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SUMMER 2013 /14 Volume 60 Number 4



WAYS TO BE REFRESHED BY JOY THIS CHRISTMAS Plus bonus Find a Christian Mission mag inside

I felt “The heartache and disappointment

r. ”

each month was almost too hard to bea


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CW contents: SUMMER | 2013/14 06 Editor’s Letter 08 Christmas: The Family Affair? Christmas can be a wonderful celebration of God’s everlasting love and precious time with family... but what about those dreading the current season... Berni Dymet

20 Let’s be intimate with our God Samantha Hardcastle discovers the secret to where true confidence and inner peace resides...


22 Chewing Crow Andrea Hitefield offers some insightful and humourous ponderings on eating crow...

12 Refreshed by Joy this Christmas Natalie Box shares her top five tips for refreshing your joy in this festive season...

25 Yeshua’s Arrival Roxana Hackett sets the scene for the arrival of Jesus...

14 Christmas Gifts A trip to Bethlehem brought the story of our Saviours birth home for Irene Frances...

28 A Women’s Guide to Power Purpose and Joy Are you living your God called life? Lara Phegan shares her secrets to living a life of power, purpose and joy.

16 COVER STORY: Fearless Courage Singer, songwriter and mother of two, Roma Waterman, shares part of her miraculous story of infertility and how God brought her through...

32 I resolve: Lori Dixon vows never to join a gym in January and shares other practical New Year’s Resolutions...

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CEO Matt Danswan Editor Nicole Danswan Advertising Australia P: 02 9007 5375 | F: 02 9979 4880 Advertising New Zealand P: 09 281 4896 | F: 09 376 3855 Advertising Manager Ray Curle | Correspondence Australia

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PO Box 1321 Mona Vale NSW 1661 P: 02 9007 5376 | F: 02 9979 4880 W: Correspondence New Zealand PO Box 47212, Ponsonby, Auckland 1144, New Zealand Unless otherwise specified, all Scripture quotations are from the New International Version, copyright-1973, 1978, 1984, International Bible Society. No part of this publication may be reproduced in whole or part, without prior written permission. Opinions expressed



A Heart for Missions RESPONDING TO THE ‘CALL’

Plus bonus Find a Christian Mission mag inside

The Great Christmas Spend AN ALARMING TREND

Why bible translation? A PERSONAL PERSPECTIVE

in this magazine do not necessarily reflect those of the staff. All attempts are made to verify advertising material, and no responsibilty is taken for misleading or erroneous material. Due to spam issues, all email addresses have been removed from our publishers section. Copyright 2013/2014.

The New Face of Modern Missions Having a heart for people in need is second nature to Kayla Hanna. ‘Growing up, my family used to help out in a local soup kitchen and I saw how tough life could be for many people often without any warning or fault of their own. As a young person seeing these things, it changes you.” It was an early experience that meant Kayla was never going to sit behind a desk pushing a pen or tied to a computer.

“You only get one life – I really want mine to count.” “I want to make a difference; there is such a big world in need and I knew I was going to play my part in helping in some way.” “You only get one life – I really want mine to count. I don’t need to be famous, but I do need to be true to what I feel God has called me too. This is the only way for me to leave my mark.” It’s a great attitude. And while other young people of her age are dreaming of the big cities, bright lights and glitzy shopping strips, Kayla finds herself flying to Nepal and living in the desperate poverty of Nepalese orphanages.

“I look into these faces and I see bright eyed hope; in spite of their total poverty…” You can’t help but be moved by her passion. “I look into these faces and I see bright eyed hope; in spite of their total poverty and broken family circumstances, God still desires a future and a hope for them. In a small way I believe my mission is to help bring change.” Kayla’s visit to Nepal saw her working in a team that was bringing vital water, building construction and food supplies to orphaned

children she calls, ‘her kids.’ And when she is at home, alongside her Social Science studies majoring in human services and development, her focus are on fundraising to keep the supply of resources going. “I love combining my study with my practical field experience. There are some really big problems on the ground in that village – it really helps to be able to explore these strategic challenges being faced by this developing community both in the classroom and in the real world. I love how my lecturers at CHC encourage this type of real world learning. I am able to test what I learn in our field strategy meetings and it gives my learning such a motivating focus.” At Christian Heritage College, students are encouraged to engage in this type of discovery. According to Dr Johan Roux, Dean of Social Sciences for CHC, students come to both the undergraduate and postgraduate courses at different stages in their ministry development. “Not all are mission ready; but many realise that God has something important for them to do in the areas of compassionate care or social justice and want to prepare their minds, hearts and faith for the road ahead.”

These new wave of missional practitioners need to be personally equipped. And although young missionaries like Kayla are called and compelled to accept the spiritual challenge of Jesus’ Great Commission, in the physical world they are engaging in a complex and often daunting personal challenge. “Taking the Good News of Jesus to a broken and hurting world requires a deeper understanding of the cultural, physical and spiritual barriers that stand in the way. These new wave of missional practitioners need to be personally equipped by developing strong convictions in their Christian worldview, robust personal character and real world ministry and

professional knowledge and skills. It is probably this distinctive that makes CHC such a strongly preferred tertiary study option for students, not just in the world of Social Sciences, but across Education, Business and Ministry disciplines,’ say Dr Roux. For almost 30 years, CHC has been providing fully accredited tertiary course options and producing graduates who have pursued their calling as primary or secondary teachers, social workers, counsellors, pastors, youth workers, business entrepreneurs, accountants, marketers, missionaries and chaplains in all corners of the globe. Undergraduate and postgraduate options across most disciplines, as well as on campus, part time and external study options, allows each student the course and study model that best suits their stage in life. FEE-HELP and HECS-HELP are also available; making CHC accessible for all eligible students. At CHC, we will help you integrate transformative personal faith development with global standards of scholarship and professional best practice.

Equip yourself to tackle the mission God has called you to. For more information on how you can invest more deeply into your life and ministry, contact CHC on 07 3347 7900 or visit

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Girl talk.

“The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born[a] will be holy; he will be called Son of God.” Luke 1:35 Welcome to the summer edition of Christian Woman. Can you hear it? The carols filtering through the shopping centres. The children squealing with delight at the sight of Santa in his oversized chair listening intently to our children’s lists of wants. The wrapping paper rustling as busy Mum’s wrap in the darkness of the late night... no? Perhaps you shuffle along through the shopping centres thinking that everybody else has the ‘perfect’ family and this time of year is not something that you look

forward to... you are most certainly not alone. Berni Dymet sensitively tackles the subject of those facing a difficult holiday season. It is easy to forget in the busy rush of present buying and preparations for Christmas that we are celebrating this season for one reason only... the birth of our Saviour Jesus Christ. Roxana Hackett takes us back to that moment (and in her words) recreates the scene of his birth. She creatively captures the mood of what would have been a stressful situation for

Joseph and Mary (and we think Christmas is stressful - try having a virgin birth and being away from home and persecuted for it!). The miraculous circumstances surrounding his birth should be the focal point of every household this Christmas. This is the time of year when we should be inviting non-Christian friends and families to church services and introducing them to the love of our amazing God. We pray that you have a very Merry Christmas and safe and happy New Year! We look forward to sharing more of our heart of Christian Woman in 2014. Stay connected with us over the holidays via Facebook, Twitter or Stay blessed! Nicole Danswan Editor/Publisher





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The Family Affair? 8 Christian Woman Summer 2013/2014

A Different Perspective. Christmas can be a wonderful celebration of God’s everlasting love and precious time with family... but what about those dreading the current season... BERNI DYMET A Stereotypical Christmas Tale As we head to Christmas, New Year and for us in the Southern Hemisphere, summer holidays, our thoughts turn very much to spending time with our families. All the ads on the TV use happy, well adjusted families as the backdrop – smiling kids and teenagers; happy mums and dads, silver haired grandparents – as their backdrops to advertise everything from Christmas hampers, to BBQs to suntan lotion. Our churches too tend to emphasis the joy of family relationships and it’s an awesome thing that many, many people have wonderful nuclear and extended families with whom to enjoy their Christmas and holiday celebrations. We tend to see it in particular, within families that have a strong, Christian heritage reaching back many generations. There’s something about the godliness handed down from generation to generation that builds strong, healthy and loving families. But not everyone is so lucky. I was jolted into this realisation recently by a post from a friend on Facebook. This is what he said: It’s important to remember that not everyone is surrounded by large wonderful families. Some of us have problems during the holidays and sometimes are overcome with great sadness when we remember the loved ones who are not with us. And, many people have no one to spend these times with and are besieged by loneliness. We all need caring thoughts and loving prayer right now. If I don’t see your name, I’ll understand. May I ask my friends wherever you might be, to kindly copy, paste, and share this status for one hour to give a moment of support to all those who have family problems, health struggles, job issues, worries of any kind and just need to know that someone cares. Do it for all of us, for nobody is immune. I hope to see this on the walls of all my friends just for moral support. I

know some will! I did it for a friend and you can too! That Guilty Feeling Many Christians – women in particular – look at all the apparently perfect, well adjusted families that they’re surrounded with heading into the Christmas period, and begin to imagine that theirs is the only one with tensions and dysfunctions. You know – Uncle So–And–So drinks too much and always ruins Christmas. Then there’s the whole reality of separation and divorce and the painful process of shuffling the kids between parents on Christmas day. One couple I know has discovered that they’re son is gay, and he wants to bring his boyfriend along to Christmas – what will the Christian grandparents say? How will they react? How will we cope? And others still are consigned to a lonely Christmas through the death of their soul mate, estrangement from their children, decade–long feuds in their extended family … this list goes on. You can see how guilt and inadequacy can fill the heart of a mother or father. Hang on, we’re Christians! Aren’t we supposed to have out act together? Aren’t we supposed to have brought up the perfect godly family? Why is this happening to me? Dreading Christmas And so many of us end up dreading Christmas. Instead of looking forward to the celebration of the coming of our Saviour, we’re shuddering in our boots, wishing we could just make it all go away. A time warp would be great – if we could just somehow skip Christmas and have the calendar click over from the 24th to the 27th of December – that’d be perfect. Have you ever had that feeling? Perhaps you’re one of the fortunate that belongs to the almost–perfect,

