The Power of Lament

At each church I visited in Mozambique there was time given for testimony from their people. After all the singing and before the message the women would sing until someone stood to share at which time they would stop singing. As soon as the person was finished their few sentences the women would start in singing once more. This rhythm of song and sharing was repeated until each person who wanted had shared.

I visited 9 churches and they were all the same in this regard. Even the songs being sung were similar in style and cadence except for one church. In Mutarara it was different.

When I had first arrived in the area it was after sun-set. I was given a seat and all around and before me were the children sitting. They had been waiting for me and once I arrived they drew in close.

Now in a land with no lights after dark I sorta shine like a glow-worm with my one little bit of flashlight. At least I assume I do. As for the ones around me I couldn’t see them whatsoever. I could tell though that the boys in front of me were scolding and hitting and jostling each other.

At first I was horrified. Gosh, they hate each other I thought. But over the course of my few days there I realized that Mutarara is just a hard land and the people themselves were hard to match; strength for strength, stamina for stamina. And it showed up in their song during testimony time.

The women broke into song as I’d seen everywhere else, but their song was a deep mournful lament.

It was beautiful and stunning. It felt more real to me than all of the happy upbeat songs I’d heard everywhere else. It rang more true and captured the difficulty of the land and the lives who lived there.

I was reminded how much I love lament and of the beauty woven through an honesty of sorrow. It caught my heart and I so wish I had recorded their song on my phone.

All I could do was bask in the beauty of their honest hearts before the Lord, a common reckoning of difficulty and its ability to strengthen us and to in fact make us glad.

Lament is an important part of our experience in this life. After all Christ himself was a man of sorrows. Will we join him?

Some years ago I knew a woman who was dying. She had an inoperable disease and was simply facing each new day with a strength that only comes when someone is facing death.

In the midst of her last few months she confided to me, “I look back over my life and I realize all the things I have not cried over, and now I don’t have the time.”

And in these few simple words is the truth to the power and beauty of lament, of tear, of grief. How it must be undergone in this life or we’ve lost our chance.

Where might you lament today?

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:3

Alongside You

When Jesus Christ came to earth the Jews were under Roman rule. This rule over their lives was heavy- handed and in many cases without justice. The people were suffering. Not unlike many of our own lives today.

The Jews therefore believed that when the Messiah came he would do away with the oppression from their land and lives. They thought he would fix all that was wrong in their worlds.

But of course, Jesus did not do that. Instead, Jesus came with a different plan.

Instead of focussing on the external difficulties and problems Christ directed our attention to our internal heart difficulties. He addressed the problems within our own souls.

But because of this difference in priorities from what the people wanted to what Christ brought, many of the people at that time missed out on Jesus.

They couldn’t see what Jesus was offering due to their preoccupation with their own idea of a savior; they simply wanted their lives fixed.

While we at CCI are certainly not the Christ, we find ourselves running into a similar thinking as we travel and minister in various areas. Often it is assumed that we are bringing money to help with various projects and tangible needs within communities.

We understand this assumption for it has been the way of many missions organizations over the years to, for instance, build buildings and feed orphans and clothe widows. And while there is nothing wrong with this kind of work it is not the work we are called to.

Rather, Capturing Courage International is called to spiritual transformations, heart healing, church renewal, and leadership development. CCI is focussed on the internal state of our hearts before God.

We therefore sometimes feel like Christ might have felt when the people kept expecting him to fix their lives when in actuality he had something much bigger in mind.

We at Capturing Courage believe that God’s priority is not about fixing our lives, rather God’s priority is about entering into our lives with us, growing us stronger in the face of difficulty, and developing us into people of integrity, character, and holiness.

This is the particular work of Capturing Courage Int’l. We come alongside encouraging and equipping, growing and developing your inner core as a person, a leadership team, and a congregation.

