Archive for March, 2008

About Me: Jesus To A Child

Posted in Adventure, Africa, Healing, Journey, Love, Miracles, Missions, Photography, Travel, Uncategorized, Unreached People on March 30, 2008 by Heiko & Anita in Africa

November 24, 2004
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I was 16 when the sickness began.  The doctors thought it was chronic bladder infections.  1-3 times a week, every week of every month for 3 and a half years, I was in and out of a doctors office, lab, pharmacy, or an emergency room.  Until the day I was diagnosed, as having a rare bladder disease that doctors knew little about.   

It was the day the specialist gave me the bad news and my options.  “It will only get worse and worse, I am so very sorry”, the doctor said.  “You have a few options, pain killers for the rest of your life, or one of my nurses can teach you to instill an industrial chemical in your bladder a few times a day that will numb the pain, or we can remove your bladder.  I am so very sorry.  You and your mother should go home and think about it and let me know your decision.”  That was the news he told me.  I was 18 and a half years old.   

I went home that day and the pain began to worsen.  I curled up in a ball on my floor and began to pray.  My family was not very religious.  At that point in my life I could only remember going to Catholic Mass when I was 6 on Easter and Christmas, and I had a baptismal certificate from when I was three years old.  My Mother use to tell me that God hears our prayers and he has angels looking over us to protect us.   

So there I rocked in my little ball in my little space on this earth and I began to pray, “God let me die so the pain will stop”, over and over and over again.  I can remember the moment right before I passed out as if I heard it now, the voice of an angel.  It said, “don’t be afraid, this too will pass”, and I blacked out.  When I awoke the next morning something was different.   I somehow knew that I knew that I knew one day I would not be sick.  It did not matter what the doctors said or what anyone believed, one day I would be healed.  I stopped going to doctors after that and started researching alternative medicine while I held on to every word I heard the angel speak to me. 

It was 12 years from when the sickness started until that very day when I was actually healed.  It was my 27th birthday and I had just been told, by the man I was madly in love with, that he was dumping me for a “Christian girl”.  He said he had just found Christ and I did not know him myself.  My world began to crumble into rubble of self-pity and anger as I found myself lying on the floor again curled up in a little ball once more.  This time I was angry with God.  “Why did I have to suffer so much pain in my life, why can’t I be happy, why can’t I know you God?”  I began to pray again, this time a different prayer, an angry prayer, “Lord if you are real then prove it!”  I lay on the floor until I heard another voice that said, “Go to church and get baptized”.   

I thought I was losing my mind and I tried to get up and forget about what I heard and move on with my life, but the voice would not stop until the day I found myself walking into a church down the street from my house one Sunday.  That was the first day anyone had ever told me about Christ and that He can heal and take away our pain.  I gave my life to the Lord that day.  The Pastor gave me my first bible and a book on the first week of being a Christian and I went home and began to read.  A few days later I found myself sitting on my floor getting frustrated that the same story would be written over and over, I thought there must be a misprint in this bible.  Then I closed my eyes and began to pray and ask God to be real in my life. 

In that moment I saw Christ stand before me.  Everything was dark around me but Him.  He pointed to His right and a pool of water appeared with the moon shining down on it to light it.  I suddenly saw my ex boyfriend walk onto the water like it was glass.  I looked up at Jesus and asked him what he wanted me to do and He said, “ dance in the light of God.” And he handed me to him and we began to dance.  I began to laugh and suddenly, as loud as thunder, I heard Jesus say to me, “Let Go!”  I got scared, let go and looked down at my feet and began to fall into the water.  Suddenly, Jesus grabbed my hand pulled me up, stood there with me and said, “As long as you believe in me you will never fall.  I promised, this too will pass.”  In that moment I remembered the voice of the angel I heard all those years ago.  It was the same voice.  In that moment my body was completely healed and Jesus began to dance with me in the moonlight.  A moment later He was gone and I was sitting once again on my floor.

 

I have been miraculously healed ever since that day.  I can never deny the Miracles, Signs, Wonders, Power, Grace and Love of Christ.  I am a living testimony and I will testify all the days of my life.  That day marked the beginning of my new life, my  journey and intimate encounters with Christ that have followed ever since…

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Big Shoes

Posted in Africa, Journey, Love, Miracles, Missions, Photography, Travel, Unreached People on March 29, 2008 by Heiko & Anita in Africa

July 2007
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I drove in an ex German military vehicle for 12 hours to reach a village in the middle of nowhere to whom no one had ever saw a white person before or ever heard of the love of Christ.  When we arrived the villagers ran and hid in their huts from us.  There is an African legend that white men are Satanists and will steal the villagers’ children.  But after three days of intense ministry and sharing the love of Christ, I watched as the entire village gave their lives to Christ and no longer believed in that legend. 

