The First ‘Justice Conference’, South Africa

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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!

 

Transformation

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Our first collective response to the student movement as campus ministries in Cape Town was to have a campus tour with Afrika Mhlophe. Our intent was to not shy away from the issues and to create venues to allow students to participate in the national conversations that have been happening with a Christian framework. The tour was successful in providing a safe place to get students with different viewpoints to really talk and listen to each other publicly. The outcome was the beginnings of open conversations on “race” and the issues that surround it, equipping students with a Christian perspective on justice and an encouragement to the students to begin seeking solutions to the issues of their day. You can check out the video recorded at UCT here.

In response to this event we will continue to keep the safe space we created open for future dialogue around “transformation” of the campuses. We have several more events planned for next semester, as we know that change occurs gradually and outwardly, from internal to external. More than ever we are aware that we must keep doing what we have been doing until now: evangelize, make disciples and raise leaders because it’s people that change a nation!

Chaos is an opportunity. With that in mind, please keep praying for us that we would have  the courage to lead in this time. We are aware that this is a momentous time in our nation, and as such, we pray that we would come out of this united as citizens toward the dream and destiny God has for us as a nation. In Him, all things are possible.

LIT

When Frans and Deb went to start the church plant in Kenya, I took over from Deb in her role with LIT in the Western Cape. She has set up an incredible framework for LIT to expand in the Western Cape, and she started a strong program at the UCT campus. LIT looks to inspire students in their careers and in transforming society, as well as to awaken leaders to apply Biblical thought in every area of life.

UCT Campus Ministries runs 4 events to get their students thinking, and to kick start the process of exploring what a Biblical model looks like for their vocation. After the initial introduction, the students then continue this exciting exploration through the mentorship program which runs alongside it.

In my role with LIT, I’ve continued to work with the existing program at UCT, and I’ve also launched LIT programs at the Stellenbosch, CPUT and Tygerberg campuses.

We have run some really great events in conjunction with the Campus Ministries. Recently, at the end of the academic year, we had two “Career Shift” events at UCT and Stellenbosch for those graduating in 2015, those who graduated recently, and those who are currently doing their honours or masters degrees to help prepare them for their transition from university into the workplace.

At both of these campuses, we had esteemed, Christian, working professionals there to share what they wish they had known going into the workplace, and give advice based on their experiences. At UCT, we broke up into 8 chat hubs to have more job specific discussions after the Q&A. These chat hubs were led by LIT mentors in the congregation. We had great feedback from both students and mentors attesting to the relevance of this event.

UCT "Life after Varsity" panellists, Dr. Nyati & Jonathan Miller

UCT “Life After Varsity” panelists: Dr. Nyati & Jonathan Miller.

UCT "Life after Varsity"

UCT “Life After Varsity”

UCT "Life after Varsity" Vocational hub conversations with mentors

UCT “Life After Varsity” vocational hub conversations with mentors.

University of Stellenbosch, LIT launch "Life after Varsity"

At the University of Stellenbosch LIT launch: “Life after Varsity”.

University of Stellenbosch, "Life after Varsity" panellists,

University of Stellenbosch “Life after Varsity” panelists: Ewald Van Rooyen, Felicity Barker, Warren Joubert and Brandon Pascal.

We had an opportunity to respond to current affairs with the event, “Responding to Xenophobia in the Real World” at UCT. This was an opportunity for students and interested people to participate in a discussion about the issues surrounding this and the ‘Rhodes Must Fall’ protest movement that was started on the UCT campus. This was a useful event that resulted in good personal discoveries for the people present, which were helpful in understanding and shaping the thinking around the issues that have arisen from these crises. We learned from the attendees the need for safe spaces for Christians to ask questions, and unpack issues around national transformation as it pertains to racism, tribalism and xenophobia, which are things we plan to work on as we move forward.

We have also had some good, in-depth teaching, which we got a chance to facilitate at Tygerberg Medical Campus for 4 weeks. During this time we taught on the theology of work and introduced the idea of worldviews through the LIT course ‘Ideas that Shape History’. We did all this from a Health Science angle by having Christian Health Science professionals who have studied the biblical approach to their vocation teach, give relevant applications and respond to questions from the students.

Discussing "loving God with all your mind" as a medical doctor

Tygerberg Medical Campus, Discussing “loving God with all your mind” as a medical doctor.

