Newspaper article/Celeb For Jesus

February 18, 2010 § Leave a comment

So there just one more thing in the Celeb for Jesus journey.  On Saturday the 16th January 2010 RLABS hosted a Social Media Surgery in Vangate Mall which was managed by Craig Ross, Innovations Manager for RLABS. This was the first one of its kind that was done in Africa and  in  an open space like this.

News paper article covering the RLABS event

I was busy creating someone a gmail account when I saw Craig speaking to someone; unknowingly that it was a reporter from our local newspaper. She was interviewing Craig and finding out more as to what was happening and what the buzz was about.

On the Wednesday the article appeared in the papers, unknowingly to me and we  went out and  got a copy of the paper. So there I was signing up someone onto gmail, the once drug dealer and drug addict. So now people could see the person they once new (the addict) and the person God has changed me into.

But the glory goes to God and never would I have thought that all this would happen in just over the 2 years I have been serving Christ. I am enjoying this journey with Christ 100% and I know there are lots more to come.

Jesus I love you and treasure all that you are doing in my life.

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Celeb for Jesus/My interview on Radio KFM

February 9, 2010 § 3 Comments

On the 28th October 2008 I got the surprise of my life .I got a visit from Radio Kfm at The Impact Direct Centre, my workplace.My sister contacted Radio Kfm via email,and told them of how proud she is of me and the good work I am doing in the community. Radio Kfm then contacted the Impact Centre and spoke to Clinton and arranged with him that I be at the Centre when they arrived.

A lady by the name of MEL then came out do a interview with me. I was still laying in my room at the Centre when she arrived. They told me that someone was here to see me. To my surprise she told me that she wanted to do a quick interview with me. She told me what my sister had done and how proud my sister  is of me, and how she doesn’t show it enough. She then handed me a voucher for Ocean Basket worth R300.00 compliments of Radio KFM. I am naturally over the moon and just want to say:’’Thank you my sister for supporting me even though I use to put my family through hell in the past. This means so much to me and I love you so much. Thanx Nicci.”

Of course thank you to God for restoring families and all the Honour and Glory goes to God!!!!!!
PS.The interview was played on air on Wednesday 29 October 2008 @ 6.45am

OUR JOURNEYS HAVE BECOME ENTWINED

October 6, 2009 § 10 Comments

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On this past Friday Bradley Naidoo, one of my colleagues, suggested that we take the new men in our program on an excursion to Table Mountain. The purpose of this excursion was to get them away from the hustle and bustle of the city. It was a beautiful day with not a cloud in the sky and no wind blowing. It was hot but enjoyable under the big blue, open sky. City life can keep one constantly busy and surrounded by the constant buzz of the city. In the mountains it is just you, God and His beautiful creations.

The idea of this trek to the mountain was to give them an opportunity to reflect and think about the life journey on which they have embarked. These men, like me, are former drug addicts. They have, however, been clean and drug free for a month now and this is the point at which job one for us is to facilitate their staying clean.

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On our arrival at the foot of the mountain we unpacked the van and started up the mountain. We all enjoyed the beautiful day and basked in its beauty and calmness. One could not help but admire the beauty of God’s creations. The fresh water stream flowing down from the mountain all along the trial added to this picture perfect day.

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Once we reached our destination the new men in the program were requested to go off alone and find a spot where they could sit quietly, reflect, pray and ask God for guidance. Those of us working with these men found our quiet spaces and did our own praying and reflecting. The time allotted for this was a half hour and at the end of that time they came back to us with feedback.

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In my quiet time I reflected and prayed over the city, our city which is located at the foot of Table Mountain. I asked God that He bestow the same peace and grace upon the city, every youth in the city and our new recruits that He has so abundantly brought to both Bradley’s life and mine. Hearing the rush of the stream behind me, I glanced back and saw the stream flowing from the mountain top. It appeared almost as if it were flowing into the city. In that wonderful, peaceful moment it seemed to me as if the water was flowing from the throne of God. As I observed the stream my thoughts went to those words in my NIV Bible, John 7:37 that speak about streams of living water. There was no doubt in my mind that this was God’s way of telling me that this living water will flow into our city and bring healing wherever needed. This thought filled me with gratitude.

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After the time of reflection and prayer the feedback from the new men in the program was most gratifying. Furthermore when it was time to leave the mountain, they did not want to go. .I fully understood their not wanting to leave because I’ve experienced that very thing. I know from my personal experience that when one finally gives up drug addiction and gets to know God, it is an eye opening experience, both figuratively and literally. Once my eyes were open to God I begin to see how green the grass is and how blue the sky is. Everything around me became so much more beautiful than it had been before and I began to fully appreciate all of creation.

