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Msindisi newsletter 88

January 3, 2012


NUMBER:      88       Jan 2012

PO BOX 1481

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Dear Friends and family,

We trust you all have a good holiday and that this new year will be memorable and blessed in the Lord. As we see the potential wars going to happen between Israel and Iran with her allies, possibly escalating into the third world war and on another front between China and the US, we are to make sure that we are right with the Lord and that we are looking to Jesus’ return. Scripture has told us what will happen and these things are possibly the mechanisms through which we will see the emergence of the Antichrist, a power struggle between the Antichrist and ‘the king of the south’, a treaty made between Antichrist and Israel only to be broken half way through the agreement. We will see ever increasing anti-Israel sentiment among the nations, the rise of a one world religious body and possibly see the emergence of a great revived Roman empire which will see the integration or marrying of countries of the middle east and the European west. The scripture tells us something of what will happen but it does not tell us how. This is why we keep our eyes open to the developments in the world surrounding Israel, global religion and global economy. But to do this we cannot allow ourselves to be consumed by temporal pleasures that we only keep the bare minimum of oil of spiritual illumination of the Holy Spirit. Yet while trading in spiritual oil we are to be made more profoundly aware of the lateness of the hour, and the small opportunity we have to be busy about the father’s business. We need to take opportunity to preach, to fellowship and to expose sin and error with a view of sharing the answer in Christ while laws permit us to do so. Inaction is ministerial suicide. However may our action not be motivated by what we perceive as the need but may it be according to God’s word and by the leading of the Spirit.

This week for Salvi is very special for it was this week 10 years ago that Salvi first came to South Africa to study with Dave Royle in a church in Springs for a year. Salvi had a suspicion that he would be working in South Africa for longer but didn’t know how. Within one month of being in South Africa we had left that church and Dave started a missions work. Salvi transferred his studies. That year Salvi joined Caleb and Sophie Massey as and supported them as they started the mission work and ran the Mission station in KwaZulu Natal for the next two years. Little did we all know all that would transpire over these 10 years. But we know that the Lord has been faithful to us, has kept us and made us stronger in Him. So this year in August will mark the 10th anniversary of the Kwazulu Mission and it is such a privilege for us to be here and a small part of it.

We have just gotten back after two weeks of house sitting in Vryheid. Salvi kept coming into the area twice a week for church and bible teaching. Jabulani is now back home after a period of hard grafting labour. He has gotten a little weaker after foresting work which has taken a lot out of him. But he is still doing well and we are encouraging him and the mother of his son to do what is right before the Lord in terms of a marriage. She was not saved. However she has been very open to the gospel and Jabulani on Sunday said that he believes that she will commit her life to the Lord. Well, today at the bible study they shared that she wanted to commit her life to the Lord and that she wanted to wait till Msindisi, that is Salvi, arrived to pray and ask the Lord to come into her life. Salvi went though the Gospel one more time so that we could make sure she understood and she prayed for Salvation confessing her sin. She also got baptised today also in wanting to obey the Lord. We are taking her home tomorrow morning so that she will be separated until they get married.

The two weeks of home sitting have been a gift from the Lord. Di has been taking advantage of the electricity supply and water from a tap. The family have a pool so that was a blessing on those days which exceeded 33 degrees Celsius even going as high as 36. Salvi has been taking some time to start his assignment, record a couple of songs with various instrumentation, one of which will be performed at a wedding in April and we could also do some administration and accounts for our umbrella, Road to Recovery.

Earlier in the month Di helped with the Kids club. Celani threw a Christmas party as a local farmer called Evelin had given some money for party food. The children of Pilgrim’s fellowship in Australia had put together a few presents for the children and so those were given out. Di did her last clinic run of the year and teaching of literacy for Tholakele. Tholakele is doing very well and we trust she will be reading at the end of this year. At the end of November Phumlani lead his elderly uncle to the Lord and has been visiting him. We think he will be near to passing away for he is very frail.

