At East Mountain our focus has shifted back towards partnerships. East Mountain exists to empower national pastors, leaders, and ministries so that they can effectively and sustainably impact their communities through the Gospel. We know that long-lasting change will not happen if it is dependent on us but when it is lead by local leaders. Spanky spends his days meeting with partners to build stronger relationships, dream together, and to make plans for how East Mountain can effectively come alongside them and serve with them well. This month in our staff meeting Spanky highlighted the Eden Project and the Mustard Seed house where Chelsea, one of our interns from last year is serving. Chelsea has a heart for social justice, community development, and helping woman rise above the poverty that surrounds them. This year she is able to do just that with this partner and they are grateful to have Chelsea on their team. The Mustard House is a home for homeless woman that have been subject to prostitution, drug abuse, and neglect. They clothe them, feed them, give them a safe home to live in, and life counciling to help them get ahead in life. The Eden project is a team of people that are missionally moving into communities to be good neighbours by caring for the needs of the neighbourhood, building community among the people, and sharing the love of Jesus through home churches. We love these ministries and love seeing how they are having such an incredible impact in the name of Jesus!
This past weekend Lara and I took a trip to some friends wedding. The wedding was in a small fishing village about 4 hours away from our home so we decided to make a long weekend of it. Years ago we learned the value spending time together just the two of us. We love getting away and connecting! We listened to a book in the car and had great conversations. We laughed and held hands. We took a walk on the beach and drank coffee. We found the best places to eat and stayed up later then normal. We talk about life and dreamed about what God is doing in our lives. When it is just the two of us we can have a really fun time! On our last day, we took the morning to hike the coastal cliffs, jump into the cold tide pools, watch the waves crash up against the rocks, and just sat together in the warm sun. This type of day always fills my bucket up!
Our church here in South Africa (Life Church) has a gap year intern program for young students within the church. This year we had 9 students join the program. They get hands on experience in ministry, increased life skills, and a deeper bible understanding. The Rousehouse gets the chance to host the students at our home every week for dinner and a small group time. We are talking through their life’s story, issues that may arise in the house where they live, how is their heart, and simply have a fun time every week. Spanky also mentors the 5 young men each week and takes them out to chat more about God’s plan for their life and who He has created them to be as men. It has been a blessing to have our week and home filled with young people that we can love on and encourage.
A recent blog on some of the things we have recently been learning: How do you define poverty? Would you consider yourself poor?Who is the poor?
Loadshedding. No one can really explain why we are experiencing it now and why it is so random but it happens never the less. The definition of loadsheddingis: The action to reduce the load on something, especially the interruption of an electricity supply to avoid excessive load on the generating plant. Our electricity can be turned off each day for 3 hours to 3 times a day for 3 hours each. Then you may not have any interruptions for a month. Just when you think you got the schedule figured out, it changes. Here recently is the most electrical interruptions we have experienced since moving here. This past week it has been going off 3 different times for 2-2.5 hours at a time. Part of the reason is due to the massive disstruction in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi caused by a mighty cyclone (hurricane). South Africa gets much of its electrical power from these countries power plants. We believe that this schedule of loadshedding is probably going to be the new normal for us for a while. Please be praying for these countries where 1000’s have died and many more are missing!
Mac, Grey and Elly are doing well. They are moving right along with school and extra curricular activities. This week is a term break in South Africa and since we don’t have power for big chunks of time they are taking more breaks in their work. The boys are becoming pretty skilled in surfing! I think they are already better than I am and are definitely ridging more advanced boards than I could even think about riding. Elly is doing well in her dance classes. She had fallen off a scooter on to her back a few weeks ago but she seems to be back to normal now. All three of them seem to be thriving in life!
Updates on February prayer request and March needs:
Please be praying for the East Mountain residents as they are starting to get involved with local ministry partners.
Pray for the Lord’s clear vision and direction for life and ministry here in Africa.
Pray that we will encourage and invest in the Life Church interns well this year.
Please be praying for new supporters and new churches to come along side of us to help sustain the work and our family’s needs. We need to raise about $500 more a month.
