South Africa Chronicles, Part 3 - January 30, 2007 Print E-mail
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"HOW ARE YOU?"  Has been the greeting I have heard most around one church where I did a church camp. Inevitably, a smile follows and the answer "BLESSED."  I recently spoke at a church service from Ephesians 1:1-14 on Paul's imprisonment and the weariness of the people. Paul's response was to write to them of the God who had blessed them. We looked at 13 "blessings." So, instead of saying "fine" or "o.k." when asked how we are doing, why not say what we truly are-- "BLESSED." Paul found himself incarcerated, the believers found themselves "weary," BUT Paul saw beyond his and their circumstances to the blessings of God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Irrespective of circumstances they were, as you are beloved, in Christ-- "Blessed!"

RADIO: "MOVE OVER DAD!!  The week has been full. I was invited back to do a radio show that began at 7 pm titled "Time to Decide." The pastor who brought me to the radio show advised I wait to go on the air at 7:15, as that is when people had been told I would speak. So unbeknownst to me, John-Keith went missing. I looked through the glass into the radio interview, and over the loud speaker in the waiting room, I heard the announcer speaking and asking questions to John-Keith. He was giving testimony to the Lord Jesus and the work of His life in his soul!! The interviewer asked him some very pointed and good questions, and John-Keith by God’s Grace was able to give an account for the hope that is within him. Drugs among the young here is rampant, particularly a drug named TIK.

 

Finally I got to get into the studio and share. We continued the topic I had spoken on from the week before, "God’s purpose in your pain." I met an older lady later that week who said that she had listened to the program and that it was too short. She wanted to know if I could give a longer message. Presently we have been approached by one station in regards to playing two-minute devotionals or perhaps our radio broadcast to a potential audience of 3 million people in the area. PLEASE PRAY, if it pleases the Lord to open up the opportunity to "PROCLAIM HIM " on a regular basis here in South Africa. Someone has volunteered to look into helping with logistics and perhaps also speaking to another station. The amount of response to the show has surprised me. Lord willing, again this week I will speak-- unless John-Keith bumps me off!!! I later asked him if he was nervous when being interviewed, he said "yes." He had no idea it was coming. He just went into the studio with a young friend to see what it was like, and found himself sitting in the interview chair with headphones and microphone before him!

PREPARATION FOR MINISTRY:

I walked home one day with John-Keith, and we spoke about the ministry he has been with which he has been involved in a town ship. The township can only be described as squalor. It is a place that has to be seen to be believed. Shacks are called "homes." I am told of the violence, gangs, unemployment, poverty etc.       When I told one lady I loved to go there, she replied, "People would think you have come from another planet." Apparently, I have been told many people are brought up with the advice to go nowhere near the place and fear to. Perhaps being Irish (half-mad) helps as I love to go there. It is the highlight of my day. John Keith goes early and helps one lady who makes the "soup." At times he sits crouched in the back of a truck with the soup and other resources that go each morning to the people-- mothers, grandmothers with infants, and teens who stand in the blazing heat waiting for the food to come.  With little white bowls they move forward, and John Keith along with others fill their bowls full with the soup of that day. Recently, I watched a little girl who was maybe five or six drop her bowl. There on the ground was her food for the day on the sun soaked pavement. Without a word or any emotion, she turned and walked away from the line- her meal gone. There was no pleading for another bowl, or any emotion-- just a blank stare and a walk away. God, in His mercy, allowed me to see what had happened. I turned her around and brought her back and had another bowl filled to the brim. I made sure the lid was tight, and off she went to a smiling grandmother. The last time I wrote, the bread company who had donated bread had stopped. I have been praying and crying out to God, and yesterday I went back to see someone had provided bread for that day. What about today and the next? WILL YOU PRAY that God will move on someone’s hearts to help. Maybe even.... you? How about giving up eating out once a week, and using the resources to help feed these who may get one meal a day? For more information contact me. 

