Continue in faith
After I missed my plane from Heathrow to Johannesburg I had to wait the whole day at the airport for another flight later that evening. Although I was disappointed at the delay in getting home, there was still peace and contentment. I got myself a quiet spot and tried to make the best of the situation. I sat down, got out my laptop, and started writing a few more chapters for our next book.
While looking back at the past few months I could see how God changed so many difficult situations into wonderful testimonies right in front of my eyes – depending with what perspective you look from. When walking by faith and not by sight we need to look through the glasses of faith and hope.
My time in America was a humbling experience. I could see how God was working miracles in people’s lives, and even though it was all God’s work I could still be a part of that. People came from all around to attend the meetings, even driving for 13 hours just to be there. I want to say thank you, thank you, thank you to each and every one! Thanks for every hug, every prayer, and every seed sown into this ministry. Your seeds are sown into “faith” because our path is a “faith” road.
When we were in New York in January, Holy Spirit said to me, “Everyone who sows into your ministry sows their seed in “faith” soil, because you are walking a road of faith. Together with you Retah, they are trusting Me, and that is why their harvest will be an eternal harvest.” With tears in my eyes I listen when people from around the world tell me about their harvest that came in. Thank You Abba that you are true to Your word and can be trusted – thank You Lord!
Back home, I walked into the house late the next evening and knew I didn’t have much time to rest for the Spirit School that started the next day. I know I am sustained by the strength of the Holy Spirit and the grace of my Abba to be able to do all these things. What a privilege to see the Holy Spirit move, and for me to be a part of that, even though I am so, so tired.
Aldo and Josh are both sick and Tinus and I sat up with them from midnight till morning waiting for Aldo’s fever of 39 to break. Only when it came down to 38.4 did his body stop shaking from the cold-sweats and by that time the sun was almost up. Tinus and I drank our coffee outside on the balcony and I could hear the cries of the fish eagles coming from across the dam, declaring the start of a new day. My heart was burning with thankfulness, and as I looked around me I started counting my blessings.
Later the boys also got up to begin the day. I gave Zozzie some more medicine and helped him get ready for school, but Aldo was too sick to go anywhere, and I told him that he had to stay in bed today. “Why?” he wanted to know. “Can’t we just take communion?”
“Yes, we can take communion Aldo, but you are still not going to school today. You need to rest at home today with Ma’am Patrys.”
Besides the flue, he also fell down hard some days ago and really hurt his knee, so he is really struggling to walk too. He wrote in one of his letters, “they are really coming against me now (the enemy) – because they don’t want me to go to Pakistan.”
Later that day I met up with Tinus for a quick lunch. “Retah, is this what it feels like to be grounded in faith? When the attacks no longer move you? Obviously it still hurts when I see how his knee buckles when he tries to walk, and when he is up all night with a fever, but in the morning I stand up and count my blessings, and smile when I face the day.”
Psalm 119: 49-50
Remember your word to your servant, for you have given me hope. My comfort in my suffering is this. Your promise preserves my life.
God gives all of us promises in His Word that He will never leave us nor forsake us. When we feel lost it is not because God went back on His word, but many times it is because we let go of God’s promises, forget His faithfulness, and look to our situations instead of turning to God.
It is late on Thursday evening and I know I still have to do my web-letter, but I choose to first throw my tallit over my head and be quiet at Abba’s feet.
“Retah, always remember that the trials and tests are there to make you stronger, to form My character in you, to teach you, to help you die to yourself, and to make you content in Me. How else will you be able to walk in humbleness?
“Remember what I taught you: Cast all of your cares upon Me, for I care for you. Leave the situation in My hands and concentrate and what I called you to do. Don’t try to change things yourself – it only wastes time. Start rejoicing in Me; start today, start right now! Don’t constantly think and dwell upon the trials you are facing, about your pain and hurt and sorrows. In the world you will have tribulation, but in Me you will have peace.
“Think upon Me. Choose that. Choose to go down on your knees rather to make another phone call to yet another friend complaining about your life. Think about My promises – but don’t put My promises above Me.
