Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A Heat for AFRICA: The Liberian Connection

You might want to ask us, "How did this all happen"? Well it was a combination of the prophetic word, people speaking their heart, and others hearing the call within!

This is how I recall it. I met Carol Kipp about two years ago now, at a WOW conference. We were on a prophetic team who were to give words of encouragement to women seeking God. Heaven only knows the reason I was asked to participate in this conference. I believe it was to meet Carol. That is where our relationship began. Later on the Lord spoke through her and she said I was called to Africa…. Oh my, I knew deep down in my heart she was right.

I will fast forward to the events of May 2007. Dick and I were traveling back to Rhode Island and stopped off in North Carolina to meet with Carol and Alan. This was the first time the four of us got together. I believed the Lord would have us encourage Alan in health and well being. Then Carol gave us another prophetic word telling Dick that he was called to teach and we were to go and do crusades overseas—Africa came up again!

Now there is a student at Rhode Island College Dick has had the pleasure of knowing for the last four years. Nyah Gonkar has an intriguing story on how he has come to the United States from Zahn Clan Nimba County, Liberia. He escaped the civil war by the love of God and became a US citizen. Since then he has been reunited with relatives in the states as well as back in Liberia. His testimony will be posted at another time. Well, in October 2007, while attending a Web development course Dick was teaching, Nyah began to share his deepest desires about Liberia and the possibilities of creating a Website about his village to in some way help his brothers and friends in Liberia.

Later that same week, we received a call from another young gentleman from Liberia who had been in the states for ten months attending school in Georgia. He found our ministry while reading The Good News Today, a local Christian newspaper published in Rhode Island. Kelvin met with us and Nyah to tell us of his ministry in Africa. He is beginning the process with our ministry to gather the information we need to pursue a working relationship with his ministry. Two Liberian connections in the same week!

Dick asked Nyah to find out how we could speak with the pastor at his village. Within a week, Nyah had set up a conference call with the Associate Pastor Alphanso Boore. It was a brief conversation early on a Sunday morning. They have a cell phone, but only have coverage in one spot in the village. The calls have to be scheduled so they know when to listen. The three most important things he said they needed were Bibles, transportation (motorcycle or bicycles), and supplies for the children like paper and pencils. There are no vehicles in the village and they need the bikes to get to the nearest town, which is an eight-hour walk. In their village, they have No electricity, No running water, No bathrooms, and mud homes with thatched roofs.

Meanwhile in North Carolina, our friend Carol received a prophetic word that she is to learn the black culture, and that she will be sent to the area that has been affected the most by the civil war, Liberia, and that a man named Moses would set a path for her to begin churches. We spoke of this over the phone and began to get excited together with what she knew in her heart and what was happening with us. Just think, we would do crusades and she and others would follow up by planting churches.

At the same time, Nyah spoke with his brother in Liberia about getting a Post Office Box as a means for us to begin to send packages to them. As it turned out, Moses is name of the gentleman that will be checking and delivering packages to Nyah's brother, Earnest. Moses will be very helpful with housing and setting things up for us when we visit. Does that sound familiar? The prophetic word our friend received about Moses. Yes, God already has Moses in place!

Many of the people in the village are farmers who sell and barter for other goods in town. Their village consists of about 2,000, men women and children. About 150 of which are church going people.

We were told that a missionary came into their village in the 1800s and set up a church. They have had little interaction with other Christians for fellowship or Spiritual strength. I could hear the plea in his voice. They speak Mono in the village and English. The Senior Pastor, Peter does not speak English.

We are moved with compassion to have a relationship with these loving people of God.. The task is much too big for us alone; yet I know that God has it all planned. He got us this far. A week ago we received a video of the people of the village and their church service. Viewing this video, you would be moved as we are to reach out and touch them in some way. We will be happy to share it with those who are drawn to helping the Yekehyee Inland Church.

Since then friends of ours told us of a Pastor in Florida that will be going Liberia! It was time to get the word out for people to begin to pray for God to open doors that no man can shut and close those that are not in His plan.

Another friend of mine, Pam told me she had packets she and her daughter put together with some Sunday School Children. She has donated ninety of these packets. Each includes toothpaste, brushes, crayons, a little car for boys and hair ties for girls, stickers, and pencils!

We have been in touch with Pastor Tony and his missionary team from Florida. We met Tony through our son and daughter who live in North Port, Florida. Amazingly enough, the timing is perfect. Tony told us he would most definitely meet with them at the village and deliver these packets to them. Dick and I will be going to Florida in December and will be taking these packets with us. God's timing! There is no striving here. God is making a way to reach and answer people's prayers from this Liberian Tribe.

Thus far, our offerings have been small packages of books of John, a Thompson Chain Reference Bible, an NLT Bible and a number of New Testaments, two children's Bibles, some pencils, healing cloths, and our books. There is much more to do. Much more to praying to do—for them and for those who will be touching their lives.

The work had not begun yet.. Is He tugging on your heart to contribute to this work, or perhaps to go to Africa and visit the village delivering a message of the love of Christ? Do you want to help build their school? Maybe you could contribute to the drilling of a well, purchase bicycles or even a motor bike?

As time goes on, I will be adding to this Liberian blog telling you of the progress and process. Please, pray and seek God about participation in this great adventure the Lord has us all on.