If this is something that would be of value to you then let’s continue in relationship and communication and the Lord will indeed meet us mightily as we wait on him together.

because of Jesus,
Cyndy Lavoie and the Team @ Capturing Courage International

Beautiful Regard

We had finally boarded the train, after a long night at the train station. The sun was rising and we were getting on our way.

It was a crowded train but thankfully Whisky had gone ahead of us and found four seats near each other.

Trains in Mozambique are open cars with wracks overhead for luggage and groups of seats, two at a time, facing each other, each seat fitting 3 adults.

Pastor Daniel and Isabel and their daughter settled into one of the seats across the aisle opposite another family. Whisky and I settled into a seat opposite a young mom and her two children.

She wore a shirt that read, ‘Staring at me won’t make me like you’ which seemed highly appropriate considering her stone-cold face as I tried to smile a greeting.

At first I was straight across from her, but then as we later shifted seats Whisky was the one directly opposite her.

Now Whisky was my translator for the trip. He tirelessly translated all my words into Portuguese or Sena or one of the other local languages as needed, and then translated all their words into english for me.

From village to village and all the ways in between I’d been honoured to watch Whisky and his heart for people. In Chupanga he took up an impromptu ‘sunday school class’ with the children as we waited for others to arrive at the church (we could have gone immediately home after that, seemed to be all the church we needed, so thick was the worship of those moments).

I’d seen his action when something needed attending to, his sacrifice of giving something he owned to another who had even less, of engaging people and drawing out of them their stories and his great compassion in return.

And nearly immediately upon sitting opposite this young mom he began a conversation. She entered in hesitantly at first, yet Whisky has a way of building rapport, of engaging humour and simply making people feel very comfortable with themselves and him.

So bit by bit the two conversed. She began to smile. Over the course of the next hour I watched a transformation right before my eyes. It is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever beheld.

Her eyes began to shine. She answered shyly yet confidently. She sat a little taller.

My words feel so inadequate to describe this…

I’d been speaking for over a week by this time about the power that men have to bring a shining to their woman’s eyes and countenance.

And here, right before me I watched this exact transformation take place. With a little regard, some eye contact, genuine concern, real love, a woman was drawn out of her shell and simply appreciated.

We had quite a few hours on this journey and after awhile I turned to Whisky and said, “You do realize that you have made her week, her month. She will be forever marked by your regard and the conversation of your hearts.”

It struck me that the exact spiritual authority (that personal carrying and embodiment of a message) necessary to stand alongside all the words I’d been speaking was carried by Whisky. Everything I’d been saying he had been living.

I told him so and thanked him sincerely.

Before our trip was up we had fellowshipped with this gal. We shared our bread and cookies, pop and water. The kids settled down in this space that Whisky created. Her hard face that had first met me became soft and genuine, shining and smiling.

All because a stranger took the time to care and the risk to engage, an investment of regard, and conversation that welcomed and invited.

Before we said our good-bye’s Whisky asked to take her picture to which she bashfully agreed. And when I smiled my goodbye I was met with shining, soft eyes and a ready grin.

P1420150

Prayer Requests for India

Pastor Timothy in India has sent us an excellent set of specific prayer requests. We invite you to join us in holding these things before the Lord, together and in agreement, and in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.  

i.            In October because of cyclone & heavy rains in AP Lakhs of hectors field destroyed, many houses damaged, roads also severly damaged. Pray for the normal life in flood affected areas.

ii.            There are 1600 languages in India. But bible in available in only 187 languages. The bible society, IEM, IBT {Indian bible Translation}, and other organizations working on Translation pray for them.

iii.            In our country child abuse and rapes on all ages of women are happening every day. Hight insecure for young women. Pray that people mind should be change and respect the women.

iv.            Pray for the people of Goa state in India it’s population 14, 57,723 Dts-2, that they give their priority to Jesus.

v.            Pray for the district Hyderabad in AP. Population – 40, 10, 238, Cities-4, there are Muslims & Hindus. Pray for their salvation.

vi.            Many children are born with AIDs because of their parents sins, children are suffering. Pray that they know their hope is Jesus.

