations or backgrounds, its not applicable to those who are in Christ. How Lovely, how beautiful! God established UNITY. We are now so much more aware of the Holy Spirit. We were called into the Deeper with Jesus and ever since we have this hunger inside of us - a burning flame that cannot be extinguished. God provided in the small things. Just to see how He cares so much about the smaller things, the things that might seem insignificant. God is so involved in the detail. He is always faithful in providing at the right time. The best time for us to be totally amazed and speechless. There is so much that happened in the Spirit. There was an out pour of our hearts in to the community, all because of Jesus.  What an amazing country!  You can read more on our experiences on our personal blogs. 
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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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