When Louise and I teach the Disciple Making (Strategy) Training Module, we always see the lights come on during the lesson on the timeline of Peter’s growth as a disciple. Perhaps there is a little bit of Peter in everyone of us and we can identify with his reluctance in the beginning, his zeal as a young follower of Jesus, his bravado as his self-confidence grew, his despair as he failed to meet his unrealistic expectations, his embarrassment and his lack of confidence after his very public denial, and his final surrender to the Lord…the place where he needed to be all along…where to be the rock solid leader he was destined to be he had to be solidly and squarely founded on the Rock of all Ages. Clergy and lay leaders have a hard life. Expectations all around are unrealistic…and they often try to meet those expectations in their own strength…and when they fail, people can be cruel. But not so Jesus…As with Peter He gently leads us back to the task of feeding the sheep; building us up instead of breaking us down.
Perhaps that’s why everyone gets excited at this point in the training…when Jesus is making us fishers of people, He wins, He builds, He equips, and He is with us every step of the way as He multiplies Himself in and through us.
So Peter offers us hope…
Louise and I have been very busy travelling around only a small part of this huge Province of Southern Africa. It has been a good experience as it has given us a glimpse into what is happening in the Anglican Church here. If we could sum it all up in one word, I think that word would be “tired”…everyone looks tired…some seem to have even given up. They need hope…they need the story of Peter.
We realise that without prayer, the Word, and the Holy Spirit, these dry bones simply cannot rise to be the force that will turn the world upside down. They certainly have the potential…the rock may be buried under the trials of so many in the Anglican Communion, but it is still there. Labour with us in prayer until the church’s one foundation is once more Jesus Christ, Her Lord.
We have done five full training session so far, most of which have been in the general Gauteng region…only one has been outside the borders of the South Africa, namely the one held in Swaziland. Over 100 men and women have been trained in the fundamentals of making disciples who can make disciples. We have also been busy introducing ourselves and the course to those who either do not know us or who do not know our training material. So far we have been pleasantly surprised with the kind manner in which we have been received. In most cases, dates have been set for training to take place in the respective Dioceses.
It involves a lot of travelling and it is costly because we have to make use of either air travel or rental vehicles, plus we have to pay for board and lodging. Some Dioceses have graciously offered hospitality for which we are always grateful. Pray that the Lord would provide a reliable vehicle for Growing the Church use.
Health wise we have been very well. Louise is struggling with her teeth lately and will need extensive dental work soon. Please pray for this as well as our medical insurance does not cover dental work. Our children are all doing well. Heyns, Hanna, and Amelia visited us this past month and soon after their return to the US they let us know that they are to have a baby boy some time in December! Hanno, Lauren, Jeremiah, Beatrix, and Constance are all doing well…Constance now has hearing aids and will have cochlear implants in the New Year. We do miss them all so much and wish we could see them more often…part of our cross, I suppose.
We are in Villiersdorp visiting the Queen and Louise’s family today, but we will be leaving for East London tomorrow. After training there, we will come back down again to George where we will do two training sessions back to back. Following that I leave for the Provincial Standing Committee Meeting in Johannesburg and will stay on that week to do a Diocesan-wide training session shortly afterwards.
Somewhere in the mix, we have to find space for Mozambique as well…
Pray that the folks we train will be energised and mobilized by the hope we find in the story of Peter…pray for a move of the Holy Spirit second to none throughout southern Africa…pray for rain…
We love and miss you all. We pray for you and lift you up before the throne of mercy and grace. Thank you for being our rope holders…bless you, one and all.
Johann and Louise