Monday, March 31, 2014

March Family Fun

March brought a couple of family activities for us.   We spent one Saturday about an hour from Polokwane at the Ebeneezer Dam for the Ebeneezer Mile.  This was Luke's first time to participate in the one mile open water swim.  He did GREAT - 11th place in his age bracket.   He is already making plans to do it again next year.  Brit was able to practice her photography skills throughout the day and I love all the photos she took.   It is great having a photographer in the family! 

Last week we were able to help a friend and build a cover patio or afdak as they call it here.  We tried hard to finish it and worked well into the evening but we had to stop so we didn't disturb the neighbors anymore.  Brit and I were able to go finish it the next morning.  What a fun evening and morning working and laughing together.  A few smashed fingers but no serious injuries! 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

In and Out of Season by Mark

The Bible study in Mentz is one that can really take turns and twist so much that being prepared to discuss any Book, Chapter, and/or verse(s) is a necessity. 
Today’s lesson was going to take our Mentz Bible study into Genesis 2:18 with hopes of finishing Chapter 2.  Preparing for the meeting, Alicia received a phone call from Meriam explaining that our normal location could not be used this evening and that the Bible study would be cancelled.  Alicia talked to Meriam and they made a plan to let us go to her house to meet.

Upon our arrival, we found that Meriam was with her teenage daughter, Dineo, and another woman, Alizabeth.  I realized that the planned schedule needed to be put on hold and that Alicia and I just needed to visit with the three ladies. 


 I asked them what they would like to talk about.  Meriam said she would like to talk about John 14:6.  (My heart jumped for joy as I quickly realized that they wanted to talk about Jesus being the only way, the truth, and the life.)  She said, "I want Alizabeth to know about the Bible!"

We began our meeting by reading John 14:6-7.  Then I took them back to Chapter 13 and we discussed about how Jesus had just made the triumphal entry into Jerusalem and was now in a secluded room with His disciples.  We saw how the Scripture identified Christ as being sent by God and that He was and is God.  We talked about how Christ humbled Himself into a position of a servant by washing His disciples’ feet.  We saw that verse 15 clearly identifies the purpose of Jesus’ action and how being a Christian is not about receiving blessings, but it is about imitating Christ since He is God and set the example for us to live.  


We continued with the Scripture and read how Judas was identified as the one who betrayed Jesus.  But we also read something so amazing in verses 31-35 as Jesus explains about the upcoming glorification of God the Father and Himself.   Then we see how Jesus gives a new commandment that will set apart Christians as being His disciples. 

 v 34 - 35 "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."


We finished with our Bible study diving into Chapter 14.  It was exciting to see how God spoke to His disciples and made it available for us today in the Bible.  Jesus gives us a glimpse of Heaven and clearly puts into prospective that He alone is the way, the truth, and the life and that no one goes to the Father except through Him.  We discussed how going to ancestors does not allow us to go to God, nor does our good works, but it is only through Jesus Christ and Him crucified that we can go to the Father.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

A Highlight from Mentz

 This past week during Bible study, Mark was teaching from Genesis 2

Gen 2:1-17 ESV ... 1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 2 And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. 3 So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation. 4 These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens. 5 When no bush of the field was yet in the land and no small plant of the field had yet sprung up--for the LORD God had not caused it to rain on the land, and there was no man to work the ground, 6 and a mist was going up from the land and was watering the whole face of the ground-- 7 then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. 8 And the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. 9 And out of the ground the LORD God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. 10 A river flowed out of Eden to water the garden, and there it divided and became four rivers. 11 The name of the first is the Pishon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12 And the gold of that land is good; bdellium and onyx stone are there. 13 The name of the second river is the Gihon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of Cush. 14 And the name of the third river is the Tigris, which flows east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates. 15 The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, "You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die."

It has been a few weeks since we have been there because of a death in their family and the funeral.  It was a small group today with only three ladies but sometimes we feel when there are not so many they answer questions and even ask more questions.  
Mark spent some time reviewing the days of creation.  He spent some time talking about the word holy and that it means being "set apart."  
As Mark was reading verse 7 he began pointing to the dirt and talking about God forming man from the dirt. ... then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature .  Mark pointed out that God formed man and that man was a lifeless form UNTIL God breathed life into him. 
I was sitting beside Jackinah and she was staring at the dirt and listening so intently.  When Mark said that God then breathed life into his nostrils, she very quietly said, "Wow!"  I am not sure anyone else heard her at that time.  Mark continued teaching and and asked a question ... knowing that God created everything, how should we treat him?  Well, we did have to spend a few minutes discussing what the word "treat" means and once they understood Mark repeated the question.  Jackinah said, "Well, HE created ME we need to thank Him for that."  I then mentioned that I heard her say "Wow" as Mark was reading that God breathed life into mans nostrils.  I told her that in that moment when she realized that and she reacted with a quiet "wow,"  that she was showing awe and respect to God who created her.  
It was a sweet moment, one that I will not forget!  It reminded me of how AWESOME our Creator is!  We are so thankful for the opportunity we have to teach the Bible in a small group in Mentz.   It is amazing to us that these people, who attend other churches like the ZCC and IPHC, have never heard the days of creation.  We serve a MIGHTY God, and we pray that as we are able to continue to work through the Bible chronologically using the New Tribes Curriculum, that their eyes will be more open to the truth.  It is our prayer that one day one (really all) would come to know Christ as their personal Savior and truly have an understanding of what it means to be a Christian, a Christ follower.    We pray that God would raise up believers in the village of Mentz.  Ones that will sing His praises on High!  Ones that will be on fire, take a stand against culture and religion and want others to know the Saving Grace of our Father.