Our real kick off for the year was the Justice Conference! This was an absolutely wonderful way to begin the year in light of all that has ensued in our nation over the past months. It was just so timely. The students who came to the conference were so excited by the content and the fact that all the issues facing South Africa were being looked at head-on. It was well attended and diverse making the learning challenging, very emotional but most effective, everyone left the conference stirred.
My highlights were seeing this conference come together in this incredible weekend, and speaking to friends and students about what they were learning. It was an answer to prayer to see justice accessible for individuals and institutions, which was so helpful, as people’s most frequent question is, “What does this mean for me?” All in all, it was an awakening, relevant, and rewarding weekend with much work to be done in South Africa!
What a wonderful experience it was to be asked to officiate at the wedding of someone I have known since her first year of university! These are some of my greatest highlights in ministry – the relationships you form and the privilege of walking alongside people throughout their lives. It was a very special experience for Raldo and I to take Thati and Sikhumbuzo through their premarital counselling. Despite all the preparation our ministry team gave me, I was still nervous to officiate at their wedding, as this was my first time doing it. Nothing can quite prepare you for that first experience! But the beautiful couple and their amazing families made it much easier and a very enjoyable experience. The ceremony itself and the whole day were filled with God’s presence, His beauty and so much love as this beautiful couple were covenanted in marriage! True to His character, God made it a glorious day. A huge congratulations to Mr. & Mrs. Sibanda!
Our desire as a ministry is to see every believer being a minister (for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, Ephesians 4:12). We want them to live out the ‘Great commission’, to make disciples (by reaching the lost and teaching them to be committed followers of Christ) of all nations! In the second half of the year we increase our focus on establishing and capacitating people to fulfil the ‘Great commission’, because of the nature of the University Campus calendar. We do this by equipping believers in the basic skills required to disciple others and lead small groups of people, where ever they are.
We labour to establish people in the early phases of their Christian faith, encouraging them to be surrendered and committed to Christ and live Ephesians 4:12. We provide ministry, preparation and training to equip believers in their knowledge of God and their ministry to others. We run short trainings to equip believers by ministering and teaching those that desire to grow. In addition to the foundations of the Christian faith, we have a Bible School and this year we graduated students from both 1st and 2nd year. We had 124 people learn to use discipleship tools to grow closer to God in many facets of their character; to see how they can experience the miracle of transformation through the Word of God (‘Men and Women of the Word’ courses). We also train all our small group (connect groups) and area leaders (overseers of many connect groups) to be more effective disciple makers and leaders. It is always one of my greatest joys to be part of the teams that labour (minister, train, lead and teach) so Christ is formed in people.
Bible School graduation 2013
‘Men of the Word’ (2nd semester group) is a course to help with the discipleship tools needed to develop Christian character
‘Women of the Word’ (one of the three 2nd semester groups) is a course to help with the discipleship tools needed to develop Christian character
The newly trained 2014 Tugwell Hall Connect group leaders
Following on from this we had a really great planning time at the end of the year to reassess and improve the growth path we have so we can better help believers make disciples in 2014!
The Baxter team at the 2014 planning time
Jason, Andre and myself will be looking at our 3 different phases of training to improve how we labour to see Christ formed in people