"A full life
does not necessarily mean
I am living a full life"
It’s Monday, the 9th of July.
I got up at 6am this morning thinking: “If I do not write a newsletter today, it won’t happen until end July"
IN THIS NEWSLETTER
A. Two Books that might just help you grow in God, and influence your community
B. Brainstorming in the UK: New Centre for Christian Formation
C. In my own words: What is YWAM-UofN again?
D. Last leg of the Masters: Let me finally catch you up.
E. “The Single Table” A monthly get together for singles in KP… it finally started to happen.
F. Tipping points: A final word.
A. TWO BOOKS
Difference Makers: A practical guide as to how we can be involved and bring change in our immediate communities.
During Module 6 I was introduced to this fantastic book. After an amazing and intense conversation about church planting and bringing change in our communities in England (with non-Ywam friends in the ministry) I thought to introduce this book to you.
Why do I appreciate this specific book?
It is for ANYONE who wants to see change come to their immediate village where they live and work. I do not like to engage with material that is only head knowledge. If I cannot change information into a practical outcome - why bother?
The second book is an audio book that was introduced to us a couple of months ago during the masters program. If you have downloaded the APP “Audible” you can listen to this brilliant book “Invitation to solitude and silence” (Yes - its for parents too) by Ruth Haley Barton. I personally think this is a key message to us today.
I especially listen to it while I drive, and then do the practical application at home. For me it means I am not only reminded about this life style in the morning during my quite time, but that to “Be still and know that I am God” is an ongoing practice during our day too, while at work, with the kids and when alone.
B. BRAINSTORMING IN THE UK
Centre for Christian Formation Meeting
I am back in SA after two weeks in the UK. Of course they kept me at immigration even though I had a UK visa... this is WHY I need a strong Word from God before I fly to the UK!
Finally, after checking my record and tons of questions, my invitation letter from the YWAM base let me through those gates where my dear friend since 2002, John Sexton waited for me. More about Southport later.
“Centre for Christian Formation and Discipleship”
WHY I WENT TO THE UK:
THIS NEW CENTRE had its first official gathering to brainstorm new initiatives. Very Fruitful is what comes to mind. I am so grateful that I was able to make it. You can ask me in person about this.
WHAT IS THIS CENTRE ABOUT? The goal of the centre is to facilitate growth in followers of Jesus so that they are rooted in the love of God, established in a community of faith, and drawing on Holy Spirit to love and responsibly serve God and others for the sake of the whole world, as Jesus did.
The Centre for Christian Formation and Discipleship is distinct from the Int’l Discipleship Training Centre in that, while the IDTSC is specifically focused on serving the Discipleship Training Schools, we will serve audiences both in and outside the mission. In addition, the Centre for Christian Formation will support the efforts of the IDTSC with further equipping and resources.
The Centre will produce educational initiatives (seminars, courses and degree tracks) that integrate theories and content from each of the following categories in the development and application of effective models of Christian formation:
The nature, character and work of God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – and His purposes for people and all creation
The Biblical narrative, the Gospel, and God’s provision for redeeming people and all creation
How people grow and learn (identity & character formation, human development and adult learning)
How to facilitate the Christian formation of communities and people through classic Christian practices
Christian vocation or God’s calling
C: In my own words: What is YWAM-UofN again?
YWAM has 3 key legs: Training (UofN), Evangelism and Mercy Ministries with over 20 000 permanent staff facilitating training and discipleship/outreaches in some capacity. Implication: Thousands are trained each year and sent out to minister somewhere in the world.
YWAM is one very large elephant. Sometimes you see a foot and think "oh, this is Ywam." Some see a trunk, some a tail and some whats under the tail too! Some see the bigger picture... It is not as easy to define anymore. No movement is over time. But the global impact is amazing.
YWAM’s “University of the Nations” is part of the strong bedrock on which most of us grow because of the intense training modules in 95 languages. It is quite something to think about.
It is a joy for me to be a small part of this university.
THEN I flew through ABU DHABI
By the time I got to Abu Dhabi my brain was fried. I was able to digest and debrief what was happening in my life, the masters, the Capstone and just being back in South Africa, with my friend Carin, who miraculously survived a couple of weeks ago. (see previous newsletter) I did not even go the very famous mosque that was 200m away from where I stayed.
I passed it everyday... but friends first.
D. LAST LEG OF THE MASTERS & retreats...
LET ME CATCH YOU UP
We officially finish May 2019 - Lots of water to still run under this bridge to the ocean.
I had a very interesting Skype conversation with a Professor in Stellenbosh about two months ago. One of the things he said remains with me. It was something in the line of, “to see change in South Africa, and to influence communities,
"we need to see
a rise in
Christian Spiritual Retreats”
Three weeks ago I was asked to consider running retreats for my Capstone. I had to re-consider the thesis (a written paper, not a practical Capstone) on the pain-pieces within our South African official language groups to a more practical hands-on spiritual retreat.
