PUB RESTORED INTO A CHURCH - Salem Danville, Pretoria, South Africa

FROM PUB TO CHURCH

Salem Danville's first service was under a carport on the 1st of March 2009 with 6 people. We started because the people of Danville spoke a need of a Biblical, relevant and alive church.

In December of 2009 we took over an old pub in Danville and renovated it into our church - a miracle done by God! Today we minister to about 100 people, 30 teenagers and 60 children.
Danville is a poor area in Pretoria West, South Africa - unique in a sense that there is poor people of all cultures and races.

Our vision - to bring His Peace and restoration to the people of Danville. To show them that your circumstances do not dictate God's love for you. Jesus loves all, no matter who you are, what you've done, or how much money you have!

Share the joy of ministering to the poor with us in this blog!

Kobus & Anina Homan (Pastors Salem Danville)

(Visit http://salem-danville.blogspot.com/ for our newsletters)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Are you safe?


Jeremiah 7:9-10(NLT)
9 Do you really think you can steal, murder, commit adultery, lie, and burn incense to Baal and all those other new gods of yours, 10 and then come here and stand before me in my Temple and chant, “We are safe!”—only to go right back to all those evils again?

This is an extremely hard Word. But in reality many people live this way.

Many people confess Jesus as their savior, but from the day they made that choice, their lives have never changed. Or maybe it changed for a few days, only to go right back to their sinful behavior.

Many people attend church once a week to sooth their guilty conscience and feel just safe enough to carry on with their sinful behavior on Monday.

The reality is that unfortunately this is a false sense of security, thinking I am right with God.

Jesus is the only way to be made right with God, but if you have truly made a commitment to Him, your life will surely change!

Many preachers make the mistake to emotionally convince people to accept Jesus as Savior, but they never explain that it is actually just the start of a life-long journey of change and sanctification.

Does it mean that if we struggle with some kind of sin we fall in the same category?

For me it is an attitude of the heart! If your attitude is “I will just carry on sinning”, then you fall in the category of the people Jeremiah is speaking of.

If your heart attitude is however “Lord, I am still struggling with this sin, please help me”, you are in the category of the repented, humble Christian who knows that it is a life-long journey of becoming more like Jesus.

Going to church won’t make you safe. Going to church will however help you to experience the arms of a loving Father. This true feeling of safety will motivate you to change, because there is no better place than the safe arms of our heavenly Father!

Shalom!
Anina

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I feel safe



After our Sunday evening service one of the ladies of our congregation came to speak to me. She opened up about her broken past and some of the deep hurts of her life.

One of her greatest concerns were that she is usually very shy towards people and sometimes even experience panic attacks when she is among unfamiliar people.

This came as a surprise to me, because in our congregation she never looked nervous or uncomfortable, even when there were people that she did not know.

I was curious and asked her why she did not feel uncomfortable in our church. Her response: “Because I feel safe here!”

These words meant so much for me! Many times I’ve wondered whether the principals we operate our church on really makes a difference in people’s lives.

We operate under the principle of unconditional acceptance and love. Anyone is welcome in our church and we make sure each and every person feels welcome in our meetings. In a sense it is a place of protection, where people can run to!

You see, we as a church represent God’s name and His honor!

Proverbs 18:10(MSG)
10 God's name is a place of protection -
   good people can run there and be safe.

Just like people can run to God and feel safe, they are also supposed to run to God’s church and feel safe!

Make sure your place of meeting together as God’s family is a safe place for the broken and rejected of this world.

It will definitely make a difference in people’s lives!

Shalom!
Anina

Monday, November 28, 2011

Who’s writing your story?

This Sunday the congregations where we previously served at visited us in Danville. It was such a privilege and honor to receive them. One of our friends also ministered the Word and she asked us the following question:

Who is the author of your life-story?

The author of a book is the person responsible for the writing of the story. He chooses the story-line, the characters and the events!

As a “good “Christian we know that the right answer to the question is God. God is supposed to be writing the story of our lives. But if we look at one of the most righteous people in the Bible, we see that there were times when even he took the pen in his own hand…

Abraham was promised a son, but he thought God is just taking too long. He decided to write his own story and Ismael was born. It seems that every time Abraham took the pen in his own hand, he made a mess of his life-story.

But we also know that our Father is a gracious God and if we return the pen into His hand, He will most certainly start writing His version of the story!

Romans 4:2-3(MSG)
But the story we're given is a God-story, not an Abraham-story. What we read in Scripture is, "Abraham entered into what God was doing for him, and that was the turning point. He trusted God to set him right instead of trying to be right on his own."

Make your life-story a God-story by entering into God’s plan for your life, not your own. Then God will change your life-story into a best seller!

