|"Manna for Ministry" Communication - JULY 2003|
Warm Africa greetings today!
A "warm" Africa hello from the Anglo Africa Regional Office! I am back in the office after my trip to Malawi to visit our Food Security Project (as I shared with you in our Newsletter last week). After sharing with our regional team about what we 'saw' and 'experienced', it reminded us of the well-known hymn "To God be the Glory great things He hath done!"
We received "Insights to help you" from one of our friends, Paul Landrey (TOPIC) and having just returned from Malawi, we thought this perfect to share with you!
"The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because He has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." (Luke 4:18-19 NIV)
God’s Kind of Church
Folks, the world knows what this is supposed to look like. Years ago in New York City, I got into a taxicab with an Iranian taxi driver, who could hardly speak English. I tried to explain to him where I wanted to go, and as he was pulling his car out of the parking place, he almost got hit by a van that on its side had a sign reading: The Pentecostal Church. He got real upset and said, “That guy’s drunk.” I said, “No, he’s a Pentecostal. Drunk in the spirit, maybe, but not with wine.” He asked, “Do you know about church?” I said, “Well, I know a little bit about it; what do you know?” It was a long trip from one end of Manhattan to the other, and all the way down he told me one horror story after another that he’d heard about the church. He knew about the pastor that ran off with the choirmaster’s wife, the couple that had burned the church down and collected the insurance—every horrible thing you could imagine.
We finally get to where I am going, I paid him, and as we’re standing there on the landing I gave him an extra large tip. He got a suspicious look in his eyes—he’d been around you know. I said, “Answer me this one question.” Now keep in mind, I’m planning on witnessing to him. “If there was a God and he had a church, what would it be like?” He sat there for a while making up his mind to play or not.
Finally he sighed and said, “Well, if there was a God and he had a church—they would care for the poor, heal the sick, and they wouldn’t charge you money to teach you the Book.” I turned around and it was like an explosion in my chest. “Oh, God,” I just cried out, I couldn’t help it. I thought, “Oh Lord, they know. The world knows what it’s supposed to be like. The only ones that don’t know is the Church.”
When you joined the kingdom, you expected to be used of God. I’ve talked to thousands of people, and almost everybody has said, “When I signed up, I knew that caring for the poor was part of it—I just kind of got weaned off of it, because no one else was doing it.”
Folks, I’m not saying, “Do something heroic.” I’m not saying, “Take on some high standard, sell everything you have and go.” Now, if Jesus tells you that, that’s different. But I’m not saying that. I’m just saying, participate. Give some portion of what you have—time, energy, and money, on a regular basis—to this purpose, to redeem people, to care for people. Share your heart and life with somebody that’s not easy to sit in the same car with. Are you hearing me? That’s where you’ll really see the kingdom of God.
--By John Wimber, quoted in Cutting Edge, Vol. 7, No. 1, Spring 2003, page 16 (Association of Vineyard Churches, USA)
What our brother has shared reminds us of the words "Our attitude will determine our altitude!" We remain confident that our Anglo Africa team are headed in the right direction .... our 'arrows' are well-focused on our 'targets' (each home). Consider the postage stamp: it's value lies in sticking to one thing until it get's there!
We love you!
Hennie and team