Inside Woman: Please share your testimony of how you came to know Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Saviour?
Mom Snowy Khoza: I was 16 years of age at high school when the Pastor who was teaching us Bible studies shared with us about giving our lives to the Lord. I recall he made us to say ‘my body is the temple of God and no man shall enter except Jesus Christ of Nazareth’. This sounded ‘silly’ to the boys and I recall them asking if they could say ‘no woman shall enter’. I also recall the pastor laughing and then telling l us that ‘man’ has nothing to do with gender. Anyway, I made the decision then that Jesus Christ will be my personal Lord and Saviour for the rest of my life. I thank our Heavenly Father that this is the decision I will never regret for the rest of my life because through trials, tribulations, temptations, weaknesses and failures He never left nor forsaken me. He remained faithful throughout my life. Today I stand unshaken even when life is a challenge I know that He keeps me strong as Jesus Christ will never give me a challenge that I will not overcome. He remains truly my Lord of Saviour through and through.
Inside Woman: Can a person be born-again apart from Jesus Christ?
Mom Snowy Khoza: No, there is only one way to be born-again. Jesus Christ is the only Way, the Truth and Life! To be born-again you have to give your life to Him and Him alone as you cannot serve two masters. Remember the Bible says ‘every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord’.
Inside Woman: People look around and see bad things happening to good people and they conclude that there is no God. What do you say to those people?
Mom Snowy Khoza: I want to say to them that they should remember that Jesus Christ Himself faced challenges in life but He never lost hope and faith. Therefore, His commitment that He has plans to prosper us and not to harm us, to give us a hope and a future is real as He is not a man that He would lie. All of us will face challenges. I say challenges because these things that you say are ‘bad’ are actually temporary and they will come to pass. They are a season meant to strengthen us in our weaknesses and to build our character sometimes. That is why the Lord promised that we are going ‘through’ to a better season. Just like the storm it will comes to pass. He said when we pass through high waters we will not drown, through the fires we will not be burnt and even poisonous drinks will not kill us. In short, they must remember that His Word comes out with integrity and is irrevocable because it will not return void without it accomplishing what He send it to do. So, they must keep the faith as all these will come to pass.
Inside Woman: If you knew then what you know now, what would you tell your 23-year-old self?
Mom Snowy Khoza: I would tell myself to keep the faith, that whatever I am going through will not kill me but it will strengthen me in my faith. I would tell myself that there is nothing to fear with my Lord as He is the Lion of Judah - the greatest in battle – and He will fight for me. I would tell myself that the blood of Jesus Christ was shed on the Cross for me and no challenge is greater than my God. I have been blessed because I was born again at 16 years of age and this helped me to remain steadfast in my walk with God. I recall my grandmother telling me at 23 years of age that ‘greater is He that is me than the one in the world’. I knew then that whatever is happening around me cannot be greater than my God Jehovah. Confessing the positive thoughts based on the Word of God, praising Him in the mist of the storm, and remaining on my knees daily kept me knowing that I am more than a conqueror through Christ who strengthens me.
Inside Woman: Over the years who has helped you to stay the course?
Mom Snowy Khoza: My grandmother was an amazing woman of faith. She instilled in me the Christian values that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom. This has helped me to stay the course.
Inside Woman: What do you feel are some of the biggest reasons that women find it hard to discover that their gifting are, and to learn to serve others in the way that God intended?
Mom Snowy Khoza: Most women, who know God, do know their gifting. A few of those who do not know or have not discovered their gifting have given their focus to others things. The demands of marriage, work and family hinders them from finding themselves and discovering their gifts. There are “expected” roles and responsibilities from society that hinder women from discovering who they are.Does it mean that they cannot be Proverbs 31 women? They can, if they set their minds to it - yet finding balance to serve others in the way that God intended them to do. I guess the biggest issue for us as women is to understand the purpose God intended for us and to follow through on this purpose. It is possible for all women to be the Proverbs 31 woman if we open our arms to the poor and extend our hands to the needy. Therefore I believe that this is the purpose God chose to bless us so that we can be a blessing to others.
Inside Woman: If you could recommend one thing that women can do today, right where they are, to step out and make a difference in their world, what would it be?
Mom Snowy Khoza: The best and first thing they can do is to fear God as this is the beginning of Wisdom. Once they do this, loving and respecting themselves and others (through caring for the elderly, disabled, poor and needy) becomes easy.
Inside Woman: There is a lot of “God said” ministers today and a lot of people have been wounded but such claims. The Bible says you will know them by their fruit. How can women discern God’s voice from a “strangers” voice?
Mom Snowy Khoza: There are two questions in your statement. Let me start with people who are wounded by the ‘God said’ ministries before I answer the discerning spirit question. ‘God said’ we have many ministries. Clearly we know that not everyone who says “Lord” will enter the Kingdom of God. Why? Because there are those who have different agendas that are not set by God Almighty in His Word. Remember that in the beginning there was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. Therefore it is critical to read the Bible and know the Word by heart so as to check everything according to the Word of God. If we know the Word as women of God no one can come to us and tell us ‘God said’. When we hear such things we should refuse to listen.
The question on how women should discern God’s voice from ‘strangers’ voice is a difficult one. I believe we need firstly to know the Word of God and use it as our weapon to discern the ‘strange’ voices. Secondly we should be still and know that God is God. I am saying be still referring to having time to be quiet to listen to God. We need to remove ourselves from noisy places where we cannot hear Him. Thirdly we need to pray for a discerning spirit. This is critical as the Spirit of God will help us to hear those voices that are not of God. I believe when God speaks to us there will be peace in our hearts and clarity in our minds and we will have no doubt – we will know it is Him speaking to us. Lastly but equally important is fasting as it allows us time to spiritually connect and communicate with God directly. As we do this we will sharpen our spiritual ears to hear and have eyes to see things that are not of God. As Jesus said, my sheep will know my voice. We can know His voice if we know Him.