Christian–heritage family. God bless you – and praise the Lord. But can I suggest that probably the vast majority of people reading this article right now aren’t in that place. So what’s the answer? How do we cope with the ugliness and pain of the “festive season” when we know it’s just not going to be what it was meant to be? Well, I’d like to suggest an approach to you today that goes, way, way beyond coping. I’d like to suggest that this dysfunctional Christmas that you may be staring down the barrel at is a massive, missional opportunity. And to figure that one out, we need to back to that very first Christmas. Dysfunctional Family Christmas – A Missional Opportunity The Son of God didn’t come into a perfect family in a perfect world in a perfect way. Joseph and Mary weren’t even married – imagine the scandal of that back then! And Mary – can you believe this! – claimed that the Holy Spirit did it. So Jesus as far as many were concerned, was an illegitimate child. How’s that for family scandal and dysfunction. Mary spent the last couple of weeks of her pregnancy walking or riding a donkey in massive discomfort, and Jesus slipped quietly into the world, out back in a smelly, unhygienic stable. It wasn’t that long that Herod tried to assassinate Him, so this tiny family (Were the parents married yet? Not sure) fled as refugees to Egypt. And it didn’t end there. Jesus the man was misunderstood, criticised, reviled, beaten, spat upon, mocked and crucified. And yet none of that – none of it – seemed to phase Him. Jesus was a Man on a mission. He came to this world to heal the sick, give sight to the blind, love the sinners, set us free, sacrifice Himself for us and fling open the door to the Kingdom of Heaven so that you and I could walk in and spend

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A Different Perspective. “THERE WAS NOTHING PERFECT ABOUT HIS FAMILY, HIS CIRCUMSTANCES OR HIS CRUCIFIXION. BUT THAT DIDN’T STOP HIM.” eternity … eternity!! with Him. There was nothing perfect about His family, His circumstances or His crucifixion. But that didn’t stop Him – thank God! A Model for You and Me So … Jesus walked into an imperfect world, to lay down His life for imperfect people, some of whom were the very ones that nailed Him to the Cross (Forgive them Father for they know not what they do!) For Him, it wasn’t about Him, but about what He came to do for you and me. Call me crazy, but what if you and

I approached a less than perfect family with a less than perfect Christmas celebration in exactly the same way. As a powerful missional opportunity just to be the hands and feet of Jesus, scarred though they may be. To put our arms around Uncle So– And–So, to embrace the sinners, to serve them, to encourage them, to bring peace where we can, to pray for those whom we can’t see or touch or influence. To show grace and mercy in our imperfect corners of the world. To say: Dear Lord Jesus I don’t know how this is going to work out but I’m here and I’m yours and give me the wisdom

and courage to show your love to those who need it this Christmas. Maybe that means inviting someone you don’t want to invite to your Christmas dinner table. Perhaps it means seeing the lonely old man at church and making him part of your family for the day. Or maybe it means going out of your way to visit someone on Christmas day who’s not even expecting you to call. Whatever it is, it seems to me that the dysfunctional Christmas is a fertile mission field indeed. What do you think? CW

Berni Dymet is the ceo + Bible teacher of the global media ministry Christianityworks. Each week his radio messages are heard by tens of millions of listeners in over 160 countries around the world. Visit to request your free copy of his latest booklet and listen to his messages.

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NATALIE BOX shares her top five tips for refreshing your joy in this festive season... My family and friends know that by the time September hits, the Christmas season has pretty much begun for me. While other people are thinking about school holidays and sport, I’m already beginning to dream about decorations, gift ideas, Christmas parties and perhaps even playing some Christmas music (secretly of course). I just love the feeling of Christmas. Do you know what I mean? It’s that magical excitement that stirs when decorations start to appear in stores. Gifts are bought and wrapped, trees are trimmed, Christmas movies are watched and candles are lit (Christmas scented of course). However, even though these things do bring great joy, my favourite part of Christmas is celebrating the joy bringer himself. “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given … and he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace”. (Isaiah 9:6, NLT). The weight of hope that flows through these words carries truth and life. Here we find ourselves in a season where miraculous hope has suddenly invaded descended upon our planet. The whole world is looking to Jesus! However, despite the reality of this abundant hope, sometimes rather than overflowing with joy, we can actually become overwhelmed by busyness. Ticking off to do lists, sticking to (or going over) budgets, and watching our December calendar fill up right before our very eyes, all become the focus of our attention. All of a sudden we’ve boarded the train to “anxiousville” and we can’t wait for Christmas to be over. What? Seriously! How crazy is that?! But good news, this is not what our heavenly Dad has for us. Stress is not his will for our life. Instead of anxiousness and fear; peace, rest and joy are his gifts to us this season. Even as you read this article, I pray that his refreshing presence would wash over 12 Christian Woman Summer 2013/2014



you, bringing life to your soul. The word ‘refresh’ means, “to give new strength or energy to; to reinvigorate” (Oxford Dictionary). However if you think about it with reference to a computer, ‘refresh’ means, “to reload and create an updated version of a website” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary). God wants to reload us with strength, renew our minds, and refresh us with joy this season. God is into exchanges. He loves taking our mess and replacing it with

order. When he presses ‘refresh’; everything else fades away, and rest, hope, peace and joy come. In the midst of a flurry of to do lists, deadlines and appointments, joy is what he has for you. When it’s noisy, he gives you quiet. When things are moving too fast, he stills your soul. His promise for you today is, “I will lead you to quiet waters and restore your soul” (Psalm 23:2-3). Here are some ways you can be refreshed by joy this season.

In the midst of a flurry of to do lists, deadlines and appointments, joy is what he has for us. When it’s noisy, he gives us quiet. When things are moving too fast, he stills our soul. everything on your own. Listen for (his) voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track.” (Prov 3:5-6, MSG) 3. Rest in his presence. All it takes is one moment in his presence. “In his presence is joyful abundance!” (Psalm 16:11, ISV). He is always there waiting with so much goodness for you. The second you turn your affection to him; the connection is instant. This season, his joy changes everything. And he’s waiting right now with a fresh batch for you. 4. Cultivate thankfulness. Thankfulness releases the miraculous. When you begin to thank God for the blessings around you, big or small, your perspective changes and hope invades. God says to you, “Come up here,  and I will show you what must take place after this.” (Rev 4:1) Instead of being overwhelmed by small thinking, let thankfulness elevate you to a place where joy abounds. 5. Have fun… It’s Christmas! Think about kids. They don’t do anything unless it’s fun. So, it’s time for you to have some fun. Sometimes as adults we think we’re “too old” to really get into all the celebrations. Well I am here to tell you that you have permission to have fun this Christmas! So get ready because guess what… it’s the most wonderful time of the year!

5 WAYS TO BE REFRESHED BY JOY THIS CHRISTMAS SEASON: 1. Stop and remember. What an incredible day that was, when hope entered the world. The finest of plans, meticulously set in place from the foundations of the earth, finally ready to come to pass. Stop and remember. That day, a waiting world watched. A Father’s

generosity was poured out. And a Saviour came for the joy set before him. That’s you. What a reason to celebrate! 2. Instead of being overwhelmed, trust. Worrying never helps the situation. Even though it feels like it’s helping, it’s not. Choose to consciously turn your affection towards him, despite feeling overwhelmed. In an instant his presence comes. “Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out

So right now, take a deep breath. Breathe in his presence. Rest in his love and be encouraged. You are doing an amazing job and I am cheering you on! God bless you and Merry Christmas. CW

Natalie Box is a writer, blogger and voiceover artist. She’s passionate about encouraging people to dream bigger and to walk in all God has created them to be. You can visit her blog at for a daily dose of encouragement, inspiration and beauty.

