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Msindisi Newsletter #91

March 2, 2012

SALVADOR & DIANNE’S MSINDISI MONTHLY

NUMBER:      91       Mar 2012

PO BOX 1481
VRYHEID 3100
KWAZULU NATAL
SOUTH AFRICA

+27 (0) 728311008

Email:  msindisi@gmail.com ,
salv.di@gmail.com

KwaZulu Mission Website: http://www.kwazulumission.com

Personal Website: http://msindisi.googlepages.com

 

 

Dear Friends and family,

The Lord is so good and faithful and we have good news concerning Feb. This month we started teaching the kids at the Care Bear pre-school in Vryheid. Di did a teaching about the narrow path and the wide path. Something that we didn’t share in the last newsletter was that a local farmer has stated that she wanted to help a lady in the community, called Florence, who is looking after her grandchildren with no help from the mother who has disappeared off the scene. Florence’s house is starting to fall apart and she cannot grow anything because cows keep coming in and eating her vegetables. So we got Jabulani and a friend to build her a fenced off garden. We are also looking at helping her with the repair of her mud house but we must do it slowly, slowly. In the community, if people think someone is coming into money others may get jealous and can cause trouble.

This month we also started a new children’s club. We had noticed that we were losing some of the older children who were not engaging with the bible teaching on Sundays. We figured that they were not getting much out of the current kids club as they are learning together with very young children. After consulting with Celani and the older kids we found that starting an older children’s club was what was wanted. So we have called it Abantu Abash Club which is a word play. It can mean young people’s club or it can mean new people’s club as in the Zulu term for Born again. Salvi is slowly teaching through the New Tribes Mission, ‘Creation to Christ’ material that Clive and Donna Leembruggen from Australia gave in 2004. The kids have done it before but it is wonderful to really go through it in depth and to make it as interactive as possible. Salvi tries to get the students to share what they think and what they know and if necessary to discuss the material. There are also some new students who have never done the material before. At the moment we have 8 young people studying through the material and it is lovely to see them engaged in what they are learning.

On the 7th of this month Jabulani’s sister, Khethiwe, turned up to the discipleship in Alpha. We have started looking at the covenants of God with Israel and the relationship between Israel and the Church. But that day we didn’t look at any of that for Khethiwe shared that she wanted to give her life to the Lord. She had heard the Gospel before but this time she shared that she was convicted at a funeral that she was living on borrowed time and wanted to be right with the Lord. Mr Khumalo shared how he was being tested by the family of a boy who died on his property. The family have approached him to ask permission to do a ritual that supposedly will collect the spirit of the dead boy in order to bring him back to the family home. Mr Khumalo said that he doesn’t agree with those rituals anymore and refused. The family protested by saying that Mr Khumalo was going to lose the spirit of the dead. He has stood his ground so Khethiwe could see what it means to follow the Lord. Khethiwe said she still wanted to have a new life in Christ and understood that Jesus took her place on the cross. She was baptised on the same day. As we took her to be baptised we pulled into our home and she started witnessing to Gogo. We praise the Lord.

On the following Saturday we had our friends Craig and Magda come to visit but while they were visiting our neighbour’s daughter who was pregnant sent someone over to say that she needed to go to hospital as she was having the baby. Di drove her to Vryheid to the hospital and we were pleased to find out that she had a baby boy. However when Di got home the truck died and we had to push start the car. Our friends in town had that problem sorted out but the Truck still broke down. The problem was that we needed a new Alternator and Genrod wondered where they would get one as their electro mechanic had looked all over the workshop for one the day before and couldn’t find one. When they looked on the morning after our alternator packed up they found a brand new one that had been hidden away for four years, as if the Lord had just kept it there for that day. We praise Him for His provision.

Towards the end of the month we headed to Gauteng. We stayed one night in Secunda to visit a dear couple called Jozua and Veronica. They have supported us from the time that we worked with Moriel in Endicott, Gauteng. They pray for us every single day. So we were really blessed to share fellowship with them. We spent a couple of nights in Krugersdorp as Salvi had a meeting with some brethren concerning a ministry they were starting to encourage South African believers. More on that over the next few months. For the rest of the week we stayed with Allen and Sue Wells and all their kids. It was a great time of sharing, fellowship and catching up with some other old friends from Boksburg.

