Thursday 20 September 2012

Being part of a family

This week we have been gathering with our friends at YWAM Muizenberg. Each year, this base gets together in September to mark the beginning of the year. As AfriCom also works out of Cape Town, we were invited to celebrate with them.

It's a time for worship, celebration, confession, repentance, renewal. Spring time in South Africa is a great season to do this. Every year feels like a fresh boost to our mission and this year was no exception. As the staff gathered, we prayed for one another. Last year was a focus was on bringing unity. We were brought together and declared together that we were all part of one body. This year, we built on that to face each other and see, now that we are one, look at ways in which we can serve one another.

I usually use the blog as a place for reflection rather than update, so here goes:

When a gathering happens, God has a way of putting his signature on it. It's easy to get caught up in the crowd and buzz and veer away from Him and His purposes. Orderly worship can easily turn into chaos.

Some of his characteristics:
- He will always glorify himself
- He is who is he says he is
- We are who he says we are.
- We are fallen sinners, worthy of damnation
- If we, confess and repent, he will forgive us and take us into his fold.

So, however the gathering of believers goes, if it contains contrite hearts, true repentance, joy and unity, you know that you're onto the right thing.

The testimonies that were shared during this time, not only humbled us but showed of God's great glory, power and provision. It was a great privilege to be part of this gathering and hope others were blessed by it too.

Tuesday 11 September 2012

Spring is in the air

It's September in Cape Town, which is in the opposite end of the year to the northern hemisphere where the nights are starting to draw in, and autumn is getting underway with the glorious browns and greens of the leaves falling from the trees. No, for us in Muizenberg, spring is definitely in the air. You can feel it, as there is a general lightening of the mood and feeling that we can put away hot water bottles and blankets, and keep doors and windows open. Gradually coats are being shed and the sandals are being dusted off, ready for summer.

For us, it's still a stressful time of balancing mission work, family work and financial (and logistical) demands, both from here and back home in England.

Spring is also the season when YWAM Muizenberg kicks off its year. It starts with a three day retreat, known as 'at home week', where we gather to meet the new staff and share where we feel God is calling us. And God is growing the staff number wanting to do missions here. This year we've all been encouraged to study the book of Ephesians. I've been trying to read it every day, to absorb some of the many things that the letter covers. Reading the whole of Ephesians (it's not that long!) over and over has given me a new insight into Paul's heart for the church in Ephesus and some of the timeless truths he was trying to get across.
Sitting out by the beach at lunchtime, (rather than huddled inside under a blanket as it has been in previous weeks), I was able to see how this could be great time for new beginnings: for AfriCom as we take on new staff and build new projects and connections, for us personally as we seek to take on new tenants in our house in England (please pray we can do this!), for Joshua as he has moved very quickly from walking to now running around and discovering all sorts of new things, and for Justice ACTs as they move the ladies from the current house to a new safe house (albeit temporary).

Let's see how this next season hold out and where we will be heading. Winter time is a hard time to write newsletters and updates. But spring holds much hope and much to share about His faithfulness. We are always grateful for the ongoing prayers of friends and family who sustain us here as we seek to serve God in Africa.