Inside Woman: What can women do to allow the Holy Spirit to empower them, to set them free from the yokes of men?
Mom Snowy Khoza: Women should remember that God created us in His image and that we are fearfully and wonderfully made the same way men are made. While we know that men are the heads of the family and that they should love us as Christ loved the Church, this does not mean that when the head is dysfunctional the whole body should die. When the Holy Spirit guides us to be removed from ‘dead’ situations we should trust Him that He has our best interest at heart. Many women find themselves in ‘dead’ situations at home or at work, but they fail to bury the situation. They continue to believe that as Jesus awakened Lazarus from the dead, their situations would be revived to live again even when the ‘dead’ is fully rotten. In other serious situations where the ‘dead’ is now only bones, they still believe that the dry bones will come to life. Are miracles not possible? They are, but, in some situations women need to let go and find a way of putting their welfare first. We do understand that in some cases they have no way out or alternative. It is equally important to believe that the God of the impossible will create a “new born” situation for us.
There are many Christian and also welfare organisations that help women in difficult situations and they should go ask for support and assistance from such.
God created men and women for a reason and it is His will that we should equally live in peace. Where there is no peace it is better to be freed from such yokes. These yokes can be removed through earnest and consistent prayer. God is able. There is a song that says, God will open the closed doors and close the open doors accordingly to save us and women should learn run to Him.
Inside Woman: There is a lot of striving and ambition. Women want to use their gifts to promote themselves. How do we break those strongholds in the pulpit?
Mom Snowy Khoza: Women should remember that God appoints leaders and He also removes them. It is not about us but about serving others. If we can remember this, we will humble ourselves knowingly that the pulpit is a platform for God Almighty to be lifted high not a person. The key attitude is to remember that no one deserve praise but God alone!
[adsenseyu1]Inside Woman: If you could only preach one message to women, what would it be?
Mom Snowy Khoza: Let women love one another with the 1 Corinthians 13 love because if we do not have love we are like a resounding gong. We know that faith, hope and love remain in all situations, but the greatest of these three is love.
Inside Woman: When you close your eyes and see and empowered woman in Christ, what do you see?
Mom Snowy Khoza: Living the abundant life.
Inside Woman: How do you support women to live empowered lives?
Mom Snowy Khoza: By helping them to love themselves first before they can love others; for them to know that they are fearfully and wonderfully made in God’s image; and to look after themselves physically, socially, educationally, spiritually, emotionally and economically.
Inside Woman: There are so many negative influences bombarding women from a very early age about what is acceptable, attractive and appropriate. How can women combat and avoid these poor influences to ensure that they are God instructed rather than world instructed?
Mom Snowy Khoza: If women know the Word as I said earlier they will know what is right for them as God created them and not what the world expects from them.
Inside Woman: Do you have any words of encouragement for women who are dealing with depression and feeling hopeless?
Mom Snowy Khoza: Depression and feelings of hopelessness are difficult ‘anomalies’. It is difficult to deal with these in this magazine. These ‘anomalies’ require in-depth understanding to be able to deal with their root causes even if the solution would be from a Christian perspective such as Christian or Pastoral counselling.
I would say to these women, gather courage and seek professional help. As they seek help they should remember that God Jehovah Rapha will heal and make them whole again as through the stripes of Jesus Christ on the Cross they are healed already. I would encourage other women who know about such challenged women to give these women their support and encouragement they require until they recover wholly.
Inside Woman: Tell us about Agape Christian Women and the role you play there?
Mom Snowy Khoza: I am the founding President of ACWN. We are a network of Christian women spreading the goodness of the Lord through the Word and actions to encourage, support and empower women organisations to support families in distressful situations. We are not a Ministry or a Church but a network of women coming from different Christian Bible-based churches wanting to work with others to do good in the Kingdom of God. Our website is www.agapechristainwomen.com to get more information on what we do.
Inside Woman: How did God prepare and gift you for this work?
Mom Snowy Khoza: God prepared me by allowing me to go through trials and tribulations so that I can understand what other people are going through and how they feel in their challenges. I grew up in poverty as such I struggled to go to school and I was financially supported by God’s people. I was orphaned, diagnosed with a dreadful disease, challenged at work, had ‘weakened’ faith and was divorced. All these became my gift of wisdom from God as He prepared me for the work that I am currently doing under ACWN and generally in my working life.
Inside Woman: Many women have been taught that marriage is the first – and necessary – step to a happy and productive life in the faith. But not every woman is called to marriage?
Mom Snowy Khoza: I would like them to read 1 Corinthians 7 for them to understand what Paul advised in terms of marriage. To answer you directly and briefly I would agree with your statement that yes, not everyone is called to marriage. Once they read this chapter I leave it to them to discern whether God has called them to marriage or not.
If they are interested in the application of what Paul said, I did an analysis of this using my own marriage journey in my book ‘Divorce not the end of the road’. I encourage them to buy the book which is available as a hard copy from ACWN Pretoria office or as an e-book from our website.
Inside Woman: We have a lot of isolated women in the Church. What do you say to a woman who has no support system?
Women should not feel isolated; instead they must create their own support systems in or outside their Churches. Remember even if there are two or three women – the Lord will be in their midst as whatever they bind or loose on earth will be bound or loosed in heaven. Also, there are lots of women networks they can join if they do not have the time and the energy to create the support systems themselves such as our ACWN. And if they want to they are welcome to join us.