“You were like a bee the whole weekend! I saw you with this group of people praying, and then you were with another group of people”. These were the parting words, (paraphrased as according to my 45yr old memory), from Samantha Barnard, of City on Hill Church, Benoni. I was getting ready to board a plane back to Cape Town after a short but impactful weekend in Benoni. I don’t think Sam realised the weight and encouragement of her words. A quick google search, says that honeybees are super-important pollinators for flowers, fruits and vegetables. This means that they help other plants grow!
After returning from a month-long trip to the Land of Oz (Australia) that I hadn’t wanted to come back from, and when I did, my heart admittedly stayed behind. God had to speak to me about serving Him wholeheartedly in the “field” He had placed me – so commanding my heart and soul into obedience – I searched for a local outreach (it had to be local as funds and leave days were at a low due to aforementioned month-long holiday). I was given the opportunity to support Nadene Badenhorst and Julie De Lisle (who are a part of Joshua Generation Church where I fellowship) on a ministry weekend to City on a Hill Church, Benoni. I was super excited for this, as I had been wanting to visit this treasure trove of the Kingdom for years!
Ironically the timing of the outreach, for me, was awful! Right on the last weekend of June, it was financial year-end at my work. The year-end stock take meant that I would not be able to get off work for the Friday ladies meeting in the morning, and because of the nature of the audited stock take, I wasn’t sure what time I would finish work, so, I couldn’t book a flight to make sure I could get there to be a part of the leaders meeting on Friday night either. So I would need to fly up super early Saturday morning to make the ladies meeting at 9 am, spend Saturday there, doing whatever the LORD presented for me to do, and then fly back after church on the Sunday morning. Someone said to me “for one meeting, for one night, all that way and all that money!”, but I had such a strong sense that I was taking ground by choosing the ‘inconvenient’. The moment I stepped off the plane and met Steph, my gracious, wonderful hostess for the weekend I knew afresh that God would not disappoint me.
Throughout the weekend, as I sought His Kingdom first, God showed me His redeeming power at work in my life. Although I went to support Nadene and Jules, I was essentially on “my own” often amongst people I didn’t know (Nadene and Jules had other ministry commitments they were involved with). I had no one to hide behind! Many times, as I approached strangers, gave them a hug and struck up conversations, I’d find myself thinking “Wow! A couple of years ago I would never have been able to do this.” As I prayed and prophesied, helped tidy up and wash cups, as I went to a games evening with a complete bunch of strangers, I just kept thinking, “Wow! I would never have been able to do this before.” God had taken a hermit and turned her life around! I was able to start sharing that miraculous, life-redeeming power with others.
City on a Hill Church, Benoni, what an amazing home away from home. They do Kingdom life well! We as Four12 partnering churches and lovers of Jesus are definitely one family. I received so much from them – kindness, generosity and love. I know I am no longer who I was before going, I’ve learned to no longer listen to that lie from the enemy,’what do you have to offer?’! Through Jesus, I have life to give and His light to shine – His great power in me. I know that the LORD blessed more than one person through me that weekend, by praying with and sharing words of prophecy with them. I trust God for the harvest of righteousness with the “more than one” that I spent time with; through me ‘just’ going and doing everyday life with people, having casual conversations, building relationships and connecting hearts – God’s way. So yes, I went ‘all that way for only one night, for only one meeting’, and God did exponentially more than I could’ve hoped or asked for.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tanya Brandis is a passionate believer serving the body of Christ in the Sunningdale PM congregation of JoshGen. A work in progress and a miracle in action, someone who loves seeing the supernatural power of God, the fruit of the Spirit, being lived out amongst the family of believers.
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