Emily Joos

"For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him…"

Author: EmilyJoos

May Update

Hey there friends and family!

I can’t believe the month of May is coming to a close already. It’s been an eventful month here in Johannesburg, and it started off with a bang! Most of you already know the story of us being whisked away to Botswana at 4:30 a.m. on the morning of the 30th of April. We had 20 minutes to pack to spend a week in a village called Metlobo that seemed to be in the middle of nowhere. We drove for about three and a half hours to Lobatse, Botswana to meet up with our host who is partnered with ‘Every Nations’, then set out to Metlobo. It was a week of being introduced to a completely different setting and culture and seeing how we could be a blessing to the people we came in contact with. We had the opportunity of meeting with the local church’s leaders every evening and the majority of us were asked to share what God laid on our hearts when it came to church leadership. We also got to meet the people living in the village and share the Gospel with them, seeing healings happen in their hearts as well as a lady who got healed of a sore back that’s been plaguing her for a long time. It was also a good time of fellowship for us interns, and we had so much fun cooking over a fire, taking bucket showers, using a long-drop toilet the whole week, and sleeping under the stars on our last night.

When we got back from Botswana I dived head-first into studying for my May exams. God’s grace was really on my exam timetable, as I found out as soon as I had Internet connection again that UNISA had extended the timetable so that exams could be written in June, too. Hallelujah, haha! I chose to write two of them in May and two of them in June. I spent most of my evenings reading and summarising, and after a long day spent on outreach or doing other tasks that often was quite challenging. But Jesus really was faithful and carried me through, helping me to commit to memory the things I was studying. The journey isn’t over yet, though; I have two English exams awaiting me nearing the end of June. I ask that you please keep me in prayer for that time, as that is also the time that we are getting ready for team season.

  

During team season, Impact Africa hosts teams from all over the States who then join us on outreach and also have the opportunity to serve in other departments. I have been prewarned that team season is very busy and that it is going to be physically and emotionally stretching. Every day we lead teams of people of all ages who may not all have had experience in sharing the love of Jesus with strangers and who may need to be discipled and encouraged to do so when out in the communities. Hours are also longer and responsibilities increase. I am excited for team season, to meet new people and see them grow in their love for Jesus and people, and in boldness. I am excited to see what areas God grows me in when it comes to patience, choosing love and joy and enduring. Please pray for me and for my fellow interns that we will remain close to Jesus, seeking to find our strength in Him and to represent Him in all we do. Please pray that we would be intentional in our relationships with one another, seeking out each other’s hearts and not being selfish in pouring into each other.

We met this lovely lady about a week ago. Please pray that she would know the Father so deeply and that she would have a deep hunger to seek Him.

I am so excited to see you all again! Thank you for walking this journey with me in prayer and in encouraging me. I love you guys so much and I want to encourage you with Hebrews 10:24-25.

Be blessed!

Emily

April Update

Hello beautiful people!

The month of April has been a full, productive month! I learnt a lot this month. We took a class and learnt about the Muslim faith, a people very close to my heart. God rekindled a love that He had placed in my heart a while back for followers of the Islam religion and I realized once again the urgency that there is to pray for our brothers and sisters that have not yet come to know the love and grace of Jesus Christ. One thing that stood out to me about something that the Muslim faith teaches is the month of Ramadan. In this month Muslims fast and pray and on the last day of Ramadan, called the “Night of Power”, and they pray intensely as they believe that it is the holiest night of the year. Church, this is the night that we as followers of Jesus can stand in the gap and intercede for all Muslims, praying that God would reveal Himself to them in dreams and visions as they are in a state of prayer and reverence. This year Ramadan ends on June 14th.