The Lord’s continued work in our own hearts. He is speaking and moving and we don’t want to miss out. Wisdom, sensitivity, and obedience
East Mountain Partnership: Pray for favour with leaders and open doors to how the Lord is leading East Mountain.
For those cleaning up after the cyclone in South East Africa
We would love for you to join us on Instagram and Facebook to see daily adventures, ministry sites, and family activities here in South Africa.
If you would be able to join our monthly financial and prayer team we would be grateful! Your generosity will make a lasting difference in our lives and the lives of those the Lord is reaching here in Africa. Click here to sign up, http://uwm.org/missionaries/11084/
When you think of the poor who or what comes to mind? Probably the homeless man on the corner. The families that live in the ghetto. The children in Africa that are on the commercials that are going with out food today. Yes they are living in poverty but are you poor too?
We have been learning that a major cause of poverty in the world is the result of broken and nonexistent relationships. In the west (America and other wealthy nations) we believe that being poor is usually associated with homeless, bad living conditions, lack of food, insufficient medical care, diseased and minimal clothing.
Poverty is the absences of material needs but that is just one element of poverty. Poverty is more inclusive than just that. It is the lack of God, relationships, material needs, self care (heart, mind, soul). Poverty is the absences of Shalom (Peace) in all it’s meaning. Biblically we who are materially wealthy (most of us reading this are considered wealthy), do have a responsibility to help meet the needs of those that are poor but how much more “wealthy” would we be if we invested into our on relationships.
One thing that we are learning is that you can have all of your material needs met in life and still be poor. We usually try to alleviate poverty by giving money, clothes, building houses, feeding the homeless, and meeting the material needs of people who have less than us. People on the corner or the drastically poor in Africa. What if we are the ones in living poverty not just them? Have you ever considered yourself being poor? Many of us live life and work diligently towards meeting all of our material “needs” but maybe this hinders us from the Shalom God intends for us. I am talking about relationships. The lack of friendships, laughter, encouragement, mentors, people who care deeply for us, family, regular conversations, and small groups of people that we can do life together with.
In Africa we see how deeply important relationships are. Relationships are everything to these communities. Wealth and happiness is measured in your friends and families. They believe that you can’t live life with out your community and it is remarkable at just how happy and content they are because of the people they do life with.
Lara and I think about all of our relationships and realise that we are wealthy beyond what we could ever count. We have many people that choose to invest in our lives and ministry every month. We have families that support us unconditionally. We have many friends that love us like crazy, some even travel around the world and others call us weekly to check in. NO matter how little we may have materially we know that our life is full of blessings that are worth much more than gold!
Today I thank the Lord that I am not suffering from this form of poverty!!!
(Our thoughts and ideas were formed from the book, When Helping Hurts by Steve Corbett, Brian Fikkert)
A journal entry from Spanky on Jan. 20th, 2019 while we were in Uganda with the Fuel Uganda team.
It’s our first day of going out to be a part of ministry since landing in Uganda 2 days ago. It’s Sunday which means it is church day. Everyone is tired from the long travels to get here. The kids (all 3) are with me while Lara stays behind to sort the pharmacy out and get things ready from the first medical clinic tomorrow.
We are riding in a taxi out to the village that is an hour and 15 minutes away down a bumpy, red dirt road. Elly is sitting up front with me and she is asking 1 billion questions. The driver just laughs. I was loving her excitement and she seemed to be loving the moment. The boys jumped in the back of the taxi with a bunch of other people but seem to be ok and comfortable.
I was loving the fact that our kids didn’t seem overwhelmed by “Africa” so far. We live in Africa but this is much different than our home.
Church was looooong and Grey and Elly didn’t seem to be that in to it. Elly asked if she could go out side. I later went out and found her holding a fat baby and laughing with the kids her size. Grey really enjoyed lunch. We had rice, mushy bread, chicken stew, and we got to use our hands.
Later we went for a walk through the village with 2 of our translators who are brother. We were invited into homes (huts), asked to sit down, and got to know families. Mac did really well. He seems to have to fear or no reserve. I love seeing him do his thing and enjoy seeing others being attracted to his personality.
