March 12, 2015
Lakeside, South Africa
ccm Cross #0076
Additional photos after Testimony
3770-71 cdd Riding the Rails
Cyber Daily Devotion
Volume 16 Number 064
Today’s Author: Pastor Bill
Scripture: Matthew 28:19-20
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. NKJV
Hello, my name is Pastor Joseph Nhlapo of the Maranatha Church in Lakeside, South Africa. My life began as the third child of mom and dad. There were eight of us in the family and we grew up in an agricultural area which today is called the Free State. Dad worked for a large farming operation and he was responsible for crops and livestock. As we grew up life on the farm was good and dad and mom made sure we were in church every Sunday.
I enjoyed school and did my best. When graduation came along I enlisted the South African Army. The year was 1987. It was a friend that I met in the military that introduced me to Jesus Christ. One evening he invited me to a church meeting. Not wanting to be rude I accepted his invitation. I had no idea it would change my life forever.
That evening the Pastor expressed his interest in having a testimony night. He said he had been fasting specifically for this meeting and knew something special would happen. That night I saw the fire and power of the Holy Spirit in action. One by one the people at the meeting told of their personal encounters with Jesus Christ. I was a good church boy but a one on one encounter with Jesus was beyond even my imagination. That night I left the meeting desiring to have such an encounter of my own. It happened next to my bunk in the army barracks. I got down on my knees and accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of my life.
The fire of the Holy Spirit motivated me. The more I read the Bible the more on fire I was for the Lord. I started riding rails — train after train packed with people. They were coming and going. One by one I introduced them to Jesus. The riding the rails ministry was not enough. I started street witnessing. The fire deep inside of me was oozing out in every word I spoke. I became a cell leader in my church. For five cells. One met each night throughout the week.
That’s when I met Eunice who was as on fire for the Lord as I was. Together we rode the rails, street witnessed and led cell groups. We were married and we have been ministering together ever since. I stayed in the army which became my job. Much like Paul in the Bible used Tent making to earn a living. When I’m in the Army or on the streets or on the rails you will find me talking about my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
I attended three years of Bible school at night and upon graduation was ordained as a Pastor. Eunice and I have a boy named Godfrey and a daughter Maureen who have joined us in ministry.
Our church over the years has become more than I could ever have thought. The ministry that we enjoy and share with others is new and refreshing every time we meet. Praise and worship one time, deliverance another or breaking bread in communion with one another. The Lord shows up and the Holy Spirit is active.
A few years ago I had an exhausting night in the Army and I was looking forward to falling asleep the minute I reached home. But it was not to be. The Lord had a different plan for me.
Just as I arrived home I chose to go directly to bed without eating. But I couldn’t fall asleep. No matter what I did — no matter how many times I changed positions — no matter what — no sleep. I began to pray. Then the Lord spoke to me. He asked me to attend a funeral not far from my home. That was it — nothing more was heard.
I was obedient. I got up, showered and went to the funeral. I did not know the man nor did I know why I was there. As I walked in the funeral director said the Pastor for the funeral was a “no show” and asked me if I could stand in. I did. I preached a sermon and did all the proper things.
When I was done the people filed out of the auditorium and there stood an elderly looking man. He looked elderly but he was quite young. He had HIV/AIDS and his body had withered away to almost nothing. We met and greeted one another and he mentioned how important my sermon had been for him and he accepted Jesus as Lord of His life. Then he left.
The next Sunday the same man was in our church. He looked robust and full of energy. He re-introduced himself and told me the story of what happened after he heard my sermon and we talked. He went home to bed. While sleeping he had a dream of being healed. In the dream all his pain, all his HIV/AIDS was gone. His dream was so real — he had a difficult time explaining everything. The bottom line of his story is this. When he woke up he was totally healed. He went back to the doctors and they could not believe the transition that had taken place.
Today he Pastors a church not far from here.
Life with Jesus is never dull. There is excitement around every corner. And I for one am so glad He chose me to be here.
My favorite Bible verse is Ephesians 1:17-22
“That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church” NKJV
When I see a Cross I see clearly the redemption of our sinful natures. Jesus paid the price for each one of us. As I rode the rails for Jesus it was a privilege to tell people about HIM — that everyone who receives Jesus as Lord and Savior will be saved.
This Cross planted today means, for this neighborhood, that there is forgiveness. This corner will become the land mark for the whole community that passes by. Here is life, here is light, here is forgiveness for sins and here they will find Jesus. All they need do is ask.
Prayer: Father thank you for the enthusiasm of Pastor Joseph to tell everyone about Jesus — May I catch his fire and not miss one. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!
Pastor Carol steps out from behind the camera to remove the protective coating
from the Cross beams, which is used during transport.
Pastor Joseph digs in with a pick as we begin the hole digging process
Attaching the washers, nuts and bolts
Picking rocks to be used in the hole to stabilize the Cross before applying concrete
Pastor Joseph inspects the completed hole
Feeding the crew KFC for lunch in preparation for raising the Cross
Setting the Cross in position
Lifting the Cross
Stretching to get the Cross as high as possibl
The final push
“FIRE IN THE HOLE”
Pastor Bill interviewing Pastor Joseph for his testimony
Plaque “Declaring God’s Glory” over Lakeside, South Afric
Help us plant our next Cross.
No minimum --- no maximum --- every donation will be received with great gratitude and much Thanksgiving to God.
Become A Fire*Starter Partner
Choose an amount to start and then select to give a monthly recurring donation to the Cross Fund and become a Fire*starter Partner. No monthly pledge is too big or too small and so appreciated as we continue to plant Crosses for Jesus Christ and tell the world of the marvelous things He is doing today.