After taking our classes and getting equipped we set out to Oriental Plaza, a shopping centre in downtown Joburg run primarily by Muslims and Hindus and were given two days to love the people we met with the love of Jesus. To be completely honest with you, I was a little nervous on our way there because, although I had a deep love for Muslims, I had never pursued a conversation that lasted for more that 10 minutes with someone of that religion because of a fear of not knowing what to expect and to say. However, God revealed to me that His heart towards them was love and a desire for reconciliation and that I was one of the vessels that He wanted to use to be Love to them; not to try and convert them using my knowledge and strengths. With that setting me more at ease, we set out into the mall and trusted God to lead us. The mall was composed mostly of little shops selling either curtains or suits, with the odd wedding dress store or traditional clothing store in between. We wandered upstairs and walked into a wedding dress store and got into a conversation with a sweet lady who came from Delhi, India. The first thing I noticed was her openness and willingness to share with my team and I about who she was and what she believed in. After about 20 minutes, a man in his late twenties walked in who claimed to be the manager of the store. He joined our conversation and we found out that he was a refugee from Syria who had come because he was selected to fight in the war and did not want to. He was just as open to share with us about what he believed and to hear what we had to say in return. Later he told me about his Christian friends back in Syria and what made my heart rejoice was the fact that he said that they were always kind and loving. I ask you guys to pray with me for his friends back in Syria to continue to pour into him and to show him the love of Jesus Christ – that he would have a hunger for something more, something deeper.

Feat. my henna’d hand and Henry the succulent

The next day my friends and I wanted to get henna on our hands (also for the reason to have some more time to spend chatting with whoever does the henna, haha) and we went to a different store to get it done. There we met two ladies who informed us that the henna artist had just left the day before but that they could take us to another lady. We spent some time in the store and one of the ladies taught me how to put on a sari. They took us to their henna artist friend and – guess who it was – the lady I had made friends with the previous day. I was very excited to be able to see her again, and we had a blessed time together. After that we made our way downstairs and met an elderly man who was a very devout Muslim. He had been to Mecca three times. He wanted us to learn more about Islam, so he set out to find us copies of the Qur’an. We thanked him, accepting his gift, although gently letting him know that our faith is in Jesus. My prayer is that he would be one of the people who receives a revelation about Jesus. Let’s stand together as the Body and pray for my friend, that he would receive a revelation of Jesus Christ and that his life will change radically and be a testimony and that the passion that he has about Islam and his love for Allah would turn into a love for the God who is triune and who has given us the message of reconciliation.

I was super excited to be wearing this!

Here is the floral-patterned Qur’an I was gifted with.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On that note, let’s take a moment to think about our brothers and sisters cross the world that are suffering persecution because of their allegiance to Christ. Let’s not pray that the persecution ceases but that they stand strong, being encouraged daily by the presence of the Holy Spirit. Pray for their witness, that God reveals to them how to share His love and grace with the people around them. Jesus says to His disciples, “Blessed are you when people hate you, when the exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven…” (Luke 6:22-23)

Finally, friends, we encounter people daily who have not yet had an encounter with Jesus Christ and whose eternity is uncertain. We encounter Islam followers every day who may never meet a Christian who is willing to share the TRUTH of the Gospel with them. We learnt in our class that followers of the Islam religion have many misconceptions of the Gospel – that is why they value their belief so deeply, because they believe it is uncorrupted. Therefore, make sure that you are IN JESUS daily, walking in the power of the Holy Spirit and filled with the knowledge of the truth, that, should you meet and have a conversation with a Muslim person, or any person for that matter(!!), you can treat them like Jesus would treat them, building friendship relationship and sharing the truth of Jesus with them. Luke 10:2-3 never fails to convict me of the urgency of walking in communion with Jesus – “…The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.”

Jesus is really wrecking my heart about being a vessel that He can use that willingly surrenders to Him, deeply desiring to be His hands and feet…bringing the message of reconciliation to the people around me daily, in various areas. We aren’t called to do this alone, to be islands. We are the Body, the Bride of Jesus, called by Him to advance the Kingdom on Earth as a unit until the Wedding Day when we enter the New Earth. This is so beautifully depicted in Hebrews 4 where we are urged to not to harden our hearts because, “There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from His. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their (the Israelites’) example of disobedience.” Praise Jesus! One day we will enter His rest and be with Him forever, enjoying His presence. No amount of sacrifice could EVER outdo the reward we as those who have persevered will receive.

