November 2020

As I reflect on the past year, I realise there’s been a recurring theme which many of you may also be able to relate to. Simply put, we’re vulnerable and weak but Christ is supreme and ever present with his people!

As a church over the last few months, we’ve been looking through the great letter written by Paul to the Colossians. I’ve been immensely encouraged and challenged to be reminded of Christ’s supremacy over all. He alone is the true wisdom of God and, being fully sufficient, he brings fullness and dwells within all who humbly depend on him. There are radical implications to this in a whole range of areas but I’ve found these realities to be particularly helpful in the following areas.

Christ is supreme – even in times of trauma

Hope church returning to meeting in person.

A few months ago, some uninvited guests visited the property where I’ve been staying. They came only for a short while – they didn’t have time to stick around for a brew and seemed to be in some urgency. The next thing we knew, some big guys stormed the property. They came charging in and stole valuables from those of us who were around. Three of us were directly affected. One of the girls and I were roughed around a bit but we praise God that we didn’t sustain any injuries. The few days that followed were not easy. It was hard to lose valuable items and for the sense of peace and security to be stripped from us. However, despite the fear, loss and feelings of insecurity, all of us can testify to the truth that Christ was in control over that situation. In the days that followed, all of us experienced remarkable peace and had items replaced thanks to insurance or the generosity of church family. All of us can testify to how that experience has made us a lot more grateful for the things we often take for granted such as security, peace and life itself. The experience has also helped us dwell on the ultimate security that we have in Christ and the lasting value and satisfaction of being in a relationship with the King of the whole universe! 

Christ is supreme – even in times of uncertainty

COVID has thrown so many things into chaos and put so many people into a position of uncertainty. In South Africa, we’re grateful that we haven’t experienced a second wave so far which means we’re able to enjoy the benefits of lower levels of restrictions. As a church, we’ve started meeting for services in person and the youth small groups have also returned to meeting in person. It’s been encouraging to see more people drawn back. As I write, we’ve just held a youth event with all of our small groups together – it was great to see many of the teens back together again after such a long time.

My plans going into next year have also changed – the future looks more uncertain than it has in a long time. I’ve decided to put off my theological studies for now and to continue my role as the youth worker at Hope Church for another year. One reason is that opportunities have come up for me at Hope Church to continue leading the youth and to help launch the new men’s ministry. Alongside this work, there are opportunities to study on a biblical counselling course and modules with Crosslands on engaging with culture and context. The second reason for delaying theological studies for a year is the developing relationship with a young lady called Nomfundo, which is exciting. She’s going to be based in Jo’burg and Hope Church next year so I’d be lying if I didn’t say this was a significant reason for me to hold back on my studies and to stick around in Jo’burg! 

Christ is supreme – even in times of weakness

As the year begins to come to a close, many are feeling the strain of what has been a hard year. Many on our staff team are exhausted and drained despite rejoicing in being able to meet with people in person again. I can certainly relate with these feelings. It’s been tough at times and I’ve often felt shaky with things but praise God for sustaining us and continuing to be at work. Christ is supreme especially when we feel weak and I’m praising him for teaching me to trust him more deeply in all things. 

Christ is all and in all – for that I am grateful and wish to encourage you too with this monumental reality.
God bless and take care,

Praise God for:

Financial provision for working at Hope Church next year.
Growth in the youth ministry over lockdown.
Church and youth small groups retuning to meeting in person.
My relationship with Nomfundo.

Pray for:

Full dependence on Christ in all things and not to wrestle control back into my own hands.
Rest and refreshment at the end of the year after what has been a hard year in many ways.
Youth ministry to finish off the year on a positive note and for some new leaders for the midweek and Sunday groups.
Wisdom and guidance for studies going into the future.

Picture at top of page: Holiday with John, Nomfundo and her sister Lelo.

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