Knowing we had exposed these new men to that same wonderful experience gave me a wonderful feeling. Not only had we shown them there is more to life than drugs, sex and rock n roll, we had given them the opportunity to be born again into a truly beautiful and fulfilling world.

As I think about keeping you up to date on the journey of these young men who have rid themselves of the slavery of drugs, I think about the title of this blog…Brent’s Journey. The idea of this blog was to keep you up to date on my personal journey. My journey has, however, become so entwined with the journeys of all those I help that my journey is their journey and theirs has, in a way, become mine. In God, we are all one.

May you stay always in God’s Grace, Brent

SOCIAL MEDIA FOR SOCIAL CHANGE

September 22, 2009 § Leave a comment

This past Friday Marlon Parker the director of the R LABS requested that Bradley, one of my brothers in Christ, and I give talks about Social Media. We gave our talks at the School Of Hope which is a project of the Thembalistha Foundation which accommodates students that have either been expelled from other schools in the area or are currently using drugs.

Our talks were directed at how Social Media can change our communities. Bradley addressed substance abuse and the effects and consequences of using drugs. I spoke on the subject of Social Media for Social Change, a presentation that Marlon Parker had put together. This was my first time to do this particular presentation and I must admit I was a bit nervous – but at the same time excited to have the opportunity to make the presentation.

Knowing these students and their backgrounds was a bit daunting for me. Giving the presentation without knowing in advance what to expect from the audience made it more difficult than it needed to be. Perhaps I focused a bit too much on what their levels of concentration would be. Additionally, I was somewhat concerned as to what their response and reaction to the presentation would be.

In my nervousness I failed to remember that God was in control…not me. With God guiding the event everything went really very well. The students remained attentive throughout the presentations and appeared to be genuinely interested in everything we had to say. Just to see the looks of interest on their faces and realize how well they were receiving what we had to tell them was most encouraging to me and was the highlight of my day and weekend.

The whole experience caused me to think back and remember that it is important that we go on with what we are doing and allow God to work through us. God is awesome and faithful even when we are faithless.

I give all glory, honor and adoration to Jesus for what He has done and continues to do through our lives. I and people like me who formerly lived lives of crime and drug addiction are now being used to bring about positive, and I’m sure lasting change, within our communities. I am really looking forward to our next presentations with eager anticipation.

When God is for us, who can be against us?

IMPACT TEAM-BUILDING SPORTS

September 14, 2009 § 1 Comment

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Yesterday was a good day for the Impact Direct Ministries team. To bring our team together in a joint effort other than the work we do, all participated in a high-action game of indoor cricket. Indoor cricket is a variant of and shares many basic concepts with traditional, outdoor cricket. The game is most often played between two teams each consisting of eight players, in matches featuring two innings, each of sixteen 8-ball overs. Rather than simply being played indoors, the match is played on specifically designed courts covered in artificial turf and enclosed by tight string netting.

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This was a good idea for emphasizing “team” effort. We come from lifestyles of gang culture, and drug addiction so sports and team spirit were not among the things with which we were familiar. Indoor cricket was exactly the right team building event. All our energy went into where we could get our next hit and how we were going to get it.

This is a fast-paced game and requires lots of running. When it was my turn to bat I was out of breath which pointed out to me the fact that I’m really out of shape. The atmosphere was great though and we were cheering each other on in the true spirit of what “team” is all about. If it became apparent that someone was not doing well, and perhaps seemed to be struggling, the rest of the team rallied to encourage and motivate him.

At the end of the day there were no losers. We all considered ourselves winners, not based on the scoreboard but in the fact that we all felt a sense of accomplishment and enhanced team spirit. It was an awesome day for us and we’re looking to our next, monthly team-building event. Next on the agenda will be paint ball shooting and then maybe quad biking after that.

God has really blessed us and is adding new members to this team, His team. We have three new members that have come off drugs and have committed themselves to God and to what is happening at Impact Direct Ministries. Praise God.

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There are many more team members to come and lots more team building events that will be taking place. I’ll share them with you as they occur and in the process I’ll share with you my “new journey” to get back into shape.

If you’ve been following Brent’s Journey from the beginning you’re aware of how far I’ve come from my days as a gangster and drug addict. It’s been a long journey but it’s just beginning. If you’re aware of where I’ve come from…I think you’ll be interested to see where I’m going. Brent’s Journey, my journey, has really just begun.