vii.            Pray for Christmas programmers like children & youth Christmas, women Christmas & carols throughout December month. Through all these programmers many non-Christians can hear the gospel & save.

viii.            Pray for Christian TV channels like GOD TV, Aaradhanna,  Subhavartha, &local channels many will watch them and know that Jesus is their savior.

ix.            Pray for good news for all {LOVE IN CHRIST PRAYER HALL ASSOCITAION} children ministry working among children, children prayer warriors, children bible readers, pray that children can pray daily &read word of god daily.

x.            Pray for the state Kerala in INDIA. Population 3, 33, 87,677, Dts-14, the people should be obey the God & be saved.

May God bless you always, Amen!

Your brother Tribal Timothy www.tribalevangelisttimothy.org

 

A Three-Fold Ministry

At Capturing Courage International we bring a three-fold braid of ministry. These following three dynamics strengthen and create a work that is not easily undone. These three focuses create a strong bond in the Lord and with each other.

These three priorities mirror God’s position toward us:

  • God the Father continually initiates RELATIONSHIP with us
  • Jesus Christ his Son, through salvation, makes TRANSFORMATION possible
  • Our Holy Spirit DISCIPLES us, helps us, guides us

Strand #One: Authentic Relationships (Coming on the Inside)

This is marked by three simple processes: 

  • let’s get to know each other
  • let’s wait on the Lord together
  • let’s enter into the Lord’s work together

This begins through email, Facebook, and phone calls. First we get to know one another. What are your callings and visions from the Lord? How is the Lord leading you? Together we begin to pray about what the Lord might have us do in person alongside each other.

And God-willing, and as the Lord leads, we come to where you are. Even on the ground we enter into fellowship first and foremost. We then minister as you invite. On the ground alongside the work God has given you we bring:

  • inner healing and deliverance, heart healing for you and your people
  • intimacy with God through prayer, humility, and leading
  • heart conversations, preaching and teaching, about life, love, and ministry

“Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. Do not banish me from your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of my salvation.” Psalm 51:10-12 NLT

Strand #Two: Spiritual Transformation (Authentic Conversations)

Through dialogue, preaching, teaching, and healing prayer we tackle heart issues such as:

  • how much does God love us?
  • what do we do with sin and failure?
  • how might our churches reflect the heart of God?

Once we are on the ground, living alongside you for a time, eating what you offer us, travelling as you travel, we have opportunity to discuss the many difficult and tangible questions facing leaders and churches today.

There is a fresh movement of the Lord throughout the global church and as we pay attention to this, learning from it, we are positioned to bring perspective outside your own area. We are continually learning and becoming bigger thinkers ourselves and this we offer to you towards your own success. We therefore dialogue and seek the Lord together for wisdom’s and clarity for you and the ministry you are uniquely called to. We might discuss issues such as:

  • law, legalism and rules, versus freedom in Christ
  • men and women in marriage, the church, and leadership
  • leadership basics, integrity, holiness, humility and more

“Make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous portion of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.”  2 Peter 1:5-7 NLT

Strand #Three: Ongoing Discipleship (Spiritual Teaching)

Through CCI Materials we are challenged: 

  • to align our lives with the heart of God
  • to become personally intimate with our God
  • to be bold in our love for each other

A big part of the work of Capturing Courage is the continuing development of relevant materials to encourage and equip both leaders and their congregations. We bring the heart of God to our lives. We bring forth issues of compassion, mercy, gratefulness, faithfulness and more.

While Bible Schools around the world are doing a great job of bringing the hard skills of expository training, Biblical studies, historical Christianity and more, we at CCI are bringing the soft skills of hearts made right with Christ. Out of this flows wise and compassionate ministry that changes lives. We do this through:

  • Capturing God’s Heart – a monthly topical Bible Study sent direct to your email
  • Walking in Spiritual Authority – A Discipleship Training Course set to equip you to carry the heart of God
  • Other Specific resources and answers to dilemma’s and questions found on the field as we travel from place to place.

