There are some days when this is what the future looks like to me. A mountain top, reaching to the clouds. It looks formidable, unassailable. It is no over-statement to say that the dream Inez and I are following is way beyond the two of us. This is part of my world view that convinces me that it must be more of a vision received from God than created by our own minds.
There is this great proverb, whose origins I’ve battled to dig up, which says: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” This is typical of this kind of axiomatic wisdom statement, that it implies the harder is always the better. I have found this to be true again and again. In my culture the path of least resistance is often the most praiseworthy; the easy option often the most logical. I have both seen and experienced the dangerous endpoints of these kinds of decision-making processes. I am more and more convinced that Jesus meant His statements of the ‘narrow gate’ (Matt 7:13) and the ‘first and the last’ (Mark 10:31).
It also indicates that the ‘pathway of the hard’ is best walked in community. I am reminded that God has brought across our path many amazing people that have given so sacrificially to and for our family, to sustain us on this adventure of ministry. For each and every one of them we are so unbelievably grateful – words cannot express!
Although 2019 has been a year containing much hardship for our family, we will continue to push into this vision as best as we know how so as to offer what we are able to our loving Father who calls us out by name.
Counselling ministry update.
The end of year has been exceptionally busy with lots of time dedicated to counselling, along with the completion of my studies for the year. I’m starting to feel the tiredness now of having worked intensively in such an emotionally giving space – even while it has been so fulfilling to be invited into people’s pain, experiences and healings.
The counselling ministry is one of those spaces that is difficult to share news on as it is so private. It can become a little awkward to try and share with you all that is on the go, as there is so much happening, while at the same time I feel I must restrict myself to speak in general terms, which can end up sounding so impersonal. So in an attempt to straddle the line respectfully I will share two short stories from the year. First was a couple I spent time with, in their marriage, who showed tremendous courage in working with each other. It was a wonderful privilege to be a part of this stage on their journey as they listened attentively to each other and forged a fresher way ahead in their marriage. Second was a family who staged an intervention for one of their members who was stuck in addiction. I met a number of times together with the whole family, and with individual members at other times.
I cannot overstate the immense privilege it is for me to work in this space with people. It is emotional, it is vulnerable; it is a sacred work I take very seriously. It is not often an ‘easy’ space, as it requires huge emotional investment from the people themselves, as well as myself. But I fully believe in the sacredness of this deep work that each of must perform as we are led towards greater wholeness in Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit. I am grateful that God has gifted me with this opportunity, and I look forward to being of more use to people in Rustenburg next year through the centre.
So on that note: next year I plan to formally launch the counselling house in Rustenburg. I believe it is the right time to push in this direction, and I’m very excited to see what God will do with this project. As mentioned in my last newsletter I have been in dialogue with a small team that shares a similar heart to bringing restoration to people in Rustenburg. These conversations are moving along, and I’m equally excited to see whether God will establish us as a team in this ministry with our different giftings and personalities. There is also a potential partner in providing a venue from which to launch. This would be a huge answer to prayer, as working from a mobile office, using coffee shops or people’s homes, is not always appropriate for this kind of ministry. A dedicated space from which to operate will make all the difference in the world. Lastly, I am investigating a partnership which would put this under a local NPO. Hopefully this will add some gravitas as well as make it a little easier to attract funding. Although I still believe there is sufficient funding available from local churches and individual believers, I also see the logic behind going the formal route.
What can you do to partner in this?
We are always in need of people who will uphold us, our family, and these projects in prayer. So please pray for us in this! If you feel God tells you anything that you would like to share, please get in touch with me to have that conversation.
We are still in need of partners for our own families finances. All the work I offer churches or people is free of charge. Sometimes we receive gifts in return for our ministry, but I am still convinced God has asked me to do this in a certain way.
(There is so much to share here about this, but it is done best in conversation where people can ask questions. So if you’re ever wondering, please give me a call so we can chat further).
The counselling centre itself will also require dedicated monthly finances to support it. So if God asks you to give to this, then please be in touch to talk through the way forward.
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.