Louise and I are asking for serious intercession.
We leave for a two week trip to the Eastern Cape on Monday. In many ways, we are retracing the footsteps of my great-grandfather who left Cape Town for the Eastern Cape in 1873...only, he and his family went by ox wagon and horse, not by car.
In many ways, this whole area still needs the Gospel as much as it did in the 1800's. Crime, violence, corruption, superstition, witchcraft, and any number of evils are still practiced widely. Poverty and disease, HIV in particular, plague the people. Many of our Christian brethren in these areas suffer hunger and need.
The southern most part of this area (George and Knysna more particularly) has been devastated by a recent raging bush fire and we wish to be an encouragement to these folks, not a burden. Pray for wisdom as we introduce them to the work of Growing the Church. Many people lost everything. Pray for Lyndon as he coordinates the GtC work in a Diocese which is about as big as South Carolina.
From there we move on to Port Elizabeth - a large coastal city that is key to reaching thousands with the liberating Gospel of Jesus. The key person there is a young man who knows and loves the Lord. Pray for Ulrught as he seeks to open the way for GtC to come into their Diocese to train faculty and Diocesan teams in disciple-making.
From there we move on to Port Alfred and Southwell, both in the Diocese of Grahamstown. Pray for Pen who will be hosting us, together with Cynthia, Basille, and Carol, who all serve in different ways in the area.There is a huge Art Festival taking place in Grahamstown at this time, so we may not be able to do our introductory talk there this time round...but, we will be able to visit the historic mission station where my great-grandfather worked and where my grandfather was born. We are making some good contacts in the area for future reference. Hopefully, on our return journey we will be able to meet folks in East London, another large coastal city.
Then on to Mthatha for a weekend of celebration...apparently, the entire Diocese is gathering for a "family" day on Sunday...so we will get to meet a lot of people all at once! They have promised to provide us with good music and dancing...looking forward to it! Pray for Bullie, our contact and coordinator there.
On our return journey we will meet with folk in another coastal town named Plettenberg Bay. Pray for Pam. There are a number of churches in the area and people are ready to start outreaches, but many folks here are poverty stricken. Training costs about R300 (about $25) per person (that barely covers our costs to print the booklets), so we may need to start a project scholarship fund of sorts.
The return journey is more flexible as some folk may ask for us to return...as I said, we are hoping to meet with folks in East London...but I am sure we will fill our agenda soon!
Please pray for:
1. Protection. The roads here are dangerous on so many levels...wild and domestic animals freely roam around and often cross the roads unexpectedly right in front of fast moving vehicles...uniformed persons have been known to stop cars saying they were speeding, with the hope of receiving a bribe...crazy drivers take huge risks and endanger the lives of everyone around them. Pray for our vehicle as well...no flat tyres or other mechanical problems.
2. Persons of Peace. We need to find spiritual, influential people who will catch the vision of disciple-making and run with it in their Diocese. Please pray for divine appointments all along the way.
3. Financing. GtC operates on a tight budget and has to charge folk for the training. We do not want to miss key leaders simply because they don't have the wherewithall to pay for the training. Please pray for generous folk to step forward and offer scholarships.
4. Health. That the Lord will grant us good health and that we will not get sick.