Sunday, April 20, 2014

He is Risen! [April Update]

Happy Easter!  What a blessing it is to once again reflect on Jesus not only resurrecting Himself but being the “resurrection and life” for all who believe in Him (Jn. 11:25).  We are in utter disbelief at how fast this year is rolling by, but so grateful to see God’s hand growing us closer together as a family and re-affirming His purpose to us.  Among other things, we were so blessed to have friends of ours lead us in an alignment course called PIN Code [http://www.themaximizegroup.com/maximize-mentoring.html] the week before the Frontiers Discipleship Training School started (last week of March) for us to really stop and look back to know where He has us going now.

The course is broken into 5 parts as follows:
Code #1= Your Life story [LOOKING BACK]
Code #2= Life calling [LOOKING UP]
Code #3= Gift mix [LOOKING INSIDE]
Code #4= Life path (Build Vision Board for 5 years from now) [LOOKING FORWARD]
Code #5= Life stages (and working through transitions) [LOOKING AT NOW]

We did the week together with another couple we have grown close to whose daughter is Busi’s best friend.  It was really evident the timing for doing this together was from God, as God ministered to both us couples, not only individually but especially for how we can truly serve each other within our marriages and not let our spouse’s vision die.  For me, it was great leading into what is a very busy season with staffing a school, Thandi truly embracing why I am helping with this school that focuses on the unreached and giving the support I will need.  What was crucial for me was Code #5, as we already know a lot of our gifts and strengths but are struggling to activate them.  It was also pertinent as we prepare for a move next year but both sense the transition will not be anything like what we have been envisioning (more on that later:).  For Thandi, she puts it like this:

The course was amazing to reflect back on my life story, identifying the themes God has been threading (ie. Unconventional r/ships with Muslims) and reawakening in me the passion to be doing what God has created for me to do and brings life at the same time.  It has not been easy the past couple years to be ministering intentionally with raising the kids, though I know God has been using me in my friendships, but I really re-discovered my passion for young people and seeing them grow up in healthy families.  One way I am growing in impacting this area is through co-facilitating a Cherish accountability group (the training I helped organize a month ago) of about 15 ladies in a youth group in a Xhosa community.  Bryan meets the guys, who are only three, while I meet with the ladies to talk about self-respect, what God says about relationships/sex, etc.  I have really been amazed at how open and honest these youth are, and can sense this kind of thing is really missing in the discipleship of believers in the church.  We rely on the schools to teach these youths, but they give a man-centered rather than God-centered picture, and thus church youths are battling just as much as others.  It was great to also have Bryan’s Mom help with the kids while we officially kicked off the 8-week accountability course last week.

As many of you do know, Mom had a great time visiting us once again, and our friends/colleagues are always so impressed at how willing she is to just jump into whatever ministry or activity is going onJ  Thank you all for your prayer support for her throughout the trip.  Thank you also for your prayers and generous support for our adopted Church of the Nazarene in Overcome since the fire a few weeks back.  They have been nearly overwhelmed with donations from all directions, but will be using money sent from our supporters to extend the building on its existing foundation to include a kitchen/wash-up area and hopefully even a children’s play area.  I hope most of you were able to see pics I posted on my Facebook timeline.

PRAYER REQUESTS:
·         Keep both Busi and Elisha in prayer for health (I know you do already); Busi has been battling a nasty cough on and off, and Elisha an ear infection

·         YWAM Muizenberg’s Frontiers Dept. as we serve in the DTS and seek God for a long-term team, especially staff called to stay back and mobilize

·         Hearing God’s direction for us as a family as we know our time in Muizenberg is drawing to an end

·         Ongoing discipleship programs within Capricorn, Overcome and Lavender Hill; we are now taking some new students into the community and joining with existing youth groups and DBSs but have not been able to go further into Lavender Hill due to a lot of shooting from gang violence…
Below is a cool testimony from a time a couple months back:

I have been going weekly for a Discovery Bible Study with a group of local Xhosa and Coloured youths, but am trying to see how it can be adjusted to include some of the new DTS students now.  There have been some exciting breakthroughs, especially since God laid on my heart to bring at least 1-2 guys from Capricorn into the neighboring Overcome for ministry.  One guy from Capricorn who is really getting serious about laying down his life for Christ's sake named Sandro joined me and a visiting outreach team one day in Overcome, and it was amazing to hear afterwards as he testified going to Overcome was a big step to free him from fear of the area.  It turns out last time he had been there he was robbed by a group of young gang members, the very same youth I have been building relationships with and whom he had now prayed for!  What an amazing God we serve who honors the little steps of obedience we take in response to the truth that He desires (and has) the best way forward for us.

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