As John Keith and I walked home we talked about how God had PREPARED him to MINISTER. For months now he has been the primary one who washes the dishes in our home, and he does a GREAT JOB. Now, in the mornings he goes and helps make the soup that are made in canisters perhaps 4 feet high by three feet wide. After all the food is placed into plastic buckets and transferred by a small truck to the town ships, he returns and with one faithful lady he begins to scrub and scrub the canisters until they are spotless. (At times I have seen him lie to one side, always a sign to me that his back which hurts. He does not want me to know because he does not want to worry me.) I told him that all these months while he washed dishes at home without complaint, God was preparing Him to come to SOUTH Africa and wash the canisters of those whom He would use John- Keith to help feed.

 

So, for those children reading or teens who have been following John-Keith and " The Chronicles of South Africa," "do not despise the days of small things." For if you are faithful in little, perhaps God may give you opportunities to be faithful in bigger things. God is preparing you to be used by Him to bless others for Jesus’ sake! Is washing dishes and complaining about it honoring God or demonstrating Christ-like change in your life? He hung on a cross for you, so you could feel the "right" to complain? He took a bowl and towel and stooped to wash the feet of those who would run from Him, deny Him, and betray Him. Love always stoops to serve others. Making your bed, carrying out the trash, washing dishes even, as unto the Lord with a good attitude not only honors Him, but also may be preparation for Him to use you as He desires!

 

What is bigger than to be used to serve and scrub and hand out food to those who cannot repay you, and in many ways do not speak your language. Love is a language all understand. Tracts of various languages are often given along with the soup and prayer that God would feed their souls. John-Keith has told someone he wants to come back in the summer. The other day there was a conflict in how would he get there. He was told to do the easy thing, take a day off and enjoy the sights. His response was, "How far away is the township- I could walk!" Someone said he could get "mugged " and that it may not be safe. Whether that is true I do not know, but he was determined to get there, and God provided.

 

Today he arose early this morning and is gone again. The man who runs the soup kitchen has said that some people come and hand out the soup and leave. "Anyone can do that, but the real ministry " he said as he looked towards the kitchen, “ is in there." That is where the soups are made beginning at 6 in the morning and the pots are being scrubbed. With shame I thought, what I am doing? Who is on the other side of the wall but one lady and a 16 year old, John -Keith. To those of you who have prayed for him, PLEASE CONTINUE to. Pray that his life would be spent on JESUS CHRIST and the things of Christ and when we return to the States. Pray that life would not suck us up into a society intoxicated where materialism is master and people are incidental. God help us. I am not trying to be critical, but how I wish you could see the opportunities to share the Lord Jesus here. EVERY DAY I get to speak of Him, and I Love it!!!   

 

"BLESSED ASSURANCE"

I was asked by a dear young pastor to visit a sweet saint of the Lord who may be in her final weeks before seeing the Lord Jesus face to face. I felt uncomfortable as I had just met her once, and decided to stay in the car while he went into the home. He came out and said she wanted to see me. I went in and we talked of  HIM! She was saved when she was fifty years old. Her daughter would give her tracts and she would hide them or throw them away until finally one day she read Matt 11:28-"Come to Me all you who are weary and heavy laden..." She knelt by her bed and came to Jesus. As we talked, she sat up and asked, "Am I going mad? What is wrong with me?" I told her I did not know all her circumstances, but perhaps the medication she was on for her illness was making her feel that way.

