Dear Friends, zdravo!
When I left Cape Town 13 September for 5 days visit in Gauteng before departing for Greece, as usual on the plane cell phones were switched off. At that point I still did not have enough money for my 5 week trip.
When I landed 2 hours later at OR Thambo International Airport and I switched my cell phone on, more money was paid into my account and during my 5 day visit, again I received more which brought me up to the exact amount that I had been trusting God for since June 2012.
Thank YOU Lord, and thank you all the faithful friends and family.
Thank you to every one who prayed even if it were only one single prayer that went up. All of that is what kept the walls of the Red Sea banked up which enabled me to walk through! Thank you Tony for the picture God gave you, thank You Holy Spirit!
By the time I left Skopje 23 October, winter was approaching rapidly! Gypsies (Roma) were stockpiling cut wood, vendors were roaming the narrow streets with several donkeys in tow laden with wood.
My landlady, Gultcheka, attached the chimney pipe to the gleaming white enamel stove which was, until then, serving as an ornament with pot plants on top.
Charcoal burners with vendors toasting chestnuts started making their appearance on the streets; women all over Macedonia had by then finished barbequeing peppers pulling off the outside skin, doing the same with eggplant / aubergines (called blue tomatoes locally) and putting both veggies through old fashioned meat grinders. The pulp is mixed with salt and bottled and voila: Ivar! A delicious spread on bread or with meals.
Macedonians eat mainly cake and pies for breakfast. Maybe because they go to bed late and rise late, so breakfast is usually taken at about 09:30. Burek must be the national food, filo pastry filled with white cheese or minced meat, R5 a hefty slice and VERY tasty. Leeks grow as long as to reach halfway up my chest.
I honestly did not think that I would find Fatima, or rather, the thought – what if I cant find her? – crossed my mind constantly.
I met Fatima (a Roma girl) and her small brother in 2003 at at shopping centre in Skopje and instantly fell in love with her. She was about 8 years old then. Her dad – a violent alcoholic, the mother half demented at times, all of them living in one small room – filthy.
Every time I came to Skopje (this was my 6th visit I think) I would visit their little community every week. I Always single Fatima out.
Looking back, I believe God sent me time and time again back to Skopje for Fatima. After hearing about her abuse by her grandfather, I was brokenhearted and prayed even more for her.
Beginning this year felt I must find her. They had moved from the small community at Geortche Petrof to the large suburb of Shutka. Within 3 days I found her, a miracle! A story in itself.
AND she is happily married, has a lovely son and a very strict mother-in-law who, I presume, taught her how to clean house as their living area is spotless.
I believe this is closure for me. A God who cares so much for one little illiterate girl that thousands of Rands were spent just to follow up on her over a period of almost ten years.
So much happened apart from Fatima, so many people’s lives touched, from pastors of various churches to beggars along the road.
The Holy Spirit restoring people, strengthening the local churches, revealing Jesus.
For privacy sake I cant go into much detail except to mention two cases: I lived with the Roma and as I walked the narrow little streets, greeted the older people who pulled their chairs into the road by mid morning to watch all the going on activities of the kids and neighbours. 3 to 4 generations live in one home.
Many of the Roma are Muslim and Albanian. One such guy was singled out in my spirit and eventually I gave him an Albanian booklet, The Heart of Man. He looooved it so several days later I gave him a New Testament.
Now its a matter of prayer and the Holy Spirit as I left shortly thereafter.
Tahir is another reason to pray. Irma and I met him in 2009. He was then about 6 years old and I thought he might be autistic. He has a lovely mother who opened up to us and we prayed for Tahir who improved to the point where he doesn’t cry and make noises anymore but doesn’t talk.
A few days before I left his mother informed me, through gestures and the universal word of -doctor-, that he was going to have brain surgery. I do not have much faith in the medical profession in Eastern Europe so PLEASE pray for him.
The Lord seems to use me in a long-term healing ministry.
In Angola I prayed for a guy possibly dying of AIDS, a skeleton lying on a dirt floor, he had TB. I left for SA on a break and when I returned 2 months later fully expected him to be dead. Instead I found a fat healthy guy!
Another case was my friend Nellie. I lost contact with her when I moved and bumped into her 12 years later in a shop. “Do you remember that I suffered very badly from asthma”, she asked me. No, I did not.
She said her last attack was so bad she almost died. She couldn’t laugh or eat oranges without struggling to breath afterwards, “You put your hand on my head and prayed for me, and I have been totally cured.”
Another case was a phone call I received one day after my return from the above trip. A lady called Jean told me she worked with me (20 years ago) and had two daughters already but was informed that she could have only one more child. “Please pray that I would have a boy,” she asked. She said I prayed for her right there and then by the photocopier. She phoned to say that her son is now about to complete his university studies.
So, I fully expect to hear of healings that took place on this trip, BY THE TIME I GET TO HEAVEN!
Several friends expressed the hope that my trip would be adventurous. Well, I am not so sure that I want any more adventures at my age.
The first one started when I traveled from Athens by train, departing 24:00 north to Thessaloniki. On arrival 06:00 on a cold very windy morning, I was informed that the connecting train services from there to Skopje was cancelled 2 years ago! I had to walk around the city for almost 12 hours waiting for a bus to take me to Skopje.
The next adventure was on my arrival back from Skopje in Athens, to be told on my second morning in the hotel that the hotel was closing down and I was being moved to another hotel. The employees would receive no salaries and some who lived in the hotel were evicted within hours.
Orphans and Homeless:
Through a contact I made, Vicky invited me to their Bible study. I traveled 1,5 hours by Metro and Tram, at one time along the Glifada beach.
One of the ladies at the Bible study, Martha, gave me the contact name of an organisation started by a Greek Orthodox priest Antionios and his wife, KIVOTOS. The Ark of Noah.
I visited their premises, what a beautiful setup! They provide schooling in beautiful bright rooms for homeless children and children from single parent background, even helping single mothers with accommodation and employment. They also have shelters for abandoned children.
They have volunteers helping in every aspect of running such an institute. Several other organisations help the homeless and other groups in need.
I arrived back utterly exhausted but am fully rested now. Please pray as another country has been on my heart for some time. Once again thank you so much for all your support and encouragement.
And above all: THANK YOU SO MUCH MY PRECIOUS LORD AND SAVIOUR, FATHER, SON AND HOLY SPIRIT through Whom I can do nothing. I am just the glove!