“Preserve the teaching of God; entrust his instructions to those who follow me.” Isaiah 8:16 NLT

This Three-Fold Ministry:

  • Relationship
  • Transformation
  • Discipleship

Serves the hearts, minds, and lives of the body of Christ. 

“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11

To get this and more about what to expect from us at Capturing Courage Int’l  CLICK HERE for a PDF you can download and print for your reference.

It’s Not Our Work

“I was somewhere with you, a place I did not know…..there was people around  big ugly people that were chasing people and when they caught them …they would throw them in this muddy river…

You Cyndy  were standing on the shore and I was  standing beside you watching …..Then Cyndy you bent down and reached and caught one of people in the river and pulled him/her up. I could not tell if men or women or child was being pulled up with only one hand, so strong you looked, so strong you were.

I was afraid for you Cyndy you just kept pulling and pulling crying out “I can’t let go” over and over. and when you pulled we saw that the people were all attached to each other so that that there was a long line of them  coming up …how many we did not know .? It seems like never ending….

Then we heard a loud noise coming from where the ugly big people were, and then everything got quiet, and they had disappeared….we saw the water become clearer and all the people you had pulled out started to walk away from you and I. they were singing….loud singing and walking away.

You turn to me and said, “You must go home now” and then I woke up.

The depths of work done on this last ministry trip to Mozambique are slowly coming out of the depths of myself. The entire time I was away I kept thinking, “How am I going to share this trip? How do I summarize this in words?!”

Slowly, bit by bit, I’m finding words for it all. This prophetic dream (just above) was given to one of our prayer partners and it summarizes perfectly the work in the spirit realm and the impact in people’s lives.

I am glad for a dream that helps to explain the work, for I’m finding it difficult to put words to what was deep and under the surface. The trip, on the surface, carried no drama and held little spectacle.

There was merely four of us (and one little one) traipsing across many kilometres by train and bus, truck and motorbike, and by foot, to visit ten churches, their pastors, and congregations, and then these profound conversations.

It began in Chupanga. Our first real stop. We had arrived in the morning and the first service was that evening. I cannot even remember what I spoke on but at the end of the service I was asked to pray for the people.

Now I have a bit of a rebellious streak to me, and over the course of the trips I’ve taken I’ve become really tired of being brought out as the circus performer who will now work wonders on you through her prayers. blah…

So that night I refused. I said, “No, I won’t be praying for you. Rather, I am going to teach you to pray for each other.”

And so this is what I, and my translator Whisky, tried to do. Once I was done teaching Whisky went on with much encouragement’s. All to no avail. It was a bit of a dismal failure from what I could tell.

But the evening concluded and back we all went to the house we were staying in. Upon our arrival we found the Pastor and his right hand man already there. How they got there so fast I’ve no idea!

And I realized that I just might need to explain why I had refused to pray for their people. So I shared what I had been learning the last few months.

I shared the bigger thinking the Lord had been giving me, the conviction to teach the people to do the work of the Kingdom (it doesn’t just belong to a few), how churches grow when people are empowered, what I’ve been learning from the house-church movement in India, and I also shared a prophetic word from one of our pastors in Kenya.

It was a bit of a long explanation, really a laying out of my heart and how the Lord was leading us at Capturing Courage, and once I’d finished their immediate question was, “You mean people can pray for each other?”

I was stunned. Struck. Saddened. In disbelief.

“Yes, people can pray for each other.”

And there began hours of conversation, late into the night, about life in Christ, about prophecy, about prayer, about leadership, about marriage, about men and women in the church, about so much.

Question after question was directed at me accompanied by a hunger for wisdom and clarity. Long past bedtime we finally broke up our gathering. And then picked it up the next day.

That next evening I didn’t preach, we simply held a forum. With Pastor Daniel, Whisky, and myself on chairs at the front of the church Daniel presented question after question, Whisky translated, I answered the question, Whisky translated, and on we went.

