Today we depart from Steenburg to head to our next location. These past four weeks have been filled with many unforgettable experiences, conversations, and times of solitude. It will be hard to say goodbye to the friends we have made here, and I know that our friendships will continue to grow even though we may be in different parts of the world. This past week was wonderful yet again, filled with times of rest and ministry.
On Sunday we went to a church in Manenburg, Cape Town, and Courtney spoke about the power of blessing people. It was a powerful message, and the people were very receptive. At the end of the service Courtney blessed all of those who were 35 and younger, and we finished out our time in communion. It was a special time for everyone.
Sunday was another beautiful day so we decided not to waste it by sitting inside so we traveled over to visit the Burgstahlers again. We traveled with them to the stunning town of Stellenbosch, and explored the city. Stellenbosch is a university town, and is filled with a number of great little places for students to go study or spend time with friends. The University of Stellenbosch is one of the highest rated universities in Africa, and it was incredible to learn about how much cheaper it is to attend than schools in the US. I may have to look into the Masters programs offered, especially since the school is becoming an international institution. When we returned from Stellenbosch we went over to Pastor Eugene’s home (a friend of the Burgstahlers) and had tea and pie. The hospitality is marvelous. I can’t say that enough.
On Monday and Tuesday we continued our ministry in Manenburg with Pastor Alistair. Courtney spoke about spiritual fathering and mothering, and how this is the way communities are transformed. The sessions were challenging, but also fun, filled with laughter and joy. I have greatly enjoyed getting to know Pastor Alistair, and we have had many wonderful conversations. It will be great to stay in touch with him.
During the session on Monday I shared a little bit about my story. I didn’t speak long, but the congregation appreciated what I had to say to them. Even though I seem to become nervous any time I speak in front of people I usually end up enjoying it and feeling very relaxed. Each time I speak the more confident I become. The nerves will probably always come before I begin, but thankfully they don’t stick around long.
The ministry in Manenburg went well, as did our last session with Pastor Clive at Living Faith Community Church last night. Again, the session was laid back and filled with laughter and smiles as Courtney and Clive joked with one another. At the end of the time they blessed us with gifts (Rugby Jerseys) and we said our goodbyes. It was very difficult to leave them.
Yesterday morning we joined Alistair at the Cape Net, which is a monthly meeting between pastors of different denominations. At the meetings they pray, take communion, share their visions, and partake in a meal. It was a wonderful time and encouraging to see pastors from all different denominations working together to transform their communities. Courtney shared a little with the pastors, and the response was so great that many of them were trying to get him to come and preach at their churches. Perhaps he can when he returns sometime in the near future.
I had a lot of time to rest again this week, spending time in solitude and reflection, writing and reading (I must mention that I finished reading Don Quixote this week and highly recommend it, however, you must be committed because it is nearly 1,000 pages long!) These times have been very educational for me. I don’t think I could have achieved this back home unless I was to leave everything behind. Not having a phone or Internet helped me to focus, guiding me into deeper times of reflection, which ultimately led me into discovering a lot about myself that I did not know. Again, I highly recommend you find some time to do this, even if it is only one day.
It is time to transition again, moving to a new place, meeting new people. We will still be in Cape Town for the next week, but we will be staying in a different area. Courtney’s spiritual sons from Durban fly over today, and they are overjoyed. It will be wonderful to meet them and spend the next week getting to know them. Our time will be spilt between times of touring and spiritual formation. It should be another wonderful week.
I am so thankful for all of the people who have been taking care of us this past month, and I hope I will get to see them again. The hospitality has been magnificent, and has taught me a lot about how I should live. Everyone is so genuinely welcoming and friendly, making it easy to feel at home. I’m glad that I will be able to stay in communication with them and have a feeling that I will see them again someday. Thank you for making this trip possible, and for your continuous support through prayer and messages of encouragement. I should have better Internet access the remainder of the trip so hopefully I can write and post pictures more frequently, but I never know what to expect. Thanks again, and have a blessed day.