THE DIJON PROJECT
Wanna see the Days of the Acts of the Apostles again?
Hi! My name is Thinus Terblans. No, not Terblanche, as Graham already asked, but Terblans.
I want to introduce YOU to an informal settlement that you’ve probably never heard of. I certainly hadn’t up until a few months ago. There are two really, and whilst they are very close to each other, and in fact share some commonalities between them, they do go by separate names. One is called Doreen’se Plek (Doreens Place) and the other is Piet’se Bos (Piet’s Bush). They are located in the plush suburb of Lorraine in Port Elizabeth, on Dijon Rd, right behind the PE Riding Club.
Earlier this year after having spent much time on my knees in prayer with God, asking Him to show me where He wanted me, I moved from the church where I was to this informal settlement where an amazingly genuine church family is slowly developing – real prayer with real people who have real needs.
I am a member of a Monday evening men’s group. One evening there was a new addition to the group – Marlon. Marlon is from Doreen’se Plek. We met at the group and ‘clicked’ immediately. As our friendship grew, I began to see a passion for people in Marlon, and so I joined their community group that gathered every Wednesday evening.
I was deeply moved by these people, for their genuine love for God, and their hunger for the Gospel. There was nothing plastic here, nothing false. This was “hit the road running and don’t look back” real to me. Here was our chance to really make a difference in some people’s lives albeit, in your eyes perhaps, a small one – it can none the less be a significant one.
What touched me most was that regardless of the circumstances that these precious people lived in and the great need amongst them, they share everything with each other. People living in poverty, many of them hurting, children that anyone can see need love, problems with absent fathers, mothers, daughters, sisters and aunts that have to be ‘working girls’, different forms of addiction (alcohol and drugs), yet they shared together in a way that you do not see happening in the ‘established’ churches.
I saw hungry people, people suffering, people dying…yet sharing together.
We love to read these passages and talk about them, we watch them acted out in movies and we all say how wonderful it must have been, but no one gets up to do anything to make it real in people’s lives. We are scared, and we take the name of God in vain when we call ourselves Christians but do nothing, preferring to leave everything like this, anything that may involve a n element of risk, to others, to evangelists and to preachers and pastors, or overseas volunteers.
A friend of Graham’s said to him once, “Take the halo off of your head, take what Jesus did for you on the cross and put it in your heart, and go out there and get your hands dirty!”
Would YOU like to get YOUR hands dirty with us?
There are no toilet facilities and only one tap and everyone must a great distance with buckets to get water. The need is truly overwhelming and really not something one expects to see in the new South Africa.
The 2 communities, Doreen’se Plek and Piet’se Plek consist of about 60 people and about 290 people respectively. There are old people, young people, youngsters and infants. When I look at them I remember Jesus in John 11 at Lazarus’ grave, how deeply moved He was. I think of the leper that Jesus healed. Jesus was also deeply moved with that incident…”If you are willing…” the leper said to Jesus… “Of course I am willing!” Jesus replied…
Of course I am willing…
ARE YOU WILLING?
Are WE willing? Like Jesus was willing? Like He expects us to be…?
The need is physically great, but the need spiritually is even greater.
We have a soup kitchen that is operated by the people in Doreen’se Plek but they are totally dependent on donations from people to keep it going. Our aim is to get it to run every day. Unemployment and the perceived reputations of some of the people, along with the world’s opinion and judgement is playing a major role in the poverty.
We all know that jobs are scarce. They’re scare for everyone. But these people try to earn their own livings. They are willing and able, but people are not willing to give them a chance. We are not asking you for money, this is not a begging letter (yes we know we can’t do anything for them without money). We just need people to come and listen, someone to inspire the women with some projects to earn an income. We need people to teach the children, people to help and take their hands and walk with them.
We are planning on starting a garden so that they can provide for themselves but also to generate an income to keep the project going. There will be accountability because these people realise that they can’t do this alone, that they need help. Currently there are no funds. This is part of a bigger vision. You will be able to deposit funds, if you feel so inclined, into the Paul Project Bank Account. Please mark your donation ‘Dijon Project” if you do.
About 3 months ago I had a vision while praying in my car with Marlon, and I saw people there, people helping, tears of joy, people making a difference. I immediately knew I needed to get started and begin making a difference spiritually. That was when I shared this with Graham, and his Paul Project. Then one Sunday at church I felt The Lord saying, “Now is the time to do something…”
At first I wanted to do something special around Christmas for them. I am planning a Christmas lunch for them, a project to collect clothes, and get folks to help me make up some toys/gift bags for the kids, and try and give every family a food parcel. The immediate needs are clothing, any food items, gifts/toys or ANYTHING that you don’t use.
We need mobile toilets to make the circumstances more hygienic for them, because people, especially young children and old adults, are getting sick on weekly basis. A situation like this can rapidly escalate to affect many people in and around the area of Lorraine.
Mobile toilets only cost between R2500 and R4000 (for the slightly sturdier model) each.
