October 26, 2016

Finding Your Boat

"...when a great crowd heard all that he was doing, they came to him. And he told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, lest they crush him, for he had healed many, so all who had diseases pressed around him to touch him." 
(Mark 3: 8b-10)
I want to share with you all something that has been instrumental during this outreach here in Cape Town. I feel like this is something that all of us can grab hold of in every season of our lives. The idea was presented during one of our house meetings a couple weeks back by our lovely host home parents (Love you Rich and Lynn). Rich sat and quoted that very passage from Mark 3 that discusses the great crowd that followed Jesus. Jesus tells his disciples to have a boat ready because the people continued to crowd him ("lest they crush him"). Even ministry for Jesus was overwhelming, how much more for us? As we are pouring ourselves out in ministry we tend to get a little weighed down, especially when we are working with people in very difficult situations. Our cups can sometimes run empty and it's so important that we have our "boats" to retreat to lest we get crushed in the process of pouring out. 
"Boats" can look different for everyone; going for a run, reading a good book, or taking a bubble bath (a personal favorite), for some it might be spending sometime cooking in the kitchen, or watching a lighthearted movie. It could just be sitting with a cup of tea by oneself. But my point is, find that thing that serves as a mini retreat from the cares and stress of the world. Once I discovered how beneficial this was to my own heart and mental sanity (it's real y'all) I had to write up on it. It's important to also share your "Boat" with someone close to you, that way if someone happens to walk in on your "rejuvenation time" they will understand "oh! My homegirl is taking a minute to process." My biggest boat (it's also okay to have more than one) is music, so if y'all see me grooving with my headphones in... 9/10 times I'm chilling on my "boat." I'm curious to hear about what some of your boats are as well. Try this out for a week and I promise you'll see how much of a positive effect it has on your spiritual, emotional, and mental state.
Here are some pictures from this past weekend that served as such a beautiful escape for me. Feeling so full of love and happiness. Thanks JC. 


October 18, 2016

Full Time Ministry?

Hey, let's do some catch up.
This last week we contracted our community "bug." So far about 7 of us have suffered the worst head cold of the 21 century and one of our team members caught a case of Bronchitis + an ear infection (sorry Kasey). Because of the epidemic, some of our ministry throughout the week was temporarily placed on hold as we tried to nurse each other back to health (this was a pretty serious cold guys[I mean it wasn't that bad...but]). 

I kinda see this as a Segway and I'm gonna invite you into this real fast:
Our DTS (discipleship training school) is entitled A Life Together (as you all know) and A Life Together DTS is unlike most discipleship training schools in the sense that it's focus is different than most. When I was fundraising I explained that the heartbeat of this school was to see unity in diversity and community displayed well and practically. During our lecture phase in Kona we spent many hours sitting together discussing how to make this happen within our group and within the nation of South Africa and back then it was super easy. What does biblical community look like? How do you actively love your neighbor in a world filled with hate? How do you have joy and suffer pain simultaneously? How do you bear with one another? How do we reconcile with one another? What really is "loving well?" These were all questions we wrestled with together, and at the time, felt we had the answers to...then we got to South Africa. I wish I could express to you how beautiful this nation and its people are, but my words will fail me. Though, in all of this beauty, there is so much suffering, brokenness, discord, and hatred; suddenly all of our preconceived "knowledge" fell to the way side and the only answer we could come up with was Christ Jesus. For the gangsters and murders locked up in prison, to the kids in Lavender Hill who lost loved ones due to those same gangsters and murders; there is no answer on how to love, forgive, and reconcile except for Christ Jesus. A Life Together is also actually living together, under the same roof (as I've told you before, there are 15 of us [11 students, 4 staff]). There's tension and frustration and again, we've been trying to implement all of our plans and strategies but at the end of the day...non of it works without Jesus in the midst. I'm telling you this because as a school we have come to a revelation that this outreach is unlike most. We feel that maybe our main ministry is to pour life into each other and minister to one another and really intentionally love each other for the next two months. We can't go into townships and preach that we should love our neighbors if we are coming home and hating and slandering our brothers. Because of this, we have devoted a lot of time during the week as a team to develop this culture of unity and love. We long to see reconciliation go forth into the body of Christ but first, we must see it in the midst of us. 

"As the blessedness of the world works it's self into our personhood we feel an echo within ourselves. As we look upon poverty the poverty within ourselves is revealed. As we look upon brokenness we see the brokenness within our hearts and lives. As we look upon slavery we see the things to which we are slaves to. Do not resist the echo for your healing is bound up in the healing of others."
(Something we discussed together as a group last Wednesday)
Our prayer is that as Jesus heals our hearts that He would then turn and heal this nation. 

 Again, just inviting you into the process. 

October 3, 2016

Life In Cape Town

Hello from the other side of the the world. It's October and our first weekish of outreach is already over. The second I set foot here I was filled with so much love for it, and even the little that I have begun to explore over the past eight days has completely won me over. Whether that be browsing the local PickNPay grocery, hiking the trail behind our house, riding the metro train into different cities, hanging my laundry on the line out on our patio, or shopping down at the waterfront, all of it makes my heart come alive.

Did I mention how amazing the coffee is here in Cape Town? Truth Coffee didn't disappoint.

All 15 of us on this team have fully embraced the idea of community and have committed to living together for the next 3 months...under the same roof...sharing the same living space...there are 15 of us. So of course there will be chaos but it's all apart of this beautiful thing we call "Life Together."
This week has mostly been a lot of "feeling out" and "sorting through" and "figuring out." Lots and lots of planning, scheduling, and logistics pertaining to our ministry opportunity; Figuring out what this missions outreach will look like and assigning everyone to their different ministries. 

Which leads me to my next point: I will be working in an orphanage in a township 3 days a week, then with 12-13 year old girls in another township as well. I'm partnering with the ministry Justice Acts and doing prostitution outreach once a week and working on the YWAM Muizenberg base in their sweet little coffee shop. The majority of these ministries require a certain amount of discreetness. Out of honor, respect, and even the safety of others, I will not be able to take and post as many pictures as I would like. It is my desire to include you all in as much of my life as I can but because of the reason previously stated, I will only be able to share bits and pieces. 

Prayers are always appreciated and that's the only way this thing will function properly so,
Prayer Requests:
1. Unity. Within our team and within the ministries and organizations we are working in.
2. Health. Making the transition from the tropical summer heat to this frosty winter/spring in CapeTown has played a toll on our health and we've already got a bug going around.
3. Safety. A lot of the ministry we are doing takes place in some "dangerous" parts of town, prone to theft and violence (as you would normally see in any other city back in the states). So protection and covering.
4. Signs and wonders. Non of this can be done on our own. I don't have enough power to lead someone to salvation, or heal someone's brokenness, or speak a word of knowledge over someone, but good thing Holy Spirit does! And it's the Holy Spirit living in each of us that that is made possible. So pray that He would go ahead of us and plow up the grounds of hearts, that they would be willing to hear and accept the good news that is Christ Jesus. 

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