Thursday, June 26, 2014
This last week saw the end of the Frontiers DTS lecture phase, and the students taking off in four different teams to Thailand, Egypt, Uganda/S.Sudan and the Eastern Cape of South Africa. It has been great as a Frontier Missions Dept. to support the school and really bring God’s heart for the unreached peoples in earnest to these first-time students of mission, culminating in running the Kairos course for two weeks at the end. Originally, I had been asked to do the pastoral visit for the team in Uganda and be able to check on the work across the border in the mountains of South Sudan that we helped with back in 2012, but more recently the school leader, our colleague Dachung, decided to join them. In addition, Thandi and I have been praying and really felt peace to fill the need for a pastoral visit to the Egypt team while also utilizing the trip as a time to pray for our future in this region. We know our time in Muizenberg is coming to an end, though are still involved in some ministry and equipping ourselves with the incredible community of faith God has brought together here. We are currently seeking God on where exactly we will move to next as a family, and appreciate your prayers for guidance in this and all the pieces coming together.
With the pastoral visit being only around ten days long and quite expensive, we felt peace to leave the kids behind if suitable arrangements could be made. We have close family friends in Joburg that we trust entirely who have agreed to help us in this and we are looking to fly them down with their two boys the day before we leave. The dates that work best are July 15-25, so that we arrive back just before Busi’s birthday on the 27th. We will fly into Cairo and then directly take a train south to Aswan, where the team is focusing on the Nubian peoples through prior contacts made. We are really excited for this opportunity, and trust God to reveal much in this time.
The financial need is quite large with flight tickets around R20,000 ($2000) for the two of us, and then travel expenses once in country. We are also looking at about another $1000 to help our friends come down to stay with Busi and Elisha and help cover expenses while we are away. You can still give through Birchwood Presbyterian church if you feel led to help cover some of these costs, or go through the Paypal link on our website: www.whitlocks4africa.com.
We also want to update you about our neighboring community of Capricorn and Overcome, where we have been building relationships with people (both South Africans and foreigners) for years now. Thandi has built relationships with ladies as she always does her hair there, and acquires clients for them when new female students come through:) Since the end of last month, however, there has been a wave of deadly violence between taxi drivers and now some of the local gangs have gotten involved. In one week alone at least 10 people were shot dead, and the main highway we use every morning to carpool Busi and her friends to school was part of where they were shooting at each other! (http://ewn.co.za/2014/05/23/
Things have settled down now thankfully, but this still needs a lot of prayer and intentional/Spirit-led outreach into these communities. Pray for those we (and other missionaries) have invested in would take ownership over the spiritual forces of darkness controlling their community, and experience victory in their prayers and the fruits of the Kingdom being manifested. It has been happening in pockets, and I am very encouraged by some believers like Ashley I have been working with who literally go into the community every free minute they have to evangelize and share their testimonies of being set free from drugs, prison and the gang life. I have also been taking the DTS students into Lavender Hill with the help of a co-staff from the area, including the Village Care Centre where we got to know the children coming from broken homes, both Muslim and Christian, and ministered to the youth and adult staff. The clip shows one of the boys praying for our students as they were still preparing to head for outreach:
Here is another update from Thandi in her Cherish girls group out at the eastern edge of Cape Town, about a 40 minute drive from us, where we go every other Friday:
“It has not been ideal in terms of the consistency of gathering together in the Xhosa community of Mfuleni, but it has been amazing to see the core of the five girls faces light up as they truly get the truths of what God thinks about them. The fact that they are not mistakes just really needs to be accepted and embraced by them, and this comes by seeing their loving Father has created them for intimacy with Himself and then with other people as they discover who they are in Him.
God is really breaking them in their worldview, challenging them in how He intends relationships to be. They are also recognizing they have a responsibility to forge good relationships even when they have been hurt. Every time we meet we recap what they learned from the last session and how they have been applying it, and then bring a new lesson that brings in fresh and powerful truth. What has been most amazing is that when a new girl shows up, I am not the one that has to catch them up but the core girls all speak up and share what we have been learning! Please keep praying for the young women in this community who face all forms of abuses, that they would not succumb to a victim mentality or orphan spirit but rise up into the beautiful women God has created them to be. Pray also that some of the girls will follow through on the challenge to start their own Cherish groups.”
Ramadhan is starting sometime this weekend (once the next full moon appears), and we are seeing God doing many incredible things in the lives of Muslims as more and more people obediently and passionately pray for them to encounter Jesus in a personal way. Once again this is the website to get prayer materials from and God will surely bless you as you ask Him how to pray for Muslims all around the world in this opportune time where their hearts are more open than ever: http://www.30-days.net/
THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS YOU ALL TO CONTINUE TO BE A BLESSING!