While house sitting we held a one off bible study for some friends where Salvi taught on Psalm 1 and the necessity of getting into the word and the word getting into us. Three friends attended and said that they were much blessed by it. In the second week of house sitting a couple of friends called Sean and Catherine visited us for 3 days. Sean had visited us twice before with our friend Tony. We took them to visit Mr Khumalo and Jabulani. Last time Sean had seen them both they had not yet given their lives to the Lord. Khumalo asked Salvi to share something from the bible so Salvi put Sean on the spot and Khumalo’s wife came in to hear the message which is an absolute miracle as whenever we usually have a bible study she stays well away. Sean and Kathryn also came with us to the home to visit Phumlani and Thabi.

This month we also saw the visit of our friends from Piet Retief, Olaf and Charnel Hinze with their baby Nathan at Jonny and Kim’s place where we had a braai and a bible study. As for Louwsburg Bible Fellowship, we had our last meeting for the year on the 13th Dec and we start again this week with Phumlani giving us a teaching. Salvi has been teaching at church continuing with Deuteronomy although on Christmas day, because there were visitors at church Salvi gave a gospel message concerning why Jesus was born and came to the earth. Unbeknownst to us Celani had prepared a huge spread and had cooked for everyone. Salvi has finished evangelising the area of KwaBokkie and so started to evangelize Ngenitsheni twice a week. This will be picked up again this week.

On Saturday we will be visiting one of Salvi’s friends called Tony Spandow. Tony was one of the people that Salvi first met when he came into South Africa ten years ago. Tony used to be a minister with WEC and is now living in New Zealand. Tony gave Salvi a few points for mission. The first was that we need to know that God can. Secondly he shared that we need to get under people’s whatever in reaching them. Thirdly he shared that God can use Zulus to reach Zulus. Tony will be visiting his sister in Vryheid this weekend which is where we will meet him.

So what can we expect this year. Next week we will be taking Khethiwe to college in Durban and using that as an opportunity to visit and minister to Calvin Josiah, Mark Van Niekerk and the church in Stanger. They brethren there have asked that we come quarterly and we are working these trips so that they don’t interfere with home cell on tuesdays. It does mean that we are not there for church on that coming Sunday. We also have been asked by Chris De Wet to visit them in Bloemfontein and to share. We first met Chris face to face in Stanger when we shared a house in Ballito to attend a Bible conference. So we just need to arrange an appropriate time that won’t interfere too much with the ministry this side. In March or April we should be visiting Alan Mackenzie and the church in Port Elizabeth as we did last year. As the Lord wills we trust also that we will have the opportunity, later in the year as visa stuff and permanent residence stuff is sorted out to visit friends and family in New Zealand and maybe also in Australia. But at the moment we are just holding that lightly. Our friend Mujuru has asked us to visit Zimbabwe with him for evangelism but we have asked if Phumlani and Thabi want to go. As we are traveling much anyway we feel that we need to share some responsibility with Phumlani and as Phumlani’s heart is more in his evangelism than bible teaching it seems that it would be perfect for him to get involved in this. There is also the added benefit that Phumlani will see how the church there practices their cell based discipleship and evangelism and this may give Phumlani a new perspective and lease of life for the church here in Eastmine. Phumlani has a passport and has two weeks that he is allowed to take off work so please pray that everything can be coordinated and arranged to make this possible. It will be Phumlani’s first time he will have ever gone outside of South African borders.

Finally we have received some recent news about visa issues this last month. Di’s visa application is still in process. We have received news that they will now fast track it, which is nice as her visa ran out in Feb 2011. So hopefully she will get her renewal before Feb 2012. As for Salvi’s application for special consideration for permanent residence… For those of you who don’t know, Salvi although being in the country on and off for 10 years, has only continuously been in the country for 6 years this April. He was in the UK working between Dec 2004 and April 2006. Normally a person can apply for permanent residence if they have been in the country for 5 years on a work permit. However Salvi have been here on a visitor’s permit. Salvi does not qualify under any category to apply for permanent residence. However through the advice of a believer who works for home affairs Salvi has put together a port folio, application form and testimonies of 20 something ministers, company directors and even the local chief and a petition of over 150 local signatures with the request that a special exception be made for Salvi to get permanent residence. Last month we got news that the particular office of Home Affairs which are handling the case in Pretoria, are making application in Salvi’s place that Salvi be granted Deviation. Deviation means that Salvi be granted permission to apply outside of the regular process. As Home Affairs are doing this it means that they believe that Salvi has a case and if Salvi is granted permanent residence it will not matter if Di gets her visa granted or not as she will be able to apply for permanent residence also. So we will keep you updated in our newsletters as and when news comes in.

