Outside the Camp

Stories from: Dr Flip Buys, Associate International Director of World Reformed Fellowship and President Mukhanyo Theological College, South Africa

The high priest carries the blood of animals into the Most Holy Place as a sin offering, but the bodies are burned outside the camp. And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood. Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore. Hebrews 13: 11-13

In the times before Christ was born, baby girls were considered worthless. Infant girls were often thrown away as trash on ash heaps to die. Baby girls were considered a liability. In essence, it was permitted by law to leave them outside the city on the dung heap to die.

But then an amazing thing happened: A growing group of people developed that went outside the city to the dung heaps to find and rescue the abandoned baby girls. Their decision was both risky and sacrificial. They had to stand up against the mainstream of the traditions and culture of the people. They sacrificed their time and goods to save and raise someone else’s redundant baby girl. In this way they had to extend the circle of their responsibility and took the burden on themselves to care for these children.

When people asked this group of people: Why are you doing this? Why are you sacrificing yourselves to save these thrown away kids? They would humbly smile and say: “Because our King, our Savior, Jesus did that for us. He picked us up from the dung heaps of our sin and shame on our way to hell, he embraced us, cleansed us, healed us and raised us to become part of his family and now we are part of his rescue team."

Current Story to Illustrate this further:
In one of the villages in KwaNdebele a widow who had only one son of 7 years old sent him into the field one day to collect firewood. She only had a long knife (a “panga”or “machetta”) to chop the wood. He made a mistake and almost chopped off the heel of his left foot so that blood was spouting out. He remembered where the medical clinic in the village is and walked back to the clinic in tears of pain. Every time he placed his right foot on the ground a track of blood was left behind. He continued although he had to walk 6 km.

Fortunately when he arrived at the clinic there was a nurse and a visiting doctor and they could quickly help him to stitch up the wound and put a bandage around it.

While they were still working with him, his mother ran into the clinic screaming out with tears: “Where is my boy? Where is my boy”. They quickly calmed her down and assured her that the son is OK and will be healed soon. But then they asked her: “Mama, how did you know he was here, because he came straight from the field to the clinic.”

While she was smiling she said: “When he was staying away for hours I went to look for him in the field. I was horrified to see the blood and thought he has died, or abducted by an evil medicine man to use parts of his body for witchcraft medicines as it sometimes happens in our area. But then I followed the track of blood and that has leaded me straight to this clinic. Here I found him.”


All the ritual sacrifices in the Old Testament were just tracks of blood, leading to Jesus Christ on the cross. His suffering and dying outside of the city of Jerusalem was the final sacrifice.  After him no more sacrifices are needed. If you follow the “track of blood” right through the Old Testament and see how they came to completion in Christ, you will find the Son of the living God who has been slaughtered as the Lamb of God to cover all the shame of our sins and grant us utter and total forgiveness of God through Him.

Lord, thank you for showing us the way, for caring for those the world turns their back on. To stand for justice, speak out against corruption, to love the unwanted, to care for the marginalized and poor. This is what you call us to. Give us the courage to go with you outside of the camp. Help us to bare the abuse that may come as you bore it for us all.

Hebrews 13:15-16 Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise – the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is please.

International Anti-Corruption Day – 9th December

The cost of corruption is measured not just in the billions of dollars of squandered or stolen government resources, but most poignantly is the absence of the hospitals, schools, clean water, roads and bridges that might have been built with that money and would have certainly changes the fortunes of families and communities.

Corruption is not inevitable. It flows from greed and the triumph of the undemocratic few over the expectations of the many. On International Corruption Day, I call on everyone to work towards a sustainable future where corruption is exposed and rejected, where integrity prevails, and where the hopes and dreams of millions are realized. (Extracts Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General UN, for 09/12/12)

Individual Response
Lord, how do I stand against corruption in my daily life? Help me to walk a life of integrity and witness to this in how I engage with everyone around me:

Lord, may I always speak the truth in love. Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name. (Psalm 86:11)

Lord, may I work faithfully in my job, my family and my community, sharing with those in need. (Ephesians 4:28)

Organisational Response
Lord, how should our organization stand against corruption in our activities? Help us to demonstrate ethical and just values, principles and actions throughout all our work:

Lord, may we raise funds in a transparent and ethical way, applying good stewardship with all resources we receive.

Lord, may we report honestly and clearly on the work we do, sharing information not only with our sponsors but also with those we serve.

United Response
Lord, how should we as the Body of Christ stand against corruption in our world? Help us to advocate against corruption:

Lord, thank you for the EXPOSED: Shining a light on corruption campaign. We pray that the impact of this united voice and action will grow and convince our leaders to say no to corruption

Lord, we pray for our governments that they would criminalize bribery, taking action to stamp it out within their corridors of leadership as well as within commercial trade and industry.

Lord, we pray for our church leaders, that they would honour your through rejection of corruption and lead with integrity.


The term advent is taken from the Latin word “adventus” which means “coming”. It inspires us to reflect on two perspectives of Christ’s coming:

1) The birth of Jesus: the coming of God amongst us which brought in a new age and new covenant.

2) The return of Christ: the coming back of Jesus which brings both restoration and judgment and eternal life as his Kingdom if fully established.

As we reflect on this, it is striking to note how advertisement and marketing seeks to draw people’s attention to “must have” items as a form of celebration of this.

Lord, may we reflect the joy of your arrival and the anticipation of your return this Christmas. Awaken your people to testify to your love and help us to give not just to family and friends but that who really need.


Suicide statistics actually show that there is a decrease in attempts at Christmas (contrary to myths). This may well be because of an increased sense of family, celebration.

However, suicide statistics also show that those at highest risk are the retired, unemployed, poor, divorced and those that are childless (couple who have found they are unable to have kids). It also tends to be higher amongst people who are lonely in large cities. Let’s take time to pray for these people:

Lord we pray for our older people in our family and community who are retired and feeling a loss of purpose or a lone. Give us eyes that see them and ears to listen and arms to love and draw these folk into our homes and fellowship.

Lord we pray for those who have lost their jobs, struggling to find new employment – Lord help them to link up to your people so we can support and care for them. We pray that the growth of the job market would come – how can we help Lord.

Lord we pray for the many who are struggling in poverty, praying that support would reach them, especially through your church. Lord may your name be known and your love be felt.

Lord we pray for those people in our community and family who have gone or are going through divorce. We acknowledge that we have often neglected to understand, love and support them in their pain. Lord, may we be family and be present for each person in pain and alone. May you be their comforter.

Lord we pray for each couple who have been so desiring to have a child and have not been able to have one. You are the author of life and we long for them to know your strength and presence and we pray for life in all its fullness for them.

Lord we pray that we may share the hope you have given us with family, friends, and neighbours.

Prayer Points in Brief

Kimbery Quinley: Co Director of StepAhead, Thailand and a member of our Asia Regional Coordination Group. Kim has been struggling through ill health in hospital these last few weeks and really needs us to stand with her in prayer as her treatment is given. Please pray for her recovery.

Micah Network Strategy Development: as we start to receive your feedback on our strategy development, please stand with us in prayer as we take this before God and together map out our plans for the coming years.

Orphans in Myanmar: Grace Nuamgo Cing, Director of Hope For Myanmar Children has reminded us of the many children who will be alone this Christmas. Let us pray for those engaged in service to help these children that they would have the resources and energy to share God’s loves with each child in their care in very practical ways.