Lastly, we have inspired and grown our mentorship base at UCT and CPUT through our Mentors’ Days. The days have succeeded in attracting and gathering Christian professionals, and have highlighted the need for them to walk alongside students in their churches. The mentors days have helped mentors see how they can incorporate the mentorship of one or two students into their lifestyle.

His People Baxter (UCT), Mentors Day

His People Baxter (UCT), Mentors’ Day.

His People City Bowl (CPUT) Mentors Day

His People City Bowl (CPUT) Mentors’ Day.

The Dream Expands…

This year I have seen the expansion of God’s dream for my life with the start of a new chapter in my Campus Ministry journey.

I carry two intertwined roles in this new season. One is serving as a Western Cape Campus Leader for the His People and Every Nation Campuses, strategically helping campus ministries within the Western Cape grow and multiply. In the Western Cape we have campus ministries at UCT, CPUT, UWC, Tygerberg Medical Campus, the University of Stellenbosch and Boland College.

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Western Cape Campus Leaders social event.

I work with JJ in the City-wide Campus role. The role specifically focuses on enhancing the productivity and fruition of the campus ministers in 5 key areas:

1.Growing and establishing effective, powerful, and life changing God encounters

2.Evangelism

3. Discipleship

4. Raising and empowering student leaders to be released on the campus and later in society

5. World Missions

The campuses will be collaborating with each other to grow in the 5 key areas. During this first phase we will focus on four areas: our unity, taking LIT (see below) to our campuses over the next 3 years, looking at campus staff development (including raising new Campus Ministry staff), and growing our focus on World Missions. The mission fields we will focus on outside of the Western Cape are new campus ministry plants in Port Elizabeth and Kenya, and the strengthening of the campus ministry in Pietermaritzburg.

The other part of my new role is as the LIT coordinator for the Western Cape. LIT stands for ‘Leaders in Transformation‘. It is an institution that works to equip Christian student leaders to impact all spheres of society, and to act as “thought leaders” to influence the affairs of nations in the Southern African region and beyond. My role entails launching the program on the 6 campuses in the Western Cape. This is part of the main strategic objective we continuously have as Campus Ministries, which is to make disciples that transform society. We hope and trust that this program will be a huge step forward in raising up students to transform every sphere of society and bring the Good News into workplaces and businesses. I am excited to see where this takes us!

 

 

 

The End of an Era- Passing On the Leadership Baton!

I remember writing about how reaching 10 years in ministry was naturally a time to celebrate, reflect and look ahead. Little did I know that 10 years in ministry would mark a ‘sudden’ shift and the beginning of new things for me in ministry.

After being a missionary on the University of Cape Town campus for 10 years, things have changed! This is a very good thing; God truly has our days planned, and He continuously leads us and grows us! Ministering at UCT has been an amazing journey of pioneering, serving, leading, reaching students, growing in ministry and discovering my gifts. Of the 10 years I have been at UCT I have ministered alongside Roshni for 9 years! We were together so much, we even got called by each other’s names, as our names both begin with an ‘R! As God would have it, we have both transitioned from UCT in the same year – making it feel like the end of an era, and the beginning of a completely new season.

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My ministry buddy, the amazing Roshni – a true World Changer!

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Roshni’s Congregational farewell as she is released by the His People Baxter elders and joins the Mauritius Church Plant team.

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Roshni had so many farewells! This was just one of them at one of her favourite places, The Cape Grace Hotel.

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Seeing Roshni off at the Cape Town airport. Bon voyage, Roshni!

It is both sad and exciting that Roshni has moved back to her country of birth, Mauritius, to be a part of pioneering an Every Nation plant, reaching young people. Of course, it’s sad that we don’t get to keep working together to reach and impact students in Cape Town. I miss her so much! But it is exciting to see God’s purposes displayed; to see God call her to GO to the nations, and specifically her own nation, with the Good News she received here as a student herself. We know that she will lead many to the Lord and make disciples in Mauritius!

The His People Campus Ministry at UCT is in the capable and amazing hands of Pastors Humphrey, and Chinelle Bande (a couple we have worked with and walked with for many years), and Andre Peek works alongside them as the third Campus Pastor. Roshni led a great transition plan for both of us over the last 10 months to ensure the smoothest hand over. This is indeed a new season and I am excited to see all that God will do and accomplish in and through this next season for both of us.