Christmas gifts A trip to Bethlehem brought the story of our Saviours birth home for Irene Frances..


hristmas is an expression of the love of God – embracing not just the birth of Christ, but His life, death and resurrection. During recent visits to Israel I experienced, in a profound way, something more of the richness of God’s love and the gifts He has for each one of us. Visiting Bethlehem, the town where Jesus was born, and standing in the Shepherds’ Field where angels proclaimed the arrival of the Christchild, brought a fresh awareness of the Christmas story. I understood anew the wonder of my Lord and my God – Immanuel, God with us. As I sat in the magnificent church on the Mount of Beatitudes, overlooking the Sea of Galilee, the words of one of the Beatitudes captured my heart: Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Many people find Christmas particularly difficult, the grief of their lives intensifies in the midst of the heightened air of excitement and anticipation. There are those who are mourning – those who are bereaved, those with broken relationships, the loss of hopes and dreams. To each one, 14 Christian Woman Summer 2013/2014


At Christmas time there are those who feel alone and lonely. To each one Jesus brings His gifts of love and acceptance. Jesus brings His gift of comfort. He gently says: Blessed are you who mourn, for you shall be comforted. As I walked the streets of Jerusalem, where Jesus once walked, I was reminded of how He reached out to the poor and needy, those who lived on the edge of their communities. Jesus reached out to all in need – and He does that for all of us today. At Christmas time there are those who feel alone and lonely. To each one Jesus brings His gifts of love and acceptance. As I talked with Jesus in the serenity of the Garden of Gethsemane, the words of an old hymn came to mind:

I come to the Garden alone, While the dew is still on the roses And He walks with me, And He talks with me And He tells me I am His own The words of the contemporary Christian song, Servant King, also capture the pathos of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane as He awaited His arrest and pending crucifixion. It speaks of the garden of tears where Christ chose to bear our heavy load, where His heart was torn with sorrow, but in obedience to His Father, He declared: “Not My will, but Yours be done.” At Christmas time there are those who are carrying heavy loads. To all, Jesus offers His gifts of empathy, kindness, care and compassion. He

invites everyone to give Him that heavy load, and receive from Him His love, joy and peace. Christmas is a time to reflect upon the love of God, demonstrated to us through the birth of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ – our Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace – the One who knows us intimately, loves us deeply, and who offers us Life with a capital “L”. At Christmas time, may each one of us accept His gift and embrace it in all its fullness. The love of God – a wonderful gift that He has given for all of us to know and experience. CW Irene Frances is a freelance writer and blogger. Visit her at

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“I was told by doctors the endometriosis was so severe that I had a 1% chance of falling pregnant with fertility treatment.�

16 Christian Woman Summer 2013/2014

Cover story.

Singer, songwriter and mother of two, ROMA WATERMAN, shares part of her miraculous story of infertility and how God brought her through...


n 2001 I was recording a new album aptly titled “Fearless Courage”. One evening I had a dream. An angel walked up to me and pointed his finger in my face. He said: “Don’t worry about what the doctors tell you, you will eventually give birth to a healthy baby boy”. At the time, the dream felt significant, although I was no where near having children and was not particularly maternal. Little did I know that dream would keep me afloat for the next ten years. You see, at the time I didn’t realise I had severe endometriosis and would have much difficulty falling pregnant. Fast forward to a few months later and an emergency trip to hospital in severe pain, to be told I needed major surgery. That followed many years of operations, doctors appointments and medication. Endometriosis is a debilitating disease that affects in particular, the reproductive organs. For me, it was one of the worst cases the doctors had ever seen and explained the severe pain I had been experiencing for years. Eventually in 2005, I gave birth to an amazing baby girl, Angelina. After a lot of trouble and wondering if I would fall pregnant, she was a delight and I fell in love with her the moment I saw her. I still remembered that cryptic dream and wondered what it was all about, considering I had a girl, and not a boy as

the dream had promised. A few years later, I was releasing my 6th album and still touring, this time with a baby in tow. They were wonderful times. My husband and I started thinking about having another baby. Five years and another operation later, we were still trying. I was told by doctors the endometriosis was so severe that I had a 1% chance of falling pregnant with fertility treatment. The heartache and dissapointment I felt each month was almost too hard to

bear. I can honestly say it was one of the loneliest times of my life. I remember many times getting up to sing, finding out only hours earlier that I was not pregnant that month. To sing and speak about hope to others during this time was very hard. I still remember being on tour and doing a pregnancy test to find out I was pregnant. Three days later, and only minutes before getting on a stage, it was obvious I was not. I will never forget the feeling of utter despair and loneliness I

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Angelinda holding Asa


felt to experience such dissapointment and then have to get up and sing and share about my faith. Yet at the same time I would feel a sense deep of love from my heavenly Father. It was such a strange contradiction. I really learned during this time that there are some things beyond my control, but nothing is out of God’s control. I can’t fix everything and I really had to let go of trying to be the one who has it all together. I have Italian blood flowing through my veins so I am pretty strong willed and like to take control. In this case, for the first time in my life, there was nothing I could do to make things better. I just had to trust that God loved me and everything would be ok. During this time I had many women ask me to pray for them to fall pregnant because the miracle of my first daughter. It was so hard! They didn’t know my journey and the internal struggle I was facing to conceive again. Almost every woman I prayed for fell pregnant. I didn’t know whether to be angry or delighted some days! I felt so inadequate as a minister because I was struggling inside, yet also so happy to see these women have their dreams come true. My prayers would swing from “God thank you for answering her prayer”, to “God is this some kind of joke?”. I am embarrassed to say that during those moments I was not the super spiritual giant that some people make me out to be! Eventually I was told the next step for me after unsuccessfully falling pregnant on fertility medication, was to have major bowel surgery to remove diseased tissue. This 18 Christian Woman Summer 2013/2014

Cover story.

During this time I had many women ask me to pray for them to fall pregnant because the miracle of my first daughter. It was so hard! They didn’t know my journey and the internal struggle I was facing to conceive again. Almost every woman I prayed for fell pregnant. would require six weeks recovery and no promise that I would fall pregnant. I felt so lost. I had already had a number of operations and still was in constant pain. Yet, as most woman who desire a baby would understand, you pretty much will try anything to hold that baby in your arms. After meeting with a bowel surgeon, it was advised for me to start IVF. The tension I felt to make a choice regarding this was difficult. I have lived quite a miraculous life and seen many healings, not only personally but around me. Healings that were unexplainable to the medical world. To have medical intervention when I knew God could heal me was a tough choice to make. After much prayer, we felt a complete peace to go ahead. The process was a difficult one, but after a year of treatments and then only on our second round, I fell pregnant with my amazing son, Asa Sterling Waterman. The son I was promised ten years earlier. We named him Asa because it means “God Heals”. Every time I say his name I am repeating over and over again that God is the healer. I love that. I have a vivid memory of our 18 week scan. I said to my husband, “Do you think that dream I had all those years ago was true? Do you think we are having a boy”?. As I lay on the table while they scanned the precious life inside me, the nurse said “It’s a boy!” I burst into tears and felt God’s peace flood that room. The promise fulfilled is amazing to experience. I’ve learnt so much about myself and also about others going through this. The greatest lesson is that I had really separated God and doctors. But healing comes in many ways. God gives doctors Godly wisdom to understand the human body. The problem I feel as Christians is that we will often go to doctors before we would ever trust in God. Yet trusting in him to lead us in the right direction

in terms of our well being and health is so important. For some it means seeking medical attention, for others, it means prayer and a miraculous, supernatural and sometimes even instant healing. For many, it’s a combination of both. The key is just to trust that he has the answers and put our hope in him. Ask him what he thinks of your situation. Too many times we just assume. The other thing I have learned is that we don’t always understand why things turn out the way they do. Although my journey was difficult, I am aware there are many who don’t have the positive outcome I have had. I don’t have an answer for this and it pains me to see people struggle through a journey of brokenness. Yet I know that no matter how life turns out, we can trust in the giver of life wholeheartedly without reserve. He really will look after us. We may not have the outcome we expected, but its always going to be a good outcome. That’s why we can trust Him. Last year after the birth of my son, I was told I had three tumours on my liver. I was told I needed them removed due to the possibility of them being pre cancerous. After everything I had been through this was so frustrating to me. Another time I was out of control! I was ministering in America when a man asked if he could lay hands on me and pray for me for my healing. When I came back home to have the operation, the doctors couldn’t explain it – the tumours were gone. In this instance I received a miraculous healing – yet having medical intervention for my son to me is considered just as miraculous. I don’t know why things happen the

way they do, but I’m learning to just go with the current of His river instead of steering my own ship. So my story has been a combination of miraculous unexplained healings and doctors and medicine bringing health to my body. I thank God for it all. I’m finally in a place where I am beginning to understand that for God to use us and work and in and through us, we don’t need to have it all together. We just need to have a soft heart. We just need to be open to Him. There were many times I thought of stepping out of ministry until I was ‘more whole’. I realise now, there’s always going to be something we need to work on. It’s wisdom to have seasons of rest and pulling out of things, but if the reason you are doing that is because you don’t feel you are perfect enough, then that’s the worst reason of all! You are never going to be perfect or have it all together. As soon as we realise that its only by Gods grace that we can do what we do, we will minister in greater power and feel more fulfilled. Perfection is such a lie. Authenticity should be the goal. Just be yourself! If we can learn to walk out our lives imagining ourselves as God sees us, we would become less concerned with how WE see us. His opinion matters more anyway. When I look at my son, he such a miracle to me. When I look to God, I am so grateful for a dream that has taught me more than being a mother. It’s taught me how to be a daughter. It’s taught me that I have a father that holds me in the palm of His hand. CW