Everywhere we go Elly either has a baby on her hip just like her momma or she is sitting on the community mats talking with the woman while they play with her hair. It does my heart so much good to see all of them exhaling in a way by simply being in this place. At the end of the day we climb back into the van and Grey says, “Can we come back tomorrow and the rest of the week.? I love this place and the was the best day.” I am overwhelmed by joy and all kinds of emotions.
For me, I love riding down the red, dusty, dirty African roads. You pass by the elderly man with white hair riding his bicycle, the woman carrying a bundle of fire wood on her head and a baby on her back, little girls carrying yellow water jugs to and from home, and shoeless children yelling, “Muzungos!” (white men). There are small village markets on the side of the road, chickens running in the middle of the road, smoke rising from the huts off in a distance, and moda bodas (motorcycle taxis) zooming by. This is Uganda to me. It’s not home for me but there is something that is super comforting to me. The people, the sights, the sounds, the smells, the realities and possibilities. This is Africa to me and no place I would rather be than right here, and right here with my family. To day was a good day!
Before I share about our monthly updates I want to remind you, ask you, and plead with you to PLEASE send us a Christmas card! We love them and keep them hanging up in our home year-round to remind us of all the special people back home. Even if we get it late we still love getting them in the mail! Please mail your Christmas cards to:
East Mountain Leadership Development
Post Net Suites #318
Private bag X5061
Stellenbosch 7599 South Africa
November in South Africa means you are planning for the holidays, having exams, looking towards next year, busy with lots of celebrations and getting excited for Summer.
With the year coming to an end, Lara and I wanted to do something special for the residents that we have had the privilege of investing in and spending lots of time with this year. When we were on staff at Ridge Church we use to go on these amazing staff retreats. Lara said she wanted to do something like that and thought we should go all out in planning a trip like that. We booked a big house on the beach about 3 hours away, packed the car full of food, and invited all of the residents to come and let loose for the weekend. It was such a good time! We laughed, ate great food, danced until late, walked on the beach, and just spent time together. Mine and Lara’s favourite parts of this weekend were the one on one conversations we had with many of them and hearing how they felt like they were able to sit with the Lord and exhale. It’s been a long year and we believe this was the perfect way to celebrate with them.
Community Centre kids
With the school year coming to a close our programs at Heldervalley Community Centre are also coming to a close. We are so excited to see that some of our students have improved greatly this year in their studies. Kelly (on the left) went from 39th in her grade to #1! MacNeil (middle) had his father pass away a couple years ago and this year he lost his mom as well. Even with all of this in life he still improved and out performed most of the other students in his class. Having a people who invest in a life can make more of a difference than we even know! Louise, the lady we serve under at the centre, is doing a great job and we are praise God for her influence and leadership there.
We had a celebration party for the end of the year and invited all of the kids from the community centre out to East Mountain. They had a blast swimming (even if the pool was green), playing soccer and rugby, dancing to music, and eating hotdogs! It was a fun day!
Furey Fest 2018
We LOVE when people are able to visit us! At the end of the month we had our good friends the Furey’s come stay with us for 12 days. It was a busy, fun filled time of showing them around Cape Town and our everyday life. You can check out all that we did by clicking here (Furey Fest 2018).
Here are a few random photos and updates of life in South Africa for the Rousehouse:
As we are stepping into a role of partnerships here at East Mountain we get to meet with and learn more about ministries and people who are making a difference. Lara had the chance to have breakfast with one of these partners to hear more about their work…and hold some babies. She feel in love with them…and the babies! Her Voice is a local non-profit in a black township offering support to mothers physically, spiritually, and practically. Their vision is to see strong Christian mommies that are having a huge impact on their community. They are doing amazing things!
Mac is doing well! This kid loves life in South Africa, his youth group, riding his bike, coffee, and people! He is working hard on his studies from Liberty homeschool online and serving at church all the time. He is just awesome!
Grey is the easiest person ever. Nothing bothers him, he will eat anything, and he will go with whatever you want to do. In life he only needs a few things. Family, Matthew (his bestie), a book, and nature. His day usually consist of walking barefoot, being outside, reading book series, playing with the bunny, practising guitar, and watching Youtube. The slower pace of life in South Africa suits him well!