We thank you all for your prays and support, may the lord richly bless you as we labour together in His work.


Salvi and Di


2 Kings 2: 1 – 14

Ahab has long ago fallen and thus the request that Elijah made where he prayed that God would take his life would now be answered in a way more glorious than Elijah could ever have imagined. Elijah was one of the greatest men that the bible ever mentions. No wonder that Jesus said of John the Baptist that there was none born of women greater than John, as John came in the Spirit of Elijah. I once knew a guy called Peter Africa and he once said that success without a successor is a failure. Thus before God would take Elijah out of the picture He commanded Elisha be anointed as prophet in his place and thus Elisha became a disciple of Elijah just like Joshua did of Moses but Jesus never did of John because Jesus was greater than John. But we must remember that being someone’s disciple does not mean that we will necessarily be that person’s replacement. Jesus had 120 disciples but only 12 of them were appointed apostles. However God had specifically pointed Elisha out as the one who would take up the mantle. Elisha was to take on an amazing ministry but up till now we have not seen him do anything. He has only been spending time with Elijah and serving him. There was nothing extraordinary in Elisha that we have seen recorded. And now we read in the first verse that the time has come for God to take Elijah away. I want us to try to imagine what it must have been like for Elisha to have this knowledge. Can we imagine the multiplicity of emotions going through Elisha’s heart, the thoughts racing through his head? “How will I conduct the ministry? Will I be expected to do the same things as my teacher?” How he would miss his teacher! And to top it all off there is the life changing experience of entering into a completely different role; from servant to being the prophet of God and Elisha being apprehensive of this must have thought, ‘boy do I need the Grace and the power of Almighty God to do this!’

All the prophets knew it was God’s time for Elijah to go. Many men of God have known the hour of their departure. Elijah knew, Simeon in the temple knew, Jesus knew, Paul knew, Peter knew. And here it was not just Elijah that knew this, it was all the prophets. In verse 3 and verse 5 the prophets, literally the sons of the prophets ask Elisha, ‘Do you know that the Lord will take away your lord from over your head today?’ Elijah was Elisha’s covering and Elisha knows this and replies, I know please be still. Elisha is going to be without the one who taught him and the one to whom he could turn for advice and here these people keep bringing it up and there is no way for Elisha to get away from the fact. Talk about rubbing salt into a sore wound. What is Elijah doing here? Why does Elisha have to face all these people? God is sending Elijah to all the places where there are schools of Prophets for the last time. And Elijah continually gives Elisha the option of staying behind. ‘Elisha, you do not need to come you know. You do not have to keep being reminded of the fact that I am going, stay behind please and save yourself some pain.’ And Elisha’s determination to do the right thing comes to the fore, ‘I will not leave you’. What is our attitude to Jesus? If we follow Jesus He will lead us through times of hardship, suffering, tears, persecution and pain and He asks us, are you going to stay behind? Are we going to follow or are we going to stay behind. What direction was Elijah heading in? He was going to heaven.

In verse 1 we read that Elijah is going to be taken in a whirlwind. That is putting it mildly. The name Gilgal means round, or a wheel, and comes from the word galgal, which can mean whirlwind because it moves round and round. But this is a much stronger word. The word for whirlwind here is Sa’ar and it means a tempest, a storm, a hurricane. Elijah was going to be taken up to heaven in a storm, in the midst of something tempestuous. But there are a couple of places that Elijah must visit first. These are Bethel and Jericho before he may reach Jordan. The reason Elijah goes to these places, besides the instruction given by God, is because there were schools of prophets in Bethel and Jericho and Jordan was the place where Elijah would be taken up. However there is a spiritual significance to all of these places. The significance lies in the words, entrance, separation and a new start. Bethel, Jericho and Jordan have a connection to some kind of separation, entrance and a new start.