Roma Waterman is an award winning author, singer and songwriter. After many top ten hits on Christian radio, she continues to release albums and books, training others in worship and songwriting. She is the director of Sounds of the nations Oceania, which exists to train artisans to release their own authentic expressions of worship in their art. She travels worldwide training, teaching and leading worship. |

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Let’s be INTIMATE with God {An approach from the book of Jeremiah}

SAMANTHA HARDCASTLE discovers the secret to where true confidence and inner peace resides...


here are very few things that can make one grow from feeling inferior to confident. Stories we hear from the news can all but baffle our minds into wondering, how and why, we couldn’t have a story like theirs? Whether it be from a love story, or a survival story, sometimes they leave us envious. The extraordinary tales of this world, can make those who suffer from inferiority, feel all but too little to fulfill any good work. So, let’s look beyond ourselves, to see where true confidence and inner peace reside. Let’s look at the story of Jeremiah. He was our weeping prophet; doubtful, emotional and intimately called by the Lord—and only at 20 years old. Yet, what is one of the first things he cries out to God after he is called? “Alas, Sovereign Lord,” [he] said, 20 Christian Woman Summer 2013/2014

“I do not know how to speak; I am too young.” But the Lord said to [him], “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord” (Jeremiah 1:6-8). Is it unreasonable how Jeremiah was acting? I believe, that if God were to have called me to boldly speak before the entire southern kingdom of Judah, I would blatantly start to fear and wonder, for the exact reasons Jeremiah had, because of their evil and surrounding wickedness would seem too great to still, even with God’s help (known as Jeremiah’s infamous doubt). But then God touches Jeremiah’s mouth and tells him not to fear. “Then the  Lord  reached out his hand and touched  [his] mouth and said to [him], “I have put my words in your

mouth” (Jeremiah 1:9). And this is where we stop. This is our answer, the miracle that we should take away. This is where God walks in on our weeping and turmoil; where He picks us up from our trembling knees and gently touches our lips. Where He consoles our weeping into strength and courage and power from a lost world of hopelessness and fear. Where He so tenderly obliterates all structure of our God in Heaven and we on Earth; where He bent down to our level and stood right in front of us, lovingly taking away our depravity and our doubt—to be intimate with us. This is all He wanted for Jerusalem and the kingdom of Judah. He wanted their love and their trust in Him, as Jeremiah continues to do so even in prison; not the idols they so obediently worshipped. This is the same story of Israel abandoning God, that Jeremiah


He bent down to our level and stood right in front of us, lovingly taking away our depravity and our doubt—to be intimate with us.

had reminded them of happening nearly a century prior. We have those idols today though too: relationships, careers, houses, money, shopping, the list is endless. But deep down, in the parts of our souls that don’t speak—we’re not only worshipping money—we’re worshipping doubt, and doubt in the God who already stilled the oceans. And in the story of Jeremiah, his human nature took root and his focus became about the return of the people—through worry, doubt and pity—when all along, God wanted Jeremiah to return to Him so he could fully begin to carry out his mission. “Therefore this is what the LORD says: “If you repent, I will restore you that you may serve me; if you utter worthy, not worthless, words, you will be my spokesman. Let this people turn to you, but you must not turn to them” (Jeremiah 15:19). So, we must not allow the task before us to overcome us. Rather, we must allow God to use us for the purposes of His heart, while keeping our mind steadfast on Him, in obedience, unwavering hope and zealous faith. In a lot of ways, we are like Jeremiah. But in every way, God is still the same God He was thousands of centuries ago. He is still jealous for our love. He is still passionate. He is still able to do infinitely more than we might ask or think.

Still, He is a God of justice and He will do as He wills, to get us back. Even if it means losing a battle, as Jerusalem and Judah lost to the Babylonians. Even if it takes 70 years of captivity—as it was for the people of Judah, until God brought them back to the Promise Land. We need to ask ourselves, are we willing to wait as long— to lose as much—for the purposes of Christ in our lives? As a testing of our faith. Do we feel empty or at a loss without this or that, or impatient with this or that? If so, we may need to cross examine some very fine lines between believing in our God—the God who protected Jeremiah from the people’s plot to kill him in their anger—to believing in the power of ourselves. To be confident, shouldn’t be waged over a war between flesh and beauty and what we’re able to accomplish; it should be an inner peace, resting alone in the grace of our God, who so lovingly, is quick to still our lips in unbelief…who turns us around in His own hands to face the beauty of the unknown with Him by our side. In essence, the stories we hear about—even the stories we wish we could be so blessed to live—weren’t meant to be lived by us. We each have our own story to live, but that all so graciously, connects in one being—Christ Jesus. Jeremiah didn’t get his boldness and courage from his inner strength; he got it from his intimacy with God. His willingness to listen. His heart for others. Once we are open to be intimate with our God—who isn’t light years away, but right inside of us, it won’t take long at all, because He is already there and waiting for us. CW

Samantha desires for those who think they’re too unworthy to realize that God has a life—personally and lovingly—ordained for them. She paints by dawn and writes by dusk; her work has been published in The Good Women Project and literary art journals. She’s also a contributing writer for Faithlife Women. Defining herself as a lady keeping it classy while crazy for Christ, she fervently writes Matthew 19:26 on the tablet of her heart. Website:

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ANDREA HITEFIELD offers some insightful and humourous ponderings on eating crow...


Humbly Accepting Humiliation

“Facebook will never go worldwide.” “I would die before I married a bald guy!” “Congratulations on the pregnancy…. oh…sorry….I thought...” Humiliation. We all experience it. It comes when we say or act presumptuous, and find ourselves needing to make amends. This disgrace and guilt often pull us into ourselves, and we hide our shame from the Lord. But shame prepares our palate for the main dish: 22 Christian Woman Summer 2013/2014

crow. Often served fried with a garnish of bitter herbs, it acts as the necessary element in our transformation as leaders. My Fowl Walk of Shame My humiliation transformation came shortly after I moved to Dallas for seminary. As an eager twenty-three-yearold, I set my goal on finding a church before the semester commenced. On one particular Sunday, I slipped into a

service immediately before the worship. I beamed with confidence as the music pastor led us in hymns of adoration. My heart danced as I, unaware of anyone around me, stood before my King and praised Him alone. And with each worship song, my heart seemed to mold into His. A gentle tap on my shoulder interrupted this deep communion. The woman behind me said no words as she pointed to my bum. Milliseconds strolled


For the next several weeks, I stuffed a tough, black bird into my purse and walked into the worship service to feast on crow before the Lord.

dissipated when my focus turned inward. This moment revealed an unflattering truth: I based my confidence in myself. Where did my worship come from? Did I worship out of heart or out of appearance? If truly from my heart, I would have yanked my skirt down, raised my hands, and sung my off-key heart out. But I didn’t. I sat. And soon, I would eat crow. The Bible classifies crow as a detestable bird, unfit for eating. Anyone who touches or eats it would remain unclean until evening (Lev 11:15–24). Crow still reeks of uncleanliness. After all, the disgusting gristle stays in your mouth long after the moment has passed and remains until you finish making amends. For the next several weeks, I stuffed a tough, black bird into my purse and walked into the worship service to feast on crow before the Lord. And each Sunday, I felt ashamed as the bitter aftertaste stung my tongue. I began to wonder: what did those hours of uncleanliness teach the Israelites? I discovered three transformations humiliation can create in my life and ministry (and that crow, as a dietary aid, will clean my system of pride).

past as I felt the cool air where my skirt should have hung. My knees buckled, the pew caught my fall, and I sat frozen. My heart’s pounding overruled the pastor’s voice as I squirmed and tugged at my skirt. Displaying my unmentionables to the congregation humiliated me. But the true humiliation came the moment I sat down, the moment I stopped worshipping. My confidence in praising the Lord

Humiliation creates a deeper awareness of the forgiveness of God. Our Savior does not flinch when His children reveal their fickleness. His cheeks do not thump with blood. He experiences no shame. Even when Abraham lied about his wife, even when Peter denied Him, and even when Thomas declared His resurrection impossible, God remained steadfast. Abraham placed his confidence in manipulation of the situation, Peter relied on his own protection, and Thomas’ doubt revealed his trust in personal experience. Times of shame reveal the source of our

confidence. Too often, we find it in pride. When we find the source of our shame, God’s continual act of mercy explodes into view. The deeper we recognize our own disgrace the deeper we appreciate God’s personal forgiveness. So instead of eradicating pride through behavior modification techniques, let’s try using it to develop deeper gratitude of God’s forgiveness. The more we focus on the compassion of the Lord, the more our heart will imitate His. Humiliation creates deeper compassion. When we see our faltering as benchmarks for growth, we tend to offer more patience to those above us, below us, and beside us. Paul encourages, “In humility consider others better than yourselves” (Phil 2:3, italics mine). Our humble states should increase consideration of those struggling. In ministry, we daily encounter individuals’ toiling with shame. Whether it’s the stagnant stare after a failed diet, the hesitant heartbeat of an adulterer, or the lax listening of a bullied man, it shows up in every group. Jesus even encountered this in His ministry. Despite a full day at the Passover Feast in Jerusalem performing signs and sharing truths, Jesus allowed an embarrassed man to monopolize His time. Nicodemus came shyly to Jesus at night with questions. While Jesus could have rebuked him and demanded that he come in the light of day as the rest of the crowds, He did not. Instead, Jesus took the time to answer his questions (John 3:1–21). I think Jesus sat up many nights answering questions of the ashamed. Today, we can delight in knowing that God “gives generously to all without reproach” (James 1:5). He never repays shame with shame. We must also give generously in our ministries as we