We got back this Tuesday and Salvi was back into ministering straight away he had the bible study group in Alpha. A young man called Lancelot turned up. We have gotten to know him on and off since 2009. His English is excellent and he has had much experience in the police and as a body guard. He shared that he has been in confusion over the bible and ancestral things. He wants to study with us and get some answers. He said that he had done a correspondence bible course and gotten a certificate and he wants to gain more knowledge. Salvi told him that the course we do is that we get the knowledge from the bible, but the examinations will come in the tests of life. He must respond to the Word of God in his life. When he does so, God will put the certificate in his heart so that people will see that he belongs to the Lord. Of course Salvi is hinting at the need for him to repent and know that Jesus took His punishment on the cross and the need to trust in Christ alone. Please pray for Lancelot.

The Louwsburg Bible Fellowship met in the evening and we are progressing on with Romans studying it intellectually so we understand Paul’s theology but also seeking to see how that applies to our lives as believers. We thank the Lord for this group.

Salvi has completed preaching the Gospel throughout the area of Kwandlandla, a sub area of KwaNgenitsheni and next week hopes to push onto the next subarea. Once that area has been completed there will only be the areas of Khambi and Cibilili and Salvi will have completed that which he purposes to do when we moved here which is to saturate every residential area between Alpha and Esihlengeni with the gospel and out of those who respond to disciple them. Praise the Lord we have seen fruit we we are grateful that we have gotten to see that first hand. We trust the Lord will send other workers into his vineyard to reap that which we have sown in these other areas. Please pray for this.

Well we are pleased to inform you that God willing in May, Phumlani and Jonny from our cell group should be visiting Zimbabwe to see a cell based church system in action. This was the same church that Salvi visited when he was there and we trust that it will be a blessing for them both but especially for Phumlani whom we trust will be inspired concerning the running of our own church in KwaZulu Natal. As Phumlani’s holidays are precious and he has never been on a plane we are hoping to fly him there if he can get the time off.

Thank you for your prayers and support.

Finally we still have received no further news about visas. Di’s visa application is still in process. They still say that they are fast tracking it. Her last visa ran out in Feb 2011. In our last conversation with Home Affairs they were asking us to fax through all copies of Di’s documents that she already submitted to them and which they confirmed that they received!!!

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.

Shalom

Salvi and Di

P.S Please don’t forget to look at Salvi’s petition concerning ecumenism in the Lausanne consultation for Jewish Evangelism which has been signed by several people including Jacob Prasch and others from Moriel ministries and Jackie Alnor among other people. For more information please visit http://www.lausannecje.wordpress.com and for the petition please visit http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/lcje

ELIJAH AND ELISHA
PROVISION FOR A WIDOW, SON FOR A GREAT LADY
PART 12
2 Kings 4

In 2 Kings 3, Elisha prophesied victory to the Good king Jehoshaphat, the bad king Jehoram and the foreign king of Edom. Whereas historians only record the main movers and shakers and people of societal influence, the scripture records people of every day note who had needs. God chose to include accounts of people from every section of society because through His dealings with them we can learn something about Himself and about ourselves. In chapter 4 we read about three instances where Elisha is involved miraculously in the giving of life or preservation of life to three different types of people. Firstly we come across a widow who never was involved directly with Elisha but whose late husband was a servant and a co-worker with Elisha. Secondly we see a great lady who shows hospitality to Elisha and supports him and lastly we read about the sons of the prophets who would have been co-workers with Elisha. In all three cases Elisha is there with some form of life giving or life preservation. For the sake of time we will only look at the two women.

