ccm Cross 0025
February 3, 2012

Maranatha Church
Ophondweni, South Africa
ccm Cross #0025

GPS/DMS LocationCross 0025 Jozini no 2 WEB 01

2956 cdd The Encounter
Cyber Daily Devotion
Volume 13 Number 044

Today’s Author: Pastor Bill

Scripture: John 12:18
“Many people went out to meet Jesus, because they had heard about this miracle” NCV

My name is Pastor Thusi from Jozini, South Africa and this is my cross story:

In 1973 I was suffering from severe Arthritis. I was a young man with and old man’s disease. The disease was progressing at an alarming rate and capturing my entire body. I spent what little money I had and time with traditional cures, witch doctors, herbalists and medical doctors. All failed to relieve my pain — nothing could be done for me.

Then I heard of a traveling evangelist — a young man who had left our community and became a man of Jesus. He was returning to Jozini to hold a revival meeting. I was drawn to the meeting in a very mysterious way — not sure why I was going or what I expected to see. When I arrived there Pastor Baaa Baaa Ntombela was speaking. He spoke of his testimony and being healed of a deadly snake bite by this man Jesus. That got my attention and I listened carefully to everything he said.

That night I encountered Jesus Christ for the first time in my life —  It was as if Pastor Baaa Baaa Ntombela was speaking just to me — as he spoke my encounter with Jesus became real — I knew that I knew I needed Jesus in my life — I accepted Jesus as my savior.

Then Baaa Baaa Ntombela prayed for me and asked Jesus to heal me. He said by the stripes Jesus received for me I am healed. Instantly my arthritis pain was gone never to return. It was clear I would never forget this encounter with Christ and my life would never be the same again! It made me shout my very first Hallelujah.

Immediately I had a hunger to learn more about Jesus — Pastor Shadrack gave me a Bible and asked me to read it. He said the Holy Spirit would teach me about Jesus and all that was necessary for me to tell others. I started reading the Bible and could not put it down. The Holy Spirit touched my life as I read and I needed to tell others about Jesus. To tell them about his healing power and the redemption spoken about in the Bible.

I attended every meeting and conference I could — I was like a sponge that needed more and more of Jesus. Pastor Mabeka in our local area mentored me and a ministry for Jesus was born.

One of those conferences was in 1987 when Pastor Bill and his wife Pastor Carol were still in Bible school. They brought more than 50 people into our area for a tent crusade.

Every night for two weeks — they held meetings in a large tent that was set up along the road — with Pastors and Evangelists speaking. Hundreds of people walked may kilometers (miles) every night from all over the area to see and hear about Jesus.

Nightly we witnessed the power of the Holy Spirit first hand through powerfully anointed music, miraculous healings and inspiration taught us from the Bible. I attended every meeting and Jesus grew in my heart.

I married my wife Anna and today we have 5 children — 3 daughters and 2 boys. I went to the Maranatha Bible school in Madadeni, South Africa for two years. Here under the direction of Baaa Baaa Ntombela and his staff the principles and values of the Christian life were instilled in me. When I returned to my village Pastor Mabeka continued mentoring me. Our ministry grew slowly at first. Anna and I witnessed from home to home and village to village. This was a wonderful spiritual adventure the Lord was leading us on. We met everyone as the community grew. We told everyone about our best friend Jesus and my encounter with him.

Our efforts for Jesus paid off as our small group began to grow. At first we met in homes but they became too small. Then we met under a large shade tree. Finally in 2006 we built a church in the Jozini Ophondweni district.

Today our church continues to grow as our community grows. And everyone we meet still hears about our best friend Jesus, my encounter with him and what a difference HE makes in lives.

My favorite Bible verse is John 3:16
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” KJV “How can we ever repay what Jesus did for you and me on the cross?”

To me the cross stands as a strong voice shouting “Jesus is alive”! Pastor Bill when you and Pastor Carol were here last year and promised to return and plant a cross we became so excited we could hardly contain ourselves. That Jesus would think so highly of us that he would send you from all the way in America to plant this cross is just such a testimony to the love of our savior. Thank you Pastor Bill and above all thank you Jesus for encountering me those many years ago and making a difference in my life that even today makes we want to shout. Hallelujah!

Prayer:Father I join with Pastor Thusi who recognizes what a difference you make in people’s lives with a hallelujah! In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!

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Off loading cross beams

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Village Housing

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Preparing 2 meter (6 foot) deep hole

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Notching cross beam

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Another look at the village

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Sizing nuts and bolts

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Pastor Thusi attaching nuts and bolts

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Preparing concrete

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A shortage of men required the
Mama’s to step up and help
raise cross into the hole

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3, 2, 1 lift!

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Way Up!

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Fire in the Hole!

Cross 0025 Jozini no 2 WEB 14Pouring concrete

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Attaching plaque

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Pastor Thusi with his wife and Pastor Carol

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Plaque “Declaring God’s Glory”
over Jozini, South Africa