Life changing conversation that will not fade away.

And I still don’t have words for it all. But I’ll keep sharing it a layer at a time. So many dimensions.

The Lord is simply at work. This I know. My bag had been packed for Mozambique for an entire year. Literally. Packed and ready to go. For a year’s time.

The timing of the work of God is critical to any ministry. It is why we move in sync with the exact leading and timing of the Holy Spirit. Not before, not after.

For these works are not of us. In any way. We are simply conduits of God’s heart over people and areas. There are so many things that must align in realms that we do not see, that it is best to simply trust and wait, and then when we hear the ‘go’ we go. Quickly, efficiently, simply.

This is God’s work, not ours.

 

Praise at Work

P1270214Pastor Praise in Uganda is Youth Director over 405 churches. He has been using the Capturing God’s Heart material as discipleship material and is finding good favour and changed lives as a result.

His desire is to give out certificates as those he is teaching learn and experience the heart of God through this material.

At Capturing Courage we are committed to whatever it may be that will help him do the best job he can do, with the specific calling on his life.

Within Uganda 49% of the population is under the age of 15. This is staggering and when we look ahead at the opportunity to parent and raise up the next generation, we are simply glad to be working alongside those like Praise who are committed to equipping and encouraging an entire generation.

Please keep Praise in your prayers and all of us as we work out the details regarding certificates and how to facilitate this as simply as possible yet with integrity and transparency.

Praise also has a school, a few of his students pictured above, and has been trained in organic gardening. He appreciates all prayers for both the school and the garden they have there, the training of the children in methods that produce great crops.

Tangibly right now, pray that he can find the materials and resources to make a fence around his garden so that the cows don’t get into it.

And as he teaches and trains the youth from the 405 churches he is responsible to, cover him in the Lord Jesus Christ. 

Ministry in Mozambique

The summer is flying by, and with it we are thick into preparations for our fall ministry trip to Mozambique.

Pastor Daniel and nine churches have been waiting for over a year and a half for us to be there, and we are deeply glad that the time has come for fellowship in company of each other.

The plan is that I (Cyndy) will head there on October 16th for 15 days on the ground. We have received donations enough to cover about two-thirds of the ticket price, and half of the total cost of the trip.

Thank-you to all those who have donated so far – The work of Capturing Courage is dependent on the donations and prayers of ordinary folks like yourselves.

A few specific things to keep in prayer about:

– Clarity in our final communications as we near our travel time.

– Full funding so that we stay on budget for this trip.

– Heart preparation for a work of the Lord, for both Cyndy and the people in Mozambique.

– All details coming together.

art auctionThere are also five evangelists and pastors from Kenya and Uganda who would like to travel and join us in Mozambique – please pray for clarity, direction, and funding to work for them as the Lord leads.

The work of Capturing Courage continues to solidify and expand. As we are faithful with the depth the Lord continues to increase the breadth.

Please be in prayer for us beyond this trip to Mozambique. The question of ‘which country next?’ is playing in the back of our minds and we wait on the Lord’s specific direction.

The choices forefront in our minds at this time are India, Kenya, Myanmar, & Uganda.

Your prayers for clarity and wisdom and guidance on our behalf are very appreciated.

If you live in the Vancouver area mark your calendars for our Open House & Art Auction Fundraiser coming in late September.

If you are new to the work of Capturing Courage Click HERE.

“Make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous portion of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.”  2 Peter 1:5-7 NLT

To support this work around the world Donate HERE

donate today button

 

Capturing God’s Heart

cover ebook gods heart 1 -10I began writing and sending the Capturing God’s Heart studies in December of 2011. They began as a simply way to continue teaching and encouraging our indigenous colleagues we had met and ministered with in Uganda.

Since that time, they have been received in a number of other countries and are proving extremely useful in the discipleship of pastors, church leaders and congregations.