As we were about to leave a woman walked up to me and took me by the hand and walked me to her hut.  She left me by the door as she walked in to get something.  She came out with this blue hair clip.  She apologized for not having anything to give me and she put it in my hair. I was speechless that someone with so little would give me the best thing she had.  She looked at me and asked me to not forget about her and to pray for her.  I wanted to give her something in return but I had nothing with me. Her child was standing in front of me and I noticed she was holding a broken sandal.  I took my sandals off my feet and gave them to the child and watched as she tried her best to walk in them.   

As I looked at her tiny feet in my big sandals the Lord showed me that we are all like that small child.  Christ gives each one of us his sandals to wear on our feet and it is up to us to try to walk in them.  They always seem too big for us to fill but the more we walk in them the more they will begin to fit. 

This journey the Lord has walked with me on has been a true walk of faith and trust with many times when it got hard and I wanted to give up.  But had I not walked in his shoes I would have missed meeting that woman and praying with her and her child and all the other divine appointments the Lord had sent me to reach. 

May I encourage you today to put on Christ’s shoes and walk in them, even if they seem too big for you.  Christ has a plan for each of our lives and he may give us a glimpse of that vision, but it is up to us to take it step by step, growing into his shoes until you reach the final destination. He never said the walk would be easy, but He does promise it will be greater than you ever expected.  Because you never know whom God may send you to reach with His shoes on your feet. 

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Don’t Forget About Joe

Posted in Africa, Journey, Love, Miracles, Missions, Photography, Travel, Unreached People on March 29, 2008 by Heiko & Anita in Africa


May 2006
Memphis, TennesseeTravel Buddy to Ghana 

My very first Mission Trip!  I have been praying all year for this moment!  I was destined for missions, created for missions.  All the maps on my walls as a child and feeling like I needed to be somewhere else, not just boring West Allis, Wisconsin.  No I was made for more.  I was created to travel to the ends of the earth to help others!  I have been saved a year and a half now and it all makes sense to me.  Everything!!  Well maybe not everything… 

The itinerary was set, 3 countries, 4 mission organizations, 2 months.  I am destined to find my calling, my ministry.  Seek Diligently.  I won’t let God off the hook on this one until I have the answer to what I am searching for.   

Then it began, the airport in Tampa.  The team was on a different flight from myself and one other girl.  The two of us were to meet the team in Amsterdam for a day of exploration then on to Ghana.  We boarded the plane filled with excitement and then we landed in Memphis to find our connection had been canceled due to a severe rainstorm.   

Could this really be happening?  Thoughts of defeat settled in rapidly.  Everything began to go wrong.  The airline would not book us in a hotel because it was not their fault.   The lady at the counter was completely rude and unhelpful.  If the storm continued we were told the flight to Amsterdam would be canceled the next day as well.  We would miss our connection to Ghana with the team and then we would be left behind.   

We solemnly hailed a cab and went to the nearest, cheapest hotel we could find.  We were ready to give up and decide that this must be God’s sign for us to not go.  Then I called my best friend who quickly put my eyes into perspective.  She began to yell at me in the name of Jesus and tell me that He would not have brought us this far to not send us all the way to Africa.  She reminded me that the trip began the second I got on the plane and if Memphis is where the Lord needs me then Memphis is where I shall sit until it is complete.   

Wow, not the, now…now…it will all be ok, confirmation I was looking for!  At that moment I changed my attitude and perspective and began to pray with my friend for whomever the Lord has for us to reach and witness to would happen and soon.  We repented for being so self-centered and prayed all night.  The morning arrived to a call from the front desk that we would be kicked out of the hotel early due to an overbooking the night before.  “Now what” , I thought, “more bad luck”, it began to creep in again.  Then I decided that if we are going to have a divine appointment then we must be out there to do it.  We had the front desk call for a cab and we sat in the hotel lobby and waited to go to the airport early, there are a lot of people there. 

A brand new white Escalade pulled up and a very large black man in Army clothing walked out and with a serious purpose started to approach us.  Immediately I began to pray and ask God that this is not our cab, over and over.  But it was too late; the man was standing over me and said, “You called for a cab? Get in.”   My friend looked at me with fear in her eyes and I motioned to her abruptly to come on. 

