He is finally here!! For those of you who haven't already heard…Judah-Isaac Mhlonishwa was born April 22, 2016 at 6:23 p.m. He weighed 3.5 kg's and was 55 Cm long! As some of you know he was well "overdue" and only decided to make his appearance at 41 weeks and 4 days after nearly a week of making us think he was coming every night! I labored all night and day at home, mostly in bed in my room and he was born in the birth pool with our midwife team, photographer friend, and Sandile there to welcome him! The girls were home playing and carrying on with their normal routines while friends watched them, they did not even try to bother me which I found interesting! They must have known something important was happening :) They were thrilled to meet their new brother, especially Grace who continually smothers him with love- literally. :) Judah is now just over 3 weeks old and we are getting used to being a family of 5, although it is quite hectic. And to top it all off, in 4 weeks we are going to hop on a plane taking us across the world for 6 weeks to visit family and do ministry…crazy or adventurous? I'll let you decide! ;)
Wednesday, 11 May 2016
Hello friends and family!
Welcome back to the Isaiah House blog! Today's update is a sad, but very raw update as we believe it is important to share the exciting things we are doing at IH, but also share with the world the struggles and hardships even our own staff face in their everyday lives, so that people may understand the importance and necessity of this ministry.
As we headed to the base this morning we were greeted by a young crying face. One of our newer volunteers (19 years old) who is also is the mother of a ten month old baby has been suffering from headaches for a few days. On Monday we prayed for her only to find out today that the cause of her headaches is that she hasn't been eating due to having no food for her family. She is still breastfeeding and her body is getting no energy from food which is causing headaches among other issues. We immediately went to the shops to get her some groceries; however, one trip to the shops will not provide this family with food for very long, and we do not have the budget to continue providing food for her.
Unfortunately, food shortage is a common experience for people here and our staff is not immune to it. There are many days when our volunteers go home wondering if there will be anything to eat for dinner. In our eyes this is not okay. This is why being able to provide an income for our staff is so important. They come everyday to work for the Lord, to serve the community, and they go home hungry.
By reading previous blog posts, seeing our pictures, and following us on Facebook, you can see the incredible things our volunteers do for us. We believe it is now time to do something incredible for our volunteers-- provide them with stipends for the work they do. You can help us achieve this goal by becoming an Isaiah House sponsor. Consider donating today to help put food on the table for our team, because without them, there is no Isaiah House.
Visit our website www.theisaiahhouse.co.za for contact info regarding donating!
Tuesday, 19 April 2016
It has been a busy and exciting time at the Isaiah House!
We have been practicing leading discipleship classes to enhance the leadership skills of the volunteers so they become more comfortable with teaching discipleship classes on their own. With that, World Changers, one of our partner organizations as such asked Sandile along with the Isaiah House team to come and teach a class to the people staying at the World Changers Academy. This particular class was known for being rather difficult-- a lot of the students still believed and practiced ancestral worship. They were very defensive and difficult towards to Sandile, even mocking and blaspheming Christ as some points. At one point he just said "if you aren't believing me then bring your ancestral worship here and I will bring Jesus and we will pray". It was a very powerful time in which about 10 of the students manifested demonically and everyone was praying and worshipping. The team prayed with those who were manifesting and they were really challenged with the reality of Christ. Their minds and hearts were softening towards the Holy Spirit as they could see the power that our team carried. After our team left deliverance continued to happen throughout the night with the Pastor on staff at WCA, and some of those students gave their lives over to Christ and were completely freed from demonic oppression. Afterward Sandile received an email from one of the leaders asking if Sandile can start helping them learn how to deal more in the spiritual realm with deliverance etc. It was an exciting day of walking in Christs power and authority in setting people free.
Sunday, 10 April 2016
We recently celebrated Easter in a very lovely way. Grace Love Truth ministries held a conference in Lower Molweni. It was a four day conference full of worship, teachings, and amazing food. Saturday in particular was powerful because Garry was teaching and many people began to pray in tongues, cry, and receive prayer and prophecy. The youth even performed songs and bible verses which was also very exciting to watch. The whole church was constantly filled with joy and laughter as people from all walks of life came together to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ! Sunday morning we had a full house while Sandile shared about the power of the cross and the resurrection. Afterward we had a time of prayer and ministry in which people were healed and again, another deliverance happened! It was a powerful weekend of teachings by the GLT team, worship, ministry, prayer, and fellowship over food.
Sunday, 13 March 2016
Last month we sadly said good-bye to Sifiso at the Isaiah house. Sifiso has been an integral part of our leadership team for the past year and a half and we have all been extremely blessed by him. Sifiso has one of the most willing hearts I have ever met. There has never been a time when we have asked him to do something and he has said no. He is always happy and joyful to help in whatever means he can. He brought with him a vibrant, joyful, and contagious heart in everything he did and wherever Sifiso is you will hear laughter- and often some off key singing :)- Sifiso we love you, we are blessed by you, and we send you off with much blessings and favor in your next ministry/life endeavors! Thank you for your involvement at IH in this season of your life.