Bethel is first mentioned in Genesis 12: 8 when Abraham had entered the Promised Land. In Genesis 12 we see that Abraham was called in Haran to leave his country, his father’s house hold and his relatives and to go to the land God had promised him. But in Acts 7 we see that Abraham was called before he lived in Haran, all the way back in Ur. Abraham did leave his country but he did not leave his father’s household for his family decided to take him to Haran with his wife. They went out together but God said that Abraham was to leave his father’s household. After Abraham’s father dies, then the call of God comes to Abraham again and this time he obeys more but not completely for although he left his country and his father’s house, he still takes along his nephew lot. The first place that Abraham arrives in is called Shechem and Abraham builds an altar. The second place is called Bethel, house of God. However after this Abraham goes down to Egypt and when he leaves Egypt he comes back to Bethel. Abraham messed up in Egypt. He told a half truth that Sarah was his sister and Pharaoh took Sarah as his wife. Abraham messed up but we read in Gen 12: 8 and Gen 13: 4, both times at this place, at Bethel, that Abraham called on the name of the Lord. It was in one sense a type of salvation because whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved. He not only called on the name of the Lord before Egypt, before he stuffed up but even afterwards he could come back to that starting point. As verse 4 of Gen 13 says, Bethel was the place where Abraham had been at the beginning. He messed up but God gave him a new start. To be saved we need to turn our back on where we came from, to count the past as a heap of ruins and to come out of Egypt, to come out of the world. After the second calling on the Lord Abraham experiences a strife between his men and Lot’s men and there comes a separation between them. The separation was necessary because it was the fulfilling of the call that God had given him and thus God brings new revelation. God ties the promise of the land to the land itself and tells Abraham to walk the length and breadth of the land. In a sense this is an entrance into the promise. For the calling that Abraham received before, made the giving of the promise dependant on Abraham’s obedience to God’s request. It is only the second time at Bethel that Abraham’s obedience is completed, thus only then has he made that entrance into the promise. Abraham has yet to enter the covenant but in chapter 13: 14 – 17 it is no longer ‘do this and I will give,’ but now it is ‘I will give’. There is an entrance, a separation and a new start.

Think about Jacob at Bethel. Gen 28: 10 – 20. Jacob had grown up in the home of believers in God. His father, Isaac, in Genesis 26: 24 – 25 had experienced the Lord appear to him and had called upon God’s name. But for 40 years Jacob had referred to God as the God of his father. God seemed distant. Jacob separates from his family and it is at Bethel that Jacob receives the same promise as his father. God does not condition the receiving of the promise on anything but he gives it to Jacob. I don’t believe this is salvation. I see Jacob’s salvation coming at a later date when he wrestles with the angel but never the less he enters into the promise. This marks a new start for Jacob. Before God seemed distant but now he realises that God is with him. The same happened with me. I grew up in a Christian home and made an initial decision for Christ when I was 7. When I was 19 I was doing a degree and sort of living a double life. It was not until I moved out of my parents that I heard the voice of God clearly convicting me. Jacob’s life would never be the same again. He knew the reality of God in his life and he made a vow that if God was faithful and kept him on his journey and brought him back safely then God would be his God. But Jacob could not go back now. This was a pivotal point in his life and it was the start of a whole new journey of finding the Lord for himself as his own God. So Jacob had to be separated from his family to be alone with the Lord, just like Abraham. He had to enter into God’s promise and experience a fresh start in his life. Elijah firstly takes Elisha to Bethel, a place of separation, a new start and an entrance in the promise of God.

