Wednesday, December 27, 2006


Mozambique Update #1

I'm sitting in an airconditioned office in a 5 star hotel, having just sat near a sunny beach off the Indian Ocean while sipping a chocolate milk-shake and reading my Bible. No, I didn't check into this hotel, just wanted to get online, and sad to admit it costs about $10 per hour to use this computer but you are worth it. Across the street is where I've been staying, which is just a 5-6 minute walk but the walk seems like a trek across the earth. In stark contrast to the elite surroundings I currently see I pass by cripples, beggars, and orphan children who play in the trash for fun hoping to find a new toy.

Welcome to the emerging paradox of Africa. I loved the journals of David Livingston and the others that went through this land when it was untouched and raw untamed, but now in Africa of the 21st century lions don't walk around on the streets they are kept in game reserves, village people live in huts yet posses radio devices and can walk to a thatched roof shop and get a Coke (a warm Coke, but a Coke nonetheless) and I may add Coke is in more places than the Church is. Having a piece of technology and the occasional cold drink across the street has provided me a sense of being "back home" around the holidays, trying to stay in touch and enjoy the wonderfully natural beauty of Mozambique.

My eyes have seen now thousands of villages on the 4 day drive from South Africa to northern Mozambique. Potholes, gravel roads, and a cop who said I was speeding only to gain his pocket cash (thief!) made an interesting drive. I arrived weary and tired, having pulled over and sleeping in a tent wherever we found a patch of dirt. We did find a house along the way via a Mozambiquan friend I met in SA, and as he hosted me in his small home his mother said the night before God gave her a dream that a white man would come to her house. I quickly adopted her as another spiritual mother and asked her to always remember me in prayer knowing I need people who walk in the Spirit to pray for me. I was encouraged knowing that surely the Lord had a reason for me to be here.

The next few days of the week found me a bit disappointed as I wanted to attend a conference by Iris Ministries here, only to find the dates I was given were wrong and I had missed it. That's where the short walk to the beach became a daily occurrence, and have had hours of time freely given for prayer. Not even so much have I loved God as much as just sit and let Him love me. That has been wonderful beyond words. Slowly I just allow myself to see myself as He sees me, and just wait upon Him for all the things I need to hear and know from Him. My Jesus has spoken, though not always with English but with words of heart and emotion.

Then, suppressions, amidst a few days of no direction the door flew wide open to go into the bush for 3 days with Heidi Baker, a hero of mine. I was able to see villages transformed by the power of God, to see a deaf child hear and to see Africans in a largely muslim province pray through the night in adoration of the Son of God. I was able to preach and teach on Fatherly love to the hungry villagers where the gospel has only been planted for 10 years. I slept in a tent in a village, ate the food they cooked and became a theme park for dozens of little kids who touched my skin as though I was from another world. Throwing kids to the air, hugging everyone I could, trying to learn as many Portuguese greetings as I could made for a slow but steady immersion into the world of the African village. I was able to meet her and received a great impartation from the laying on of hands and prayer...Praise the Lord!!!

As of now, I'm still waiting on open doors. But I don't pass by all the chances along the way. That's why I can say Find the Forgotten isn't and likely won't be an organization; it's who I am. I can't say I ever want to build an orphanage, but I do want to build up orphans. Somehow I've been able to gather with Australians, the Engish and Irish, Dutch, Canadians and so many others who have left their lands to come here. Together there have been chances for so much one on one ministry and fellowship, to build up the saints for the work of harvest.

Pray for me, that I may go into more villages while here. Also, please pray as it crushes my heart to leave such regions...I wish so deeply for the Lord to plant me as an oak of righteousness in His riverbed on the stream He wants(psalm ch.1); which I believe is amongst the forgotten. Point blank truth is I feel like I need to begin to "pick" a group of people that someday I can settle, learn their language and bring the gospel where men have never heard the name of Jesus. Pray for me.

Saturday, December 09, 2006


What does it mean?

To start off, I really wondered if I was going to do this entry, or show these pictures. Then a few weeks ago, I bought 2 CD's from Jason Upton, "Jacob's Dream" and "Trusting the Angels." It was SUPER ironic to me that both those CD's had pictures really, really, really similar to these photo's I had already taken. So, I took it as a big flashing green light from Jesus, almost as if He might slap me silly if I didn't post this. So, here goes...