Tuesday, 26 January 2016
Eish I was so busy talking about all that is happening I forgot to mention the counseling I was doing with some local refugees. Some of you know about this because I asked for your prayers as I knew it had huge possibilities of being highly emotionally difficult. So for a few months I was going down to Hope Farm where a group of about 150 refugees from Burundi and the DRC were staying. I went weekly and mostly met with two young adults women struggling with various issues. It was challenging at times and my heart broke a million times at others. Thank you to those that covered me in prayer and practical advice when I was first starting! I finished with the ladies at the end of the year and trust that they are better off because of our time together!
Happy New Year Everyone! We hope that the holiday season treated you well and you were able to take time to reflect on the incredible gift that we all received in God coming down to earth as a vulnerable, helpless baby; born to poor parents, in a land not his own, and surrounded by scandal, but sent to dwell among us and to be the savoir of the world! :) How amazing….
On the home front, we are doing well. The girls celebrated their birthdays over the holidays; Naomi turned 4, and Grace turned 2! We hosted the lovely Mallorie Miller for 3 weeks and the next day my (Abby's) Dad, brother, and nephew arrived for 2.5 weeks! It was very busy in our house, but we loved it and it was so special to spend time with family and friends. I am in my third trimester of pregnancy and we are expecting our son sometime mid April- give or take :) The girls are very curious about this baby growing in Mommy's tummy and ask a lot of questions and look into my belly button to try to see him ;) Naomi also started pre-school 5 mornings a week and is really enjoying it! The school is just up the road which makes it very convenient! Sandile continues to pastor the Grace Love Truth Kloof church, and oversee, mentor, and disciple those in Molweni at Isaiah House, and pursue business all the while being an amazingly present husband and father…lets all say a prayer for him! :)
Things at Isaiah House are going extremely well! Although we have had some changes….Thandeka who had ministered with us for quite a few years felt it was time to move on and she left us at the end of October. We were very sad to see her go, but it has encouraged some of the other ladies to step up into more of a leadership role which has been amazing to see. Sifiso will end his time with us at the end of February this year. Sifiso has been an integral part in the day to day runnings at the base and the discipleship courses. We are very sad to lose him but know that his season has ended with us and we bless him wherever God takes him next! Emmanual has been brought on to pastor the church that meets as Isaiah House and to take a leadership role in the ministry. Sandile has been meeting with him a lot to mentor him (although he is much older and has decades of ministry experience!) in what we do at IH and how things are run. We are very excited to have Emmanuel join our team and know that he will be a great asset! It is amazing how when someone leaves, God makes a plan to bring another along!! Nathi is still with us, running youth and working with the discipleship team and local volunteers, and Sindy is running Kids ministry and manages the practicalities of the base.
This past year we were able to secure funding from a government program for 10 of our local volunteers who now receive a small monthly stipend for their time and talents with us! Praise God as we had been looking and praying about support for them.
We also linked two others into full time paid jobs with another organization that we work with.
This past year IH and the team focused mainly on discipleship and teaching. The team went out to various other communities and ran 2 week discipleship courses on Grace, Healing, The Holy Spirit and a variety of other topics. We saw many testimonies and emotional headings take place through these courses and they will continue into this year as well. One of the most amazing testimonies to see is our local team of volunteers going out and doing ministry and teaching with others, and taking ownership and leadership in various areas of IH. This has been our vision from the beginning and it is actually now being played out! Hallelujah! :)
Two more testimonies..this is what happens when I leave it so long to write!
Firstly, a while ago we had a Braai/BBQ at our house with all the leaders/volunteers at IH, it was just a time to hang out and have fun together but without Sandile knowing they had made a video for him in which they all spoke and talked about how he had impacted their lives over the past few years. It was so beautiful and encouraging to hear things that we had forgotten about or didn't see as a big deal, making a difference to them and their walk with the Lord.
Secondly Sandile ran into a former High school student from Molweni who know works at a local restaurant. They were chatting and the boy told him how appreciative him and his friends were to IH because we had opened up the building as a place for high schoolers to come and study in a space that was safe and free from distractions. He then told Sandile that him and all of his friends who studied there all received distinctions in their final year of high school! Letting them use the building was such a simple thing, but with huge results!
Thank you to all of our supporters near and far!! This ministry is soley run on donations and support from people like yourselves and none of this could happen without you! As always we are constantly in need of more financial partners, especially as our team and ministry has grown, and with the crazy town inflation of South Africa! Please contact me if you are able to join our financial team!