Pastor Fibion serves Forgotten Voices as Spiritual Ministry Advisor. He was our former Zimbabwe Director. In his role, Fibion shares a weekly devotion with the Forgotten Voices family. Please enjoy this reflection from a pastor with a deep passion for bringing others to the heart of God.
10.01.12 – When our zeal is tested and we feel alone - a reflection on 1 Kings 18 & 19
Elijah’s experience was a tough one. He served as a prophet when the Israelite nation had been led into apostasy by King Ahab and his wife Jezebel. Instead of leading Israel to be a Godly nation, Ahab, influenced by his wife Jezebel, led the nation to worship Baal. They killed many of the prophets of the Living and True God to such an extent that Elijah was compelled to believe that he was the only one left (1Kings 18:22; 19:10; 14). The challenges were so huge for Elijah that he was discouraged, despaired, and prayed that he might die (19:4) – a bad prayer that God did not answer his way. Instead God provided him with food so that he could regain his strength and live to serve.
Perhaps he was the only prophet left – but there were seven thousand God-fearing people in Israel that Elijah was seemingly not aware of (19:18). God was surely on his side as evidenced by the Mount Carmel experience of the destruction of the Baal prophets. Still, realising Jezebel and Ahab’s evil determination, Elijah’s zeal waned. He needed to helplessly depend on God.
As servants in God’s field, our experience may be different from that of Elijah. Yet we might be experiencing some challenges that are a test of our zeal for the Lord. We may like Elijah think that we are the ‘only ones’ left. And our zeal may run out of steam. But we need to depend on the Lord.
September 24, saw the Theological College of Zimbabwe alumni meeting for sharing, fellowship and encouragement, amongst other things. All of those who attended were encouraged as some alumni shared their experiences in ministry.
Below are some of the alumni who had the opportunity to share about their ministries:
Letters is doing prison ministry. He shares that stress is one of the killer diseases among prisoners. Stress impacts negatively on prisoners’ mindset and life-style even after they come out of prison. He also shares that in Zimbabwe 60% of the crimes committed are committed by people who have come out of prison. He says this is mainly because when in prison, one may be hardened and by the treatment they get there. Prisoners also suffer because the society may not be readily acceptable to them after being jailed. No one is willing to employ them since they will be having the label – ‘CRIMINAL’. They are people who need to be recognised but the society may not be willing to accept them.
Letters is working with prisons in rehabilitating those prisoners who will be out – and even those prisoners prison officers have declared that they are impossible to rehabilitate. Surely our societies are better with such prison ministries. It’s encouraging! We are not alone in transforming societies for the glory of God.
Vusumuzi [far left]
Vusumuzi is the leader of True Love Waits International in Zimbabwe. In a worldly society where pornography is taking centre stage in our media, resulting in immorality, break down of marriages and ailing communities, this organisation finds its relevance in our societies. They mainly counsel with young people, but also work with married couples when their services are requested. It is indeed encouraging to know that we are not the only ones passionate about our God and a Godly society!
Pray for strength, wisdom and for the Lord to meet the financial needs of these ministries and others that have not been shared here.