Shalom!
Anina

(Thanks Anserie for this powerful Word and thanks to Kaleideo congregation and WES for your gracious hearts and open hands towards us, we pray that God will bless and honor you for everything you do for Salem Danville!)

Friday, November 25, 2011

What Children Say About Heaven

  • Mom, God's so neat, and heaven's supposed to be so great. Could me and Gloria go there Saturday for a sleep-over?
  • Our seven-year-old daughter, Clarisa, was not really excited about going to Sunday school, but her little friend talked her into it. After the first class, at lunch she said, "I like my teacher, and she said if I come to Sunday school every Sunday, she'll show me how I can get a free trip to heaven."
  • My three-year-old granddaughter, Morgan, came over one day and looked around the room and asked, "Where's Grandpa?" I answered, "He's in heaven." Surprised, she looked at me and said, "Still?"
  • I know what heaven is like, because I was there. God makes people when He thinks of them, and then they wait to be born.
  • Our six-year-old, Rachel, prayed, "God, they keep telling us You love us kids. But I'm wondering: If You know my older brother, do You think he'll ever get to heaven?"
  • When Jenny was four, she asked, "Does heaven have a floor?" Surprised, I said, "Well, Jenny, what do you think heaven is like?" She looked up at the sky and clouds and replied, "Well, I can't see any floor, so I guess people are just up there on coat hangers!"
    I told nine-year-old Heather that someday we would have glorified bodies. She asked, "Do you think we'll look like Barbie?"
  • One day my five-year-old grandson, Brett, who frequently went fishing with his dad, told his mother, "If Grandma's going to heaven with us, God had better have a pretty big fishing rod to haul her in!"
    (Author Unknown -- from 'Colorado Comments')

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Diplomatic immunity

The principle of diplomatic immunity dates from Antiquity, when the Greek government extended special status to foreign envoys. Basically, it allows representatives of foreign governments to work and operate under the laws of their home country while abroad.

In a sense we as Christians have diplomatic immunity on this earth.  

Romans 8:1(NIV)
 1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus…

No condemnation means a not guilty verdict. So does this give us a license to sin if we are in Christ Jesus?

It is always necessary to read verses in context:

Romans 8:2(NIV)
2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.

We are, through the blood of Jesus Christ set free the law of sin and death. This means that we have diplomatic immunity from the penalty from sin. We are set free from eternal death!

But this definitely does not give us a license to sin! God is quite clear on what will happen with us when we still choose to sin after we received diplomatic immunity through Jesus Christ:

Revelation 3:19(NIV)
   19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent.

A good father will discipline his children. In the same way our heavenly Father will discipline us when we sin.

So our sin will not condemn us to eternal death, but if you keep on sinning you will be disciplined by a loving Father.

Shalom!
Anina

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Heaven’s currency


Whenever you decide to travel to another land there is a few things to consider.

One of these things is money. Each land has their own currency and it will be almost impossible to buy anything in a foreign land with your own country’s money.

­Currency can be defined as a unit of purchasing power. It is a medium of exchange, a substitute for goods or services. It doesn't have to be the coins or bills with which you're probably most familiar. In fact, through the ages, everything from large stone wheels, knives and slabs of salt have been used as money.

Here in South Africa we use the Rand. If I were to travel to America, I’ll have to exchange some Rand for Dollars; otherwise I will not be able to buy anything in America.

Heaven also has a currency!

Matthew 6:20-21(NIV)
20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

But what is heaven’s treasure? In what currency does our heavenly Father operate in?

Our Father makes payments with only one currency. The moment He had to pay for something He used this currency…

This currency is of immeasurable worth and there is no higher currency in the universe!

On earth, this currency is not worth much; but in heaven a life of one person has more value than all the gold in the whole world!

Most people on earth don’t respect or value life anymore. For God however there is nothing with a higher value than a life! He proved this to us when He paid the ultimate price with the life of His Son, Jesus Christ!

Heaven’s treasures are people! Do you operate in heaven’s currency?

Shalom!
Anina

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Heavenly citizenship


To be an ambassador is quite an honored position. But what exactly is an ambassador?

Webster's dictionary define it as a representative in another country, appointed by  a higher authority in his own government; one who is sent on a special diplomatic mission or an official messenger or agent with a special mission. An ambassador lives in a foreign country, with customs and cultures that are very different from his own.

We saw yesterday that we as Christians should be ambassadors of Christ. In a sense that means that Christians are appointed by a higher Authority. You are appointed by God as His representative!

As an ambassador you are also sent on a special mission with a special message. You live in a foreign world with different customs and cultures that are very different form your home country.

But where exactly is your home?

Philippians 3:20a (NIV)
20 But our citizenship is in heaven.

We are citizens of heaven. We are not from this world! So if you sometimes feel uncomfortable in this world, know it is because this is not your real home. You are only sent here as a representative of heaven.

Your mission as Christ’s ambassador: to recruit people for heaven!

Your message: the price for citizenship has been paid in full!

Your manner: His love!

Shalom!
Anina

Monday, November 21, 2011

Daddy you’re a pastor



In South Africa, at most of the busy intersections, you will find a few hawkers trying to sell you something that you most probably don’t need. The other day while we we’re travelling home, we stopped at a red robot at one of these intersections.

One of the hawkers was selling cheap sunglasses and he tried to sell one to my husband. My husband gave the sunglasses one look and said to the guy: “That is the ugliest sunglasses I have ever seen!” The hawker just laughed, but from the back of the car there came a response that wasn’t expected!

“You’re a pastor daddy; you can’t say that to him! How must he feel?”

My husband had to apologize to my daughter and made her a promise to never again say something so impolite to somebody.

It is a bitter pill to swallow when you’re seven year old starts to teach you spiritual lessons, even if you just said something jokingly!

But in our daily life, we sometimes forget Who we represent:

2 Corinthians 5:20(NLT)
20 So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!”

We represent Christ every time we speak, no matter where we are! The way we will speak to people will either let them come back to God or push them away.

In what way are you speaking to people? Are you a worthy ambassador of Christ? Can God make an appeal through your life for people to come back to Him?

If not, be careful, you might just be reprimanded by someone you might not expect it from.

Shalom!
Anina

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Master’s touch

T’was battered and scarred, and the auctioneer
Thought it scarcely worth his while
To waste much time on the old violin,
But held it up with a smile.
"What am I bidden, good folks," he cried,
"Who’ll start the bidding for me?"
"A dollar, a dollar," then, two! Only two?
"Two dollars, and who’ll make it three?
"Three dollars, once; three dollars, twice;
Going for three . . . "But no,
From the room, far back, a grey haired man
Came forward and picked up the bow;
Then, wiping the dust from the old violin,
And tightening the loose strings,
He played a melody pure and sweet
As a caroling angel sings.
The music ceased, and the auctioneer,
With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said: "What am I bid for the old violin?"
And he held it up with the bow.
"A thousand dollars, and who’ll make it two?
Two thousand! And who’ll make it three?
Three thousand, once; three thousand, twice;
And going and gone," said he.
The people cheered, but some of them cried,
"We do not quite understand
What changed its worth?" Swift came the reply:
"The touch of a master’s hand."
(By Myra Brooks Welch)
You see my dear friend; it is not who you are, where you stay and what kind of house you stay in… It is all about who you allow to hold you! If you allow God to hold you, it will not only change your worth, but you will truly find out what you were really made for!
Let His hands hold you today!
Shalom till Monday!
Anina

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Touching hands



One of the things we do the most with our hands is to touch. We touch to show affection and comfort and to show that we care!

Research shows that babies need to be touched. They are actually emotionally deprived if they don’t feel love through meaningful touch.

There is however many people that touch us through the day without meaning. Some might just bump into you; others might push you out of the way.

For a touch to be meaningful it needs to be done with a specific intent. To show my little girl I love her, I need to touch her with loving hands.

We find a woman in the Bible who intended to touch Jesus for a specific reason:

Luke 8:43(MSG)
 43-45In the crowd that day there was a woman who for twelve years had been afflicted with hemorrhages. She had spent every penny she had on doctors but not one had been able to help her. She slipped in from behind and touched the edge of Jesus' robe. At that very moment her hemorrhaging stopped. Jesus said, "Who touched me?"
   When no one stepped forward, Peter said, "But Master, we've got crowds of people on our hands. Dozens have touched you."

So many people touched Jesus that day, but only one touched Him because she wanted to. She touched Him because she needed to be healed. She knew that if she could only touch Him, she would be healed!

Do you need something from God? You need to touch Him. You need to get so close to Him so that His presence can flow through you!

God wants to touch us with healing, restoration and love. Come close enough and touch Him. He will touch you back with what you need!

Shalom!
Anina

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

My time in His hands


Many people have asked my husband and me why we choose to have a church in a poor community. Why we keep on laboring in a congregation that can’t even pay the water and electricity, not even speaking of a salary…

About four years ago I would not even consider pastoring a church like this. One of my goals in life was my own comfort and having security in a salary check. But through pain and suffering I had to learn a hard lesson:

Psalm 31:15a (NIV)
15 My times are in your hands…

God had to discipline me until I submitted my time into His hands

I had to realize that the ultimate goal of my life is not ease or comfort, but rather to be conformed into the image of God, and that He will take you wherever necessary for this life-changing process.

