Why did those words1, among pages of notes taken at our DOVE Conference, jump off the page at me this week? Obviously, because I needed to hear them–again! As Christ-followers, it is absolutely necessary for us to intentionally block off time to commune with God and intentionally block out all the distractions. Intentionally is the key word. It will not happen unless we make it happen.
Here in Maputo, Mozambique, I am blocked off from most distractions (especially because I chose not to connect to a roaming cell phone network). Even though far from home, it feels like coming home to a place of quiet and peace. I reflect.
Matthew chapter 24 talks about increased persecution in the end times. In the midst of it, “the love of most will grow cold.” Could part of the “persecution” that causes coldness of spirit be all the technology that makes us (me) accessible and distractible 24/7? Or the schedules that run us (me) ragged until time alone with the Lord slips through our fingers?
For sure, we MUST shut the door and enter a secret place in God’s presence.
1LaVerne Kreider at the DOVE International Leadership Conference, Sandy Cove, MD, March 2019
Two weeks ago, we started a series of Sonship classes in DOVE Nairobi. What puzzles me is why we had not done this a while back. Many of us carry “father wounds” or “mother wounds” that should have been addressed early in our Christian walk.
Too often, instead, we keep on misunderstanding, criticizing, mistrusting and actually hurting one another. Marriages struggle. People leave church but do not settle anywhere; they develop a wandering spirit. Others become so busy, working hard for the Lord in order to gain His love and approval. We strive to fulfill the Great Commission of making disciples (Mt. 28:19-20) without recognizing we probably need—even more importantly—a healthy dose of the Great Commandment to love God with all our hearts (Mt. 22:37-39).Needless to say, I am thoroughly enjoying this class. It is gratifying to be seeking the Father heart of God, receiving his love and sharing it with others. Maybe, just maybe, this will be the thrust that sparks the next revival we are all longing for.
Another terrorist attack has seized Nairobi. The attack that began after 3 p.m. yesterday has left several people with gunshot wounds and a total of 14 dead.
We are encouraged that before some of our elite forces entered the building, they knelt down to pray. Many stories of courage warm the heart in the midst of the pain.
This morning at about 4 a.m., security men rescued about 50 people who were still trapped at the building that houses two hotels, a bank and offices. This made a total of over seven hundred people who were evacuated from the building. When the officers then approached the hideout of the remaining six terrorists, there were explosions and heavy gunfire. But security forces moved quickly and soon after, all of the terrorists had been taken out.
Pray with us that the typical repercussions of suspicion, mistrust, insecurity and economic downturn (due to less tourism) will be minimal.
Let the Almighty God stretch forth His hand over Kenya. Thank you for your prayers.
We have received many New Year greetings and wishes. This one, however, caught my attention: “May you follow the pathway of God even closer in 2019!”
Following God more closely is precisely what I desire.
In Acts chapter 9, we read about God getting Saul’s attention by knocking him off his horse. Saul was very busy doing what he thought was “right”—but the fact was that he was totally out of line with God’s plans and purposes for him.
Then in Acts chapter 10, we read about God getting Peter’s attention by giving him a thrice-repeated vision just before visitors knocked on the door to invite him to the home of a Gentile, Cornelius. Peter also was very busy doing what he thought God expected of him (and he might not have been quite as far out of line as Saul was). Even so, God had different plans and He needed Peter to get on HIS agenda.
I have been painfully aware in the past several months of being very busy doing . . . ahem . . . doing what? Usually, the things that I assume I am supposed to be doing. However, am I truly, fully on GOD’s agenda, or just on my own?
As we start 2019, I resolve to take more time to listen more keenly for God’s intentions for my every day. I am also asking Him to do whatever it takes to put me and keep me on HIS track.
I pray we will all follow the pathway of God even closer in 2019.
Many blessings for a wonderful year!
We trust you had a wonderful Christmas! We certainly did. This December also brought a special gift of a retreat with the DOVE Africa missionaries. I cannot help but be encouraged, challenged and grateful—all at once!Encouraged by the stories of how God has protected, provided for and directed these men and women who are serving in very difficult areas around East Africa.
Challenged by the need that is still so great: whole villages and people groups who are yet to have a viable witness of Christ or reproducing church in their midst.
Grateful for the commitment of those who have chosen to serve God sacrificially rather than advance their own careers or financial futures. And, very grateful for those of you who give to support their work. Thank you!
Security concerns forbid us from saying very much on social media, but be assured that God is doing wonders through this team! You can read several testimonies here and here (lead story on each newsletter). The DMA missionaries are a gift to us and the Kingdom!
We had a rich and rewarding walk through the Bible over the last two weeks. To top it off, we read the book of Hebrews in our Sunday service. Written to a Jewish ‘audience,’ Hebrews really helps make sense of how to understand the Old Testament. It is a shadow or copy of The Fulfillment: Jesus Christ, whose once-for-all sacrifice is superior and all-sufficient.
The theme that resonated so loudly to me in this year’s reading was that God’s promises are conditional on our obedience. Don’t get me wrong: His love is never conditional, His faithfulness is not dependent on any other factors, and His Word never changes.
But when it comes to God’s promised blessings, the outcome is primarily up to us. I have no problem with claiming promises, but let’s take up our responsibility to obey His commands right along with it.
“We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands” (I Jn 2:3).
Thank you for helping to support DOVE Missions Africa in the Read-a-Thon this year. We reached almost 70% of our $1,000 target; the door for giving is still wide open!
Mary* was not having a very good day, to say the least. Having been left by her husband weeks ago—without a job or source of income—she has been struggling to feed her three children, the youngest being five months old.
Mary had worked last week as a househelp. Today when she arrived at the same house, hoping for a day’s work and payment at the end of it, she found the house locked. She was told by neighbors that the family had moved; no “forwarding address” and no telephone number were available.
Now Mary was walking back home. She did not even have the twenty cents (shillings) she needed to pay for a bus. All she was thinking about during her five-mile trek was the best way she could go about taking her life. The outlook was too bleak. But, her walk took her past DOVE, and she heard the Bible being read in Swahili over the loudspeakers.
Mary entered the tent and sat down to listen to the reading. When one of our ladies called her out for a time of sharing, Mary was able to weep out much of the stress. Then she made the decision to accept Christ as her Savior. We sent her away with a bag of food, and expect to see her back within a day or two for more prayer and Bible reading.
This is the power of God’s Word!
*not her real name