Ellyana is becoming her own person! She is opinionated, stylish, and has plenty of words to express her self! This girl is so much like her mom in the way that she is the life of the party! If there is no party she will start one!
As for Spanky, if you haven’t seen he has a new hobby. Click on the link here, Christmas came early, to check out his early Christmas gift from a bunch of his friends back home in America.
Things to be praying for during December:
We are still in need of a few more monthly supporters to partner with us to help us accomplish all that the Lord has planned for 2019. Will you pray about being a monthly supporter or giving a special year end gift? To give you can click here, http://uwm.org/missionaries/11084/
We are still praying about going on a trip as a family to Uganda in January to work with some friends that we served with years ago. We have been wanting to do something like this for a long time and believe that it would be impactful for all 5 of us. There are lots of details to think through, so we are asking for wisdom, the extra finances to be able to join them, and the logistics of it all.
Be praying for our residents as they graduate from East Mountain and head back into their communities, cities, homes, and countries.
Pray for the Lord’s clear vision and direction.
The selling of our car. Our car will NOT sell!
I still need to get my Land Rover fixed from the accident I had last month.
The Lord’s continued work in our own hearts.
We are taking Zuzu, Lara’s mentee home next week and it is a 9 hour drive up the coast. PLEASE pray for safety and that all will go smoothly.
We would love for you to join us on Instagram and Facebook to see daily adventures, ministry sites, and family activities here in South Africa.
Does he care about the small things I pray about, desire, and fill my head?
If you are like me and any, what I would call “normal” Christian I am sure you have had these kind of questions. At least once in life if not reoccurring as daily thoughts.
Isaiah says that I am his treasure (Isaiah 62)! The Lord delights in me. He pursues my heart. He gets my attention through varies ways but he knows how I hear from him the best. Sometime He, My Heavenly Father, likes to absolutely blow me away with His goodness and love!
Many days I forget this amazing truth of grace and fall more on the side of these kind of thoughts…
I don’t feel worthy. Me?!? I haven’t and will never be able to live up to the standard of worthiness. I’m just a sinner. Broken. No where near perfect. Some days nothing comes out of me that is good.
And this is where I have to preach the Gospel (Good News) to my self and be reminded of His truth of who I am and who He is…
You look at me with delight, joy, deep love and affection. You smile on me. You see a reflection of your glory in my life. I am significant and chosen.
*So here is a story of how the Lord reminded me of this amazing reality of who I am and that He cares so deeply for me, even in ridiculous ways.
I wanted a surf board. My skill level is not worthy of buying a surf board though. I’m still on the floor practicing my pop up techniques at home. I can barely catch a wave and the majority of the time wobble as I stand up on white wash. I really enjoy being in the water! It is a time of my week when I get to be in the ocean with the Lord and no one really talks with me. It’s a refreshing hobby for me for sure. I have been praying,”God should I spend some Christmas money on a really rough, old, crappy board?” Haven’t felt confident in doing it yet and asked the Lord to show me when and what board I could buy when it came time for that.
A group of my friends from back home, Lara, and Zach (My mentee) were sneaky and got me a customised, hand shaped, internationally renown board from M*A*T Boards!!!!! I’m not worthy of riding a board like this and even more OWNING a board that was made just for Spanky Rouse. This is so much more than I wanted or was even asking God for! God blessed me with this amazing gift through my peeps and I am believing it was completely for me to know that He cares, He listens, and He gives me more than I am even close to worthy of having.
It’s not about the surf board. It’s about my Fathers delight and care for me, in everything of my life! Secondly, it is a wonderful reminder every time I hop on my board that I have a group of people that love me so much!
I am made more aware that I can trust Him and know that my Father who delights in me has life all under control and has greatness waiting for me in my future!
THANK YOU to all of you who made this possible!
I will tell of the kindnesses of the Lord,
the deeds for which he is to be praised,
according to all the Lord has done for us—
yes, the many good things
he has done for Israel,
according to his compassion and many kindnesses.
Isaiah 12: 4-5
In that day you will say:
Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name;
make known among the nations what he has done,
and proclaim that his name is exalted.
