Matthew 6: 3-4a. “But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret.”
I often find myself in two different states of mind when it is time to send off one of our quarterly newsletters. On the one hand I really enjoy being able to stay in touch with so many of our friends, supporters and partners and share some of our family news and what we’ve been busy with from a ministry perspective. On the other hand I often feel in breach of this piece of text Jesus speaks. I realise that Inez and I attempt to carefully navigate this thin line (one I’ve written on before) between transparency and inviting people to share in our lives and work, and respecting and maintaining the dignity and privacy of some of the people to whom we minister.
If you haven’t picked it up before this newsletter, we’re not in the game of posting selfie after selfie with those to whom we minster – irrespective of their economic, social or spiritual standing. What we do share, we do so only with a heart to foster awareness of the ongoing work of God’s Kingdom, as well as to hopefully be a catalyst in igniting more people to seek to live out their faith in the nitty-gritty of the everyday. I’ve no doubt that we still have much to learn, and we’re grateful to God for all the growth opportunities He brings our way.
Safe to say, probably only about half of our daily, weekly, and monthly ministry is presented in this kind of feedback or via our Facebook page. There are simply too many intimate moments of ministry that require deep trust and dignity between ourselves and the person/s to make the subject of social media or our blog.
So, for this newsletter we’ve chosen to share a few reflections on this year without specific reference to any of our projects for the year. If you would ever like to know a bit more of what we’re up to, please give one of us a call to chat further. We also post selectively on Facebook. Or better yet, let’s have a coffee to catch up on what God is busy doing in both your and our lives. We’re always keen to connect and share our hearts, as well as to hear yours.
Follow the link below to read this full blog post. It is a collation of reflections from this year on what it means to receive generosity as a way for us to be more fully opened to God and His work within us all.
I have always had a love/hate relationship with generosity. It has been a value instilled within me from early on by my belovéd father, who was such a very generous man – in any area he could be. He was very intentional about teaching us about our duty to those who have less than we have, and I am so grateful to him for it.
However, what I will call, the “other side of generosity” has always troubled me. To be generous, to give and share what I have, comes relatively naturally to me. To receive, though; that I have always found incredibly difficult – even to the point of stubbornly suppressing my own needs so as not to appear in need.
We believe that the nuclear family unit is very special to God. As God is in community, the Trinity, so too we are to be placed into community that shapes and challenges us, that nurtures and respects us, that provides security and identity. It is one of the reasons that it is not possible to call yourself a Christian without living in a community of believers – we most often call this church. At it’s highest level of function the family unit replicates what is found within the Trinity relationship. Mutual love and affection; an outpouring of service to see the needs of the other recognised and met; and distinction in role and function to meet the goals of the unit.
Derek and Rebecca Van Der Merwe:
A few months ago this amazing family left for the US for a new season in their missional journey. Please pray for God’s provision and guidance as they all settle into new places, routines and expectations. Derek has specifically been a huge guidance in our families journey and we’re so grateful for them – so please cover their family and their future in prayer with us.
Rustenburg ministry leaders:
We are privileged to journey with some amazing local ministers. Please continue to pray for them, their families and the people they minister to. We have seen the pressures of ministry take it’s toll on some amazing people this year, and they could use the prayer support of a loving church to uphold them. So please pray for
FAMSA Rustenburg staff:
Please pray for the staff of the Rustenburg FAMSA branch as they close for a much deserved rest in December. Pray for their time off, time with family and for restoration for their hearts before 2019 begins. This is an amazing team on the frontlines fighting for healthy families and communities – so please support them in prayer with us.
(If you would like to support us regularly in prayer, please contact us here to sign up for our monthly prayer request email.)
May the Lord Jesus be born again in the dusty Bethlehem streets of your hearts;
May the Christ-child’s laughter warm the core of your being;
May His hand clutch yours as you walk this path of Advent with Him;
May you, like Mary, know what it is to bear the God who makes Himself vulnerable, human.
Partnership takes many forms: prayer, financial support, hands on service, relationship. If you are interested in committing to partner with us as a family, or in any of the ministry projects, please contact us on the details below. For direct financial partnership please use the banking details, also supplied below.
Cell: +2782 854 3229
Cell: +2779 340 9880
For direct donations please use the below details:
First National Bank
Account holder: S M Carter
Account number: 6258 8100 322
Branch code: 250 655
Reference: (depositor’ name and surname)
For tax exemption on your donation (via Section 18A of the SA Income Tax Act, 1962) please use the following bank account details:
First National Bank
Account holder: OC Africa NPC
Account number: 5144 0093 759
Branch code: 250 655
Reference: (Carter/donor name)
A SARS compliant certificate will be emailed to you.