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Fried Crow

Makes: 1 serving Prep: As needed Cook: 3-5 minutes ½ teaspoon honesty salt (best when freshly delivered from friend) 1 large crow, cut into bite-size pieces ¾ cup softened meditation 1 cup confession crumbs 2 cups all-purpose acceptance thyme and sage (advice) for flavor In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 cups all-purpose acceptance and confession crumbs. Blend well. In a shallow baking dish, soften meditation at room temperature and add a pinch of thyme for taste. Set mixture aside. Cut raw crow into bite size pieces. Toss with honesty

salt. Coat crow with meditation, then dip into flour mixture. Using tongs, carefully lower crow into a deep-fat fryer for 3-5 minutes. When golden brown, remove from fryer and place on paper towels. Sprinkle honesty salt and sage advice on cooked crow. Serve immediately. Crow Prep Tips: Do not overcook crow. Eat immediately, crow will not reheat. Pair with mashed potatoes and tossed salad for a complete meal. Crow tastes best when shared with close friends.

consciously remind ourselves of God’s forgiveness in our own shame. As we encounter versions of Nicodemus in our world, we embrace Jesus’ example to stay, talk, and care. We never know how much heartburn crow has caused the people we serve. Humiliation creates authentic relationships. The most transformative aspect of humiliation comes in community. Every leader needs the honest insight of close friends. Moments of shame force us into a state of vulnerability; in this nakedness we can invite others into deeper relationships. Solomon advised, “Hear counsel, receive instruction, and accept correction, that you may be wise in the time to come” (Prov 19:20 AMP). The opportunity to have authentic, custommade community speaking counsel and instruction into our lives makes ministries flourish. And it often helps us avoid having to eat more scraggly, rubbery birds. I relish these friends. When they knock on my door, holding a side dish of correction, my heart sighs relief and my tear-stained brain relaxes. I know I still have to ingest the bitter bird, but I absorb more when friends provide a dash of honesty salt. If you don’t have such people in your life, invite them in. Give them permission to ask the hard questions: • Did arrogance lead to your humiliation? • Where do you see pride? • Could an increase of patience, grace, or selflessness changed the outcome? As the relationship develops, you will salt their crow, and they will salt yours. And you will both grow in pouring deeper grace into your ministries. In the midst of shame, when you have the opportunity to point and feel pointed toward Christ, your confidence will take root in His mercies. Like Solomon said, “Hear counsel, receive instruction, and accept correction, that you may be wise in the time to come” (Prov. 19:20). Take hold of the opportunity to prepare for wise ministry through these times of chewing crow. Today, I check a mirror for wardrobe malfunctions before leaving my apartment. And while I try to avoid humiliation, I rejoice as it transforms my character and ministry. But I still wonder, if humiliation requires me to eat crow, what will require me to eat chocolate? CW

Andrea Hitefield is a recent graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary and is currently teaching English at a classical school. She has a fierce addiction to hot tea and cozy rainy days. And she always checks for wardrobe malfunctions at church now.

24 Christian Woman Summer 2013/2014

What you are about to read is my own interpretation of events surrounding the birth of our savior Jesus Christ. My thoughts are based on the veracity of the Bible, and its accounts pertaining to Jesus’ arrival into this world. ROXANA HACKETT

M Yeshua’s Arrival

ost likely, when we think of Christmas, we imagine a beautiful plump baby, resting quietly in a haloed manger, with relaxed parents restfully looking upon this tiny but magnificent arrival. Despite the popular Christmas cards that have contributed to our conditioned perception of this faithful event two thousand years ago, the events surrounding the birth of Jesus Christ, and the birth itself, were filled with anxiety, fear, miracles, faith, humility, shame, grace, panic, pain, uncertainty, and obedience. Without any doubt, our eyes are more focused on Mary, as she is recognized by many Christians as the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, giving her iconized veneration through paintings and shrines around the world. What about Joseph? What about the man behind the woman? Not to dilute the importance of Mary, who was chosen by God to give birth to His son, I would also like to explore the character of Joseph, who despite adversity, shame, destitution, and torment, was obedient and submissive to God’s will and faithfully

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…how can this be, she seemed so meek, so humble, devoted, a faithful follower of Scripture…yet she is with child, claiming sexual fidelity to me…but, how? This can’t be happening…”

protected, and served Mary, the woman who carried our Savior. Mary woke up early to study the Scripture. It was still dark out, as she quietly read the word of God by the flicker of an oil lamp. She knelt on the cold, dirt floors of her house, closing her eyes, quietly praying to God for the well being of her family. Bound by her daily chores, she started folding linen garments while looking out the window. An eager rooster perched on their flat roof, announced the sun ascending on the horizon. Her father was already gone to work in the fields, as her mother joined her in household duties. Mary’s thirteen year old face was delicate, with sun kissed olive skin, big brown eyes full of innocence, girlish cheeks framed by long dark hair. Although extremely slender, she moved with subtle confidence, approaching her work with dutiful devotion. Today was laundry day, so her mother sent her to fetch water from the public well. Mary looked forward to fellowship with friends, as they all sat outside in the common court yard, washing clothes, talking about their lives and her engagement to Joseph… Betrothed to him for a year by now, she found him kind, soft spoken, his deep dark eyes sparkling whenever he came to visit her. She felt honor marrying a man from the house of David, the most famous family lineage in Israel, hoping to be a good wife, obedient, and pleasing to Joseph in all ways. Regardless, her heart squeezed a little at the thought of being married soon. She felt, both, nervous and eager to fulfill all expectations placed on her. Her gait swift, Mary carried a pail of water in each hand for good balance. She’s done this so many times, as she relished the long walk to the well and back, lost in her thoughts, the sun guiding her way. She enjoyed her quiet life in Nazareth. It was a small, unassuming town, but she loved the green valleys, the gentle Galilean hills, the long grass swaying 26 Christian Woman Summer 2013/2014

in the wind, the peaceful ascetic rhythm of her ordinary life. Now, she stopped to rescue some yellow calendulas from the eager grazing of a nearby goat. She made a small bouquet, and tucked it in her apron. In a split second, a vagarious wind swept about her, wrapping the folds of her garments around her body. An angel, named Gabriel, appeared before her: “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you.” Luke 1:28. Mary fell to the ground in awe and dismay, shielding her eyes from Gabriel. “Don’t be frightened, Mary”, the angel told her, “for God has decided to bless you. You will become pregnant and have a son, and you are to name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever, his kingdom will never end!” Luke 1:30-33. Mary’s voice shivered with anxiety and shock, “But how can I have a baby? I am a virgin.” Luke 1:34. Gabriel drew her gently off the ground assuring her: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God…” Luke 1:35. Still bewildered, but keenly aware of the magnificence of the present advent, she spoke: “I am the Lord’s servant, and I am willing to accept whatever he wants. May everything you have said come true.” Luke 1:38. The angel, then, disappeared as instantaneously as he appeared. Myriad of emotions churned within Mary. She felt engulfed by panic and disbelief, yet appeased by the veracity of the angel’s words. She stood motionless for a moment, then looked down at her belly. She closed her eyes, tears and emotion releasing into humble worship: “Oh, how I praise the Lord, how I rejoice in God my Savior! For he took notice of this lowly servant girl and now generation after generation will call me blessed.” Luke 1:46-48. At home, in her mother’s arms,

conflicting emotions arose again within Mary. This time she feared Joseph would never believe her magnificent story. Why would he believe that she is the one carrying God’s child? On the other side of Nazareth, Joseph sat on his bed, with his head hung low in agony and disbelief. He was exhausted form a long day at work as a carpenter, dust covering his hair and his loose fitting clothes. His sandals were off his tired feet; his leather belt lay beside him on the bed. “A promiscuous girl…”, he thought to himself, “… how can this be, she seemed so meek, so humble, devoted, a faithful follower of Scripture… yet she is with child, claiming sexual fidelity to me… but, how? This can’t be happening…” He wrung his hands hard, now pacing about his house, “she has dishonored me and my family, bringing shame and ruin to my reputation.” Joseph’s emotions dug deeper and hotter, making his cheeks burn. He grabbed his curly, black hair in his calloused hands, squeezing his head in torment, searching for an answer, “I have to divorce her soon and quietly, for if I don’t the authorities will think I am the one who defiled her!” Consumed by the pain of betrayal, Joseph closed his eyes and fell asleep, and an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, “Joseph, son of David”, the angel said, “do not be afraid to go ahead with your marriage to Mary. For the child within her has been conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, and he will save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:20-22. “When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord commanded. He brought Mary home to be his wife...” Matthew 1:24. Deplored by their friends, Mary and Joseph felt increasing condemnation living under the very strict social, moral and religious rules of their town. They led a reserved life, with Mary continuing her household duties, making bread and cheese, sowing garments, and quietly


