I have asked Ray Haakonsen , Oceans South Africa Ambassador, to share with you in the next few blogs about the challenges facing South Africa as well as what we sense our all powerful God is up to in this incredible land of promise.
I consider myself blessed to be a child of Africa, born, bred and still living here…..a continent rich in natural resources, great bush and wildlife, sunny skies, beautiful scenery and, on the whole, amazingly warm, colorful friendly people. Most visitors I have met in my varied roles on this continent, will vouch for this.
Numerous African quotes speak of people falling in love with her, being bitten by her or finding her seeping in and running through their veins after coming the first time, and often returning more than once. My favourite is “You may leave Africa, but she will never leave you”. Africa has a distinctive allure.
But sadly, in the midst of all this beauty, the continent, and my country of citizenship since 1981, South Africa, is facing very challenging times. Considered a relatively new ‘country’ after its first democratic elections in 1994, our home has faced the complexities of dealing with a post-apartheid season, largely trying to appease the majority of its people who had effectively been forgotten before.
Our leaders have not been able to deal with the immense challenges successfully governing the country including pleasing and giving fair opportunity to the population of over 55 million. Our economy is struggling, important utilities such as electricity and water supply are under severe strain and we have an unemployment rate of 30% and rising, not including millions from neighbouring countries seeking work.
But if you’ve been following Oceans Ministries’ posts, you would have read recently that the organisation, founded just over 5 years ago by Tim Spykstra, based out of Denver Colorado, had recently prayed about and purchased a Property, now named Oceans Retreat Center, in Fish Hoek, Cape Town at the very tip of the continent.
So why would an organisation, which believes in the Kingdom of God, the Loving and redeeming nature of God the Father, His son Jesus and the Holy Spirit, consider starting a ministry, way across the Atlantic, so far away from the beauty, safety, and relative wealth of spectacular Denver Colorado? In a recent whatsapp chat across the miles, (technology can be great), between Tim and I we were discussing these big challenges in our country and how many, who have the funds or opportunities to afford to, are considering leaving.
As we spoke further, I believe the Holy Spirit gave us the same unction along the lines of us being the light in the darkness! As disciples (representatives) of Christ, with Him and His Spirit within us, and on the authority of the Father, we are called (destined) to manifest His light into the darkness. The impression in my spirit, was when a huge fire breaks out everybody is running out of the building, but the firefighters are going against the stream of humanity, straight into the flames! Consider these scriptures:
John 8:12 ‘When Jesus spoke again to the people He said “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will HAVE the light of life”
John 1:5 says; “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
Revelation 21:23 ‘The City does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the lamb as its lamp
Stay with me if you will as I expand on this thought and how we as Oceans Ministries International are seeking to be and bring the Light into the darkness for and in His glory.