Wednesday 26 October 2011

Joshua's 8 months old today

I don't normally write about mundane family stuff on this blog, where a proud parent will celebrate every small step in their first child's life. However, I felt today I would, as it has significance in our journey. Joshua celebrating his 8 month birthday (and also his first tooth appearing) has meant that we are rapidly approaching our two year mark, since we first came to South Africa to begin our work with YWAM. Two years ago today, we knew that we were being called into missions, but where exactly we would be working and what we would be doing was far on the horizon and we were just taking steps of faith away from paid employment and into Christian service.
As I walked down the street, quietly praying about things on my mind, I reflected on this amazing journey we've been on and how we have been looked after: first by God who called us here, but second by the network of people who have stepped in to (often sacrificially) support us. Every month we have paid the rent and every day we have food on the table to eat. It's not always been an easy journey, but God has been faithful throughout.
There was barely a penny to our name when we arrived after our visit to England in late 2010 and no furniture in our newly rented house, with Becky 7 months pregnant, we seriously wondered whether we'd done the right thing. A friend of ours lent us their car while they were travelling... so to anyone looking in from the outside, as we drove around in a new Jeep, living in a gorgeous scenic holiday resort, may think "they're doing well for themselves". Yet we wondered how on earth we would make ends meet.
Now, as we're thinking and talking about trips to Nigeria, Zimbabwe and back home for Christmas, we know that we have to rely on the call of God and to step out in faith. We still don't have all the money we need and still have to rely on prayer and the partnership of supporters for our daily bread. But the difference now is that we have learnt that we don't need to fear lack of provision, rather trust in our daily walk and obedience to him. We have seen Him provide and we trust he will again.

Thursday 20 October 2011

Back in the blogosphere

It has been a significant time since I did an update. Apologies for the die-hard blog readers who have been waiting for the next entry!

Over the past couple of months, we have journeyed a long way, yet at the same time we haven't left Cape Town (except for one weekend away). It might seem cliché for us to think about our life being made up of seasons; but recently it's been so clearly defined as a time to press in and serve locally. We knew 2011 would be a tough year, and it has proven itself to be. Taking over running the communications team for YWAM in Africa for me and major changes in the team for Becky has meant that, for stability purposes we needed to stay here. For me (Pete) that has been essential. I took over a team which was, to say the least, shaky on each individual's commitment to the vision. Buy-in for vision is so important, especially when 100 per cent of your staff are volunteers. YWAM is known for its transient nature and I knew to be able to be effective I needed to ensure that I was there and committed to serving the team on the ground.

After four months of heads-down, desk-based work, establishing funds for the ongoing work, meetings and team building, we were ready to start planning. It was such a clear mark of the 'change in season' this week when we met in one of the staff houses to put together a strategy for the next twelve months. Having gone through a really tough few months - at times without enough to pay the electricity bill, let alone the rent - it was so refreshing to start thinking about where we were going and how we could 'get out there' and start building on what the team has done over the past 9 years, since it was established.

At the moment, though dealing with a couple of issues regarding fundraising and finances, we are excited about the possibility of two Africa trips before we visit the UK for Christmas. Becky is planning to go to Nigeria to attend an anti-trafficking conference; I am planning to go overland to Harare, Zimbabwe (2-3 day drive) for a meeting of all the YWAM leaders and staff across the South Central Africa region (incl. Zimbabwe, Angola, Mozambique, Malawi, Tanzania). We'll keep you updated and informed.