In closing, I want to thank each and every one of you who have sent me encouraging messages, who have prayed for me and who have blessed me financially. Impact Africa changed their donation process and made it so that you can directly select which intern you want to bless. I still need about R7,000 before the end of May, which is the deadline date set by Impact Africa. If you feel God laying it on your heart to sow financially into what He is doing here, then please go to www.impactafrica.org and follow the donation process. I love you all very much and am very excited to see you all again!!!

Bless you, in Jesus name!

Emily

A little update

Hey there friends and family!

Hope you all are doing well and are advancing the Kingdom! I’m doing very well, God has been so faithful. It’s definitely been a journey, and I’ve been challenged in many ways emotionally and spiritually. But the beautiful thing is that I’m definitely experiencing how God meets us where we’re at when we run to Him. I’m feeling much more at home where I’m staying and also in my friendships with the other interns, praise Jesus. I’m super excited to see our little community grow.

So this has been an amazing month! In just one month I feel like I’ve learned so incredibly much about people and culture, it’s quite crazy. One thing that I’ve learned very much about was what is part of the belief system of almost every person we minister to; ancestor worship. I believe that, in the Western culture satan uses money to steal from people in the way that they are deceived with greed and the false hope of happiness and fulfillment once we have more stuff that will supposedly benefit our lives and well-being. Well, here among the people who live in a seemingly completely different world to ours, I believe satan uses false promises from ancestors through sangomas, witch doctors, dreams and visions to deceive people. People who visit a sangoma for healing often leave more captive than when they came in, in the sense that they experience temporary relief but always have to return to maintain their healing. They get promised wealth and success, but are often required to do things to attain that that actually does more harm to them than good. Ancestral spirits come to some people in dreams in the form of a relative that died that are now protecting them or offer them comfort when, in reality they are actually wolves in sheep’s clothing. Some mothers put strings of wool around their babies’ limbs to supposedly “protect” them from spirits that are bad. All of the above are doors for satan to get in and sow destruction and death; to kill, steal and destroy. Evil and wickedness is rampant in that sense, but our God is greater and died to have His people held captive by satan’s schemes. Join with me in praying against the darkness that is so prevalent in these people’s midst.

I met two ladies a couple of weeks ago. The one’s name is Dora, and she shared with me that she had been having dreams of her ancestors calling her to become a traditional healer. Just before she revealed that we had just spoken about the kingdom of light and darkness and how Jesus gave us all authority over darkness and that once His blood covers us we are untouchable by evil, unless we open the door to it. Dora admitted that the dreams scare her and that she doesn’t want to become a sangoma, but she didn’t know what to do and she felt helpless. I told her that she had the freedom to choose, and I asked her if being a sangoma is what she wanted. Shaking her head, she said, “No, no I don’t want to be a sangoma. I choose God!” We prayed together and she surrendered her life to Jesus and renounced the claims that satan had on her life. Praise God, the One who split heaven and earth to reconcile His people back to Him, who uses ordinary people like us to be His hands and feet! Please keep Dora in your prayers, that she will continue to seek Jesus and His truth.

These three ladies are strong, brave and beautiful. Pray with me that they encounter Jesus!

This is Lynn. She is on fire for Jesus and for the Kingdom! She told us how she has been praying for her neighbourhood against the stealing and killing that has been going on.

I’m very challenged in the area of the harvest that is so ripe and plentiful but the workers that are so few. A question that has been burdening my heart is this, “What are we keeping ourselves busy with? Where is our focus?” I’ve been allowing God to examine my heart and show me where my focus is self-centered and where I keep myself busy with things that distract me and keep me comfortable. Church, are we being God’s hands and feet? Are we choosing obedience no matter the cost? Are we pursuing the heart of our Jesus above all else? Are we holding on to silly things that keep us comfortable or are we busy practicing what we see in Matthew 25:35-40 where Jesus says that whatever we do for the least of these we do to Him, “for I was hungry and you gave me something to eat…I was a stranger and you invited me in…I was in prison and you came to visit me?” I’m realising more and more that there is such a tangible call to intimacy with the Father and a call to love Jesus with our lives. Let’s rise up and be the kind of Christians that the world recognizes as Christ-followers through our love, generosity, faithfulness and in the way that we are honourable.