Sing to the Lord, for he has done glorious things;
At the beginning of October a friend/co-worker of ours got married. We were able to attend our first South African wedding and it was so much fun. We arrived at 2:30 and the party went on until after 10! It was a beautiful outdoor wedding with good food (spit braai lambs), many different people and cultures, and lots of dancing and laughs! Oh yeah, it was also the hottest day we have had yet! No shade either! #Sweatinglikecrazy
Since the sun is coming up earlier and the weather is heavenly lately, we have restarted our regular group workouts. Working out as a group is always more fun and a passion of Spanky’s! Our gym is coming along nicely. We have some basic equipment and hope to be able to add more to it over the next few months. We call it East Mountain Sweat!
We are currently helping East Mountain with the project of surveying our ministry partners here in the Western Cape of South Africa. Lara and I have the privilege of meeting our different partners, seeing how their ministries, schools, churches and projects are loving and impact their community. We then get to ask, “How can we (East Mountain) come alongside and support you?”. We have been exposed to many wonderful people and powerful ministries! They consist of justice movements, children ministries, sports outreach, churches, schools, life skills projects, Bible schools for African pastors, and more. It is a great privilege to serve alongside these nationals doing amazing things for the kingdom. We are honoured to play a small part in making a big difference around the city!
The warmer weather means we are out and about a lot more. If you know the Rousehouse, you know we love spending time with friends, having fun and exploring, so we have done a lot of that this month!
Hardings and Rouse’s having taco night!
Grey and his best bud, Matthew picking flowers out of the garden
Lara and Tori at a secluded beach we found with some friends
Mac, Grey and Benji being crazy at the market
Elly and Caroline enjoying the shade by the dam
Lara kept her Halloween party traditions going strong again this year! We ate hotdogs, dressed up in costumes, and had fun around the fire pit ! Our neighbourhood had a lot more trick or treaters this year! I think maybe some of these crazy American traditions are rubbing off. Yes, I was the bearded lady from the movie The Greatest Showman and NO this is not Lara’s dress! It was an actual costume. Lara and Grey were Mexicans, Elly was Cinderella before she became a princess, and Zuzu, Alechia and Mac were the Flintstones.
Updates from prayer needs last month:
We are in need for 4 more new monthly supporters at $100 – We did gain a new monthly giver but unfortunately we also lost 1 due to job situations, so we are still praying for a few new supporters.
Lara and I are taking the 11 residents on a weekend retreat this month. Be praying for the right place and for strengthened relationships – It was an amazing house the Lord provided for us and everyone connected well! We are well pleased with the weekend away! We will share more in next month’s updates.
We are needing to sell one of our cars soon. Pray for the right buyers to come along soon. – We still haven’t sold our car yet. Praying that happens soon!
Be praying for Elly to gain a better understanding in her reading skills and desire to read – She is improving in reading and spelling but continue to pray that she gains a love for reading.
Be praying for healthy partners here for us to serve alongside. Lara and I will be meeting with many of the East Mountain partners this month to build relationships and look for ways we can best serve them. – The partnership meetings with local ministries and projects have been going exceptionally well! We are enjoying learning about new ways we can continually come alongside locals that are doing wonderful work for the Kingdom and be a blessing to their neighbours!
Evil is hunting our family everyday. Please be praying for the Lord’s protection over us physically, mentally, emotionally, relationally, and spiritually. – We can see ways that the enemy is trying to distract us and we keep praying for the Lord’s power, wisdom, and protection. I was just praying through Ephesians 6:10-20, join me.
Things to be praying for during November:
We are still in need of a few more monthly supporters to partner with us to help us accomplish all that the Lord has planned for 2019.
We are praying about going on a trip as a family to Uganda in January to work with some friends that we served with years ago. We have been wanting to do something like this for a long time and believe that it would be impactful for all 5 of us. There are lots of details to think through, so we are asking for wisdom, the extra finances to be able to join them, and the logistics of it all.
East Mountain is recruiting for and evaluating candidates for the 2019 Residency. Who does the Lord want to impact through our ministry and lives here in South Africa?
Healthy relationships with existing and new partner ministries here in Africa. Where, how, and with who does the Lord want us to be working with?
The selling of our car.
Pray for our current residents as they are wrapping up their time here and planning their next steps in life and ministry.
The Lord’s continued work in our own hearts.
