Prayer for Perspective

Prayer for Perspective

Creator and Almighty God
All good gifts come from you;
Life and breath and happiness
Each step we take anew.
You guide and you advance our way
As we walk hand in hand
With you throughout each day and night
‘Tis you who make us stand.

Provider of both great and small
Sustaining by your Word
Each aspect of creation,
Each creature and each bird.
Our senses of both sight and touch,
Of taste, of smell, of sound,
All beauty and all loveliness
Alone in you are found.

All comfort and all holiness
All grace and mercy we
Receive each morning from your hand;
Each day with constancy.
Reveal your glory – shine your light –
So we may freely see
Our need of grace – our need of faith –
To serve you willingly.

O Shepherd of the flock of Christ
Tend to your feeble sheep;
Take us to pastures lush and green,
To waters still and deep,
The valley we have entered in
Is dark and reeks of death;
Remove all trace of fear and doubt,
Revive us with your Breath.

O fix our eyes on things above
And not on things below
A beatific vision grant
Us all – and make us know
You as you are as reigning king –
Perspective give us Lord –
So we might know your will alone
Is done here and abroad.

Benevolent you are and good
And wise and merciful
All righteousness, all majesty
Resides within you still.
The tempter comes to steal and kill
And seeds of doubt to sow
But we see Jesus’s victory
O’er enemy and foe.

And so we redirect our gaze
From darkness unto light
And know within our deepest heart
That you have won the fight.
And by your Spirit, Lord, we plead
Gift us a single mind
That in the midst of hell itself
Our peace in you we’ll find.

Johann van der Bijl © 2016-04-25

Posted by Johann Vanderbijl at 6:52 PM

How to fund us

A few folks have said they are unclear on the subject of funding us…so here is my attempt to explain.
Giving online: 
This will take you to our SAMS page which has an explanation of what we do, a link to our blog, and a link to our own secure electronic giving page. 
Hit the button that says “Support Us” and it will take you there.
This is the simplest and best way to partner with us financially. We really do need more regular monthly funding and electronic giving is the easiest way to go.
Alternatively you may send checks made out to SAMS-USA to:
PO Box 399
Ambridge, PA 15003
IMPORTANT:
Checks must be payable to SAMS.
Please write in the memo line “Vanderbijl”
If you need more information call any SAMS staff member at 724-266-0669 or 
contact us at Vanderbijl@gmail.com.
If you would like to send a card or letter or something to us in South Africa, you may send it to us at: 
The Rev Dr Johann and Mrs Louise van der Bijl
6 Van Eeden Crescent
Villiersdorp, 6848
South Africa
If you would like to call us (please note there is a seven hour difference between us and the East Coast) you may call us at 00 27 72 958 584
Some folks have asked about how to give to our vehicle fund. Firstly, allow me to show why we need a 4 X 4 vehicle. The picture below was taken by friends in the northern part of Mozambique, one of the seven southern African countries we work in. No, that is not our vehicle in the picture…we wish. Parts of rural northern Namibia, Angola, and others look the same.
At the end of March we had $1402.00 in our SAMS vehicle fund account…not much, but the Scriptures tell us never to despise the day of small beginnings.
If you wish to contribute to our vehicle fund, simply tell SAMS that this is where you would like your contribution to go…either in the message box on the giving page or by adding “Vanderbijl: Vehicle Fund” to the memo line on your check. This is also tax-deductible.
We need about $30,000.00 right now. This is for a 2nd hand Ford Ranger we have our eye on at present.
Of course, we will need extra funding at a later date for gas and maintenance and insurance, but right now, we are only concerned about getting enough funding to actually purchase the vehicle. When it is purchased, it will belong to SAMS…it will be a ministry vehicle.
And then, finally, we have a ministry project fund as well. This is to help pay for the ministry resources we use when we teach. Many of the folk we train cannot afford to pay for the student handbooks we use even though they only cost about $4 to print. For the first of four modules, Strategy, they need to pay about $13. Not much for us, but quite a bit for them.
Keep in mind that we have trained over 400 people so far…we cannot fund that ourselves…so this is an important project.
Thank you for partnering with us. As I have said before, but it bears repeating, we cannot do this without you by our sides. You are important to us and to all we train to be disciple makers…you are important to the Kingdom and the King!
Many blessings.
Johann and Louise

Why Are You and I Needed in Missions?

A great article from Mission Next: https://missionnext.org/

John Piper famously said, “Missions exists because worship doesn’t” (Let the Nations Be Glad!, 1993). I would hazard that you and I are needed in missions, then, as an outpouring of our own worship. To plant a seed in others, so they begin to worship again. To point to God as the author and perfecter of our faith, the one worthy of worship.
Missions involvement won’t look the same for every person, either. Some are called to the far-flung reaches of the world, while others’ mission field lies across the street. (My knees knock the same way regardless. I’m sorry, God, you want me to talk to who again? Must I?).
Thankfully, though – while the calling is unanimous (oh hi, Great Commission), the execution of it varies. God made each of us and has gifted us with unique attributes that are built to give him glory.
Consider the below as just a couple reasons to get involved in missions.

Get creative

Jesus told his disciples two thousand years ago that the laborers were few, though the harvest was plentiful (Matthew 9:35-38). Two millennia later, the shortage remains.
Consider using an existing skill set or developing new skills to reach the nations for God’s glory. Healthcare workers, community development specialists, pilots, teachers – these are just a few examples of opportunities to channel your God-given abilities (and even your career). Many secular industries’ jobs are just as needed on the mission field!