Financially I’ve been really blessed! Just over half of my internship is payed, and the other half is due by the end of May. If Holy Spirit places it on your heart to support me financially, then I praise Him that you take part in sowing into the Kingdom and I thank you for your obedience. Please then contact me personally for Impact Africa’s banking details.

In closing, I want to thank you all so much for your love, financial support and prayer! I’m feeling so blessed and special, really! Receiving messages, voice notes, calls or pictures from you guys always puts a huge smile on my face. I love you all very much!

Bless you!

Emily

The Adventure Begins

Hey friends and family!

Firstly, I just want to thank you so much in joining me on my journey. It’s an honour to get to share with you all about what I’m doing and keeping you all up to date. This is my first time ever writing a newsletter, though, and it does feel a little bit strange doing this, so please have grace, haha!

So, I arrived in Joburg at Impact Africa on January the 30th. My first two weeks here were spent getting to know everyone on the team and getting to know the staff. Because I am the only South African surrounded by a bunch of Americans, I experienced a mini culture shock in my own country. But, God’s grace was over that and I soon got used to the sound of a different accent and the way that they do things. I’m still learning how to relate, and I believe that this will go on for quite a while still. Now, I absolutely love the people I live with and can’t wait to grow in relationship with them and to do life alongside of them.

 

During immersion we also learnt a lot about the organization and the different departments. Impact Africa has four departments in which the interns work: Impact Baby Rescue, Impact Students, Impact Kids and Community Outreach. We were all super excited to find out which department we are in. Monday, the 12th of February was the big day! I got placed in community outreach, yeeeeeeeeeww! In this department, we go out into the communities every day and spend our time walking down the streets and sitting with people in their homes, just seeking to serve and love them.                      
Something that really stands out to me is the incredible diversity that we encounter in the townships! People living there are from all over – Malawi, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Limpopo, and the list goes on. They all speak different languages and have different cultures. Every person has a unique life story; often filled with a lot of hardship and pain. This, combined with the insane poverty in which they live, cause many people to be very hopeless and feeling like they have no purpose. Most people that we talk to have no job and say that they are willing to do any kind of work. For women, it mostly means that they become domestic workers and for men, they would either be gardeners or have the “leftover” jobs. Yet, when I ask them, almost all of them have had a dream to be a nurse, a lawyer, a teacher, etc., but because of their circumstances, lack of education and lack of finances, they are unable to pursue that dream and are resolved to accepting whatever life offers them, no matter how low paying or taxing it is. Most people have had to leave their families from home and try to find work here to provide for them, and can only afford to return to see them about once or twice a year, for Christmas or Easter. Despite all of this, the majority of the people we meet still greet us with a smile and bless us with their attention.

Two challenges that I’ve encountered in community outreach that can sometimes be a little frustrating is one, the language barrier and two, some people are unwilling to have conversation and accept love because of, I think, things that have hurt them in the past and because they see us as “mulungus” who don’t really know anything and now try to ‘help’ them. This is obviously the opposite motive of our hearts, because we know that all we can offer is what Holy Spirit does through us and we just want to give love and service to those who are lost and broken. But, the cool thing is that God uses opportunities like this to teach us more about His heart and His people and how He wants us to be His hands and feet in different situations with different individuals.

 

In closing, I just want to thank you all again for journeying with me. Please pray for me and for the team over here to just be in Jesus and follow Him wherever He calls, withholding nothing. Also, if you would like to sow into the Kingdom by blessing me financially, then please send donations to

Impact Africa

Standard Bank / North Gate Branch

Account Number: 021662452

and put my name in the reference.

I love you guys! Hamba kahle!

Emily

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