Browse Month: May 2010

Monday Musings – Special Angola Editon

What do you see?

Perhaps you see a concrete block wall.  Some may see a patched hole on the concrete block wall.  I tell you what I saw the day I asked MJ to snap this picture in Benguela Angola – an image of the Continent of Africa.  More importantly is what you do not see! The patch on the concrete wall represents a much greater picture of what God is doing in the Nation of Angola.

I heard it said recently, “When God has something great in store He often starts with something small”. In the fall of 2009, I was introduced to Pedro Pires, the pastor of Carisma Pentecostal Church, a small PAOC Portuguese congregation in Edmonton.  Six years ago he was invited by a friend to visit the nation of Angola and while there, a vision was birthed in his heart to plant a church and name it after his church in Edmonton.  Today there are eleven Carisma congregations numbering in the thousands in Angola. It has been Pedro’s desire to see these churches become accountable to PAOC (Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada) missions.  In November of 2009 RTC had the privilege of connecting him and Steve Chaloner, our PAOC African regional director, to discuss a possible partnership. It was at that time that we set up this trip to Angola.  This past Sunday, that partnership moved a step closer toward reality as Steve preached at the sixth anniversary of the Carisma Pentecostal churches of Angola.  What a thrill for MJ and me to sit in that basketball stadium and witness the potential of a partnership between these two Pentecostal groups.

As a couple, MJ and I are learning to expect great things from God.  We are discovering that it is not the size of your ministry that counts, it is the impact that people can have on the world when they step out in obedience.  Keep in mind that the church in Edmonton numbers under a hundred people but through their obedience they are making a huge impact in Angola as thousands are being added to the church.  How many of us would be content to watch what we have planted to become bigger than what we are ourselves!  Carisma Pentecostal Church in Edmonton and Angola has something to teach us!!!

 It is not often that you can say that you experienced an Acts 2 church moment, but last Saturday was one of them.  Thirty-five men and women (almost all were under the age of twenty-five) were baptized in the Atlantic Ocean.  As the baptismal service was in progress, two young men from China witnessed what was happening as they walked along the beach.  One told of how his mother back in China has been praying for his salvation.  A young man from Carisma church shared Jesus with them and before the morning was finished Pedro, Steve and myself had the privilege of baptizing both young men in the ocean.

By the way, the patch on the concrete block wall is on the inside of the family’s home pictured at the bottom of the blog.  Their original home had to be destroyed because of serious deterioration.  Guess who rebuilt it?  The Carisma church in Benguela!

Until next time…

Don & MJ

“Taking risks for Kingdom impact!”

P.S. Don’t forget that we leave on Sunday for Thailand and Vietnam where we will conduct two pastor’s conferences and speak in numerous churches.

Monday Musings – 17/05/10

Volcanic eruptions, raging riots, bursting riverbanks…

These are just a few things that MJ and I are dealing with as we prepare to leave for Angola today.

First, the volcano in Iceland is playing havoc again with air travel in Europe.  MJ and I are traveling through Paris to Angola however the rest of our team (Pedro Peris and Steve Chaloner) are scheduled to travel through London.  Presently, the airspace in Paris is open but London is closed.  We are waiting word as to whether or not Pedro and Steve will be able to re-arrange their flights.

Following our trip to Angola, MJ and I will head to Asia, specifically Thailand and Vietnam.  As you may have heard in the news, there are ongoing riots in Bangkok.  According to our sources there, these riots should not present a problem for us but we ask that you pray for the unrest in Thailand.

Yesterday we received an email from one of our global workers in Kenya.  The following is an excerpt from that email.  “Here in Kenya we have had so much rain, rivers are bursting their banks and last Sunday night the river behind the property here in Nairobi burst its banks with the raging torrent pushing through the concrete walls, filthy garbage and water up to 4 feet deep came within an inch of the MacMinn and Chaloner back doors.  Then the wall on the other side of the property gave way so that the water could find an escape route and the level began to drop. The back yard looked like a moonscape on Monday morning with huge concrete blocks spread all over the yard by the force of the water.  Turkana in northern Kenya – usually a desert – has had so much rain – rivers are overflowing and villages completely destroyed.  Here in Kibera a number of small children have fallen into the raging waters and been lost. The paper today said 120 people have died due to the flooding in Kenya. And there have been some major challenges in decisions that need to be made connected to the work of God!”

You may remember from previous blog’s that Turkana and Kibera are places that MJ and I were in just three weeks ago.  We will return to Nairobi for a few days in between Angola and Thailand/Vietnam.

So, a lot is happening as we leave for Angola today.  We covet your prayers for the people in the regions I have mentioned as well as for us as we begin our journey to these areas.  I will keep you posted in future blog’s (depending on internet access) as to how we are making out.

Until next time…

Don

“Taking risks for Kingdom impact!”

www.reinventingthechurch.com

Monday Musings – 10/05/10

Lost luggage…

It never ceases to amaze me how one can travel clear around the world with several pieces of luggage and find them on the carousel when he gets off the plane and yet can travel within his own country with one piece of luggage and discover it is lost upon his arrival.

Yesterday my plane (carrier to remain unnamed, unless the luggage is lost forever) landed in Toronto from Montreal at gate C40.  I could see my connecting plane to Edmonton from the right side of the plane at gate C41.  It is probably the easiest and closest connection I have had in all my years of travel.  The baggage handlers could have literally thrown the luggage from one baggage compartment to the other.  And yet when those of us from Montreal who made our connection in Toronto arrived in Edmonton, we were left at the carousel wondering what city our luggage may be in.  You have heard of the expression “so close and yet so far”, I now understand it completely.

Lost luggage is a reminder of how we take so many things in life for granted.  You never think twice about a change of clothes until you have no clothes to change into.  I usually pack some extra clothes in my carry on when MJ and I travel internationally.  I guess from now on I will do the same when I travel in Canada.  Thanks to the Delta Hotel for providing a razor, toothpaste and mouthwash.  I may be wearing the same clothes I wore yesterday when I arrive at my meeting today but at least I will smell good!!!

Until next Monday…

Don

“Taking risks for Kingdom impact!” (with just the clothes on my back!)

www.reinventingthechurch.com

Monday Musings – 03/05/10

The burning sand will become a pool…

Someone once said “experience is better than argument”.  I would not believe it if I didn’t see it with my own eyes, but I now understand what the prophet Isaiah wrote in Isaiah 35:7 “The burning sand will become a pool, the thirsty ground bubbling springs”.

Two weeks ago, our team drove into the Chabai desert, got out of our vehicles and walked about two kilometers toward what we were told would be bubbling springs in the midst of burning sand.

As we walked toward the spring, we experienced the effects of a mirage.  What we thought looked like springs from the distance became only a reflection of the sun upon the sand.  We had to persevere and keep focused on what appeared to be lush green grass in the midst of the desert.

Finally we witnessed the words of Isaiah  “Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert”. I wish you could have experienced with me the awesome sight of springs bubbling up in the midst of a desert that stretches as far as the eye can see but you will just have to settle for the fact that experience is better than argument!

My experience in the desert two weeks ago gives me confidence in the words of Isaiah when he says:“then the eyes of the blind will be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped.  Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy.” If God can make burning sand become a pool of bubbling spring water, than there is nothing he cannot do for you.

I challenge you today to trust God in the midst of your desert situation keep your eyes focused on His pool of promise: “The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom…it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy”. How awesome it was to watch some of the team members jump into the pools and refresh themselves in the desert heat.  The picture proves that this is no mirage when you trust the promises of God!!!Until next Monday…

Don

“Taking risks for Kingdom impact!”


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