Finding the Church!

Adrianna Weeda will turn 101 years young on December 26, 2019. I truly mean, “young” as when you are in her presence you will feel a youthful joy from her quick wit and spirit of contagious gracious love. Patty and I were honored to see her at the 50th anniversary of CrossPoint Church in Chino, CA. Adrianna is not able to make it to most Sunday services but made sure to be there for this joyful celebration.

But what is amazing is even though Adrianna is not able to make it to Sunday worship every week people find there way up to her house and experience “Church.” Young and old alike have sat in her family room and felt the warmth of being part of her family. With her precious Dutch brogue she will inquire about your life and family, she will offer amazing treats, and you will laugh with joy. Almost every Sunday night a group will drop by to chat and even sing the old hymns. Our family will never forget a wonderful time of prayer with her as well with tears rolling down all our eyes.

Seeing Mrs. Weeda last week as well as many other wonderful friends from the family of God reminded us of the gift of finding the church. And when I use the word “church” I don’t mean a building, even though God uses buildings for His glory, I mean people. The “church” are people who have surrendered their lives to Christ and have been brought into the Father’s family by the Holy Spirit. When we saw Mrs. Weeda and others our hearts were filled with great joy. We are family bound together through the Spirit of Jesus living in us and loved perfectly by our Father in Heaven.

The apostle Paul says:

“You are members of God’s family. We are His house, built on the foundations of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus Himself. We ho believe are carefully joined together becoming a holy temple for the Lord. Through Him you Gentiles are also joined together as part of this dwelling where God lives by His Spirit,” (Eph. 3:19-22).

You are the church, I am the church and through the Holy Spirit living in us we are building a spiritual house, a family that overflows with the fruit of His Spirit and permeates the culture with “love, joy, peace…” I have found His powerful church in Mrs. Weeda’s family room, with prostitute and drug dealers on some of the toughest streets in Denver, ridding my bike with a close friend, crying in Starbucks with a hurting brother in Christ, holding babies in Africa, and praising our glorious King Jesus with hundreds in a worship service.

At almost 101 years old the church is alive and well in our dear sister Adrianna, what an inspiration she is for us to be the church and to find the church in others around us. This week keep your eyes open for the church you never know where she will show up and bless you with love from heaven.

Being Part of the Wave!

Pastor’s Conference at Oceans Retreat Center South Africa

Written by Ray Haakonsen

Just over 5 years ago Tim Spykstra, a pastor of 23 years in various CRC churches in the USA, whilst praying on a beach in California, sensed a whisper from ABBA regarding his being a part of a movement called “Oceans”.

Father whispered to Tim “Now is the time to devote yourself fully to making my love known to the world. Trust me as a faithful Father, leave what you know and step out into the unknown as Peter stepped out of the boat into the sea.”

A significant fruit of Tim responding to that whisper was the amazingly unexpected opportunity for Oceans Ministries to purchase a wonderful property in Cape Town South Africa, based 5 minutes walk from… guessed it……the Ocean!

Oceans Retreat Center

In January this year Tim approached me to pray about serving with Oceans Ministries as its ambassador to South Africa and Discipleship leader and the Holy Spirit showed my wife Sue and I this was His desire for us, not knowing the purchase of the property was even on the radar. By March the opportunity supernaturally presented itself and Tim and a close friend Steve travelled from USA to look at and make initial offers for the property after board approval.

An offer was made, after some negotiating, accepted, and the final transfer of the property to Oceans Ministries International happened on 11th October. The facility, now known as Oceans Retreat Center (ORC) is a residential property with accommodation, kitchen, dining and lecture facilities for up to 40 people. Last week we had the first Bible Institute of South Africa Pastors conference (from various parts of Africa) to be held at ORC, with 30 staying over and 58 there for daily conference.

The small team of myself, son Kegan the Manager of ORC, Thobeka a part time staff member who served full time with previous owners Azuza Pacific International, and Michele a short-term USA volunteer, along with contracted Gourmet caterer Helen and helper Cheryl, did an amazing job. All combined as a unified team, fully caring for and hosting this pastors’ group -which included 58 people during the day. Together sharing love through preparing, clearing rooms and kitchen/dining areas and supplying amazing food to the guests.