You can fight against it and try to control your own time… but it will just make the process longer and harder. Eventually you’ll have to submit and allow God to take over…

Psalm 31:5(NIV)
5 Into your hands I commit my spirit;
   deliver me, LORD, my faithful God.

It sounds very difficult, but when we finally gave over, committing our spirits into His hands, everything changed!

To be quite honest, we are much more fulfilled and happier than ever before. People don’t understand it, but to totally place your life and your time in His hands is to ask Him to take responsibility for each second of your life.

And do believe me; He does a much better job than I could ever do!

Won’t you make that choice today, to place your time in His hands!

Shalom!
Anina

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Someone forgot me!


Have you ever forgotten something or somebody?

When I was in High school, I always went to school on my bicycle. Nobody had to remember to pick me up from school.

But one time however, I went on a hockey tour and it was arranged that when we got back, I would be picked up at the school with all my bags and hockey gear.

I waited with my other friends, and one by one they were picked up. At last I was the only one left. Now you might think, why didn’t you call someone? Unfortunately it was the time when there weren’t cellphones yet (yes, I am that old…), and the school was locked because of the school holidays. Somebody forgot me, and it felt bad!

After a few hours one of the teachers that were on the tour drove by me. She stopped and asked me why I was still waiting. Quite embarrassed I had to tell her that somebody forgot to pick me up. Luckily she took me home.

After this incident I had to convince myself that I am actually important enough that somebody would remember me! Until I saw this verse:

Isaiah 49:15-16(NIV)
 15 “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast
   and have no compassion on the child she has borne?
Though she may forget,
   I will not forget you!
16 See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;
   your walls are ever before me.

The word engraved is literally to cut; God has literally cut me into His hands. It is impossible for Him to forget me!

God can’t forget you! Your name is engraved in the palms of His hands! It is there forever, nothing can erase it off His hands!

He has called us by our names, we belong to Him, and he will never forget us!

Shalom!
Anina

Monday, November 14, 2011

Hold my hand…!


This weekend we decided to take a break and watch a movie. Our seven year old daughter watched the movie with us. At one stage the movie become very intense when the good guys had to fight the bad guys.

She moved closer to me, and at one stage she grabbed my hand and said: “Hold my hand… for safety reasons!”

I love it to hold my daughter’s hand, but most of the time it is to keep her safe while crossing the street, or to keep her from getting lost in a crowd. And whenever she stumble and lose her footing, I grab her little hand tighter to keep her from falling. And then off course when a movie become too scary!

We also sometimes stumble and lose our footing. But there is a wonderful promise in the Psalms:

Psalm 37:24(NIV)
24 though he may stumble, he will not fall,
   for the LORD upholds him with his hand.

What makes you stumble? The way the world is looking? Maybe you are going through a financial crisis. Maybe it is the way the wicked is prospering, and that leaves you with more questions than answers.

But take heart, even though we sometimes experience situations that want to make us stumble, we will not fall!

We have a loving Father who is holding our hand, and He will grab your hand tighter when He feels you are slipping!

Ask Him today to hold your hand… for safety reasons!

Shalom!
Anina

Friday, November 11, 2011

Clouds speaking!

A picture sometimes says more than a thousand words!







Keep on looking up!
Shalom till Monday!
Anina



Thursday, November 10, 2011

Look Up!


Have you ever watched someone who really lost all hope? The most obvious is in the way they walk - with a drooping head and eyes looking down.

Jesus said that in these last days there will be difficult times and unfortunately being a Christian will not free you from these troubles.

The problems of this world must however distinguish us as children of God. We must show the world we are different in the way we look at the troubles of this world…

Jesus gave us clear direction:

Luke 21:28(NLT)
28 So when all these things begin to happen, stand and look up, for your salvation is near!”

True Christians are people who will despite of the most difficult times, keep on looking up!

Revelation 1:7b (NLT)
 7 Look! He comes with the clouds of heaven.
      And everyone will see him—
      even those who pierced him…

We can keep on looking up because we have hope in our hearts. We know that the problems of this world are only momentarily, that one day our Jesus will come on the clouds for each and every one who accepts Him as their personal Savior!

You might be going through a tough time right now. The way to get hope in your heart is to look up… because He is coming back!

Shalom!
Anina

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Guiding cloud



Exodus 13:21-22(NIV)
21 By day the LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. 22 Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people.

What a wonderful way to be guided, by a pillar of cloud or pillar of fire! If the cloud moved in the day, the Israelites had to move. But if the cloud stood still, they had to stop moving!

