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Msindisi Newsletter # 95

July 2, 2012

SALVADOR & DIANNE’S MSINDISI MONTHLY

NUMBER: 95 July 2012

PO BOX 1481
VRYHEID 3100
KWAZULU NATAL
SOUTH AFRICA

+27 (0) 728311008
+27 (0) 815836288

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,

This month has mainly been composed of preparation for visitors and having visitors along with our regular activities of doing the care bear creche outreach, literacy class with Tholakele, discipleship with guys at Alpha, Tuesday cell group and Friday night bible teaching at Jonny and Kim’s farm.

The first major piece of news is that, after months of prayer and discussion, Phumlani has left his job in order to be freed up to do ministry. He has started to do some translation of materials into Zulu and goes out with Salvi to preach the gospel in Ngenitsheni. One afternoon Salvi was playing Zulu hymns on the guitar outside of two Zulu homesteads when the father of the home came out and asked Phumlani and Salvi to go in to share with the whole family. Many people were crammed in the round hut. The women were soaking long yellow grass in order to weave them to make small ropes. Salvi shared the gospel and also dealt with ancestral traditions in a way that he didn’t have to tell them it was wrong, they could see it was wrong by reading the bible itself. But only the Lord can touch their hearts. Another time Phumlani and Salvi preached and that was followed by a number of people asking questions. We are very encouraged when people ask questions.

In order to meet his needs Phumlani borrows our truck on a Monday in order to buy and sell. Please pray the Lord grants him wisdom as he runs his little business. But on one of his selling runs with his wife Thabi, a lady shared with Thabi that she heard Phumlani’s preaching. She said that his message was very good and right but it was too late for them having been married into homes that follow ancestral traditions. Apparently Phumlani must reach the young because they can choose for themselves! It is quite sad that people see the gospel as too hard an option to choose for this life but they cannot see that no matter how hard it is in this temporary life on earth it is much harder and more intense suffering to dwell in hell fire for eternity!

Di received Physio for her frozen shoulder. It could take two years for it to mend. She has been given exercises for her to do but please pray that the Lord will touch her shoulder. However Di tirelessly plods on. Her literacy class with Tholakele is going extremely well and Tholakele is ready to start reading the bible soon. We hope that she will do so with relative ease. Tholakele shares often at church and discipleship the things that scripture signifies to her. One day when Di was at literacy class, the gate to her veggie garden was left open and unfortunately a cow came in and ate all her veggies! On top of these things Di faithfully teaches the younger kids at Saturday kids club while Salvi teaches the older ones. Both of us are teaching the creation at this moment. Despite physical limitations Di worked so hard at preparing for visitors. We had 2 caravans lent to us for this month and one of them was covered in ants and needed a major clean out. Di had the hard work of Celani to help with that. Thanks to wonderful brethren we had blankets, cutlery, and furniture lent to us and food or money for food also given. The other huts in Phumlani’s home also needed to be prepared as well as filling up 80 litres of water for use in the outside toilet on two occasions – Salvi did those kind of jobs etc. We had two batches of visitors stay with us. The first lot was a group of 14 people, which included 4 children that hailed from Pretoria. The report of their visit is contained on the following link written by their bible teacher Clayton Lowane:

https://kwazulumission.com/2012/07/01/the-experience-of-the-pretoria-church-in-kwangadi/

Mujuru also was invited to speak at Bethany Baptist Church concerning ancestral traditions. Being a Dr of chemistry is a tool the Lord can use to open doors of ministry. But Mujuru has a wonderful testimony concerning how the Lord led him out of ancestral traditions and the sufferings he has borne for Jesus’ name’s sake. He also showed how the same superstitions that pervade ancestral traditions also pervade many churches and encouraged the listeners to stay away from the hyper charismatic stuff in order not to confuse people in ancestral worship.

The second group of visitors was made up of our friend Sue Wells of the ministry Bezaleel which has been fostering and adopting children either affected or infected by HIV for close to 20 years. She came with an older sister in the faith, a widow called Lillian, and all 11 children. They came to our cell group meeting that week at Jonny and Kim’s and Sue loved the interactive fellowship around the word. The format of the cell group, if you didn’t know, involves the sharing of a meal together, then communion, praise and worship through singing hymns where anybody may choose the songs, open sharing and testimony followed by prayer and then the study of God’s word, which is going through the book of Romans at the moment. The following day we met at Jonny and Kim’s again for the kids to experience the farm animals and play at the dam. Our friends and old members of the cell, Olaf and Charnel came for a visit from Piet Retief and so did Magda and Belinda (our friends from Bethany Baptist Church), kids and some other friends bringing a wonderful chicken pie. We also had a time of studying the word together. The last day of their visit was spent taking Sue, Lillian and kids round Ithala to see the animals at the game reserve. It had been a long time since the older kids had seen animals and the younger ones were too young to remember. We also took Asimbonge from the Kraal and Phumlani’s nephew, Menzi who had never seen animals such as Zebras and Giraffes except in Photos. This day was followed by an evening braai and then singing hymns and choruses round the fire under a star lit night. We have asked Sue to write a report for the website which hopefully should be put up soon.