observing her belly growing. Her journeys to the market place became more difficult now, not only physically but also emotionally, as critical eyes were judging her from afar. Joseph struggled finding work, as he also had major difficulty being commissioned for any carpentry work. To make matters worse, The Roman Emperor, Augustus, required all citizens to return to their home towns to register for a census. Despite Mary’s being nine months pregnant, Joseph had no choice but to travel to his home town of Bethlehem. Unemployed, lonely, and apprehensive, they started their burdened journey in the bitter cold. Mary was led by Joseph on an old donkey, taking occasional rest stops on the side of the road. She spoke less and less, searching Joseph’s eyes once in a while. He would, then, assure her of his protection, serving her home made bread and water. Arriving at the city limits of Bethlehem, Mary could no longer contain the increasing pain she felt. Her baby was arriving, pangs of labor twinging at her belly. She let out a sharp

cry pleading to Joseph for help. He was frantically knocking on every inn’s door: “I need a room and a midwife!”, but every door was closed in his face as all rooms were filled already due to the unexpected census. Joseph looked up to the Heavens pleading, “Please God, help us!” The night was closing in, and cold bitter rain started to fall as they both stood hopeless and helpless in the middle of the dark road. Just as Mary’s cries were getting longer and deeper, the owner of a small inn ran in the streets and offered them humble shelter in his stable. “I still need a midwife”, Joseph said to the owner, but his plea was met with a shrug of shoulders, and he found himself alone with Mary among the sheep and cows. He knew then, he would have to help Mary deliver the baby. Embolden by God’s promise, Joseph gathered all his physical and mental strength, and looked to God for guidance in order to fulfill this necessary task he was unqualified, unprepared and discomfited for. He obediently yielded to God’s will, and in complete submission, Joseph helped Mary deliver the precious

baby, named Jesus. And, so, there they were, exhausted, hungry and cold, but in awesome wonder and reverence holding the redeemer of our world in their arms…Joseph, quickly improvised a cradle out of a nearby trough. He placed fresh hay, and his linen shirt inside, while Mary wrapped the baby in strips of cloth and gently laid him to rest. “Yeshua, Yeshua”, whispered Joseph to the baby, as he knelt beside Mary at the foot of the makeshift cradle. They both worshiped the newborn Savior in awe and adoration, as He peacefully slept under the warm breath of the stable animals. To me, all the events leading up to Jesus’ birth were intentional in fully understanding the character of God, and in discerning God’s expectations on our character. He saw our need for a Savior who would redeem us from our sinful ways, forgive us, and ultimately adopt us as his own children. So, then, God became human flesh through Jesus Christ, so we can identify with a man who understands our pain and our suffering and who embraces life along with us. God wants his mankind to be humble, charitable, gentle, kind, forgiving, loving, merciful, compassionate, submissive, hard working, faithful, meek and obedient. That is why He chose his only son to be born to poor, humiliated parents, under hostile circumstances. He wanted to identify with the broken, but also wanted to show us how to overcome our brokenness through faith in Him. Thank you Jesus for your incomparable heart. Thank you for offering us salvation, forgiveness, faithfulness and patience. Thank you for your birth so that we may begin our rebirth as a delivered humanity. CW

Roxana Hackett is a freelance writer.

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Book extract.

The following extract is taken from LARA PHEGAN’S new book ‘A Woman’s Guide to Power, Purpose and Joy’...


ou are a wise, creative and gifted woman. You have the ability to live a life that makes your soul sing—a life that reflects your uniqueness, a life that utilizes your greatest gifts, a life that is full of love, joy, beauty and abundance. 28 Christian Woman Summer 2013/2014

The question is, are you living that life? If you’re like many women, the answer is probably no. In fact, you may not even see how wise, creative or gifted you are or how important your contribution is. But believe me, you matter. Your

unique blend of experiences, talents and interests is no accident. You are drawn to certain things for a reason. You have something to offer the world that only you can share and whether your contribution impacts one person or millions, you are here to make a difference. Your task is

But focusing on yourself is exactly what you must do if you want to discover, claim and contribute your gifts. You were created with a unique task to fulfill. You need to know who you are and to love yourself in order to recognize and fulfill that task.

to discover and claim your gifts. Your purpose is to share those gifts in ways that delight you and fulfill your calling. For many of us this is not a simple process. Despite the popular message that you can find your purpose in a few easy steps or during a weekend retreat, many of us struggle for years to find our authentic God-given gifts and unique mission. And even when we do recognize our calling the challenge is not over. Once we become clear about what we are here to do we must find the inner strength and courage to use our time, energy and resources to pursue that calling. This is often the hardest part. It’s the part that requires us to challenge our beliefs about what it means to be a good, Godly woman. It’s the part that requires us to focus on our own lives and what we’re being prompted to do. It puts us at risk of being called selfish, of being misunderstood, and of having people judge us for focusing on ourselves. But focusing on yourself is exactly what you must do if you want to discover, claim and contribute your gifts. You were created with a unique task to fulfill. You need to know who you are and to love yourself in order to recognize and fulfill that task. It’s not wrong to focus on yourself. You are important too. You are worthy of time and attention and your joy, fulfillment and purpose, matter. Does that mean you should stop supporting and helping others? No! But it does mean you need to find a healthy balance between what you give to others and what you give to yourself. It does mean you need to add yourself and your calling to your list of important things in life. And it means you need to value yourself enough to ensure that you’re getting the time, support and encouragement that you need to develop your gifts and shine your light. Your life matters. But you have to claim it. You have to make a decision—are you going to use your life to be and do what other people expect and want of you, or are you going to use your life to develop your God-given gifts and fulfill your highest calling. The decision is yours and only yours. You are the one responsible for your life and what you do with it. You are the one responsible for your gifts and whether or not you develop them. You are the one responsible for your purpose and whether or not you fulfill it. But often we don’t want to hear this. We prefer to blame someone or something else for why we’re not moving forwards, for why we’re not heeding the still, small voice within, for why we’re not taking action even though we know there is more for us to do and be. We tell ourselves there’s nothing we can do and we believe ourselves when we say: The time isn’t right. I’m not sure where to start. My family needs me.

I don’t know what my gifts are. It costs too much. I’ve left it too late. My parents didn’t believe in me. I’ve missed my chance. I don’t have time. I don’t have the confidence. I have a husband. I don’t have a husband. I can’t let people down. I’m not qualified.… But it doesn’t matter how many things are on your “I can’t because…” list, or how real the blocks seem to you, the bottom line is the same—this is your life. God entrusted it to you. If you sense there is more for you to do and contribute, if you long to find your purpose and live a life you truly love, then it’s up to you to do something about it. You are not a helpless victim. You can’t control every thing that happens in your life and you certainly can’t control other people. But you do control the choices you make—


Using Isaiah 1-39, Christian analyst Elizabeth Kendal shows what it means to walk by faith in times of uncertainty and escalating hostility. This is indeed a book for our times; an excellent resource for individuals or small groups. For more information, including commendations, resources and purchasing options, visit

Join the conversation online: 29

Once we become clear about what we are here to do we must find the Book inner extract. strength and courage to use our time, energy and resources to pursue that calling.”

and that’s where your power lies. That’s what makes all the difference. The way to align with the life you’re being called to live is one choice at a time, one day at a time. If you sense there is more for you to do in life then it’s time to take an honest look at the choices you’re making in your every day life. Do you treat yourself like someone valuable, someone who has important gifts to discover, develop and share? Do you make time for yourself, your interests, and your calling? It’s time to stop telling yourself that what you want and need isn’t important. It’s time to stop making excuses. It’s time to stop being afraid. It’s time to stop living for everyone else. It’s time to stop holding yourself back. The dreams and desires in your heart are there for a reason. The things that interest you, fascinate you and fill you with passion are there for a reason. Your burning desire to find your path and discover your purpose is there for a reason—you have gifts to share, you have work to do, you have a purpose to fulfill. Maybe you don’t know what your purpose is yet. Maybe you can’t see what you’ve been designed to do. Perhaps you’ve never thought of yourself as having something worthwhile to share. Maybe you feel that what you have to offer isn’t important enough. Or perhaps you’ve lost hope and feel disheartened about your path. Whichever it is, you are who you are for a reason and there is something you are called to do—something you’re going to love doing and contributing—that is necessary, important and needed. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know what it is or how you’re going to make it happen. What matters is that you have faith and trust the knowing inside you that says there is more for you to be and do. What matters is that you learn to know yourself, value yourself, live true to yourself and pay attention to your heartfelt inspirations and promptings. Because as you open your mind to the possibility that you matter too, that who you are is good enough and that your hearts desires are there for a reason, then your gifts, your path and your purpose will begin to reveal themselves. The way will unfold. Your direction will become clear. Whether or not you discover your purpose and live a life of joyful service depends on you. It depends on whether you have the courage to be authentic and make choices that support you in moving forwards—even when it’s difficult, even when it’s painful, even when it’s uncomfortable. Because the reality is that it’s not always easy to follow your calling. You have to be strong. You have to be determined. You have to own your power. You have to master certain skills and provide yourself with support. You have to have faith—a lot of faith. The path of purpose is a fulfilling one. It’s a rewarding journey and a thrilling way to live, but it will push you 30 Christian Woman Summer 2013/2014

past your comfort zone. It will require you to take risks, to make changes, to step up and to shine. It will challenge your conditioning. It will defy your logic. It will ask you to release your limitations, expand your mind and embrace new possibilities. It will test your commitment. It will test your courage. And it will lead you to the beautiful life you were born to live; a life of Power, Purpose and Joy. CW

Lara Phegan is an international feature writer and teacher in the field of personal and spiritual growth. She has been coaching and mentoring women for over ten years and is an inspirational speaker, workshop leader, and host of the radio show, Your personal and spiritual development. Her book will be available from all good Christian Bookstores.