The man smelled like he had just doused himself in an entire bottle of cologne.  There was an open can of beer in a paper bag on the console and I could not help but notice stuffed inside the dash two large bags of what I am guessing was marijuana.  My friend looked at me like a deer caught in the headlights.  I had to think fast.  So I began to talk to him, I began to ramble on actually, about everything in my life.  I began to ask him questions about his life and as this hard man softened up and thought about the questions I was asking, I could see he was really hurting in his life.   

He stopped answering and I got nervous again, and he told us the flights at the airport are all delayed from the storm and we would be stuck sitting there.  He then asked us if we had ever seen Graceland.  As I responded out of nervousness, no, but I would love to see it, my friend kicked me.  He took a detour and drove us past Graceland to see it from afar.  I began to talk to him more and had the chance to dig deeper in his life and share with him that we were missionaries.  He then got quiet and asked me the question, “does God hear our prayers…even the bad ones?”  I said yes, God does and then he changed the subject. 

As we drove up to the drop off at the airport something inside of me could not leave until I prayed with him.  So I asked him if we could pray with him and he paused, tears filled his eyes and he bowed his head and we prayed.  The second we stepped out of the car the rain stopped and the sun started to peer from the clouds.  He got out of the car and ran to unload our baggage.  As I paid him he looked at me with tears swelling up in his eyes and said, “Please don’t forget about Joe. That’s my name, Joe” and he gave us both a huge hug.   

We checked in and the agent was very friendly and upgraded our seat for free.  We arrived in Amsterdam just in time to meet the team and make it on the flight to Ghana. 

I truly learned that Right Now we are on the mission field, it is not a destination but it is wherever the Lord places your feet.  I learned that there are divine appointments every day that we will miss out on if we are not purposefully looking for them.  If we are truly Christians walking to be more like Him then we need to have eyes and hearts like Christ as well.  To follow where He leads us, no matter how uncomfortable or unsafe the place may seem to be.  If He says go, we must go, and trust that his amour of protection will cover us and protect us.  Or you could miss out on your divine appointment to share the love of God with Joe.

God’s Love For All

Posted in Adventure, Africa, Journey, Love, Miracles, Missions, Photography, Travel, Unreached People on March 28, 2008 by Heiko & Anita in Africa


June 2006
Lake Kariba, Zambia

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It was just before sundown.  I had been walking through a village going hut-to-hut evangelizing. As I walked about 50 children gathered behind me. I began to sing and get the children involved with shouts of Halleluiah in broken English at the end of each verse.  I was having so much fun with the children I neglected to notice the herd of cattle I was proceeding to walk into.  A small boy jumped in front of me to stop me from getting trampled on and I took a photo.  The suns last rays of the day peered through the trees to highlight the dust being kicked up by the cows.  The world went silent for a brief moment, God’s grandeur consumed my little space in life.  All that echoed was distant laughter of the children, then suddenly like a dream ending, we carried on walking.

As we walked a little girl tugged on my skirt and I stopped. I looked down at her and she wanted to be picked up, she was tired. I picked her up and carried her for about a mile. In that time she had fallen sound asleep in my arms.  

The Lord had spoken to me. He told me that it did not matter who this child was, where she was from, what language she spoke or color of skin she had. He had entrusted her care to me for this brief time. She was my responsibility to pray for and to look after. She had fallen asleep so peacefully it was as if I was her mother, and for that brief mile I was, she saw no difference. She just felt Gods love and peace in my arms.  

God showed me in that moment that we are all Gods children regardless of who we are or where we come from. And He entrusts people into our care even if only for brief moments. To share the love God shares with us. He wants us to love others as He loves us. It is that simple. To connect with others so that Christ can build a bridge from our hearts to theirs that he can walk across.  

So I challenge you today to love those the Lords puts in your path a little more the way that God loves you, even if they cross your path for a brief moment or mile, regardless of who they are. We are all one people, we all hurt from time to time, and when we are hurt we all bleed the same blood that flows through the veins of Christ and back into ours, believers and unbelievers alike. These moments are precious, don’t miss out on your divine appointment with one of God’s children.

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About “Anita In Africa” Blog

Posted in Adventure, Africa, Journey, Love, Miracles, Missions, Photography, Travel, Unreached People on March 28, 2008 by Heiko & Anita in Africa

Throughout my missionary journeys I have witnessed many miracles, signs and wonders of God’s Abounding Love for us.  This blog is a chronicle of my journeys (in no particular order) and the divine appointments with others that the Lord has led me to.  These are the testimonies of my faith and witness of God’s Mercy, Grace, Hope and Love.  As I travel this road He consistently reminds me I am never alone, He is always by my side, teaching me, refining me, and leading the way to shape me in an image closer to that of Christ and less of my own flesh.  May these stories bring you closer to the heart of God…

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