At bible study with Jonny and Kim on a friday evening another local couple has started to attend. We hope to get to know them more and learn about them but we were really touched by the wife’s prayer last friday when she thanked the Lord for “this oasis in the desert” referring to the bible study itself. We thank the Lord for His grace in these small things we can see his hand at work in our lives and through our lives to others.

This month we will see some more visitors. We will also be taking two nights to get away to the east coast for time out away from ministerial considerations and also to visit our friends that live in Stanger. We will also be attending a ministers conference at the end of the month sponsored by some people from Bethany Baptist Church.

For those who are interested there is a website with three audio messages uploaded that concerning the building of the Church and having a Zeal for God’s house. These messages were recorded in Port Elisabeth, South Africa 2011. http://www.sermon.net/msindisi

VISA update. We still have not as yet got any news concerning Di’s application for extension for Temporary Residence Permit. Her application is in process. Please pray for the Lord to guide our applications according to His will. Salvi’s application is with head office we have been told.

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 . Salvi is hoping to have it sent or delivered to the members of LCJE in the near future so please sign it if you have not done so already and also feel strongly against ecumenism infiltrating the evangelical camp. We have reached 100 signatures but one of them is not a true signatory and three others are filled by one man who wanted to withdraw his signature after believing that the petition was a mild endorsement of Lausanne Consultation for Jewish Evangelism. So we still need three signatories to reach the target of 100 people so that we can present it to leaders of LCJE. Please pray that the Lord might lead some helpful people across our path to present the petition and corresponding articles to members of LCJE.


ELIJAH AND ELISHA
LOOKING WITH THE EYES OF FAITH
PART 16
2 Kings 6: 8 – 23

In the last session we saw that the sons of the Prophets built a new place. We could see the judgment of God against Israel in the action of the cutting down of the trees at the Jordan. But we also saw God’s grace to the prophet who was in debt having lost the axe head. In this session we will look at the King of Aram and how he tries to take the King of Israel.

VERSES 8 – 14 THE KING OF ARAM ATTACKS IN VAIN

There was not much friendship between Israel and Aram. In fact we see that the Arameans were raiding Israel. Aram had never really had good relations with Israel even though they enjoyed some form of treaty. The first mention of an Aramean in the Bible is Abraham’s nephew Bethuel and Bethuel’s son Laban. Gen 25: 20. According to 2 Samuel 10 the Arameans were unable to defeat King David’s men and made peace with David. In 1 Kings 11: 23 – 25 we read that God raised up an adversary against Solomon from Aram because his heart had been turned away from the LORD. The adversary’s name was called Rezon and he became the leader of a marauding or a raiding band. Through staying in Damascus and reigning in Damascus we see that he also reigned over Aram and he abhorred Israel. Today the country Syria still hates Israel. So there was no love lost between Aram and Israel. We see that the raiding bands were still sanctioned by Aram at the time of Jehoram, the son of Ahab. In verse 23 we see that as a result of the King’s failed attacks against Ahab, and his failure to get at the King of Israel, these raiding bands stopped coming into Israel in order to loot.

In verse eight we read that the King of Aram was warring against Israel and in the process of his warring he decided to set his camp in a particular place. The scripture does not give us an indication of where he wanted to set up his camp. The reason for this is that we are not reading an account of one single incident in verse 8 but this situation was repeated over and over again. The King of Aram would regularly take counsel with his servants, discuss the next plan of attack, and then he would choose a place to make an encampment in order to capture the King of Israel. We know he was after Jehoram because of his reaction when Jehoram foils his attempts by escaping. We know this was something that was repeated again and again because verse 10 tells us that this happened not once or twice, in other words, more than once or twice. It happened quite a few times. Every single time that the King of Aram pitched his encampment and sought to get hold of Jehoram, Jehoram had somehow already anticipated it and had stayed clear of the area where the Arameans would pass by and would be able to guard himself against their attacks. How did Jehoram know the Arameans’ agenda? How did he know their every move? It did not matter what course of action that the Aramean king had decided on, it was always preempted by Jehoram who frustrated all these plans. There was only one way that it could have happened and that was because there was a spy amongst his group of servants. Thus the king of Aram asks very bluntly in verse 11 “Will you tell me which one of us is for the king of Israel?” The king was angry because the only logical answer was that there was a traitor. There was no other reason. But often the problem with us is that we are looking for the logical answer but based on a logic that is bound up in a cause and effect universe. In other words, in a universe where everything can be explained scientifically and where God and miracles cannot intervene.