Oceans Retreat Center Team for the Conference

Hosting this group was not only a tangible way of moving into the whisper to Tim from Abba of “now is the time to devote yourself fully to making my love known to the world’, but my observation was that the hosting of the group was a ministry to the team as well. For a group that had not worked as a team before, the unity, joy and efficiency achieved was such a blessing. Helen, the amazing cater who we were using for the first time and doesn’t share our faith, stated “It is such a pleasure to work in such a great atmosphere. It was awesome”. The celebration of an ice-cream cone with the team afterwards was fair reward 😊

Neil, Director of BISA reported; It was great to have the 11th Pastor’s Conference hosted at Oceans. We had a blessed conference and were able to settle both our resident and non- resident guests down comfortably. Thank you for the support given and bending over backward to accommodate us. I know it stretched the facility, but we were well hosted and the catering was excellent. Thank you again for hosting our conference… the men and women return to their ministries enriched and refreshed!

It has always been my contention that ‘ministry’ is not so much what we do, but being released into being who the Father created us to be. Sharing love of the Father is living out what the Spirit has gifted in us. The World will learn who the Father is when they see it in us, even in our mistakes and failures, when we keep our hearts toward Him and allow His Spirit to lead us.

That whisper from Abba to Tim on the beach in California those years ago, is already beginning to bear fruit across the Oceans here in South Africa. I believe ORC will continue to become a base of sharing more of the Love of the Father to the “Fatherless” as He called us to do……More Lord….that is our cry 😊

Quantum Physics and God’s Transforming Love

Have you every walked into a room and felt an overwhelming sense of joy and peace? It is hard to explain, but the people present permeated the room with a fragrance of love that made you feel accepted and energized. Or have you felt the opposite, where the vibes in your gut revealed something is not right in this room and your insecurities flair up and feelings of fear or anxiety taint the atmosphere. The emotions of love or fear can be explained by what scientists call quantum physics.

Over the last few months I have been exposed to teachings on quantum physics through books, lectures, and even on Netflix. As I try to wrap my mind around it, the best I can do is define quantum physics as “energy.” Science is discovering that as matter continues to get smaller at the core of the smallest subatomic particles is energy that moves like waves. This energy is effected by how we think and even the words we speak.

Our incredible Creator God, spoke the world into being out of nothing (Genesis 1:2ff. & Hebrews 11:3). His thoughts and His powerful voice created all and brought each atom into being, He is the root of quantum physics, which was only discovered in the 1920’s. Since we are made in this amazing God’s image, our thoughts and minds are designed with HIS creative energy. We are wired to be in a love relationship with Him. Our thoughts and minds react when we are captivated by His love, and because of that gift we live as creative agents of HIS LOVE transforming the world around us.

But the “father of lies” (John 8:44), Satan continues to tell us we can live apart from the Father’s love just as he did with our first parents Adam and Eve. The result of those lies is a life controlled by fear and unbelief. Fear and unbelief are toxic to our minds, bodies, and effect the relationships with others around us. Our fear creates negative energy that controls our thoughts, floods our brain with toxic strongholds (2 Corinthians 10:5) and brings destruction to our lives and the world around us. Think about how you feel when you see the news on TV or social media. Most if not all, the information presented shows the power of fear and anxiety.

The Good News of the Gospel is the amazing gift of the Father, given to us through His Son, to take us back to our first love. Transformative thinking, to have the mind of Christ Jesus (Phil. 2:5-8) allows us to be filled with Heaven’s love and this perfect love will cast out all fear.

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear,” 1 John 4:18

Truth is you are either controlled by “love” or “fear.” A mind controlled by fear will not only destroy, but adversely effect the atmosphere around you. But if you daily choose Jesus and receive His perfect love through the cross, the complete forgiveness He offers, and His resurrection life living in you, He will transform your thinking (Rom. 12:1-2). You will bring the life transforming energy of His love to a world living in fear. You will change the atmosphere of every room you walk into because you daily choose Jesus and His life creating love.

“I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to His voice and hold fast to Him. for the Lord is your life..” Deuteronomy 30:19-20

If you desire to dig deeper into Quantum Physics and the power of your thinking I recommend two books by Dr. Caroline Leaf, “Switch on Your Brain” & “The Perfect You.”

