Bonginkosi and Byron playing the drums at the entrance.
We just had the commissioning service for the I-Temba teams that are headed to Europe for a year. I struggled to wipe the tears as they flowed.
We had watched them work for weeks. This was the end of three months training and some of their families came to see them perform for the first time.
Jonathan’s testimony was powerful. His HIV story is so strong. God is going to use him in a powerful way!
We have video of their dancing, singing and drama. I will try and put it up on you tube for you to see. Thanks for your prayers.
Shaheen one of the I-Temba missionaries.
August, 2010: We continue contact with a number of I-Themba members even after a year of ministry and return to their families afterwards. There are several issues we are counseling them about at this time including their spiritual walk. Some are being told not to believe the Bible in their schools. Help us to help them.
Leopard after an early morning kill and meal.
God provided a get away to Kruger National Park for our missionary couple, Rolf and Lizzie Weichardt. We spent three nights in the park and went on Safari to see God’s creation in Africa. Here are just a few pictures of what God brought to us and displayed for us.
Each day we prayed for God to bring certain animals in our path. Every day we saw the big five of Africa; lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant and rhino. You know He talks to the animals. Remember God commanding the ravens to bring bread and meat to Elijah in the wilderness? What powerful answers He gave us.
Tomorrow is graduation for the I-Temba teams who will minister in Europe this year. I will be giving he charge to them. Please pray.
Countryside in Mpumalanga Africa
Internet has been poor for over a week, so this morning I was able to update this past week here in Nelspuit. I have also added pictures.
We had breakfast with I-Temba and left Magaliesburg headed for Nelspuit in the Mpumalanga province. What a beautiful drive! We saw warning signs on the road for hippo. Signs that warned of car hijacking in certain areas and high crime rates. It was interesting.
Rolf and I met with the provincial board of Youth for Christ. What a great group! The leader Ronus was an outstanding man of God.
Cathy makes friends with everyone including animals. Her and Shell.
I was meeting with the I-Temba leadership discussing how to be a catalyst in the lives of the team members. Rain was falling in torrential downpour. We talked about being “the example” you want the team to be.
The next thing I know, they are running out in the downpour and dancing in the rain with the team members. The team was laughing and enjoying the spontaneous moment. Yes, I went out in the rain with them. What fun. I haven’t done that in a long time.
Cathy, Rolf and Lizzie arrived late in the afternoon. It was so good to see her again and we had a great time together. The girls had many questions for Cahty the moment she arrived. She is auntie Cathy. They loved her and had never met her.
Byron studying fasting
Today the focus was on fasting. Closing our mouth and listening to God. The worship was rich along with the sharing.
Monkeys came through the camp today. They were fun to watch. When I saw them, I went back for a camera. They hid when I returned. I couldn’t get one good picture.
Cathy (she has been in Cape Town this week) comes tomorrow with Lizzie to Magaliesburg. I can’t wait. I miss my baby.
Slowly they shared painful experiences and connected with His word
I just finished an incredible session with the Team members. Words will not fully describe what I heard and saw. Each of them shared a painful experience from their life. One could not forgive her grandmother for killing her grandfather with a knife. She loved them both, but they got drunk and a disagreement escalated into a fight. I have never spoken to her about it and I don’t know what to say to her.Another broke out into tears as she shared about her father leaving when she was six years old. Then her mother came down with multiple sclerosis and is having trouble taking care of herself. The pain melted as she sobbed in her hands. It is so hard to watch my mother.
A third person broke into tears and shared that she has never met her father. Her father wanted her mother to have an abortion but she didn’t. He will have nothing to do with her. I just hate him! I know I shouldn’t but I do.
One guy shared about his mom coming down with HIV. His struggle was watching her illness until she was stabbed by a family auntie. He attempted to help stop the bleeding while she died in front of him. He is now HIV positive from that experience. Now I know God allowed this so I can minister to young people this year.
The stories would take your breath away as over twenty young missionaries shared different pains from their life. These personal pains are common to all of us. Our story may be different but our pain is ever so real.
They finally prayed and embraced one another in love and the room broke out into praise for Jesus. Seldom does a song sound so loud and meaningful. Seldom do tears come as easily. Then you realize that the Holy Spirit is touching each heart, mind and soul. It is a moment of connection that every believer desires and seldom gets.
I-Temba stretching and exercise before dancing
I sat at a dinner table with a group of seven team members as the laughter resounded throughout the hall. They were talking about relationships with girls and guys. Dating in their culture is different than in America. One guy said, how will you know if you find the right one? The unanimous answer around the table was two things. Do they know Jesus and how do they kiss.