The King of Aram did not perceive what was truly happening behind the scenes. He was like what we often are like. We walk by sight and sight gives us a limited judgment. We do not perceive what God is actually doing. We are often like that with our prayers. We pray so quickly for people to be healed without realizing that there are different reasons as to why a person may be ill. One of the reasons is that we live in a fallen world and we are all susceptible to sickness. But that is not the only reason. Sometimes sickness is a trial, sometimes it is a teacher and sometimes it is because of sin. James 5: 15 gives recognition that some sicknesses may be related to sin in a person’s life when it says that the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is ill and if he has committed any sin they will be forgiven. The following verse shows us that this healing, in the case of a sickness that is tied up with a sin necessitates confession to the brethren. This does not in anyway mean that we are to pre judge cases where someone does not get healed and start heaping guilt of sins that that person may or may not have committed. This is too simplistic a way to deal with all God dealings with us. Maybe that sickness is a trial through which God will glorify His own name. We see that in the case of Job but Job’s friends take the simplistic approach to sickness which says, sickness is a curse, God blesses the righteous, thus if you are sick you are not righteous. When someone takes this approach they may well end up making up sins that the person has supposedly committed. ‘Oh Job, you are suffering because you have withheld your hand from helping the poor and the needy.’ What this is to say is that we must recognise that we do not always see what God’s purposes are when it comes to things like sickness and trials. We see things by sight and we pick the answer that seems most logical to us. Thus it demands humility. The King of Aram was told that there was no betrayer but this thwarting of his purposes was down to a certain prophet called Elisha who tells Jehoram the words that he says in his bedroom.

It was Elisha that was telling Jehoram to stay out of the Arameans way. There was no naturalistic logical explanation but it was the logic of the higher reality that dictated that God, the living God was behind the scenes, doing His pleasure and affecting the course of the reality which men find themselves in. The King, though he made an assumption based on naturalistic logic, was not trapped by the naturalism of modern science. He was from a world view where the spiritual and the physical where interlinked. He had his gods and believed in the reality of the spiritual world. He knew that it was possible that there was a prophet who had power to do such a think as hear the words spoken from the King’s bedroom. These was not because he believed that the God of Israel watched over His people but because the prophet must have a certain kind of power that he could tap into and thus perform this amazing feat. Thus if they could capture the prophet, it would stop him from sending messages to Jehoram and thus they would be able to get at him.

V 15 – 23 GRACE SHOWN TO ISRAEL AND TO ARAM

What would you do if one day you woke up and outside your window was a whole load of Union protestors with AK47s in their hands chanting war songs? I do not think that you would say to your spouse, ‘Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.’ But this is the reality which Elisha could perceive. By all natural logic and reasoning he was done for and there was no hope of escape. They were surrounded. Here we do not read about Gehazi. He has been cursed with the leprosy of Naaman. So we read about another servant and he sees things according to a naturalistic logic. He is like what we often are like. We see things by sight but sight gives us a limited judgment. We do not perceive what God is doing behind the scenes. There was no naturalistic, logical means of escaping but there was the logic of the higher reality that dictated that God, the living God was behind the scenes, doing His pleasure and affecting the course of the reality which men find themselves in. The servant, like we often speak toward God when we are in a pickle, complained to Elisha. God sometimes promises us that he will protect or open the way for his purpose to come to pass, and then something in the realm of sight comes in a threatens the fulfillment of that promise and our whole expectation, our whole theology even, gets turned inside out. Did God not tell us? Did Elisha not say that there were more with them than with the Arameans? And yet Elisha still has to pray to God to ask that the eyes of the servant may be opened. The servant did not believe. We look at the servant and think that he should have known better and yet how often do we treat such words of assurance as some little psychological positive word of encouragement that have no basis in reality. You know like the words of an air hostess that says reassuringly, ‘There is no need to panic, everything is under control’ and meanwhile you look out the window and see all the engines on fire and you think ‘Who are you kidding?’ Faith and sight have to come to logger heads at some point because at some point faith is going to contradict our sight and then who are we going to believe?