For a company, that is not a lot to ask – especially since you are obligated to use your social responsibility monies…
Many of the structures that have been erected need repairs. We need corrugated roofing sheets and wood for the houses. We are going to need seeds and equipment to start a vegetable garden. We need to run a feeding project. Children need education. Our soup kitchen is currently running from a shack, so we need a small Wendy house that is in decent condition – or perhaps even an old shipping container? Anyone got one that they don’t want or need?
The need is great. We need old broken geysers and bricks and cement to make a ‘donkey’ geyser that heats up water with firewood because people don’t have electricity. How about solar geysers? We need few solar panels, batteries and LED lights to give them some form of light.
We love telling people we love and friends of ours when they are down that the best is to come. Why not come and have a look at these communities? Come and see the need. We complain so much so often, but we have electricity, we have geysers, we have water inside our houses. These people need to wake up early, boil water on a gas stove, cook like this, wash like this, and do washing like this. We need washing line for them. The list is endless…but we can get together and help their ‘best’ to come.
My question is this. Are YOU as deeply moved as Jesus is by this need? Jesus became flesh to recreate the connection between God and ourselves yes, but in that flesh He was able to experience our daily struggles with us. If the needs of people, of the broken and hurting people touched God’s heart in the flesh so deeply that He cried over Lazarus because of love, what is this situation doing to you?
What was Jesus’s fuel to His ministry? Love. It was love that drove Him to the cross. If we want to be followers of His, real followers of His, we need to ask God to break our hearts for what breaks His, we need to be deeply moved emotionally by the need around us, we need to be prepared to follow Him anywhere and everywhere. We need to go where He goes, we need to walk where He walked, and we need to do what He did. Jesus never sent anyone away, in fact when people followed Him, He asked His disciples to feed them!
Even though you might only have a single small fish and a few loaves, a loaf of bread or a small fish in His hands is more than enough. All I’m asking you to do is to come with whatever fish, or loaf of bread you may have. It could be your time, your talent, your tools, your ability to teach or to train, whatever resources you may have. Maybe you are blessed with the ability to help broken men and woman experience His love? Come with whatever you have and put it in Jesus’s hands. Come and help us, if one part of the Body of Messiah suffers, the whole Body suffers. We can experience the days of Acts again, but we need unity, we need to fellowship with other sinners, we need to reach out to the lost, the broken, the hurting just like Jesus would be doing if He were still here as a man. We need to help according to the needs, yes I know things are slightly different than in the times when physician Luke wrote the Book of Acts, the times we live in may appear to us to be more difficult, but we don’t have an oppressive Roman Empire trying to kill all of us. Well, not yet anyway. We don’t have Saul (before he became Paul) hunting us down to kill us, one by one.
Imagine if we can start something such as the people had in the time of the Acts of the Apostles, and it began to snowball? Imagine the impact if we can have id we were to experience that again? Daily we utter the words of The Lord’s Prayer, we ask, “Let your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”, but then we make all manner of pathetic excuses not to get involved in the world and its needs! Jesus asked us if He would find faith on the earth when He returned. I wonder, will you be able to make the excuses that you have been making, in heaven one day?
No, you won’t. You know you won’t.
Remember He said that they only ones who would be permitted into heaven are those who do the will of our Father. So come on, let’s get together and let His Kingdom come, and let our kingdom go. His Kingdom is people, and it’s the best investment we can make, because we plant His seeds in people’s hearts.
So won’t you come, take a walk with me? With us? Join hands, pray for us, partner with us. Ask Holy Spirit to help us! The Spirit of God will lead us into whole Truth. Holy Spirit will reveal God’s will to us. Let us be faithful and obedient! We can pray about things for years, but we need to realize we are the answers to many prayers. We cannot say, “I pray that God will bless you with food” and then leave the person like that… No! Prayer requires action! Faith, works and prayer all go together, hand I hand. God has answered, does answer, and will continue to answer many prayers because you and me, us, we, we are His hands and feet, His eyes and ears, His mouth to utter His Words here on earth.
Let us make a difference! Let us be history makers for Him!
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THIS IS WHERE THEY ARE...
THE BRIDE OF CHRIST, or THE BODY OF MESSIAH, is in a terrible state...
I’ve been trying to find time to write something on the Gospel that we preach. The last days we are living in are the most dangerous times the Church find herself in. The Bride of Christ is in a terrible condition in many areas…
7 which is not another; except there are certain people who trouble you and wish to pervert the gospel of Christ.
8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach a gospel to you other than what we preached to you, let him be accursed.
9 As we have said before, and I say again just now, if anyone preaches a gospel to you other than what you received, let him be accursed.
10 For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.
See the times we are living in I find myself many times quoting scripture because the Bible is the ONLY doctrine that I stand on, and Paul, a servant of Christ writes and warn us about “Another” Gospel….. Many will say like 80% of people that I speak to that that’s nonsense, there’s only one Gospel, yes my dear family in Christ…. There is only ONE TRUE GOSPEL but many watered down versions of it. If Jesus warned us about many false Christs will arise in the last days, surely if there’s a false copy of the true version there will be a false Jesus, a false spirit pretending to be holy and all these wont have any effect if there wasn’t a false gospel would it?
