2016-09 pdf download
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Link to a video of Dorothy's Power Point of our recent trip.
The past four weeks were very full! As we have mentioned in our Praise and Prayer section of our web page and on Facebook, we had a wonderful time travelling from Cape Town to Durban and back. We were able to see so much of the incredibly beautiful country of South Africa.
The main reason for this trip was to attend SIM Southern Africa’s (SIM SA) annual Spiritual Life Conference (SLC) held in Port Shepstone, about 1,500 kilometer or just under 1,000 miles from Cape Town. Each SIM field holds an annual conference, a time for all the missionaries assigned to that field to come together for a time of teaching, encouraging, sharing and fellowshipping. We have now attended such conferences in 4 African countries – Liberia, Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa.
Our speaker for this SLC was Dr. Stanley Ling. He has a long history with missions and with SIM and is currently the SIM Director for Southeast Asia. He is a great man of God and a gifted speaker, intertwining Scripture, teaching and stories in such a way that it was very easy to identify personal application. The only drawback was that it was impossible to keep up in notetaking! We were very thankful that he made both his notes and his Power Point presentations available to us!!
The theme of this SLC was “Declaring His Glory Among the Nations” and in preparation for the conference, we were asked to read 1 and 2 Thessalonians.
Dr. Ling is a master storyteller, with the stories so fully applicable to his point that we won’t be quickly forgetting his teachings. In his first talk about self-identity, he told the story of an 8-cow wife. (A payment of cows or similar by the man to the bride's parents is still a common practive in most of Africa as well as other countries in other parts of the world.) A man offered to pay 8 cows for his beloved, even though everyone, including her family, thought she as worth only 2 cows. And guess what? She then behaved more like an 8 cow wife! One statement that really stood out was, “Worship is first an identity before it becomes an activity.”
In his second talk on building loving relationships on the field, Dr. Ling first defined kindness as “active goodness on behalf of others." He then went on to identify six love languages, referring to John Smalley and Gary Trent’s book, “The Five Love Languages.” Words of affirmation, quality time, gifts - grace and generosity, acts of service, sensitivity and humility. He also laid out three levels of encouragement: thanks for what they did; praise for how they did it and honor for who they are.
His third talk focused on answering the question, “What is true spirituality?” While affirming that there is nothing we can do or not do to make God love us less or to love us more, Dr. Ling posed another question that was very thought provoking – “Can you please God more by sinning less?” Quoting 1 Timothy 4.7, he gave us specifics in how we can train ourselves for godliness by listening and obeying God, loving God and man, living out our faith and imitating Jesus.
Dr. Ling’s fourth talk started out with a great story. A mother who desired her very young son to learn to love playing the piano brought him to hear a master pianist in a large concert hall. They had perfect seats right in the middle and very close to the stage. Seeing a friend, the mother told her son to stay there while she went to greet her friend. Upon returning to her seat when the lights were lowered, signaling the start of the concert, her son wasn’t there. Looking all around, she couldn’t find him. As the lights over the grand piano brightened, there was a collective gasp among the audience as this little boy was seated at the piano and the master was approaching. Instead of shooing the boy away, the master asked the boy to show him what he could play. Oblivious to the hundreds of people watching, the little boy started to play, “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.” After listening for one run through, the master started to play with the little boy, his hands dancing over the keys, surrounding this simple tune, and turning it into a masterpiece. In fleshing out his topic of “My Work or God’s Work”, Dr. Ling used this story to encourage us to do what we know to do, trusting our Master to make it beautiful.
We went away from SLC tired, but also filled in so many ways. Filled spiritually by Dr. Ling’s messages. Filled emotionally by being able to connect with SIM missionaries serving in South Africa, many of whom we only knew slightly before this. And filled physically through the three meals a day plus three different tea times!
The Hazards are members of SIM an international interdenominational mission. Information about SIM can be found at: