Mission Partner

Alun and Debbie Burt

Alun and Debbie live and work in Heideveld, a community deeply affected by the legacy of Apartheid.

Alun serves as rector of St Thomas Church and is keenly involved in evangelism and discipleship, as well as training apprentices for bible teaching ministry.

Debbie spends the majority of her time at home with their four children, Likhona, Ilana, Malachi and Timothy. She homeschools Likhona and Ilana and is involved at St Thomas Church with Sunday School and women’s discipleship.

South Africa



Evangelical Christians:


Main religion:


Main Languages:

Zulu, Xhosa, Afrikaans, English

Recent Prayer Letters

This week as I was casually signing the umpteen parental consent form for one of my children, I took a double look at the date. I realised that 18 years ago, I flew to South Africa to live. An awful lot has happened in that time; in our family and in ministry. Eighteen years ago, Alun and I knew nothing of parenting or leading a church, much less one on the Cape Flats. We had never eaten Akni or Melktert, we had never been a victim of crime or gone to bed hearing gunshots; loadshedding was not a word in our vocabulary, day zero meant nothing; the only Afrikaans we knew was a few short phrases learnt on our short-term stints. Never had a friend tell us they hadn’t eaten for several days as their wages simply weren’t enough; only seldom had we ever thought about our race or the privilege of education and healthcare. We didn’t yet know the trauma of adoption or its beauty. As we ‘come of age’ in Heideveld, we reflect on the tremendous bounty that this community has shared with us – a bounty that is rooted in deep relationships and the gospel. A bounty that has embraced us as foreigners; a bounty of people that have generously shared life with us, trusting us to share their deep pain and rejoice in their wonderful joys. We have grown. God’s kingdom has grown. 
Grace and Peace to you. These words, which are included in many of the New Testament letters, are indeed precious words. We’ve been delving into the book of Galatians at St Thomas this term and it has been a rich and rewarding study. What a joy to see folk grasp what grace means for them: on the one hand, for those tempted to fall trap to religious pride – God’s unmerited favour replacing a reliance on doing ‘good works’ to try to save themselves.  On the other hand, for those deeply aware of their sin and feeling that they could never measure up – a confidence that God requires faith in Jesus Christ alone for their salvation. None of us will ever be good enough – whether we fervently try or gave up trying after multiple slips with drugs, alcohol or relationships. Paul reminds the Galatians that they are justified by grace; this same truth allows us to revel in the peace that Christ won for us too. In a troubled and groaning world, this is a gift beyond measure.
We are currently on The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, the fifth book of the famous Narnia series, for at least the fourth time around. Yet with each re-reading, we are struck again by the genius of CS Lewis’ writing and the profound gospel truths contained within. Truths that remind us that evil doesn’t triumph; death doesn’t win because Jesus’ resurrection signals renewal and secures our hope forever.
‘A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another’ John 13:31. Alun kicked off a new sermon series in John this week – what a great way to begin 2023 as we think about what God would have us do this year. Before that road begins, though, let us give you a taste of what has been happening here in the last quarter of 2022.
We believe we have huge opportunity here, but for light to overpower darkness there will be battles – battles for souls. We need to daily rely on the Lord to help us to endure for the long-term.
Arthur Stace is most likely not a name that is familiar to you. He was an Australian whose early life was challenging – he became a ward of the state aged 12, then a teenage alcoholic and school drop-out. By age 15, he was an illiterate with jail time and on track to become a repeat offender. Stace’s life, however, was gloriously changed by the proclamation of God’s word through John Ridley.

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