 

She reached over and grabbed her Bible off the night stand, clutched it to her chest as though it was gold, and said "I feel safe when I have this." I asked her if she had a favorite passage. She replied, "Psalm 150." I began to read, and she lay and listened. The Holy Spirit seemed to sooth her aching heart and mind. After I read, I asked her if she had a favorite song. She thought and said, "yes." She struggled to remember it, but knew it was by "Crosby, Fanny Crosby, and the word ‘Blessed’” was in it.  I asked her if it was "Blessed assurance." I sat by her bed and began to sing "Blessed Assurance, Jesus is Mine! Oh, what a foretaste of glory Divine. Heir of salvation, purchased of God.... and washed in His Blood. This is my Story, this is my song, praising my Savior all the day long. This is my story, this is my song, praising my Savior all the Day Long." She placed both her hands on my hand, and with eyes closed and weak with strength she sang along. I could hear footsteps behind me from time to time come into the room and then leave. We continued singing, and I read to her from the Scriptures of the Lord Jesus. We had a time of prayer, and what a privilege it was to listen to her and the things she has learned of the Lord on her journey with Him. A journey of " Blessed Assurance." Please pray for her and her dear family.

 

SICK TO SHARE?

I went with a dear young pastor to see a young mom in hospital last night. As we spoke, we shared on some of the things I had spoken at the conference she attended this past weekend. For example, Philippians 1:12, "For my circumstances have worked out for the GREATER PROGRESS of the Gospel." We spoke about how Paul in prison advanced the Gospel in his circumstances though chained daily to a guard every six hours. He was confined, but not silenced. He could speak to God and he could speak out for God. Two ways he advanced the Gospel were to EVANGELIZE those in his prison sphere, and to ENCOURAGE the brothers also in prison to speak the Word of God with boldness. I reminded her of Romans 8:28, "ALL things work together for good....” Across from her lay a lady who was from Germany. She was a huge SOCCER FAN. Since I had something in common, I decided to go and "fish." I went over to see how she was feeling. She asked me what I did, and she said, "I heard you say ‘ALL THINGS WORK TOGETHER FOR GOOD...’ What did you mean?"

 

I told her that "All things work together for good " not for everyone, but only those who "love Him." I explained as best as I could the Gospel and how to come to the Lord Jesus. We had a beautiful time. The young pastor asked where she lived, and she just happened to live near his church. He took over, and I went back to the lady we had originally went to see and encouraged her that her hospital visit could have been for no other reason than she be in a bed next to this lady whom the Lord wanted to EVANGELIZE. God was working even in her own illness and circumstances to work together for good because she loved Him. As I prayed, I thought here are four of us in a room from four different continents praying to the God of Heaven, the Resurrected Lord Jesus. Now that is FUN!!!  

 

Well, John- Keith just walked in from serving the King by washing pots and serving soup. Later today we get to have a meal with a precious brother whom the Lord brought into His Kingdom many years ago in Alabama at a meeting we were at together. Now he and his family are missionaries in South Africa. "Blessed Assurance," Jesus is ours. How wonderful He is and what a privilege. This morning when I awoke {one of the many times throughout the night,} I couldn't help but think if the Lord was to take me now I would die happy with such a chance as I have had to serve the King. I do not want to leave my wife or children yet. I want to co-labor with Him, and others who do want to not talk about advancing the Gospel but live to do so. That would be a dream!

 

 

God bless you, and thank you to those of you who support us. Pray for us and pray God will increase our opportunities to make more of a dent and influence for the Kingdom of God by blessing us with what is needed to accomplish such. WILL YOU PLEASE PRAY?

 

 

Aidan's itinerary for the rest of the week: 

WEDNESDAY - JAN 31ST - I speak at church.

 

THURSDAY- Jan 1at - Live one hour radio show

 

SATURDAY - FEB 3rd - I will speak at a men's Prayer Breakfast.

 

SUNDAY FEB 4th AM - SOMERSET WEST - I will travel Saturday evening with John Keith to another part of the country, stay that night, and speak at another church that morning.

 

SUNDAY FEB 4TH PM - Travel back to another city, PARKLANDS, in time to speak at evening service.

 

MONDAY FEB 5TH- - MAKE OUR WAY BACK TO THE STATES, LORD WILLING... arriving home on the 6TH

 

THURSDAY 8TH -  Speak in South Carolina

 

Aidan for John Keith McKenzie and family

Aidan and John-Keith at CCFM radio station in South Africa..."PROCLAIMING HIM" together.