Be on the look out for blogs and stories between monthly newsletters. Just last week we posted about the “WHY” behind what we are doing here in Africa and how we believe making disciples can have a great impact. You can read it by clicking here, Explosion of Christianity in Africa.
We would love for you to join us on Instagram and Facebook to see daily adventures, ministry sites, and family activities here in South Africa.
I have the privilege of connecting with partners here in Africa for East Mountain. If you know me you know that I love this kind of work. Connecting people and organisations for kingdom purpose and impacted lives. This past Saturday morning I was invited to a breakfast with one of our partners, George Whitfield College. They are one of the top evangelical schools in Africa. GWC is training and preparing Africans from around the continent to lead the “church” and lead with great biblical clarity.
*This is where Alechia is attending college with the hopes of being a children’s pastor one day back in her community.
During our breakfast a professor was sharing passionately the stats on the explosion of Christianity on the continent of Africa. I have heard most of these numbers before but was reminded just how important it is for discipleship and training of young African Christian leaders! Let me tell some of the numbers and see if you aren’t surprised.
In 1900, 9million Christians were estimated to be from Africa
In 2000, 380 million African Christians (that’s a 400% growth!!!)
In 2025 there is projected to be 700 million Christians in Africa!!! – Gordon Conwell
1 in 4 Christians today are African and with in the next 50 years it will be 1 in 3. This will make Africa the centre for world wide Christianity with out a doubt.
Why is the church growing so fast?
Africans might be the best evangelist. Why? From my observations, they are for the most part a communal society, passionate communicators, and unashamed of their beliefs. Beliefs in God or beliefs in soccer. It doesn’t matter. Whatever it is they will passionately and unashamedly let you know.
Also, many mission efforts over the past 100 years has been focused on evangelism. This isn’t a negative but it isn’t complete in fulfilling the Gospel. We need to lead people to Jesus and then walk with them through life to help them grow in their relationship and understanding of Jesus and the bible.
What issues might come out of the rapid growth of Christianity?
Let me give you a real life scenario that is taking place today as you read this and takes place everyday across Africa. I think it will clearly demonstrate my view and others of the issues and need for discipleship.
A young man heads to the big city to get a job so that he can take care of his family. While in the city someone passionately, unashamedly, and honestly shares the Good News of Jesus with him while he is in the taxi. The man returns to his village and begins to share with others the love of Jesus and all that he has been reading in the bible. After just a few months, there are now 100 people in his village that have put their faith in Jesus. They want to gather weekly for fellowship and learn more about the bible. This is a good size church in an African village. Now the questions arise…
Who is going to lead this church? Who is going to teach the bible accurately? Who is going to disciple all of these people into strong, growing, bible believing Christ followers?
WHO? The young man that just a few months ago became a Christian himself but still doesn’t understand the much of the bible, has never been discipled, and has never lead a group of people.
The problem with this real life scenario is exactly what you can imagine. No one has every taught him the bible. No one has ever discipled him and showed him what a Godly man looks like. No one has ever warned him against false teaching like prosperity gospel. He has had tribalism and animism ingrained into not just what he believes but who he is from birth. It will not be easy for him to clearly differentiate from correct teachings and false, corrupt teaching.
By investing in, mentoring, discipling, doing life with, and building good relationships with young men and woman here in Africa we whole heartedly believe we are having a great impact on the “church” across the continent of Africa. Life on life ministry can have exponential benefits for years to come! That is our hope and God’s call on our life.
It has already been a month since we have returned home from visiting the US. It has been a busy time with lots of activities. We thought that we would just share some of our favorite pics with you.
This was our first Sunday back in our winter attire. It was pretty difficult going from the Southern July summer heat to winter in a matter of a couple days! We went from shorts and flip flops to wearing four layers of clothing inside the house.
We missed our people and I think they missed us too! It was heartwarming coming back to these beautiful smiles!
Many of you may have seen on Instagram and Facebook that Elly had her first dance competition once we returned to South Africa. She did so great! This little performer shines on stage and thrives in a dance group like this. It is a joy to watch her dance!