Verses 1 – 7. PROVISION FOR THE WIDOW

A certain woman of the wives of the prophets came to Elisha. She needed help. She is in debt and cannot meet her payments. Now in 1 Timothy 5: 3 – 10 we read about Paul’s criteria for helping widows and this included the woman being the wife of one man, over 60, reputation for good works, hospitality, who washed the saints feet and assisted those in distress. Now we know that this widow was the wife of one man because the scripture refers to her still as a wife of one of the sons of the prophet. And she refers to her husband as a servant of Elisha. But the basis of asking for Elisha’s help is not her own works of piety. In fact there is nothing at all about this woman that is used to motivate Elisha to help except for one thing. She was married to the prophet. She begs Elisha on the basis of how her husband feared God and was Elisha’s servant. She benefits from her husbands piety. Now scripture gives us examples that if someone wanted to show kindness to someone, or fulfill a promise to someone who was dead they would turn to the nearest relative of the deceased and bestow it on them especially when it came to keeping a covenant. We see this exhibited by David in 2 Samuel 9: 1 – 13 in wanting to show kindness to someone in Saul’s household for Jonathan’s sake. We see God’s giving of the blessing to Isaac in Gen 26: 24 was done for Abraham’s sake. Let us read Numbers 5: 5 – 8. We see in the case of those who have committed wrong and have wronged someone, the cost to that person wronged must be restored. Restitution must be made but also not just restitution. Also 20% must be added to the value. Now what if that person is not alive anymore, it must go to one of the relatives. But if there is no relative, then what must be done? Does the payment get canceled? No, it then goes to the priest. This must tell us something about God’s attitude to what we owe people who don’t want the payment back, before God we still owe that debt and we should still pay it back even if it is to someone else.

This lady pleads her case on the basis of her husband’s piety and Elisha gives heed to her cry. But get this. Elisha does not get the debt cleared. Elisha does not produce the money or persuade the guy to call the debt off, unlike Paul tried to do with Philemon. What Elisha does is provide the widow with a way to earn that money so that she can pay it off through her own industry. It was a miraculous provision but the lady had to sell it her self. But the first question that Elisha asks is in verse 2. ‘What shall I to do for you? What do you have in the house?’ God works with what we have, not what we do not have. Until we learn to employ whatever scant means we possess we should not expect God to do anything for us. When it came to the feeding of the five thousand, though a miracle provision the first question Jesus asked them in Mark 6: 38 was ‘How many loaves do you have?’ God never despises a small gift given in poverty. Instead He blesses it and uses it and can multiply it. A huge mistake in missions we make is that we go to the rurals, provide everything in terms of building and structure, despise what little they can offer and make them rely on Western funding. Instead we should teach them that God loves the little they can offer and can use it for his glory. This means more to the Lord than western churches giving our of their abundance spare change that because of the exchange rate can go far in their context. ‘What do you have?’ That is the first question. The lady has one pot of oil.

Next Elisha instructs her to borrow vessels from her neighbours so she can fill them with oil and set aside what is full. Before Elisha tells her what she can do with the oil, he expects her obedience. All she has to do is to fill up the jars with oil. But notice that the oil stops when there is no other vessel to fill. How much can God give us? Let me ask another question. Oil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit who anoints. How much of the Spirit can God give to us? The Holy Spirit is infinite. He cannot be contained. The Lord gives us according to our capacity. In Matthew 25: 14 – 15 we see that the master gives his possessions to his servants according to their ability. One is given 10 talents, one is given 5 and the other is given one. God gives us according to our capacity. And lastly Elisha tells her that she should sell the oil. She must work with the Blessing that God has given. No loafing around. Even when provision was given for the poor in Israel the poor had to go and collect the grain themselves. They had to gather what they could. It was not simply a hand out. The first port of call after this was to pay off the debt and then secondly she could live off the rest. Her sons were this lady’s support and sustenance. If they were taken away then she had nothing to fall back on. God had commanded that Israel never treated their own country men as slaves. If they had to enslave they had to treat them like hired servants in the house. And if a Hebrew buys a Hebrew slave he had to release him after 6 years. (Lev 25: 39 – 42 & Deut 15: 12) But there was no guarantee as much as we know that this creditor would have been obedient to the Law of Moses, especially as the northern kingdom had forsaken God’s Law. Through Elisha God had made provision that this widow would have her sons in order to sustain her life in her older years.

