Missionary... really? This is what I've asked myself when I took a career test. I disregarded it and went on with my life... 15 years later I found myself doing God's work, working at a Christian based Rehabilitation Centre, but I was so frustrated and miserable. Then out of the blue I was invited by a friend to go on an "Open Mission Trip" with Every Tribe Missions. I had no idea why I had to go, but I knew God was telling me that this is a window of opportunity and I must trust Him. Here I was, a Manager of a Rehab Centre going on a mission trip... really? I seem to ask that question a lot these days... Life changing! The supernatural became more real to me in those 5 days than the natural. Lives were being touched, healings, salvations! God using ordinary people to expand His Kingdom, I didn't realize that so many people are hungry for God! A precious lady of the age of 78 went to church all her life but did not know that she had to welcome Jesus into heart in order to receive eternal life. How many more are out there? Jesus help me if I don't go out! My life was turned upside down and on that mission trip God reminded me of that career test. Missions Training Program here I come! I told the leader's right there and then they will definitely see me next year and here I am! I expect great things and divine direction in my life in order for me to be Jesus's hands and feet... Really!
We are all called for the ministry of reconciliation (according to 2 Corinthians 5:18), every single one of us! You can minister at your school, varsity, workplace, to your own family, to your neighbour and friends. Matthew 28:18-19 is for every believer. Go to church to receive in order to give out, when you step out of church you step into the mission field. 31st January 2015 the day I started the Missions Training Program (MTP) Oh my goodness! I honestly cannot explain how life changing each subject is at MTP. There were stages that I felt like a total fool when I caught onto a revelation; scriptures I have been reading for over 10 years became alive in my spirit! Being a new creation in Christ; Submission unto authority; and don't talk about the Fruit of the Spirit! I said more "Eina & Ouch" than "Hallelujah & Amen"! It was amazing, and still is, how the Holy Spirit works... as students we experience EVERYTHING practically! Specially Fruit of the Spirit! And the leaders are so obedient to God's voice, yes there is a program, but the Holy Spirit is definitely in charge! That is what makes this program so unique and life changing.
I mentioned practical, you cannot get more practical then with the BUSH COOKING! What a challenge for someone who steams her food and works with an electrical stove! I lost a few arm hairs in the process, tip... don't put pots on if the flames are as tall as you! Ok, yes I'm over reacting, but it felt like that! I also had to slaughter a chicken! Really! I slaughtered a chicken; I even had to give it a name... I named mine after my instructor (Uncle Paul)... ha ha... I didn't like the idea of killing an animal, but this was part of our survival training.
It tasted good, not Kentucky good, but good... survival good ;-) Purifying water was fun, but patience plays a huge role there, not to mention building a shelter.
Now let me get to our first mission trip... This took place in Peddie, where 1601 people welcomed our Lord Jesus Christ into their lives! I would like to share three amazing testimonies:
A lady who practiced traditional healing since 1976 got saved! This was all she knew and her only income. The amazing part of this story is that God prepared her beforehand. She had a dream that we will visit her home and in the dream we were removing all paraphernalia relating to witchcraft. She was so receptive to the Good News and allowed the team to remove all beads from her body. Hidden objects were given to us out of her own free will. She now has the faith to trust God for a new start. The local church has received a new sister in Christ. I thank God that we were obedient to His call. A life was totally transformed!
A Muslim shop owner accepted Jesus Christ into his life after I've prayed for the shop assistant. He was so intrigued by what we were doing; I started to share the Gospel with him. He couldn't believe that Jesus wanted a relationship with him and that He died on the cross whilst he was yet a sinner. He was so hungry to know more, that he couldn't wait to read the Gospel of John. We had opportunities to minister in town, street ministry, and as I was ministering to a lady I noticed two traffic officers across the road. Immediately I felt this urgency to go share the Good News with them. After I prayed for the lady I looked up and they were gone, I was so disappointed and shared this with one of our leaders, Zama. As I was speaking to her they came out of a shop, such boldness came over me andI ran across that road before I would lose them again. One of the traffic officers were not interested at all, however the other gentleman was so receptive.
He received Jesus Christ as his Lord and Saviour. Something hap-pened on the inside of me as well. I returned to Zama and just started crying, I knew my authority in Christ and every authority on earth must bow down to His name. I'm purely the vessel and some people are not rejecting me, but Christ. Nothing is about me anymore, it is all about Him and expanding His Kingdom! MTP covers all angles and you are stretched emotionally (being away from family and friends), physically (loosing hair), mentally ("...It's only a chicken") and spiritually (praying for a traffic officer). It reminds me of Isaiah 64:8, we are in the Potter's hands.
Time is really flying by these last two months, classes continued as usual and the highlight was our 4x4 practical. This took place on my birthday and was an awesome birthday gift, to have an adventure with friends ;-) Pastor Pete from Beyond Adventures was our instructor and he did a really good job because the vehicles returned intact with no scratches... ha ha ha. We were blessed to see Giraffes on our way back from 4x4, ending the day with a "thumbs up".
I was also blessed to share my special day with the students and staff at MTP, eating divine chocolate & mint cupcakes! That went down well after a long day of driving up and down ;-)
A month will not be complete if we haven't written exams, studying continued. A subject that really stood out for me was "Culture". Yes, our main aim is to present the Kingdom Culture, but it is vital not to lose the inhabitants because of culture clashes and misunderstanding. Paul said to the Jews I become Jew, to the Gentiles I become a Gentile... for the Kingdom's sake. People are so different, but we all have one thing in common, Christ died for ALL... ALL of us, not for a certain culture or colour! Glory to Him!
We had to plan our very own mission trip and unfortunately I was in charge of the budget! Yes, budgeting for hungry missionaries, and this includes mostly the staff ;-), is not easy... lol. If it was up to me they could've fasted for at least two days, ha ha. Jokes aside, we really did well with the planning and ministered near Peddie in a village called Woodlands. I was so blessed that week, God moved in an intimate, powerful way. One lady's hearing was restored. The expression on her face was priceless! Many one on one ministry took place and God touched the very heart of each individual. I shared with the group that the Word of God that was spoken out over Woodlands and into the hearts of the people are solid! Unshakeable, immovable Word of God! Revival! It is like cement settling into that area and hearts and nothing that the devil tries to hinder growth will succeed! Foundation has been laid! It was truly an appointed time. Before we even started our journey to Woodlands we encountered challenges. We knew straight away that the enemy was not happy! Why? Because 578 souls entered the Kingdom of God that week! Hallelujah!
My father taught me that it is not how you start a job / race, but it is how you finish a job / race. I can honestly say I gave my best during these 4 months, and I thank the Lord for all the difficult times, all the challenges... it only shaped and moulded me to be more effective for His Kingdom. Have I arrived? Never! I don't want to even think that I can... I want to grow more and more and more each day, until it is no longer I, but Christ living in me. The nations await, who shall go? Here I am Lord, send me!
If God has called you to be a missionary I dare you to answer that call, the Missions Training Program has changed my life and it can do the same for you!
Rene is currently serving at Every Tribe Missions as a Commission Trip Leader, she resigned as manager of Shepherds Field Rehabilitation Centre and doing what God has called her to do.