In the last month we have planted a new church in Masiphumelele, we have appointed local leaders as the elders and are attending it as our primary church family. We are so excited as we see many of the leaders we have poured into over the last 5 years, step up and lead a new community of faith with spiritual maturity and discernment.
On easter sunday we went out in the community to share the gospel and offer prayer for the sick. Masi is a very religious or spiritual community, people are often engaged in attending some form of church service and worshipping their ancestors (sometimes in the same place!), and so anyone who was not in church on eater sunday is truly someone who has lost any hope for themselves or that God is interested in them.
We met one man, who was astounded and delighted that we were addressing him in Xhosa, as I told him my own story of searching for belonging in lots of the wrong places and that Jesus had made a way to return to the place of belonging the Father has always intended (His family), he was encouraged.
His wife arrived (they were both a little drunk – on sunday morning!), she said her name in Xhosa meant “Not a boy yet” because her parents were really wanting to have a boy. Immediately I felt the Spirit of God prompt me to say that God has always intended them to have a daughter, and he was not at all disappointed that she had be born. She immediately teared up and I considered what simple words those were, but how through the Spirit of God they had the power to set someone free from an identity crisis that had been in place from her birth. These are the ‘words of life’ that the Father is longing for his lost children to hear.
After we asked if we could pray for them, as we prayed a blessing over them the woman said, ‘I’m healed!’. We were surprised as she had never mentioned anything about being sick, and she started explaining in Xhosa (too fast for us to follow) and stamping on the ground with one of her feet! Our Xhosa friend then explained she had a pain in her hip which meant she was limping (which she excited imitated) and then immediately began jumping on one leg (the one which used to have pain) and almost dancing!
We were overjoyed that on Easter Sunday, Christ new creation life had overflowed from us into a lady who felt far off from the Kingdom.
and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. – Luke 9:2
As I mentioned in a previous post, I don’t want to present this as a king of ‘daily occurance’ for us here. I do believe much of holiness is to be found in what we call the ‘mundane’, and we often pray for the sick and there is no healing (or at least the claim of healing seems a little suspect), but on Easter Sunday, we preached the kingdom of God and healed a sick person (by accident) in the Name of our risen Lord! He is worthy to be praised or as Ps. 145:3 says in the Message;
God is magnificent; he can never be praised enough. There are no boundaries to his greatness.
Image: John Schinker