Today, at the time of this writing, Capturing God’s Heart material is equipping over 4000 Bishops, Pastors, Evangelists, Apostles and Prophets across denominations, and impacting over an estimated 150,000 people (if each leader then passes it on to another 40 people each).

We have Twenty-Seven Volumes so far, and aim to publish a new one every 2-3 weeks.

You can access them singly or we have them packaged 10 Volumes together as an easily downloadable PDF, and are simply encouraging each recipient to use them as they can.

(We also have full PDF of all Volumes available by request.)

We have Bishops printing them out and sending them to village cover ebook gods heart 11-20Pastors, we have one woman doing social justice work in Uganda who is using them with the women that she ministers to – about 12 groups of 15 women each, we have a youth Pastor using them in the training of youth in the 405 churches that he oversees, and we have Evangelists in India passing them on to thousands of Christian Leaders.

“Dear sister till now, I and church members distributed Capturing God’s Heart studies,1456 to church Reverends and Presidents, c.s.i.Deans, Chairmen, Evangelists, Roman Catholic Catechist’s Pastor’s and many people.

They are reading and understanding the love of God and many local and non-local persons and non-local church Director’s are asking me to distribute the God’s Heart studies.

We are using and understanding, very gracious and very comforted with holy ghost. Thank you dear lord Jesus.”  from Pastor Ravi in India

And they are asking for more.

Each volume:

  • helps indigenous pastors weave   together various parts of the Bible
  • helps organize verses and thought together
  • brings practical wisdom about life in Christ
  • brings growth and confidence in the love of the Lord

READ THIS ONE

If you want to know more about the Capturing God’s Heart material, if you would like to receive these direct to your email as they are published, please Contact Us and we will gladly add you to our email list that goes out regularly.

Every week we hear from those receiving these materials:

“Let me tell you that i appreciate everything your doing for the work of God, i saw your message about evangelism it is really teaching me a lot of things and i have shared it with my friends and in my youth groups where i go to meet them and i see that they are really helped.we really say thank you for that heart of God.” from a young school director in Uganda

“Thank you so much Cindy. Your articles are a blessing to me and our Churches. I am downloading the teachings and send to our local Pastors in the remote villages and they give a lot of praise of  the contents. I am encourage since God has connected me to a right person with a right vision and teachings we needed. God bless you.” from a bishop in Kenya

“I’ve received God’s heart and I read it. Surely they will be useful in our church as we are young beginners in raising a church.” from a pastoral couple in India

“Dear sister i saw your greetings,i studied also sent some friends.they saw with good interest.we are praying for you.” from a pastor in India

“It is a very interesting sermon and touching,what remains is the the way to live by it.I am very grateful.” from a reporter in Uganda

“Cyndy,thank you you so much for the word COMPASSION. Am blessed,I have understood what it means,my heart has not remained the same.May the good Lord continue to use you.” from a nurse in Uganda

“Greetings, Today we have shared Volume 3, FORGIVENESS. Really God has touched people’s hearts!” from a lead pastor in Uganda

“May God’s grace give you all the wisdom you need as you take us through the living word. I am happy that the word of God gives me strength. True freedom is essential and profound. Your teaching is indeed reawakening.” from a reporter in Africa

donate today

Your support directly helps to equip indigenous pastors and others around the world.

ART Auction

P1180261 croppedThe last weekend of September we are hosting an Open House & Art Auction Fundraiser for CCI’s ministry trip to Mozambique in October.

We are asking for all artists and creative folk out there to donate ONE work of Art towards the further encouragement and equipping of our Mozambique pastors and congregations.

Besides raising money for Mozambique we are simply excited about viewing and celebrating artists in our local area.

We are expecting a great range of work and with a few donations already counted for, it’ll be a great showcase of a great mix of really talented people.

There will be more info about the event itself, but we wanted to get the call out for artists to donate and to showcase what they are about.

The picture at the top of this post is by one of my daughters and I think it catches the spirit of hope and joy and continued journey’s with our Lord that CCI is all about.

Be blessed today!