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Praying for Humphrey, Chinelle and Andre at their ordination earlier this year

 

 

STOP XENOPHOBIA

In the first half of this year we have had two very different yet turbulent events that have brought a lot to the fore for our students. These have been the UCT “Rhodes Must Fall” campaign and then the national Xenophobic attacks. They have highlighted for us the challenge this generation faces to have love, wisdom, courage and faith to speak into secular ideas of national transformation with the truth of Biblical transformation. It has been a weighty time speaking into these situations and feeling the gravity to have to respond and disciple hearts.

 

'Every nation' Campus Ministries uniting to pray against Xenophobia

‘Every nation’ Campus Ministries uniting to pray against Xenophobia

 

We held a panel discussion for the UCT Campus Ministry to equip students to interact with their peers on issues related to these incidences.

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xenophobia

Culture of Celebration

I am continually amazed by the power of celebration – it helps us to stop and look at what has been accomplished and to pull people together to inspire greater future efforts. Our celebratory events have given us a chance to have fun together; allowing us to interact more deeply and make better connections, consequently building stronger teams and creating real bonds of common purpose . Bible school graduation, Women of the Word lunch and our various Pastorate celebrations were just these kinds of celebratory times.

Year of Your Life 2013 celebration

Year of Your Life 2013 celebration

Year of Your Life 2013 at the celebratory lunch

Year of Your Life 2013 at the celebratory lunch

Forest Hill and Woolsack Residence Connect group leaders have a special tea

Forest Hill and Woolsack Residence Connect group leaders have a special tea

I want to also thank those that partner with us as a family in support and prayer for the vital part they play in making it possible for us to reach and impact these young people. It has been a wonderful time of connecting with various partners over this last month; sharing what God has done on the ‘Campus’ mission field. It has in turn been inspiring to hear what God is doing in their mission fields and families.  We celebrate you and the role you play in our lives and the lives of the young people who are impacted!

Fit to Lead

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

Bible School graduation 2013

'Men of the Word' 2nd semester. Acourse to help with the tools needed to develop Christian character

‘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' (my 2nd semester group) is a course to help with the 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 Connect group leaders

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 2014 planning time

The Baxter  team at the 2014 planning time

Jason, Andre and myself will be looking at our 3 different phases of training to imporove how we labour to see Christ formed in people

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

A place to call ‘home’

 New PictureThose 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.

20130801_205625Since 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.

Raising Leaders

CONNECT GROUPS

Serge

This semester we planted two new connect groups (small groups). The one is based in Rondebosch, and is a mixed connect group for ‘non-residence’ students lead by Serge.

The other connect group teaches biblical Christian foundations from the Purple Book (Christian foundations) in Tugwell, and is lead by our gifted student, Vee. She is such a great teacher.

Vee

and some of the girls in the Purple Book (Christian foundations) group in Tugwell

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This semester also found me spending lots of time visiting and teaching the beautiful Tugwell ladies at the various connect groups in that residence.  It’s a times such as these that I realise again how much I love what I do! I am truly thankful to all of you who support this ministry to students. I am always amazed and humbled at the power of God’s Word and the ability it has to create things out of nothing…how simple moments like these have the profound ability to change lives and even shift whole generations for Jesus. In the picture below I went  to speak on ‘God’s grace for your future’: their academics and service in society through their vocations, their families and communities.

THE CHARACTER AND COMPETENCE OF A LEADER

Every semester we run Women of the Word (WOW), Men of the Word (MOW), ‘Read and Lead'(RnL) and Purple Book courses and we have seen the greatest fruit yet in raising potential leaders through these fora. In my pastorate alone we have sent 78 students through these courses this year. I am so encouraged by the supernatural fruitfulnes; seeing students discipling and labouring to see Christ formed in the hearts and lives of their peers.

One of the WOW groups we facilitated this semester having lunch together

CONNECT GROUP LEADER’S TRAINING

A few weeks ago I also had the incredible privilege of organising the second connect group leaders’ training for the year where we trained 29 new leaders for our Congregational connect groups. Twelve students from my pastorate (one of three pastorates at UCT) were trained to be connect group leaders. It has really been a year of maturing and growing our leaders.

The mighty André teaching on discipleship at the connect group leaders’ training.

Of course we know we wouldn’t truly grow if our faith wasn’t tested – there have been a number of obstacles that we continue to pray for and believe God to help us overcome.

Please could you trust God with us for the following:

  • Some of our students are struggling financially and they may have to stop studying indefinitely until their parents can afford the rest of their tuition. We are praying for miracles!
  • One of our student residences has banned small group meetings of a religious nature starting next year. Please pray for this and trust with us for favour as we meet with University administration to contest this.