A CHAPTER IN CLINTON’S JOURNEY

September 7, 2009 § 1 Comment

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Today’s blog post will not be about me and my journey, but rather about someone very dear to me who plays an important role in my life. That person is none other than my brother in Christ, Clinton Liederman (known on Twitter as @Clinton316).

I’m amazed by the way God is moving in his life and the lives of his family. Clinton is on a journey and has come from a life of organized crime and drug abuse in much the same way I did. Two years ago he made the choice to turn his life around and commit himself to Christ. He is now drug free and living for Christ.

Two years ago Clinton became a volunteer at Impact Direct Ministries where he has worked tirelessly for the last two years. His work, helping to reconstruct our community is now empowering the same community he formerly disempowered. In his efforts on the behalf of others Clinton has begun to realize great things in his personal life. It could be said that he is surrounded by miracles.

Clinton is now married to Shameez who is also a former drug addict who has made huge changes in her life. They are serving Christ together and the work they’re doing is so very powerful. They have three (soon to be four) wonderful, young boys and are together a great and giving family. With personal funds short and having three boys to feed and clothe, Clinton and his wife made the decision to live in one room at his parent’s home. As their family grew they began to feel the strain and pressure of the cramped space…a space that seemed to grow smaller with the birth of each child.

They prayed together about their situation and God came through for them. Clinton and his wife were presented with the opportunity to start a business of their own. Their new business, JBR Consultants, is a debt counseling business that helps people get out of debt. They worked hard at their business in addition to their community work and continued to pray and thank God for every opportunity that came their way. Praise God, they were finally able to move into a 2-bedroom flat a week ago but that was obviously not all God had in store for them.

About a year ago Carl Wills, a prophet from the U.K, prophesied over Clinton and Shameez and told them that by the end of this year they would have more living space than even the 2-bedroom flat provided. He told them they would have larger house with a garage. This started Clinton thinking about that possibility. They have their own place now, but there is no garage as the prophet had told them. He was grateful for the flat but began to visualize the house Carl Willis had seen for him. He continued to worship Jesus and praise and trust Him.

This morning Clinton shared his testimony in church as to how God came through for them. He told us that he and his family would soon be moving into a two-story, brick faced, 4-bedroom house which includes a granny flat….and what about the garage? Yes, the house has a garage just as the prophet had said it would. Clinton and his family are both grateful and excited and will soon be moving into their new home.

Not quite at the level of success to which Clinton aspires, but needing a home for his family, God touched his earthly father’s heart and led him to buy this new home for Clinton and his family. How awesome is that? Our God is real and answers prayers.

I am so glad for my brother and his family and I felt the need to acknowledge what God is doing in his life. This, though, is only the beginning. There is much more in store for Clinton and it’s going to be exciting to see where God is going to take this family next.

May God continue to bless them and give them the strength to continue their loving and giving journey.

Stay tuned and follow Clinton’s journey as I continue updating it as God continues to work in the lives of Clinton Liederman and his family.

ps. THIS IS THE HOUSE THAT CLINTON AND HIS FAMILY WAS BLESSED WITH.

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OUR LIVES CAN BECOME MORE THAN WE ARE CAPABLE OF IMAGINING

April 20, 2009 § 5 Comments

When Brent originally shared the story of his journey with me and asked me to become a contributor to his blog, there is no way I could have said no. This young man’s story is one of remarkable courage and giving. While I didn’t know him at the time he was going through what I can refer to only as his own personal hell, what I do know is that whatever went wrong in his life, the love of his mother is what made it right. She continued to love him through it all and reintroduced him to God. She took him to Impact Direct Ministries where with the help of Pastor Petersen and the other caring people at Impact Direct Ministries he found his way back.

Many stray from their intended path from time to time, in one way or another. Those who have someone to love them back to where the need to be, have an excellent chance of ultimately living a life they truly want and love. Not only is Brent now living the life he truly wants and loves, but he has become a counselor at Direct Impact Ministries and is helping others beat their addictions, addictions that if allowed to continue would more than likely destroy or perhaps end their lives.

People become unhappy and stray from all they could have and be when they begin to have feelings of being disconnected. It seems to be typical of those who feel a lack of connection, to not fully understand from what they’ve become disconnected. Perhaps that’s because they never felt truly connected in the first place.

We were placed on Earth by the same source that placed the tiny acorn here. The point is that if a tiny acorn, just a little nut in the mud, contains within it a might oak tree (and it does), how can we even begin to doubt the potential within us? When we live up to our God given potential our lives can become more than we are capable of imagining.

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