Hi everyone,

In the crazy season of our lives, our newsletter to you all is a few weeks late. Apologies for the wait, but it’s good to connect with you all on some our family news.

The past six months have been a wonderful challenge and opportunity for growth. With our SA lockdown coming into effect in March, I had to move all of my ministry efforts online, a decision I would not have previously thought plausible nor palatable. The change was both an exciting and anxious one – exciting in that I had the opportunity to learn a number of new skills required to make this possible; an anxious one in that I had an inherent distrust in the authenticity of online relationships. I have had some challenges and some genuine unexpected joys.

 

I realised quite quickly that the option to wait out the lockdown to continue any form of ministry was a foolish choice, and so threw myself into bashing out a navigable alternative, which would meet my demands for maximum connection.

The results have been somewhat surprising. I found, albeit in the face of a lack of my preferred choice, that online connection is not as shallow as I had previously thought. I would still choose person-to-person over a video or voice call any day, but it has been possible to still do much of my work online in a beneficial way. Not only that, but I have reached further afield than previously – for example even reaching the USA in my ministry conversations with people.

 

The poor and marginalised are never far from God’s heart, and so they have been pressed to our hearts by God. In response to this, Inez pioneered the #BagIt campaign, as an example of how to make a small difference to those vulnerable members of our society experiencing food insecurity. We also continue to support NGO’s in Rustenburg busy on the frontlines of service delivery to vulnerable communities.

My natural inclination is towards being physically present with people whenever I am doing work which requires emotional and spiritual presence. The experience is a lot richer when I am able to sit in the same room with a pastor, leader, counselee, couple or family. Subtle nuances in body language are easier to read, eye contact is more pronounced, breathing rate and consistency as a sign of level of comfort is perceptible. All of these and more add to the experience of ministry in person. I have often mistrusted people who state they can perform counselling, spiritual direction or deep relational work just as easily and just as well over a phone call or video call. However, into this online world I was thrust during March of this year.

 

 

The downside of this time is that I am again face-to-face with the economic barriers which I sought to eradicate via the specific form of my ministry. I have only been able to, by and large, offer myself to people and organisations with the resources to meet up with me online. This is a very real source of heartache for me.

We are so grateful to our partners who have continued their generous support for our family, which continues to carry us through in the work we are doing!

 

On a personal note, we are now only four weeks away from welcoming our third child into our arms. She is due in the middle of October, and we are all, Isabella and Joshua especially, excited to meet her. By the time I write to you in our next newsletter we will have become a family of five. Please pray for us in this final stretch – especially for safety for Inez and our little girl.

Peace,
Steve

Listening Project 

I have continued my work offering therapeutic services to anyone in need. Couples, ministry leaders, families, individuals –
This project has quickly become one of my main focus areas.

#BagIt
Inez’s food insecurity project is such a simple and affordable option to provide a nutritious meal for a family of four. Have a look at the video we shot to introduce it.

We encourage you to make up some of these bags for when you are out and about to distribute to those in need. Packing the bags as a family is a wonderful teaching experience for children. 

Podcast
This has been an exciting exploration for me. If you would like to hear what I’ve been up to then please follow the link across to the podcast.

I’ve also explored YouTube as a new creative outlet. Have a look here at some of my projects.