I had one of those moments a bit back. I was reading the book of Luke. It was one of those "go there" days, where the Father said to me that He had revelation for me in what I would read, so I went to Luke 13. If you're like me, you can read, and re-read the Bible time and time again and still find all sorts of new goodies in there. In this chapter, there are a couple of longer passages; but tucked in between is one verse that stands alone. In this verse, Jesus says that His Kingdom is like a seed that grows into a large tree...And then birds rest upon it. That's the most of what it says. Huh? I had to wonder. Why does so much of what our Lord say go for a good while, and then here is this short little verse sitting there like a piece of candy on a vegetable tray...I simply pondered for a bit (and may I add, I highly suggest not just reading the Bible but thinking about it, too; sounds heretical but I think I gain more from those heart moments of impartation than I do from head moments of knowledge.) So, I had to ask myself again, "who are the birds?" I mean, really, why did Jesus say birds rest upon the tree? I'm 99.9% sure that the tree symbolizes the Body based on how often we find that symbolism in other passages (take John 15 which I'll dive into in a minute). I'm thinking, "this thing was a plant that grew; Jesus doesn't need to grow, we I'm not, uh, we're not birds, I think..."

And then the Spirit hit me, "Angels." Ohhh. Then it clicked. The Kingdom grows, the people of God extend out and are attached to the Vine Jesus Christ....but this is a Kingdom of both the believer and Angelic hosts. Now, I'm almost already weary of writing about Angels because I've had about 2,330,124 checks in my spirit about the "revelations" people claim about things, where they get free revelation and sell all 190 pages for just $19.99 but outside of their revelation they have little impact. So I'm really not wanting to be like those false teachers Paul spoke about that will claim to have revelation but not bear true fruit of the Spirit. But, doesn't it actually make sense? I mean, the verse at hand even says, "they will REST upon the branches" now personally I think it's safe to say that in our worship and praise, these Messengers of the Flame (Hebrews 1) come and join, remember that in another story in the Gospels Jesus talked about seeds being planted, you know, the one with good ground and bad ground? He then said there were thorns that choked seeds...then, he talked about birds that would come and steal seed...there it is again, this bird thing...I'm being a bit liberal here, but I think those birds easily can symbolize fallen angels, the demons of Satan. So I think it's safely contextual to say that Luke 13's birds have something to do with being those that "rest upon the tree" or, dare I say, rest upon us---if we are in the Kingdom.

Now Jesus says in John 15 something pretty scary if we are honest. He says that if the branches upon the Vine do not produce fruit, they will be cut off. Notice a branch can be upon the tree, but not reproduce. Just because we are "saved" doesn't mean that we have any excuse for being unfruitful. He also says that many branches will be pruned, a nice term for getting cut down so that what re-grows will actually be fruitful. Ouch. I look at me first, and realize that I've had to go through so much pruning (anyone else out there?) so that what does grow in my life will be of the Kingdom and not just of personal gain or wealth or benefit. I really feel deep in between the valves of my heart that the greatest work needed in the Church today is not one of a need for growth but a need to get rid of things in the Body that do not please our Lord. (this is, actually, primarily about Jesus right?) Cancer can grow. Viruses and disease and moss can grow. Just because we get bigger doesn't mean that Jesus says that it's a ministry. If our size is large but we look more like mold than we look like His tree I think that is the kind of thing He wants cut off.

And, in picture number one with the bird, I could only manage to get one bird at a time on a single tree, even though dozens were out and about in my area. But I think the sad reality is that we'd be lucky to find an Angel wanting to be in our midst a lot of the time. And in picture number two, I daresay that is a visual image of the Church right now. A lot of branches are trying to hold onto the Vine but Jesus is wanting things that don't look like Him to be cut away from His Kingdom. Now I know that sounds a bit harsh, but we often mistaken Jesus for being upset with those poor lost people in the world, when actually Jesus got more upset about religion then sin. Jesus died for sin, yes, but religion killed Him. I don't think branches being cut off means that He's tossing unfruitful believers to the flame, because this isn't flesh and blood we war in. Jesus wants the bad, really bad teachings on T.V., the deceitful evangelists and pastors and the lazy Christians to be willing to let go of the dead branch and simply allow Him to grow in us.

I promise you, in this next age of the Spirit, watch door after door after door close upon unfruitful ministries. Watch a new confusion arise in many local bodies. Watch churches shrink in numbers and not be able to attract people to salvation. But don't think that means it's a stronghold of the devil or an attack from hell. Realize with me that Jesus Himself wants whatever does grow to be of Him at all costs, even the cost of numbers. And watch small, little places that seem cut down be the places where the Angels rest in our worship. Watch the Kingdom shrink for just a bit, at least in our C.E.O. terms of supply and demand evangelism; but watch with me as the Lord move in simple ways, in the one on one encounters, in the living room, and in trimmed groups of people that were willing to let go of the dead branch.

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