One of the most incredible aspects of being a Four12 partnering church, is the strong relationships formed by the leaders and saints of one church to another. Three and a half years ago, Jonathan (Jono) and Charlene Leichner were encouraged to go on an outreach to the Gathering Place Church in Hoedspruit.
Over this weekend trip they felt such a deep love and connection with the saints in Hoedspruit, that they went back three times to visit those they had built relationships with! After their first trip, Jono and Charlene felt the Lord asking them to position themselves in such a way that they would be ‘lightweight’ and flexible, ready to ‘Go!’ in God’s Kingdom.
This led Jono to gather the courage to resign from his work and start a business from home which would allow him much more flexibility. This took a lot of prayer, fasting and trusting in the Lord – his family was dependant on his income and that was a very real consideration. God came through for them time and time again. Work started coming in, Jono and Charlene were blessed with two cars and full paid school fees for their daughter, Hadassah.
As they started stepping out in faith, Jono and Charlene experienced incredible fruit in their marriage, the parenting of their two girls and in their finances. After some time they were asked to join the eldership team at City on a Hill Church.
Around May/June of 2019 they were asked if they would be willing to go and lead our Partners The Gathering Place (Hoedspruit), although they both knew that the Lord had prepared them for this task it still came as a surprise. Whilst praying into it Jono found himself telling the Lord all the reasons why they couldn’t do it, the task seemed too big. Jono then felt the Lord clearly say to him, “My son, why would you say no to me, remember your life is not your own” and he said this with such gentleness and love that despite all the fear he was feeling, he repented and said “okay Lord, I will do whatever you ask”. An hour or 2 later Charlene phoned him and said she had, had a picture of someone about to bungee jump and there was so much hesitation but felt the Lord saying, “only when you jump will you experience the thrill and excitement the lord has for you”. The Lord had spoken, confirmed His word and they were positioned to go.
It is with great joy and celebration that we as City on a Hill Church are now sending Jono and Charlene to take leadership of the Gathering Place Church in Hoedspruit. This move was felt and confirmed in the Lord by our local City on a Hill Church elders and Ivan Van Vuuren, who has been faithfully leading the Gathering Place. Ivan in turn, has felt God moving him to join our Partners in Pongola Christian Centre.
Jono and Charlene’s testimony of stepping out in faith has left us all in awe of how God works in our lives with such detail. God has led this couple through their doubts and uncertainty, providing and caring for them every step of the way. It is truly a privilege to be part of an apostolic field of partnering churches that live in accountability and such close fellowship with one another. We look forward to seeing Jono and Charlene walk in all that God has for them, enjoying the fruits of their obedience and faithfulness and continuing to be led by God in all that they do.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
The vision of City on a Hill Church is based on Ephesians 4:12. We see the enactment of this scripture throughout the New Testament and we understand that this is what God expects from us even beyond the boundaries of the local congregation. This must be a way of life.
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