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32 Christian Woman Summer 2013/2014




ever join a gym in January. You can’t get on any of the machines and the parking lots are full. Wait until February and you’ll get all kinds of discounts and the workout equipment and parking spots will be vacant. It would appear that people tend to lose their resolve faster than their excess weight. So, what do you resolve this year? What changes do you wish to see in your life? I for one, never make New Year’s resolutions. As a youngest child, and as a competitive person, I don’t like to fail at things. So why on earth would I commit myself to change something that I hadn’t been able to make happen for the last 365 days? On January 1st does my entire DNA suddenly align differently giving me new miraculous abilities to overcome horrible ingrained habits? No? I think not. But people love fresh starts and believe that the coming year will bring good changes in their life. What kind of things? Well, here is a list of the top ten resolutions made for 2013 according to the Statistic Brain website.


. Lose Weight Well, not surprisingly, losing weight is number one. I think that it has grandfather rights. Which is why the very first point I made is true... gyms are insane in January! Why not resolve to just not gain any additional weight and then buy a bigger purse to make your butt look smaller? Size is relative.


. Get Organized Getting organized seems like a questionable goal. I had a boss once who flat out told me that getting his desk and schedule in order would be like trying to herd cats. It was true. I only worked for him for six months and he was a great guy, but I would have gone mad if we were teamed up any longer. When I see this as a resolution, I fear that people who pick this as a goal are possibly a lot like

him. Best to buy yourselves a ‘How to herd cats for Dummies’ book... of course if you’re like me, after a week you won’t be able to find the book amongst the post-Christmas disorganized mess.


. Spend Less, Save More Well, since finance is my forte, I like this one... but what about giving? Saving is great and important, but in reality a bit self-serving – even if we say we are saving for our children. One of the best ‘educational funds’ is a giving fund that you help disperse with input from your young children. I know of a young woman who scratched up her parents’ truck and as ugly as the fender looked, they encouraged her to take the money that would have gone towards fixing it and take a needy single mom shopping for Christmas gifts and food for her children. A priceless lesson for a young girl on how to spend on earth to save a young mom some heartache; the truck will end up in a junkyard someday, but hopefully a young mom will be saved for eternity by the act of kindness.


. Enjoy Life to the Fullest I like this one. I have a sign in my bathroom that encourages me to make my journey to the grave exciting... to ‘skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, espresso in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming, ‘Woo hoo, what a ride!’ Make each day count for Jesus.


. Stay Fit and Healthy See point one. A worthy endeavor, but rarely do people embrace this long term unless it’s truly a heartfelt desire. For me it would have to read ‘Get fit and healthy’. Unfortunately typing does not burn a lot of calories and I spend hours upon hours on keyboards. I have a lot of big, colourful purses.


. Learn Something Exciting Lifelong learning is so important; we

should never think we are done. Pursue new skills or knowledge that allow you to grow, (in intellect – not girth – see points one and five). As for me, I collect recipes on Facebook. Unfortunately I don’t actually cook, but I do learn many exciting things that I plan on trying once I am eligible for get fire insurance again. Oh, and here’s a thought... the Word is full of exciting discoveries! Why not start there?

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. Quit Smoking Amen.

. Help Others in Their Dreams Wow. This one really surprised me! So refreshing to see this make the list as it seems that more than ever we are all so self-absorbed and driven by the ‘me, me, me’ mentality. Love this one and think when Jesus told us to love our neighbours He was hoping we would have our hearts turned outward instead of inward. Good stuff.


. Fall in Love Well, this one is understandable but sometimes tricky. A great goal to be sure, but one that kind of takes two to make happen. Unless you choose to fall in love with The One who loves you already. Now that is falling in true love. “We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19


. Spend More Time with Family Yet another worthy goal to make the list! Some would question why it was on the bottom, but I choose to believe it’s because so many already are engaging effectively with their family. I also love that it said, ‘spend more time’. Not the phrase ‘quality’. Yes, we want quality time, but quantity too! One challenge that we have as a family is not necessarily being together, but actually looking at each other instead of screens. My word but we are bad . . . all four of us... but technically we are spending time together. Sort of. We’re working on it.

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The list is encouraging with much to think about... I hope you could tell I think they’re all admirable and was just having some fun. But what about us? How is 2014 going to be different than 2013? Do you have any resolutions? Any silly ones like buying bigger purses? Not so silly is the decision to start the New Year with a fresh commitment to the Lord and to honor Him with our hearts, decisions and actions. If you do not listen, and if you do

not resolve to honor my name,” says the LORD Almighty, “I will send a curse on you, and I will curse your blessings. Yes, I have already cursed them, because you have not resolved to honor me. Malachi 2:2 (NIV) To properly and sincerely honor the Lord is what we should be striving for... but how do we make this a resolution that will stick? One that we can see through past January 12th? The key to all worthwhile change is

His Spirit living within us. The power to change lies in making the Lord, Lord. Let’s take time alone on New Year’s Day, and ask God to direct our paths, to transform us, and to stir up a renewed fervency that we would honor our First Love. Lord, we thank you for this fresh, new year, full of promise. Please help us to walk in your light and in our resolve to honor you and your name in all that we do. CW

Lori Dixon ~ Writer/Speaker/Servant of Christ. Lori is working on a book that addresses the conflicts that sometimes occur between ‘church ladies’- she would like to hear from you via the following anonymous 5 question survey (click here). You may also follow her ramblings which vary from humorous to hard hitting at www.LovingKindnessMinistries. ca or email her at  to say hello.

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A Heart for Missions RESPONDING TO THE ‘CALL’

The Great Christmas Spend AN ALARMING TREND

Why bible translation? A PERSONAL PERSPECTIVE


The Great Commission.

A HEART FOR MISSIONS ‘I have set you to be a light for the Gentiles, so that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’” Acts 13:47 Any service that reflects Jesus’ love is a good service! It can be something as simple as giving a cup of water and showing hospitality (Mark 9:41) or it can be life changing and require moving to another country to serve and minister (Mark 16:15). There are as many types of Christian service as there are needs in the world, but knowing what God requires of you can be daunting... The Bible does give specific examples of Christian service: show hospitality to strangers (Hebrews 13:2),

remember those in prison (Matthew 25:36), provide for the needy (Matthew 25:35), mentor others (Titus 2:2-8). Some of these examples speak to our day-to-day living: care for children, tend to families, treat employees fairly, deal honestly with customers and be diligent with employers’ resources. There are thousands of organisations designed specifically to serve others. Homeless shelters, home builders, and food banks always need help—both voluntary and through financial giving. Internationally, many organisations provide food, clothing, and education for children in sometimes dangerous and hopeless situations. Others provide water, micro-finance, or resources such as farm animals which enable the child’s family to generate income. There are also many opportunities for those specifically educated in theology. Church start-ups, chaplains required

in hospitals and natural disaster zones as well as training local communities to run and manage their own churches are all needed. Parachurch ministries provide Biblical guidance for families and internet ministries are always in need of those who can explain the truth of God in a loving, easy-to-understand way. The world is in desperate need of Christians willing to show who Christ is with their actions. Jesus said the second greatest commandment was to love others—not sentimentally, but tangibly. Every action performed out of kindness, powered by the understanding of Christ and His love, is a worthy service. If your heart is pounding and your hand is high in the air, then we encourage you to begin within these pages and partner with an organisation already doing an incredible work. Now that is a worthy calling!

CBM Australia. For over 100 years, we have followed the example of Jesus, reaching out to those forgotten by society. CBM is a global leader in working alongside people with disabilities to create a world that includes everyone. You can join the CBM family today by contacting us at: Address: PO Box 348, Box Hill VIC 3128 Phone: FREE call 1800 678 069 Email: Website:

• Taking the gospel to the unreached peoples of Africa • More than 1,000 workers in 22 countries AFRICA INLAND MISSION

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“Christ-centred churches among all African peoples”

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2 | Find a Christian Mission Magazine 2014

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We respect the dignity of the individual to future. We serve people without regard to their religion or ethnic background. Our work is focused on Eastern Europe, especially Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Moldova, Romania and Ukraine. In 2014 the need is greater than ever before, as Children’s Homes are closing. We to support our work by February 2014.

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WHY BIBLE TRANSLATION? — a personal perspective by Barry Borneman


ible translation is difficult work. It requires cultural sensitivity, academic excellence, perseverance in large measure and commitment to a multicultural team over many years. It does not happen in a hurry, and involvement is often measured in decades of one’s life rather than years. What is it that motivates people to continue to devote large parts of their working life to this endeavour? Below are three perspectives from my own journey. Valuing of the Scriptures personally Having the Scriptures speak profoundly into our very own lives is a primary motivation for wanting to see them available to others in their own mother tongue. I can still smell the pages of the Good News New Testament that I was given in 1970 as a 17 year old. As I read the gospels in everyday English I increasingly became attracted to this man Jesus — his life, his teaching and ultimately his sacrifice. From this and subsequent experiences, I cannot imagine knowing Christ without the Scriptures that recount his words, his actions, and his devotion to do what the Father asked him to do. Personally valuing Scripture is a motivation for assisting others to have the Word of God in their own language and way of thinking.

