Sunday, October 3, 2010

A changed life...

“I can’t see myself doing anything else.” These words still ring as true to me today as they did when I said them over 2 years ago. Usually, I write to you about how God has changed someone’s life, but I have experienced so much here in South Africa, that my life has been changed as well! The fact of the matter is, when I first arrived here in Cape Town, I had no idea what God was going to do in my life personally. All I knew was that I had finally made it and that it was time to go to work. As I began to introduce people to Christ and see people wanting to know God, I didn’t realize that being in ministry here has changed my life too! Many factors are involved, some are good and others seemed to be bad but turned out to be good in the end.
“I’ve read more books and studied the Word more intensely than I ever have in my life!” The biblical foundation that I have now is much greater than it was a year ago, and its all because of the constant pressure from God Himself on me to grow and be spiritually mature in order to minister effectively. I praise God that He has molded, shaped, and even challenged me through the many conversations I’ve had with students; from atheists to Muslims, and everything in between, and also gave me a greater heart for the lost.
“I’ve learned a whole new kind of patience since being here.” It’s really hard waiting on God to move when you are trying to go 100 mph. That’s exactly how it felt when I would have to wait for a month or 2 before I would get in contact with a student for the second or third time. However, in many cases, when I finally met with the student, something amazing had happened in their life, or God would allow me to minister to them in a way that changed their entire frame of thinking. God has shown me that patience is a big part of my life when it comes to my spiritual growth. As I said before, my life has been greatly impacted by serving in ministry overseas and my desire is to continue doing so by joining staff once I return home.

Now, we have one goal left and that is to GO HARD and FINISH STRONG. My time is drawing to a close here, so my desire is to put all I have into this final coming month to inspire and encourage these students not to waste their lives and to start a movement of evangelism and discipleship on their campus. Remember, you are doing it with me through your partnership and I appreciate your hard work very much.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Power of the gospel message

“God is everything.” These words still ring true in my ears as I reflect back to a conversation I had with a guy named Lovemore at the University of Cape Town. During the conversation, I asked him and his friend David, “Have you ever heard of how you can have a close relationship with God through Jesus Christ?” Lovemore replied, “Yes, I have heard about it. In fact, many people have tried to tell me about it.” David remained silent. So I asked Lovemore, “Well, since so many people have tried it, would you mind if I try as well?” “Sure,” he said. By the end of the conversation they were both convinced of the truth of God and how He wants to have a relationship with them. What surprised me in the end was that Lovemore’s friend David, the one who remained silent the whole time, accepted Christ! I could see he truly desired to know more. As for Lovemore, he decided not to accept Christ at that moment, but that doesn’t mean I will stop pursuing him, in order to convince him more on the love of Christ. We will see what God does.
“I’m not saved.” A freshman by the name of Vuyani said these words to me one day as I met up with him to discuss more about his salvation in Christ. The day before, I met him briefly for the first time and when I asked him if he knows Jesus he replied, “Yes.” Imagine my confusion when we sat down to chat more about his Christianity the next day when he tells, “I’m not saved, but I’m trying.” God set up this divine appointment for a reason. I explained the gospel to him and how he could be saved and he accepted Christ! Praise God! I explained to him afterwards that, “This isn’t where it ends, this is where it begins.” So, now I’m beginning the process of meeting with him on a regular basis to train him and help him grow in his faith.
These are just a couple things that are going on so far in this outreach. Please be assured that each day we head out to these college campuses here in Cape Town, that God blesses our efforts to make Christ known. Even if no one accepts Christ, we know that a seed has been planted in someone’s life and in the end God gets the glory for it. I’m so excited to know that this is only the beginning of God’s work here! I can hardly wait to see what He will do next! Know that your prayers are heard and your donations are much appreciated, and know that you are a part of this too! Can you imagine a stranger walking up to you in heaven, saying, “Thank you,” and not knowing what they are thanking you for? May we constantly keep in mind that we live this life to make sure that everyone knows someone who truly follows Jesus.
Grace and peace,

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

January Newsletter

We’re here, I mean, we are really here!” Well, after a LONG flight we finally landed here in South Africa 3 weeks ago. My initial response after getting off the plane was, “Man, its kind of warm here.” I say this because I left Indianapolis wearing a hoodie, a coat, scarf, and a nice warm hat, but you can imagine how quickly those layers fell off once we got here. Because it was the evening, the temperature wasn’t as high as it could’ve been when we got here, which was a relief. The reality that I was back in South Africa, however, hit me very quickly. Laureen and I (well, mostly Laureen) were so nicely helped by one of the airport workers with our luggage and finding where to connect flights at to get to Cape Town. What threw me off was what he said after he got us to where we needed to be; “You have a tip for me, man?” He received my very American response, “A tip!?!?” We were already set up for failure the minute he started helping us.
There are a lot of students here, Lord.” Fast-forwarding, now 3 weeks into the mission trip, we have started hitting the college campuses to get a feel of who the people are and how to best meet their spiritual needs. The last week of January and the first one of February are orientation weeks for the University of Cape Town (UCT) and there are bunches of people everywhere, especially first year students getting ready to get the year started. As a matter of fact, their school years are different from the U.S.; their school year begins around the end of January and goes till about October or November, with their winter vacation being in June and July. Just a few days ago I was able to reconnect with my friend, Chris, who I met 2 years ago when I was here on a 5-week summer mission project. Chris is from Cameroon but has been living here for some time now, currently in his third year studying at UCT.
Chris and I were able to catch up on some things and as I was describing my experiences here in SA so far, he asks me, “You’re not scared?” The reason for him asking this was the fact that he’s been robbed at knife-point twice since he’s been here. My answer to the question was very certain, “No,” however, I wasn’t sure why. Then the next morning the Lord brought a scripture to mind from Acts 20:24 that gives me comfort for this coming year: “I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.”
I praise God for you, because you are a big part of what God will be doing here through me this coming year! Thank you!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Updates on support