You might have your story to add…

Monday, November 26, 2007

Nothing Shall Separate You From the Love of God

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God,
which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
— Romans 8:38,39

the apostle Paul wrote these verses, he had been living in very excruciating times because he was a Christian. He had been a victim of rejection from friends, persecution from the government, and had lived many months of his life in an isolated prison cell. No matter what his circumstances were at the time, Paul had discovered a divine truth: Nothing no circumstance or situation in this life has the power to separate you, the believer, from the love of God our Father.

Then Paul said, "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:38,39).

It means to be persuaded, to be convinced, or to be rooted not being swayed by another's opinion. This word tells me that Paul was being tempted to embrace different conviction. This also implies that this had occurred to Paul in the past but is still so strong that it continues to be his conviction in the present. The same it is with us and our experiences with Christ and God the Father. He was persuaded, and he continues to be persuaded. Therefore we have been persuaded, and we continue to be steadfast in that same belief.

Paul's primary meaning is that the love of God is so strong, even physical death cannot separate us from His divine love. Death may separate us from the earth and from people we love, but it is impossible for death to separate us from the love of God, for God's love doesn't stop with the cessation of life.

It is a fact that many believers feel overwhelmed with life's situations. In fact, they often feel so confused and weighed down that they wonder if God is still near to them. This is why Paul adds that even life cannot separate a believer from the love of Jesus Christ.

Paul lets us know that no spiritual being, good or bad, has enough power to separate us from God's love. Not any other creature
The word "principalities" is from the word archai. This is the same word that Paul uses in Ephesians 6:12, where he describes the rank and file of the devil's kingdom. Archai is the Greek word for a ruler or one who has long held a lofty position of power. The plural version of this word depicts an entire group of high- ranking demon spirits that have held their positions of power since the most ancient times. Although angels and demonic powers are indeed strong, they are not strong enough to disconnect a believer from God's love.

Paul had been arrested, bound, and restricted by evil governments on many times, but none of these actions were ever sufficiently powerful to separate him from the love of God. A jail cell may have separated Paul from other believers. However, even in the deepest, darkest, most horrible cell, Paul could go within him and feel and experienced the love of God.

In addition to these points Paul has already mentioned, he uses the phrase "things present" to let us know that nothing that currently exists is able to prevent a person from experiencing God's love. In this case, it means nothing presently existing or nothing that currently stands is sufficient to separate a believer from the all-powerful presence of God's love.

But Paul doesn't stop with the things that presently exist. He goes on to say that "things to come" are also not able to separate a believer from the love of God. Paul has already said that nothing currently existing is strong enough to separate a believer from the love of God. Now he boldly declares that nothing will ever happen in the future that will contain enough power to hinder a believer from knowing and experiencing God's love.

As he continues, Paul also declares that neither "height, nor depth" shall be able to separate us from the love of God. The word "height" is the Greek word hupsuma, which expresses the notion of something that is overhead.. It would include anything that is lofty, such as the sky and the heavens above. The word "depth" is the word bathos, the Greek word that expresses the notion of something that is exceedingly deep, like the deepest, darkest parts of the sea. Now Paul uses these illustrations to say that nothing in the sky or in the deepest parts of the earth has the power to keep one of God's children from knowing and experiencing His love.

To make sure absolutely everything is included in this comprehensive list, Paul adds "any other creature" to the list. The word "creature" is the Greek word ktisis, and it categorically refers to all created things in both the physical and spiritual worlds. Absolutely nothing in either of these spheres "shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

The words "shall be able" is from the word dunamai, which describes strength, capacity, or ability. The word "separate" is the Greek word choridzo, meaning to sunder, to sever, to disunite, to tear apart, to disconnect, to cut off, to disengage, or to withdraw.. Notice that Paul says that nothing is capable of tearing a believer "from" the love of God. The word "from" is the Greek word apo, which means away and implies distance. This clearly means that there is nothing that can put distance between a believer and his Heavenly Father.

Romans 8:38 and 39 could be interpreted:
"I have been persuaded, and I still remain convinced, that death, nor the circumstances that often arise in life, nor powerful satanic beings, nor even an entire group of high-ranking demons, nor anything that exists today, nor anything that could possibly happen in the future, nor any governmental power, nor anything in the highest heavens, nor anything that resides in the deepest depths, nor anything that has ever been created is capable of disconnecting us from the love of God or of putting any distance between us and the love of God, which is in Jesus Christ our Lord."

Never forget this message Nothing in this world has enough power to disconnect you from the love of God. No angel, no demon, no government, no creature — and no mistake of your own making — will ever be capable of cutting you off from the love of God. God's love is greater than man will ever be able to comprehend. It reaches to the highest mountain, and it penetrates to the lowest parts of the earth. Regardless of what you are facing in your life today, God's love is with you — and nothing will ever be able to disconnect you from this awesome, powerful, all-consuming love!

Pray along with me:
Lord, I am so grateful for Your love that never fails me and never leaves my side. I am filled with faith knowing that nothing in this world has the power to disconnect me from Your awesome, powerful, life-transforming love. In moments when I feel overwhelmed by circumstances or problems, I ask that You give me a special awareness of Your unfailing love in my life.
I confess that God's love is with me and never leaves me. There is nothing that can happen in this world or in my life to disconnect me from His awesome, powerful, wonder-working, life-transforming love. I walk through each day in peace because I know that the Lord loves me. I have been persuaded, and I remained convinced, that nothing can separate me from the love of God, which is in Jesus Christ my Lord!
Amen! Amen