Verses 8 – 37. THE GREAT LADY AND THE PROVISION OF A SON

The second lady we read about is from a wealthy and prosperous background. It is good and there is benefit in being a dependant of one who supports or is a co worker of God’s servants but it is even more noble to be a supporter of God’s servants. This lady was one who practiced hospitality. Hebrews 13: 2 encourages us to practice hospitality. The word hospitality in Greek is ‘philoxenia’ and this literally to love foreigners or strangers. People who do not belong to our community or our country, etc. The word Xenos in Greek means a stranger or something strange. This is where the word xenophobia, meaning racist, comes from. It literally means to be afraid or to intensely dislike foreigners or strangers. The word commands us to show hospitality to those who are not from our nation, people group, or home town. And in so doing, we never know, we might be entertaining Angels. This happened to Abraham where three visitors came to his area and he fed them. They turned out to be angels. But though, I am sure, Hebrews is referring to angelic beings, we should not forget that the word, ‘anggellos’ means messenger and that is what Elisha was. As a prophet he was a messenger sent from God to His people. The woman, either through spiritual intuition or by evidence of Elisha’s activity perceives that he is a Holy man of God and persuades her husband to have a room built for Elisha where he can retire.

Notice what the room contains. Verses 9 – 10. The room simply contains a bed, a table, a chair and a lamp. Interestingly enough, in the UK, student residences are supposed to contain a bed, a desk, a chair and a wardrobe. It was a place where Elisha could sleep, could eat, pray and study. Showing hospitality does not mean tickling our visitor’s fancy or letting them take advantage of us. When a servant of God is presented with a gift, he is not to turn his nose up at it even if it is basic. When a preacher talks about blessing the man of God and giving to his ministry, that preacher better be prepared to eat bread and water if that is the blessing he is given. Liberty on the side of the giver, contentment on the side of the recipient. Without any dispute the lesser is blessed by the greater. (Heb 7: 7) Thus it is apparent that Elisha was a good example of someone who received a blessing. He took whatever was offered him without complaint. Paul himself knew how to abound and also how to lack. In every circumstance he had learned to be content with whatever he had. How are we in that area? Do we gripe and moan about what we do not have? Or are we thankful that God has given us above our need of food and clothing?

Notice also the attitude with which the woman gave. When Elisha asked her what she would like in return for the care she gave, if she would like special mention made to Royalty (and let us face it, could Jehoram or Jehoshaphat decline Elisha after the grace showed to them in the last chapter?) how does she reply? She does not want it. She is perfectly content with what she had. She did not give with a motive of getting more from God. She gave with a good heart. She was not expecting anything in return. As we know, the teaching of sowing a faith seed plays to people’s covetousness. This woman was not like that. But whoever gives to the prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward. Though she asks or expects no reward, God gives her one anyway and her reward is this, that she will have a son. Now this is not a recipe for having children if you are barren. Notice the woman did not ask for this. This was down to Elisha’s will and more profoundly the Lord’s will through Elisha. The woman tells Elisha, ‘Do not lie to your maidservant’. What she is saying is please do not make sport of me. Do not give me false hopes. There is a fear that her expectations will be raised in order to be dashed. It is much easier not to desire in the first place, than to desire and to lose it. When God gives us a desire and then prevents that desire from being fulfilled we may start thinking that God is playing with our emotions. God may seek us to die to our hearts’ desires but he never makes sport out of our vulnerabilities if we are submitted to Him. Now as with anything the Lord gives us, there will be a time where we must face the thought of losing that which God has given. God may take it away permanently or temporarily and it leads us to realise that we cannot control everything or keep it by our power. The best thing to do is to take it to the Lord. In verses 18 – 24 we read of how her son falls ill in the field, how he is taken to the mother and how he dies. What control the mother shows in her dealing with the death! She does not tell her husband. Now this is not insubordination on the wife’s part but she knew that man could do nothing for her son. God is the one whom she should turn to. The boy was given by the word of Elisha and to Elisha she goes.