“I love it when you are thankful in every situation. I love it when you are content because you trust Me for the here and now, and for the future. I love it when you come to Me as My child. Come, come, and just be My child. Trust Me with childlike faith. Live as free as a child without worries about tomorrow - because You know I am watching over you.
“Hold on to your faith. Look to My face – there you will see My love and My loyalty. What more do you need to be happy? What more do you need than Me?
“I want you to be grounded and settled in faith so that the storms don’t move you away from My word for you. Your test came from Satan. He tried to destroy you, your calling, Aldo’s calling – but I have broken his power. He has no more power over you. Today I proclaim liberty to the captives! Lean on Me, and Me alone! I will save you from harm; I will do whatever is needed and so much more!”
The people I met in America feel like family to me. And so we are... family in Christ! To all of you – Don’t let anything keep you from fulfilling that which the King has put in your heart to do. You are very special. God has a big plan for your lives. Don’t be blinded by your circumstances. Pray, repent, and intercede for America and your families, and let the power of God flow through you to be a light to the world. You are called for the last hour. Thank you, thank you for your love towards me.
During my last visit in McKinney Texas a young man came to me and used the last of his money to buy Texas football shirts for Aldo and Josh. Believe me those shirts were expensive. (Upon my arrival in Texas I looked at similar shirts in one of the shops at the airport and thought to myself how much the boys would like them, but they were just too expensive for me.) The morning before I left this young man came to have breakfast with us and gave me the two shirts as a present to take home to Aldo and Josh. As he handed it to me, I was reminded of the story of the widow who gave her last pennies for the temple treasury. With tears in my eyes I accepted his gift and realized that I couldn’t refuse it. I gave him a tight hug and blessed him. On the airplane I thought about this young man and his gift, and Holy Spirit reminded me of His words that seeds of faith will bring in an eternal harvest. With my precious cargo in mind I prayed a quick prayer, “Please Abba Father, protect my luggage and the special gift that I packed last – the two shirts lying on top of everything else.”
When I finally arrived at O.R. Tambo airport, my luggage wasn’t there. The airport assured me that they will deliver it later when it arrived from London. In between my planning for the Spirit School and all the other things that needed to be done, I asked Janette to please phone the airport and follow up on the suitcases. “They are saying it’s still in London.” “Just keep trying,” I encouraged her, “I really want my suitcase back.”
Tinus overheard our conversation and said, “Retah, it’s not so bad if you don’t get your suitcase back. It’s only earthly things. We can replace it.” I gave a sigh and immediately started praying, “Father, you know how special those two shirts from that young man to Aldo and Zozzie are. Please will you make a way.”
The next day the suitcases were delivered. You can see that the contents of my suitcase were thrown out, and the suitcase was broken beyond repair, but at least I had my things back. I immediately opened the suitcase to look for the shirts. At first I couldn’t find them, but after throwing everything out I found them near the bottom of the pile of clothes. Yes! The seed made it to South-Africa!! Thank You my Abba, that You gave me the desire of my heart. You saw how badly I wanted to buy it for them and then you sent a young man, who gave his last to buy it, but also because You knew what a great harvest it was going to bring in for him. Thank You, Father.
We also had friends from New York here in South-Africa during the time when I was in America. The day I came back from the USA was the day they travelled back home, so we had one last lunch before they left. I could tell them about my time in America and they told me about their time in South-Africa. When they left for the airport I felt the same as when I said goodbye to my other American friends who I left behind in the US – you all feel like family!
With the accident and everything else that happened, we lost a lot of friends in the process. The road of faith we are walking on is probably too strange for them, I’m not sure? But today I can sit here and miss my friends all over the world, because God has given me new friends who have become like family.
It is good to be home – I am flying out again tomorrow to minister this weekend. I know I have to be faithful to the things that God has put in my heart to do. This word is for us all - don’t look to the left or to the right - Always remember that today’s obstacles must not be allowed to overshadow the dreams God placed in your heart yesterday, for your tomorrow.
I think we are going to have an early night tonight... in Jesus’ arms.
Retah and family.