The River

Growing up in Colorado some of my best memories were by the river. Hiking, rafting, fishing-even though rarely ever catching any-or just sitting by a river listening to the water crashing against the rocks. Idyllic. Maybe that’s one of the reasons why I love how The River represents a powerful move of God’s children in a supernatural way.

This past Sunday my wife and I were invited to be a part of a building dedication in the township of Jim se Bos. There are no natural rivers in the impoverished settlement, expect when it rains. Then water seeps through the dirt floors and floods the tin shacks.

The building we were worshiping in on Sunday used to be the community dump. We have a picture on our refrigerator of one of the teams Mike brought out from Michigan where we fed around 700 people with mounds of glass, bags, chicken bones and all sorts of trash surrounding the table from which we served.

Since that day a few years back a River of transformation has been taking place and it has become an unstoppable force bringing healing and life where ever it flows.

I couldn’t help but think how that River found its way into Jim se Bos, as place where most people in South Africa have never even heard of. Yet, on this particular Sunday, Pentecost Sunday, there we were singing, dancing, praising, and celebrating Christ the King in one of the most unlikely places.

Sunday I shared from John 7:37-39. These words of Jesus explain it all:

“On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, ‘ If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink, Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams (literally Rivers) of living water will flow from within him. By this He meant the Spirit…”

In Jim se Bos the “thirst” is great. Poverty, fires, gangs, sexual abuse, all forms of addiction, the needs are endless. In the midst of the pain and heartache a small River started to flow out of hearts of love through Pastor Raymond, Pamela and the Love in Action team.

As homes were rebuilt after devastating fires-95 homes so far- weekly feedings started, children were clothed, a people who thought no one cared about them were seen, heard and loved. The River kept growing; people saw something they had never seen before. Hearts were opened and got a glimpse of a Savior. People started to jump into the River.

Being part of the River is not easy; it truly takes sacrificial love flowing from the Kingdom of heaven into weak hearts. But this past Sunday the River was flowing and the source of the River. The name of Jesus was exalted and praised with passion.

This River in Jim se Bos has made its way to other parts of the world; the US, Canada, Germany, New Zeeland, and other parts of Africa. Supernatural is the only way you can explain it.

At the end of the service there was an invitation for anyone who was thirsty to jump into The River, and guess what? The River widened as the front of the new building was filled with people looking to jump in the current of His love and forgiveness.

The challenge we walked away with from our experience Sunday is the reminder that our calling to BE The River, to be Jesus to a thirsty world. One act of kindness, a hug, a listening ear, a text of encouragement, a prayer of blessing for an enemy, forgiveness given to one who hurt you, any act of love can start The River flowing.

If you have been praying for, supporting Oceans or traveled to Fish Hoek you already are apart of The River in Jim se Bos. The world is in need of The River. Will you allow the love of Christ to flow in you and through where you live? Yes each one of us can be The River and point others to Jesus as the source of their hope and healing (Ez. 47 and Rev. 22).


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