Reminders from the River – Living in the Flow

Southern Steps of Temple Mount in Jerusalem

Can you find the “river” in the picture above? Can you see it among the 2000 years old southern steps that used to lead into the temple mount where King Herod’s temple stood in Jesus day? Let me help you in case your eyes can’t locate it. This ancient site is one of my favorites in Israel because of what happened there. Many scholars believe that was where Pentecost occurred as described in Acts 2. Below these steps are several Mikvah’s, also known as ritual baths, where 3000 people could have easily been baptized.

Ancient Mikvah

The pouring out of the Holy Spirit into the disciples was prophesied about in Ezekiel 47. And in this vision Ezekiel sees a River flowing out from the temple heading east and then turning south “flowing from the south side” of the temple. As this River flows it grows and every place the river touches “lives”abundantly (vs. 9). Along the River trees flourish with fruit of all kinds and the fruit does not fail and the leaves will not wither (vs 12b).

This glorious vision of the River ends with these words:

“Every month they will bear, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing,” (vs 12b).

Look again at the picture, can you see the River now? Look at those seated on the steps in the hot June sun. These are people from the Oceans Ministries 2018 trip to Israel. Many gave testimony to how they were immersed into the River of God’s amazing grace and transformed by the Spirit of the living God through Jesus Christ. These fellow followers of Christ are trees planted by the River and bearing fruit to bring “healing” as the River flows in and through them to others.

These steps always remind me of my calling to live in the River so my life can bear fruit and bring healing to others for my Father’s glory (John 15:1-17). God’s River continues to flow and grow all over the world, even in places you would least expected. Patty and I watched this amazing movie called “Sheep Among Wolves” . It is an extraordinary testimony of the River of God’s Spirit flowing into Iran where the church is one of the fastest growing in the world, yes you heard it right Iran! There are no buildings, no resources, no programs, no popular pastors, just broken people transformed by the River doing biblical discipleship. This movie will challenge you and call you back to live in the River and allow Him to flow through you to bring healing to the nations.

The Southern Steps is just one of the many amazing places to visit in Israel. If you are interested in coming along, Oceans Ministries has a trip planned for May 31 -June 11, 2020. For more information email: or

Western Wall, Jerusalem

A Painful Loss and a Potent Reminder

Pastor David Jika, Christian Revival Church, Lesotho, Africa

This past weekend I received the shocking news that a good friend to Oceans Ministries, Pastor David was murdered, in what has been described as a “mindless crime.” My soul has been aching as I think of David’s wife Lizzy, his two boys, and the CRC church family.

Several years ago I met Pastor David as the church was just getting underway in a local school. I was always blessed by his powerful preaching and his vision to reach Lesotho with the the Gospel. A little over 5 years ago when I left the pastorate to start Oceans Ministries Pastor David asked me to preach and share the vision of Oceans to the church. It was Father’s Day, and I preached from Romans 8:15, sharing that we are no longer slaves to fear but we are children adopted into a glorious family of the Father’s love. As I finished the message Pastor David whispered to the praise team, and they played the song “Oceans!” I wept, as I felt the presence of the Father’s love through David and the church affirming the call to launch Oceans.

Since that Sunday the CRC became Oceans Ministries church in Africa. Every team we have brought out since then have experienced God’s Spirit moving in life changing ways through the worship and Word. We have witnessed team members from the United States come to Christ, as well as amazing healings of heart and body. Often those who have joined us will say they have been in church their entire lives and have never encountered God like they did at the CRC. Pastor David & his wife Lizzy helped create this Spirit-soaked atmosphere through their preaching, prayers, persistence faith during difficult days, and a passionate love for Jesus and others.

“King Solomon,” Pastor David & Lizzy

Pastor David’s death is a painful loss for many of us but join me in praying that the Father’s love will be poured out over David’s family and the church family. And that David’s passing will ignite many others to take up his mantle and bring the message of the Father’s love to Lesotho, Africa, and the world.

David’s sudden passing to Heaven is also a potent reminder of how to live life now. Patty and I had a divine appointment this past Sunday night as we got to met with my stepdad Bill’s daughter Lori, who also has experienced incredible loss as her husband Don was killed in a tragic work accident in June. She was sharing how her husband would say “our best life is ahead of us” as his retirement was soon approaching. Lori said to us, with an angelic glow, that Don’s sudden death has taught her , “our best life is right now!” Her words, in light of David’s tragic death, was a holy reminder to live “our best life right now” to the fullest for our Father’s glory!

Take comfort in these words from Romans 8:37-39:

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”