I had a serious thought about the Gospel that Jesus preached and lived. If we look at the lady at the well, when Jesus asked her where her husband was, she said she didn’t have one, He replied that she had men before the one she currently have, and even he isn’t her husband. See He spoke the Truth, because the Truth no matter how bad or sad it sounds, it will set you free. See Jesus’s question and answer was truth, not watered down. Now the point I want to make is, many people in church are like this woman, they have more than one husband/man whatever you wanna call it, but we cant offend the people….. We must love them like Jesus? Really, love comes in many different forms….. Paul on the road to Damascus, Jesus appeared to Paul and he had an encounter with Jesus. What happened? Paul were struck with blindness, another point I wanna make is, Jesus struck Paul with blindness, wow a loving God makes someone blind? Or let me put it this way, He is Love, He loved us first….. Just as He loved Paul, why doesn’t He just love Paul, Hugs and kisses like the modern day church preach? Because to struck Paul with blindness was a form of discipline, a love that brings you in line with His will and calling on your life. Love is discipline as well, when my child is naughty I spank her, not because I want to abuse her, not because to prove a point to the government, no I do it because I love her and want to teach her in the ways of the Lord. God discipline those whom He love.
Another example, Jesus goes into the temple and turns over the tables, why? Because He is arrogant? Because He is crazy? Ni because of His love for His Father, because of His Love for us, He paid a great price for us all, He didn’t pay the price so we could water down what He experienced…..many will say but Thinus we need to love people, Jesus loved the guard that were sent to arrest Him and healed him, the will say He loved us all, I agree, but who did He preached against the most in the 4 Gospels? Against the Church of the time, He constantly rebuked them, The Church of His time are exactly like the modern day church. Being offended so easily, strangely I didn’t see or hear any of the people that came to Jesus complain about what He said, the only people that always complain and trying to be clever, making plans to murder Him over what He said were the religious people. You see church, today we preach love and that’s true and there’s nothing wrong with preaching love, but
what about flipping tables, what about a man struck with blindness (Paul), what about the false gospel of the church of His time, what about Ananias and Sapphira, lying to the Holy Spirit and fell down dead? If we don’t preach the full Gospel of Jesus Christ we are preaching a different gospel church…
And don’t come like a sporting referee with the judge card. 2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.
So we may use Scripture for doctrine, for reproof, for correction and instruction in righteousness, if we don’t do it according to scripture and you take your churches word, or your pastor said so above scripture we are preaching a different Gospel. I can write about this all day, but Paul says in Romans 1:16 He is not ashamed of the Gospel, because it is a POWER unto salvation…. What is the Gospel? The Gospel is Jesus Christ, what He taught, what He did, what He lived, that He was crucified for our sins, died and rose again, living in us through His Holy Spirit when we are born again through the Holy Spirit inside us. He made us son’s and daughters through the Spirit we were adopted, we are Crying out ABBA, thats the Hebrew word for daddy, thats How close He came to you and me. Through His grace and love and mercy, but remember what it cost Him. He wasn’t popular although many streamed to Him, His words offended many, but it takes more love to stand in front of people telling them the truth, not sugar coat the truth risking people to never ever listen to you, never ask you to came back, the Gospel comes at a price church, many are called but few are chosen. Let us all stop this watered down gospel and stand up unashamed for the Gospel, let us stand unashamed for Jesus, remember if we deny Him in front of people, He will also deny us before His Father. Let us live and preach the whole gospel, because if we only preach selective parts that suits us, its a different gospel.
This is what was on my heart this morning, we need to arise church, we need to be out there proclaiming this gospel, this gospel is an power unto salvation. Wanna see the days of Acts again? Preach what Jesus taught them, do what Jesus did and we will see the change through His power that will manifest through His Holy Spirit. This gospel is not a gospel of fancy words, its a gospel that came with signs and wonders but the best part with power unto salvation getting eternal life through our Lord Jesus Christ.
End time church, wake up be bold, stand firm for this Gospel, there are many deceptions in our midst, look at the 7 churches in revelation, most of them had good works/deeds and were praised for what we could praise the modern day church for as well, but do no tolerate the things He warned us about, there are praise, but warnings, repentance and turning away from our wicked ways. 2 Chronicles 7: 14 then if My people, on whom My name is called, should repent, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their evil ways, I also will hear from heaven, and I will be merciful to their sins, and I will heal their land.
Who is MY people? The Church, you and me, repent, turn from our wicked ways (yes you and me church) and seek His face, He will hear from heaven and heal our land. See I believe that the church have the keys to change, to revival, the healing of our land, but are we, His people going to turn from our wicked ways???
Pray for boldness, pray to be led by the Holy Spirit, because He will guide us in the whole Truth, without the Holy Spirit we wont be able to interpret scripture, we need to ask the Spirit of God to help us, if we to it in our own strength, our own selfish motives we will preach a different Gospel and a different jesus.
I pray for myself as well, because I’m guilty before God because of compromising and afraid of what people say or think. May God’s Spirit guide us and let us arise as His Bride be Holy and clothed in white when He returns
Love in Christ