Could it be that this woman is one of the women that Hebrews 11: 35 testifies to when it says that by faith, women received their dead by resurrection? I really believe that is the case. She presents no one her case except the prophet. Not even Gehazi is told. And when she arrives in verse 27 she falls down. Gehazi is quick to move her away. It is not proper for a woman to hold a guy like that. Gehazi is concerned with how it looks. And in some ways Gehazi was right. There is a way to treat people and to approach people that is proper but Elisha is not concerned about appearances, he sees the heart. The lady is in deep distress. He does not deride her for her uncontrolled display of emotion. He understands that she is troubled. How similar to our Lord who knows how to sympathise with our weaknesses. He felt what we feel. He was tempted yet without sin. He knows our frailties and he knows how powerful our emotions can grip us. No Elisha did not berate the woman for handling him as she did, he could see that it was not rebellion but a brokenness of heart. Nor did Elisha jump to conclusions. He did not have a thought and take it as God’s word for the lady. God does not always reveal things to His servants. His servants do not need to know all the answers. It was enough that Elisha could learn it from the woman herself. And I believe the reason for this was that a woman in this situation needs to be listened to and understood. She needed to tell Elisha and express how she was feeling. Is this not the kind of behaviour that God commands of husbands in 1 Peter 3: 7? What if there were more men like Elisha in the church who would allow women to express their emotions without deriding them for what we might call unbalanced and hormonal? What if, Instead of criticising weakness, they showed more understanding and then went to the Lord with their wives? What a high calling we husbands have.

Elisha sends Gehazi with the staff and tells him to lay the staff on the lad but it has no effect. Elisha was not going to go there. So why did nothing happen with the staff. When we compare this woman with the centurion we see two different levels of faith. The Centurion, in Matthew 8: 8 said “I am not worthy for you to come under my roof, but just say the word and my servant will be healed”. How different to this lady in verse 30. She says I will not leave you. She would not accept that Elisha could send the staff and heal the son, she looked to Elisha. It is after she says this that he gets up and follows her. Thus when they arrive the staff has not accomplished anything. But instead we have a greater illustration of Christ with what Elisha does next. Just like Elijah did, he stretches himself out on the lad. His eyes to the boy’s dead eyes, his mouth to the dead mouth, his hands on the dead hands and warmth comes to the body. Here is the messianic significance. What would happen if you touched a dead body? Lev 21: 1. You get defiled. Elisha got defiled in order that that boy might have life. And what was it that signalled his being brought back to life? He sneezed seven times and then he opened his eyes. When God made Adam where did he breathe the breath of life in order that Adam would become a living being? It was in his nostrils. Thus Elisha is defiled that the boy might live, he came alive and was then able to see. As it is with us, Jesus became sin that we might live, we are spiritually born again and are thus able to see.

What we see in both accounts is God’s blessing to two different people. One needed oil and the other needed a resurrection. One was related to someone who served alongside a co-worker of Elisha. Another supported Elisha. The last group worked alongside Elijah. It is good to be a dependent of one who supports or works with God’s servants. It is better to be a supporter of God’s servants but it is even better to be a fellow worker. All of them have a share in the ministry. All of them are blessed. The first is shown mercy and grace, the second is rewarded and the last group will be rescued, despite the inclusion of unclean food. But God’s blessing does not promote laziness. It promotes industry and good stewardship. God’s reward is for those who act without seeking the reward and God’s salvation is preserved despite the inclusion of that which is from a foreign vine. God makes what was unclean, clean by the addition of the grain. Just like Elisha, Yeshua saves us from the bondage of slavery and brings us to new life. He will sanctify us, Gentiles from a foreign vine, by putting in the grain into our lives. He will make food abound where there is a famine of the word. His name means salvation; He not only saves us initially but continues to save us and will complete our salvation when He comes again.

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One Comment
  1. zulu zwelihle emmanuel permalink

    Hi brother Msindisi !
    It a pleasure-to me to opt this opportunity and the word of God with you and your Ministry.Any way thanks for the bible you donated to our school Langeni combined school. But i a m willing to know the relationship between the Mission and the Lord`s church.
    feel free to respond to 43512593@mylife.unisa.ac.za or 0825918496.
    byee

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