I like it to be on the move. I do much better with moving than standing still. But it is quite clear in these chapters of Israel’s journey through the dessert that sometimes God’s guiding cloud came to a standstill.

So if you are a mover and shaker, know that sometimes God will guide you to stop moving.

But how would we know in today’s world when God wants us to stop moving? It would have been easy if we also had a guiding cloud.

But don’t worry; we actually still do have a guiding cloud… This cloud is however not in the sky, each one of us has a cloud right inside of us!

Doug Gilmer says that God doesn’t give you clouds and fire to lead you. He does one better – He gives you His Spirit!

The Holy Spirit does for you today what the cloud did for the people of Israel so many years ago. And because God’s nature is to love you unconditionally, you need not worry that you are ever alone. God is always near. No matter what you have done, no matter the circumstances in life you may be facing, God is there and the Holy Spirit is constant guiding you.

So let the guiding cloud of the Holy Spirit lead you. And if the Holy Spirit’s cloud brings you to a standstill, be obedient and stop moving!

Shalom!
Anina

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Flags of faithfulness


Yesterday we saw that God's love is meteoric, His loyalty astronomic, His purpose titanic and His verdicts oceanic! He is larger than life! Yet in his largeness nothing gets lost!

One thing that especially makes me aware of His greatness is the clouds in the sky. The Message has an interesting view of clouds:

Psalm 108:4(MSG)
The deeper your love, the higher it goes;
      every cloud's a flag to your faithfulness.

Every cloud in the sky is there to proclaim His faithfulness!

When I was a little girl, I loved to look at the clouds. I still sometimes lie on my back in the grass, gaze into the heavens, and watch the cloud parade. You can see animals, landscapes, and even some interestingly shaped people!

The biggest meaning clouds however have for me these days are His presence and faithfulness.

If you look closely it is as if the clouds wave like flags, proclaiming His faithfulness.

But the clouds also contain His glory:

Exodus 16:10(NIV)
 10 While Aaron was speaking to the whole Israelite community, they looked toward the desert, and there was the glory of the LORD appearing in the cloud.

Want to experience His glory and faithfulness? Just look up to His flags in the sky!

Shalom!
Anina

Monday, November 7, 2011

Birthdays are important to Him!


Birthdays are always a time of celebration, gifts and cards. I had the privilege to celebrate my birthday this Sunday.

I love everything about birthdays, but I especially love birthday cards. It is special to read the words that come from someone’s heart. I don’t know what are the most cards you’ve ever received. I always receive a few from my loved ones and friends. But Sunday after church I received a big surprise!

The children of our church were very busy. Each and every one of them made me a birthday card! It took me about twenty minutes just to read through each special hand-made card. There must be about sixty cards! It really made me feel very special.

Through this I experienced something of God’s love and goodness for me. This made me think of a Scripture in the Message:

Psalm 36:5-6(MSG)
 5-6 God's love is meteoric,
      his loyalty astronomic,
      His purpose titanic,
      his verdicts oceanic.
      Yet in his largeness
      nothing gets lost;
      Not a man, not a mouse,
      slips through the cracks.

His love and loyalty is bigger than you can ever imagine. Sometimes you must look at the ocean to realize His greatness. Other times He will send you sixty birthday cards to show you His love!

However He chooses to show you His love and loyalty, just know that in His bigness, that even your birthday is important to Him!

Shalom!
Anina

Friday, November 4, 2011

Making a difference... even for one!

Once upon a time there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his journal writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work.

One day he was walking along the shore. As he looked down the beach, he saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself to think of someone who would dance to the day. So he began to walk faster to catch up. As he got closer, he saw that it was a young man and the young man wasn't dancing, but instead he was reaching down to the shore, picking up something and very gently throwing it into the ocean.

As he got closer he called out, "Good morning! What are you doing?" The young man paused, looked up and replied, "Throwing starfish in the ocean." "I guess I should have asked, why are you throwing starfish in the ocean?" "The sun is up, and the tide is going out. And if I don't throw them in they'll die." "But, young man, don't you realize that there are miles and miles of beach, and starfish all along it. You can't possibly make a difference!"

The young man listened politely. Then bent down, picked up another starfish and threw it into the sea, past the breaking waves and said, "It made a difference for Inspirational Storythat one."

There is something very special in each and every one of us. We have all been gifted with the ability to make a difference. And if we can become aware of that gift, we gain through the strength of our visions the power to shape the future. We must each find our starfish. And even if we throw one star wisely and well, the world will be blessed.
(Author Unknown)

Shalom till Monday!
Anina