August 2019

Hi all,

Thank you so much for your prayers! I’m two weeks into my trip to Johannesburg so it’s time to write my first prayer letter. 

A few hours after arriving into South Africa, I found myself joining the young adults in their evening bible study. Fast forward one sleep and I’m on a university campus doing my first day of student work. The next day I’m running around with 40 energetic kids for six hours. I think it’s safe to stay they got me stuck in pretty quickly here at Hope Church! That’s something I’ve really appreciated here; everyone has really made an effort to get me involved and to get to know me better. Special thanks to Crosslinks mission partners James and Lucy Buchanan who have been absolutely wonderful. Adam and S’bu, the two guys I’m living next to, have been so welcoming and really helped me settle in.

The next day, an American team arrived, and they had a week here serving Hope Church. This gave me an opportunity to get involved with a lot of the activities they were doing. We gave out flyers at university campuses and invited students to church. We also went to Soweto and invited people to church there. It was the first week of term so we had many socials with students which was an amazing opportunity to meet loads of students and build relationships with them. I’ve managed to find some chances to play football, and last week I tried my hand at basketball with some of the students - I’m really grateful that I’m able to exercise here. I also really enjoyed celebrating my birthday here with some of the students who have been so welcoming and made me feel at home. 

So far, I’ve been involved in three main ministries - students, youth and kids. I’m also hoping to get involved in music.

  • Student work - there is so much going on here. It’s really encouraging to see the student ministry growing and God working on the university campuses. Last Thursday was the first week of a new bible study group that we’ve started up in one of the residences. My main roles in the student work will be leading that group, filling in for others when they can’t lead studies and meeting up one-to-one with a couple of the members in the new bible study group. There are also many events happening for students at the moment e.g. Word Alive. 
  • Kids work - there is so much opportunity to serve. There are two age groups and both meet on a Friday. I’ve been given great opportunity in kids ministry to lead a few Sunday School sessions and give a few talks at the Friday kids clubs. 
  • Youth work – the youth meet on a Friday (usually back-to-back with the kids clubs). I’ll be leading games or leading a table when there are bible studies. There are also separate bible studies which I’ll hopefully be getting involved with, however they haven’t started yet in this new term. It’s really encouraging to see the number of youth that come to the Friday club. 

I have also had so many great opportunities to learn whilst being here. There is an evening service I can attend when I’ve helped in Sunday school in the morning. I can attend the young adults’ night and a meeting to train students how to lead bible studies. I’m attending Johannesburg Bible College on Monday and Tuesday mornings, which has been helpful, and, finally, an intern training workshop. So these past couple of weeks alone have been an incredibly fruitful time for my faith, and learning more about God and a lot ministry skills and practicalities. 

Give thanks for:

  • The friendliness and welcoming nature of everyone I’ve met; God has really blessed me with some great friends here.
  • The amount of ministry happening in Hope Church; God is clearly working.
  • The amazing opportunities I’ve been given to serve.
  • The new student bible study group and the students coming to that.
  • New visitors to the church and youth and kids coming along to the clubs.
  • All the ways God is teaching me and growing my knowledge and dependence on him.

Please pray for:

  • Energy with the kids work and youth work - nine hours of the three clubs back-to-back demands a lot of it!
  • Clarity when teaching the youth and kids and leading student bible studies.
  • Time management to prep talks whilst getting stuck in with all the practical things.
  • More reliance on God and that I know and love God more, the more I serve him.
  • A deeper understanding of what it means to use my life as a living sacrifice to God.
  • Wisdom and discernment in whether ministry is something I should pursue.