Sela interviewed James Oosthuis to find out more about his new book that was launched at our Book Event in George on the 20th of November 2021 –
James Oosthuis author of Forgiveness Invitationals
I have been in ministry doing reconciliation work for the last 20 years, and some small business ventures in between. We travel a lot in America (USA). I have been in 45 States in America, helping people with prayer houses and also all the prophetic things that are written about in the book, Forgiveness Invitationals.
We’ve been living in the Southern Cape region for about 14 years. My wife and I first stayed in Stilbaai, then the Lord moved us to Mossel Bay, and now the Lord has moved us here, to George where we have been for the past 5 years.
I’m 54 years old and my wife and I have been married for 15 years this December. In the beginning of our marriage, I mostly travelled on my own, but now she goes with me, and we have travelled together for the last 3 or 4 times that I have been to the States.
I have one son, who is 23 years old and studying to be an aero-nautical engineer. He finished his bachelor’s degree last year and is going back to do his master’s next year. He is a very disciplined, very hard-working young man. It was he who helped me with the editing of my book. I don’t know where he got the brains, he didn’t get it from me (laughing).
What inspired you to write this book?
First, I don’t like writing. To be honest, I don’t like it at all. I don’t like reading; I’ve never liked it. I had finished one of my assignments that I share about in the book, and the Lord spoke to me and said, “I want you to write a book.”
I then received three words to confirm this, two in America and one in Liverpool, England
The Lord said to me: “You need to write a book.”
At the beginning of this year when we got back home from America, after being stuck there for a whole year because of Covid, the Lord said to me, “Okay, now it’s time to finish the book.” I had tried to write, but couldn’t and had felt frustrated until one day I said to the Lord “what must I do?” And He said, “I want you to stop and wait, there will be a time when you finish.”
Interestingly enough, other things happened there that needed to go into the book. So, when we got back this year, the Lord said “Okay, now you must finish your book.”
We worked hard at it and got it all done – a big process. You don’t realise how big the process is when you start. Praise God, we got it done!
What is interesting is the Lord said to me that the next season now, after this season has ended will be a Justification Time.
Before we came back to South Africa, we were sitting in a prayer house in Idaho. We all had Covid in the prayer house. It was quite funny. As we were sitting and praying, I had a vision of myself sitting in front of a computer, typing. And I knew I was working on the book.
At the same time, a brother next to me said, “Hey, I’ve just had a vision of you typing a book.”
And I said to him, “Ja, I need to finish my book.”
He said to me, “No, this is the next one.” And he said, “the title is “Blessing and Revival”.”
I am very excited now to move out of the season where we had to go and fix things on the land. To now, that that is fixed, the blessing can come. That’s where I’m really focussed.
The Lord is speaking to us about other nations now too. We have a door opening into Australia. He has also shown me that we will also start going into Eastern countries. So… we’re waiting for the next season to come.
What is your book about?
It is basically about the last 20 years of our ministry. I share personal stories of things that we had to do for the Lord.
In the first chapter, I lay a foundation about forgiveness and why it’s important. Then I share the stories and some of the build-up leading to the assignments.
I received a word that we mustn’t lose the voice of it, and so I wrote the book in such a way that it sounds like I’m speaking. And that’s funny because I have had comments back from people saying, “It’s just like you’re sitting here telling me the story.”
I didn’t want it to become this regimented thing, I wanted it to be real for people to understand.
Who is Forgiveness Invitationals intended for?
It is intended for everyone because of the foundation of forgiveness. I feel that it is one of the least grasped topics in the Church. The power of forgiveness needs to be emphasised and understood more.
There are obviously certain stories in the book that point to a particular people group. Some of what I speak about has to do with First Nation people. For example, I’m speaking to them, because there are certain things that they’ve got to grasp that they are not grasping. I’m not saying all of them, but some of them.
The great majority of First Nation people don’t grasp the concept of what it means to forgive and let it go. They still go back and try to do things to get it right themselves, so they’re forgiving on the one hand but they’re trying to still fix it on the other hand. In so doing, they’re not letting the Lord do the fixing.
At the end of each chapter, I write a lesson, or a teaching if you want to call it that, that people can see and learn from out of the book. The lesson is what I want to highlight in that chapter – hearing God, moving by faith, denying yourself, all of those types of things. So, anyone can read it, it’s targeted for everyone to learn those principles, because I believe we need to come back to the simplicity.
The Lord spoke to me a while ago, He said “Out of the simplicity of the relationship, I’ll show you the complexity of the Kingdom.” We need to get that picture. I feel that there are a lot of things that need to get refined once again. Back to the basics, because I think there have been too many extras added in, and it confuses people.
This book parallels every First Nation in every country. Will they have to walk the same path you describe in the book and with your work among the First Nation people in America? Will it have the same application for people in South Africa?
Yes. Even if you take the Khoi here and the native Americans there, it’s the same problem, same issues. Go to New Zealand, the Māori’s – same thing. It is the same all over the world. The lessons in Forgiveness Invitationals apply to everyone.
What did you learn when writing the book?
Patience. A lot of patience. You have to be disciplined to get down and do it. I also learned that sometimes (and this is a very important thing for me) you feel like you don’t like doing a thing. Then, you start doing it and you realise … hey! God knows better than I know, because He told me when I started writing the book that I would ultimately begin to enjoy it. So, you know, the bug bit. While I was reading it, something started to stir in me again.
That is a big thing for me to learn.
I grew up hating reading and writing. Even now, I don’t read a lot of things, unless I’m really led to read it, and then I read easily. If I’m not, then I struggle.
I learnt the primary thing is obviously the discipline. God knows you better than you know yourself. Sometimes there are things He tells you to do, and you realise that you actually do like this….
From the Author …
In this book I share 20 years of reconciliation ministry with intimate accounts of walking with the Lord through both challenging and blessed assignments and preparation times of my life. My Hearts desire is for the body of Christ to come into a greater understanding of the importance of knowing Jesus Christ, the power of forgiveness and living day by day led by Holy Spirit in loving relationship with Him.
My prayer as you read through “Forgiveness Invitationals”, is that your heart will be touched and that you will be encouraged to pursue forgiveness and an intimate relationship with the Godhead. I pray that you become a “forgiveness agent” for the Lord Jesus Christ in this world. (John 20 v 21-23).
James Oosthuis, George, South Africa
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