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∗  ∗  ∗  ∗  ∗ 


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Seeing the lives of individuals and communities transformed for the better There is nothing like seeing individual lives and communities transformed for the better because of the Scriptures. When the message of Jesus’ love, forgiveness, and very real presence comes to communities it does change things. Alcoholism can give way to purpose, fear of spirits to new freedom to live fuller lives, and illiteracy overcome by a desire to learn to read. Forming an alphabet and writing down a language can also generate a pride and renewed value for the people in their language and culture at a time when they are often pressured and dominated by major language communities around them. Seeing these positive impacts on communities is also highly motivating. God simply loves to be worshipped with a diversity of culture and language

I have always been struck by how the Scriptures delight in the diversity of culture and language. Jesus’ coming announced salvation for everyone from different cultures and languages. When the Holy Spirit filled the believers at Pentecost inaugurating the church, their praise and acknowledgement of Jesus as both Lord and Messiah broke out in languages not their own, much to the surprise of everyone around. Then there is the amazing picture that the Apostle John had of people from every nation and tribe, and people and language worshipping God and shouting ‘Salvation comes from our God’ (Revelation 7:9-10). This is the very intention of God. Why would God want worship from all the different languages so much? I think possibly because it would take all the almost 7,000 different languages of the world, each with their distinctive nuances and

worldview, to capture a new and different aspect of the majesty of our King of Kings. Now that is a motivating reason to join the Bible translation movement. Of course if you don’t value Scripture for yourself, or believe that the Holy Spirit through the Scriptures transforms lives for the better, or that man’s greatest purpose is to glorify and worship God, then doing Bible translation makes little sense. That is understandable. However we are also comfortable working alongside fellow linguists, anthropologists, educationalists who do not hold our underlying motivation, but share our appreciation for the uniqueness and importance of each language and culture. We can do much together that supports these communities and their aspirations, but to really understand what motivates Wycliffe members at a deep level it lies in our value of the Scriptures as God’s revelation to the world.





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We will travel to some of African Enterprise’s key ministries in Rwanda, Malawi, Uganda and Kenya. We will visit the projects that focus on women and children, and you will see the profound love of Jesus at work in their lives: a love that brings hope and transformation. No doubt we will laugh, we will cry. We will both bless and be blessed. And we will grow as we receive from key African pastors & evangelists. So don’t miss this incredible opportunity! It will change you forever. That is certain.

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The Great Christmas Spend


n a news article in Novemeber there was a story about the projected spending by Aussies during the Christmas period. According to the story we are going to spend $40 billion! FORTY BILLION! That’s $1,700 for every man, woman and child in the country, just for Christmas About half is food and drink. The rest is extra petrol, presents and decorations. If this is just for Christmas imagine what we spend for the rest of the year. Most of you will be surprised at the amount you spend as it continues to add up over the Christmas season.. It just seems to flitter away. Some extra food here, a few presents there, and next thing you know the credit card takes a big hit. It’s like America’s on Black Friday people go crazy purchasing gifts. For me the biggest surprise is that the figure for Christmas 2010 was a paltry $22 billion, just under $1,000 per person. I thought $1,000 was extravagant. Maybe it’s just me but I find the whole Christmas spend a little alarming. Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Christ. The message of Christ is to love your neighbour and share with those in need.


Unreached? Yet loved by God! When does an unreached people group become reached? When they have the Bible in their own language. Only when people can engage with God’s Word for themselves is true discipleship possible… Almost 2,000 languages still have no Scripture. Can you play a part? To help translate God’s Word, please visit or email

6 | Find a Christian Mission Magazine 2014

Using Isaiah 1-39, Christian analyst Elizabeth Kendal shows what it means to walk by faith in times of uncertainty and escalating hostility. This is indeed a book for our times; an excellent resource for individuals or small groups. For more information, including commendations, resources and purchasing options, visit

Andy Coller is our Church Relationships Coordinator in Queensland and is looking forward to celebrating the birth of our Saviour this Christmas.

Yes we can celebrate. Jesus went to parties and celebrated. Sharing with family and giving gifts is great. We don’t need to spend $1,700 each to do it though. Perhaps it’s also alarming to realise that we will spend $40 billion on a one day celebration yet giving to charities and aid agencies has, at best, flat-lined. The government is looking to take $4.5 billion out of the aid budget. How has a fair-go nation like Australia become so self-centred? What will I be doing this Christmas? Yes I will celebrate the birth of Christ with family and friends. Yes, I’ll eat too much and I will give gifts. I will give a mixture of gifts. I will make use of the Little Book of Big Gifts put out by Baptist World Aid Australia and I’ll give close family some special things. I’ll also give a gift in the Be Hope Christmas Appeal. I’m very blessed here in Australia and Jesus calls me to share these blessings with my neighbours in the developing world. Will you join me celebrating the birth of our Saviour and honouring his teaching by sharing with the poor this Christmas?

MISSIONARY IN BY SARAH TENGVALL New Zealander Marlene van Troder is a missionary in training with Africa Inland Mission (AIM). The goal of this organization is to achieve Christ-centred churches among all African peoples. Its priority is Africa’s unreached, currently around 900 people groups, who have never heard the gospel. The ministry has 1,000 people serving in 22 African countries. To become a missionary Marlene is undergoing something called Training in Ministry Outreach also known as TIMO. This is a two-year programme that takes a ‘wannabe’ missionary and equips them with on the job training and foundational missionary skills. Marlene’s mission, later this year, will be to the Lopit people of South Sudan. Here she shares her thoughts and experiences to date on this coming adventure.

pulled out the most often. Zero expectations is the next to go in the bag as this generally means patience will come more easily when things do go wrong. But often when ‘things go wrong’ God is in this too as you have more time to talk, more time to learn and more time to share. In all of it there is the blessing of knowing God is in control and He has a plan. So I love it, both for the challenges and the joys.

What are your dreams/aspirations for the future? If you’d asked me that question just a few years ago I would have had a string of answers. Most of them are fairly typical of a single woman my age, some not so typical. These days I mostly try not to plan too far in advance. I try to spend more time praying and listening. When I finish TIMO in two years I hope the Lord will What made you decide to be a missionary? open a door for long-term service in Africa, but I am content to Several years ago, while I was still studying, the Lord brought wait and see. people across my path who had served Him overseas. Also, during this time I started to develop a heart for Africa. I spent What is your advice to people reading this story who are some time in 2007 working in Botswana and all of 2010 in thinking about becoming a missionary? Tanzania, working with AIM. This experience combined with Pray. That is the first and most important step. Pray that the Lord much prayer and many conversations with friends and family will guide you to where He can best use you. Then talk to some caused the desire to continue to grow. I knew the Lord was of the important people in your life and someone who has been calling me to longer-term service in Africa. involved with long-term service overseas. If God has planted the seed He will grow it and He will guide you, but you will need to What do you hope to achieve in South Sudan? be willing to listen and wait. It doesn’t always happen how or I am going with a TIMO team with Africa Inland Mission. Our when we want it to. If you are heading overseas my advice would aim is two fold: to prepare a group of people for a lifetime of be to be a learner first, not a teacher, we often know less than we ministry through study and ‘on-the-job’ training. At the same think we do. time we hope to build relationships with the Lopit people and learn their language and culture to effectively share the Gospel Training in Ministry Outreach or TIMO is one of Africa Inland and set up a foundation for continued ministry in the area. What is it like living in an undeveloped country with people from a different culture? Fun and difficult. Rewarding and challenging. Exciting and frustrating. There are definitely contrasting feelings all the time. I love the simplicity of living. There’s so much time for everything and everyone. People and relationships are valued above tasks and the people, in my experience, are open, welcoming and hospitable. It is a bit like an adventure, but don’t romanticise it. On the flip side, I hate the simplicity of life. Cell reception and power is not dependable, travel rarely happens on time or without breakdowns, you feel dirty a lot of the time, even when you’re not, and health can be a real issue. Patience and perseverance are the first items you pack and will need to be 8 | Find a Christian Mission Magazine 2014

Mission’s effective team-based opportunities. If you are keen to share the gospel as part of a team, TIMO or one of our other curriculum-based teams is a great way to start. We are looking for people like Marlene. People who love Jesus, who have been discipled and who have at least some basic Bible knowledge. Above all we are looking for people willing to let God use them to make disciples. Besides Marlene’s trips there are many up and coming ministry adventures with TIMO. These include; reaching the shepherd boys of mountainous Lesotho and surfers, fishermen and woodworkers are needed for a trip to Madagascar next year. For more information on available opportunities contact Len Lesleighter on E: or see

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Christian Woman_SUMMER 2013/14  

Welcome to the Christmas issue of Christian Woman magazine. We profile Roma Waterman on her 'fearless courage' plus Refreshing your Joy this...

Christian Woman_SUMMER 2013/14  

Welcome to the Christmas issue of Christian Woman magazine. We profile Roma Waterman on her 'fearless courage' plus Refreshing your Joy this...