"For my name will be great among the nations, from the rising of the sun to its setting." Malachi 1:11
Friday, May 8, 2009
Warren Family Update
“The one who plants and the one who waters work as a team with the same purpose … we work together as partners who belong to God.” 1 Corinthians 3:8-9
Greetings from Tshaneni, and Happy Mother's Day!
I'm sure that each of you are excited to have warmer weather in your forecast, and are getting geared up for Summer and all the fun that brings! We are excited too as we have been feeling the coolness of Fall, and looking forward to Winter :) Fall is my absolute most favorite season and I didn't think I would experience much of that here. God has been so gracious to let me see falling leaves and feel the cool breezes here in the beautiful mountains of Swaziland. He is truly concerned about the "little" things in life that bring us pleasure.
Several months ago, Pastor Sigwane from Phuzomoya Baptist Church met with our Strategy Leader, Wayne Myers, and shared his passion for reaching the people of Maphungwane. At the end of March, Bert was able to meet with Pastor Sigwane and accompany him to this village and meet the induna to ask for permission to have revival services. The induna had questions about this, and wanted to know what the intentions of these services would be. The joy on his face was clear as Pastor Sigwane shared that we would like to eventually see a church come to this village. The induna, who is of the traditional Zionist religion, then said ... "We have been praying for a church to come here for a long time."
Prayers were answered, and on April 22nd, we welcomed Chris, Janice, and Ron from the South Roanoke Baptist Association in North Carolina. COUNTLESS prayer partners, THREE volunteers, TWO tents, a pastor's vision and ONE Mighty God! The team spent several days in Maphungwane serving alongside Pastor Sigwane and his home church as they held tent revivals, bible studies, children's ministry, homestead visitations and the showing of the Jesus film. Pastor Sigwane had predicted that there would be large crowds each day due to the local schools being closed for 1st term break. Each night there were more people than the night before. So many that TWO revival tents erected together could NOT hold them. Each night the walls of the tents would be taken down in order that those who could not get insde would be able to see and hear. On one particular night over 400 people were present ... praise the Lord!
We were all overwhelmed to see how the Lord was working in this village, and how prayers were being answered ... there were many professions of faith made each night, so many that we found ourselves to be ill prepared to even record all the names. Only Jesus knows for sure the number of souls that He now calls His own. As the week ended, the people were saddened to realize that the revival was ending and the tents were going to come down. Due to this, the revivals continued for FIVE more days after the team departed back to the States. During the last day of services, there were 81 people who signed their names stating that they wanted to take steps towards becoming a Baptist church ... WOW!
During this same morning service, many of the new believers came forward and gave their testimonies of how the Lord was now working in their lives. We were all very moved as we sat and listened to each one ...
"Now that I have accepted the Lord, I can understand now."
"I have never heard preaching like this before, now I know the TRUTH."
"One day as I was working to build my house, these people came and shared the truth with me, and now I have been accepted by God."
"I did not think I was worthy of coming to services, because I did not have proper cloths, but I was accepted just as I am, and now I know God."
Please continue to pray for these new believers, that they will grow each day in the Lord and become strong in their faith. Pray that THEY will lead many more to Christ, and that this community will see and understand the Mighty hand of God. We praise God for all the many prayers that were lifted long before services began, and for Chris, Ron and Janice giving of themselves to be His hands and feet here in Swaziland!
On a personal note, we thank you for continuing to remember our family here, and my parents in the States as Dad begins the road to recovery from his recent stroke.
"Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust Him." Psalm 91:1-2
We can feel your prayers so strongly, and God is continuing to grant us peace each and every day as we trust in His plan.
During this past week, we lost a wonderful Christian lady, Granny Harrell (Mrs. Ella Harrell). She has been a special part of Bert's family for many, many years, and took care of him growing up. We are also asking that you remember her family in your prayers, especially on this Sunday, Mother's Day.
May you and your family have a beautiful Mother's Day, we love you!