Today, Lebo speaks to us about spending time in God’s Word, her childhood and the people helping her grow spiritually in this season.
Tell us a bit about how you grew up and your childhood: I was born in Limpopo on the 4th of February 1997. My earliest memories are of living in a small rural house with my grandmother, two sisters and my cousin. From what I now understand, my mother had died when I was very young. At some point , probably when my grandmother died, my uncle and his wife took me to Tembisa. They were both ill and I ended up living in a very small informal children’s home. I had just started attending school when I became desperately ill.
The lady who ran the home spoke to Mike Sunker from Christ Church Christian Care Centre, I was put in the then Johannesburg General Hospital. After months in hospital, I recovered but still carry the scars of my illness. After my recovery, I went to live at the Christ Church Christian Care Centre. That is where my life changed. I met Palesa who was to become not only my close friend but my sister. My adoptive mother visited the care Centre with a friend called Didi who came regularly to paint and play with the young children.
Mark and Sue were already in the process of starting an NGO/NPO called Barkston Place to care for orphaned children (http://www.barkstonplace.co.za/) , in a small family home in Randburg. They invited myself, Palesa, Melody and Melusi to stay for the holidays in June/ July. After the holiday they invited us to live there if we wanted to; that was the start of the four of us being adopted by Mark and Sue and a new life. Can you believe it? I now have 5 sisters and 3 brothers? God is good all the time, all the time God is good!
Spiritual growth focus at the moment: It’s never really easy for me. I struggle so much at times to just get back into his Word, so that’s something I’m doing more and more -I just want more of Jesus, I want to grow and to have a better relationship with my Savior so for me it’s diving into His Word (I must admit it’s hard but I know faith grows from discipline); so this year, I want to invest as much time in His Word!
When did you first encounter God and how did you encounter Him? Well I know most people have crazy stories of how they came to know Christ, I have to say I don’t really remember the exact details –(you know the date and all ) I can’t say I remember the sermon or talk that was spoken on that night, but it was a Friday night at Bryanston Bible Church, [and] I knew that my Savior was calling me home. That Sunday, they were baptizing people, and I decided to give my life to him. I didn’t know what the future held for me, but I look back and see by faith and trusting God that He is in control and knows every little detail about me (Jeremiah 29:11).
What has helped you grow spiritually in this season? Wow, there’s actually a lot of things/people who have really impacted my life in this season – firstly, I would just like to recommend everyone to go and watch Michael Todd’s Crazy Faith Series (absolutely blew my mind away and pushed me to want more of the Lord-I’ve even got my own crazy faith wall going on!) So, it’s mostly me watching YouTube sermons by Michael Todd.
Also, having a close friend of mine at work encouraging me to read the Word; she has helped me big time.
Also, a guy by the name of Conor Militz; his faith and love for God just pushed me to go for it and never stop– his faith and love for Christ is just so contagious, and I want that for myself!
Lastly, it’s my wonderful community group at my church- my leader Ryan Jones what a legend. Oh man, he is on fire for the Lord, and he just speaks truth into my life! Just having him encourage us to seek the Lord for ourselves, that was literally the highlight of my life last year– seeking Jesus for myself ! (Matthew 18:20 –“For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”)
Rachel Joy Scott: Her story changed my view of how I was living for Christ and that is why my website was actually created-well, it’s in progress. “I am not going to apologize for speaking the name of Jesus… If I have to sacrifice everything… I will.” -Go watch the movie I Am Not Ashamed. It will change you.
Top three practical tips of staying spiritually strong:
Read God’s Word ( I know a lot of us struggle with that, but we will get there -so push and don’t give up, Jesus wants a real relationship with you. He loves and cares so much about you).
Community -Spend time with people who will speak truth into your life. (Proverbs 27:17- As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.)
Prayer/Worship- Can I just say how important this is. The Lord wants to hear from us ( worship is our Love Expressed to God as a response to His grace towards us-Matthew 22: 37-38)
Why do we pray? -Three things – Invite God in –(Revelations 3:20)
Communicate with God personally. God wants to have one on one time with you (prayer is not a monologue; it’s a dialogue- try the Thirsty 30 Steps- 10 minutes in prayer (Listen to Him), 10 minutes in the Word, 10 minutes worshiping God.
Prayer is a/my weapon.
What do you want people to learn about God when they look at you? When people look at me I want them to know of God’s love for us and that there is hope (Jeremiah 29:11) , that with Him nothing is impossible and that He chose you for a purpose. You matter, and He cares about you so much. He only wants to do good in your life. You’ve been saved by grace for good works. (Ephesians-2: 8-10)
A goal you have: To finally launch my website that I’ve been working on called Your Testimony Matters.
Define Christianity in a sentence: John 3:16
For more Lebo:
Until next time, keep witnessing!