Romans 4: 18 – 22. In hope against hope Abraham believed. This points to 2 occassions where Abraham held up the hope of an heir. The first instance he asked that Eliezer, his servant, be regarded heir. The second instance saw him doing the same for Ishmael. Both times God put down his hope, conjured up by the cleverness of his own flesh, and gave Abraham a promise. Now how did Abraham believe in the promise of God? Was it a blind faith that ignored the fact that he and Sarah were too old to have children and would dismiss such thoughts as negative confessions? No, verse 19 says that without becoming weak in faith, he contemplated his own body which was as good as dead. He looked at the problem that stood in God’s way straight in the eyes and in spite of the physical reality he believed. He did not pretend that there was no obstacle. He knew it was humanly impossible for the promise to be fulfilled but in spite of the evidence pointing against it happening he was fully convinced that what God had promised He was also able to perform. What faith! Elisha was not trying to say the right theological words so that his servant might feel a little better. If that was what he was trying to do it is plain that it was not working. It is a bit like someone telling you a joke just before you are to be shot by a firing squad. It does not work. No, Elisha was speaking out of the reality of faith. It was not a ‘there, there everything will be alright in the end’. It was a matter of fact. ‘Do not be afraid, because we actually do have more with us than they have with them.’ It is true. And because it is true we may take courage. But it is not enough for us to be assured of that and to tell others. Elisha tried to convince the servant but it was not working. God had to open the servant’s eyes. What a great example of how evangelism should be. You share with the person and then you turn to God and ask Him to open their eyes. The servant received a different type of sight, he saw the reality of what was happening spiritual, behind the scenes. I like what my old Pastor, David Hamilton, said once. He said ‘A person isn’t changed by information, a person is changed by revelation.’ A person needs information. Our part is to give people information but they also need the revelation of the truth by God opening their eyes. All must be perceived by faith and faith is a gift of God.

The servant’s eyes are opened but then God asks for the eyes of the Arameans to be closed. They receive blindness. And just as the sight the servant received was a different kind of sight, so also the blindness the Arameans received was a different kind of blindness. It was a blindness where they could see and yet they did not see. They saw but they did not perceive who it was that was speaking to them. This is such a picture of spiritual blindness. They see and yet they do not see. In verse 19 Elisha says to them that they had not found the one they were looking for and that he would bring them to the one they were looking for? Were they not looking for Elisha? Yes they were at this moment, but getting Elisha was only part of the process in order to get to the one that they really wanted who was the king of Israel. The King of Israel has been spared. God has shown him grace once again, though he did not deserve it. So Jehoram has the army of the Arameans in his hand and he is eager to kill them. Note the repetition of the request. ‘Shall I kill them? Shall I kill them?’ Jehoram was eager to do it. It would be an easy victory. He wanted them dead and yet Elisha then turns the grace onto the Arameans. He reprimands Jehoram for requesting such a thing. It was God who captured these men and not Jehoram. They were God’s prisoners and if He wanted to be merciful to them what was that to Jehoram? Rather the King was to set bread and water before them and then let them go.

What do we see when we look with the eyes of faith at this passage? Why did God show mercy to Jehoram and then proceed to show mercy to the Arameans. God had a plan for the Arameans. They would be God’s vessel for judging the House of Ahab, but the present King, Ben-Hadad was not God’s chosen vessel for judgment. God had already told Elijah that he had picked Hazael to be the King who would bring judgment on Israel. Under Hazael Jehoram would be wounded by the Arameans and then Jehu, future king of Israel would kill Jehoram and his son. Thus a full end would be brought on the House of Ahab. But Hazael was not yet on the scene. Thus God would not grant Ben-Hadad success in capturing and slaying the King of Israel. He would thwart his plans. This was not a total protection as Israel had experienced the raiding bands of the Arameans and in the rest of the chapter Ben-Hadad lays up a siege. But Jehoram was protected by God. God had ordained a day for judgment but that day had not yet arrived. God showed mercy to the Arameans because one day they would be God’s vessels of judgment on the house of Ahab. But that Day of Judgment had not yet come. Jehoram was in a day of grace. And that grace was accepted by Jehoram but it would not spare him from the judgment that was to befall him.

And so, yet again, we see in Elisha a picture of Messiah who would bring in an age of grace and yet not to such an extent as to completely spare this world from judgment. God is slow to anger but with enough provocation His anger will eventually arrive and when it does it will be terrible. We tend to fall to two errors. One error is that we think God is just waiting for en excuse to send a lightning bolt out of the sky. The Jewish Rabbi’s taught that in mercy the world is judged and they are right. God waits and waits and waits until the sins are full up and then vents his fury. The other error is that God does not feel angry at all, that he is simply a God of love and does not want to hurt anybody. They would reject the teaching that God will send a 7 year tribulation and see it as inconsistent with their perception of His character. Both errors are wrong. Long is God’s patience and heavy is His judgment. We must see everything through the eyes of faith and not by sight. We must see our lives through the perspective of God’s promises to us and we must see the happenings in this world through the perspective of the prophetic promises of God and the character of God as revealed in scripture. May He grant us to see when we cannot see. May we see His footprints behind the scenes that we may know His purpose in our lives.

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