I shared about Cathy and I meeting and getting married six months later. They were wide eyed when I told them she was already engaged when we met. Then I said, we got married two weeks after I asked her. One girl hit the table and said, that is the way to do it. No waiting! I believe in that! The mood changed when I told them why we decided to wed so quickly. Her mother had cancer and there was some fear that she might not live until a later date. The reality of life hit them quickly.
One girl shared about her family back in the Free State. She ran away from home because she didn’t want to abide by the society rule for marriage. Girls are abducted by an uncle with a sack over their head. They are taken to a room and kept for three days and finally introduced to the husband chosen for them. I just did not want to go through what my mother went through. I became wide eyed as they told me stories of marriage in their cultures. Wow, we have no idea what some Christians face in other countries.
Lesego and Danny
It is so exciting to be back with a group of young missionaries who I taught almost a month ago. There were a lot of smiles around the room and warm greetings. The YFC camp is out in the hills Southwest of Johannesburg near Magaliesburg. The setting is beautiful and serene.
We shared about our names given at our birth. We also talked about where they were born and some remembrances from childhood. The smiles on their faces showed the joy of those memories. Many had names that were passed down from family members or famous ministers like Ignacious, Wesley and Spurgeon. At times I struggled to understand the African names such as MSO, Mano, Lesego and Tshepo. Even spelling it didn’t help me at times. But my heart sank when one young man shared his name. His first name was a typical struggle for me as a white American. Then he said; I hate my middle name because it was required by white men. It is Albert. We were not allowed to use an African name as a middle name because the whites wanted us to have a name they could pronounce. I never like to speak my middle name and I will have it changed when I am old enough to do so. You could see the pain in his heart.
I wanted to reach out and heal the pain he felt. I also made it a point to learn his African name.
We were talking about God naming every star. We were also talking about remembering names of young people that we will minister too. It is important to show you value others by calling their name. I had to admit that I would need their help to remember their African names.
Nyaki said; it will be easy for me to remember you Uncle Danny. When you preach and teach you really touch the heart and not just the mind. It will be easy for me to remember you because you’re in my heart always.
That is the way I feel about these young missionaries. I will remember then because they have found a place in my heart.
Today was a travel and work day. Rolf and I flew from Cape Town to Johannesburg. I worked at the YFC office for several hours before we left for the YFC camp. It was nice to catch up on some things but I never got to some things I desired to do like this blog.
Rolf and I had a leisurely drive to the camp and actually stopped along the way to have dinner together. Our discussion went to family and the many issues that press in on missionaries. His travel is heavy currently and it is taking him away from Lizzie and the kids a lot. He can see the pressure it is creating for his teenage kids. My goodness have I been there before. We talked and prayed together. By the way, the pizza was outstanding. This was different than Pizza Hut for sure, but delicious.
Our arrival at camp was greeted with hugs, smiles and laughter. We sat and watched them exercise, dance and work very hard. I was impressed with their dedication. Sweat flowed on each forehead.
Thank you Lord. Thank you for allowing me to be back with these ministry teams again.
The service at Kaleidescope Church was a joy to preach in. I believe the Holy Spirit spoke. (the service was video taped and we are getting a copy for those who might want to hear it) They were a very gracious people and loving group. God used the service to speak too many including me. How clearly do I see Jesus?
Cathy said; I have heard you preach about this verse before, but there was something different about this one. God clearly spoke today. It was very good. What a joy to have such a godly wife!
Afterwards we learned that Colin Brown (good friend of Rolf and Lizzie who we have gotten to know) had experienced chest pains and been taken to the hospital. We left the church, had a quick lunch and headed to the hospital. We were greeted with concern on the face of Adrienne his wife. Tears flowed from their daughter Heather.
It appeared that Colin had a heart attack. Answers would be coming from tests soon. We sat and prayed and embraced one another. The unknown is so fearful.
Later that evening Rolf and I returned to the hospital to see Colin before we fly out tomorrow morning. Calm had taken over as a stint had been put in one artery. Another would need attention later in the week, but Colin was stable. Cathy and I find our minds racing to Memphis and the bedside of Linda Dickens. It is not easy being this far away when you know medical issues are in question.
Four decade veteran of youth ministry in churches, Youth For Christ and now is the Founder and Executive Director of Deeper Still Missions. Danny and his wife Cathy spend most of their time mentoring missionaries in Africa, Europe, Central America and North America. Future opportunities include South America and the Asia Pacific area.