Not everyone can go on missions – and sometimes, that includes you

Not everyone can go on a trip, let alone make the move to full-time missions. Family needs, current career situation, physical limitations, the season of life you’re in – God can still use you. He calls you to share the gospel wherever you are, whether to an unbelieving family member or to the neighbor across the street who wonders just where you go every Sunday morning.
Further, those who do go need a support team at home. This team may lend financial support, yes, but emotional and spiritual support are just as needed. This is a great way for you to get involved where you are!
See if your church has a missionary-care team you can join. Pray for the groups from your church that are going on short-term trips. Lend financial support as you are able. Attend post-trip events to hear about how the Lord worked in the trip participants as well as those in the field.

What next?

Check out MissionNext, of course! MissionNext connects goers and senders (those who remain at home but can financially and/or spiritually support goers) with missions organizations around the world. You can rest assured you’re connecting with legitimate opportunities to spread the gospel worldwide. Learn more. 

Meagan Davenport

A business analyst and social media manager who loves to travel with the gospel in mind. Find her at meagandavenport.com or on social media @naanandmarzipan.
Meagan Davenport
Reaching into the Future…

Reaching into the Future…

In his second letter to his disciple, Timothy, Paul wrote: “…what you have heard from me…entrust to faithful brethren who will be able to teach others also.” Like our Lord Who fully anticipated the continuation of what He had begun to do and teach through the medium of His trained disciple makers, Paul fully expected an apostolic succession in respect of what he had passed on to his protege.Indeed, if we do not pass on what we have learned to others who are able to train others also, our life work will end with us. Unfortunately many have not learned this basic Gospel lesson of training to train…and so it is no surprise to see the church in decline in spite of the frantic busyness of the clergy. What has been received must be passed on if we are to survive.

This past weekend, Louise and I had the privilege of passing on what we have received to those who are, in many ways, our future. 30 Youth Leaders from the Diocese of Cape Town met together to be trained in Strategy. There are so many other things they could have been doing on Friday evening and on Saturday and yet they came.

As always Louise and I pray before, during, and after such training sessions, basically to ask that the Lord, who knows all hearts and desires and secrets, give us the words to say what the unique group needs to hear. As such, even though the material remains the same, the manner in which we present it, the stories we include, and the timing of each segment differs each time. This time we found that family matters, the role of parents, praying for your spouse to be, peer pressure, among other things often came up in our discussions.

At one point, we spoke about the Early Church being accused of ‘turning the world upside down’ and it soon became apparent that our group’s desire was to have that same “accusation” levelled against them! May the Lord bless them and prevent that flame from being snuffed out!

A few came up to us at the end and asked when we would be available to help them train others in their parishes…how exciting! Pray for these young people, dearest brethren…pray that nothing stops them from growing into a mighty movement for Jesus!

Lessons for Leaders…and Followers

Lessons for Leaders…and Followers

Whoever has said that the Old Testament is no longer relevant to Christians today has not read Kings and Chronicles!
Looking just at the lives of Solomon, Rehoboam, and Jeroboam, one can see how leaders today still make the same disastrous mistakes even though they have the advantage of, not only the Scriptures, but also of history.

While Solomon starts his reign on the right foot, asking for wisdom rather than any other desirable thing, he ends his reign by forsaking God’s wisdom and following the political practice of the day, namely allying oneself to other nations through marriage…in this case multiple marriages…unequally yoked marriages. Rehoboam, his son, does not even consult God in matters of the State and he disregards the counsel of those who had learned wisdom through the observation of the consequences of Solomon’s bad choices. Rather he seeks advice and direction from those as ignorant as himself in
matters of government…his wet behind the ears peers! When world leaders (or church leaders for that matter) seek to curry favour with others for whatever reasons…whether to gain their applause or their votes or their money…they embark on a journey that will ultimately lead to division or destruction, even of that which they seek to build or maintain. 
And Jeroboam! One would have thought that if ever there was a man who would have learned valuable lessons from watching the folly of his leaders, it would be him! Oppressed and exiled by a jealous leader, rebuffed by an immature and arrogant and insecure leader, told by a prophet that he would lead in their stead because of their collective lack of godly wisdom…one would think that he would seek to govern in a way that would bring unity and would foster humility and righteousness and justice…but instead he stumbles even further away from that which would bring peace and stability and prosperity to the people!
Surely our leaders in both the political and the spiritual sphere ought to read Chronicles and Kings! If they refuse to learn from Scripture or from history…if they turn a blind eye to the consequences of bad decisions – and they are not hard to find, in fact just a border crossing away…they will surely follow in the footsteps of countless others who have chosen to lead their own people into the abyss of ruin and poverty. Why is it always so difficult to bend the
knee and to seek what is good to the Holy Spirit? Is it pride? Is it stupidity? 
Is it sin? Are our leaders blind? Compromise leads only to more compromise.
Where is the backbone? Where is the wisdom? Where is the bravery and the boldness needed to stand when all others fall? 
But then, dear brothers and sisters in Christ…where are we? Are we praying for our leaders as we are instructed to in the Holy Scriptures? Really praying for them? Or are we just pointing fingers? Are we lifting them up daily - hourly - to the throne of the King of kings and the Lord of lords? Asking God to grant them true repentance and His Holy Spirit as Guide – or, indeed, asking God to remove them and replace them with those who will learn to listen? Does He not say that He holds the hearts of leaders in His hands? Perhaps we receive what we deserve…perhaps our hands are not as lily white as
we like to believe…