There is one thing I have learned as a YWAM leader that has pioneered and lead DTS schools. Many times students / staff under me did not understand where I, (or the ministry leadership team) was going. They did not sit in on the meetings behind closed doors. They were not part of the ongoing prayer process. They did not have deeper insight as to what God might be doing with and in them.
The school / ministry leader did. (Not always, but most of the times) It is like a parent and child. Parents “know stuff” because of the anointing on them to Parent. School leaders know stuff about students because of the anointing to lead them in that season.
When I was kindly asked to re-consider my Capstone and to have a focus on Spiritual retreats - the above is what went through my mind. I felt that my Master’s Degree leader and facilitators saw something I did not as the student.
After some consideration, I decided to go with the retreat suggestion. After all, my leaders did not know about the conversation I had with the professor in Stellenbosh and that he himself pointed to retreats as a way to bring change. As I am considering running spiritual formation retreats, please keep me in your prayers and ask Holy Spirit to guide this process and the outcome of it.
you might soon
on a retreat!
We finish with our last module end July. This is also when we are handing in our final proposals for our Capstones / Thesis.
E. "THE SINGLE TABLE"
In the mean time, I am becoming more and more part of the community here in Kempton Park. It is not easy in your 40’s and as a single to just “slot in” and continue with life.
What is sometimes not helpful is the fact that....
you are some kind of 'missionary' that is not in the bush
that volunteers (uh?)
at the UofN…. (the what?)
YWAM… (that elephant i mentioned earlier)
and that is rarely home…
Odd peanut in the packet, right!
BUT I AM meeting some great people!
One of the things I decided to do was to gather the singles that I know around a coffee table. They also invited singles that they knew. We had our first lovely afternoon! That in itself catapulted into the following Sunday where 7 of us sat around a table after church enjoying fellowship. That was NEAT! We barely knew each other, yet there we sat! It was awesome.
Every month, we will be gathering as singles (and single moms) to catch up with one another.
We will also be going through a book called "Love Does" for 4 weeks and meet on a Thursday evenings.
If your single/divorced, living near Jo’burg Airport - give us a buzz and join.
Go to “the single table” on my website and check out venue and dates. I guess give and take 35-55 is a good bracket of age to join like minded like hearted fellowship.
F. Tipping points in life
Thus, very Fruitful is the word that comes to mind when I reflect back on this time.
What is fruitful in this context?
When I sit down with people,
some change happened.
As the Pastor in church mentioned yesterday: “Change is accumulative” One does not grow massive muscles and push 500kg by going to the gym one time. Nor do you suddenly know the Bible if you just sprint through it in a month or year. (Or you don't fall into bad habits and addictions in one setting)
To be part of an “a-haa” moment in a conversation (few of those in Southport), you know much took place before that. One sows. Another reaps. Sometimes one can just be at the right place, the right time, in a very specific conversation that leads another person, like Malcolm Gladwell said in his book OUTLIERS to “the tipping point”
The unspoken reality is, to see change in a nation, we need to see change in individuals.
Remember the story about the millions of fish that got stranded? Remember the man who started throwing back fish one by one? Remember his friend's responds? “What difference does it make, you cannot help these thousands of fish, it’s too many.” The reply as he continued to pick up one fish at a time hauling them over the waves back into the ocean:
“It made a difference
for that one,
and that one,
and that ONE”
You and I, matter and individual influences others.
The direct family system then influences
The community where they live that then influences
The region, and then the Nation over decades. The individual matters for a nation to change.
I do not for one moment take lightly anymore,
a conversation with one individual, or the families that are currently allowing me to influence them through TPM or simply by allowing me to give input through conversations. These conversations are “accumulative”
The 3 day full-on Southport and Coventry breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, (even 11pm fall in the door conversations that happened) and my lovely time in Christ Church being interviewed by Rob Milton (what a great catch-up) was so refreshing AND FRUITFUL after 15 years of accumulation!
Ongoing conversations are happening about the current church planting initiatives. Being able to be a sounding board or give input into this is like me eating cake with friends. (I love cake) It was really hard to get up and get into the car to the next appointment because some conversations were so rich!
I was very blessed.
When a few of your friends become ordained ministers / vicars in the 10 years you’ve not seen them, you know your in good company, especially when church planting in poor neighborhoods are part of the deal.
I am very disappointed that I could not meet the new Vicar of Christ Church - sorry Steve, next time! And no time to catch up with the previous Vicar, Steward Reed. There was literally no time!
Thanks for reading,
Thanks for praying for me!
Thanks for your ongoing support and sponsorship.
I will be briefly in Cape Town in August for meetings again. Your prayer involvement is really important. Catch my prayer updates on this page. Thanks