So much has happened over the past few months it’s hard to know where to start! But let me give you a brief highlights package and some key prayer points.

I think it’s fair to say that the biggest highlight has been getting engaged to the wonderful Nomfundo! I’m now engaged in both the traditional Zulu sense and in the western sense (with a ring). The process of getting engaged in her culture is a slightly more complicated step than many of you may be familiar with. I had to engage with the process of Lobola (you can read about it here).

Lobola meeting

We’re both incredibly grateful for God’s provision in helping us complete the main stages of Lobola, in order for the family to give their blessing for us to get married. On the final meeting of Lobola I got to meet Nomfundo’s father for the first time and some more relatives too. It’s such a joy that things have been progressing so well and it’s been so clear to see God’s hand in things, every step of the way. We would appreciate prayers for some difficult conversations we will be having with some of her family, about certain processes and ceremonies that we feel uncomfortable participating in (due to the implication of ancestral worship). Pray for courage, wisdom and sensitivity in addressing these things. The good news is that both our families have agreed to a wedding date so we are now looking to get married on Friday 12 November this year.

Men's ministry hike

In other news, I’ve been encouraged by how ministry is going at church. Over the past few months, the youth work has been steadily growing and it’s been a particular joy to see how the younger group has been growing in various different ways. I’m encouraged by the commitment of the youth leaders to the ministry and for their sacrificial service. I’ve also been encouraged at how we’ve been able to reconnect with many more teenagers over the past months, whilst also welcoming in some new teens, which has been such a joy. The men’s ministry at church was launched earlier on in the year and, since I last wrote, we have had a successful launch event and a gruelling (yet impactful) hike. At the hike, more men come along than had been to previous events, and men from different ages and backgrounds too. It was a joy to see diversity in the group and engagement amid the diversity. Upcoming events and programmes are filling the team with much excitement. Our next event is on the topic of engaging with mental health and we’re also planning to start a mentorship programme. As part of this, we’ll be encouraging men who are more mature in their faith to be walking alongside and discipling younger men. On top of being involved in these areas, I've also recently started a new course on biblical counselling, which is proving very refreshing and helpful.

South Africa is in the middle of yet another wave of COVID. With the vaccine rollout being so slow, several more of these waves could hit the country, unless herd immunity begins to kick in. It’s been such a blessing that over the past few months the case rate has been low enough for restrictions to be lowered. Gatherings and meet ups have been able to take place in ways that harked back to pre-COVID days. However, restrictions have recently got a lot tighter which also means that ministry is having to adapt again. We’re continuing to trust God for wisdom and creativity as we adapt to doing more things online again. And we’re trusting God that we’ll still be able to reached more of our community, given that many find it so difficult to connect and engage with things online.

In my last update, I mentioned that I had a recent knee operation. In the months following that, my knee has been recovering well. I’ve been having regular physio but the recovery programme is ongoing. I should be in a position to play sport and be more active around September. 

Looking ahead, as I mentioned above, Nomfundo and I are planning to get married on 12 November. Next year, the aim is for both of us to go to Cape Town to study theology. We both feel that this is the best next step. I have been planning to start theological studies in 2022 for a while but, as many of you are aware, there was uncertainty as to where. Things are becoming clear that committing to studying at George Whitefield College in Cape Town is the best move.  

Praise God for

My engagement to Nomfundo and the building of relationships between families.
The youth ministry steadily growing, particularly for the younger group.
The launch of the men’s ministry and exciting events coming up.
How God is beginning to provide and guide Nomfundo and I as we look ahead to next year.

Pray for

Conversations with Nomfundo’s family about upcoming ceremonies and where we can and can’t participate.
Young people to grow in their faith and new teenagers to be reached.
Youth leadership team to grow in number and depth.
Ability to juggle different responsibilities well – overseeing the youth ministry, helping with the men’s ministry, study modules, preparing for next year, intentionality with preparing for married life.

Thank you so much for your partnership and prayers.

God bless, 

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