Grey celebrated his 11th birthday by going to breakfast with dad and spending the day with his friend Matthew. It was a perfect, Grey kind of day. Full of fun, good food and great conversations!
When you pour your life out for someone else it fills you back up in a supernatural way. We love doing life with these people!
Alechia has her 21st birthday! Alechia wanted a masquerade party so we went and got all dressed up for the evening!
First day of School! 2nd Grade, 5th grade, and 8th grade
We would love for you to be praying for:
the kids schooling
the last few months of the resident program. Our heart is for the residents to gain a greater understanding of their identity in Christ and passion for all that God has next for them.
for Romero (the young man that lives with us) to have success and influence in his new job.
We would love for you to join us on Instagram and Facebook to see daily adventures, ministry sites, and family activities.
Summit is over and we are packing to head to the US!
Summit, East Mountain’s 6 week program ended with graduation this past Friday night and it was a wonderful celebration. It was a great group of people and we fell in love with them quickly. During the 6 weeks we had bible classes, spiritual formation exercises, cultural workshops, adventures, and team building activities. We are thrilled by the transformation that took place in the lives of these 6 people. Not only were the 6 students impacted but the rest of us that had a chance to play a role in their lives were blessed greatly. It was a good time and God did great things!
We leave Wednesday the 4th to head to the US to visit church, family, friends, and ministry partners. We are busy packing bags, planning our time away, and spending time with some of the people we love here. I think we are going to miss these people a lot over the next month but we are very excited to see everyone back home… and eat a lot of MEXICAN food! As we travel this month we would love for you to come along the journey with us by following us on Instagram and Facebook.
One of the guys that I have the privilege of discipling is Zach. He is a talented writer, free spirited young man from South Carolina that I love spending time with every week. He is a mess many days much like me, but regularly finds ways to see life through a special lens. I would love for you to travel along with Zach to get the vision for what a regular visit through a township, that many of us often take, through his point of view. Be ready to be wowed by his gift of story telling!
Smiley, by Zach
“We were making our way through the tight, winding streets of Kayamandi – Stellenbosch’s premiere township, a living shrine to the injustice cast upon black South Africans during the regime of apartheid. Tin roof shacks spread as far as you can see, one on top of the other, yet their detail and integrity boast of mankind’s ingenuity in the midst of hardship.” To continue readinghttps://zachinsouthafrica.wordpress.com/2018/07/02/smiley/
PLEASE be praying for our trip back to the US…flights, luggage, children, and good health
PLEASE be praying for good visits with those we will have a chance to see.
PLEASE be praying for new financial and prayer support opportunities. We would love to share our vision and ministry with new people.
PLEASE be praying for rest and renewal for our family.
PLEASE be praying for our residents, mentees, community centre kids and friends here in South Africa
This day is always a day of reflection for me and many others. For some it isn’t a light-hearted day and for others it’s a day to celebrate. For me it is one of the best days of the year. I love being a dad more than almost anything!
I was made more aware this year of the father figure I get to be in many people’s lives. Not that I necessarily take on the dad role in others lives but that I get to represent what a Godly, loving, strong, caring man can look like. I know too many people that didn’t have this role modelled well for them but I do believe that everyone wants a dad that will provide, protect, guide, love, and listen well…even if we don’t realise it yet.
I have seen many bad examples of dads and regularly hear of stories that break my heart of fathers who neglect their sons and daughters. I would bet that these men didn’t have someone that showed them what a dad was suppose to be either. I believe that as a Christian one of the greatest missions we can have in life as men is to reflect the heart of God. The starting block or greatest platform we have for this is being a dad. I am determined to change the future for some.
I am reminded today that I have 3 kids that mean more to me than anything and I’m excited that I get to pour into them so that they know Jesus and their purpose in life. I am also reminded today of the many that we now call family. We get the opportunity to shape and invest in others in a way like no one else has ever done for them. I get to be that fatherly example that they need and want. I get to love and care for them like no man has ever done for them. I get to show them Jesus.
My mission in life is to love, care for, serve and point people to Jesus. My starting line for changing the world begins with my children. My next step is to be that example of a Godly man and dad to those God gives us. This is not a job or a “have to”. This is my pleasure and one of my greatest opportunities!
Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are children born in one’s youth.