Greetings friends!

Praise the Lord for a new year! Here's the updates from last week on support and what to be praying for.

Praise the Lord with me for:
- Bringing in unexpected support and putting me on the minds and hearts of different people to give!
- $10 more in monthly support!
- $425 in one-time gifts!

Pray with me for:
- Diligence in making phone calls and continuing to ask people for support.
- My teammate Laureen. She found out that her dates on her ticket have been mixed up. Pray that things can be situated so she can leave on the 9th.
- Around $800 in monthly support still needed.
- That I can enjoy this last week here with family and friends.

If there is a desire for any of you to give, or if you may want to give my info to someone you know, here is my give page:

Thank you all for your prayers and support through out these last 3 weeks of support raising. I really appreciate you. I plan on getting out my last newsletter by the end of the week, so be on the look out for that! May the Lord's grace be with you all!


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Update on support

Hello friends,

As this week begins, I wanted to reflect back on last week and update you all with praise reports and prayer requests.

Praise Reports:
-The Lord allowed me to make 100 phone calls for the first time ever last week!! Praise Him!
-The Lord brought in $125-135 in monthly pledges!
-The Lord brought in $275 in one-time gifts!

Prayer Requests:
-Pray with me that all those who pledged to give monthly might be able to start their giving within the next 2 weeks ($900 to go!).
-Pray for my teammate Laureen that God may finish her support on time as well.
-Pray that I may seek the Lord's face and trust in John 14:13-14 ( I have also been praying through Ps. 37 and Ps. 141:1-2, 8).
-Pray with me that my visa may come on time.
-Pray for traveling mercies as I head home to Fort Wayne, IN tomorrow (Tues) to celebrate Christmas with my family.
-Pray with me that God may put me and the mission trip on the hearts and minds of potential supporters and that they may act on His call to give.

Thank you so much for the prayers. God is so faithful to His children and I believe He wont leave us alone as we trust in Him. Have a merry Christmas as we reflect on Jesus' humility to identify Himself with fallen humanity when He came into the world to save the world!

Thanks and God bless

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Prayer Request

Hey friends,

I need you all to be praying with me for the next 3 weeks for the following:

$1,000 more in monthly support by Jan 9, 2010
$700 more in one-time gifts by Jan 9, 2010
A smooth Visa application process

Our flights are set to leave Jan 9, 2010 so I will be trying to give an update for each week on how everything is going. I know God has something in store and planned, He just hasn't revealed it yet. Thank you so much for your prayers and partnership!

Grace and peace

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

November Newsletter: Eager to preach the Good News

“Kids, what do you want Jerrah to bring us back from his mission trip?” Miss Anika often asks her children different questions concerning me or my mission trip, but their answer to this particular question really made me think about what the driving force behind this mission trip should be while I’m there: “Some pictures of you with new believers.” I was blown away at the fact that out of everything I could possibly bring back, the things of greatest value and of highest praise are the remembrance of the new souls that God has granted into his kingdom through Jesus Christ! The bible vividly shows us that this is one of the greatest things that heaven rejoices over in Luke 15.

In this month, more than in previous months, the gospel message has taken a more important place in my life after studying Romans 1:16-17. I learned that “the Gospel is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, BECAUSE, it is God giving to us what He demands from us, which is His righteousness, as a gift.” I honestly know that I have grown closer to the Lord this month as I felt the weight of what this message means to me and also the need for not only South Africans to know, but the entire world! Furthermore, I also began to understand that God has taken these 6 months to prepare me for what lies ahead, in my own life, as well as in the lives of the students in South Africa.

Your prayers and financial support are really appreciated, and I know that Jesus has called you in some way to touch the lives of others for His name’s sake, and one of the ways you are doing it is happening through me by your investments. People can search the world for things to give their time and resources to, but if the hope of salvation and redemption from sin isn’t behind it, it becomes futile. So, as I step out on faith to get ready to head to South Africa in a little over a month, I can’t help but the think of all of you who have been and will be behind me as I go to fulfill the Great Commission of Mathew 28:19.