Those who are without friends, God puts in families Ps 68:6
When University starts up every semester, we make sure that the students have an opportunity to get connected to the local church so that they have a spiritual home and family here in Cape Town. One of the ways we do this is through a very important element in the life of the church: small groups (or, as we call them, connect groups).
These connect groups are where real spiritual growth takes place as students connect with and learn from each other. It is in and through these groups that they get deeper into the Word, pray with others, grow their faith, are transformed, discover their purpose, make lifelong friends, and are cared for. At the beginning of the semester we had a ‘connect group drive’ where we made sure the students were aware of connect groups and encouraged them to get connected by signing up for one. Incredibly, we had 200 people sign up for groups! I had the amazing opportunity to preach on “Biblical Community” on the Sunday of the connect drive, and to encourage students to get plugged in.
I also went to visit the Glendower Residence (GlenRes) connect group, one of the groups I oversee, the following week. It was wonderful to see so many young people coming together in the residence for an engaging evening of exploring the doctrine of sin. The leader of the GlenRes group, Ayanda, is exceptional, she has built tremendous team dynamic. There was a definite sense of family as different members organized the games, prayer, and the discussion for that evening.
Since returning from maternity leave, it has been so inspiring for me to visit the connect groups I oversee, and to see them full of passion for God and life!
Please pray with us as we work to increase the number of connect groups over this semester. We are planting a new connect group in Tugwell Hall Residence, splitting the existing connect group in GlenRes into two and raising more leaders in Forest Hill and our ‘off campus’ connect groups. We are trusting God that all the leaders will be passionate about obeying God’s command to make disciples and be excellent shepherds.
In previous years, Campus Harvest was held as a single national event or 4 regional events, but for 2013 we had a total of 10 different Campus Harvest events across the country with 1745 people attending in total. The point at issue was ‘Transformation’ and “Transformers” is the name the campers gave themselves at this year’s Campus Harvest ‘Western Cape’ camp. There were about 250 people there from the University of Stellenbosch, University of the Western Cape, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, and University of Cape Town campuses. It was a warm experience for the students and campus ministers, even though the weather was bitterly cold! Friendships were strengthened and new friendships were formed. The weekend was lots of fun and crazy as it always is with young people. I am always amazed at how it is cumulative moments like these that forever change the course of students’ lives. They are opened up to the possibility of a life lived solely for the glory of God, and have the opportunity to answer the call to be world changers. It was a spiritually refreshing time, with great messages on transforming our society by being agents of transformation ourselves.
It was also an emotional time for me as I looked around and was struck by the number of lives that we have the privilege of impacting through campus ministries. A combination of joy and responsibility; joy of being a part of impacting and shaping lives for God’s glory, and the urgency and responsibility to use this opportunity for the greatest possible impact in the short time we have with each group of students!
The highlight for me was watching the students themselves leading and serving, and the younger campus ministers doing a great job with organising Campus Harvest. I look forward to the fruit that will come from this time away as we were all inspired to go and transform society for God’s glory!
Malibongwe, pictured speaking, was part of the 2011-2012 Year of Your Life team. He is a great evangelist and it was wonderful to see him minister.