The next place that Elijah must go to is Jericho. Jericho is of course the name of the place that Joshua and Israel firstly invaded. It marked the entrance into the Promised Land. But before the Israelites could enter into the promised land there had to be a dying off of all the unbelieving Israelites and a separation from Moses. Not just being separated from the old crowd but also a separation from the one who represented righteousness under the Law. There has to be a separation from old affinities, our old ideas of self righteousness in order to enter the promise. The one is based on the righteousness of man, the other is based on the promise of God. We stand before God naked and alone. We are not strong enough or fit enough to inherit the promise, just as Israel were not strong enough to inherit the land. The difference is when God is on your side. How can God be on our side? How can God be on the side of sinners? Because Jesus took our punishment and satisfied God’s holy anger against our sin. That is how God can be on our side. And after they obeyed the Lord and blew their trumpets the walls came down. What were the trumpets about? Therebis a parallel between Jericho and the trumpet judgments in Revelation. And what is said when the last trumpet is sounded? Rev 11: 15. In other words they are saying to antichrist, ‘Your kingdom is at an end, Christ is instituting a new one.’ The kingdoms of Canaan were at an end, Israel would now be established, a new kingdom and a new start. There was separation from the one who represented a righteousness of the Law, an entrance into the promise and lastly a new start in the life of not only the nation of Israel but also of the land of Canaan. Elijah secondly takes Elisha to Jericho. A place of separation, entrance into God’s promise and a place of a new start.

But lastly and much closer to home Elijah finally takes Elisha to the Jordan. Jordan means descent and it is at this place that the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus and the anointing descended on Elisha as we will read. Elisha’s mentor figure is being taken away. He is being reminded of it constantly. What will Elisha do when Elijah is taken away? Verse 9 & 10. He needs God’s anointing and equipping. Now a double portion does not necessarily mean that Elisha wanted twice what Elijah had but refers to Deut 21: 17. In other words Elisha saw himself as Elijah’s firstborn and he wanted to inherit the spirit of Elijah in order to do God’s will. But Elijah does not promise anything to him except that if Elisha saw the sign it would be given. It was not down to Elijah if Elisha could get the anointing. The graces of God are distributed as He wills. Yes the Apostles imparted the Holy Spirit with the laying on of hands but they did that to all the believers. When it came to choosing an apostle to replace Judas, they could not simply decide who they wanted to take his place but they prayed and drew lots. There is no such thing as passing down a ministry from father to son but the Lord determines who will take that place and the anointing must come from Him. Abraham had to be separated from unsaved family. Jacob had to be separated from both ungodly and godly family members. Israel had to be separated from Moses and the older unbelieving generation. But here Elisha has to face being separated from his spiritual father. Discipleship in the bible is not program based but is relationship based. A teacher gathers to himself disciples who hear his teaching and watch his example and then they try to emulate their teacher until they become like their teacher. Just as a son grows up to be like his father. Not that we start going round calling certain people father, like the Roman Catholics do. Jesus said to call no man your father. However, in the bible we see a discipleship relationship where people like Paul would try to be a spiritual father to believers, one that said, ‘Follow me as I follow Christ.’

And we can hear the heart break of Elisha as Elijah is taken up in the Chariot and through what he says in verse 12. What Elisha is saying is that Elijah is Israel’s defence. Through Elijah’s ministry and his prayers he did more to protect Israel than Chariots and horses. But what was going to happen now? Israel’s defence has been taken away. Elisha is no great prophet, he was just serving Elijah and he rips his clothes in two, so great is his grief. As Matthew Henry stated; ‘He (God) takes away superiors from our head, inferiors from our feet, equals from our arms; let us therefore carefully do the duty of every relation, that we may reflect upon it with comfort when it comes to be dissolved.’ It is hard enough when God separates us from unsaved family but when God strips away people from us, people who have helped us so much in our spiritual walk in some ways it is even harder. Our earthly relationships are only temporal. Now why does God do that? Because while Elijah is still around, Elisha will never fulfil the ministry that God has for him to do. As long as Elijah is around Elisha will look to Elijah instead of looking to the Lord. And as Elijah goes up in this tempest, in this storm with the winds of sorrow, grief and loss are prevailing over Elisha’s heart and all seems lost, then Elijah’s mantle falls down. It is in the midst of the storm that Elisha is to rise up to the ministry that he was called but before he does he must learn one important lesson. The anointing and the calling does not get transferred through a person such as Elijah but it comes from the Lord. Elisha picks up Elijah’s mantle and strikes the water in verse 14 and nothing happens. The power was not in Elijah or Elijah’s mantle but it must be found in the Lord. He does not ask ‘Where is Elijah?’ He asks ‘Where is the God of Elijah?’ He entered into the promise that God gave Elijah, that Elisha would take his place in 1 Kings 19: 16 and thus a new ministry was started.

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