The seasons are turning. As things are warming up for those of you in the northern hemisphere, we are moving toward winter here in Cape Town. For our family, this isn’t a time for hibernation at all. In fact, there are a number of new things to tell you about…
Iain was baptised on March 12! He invited quite a few friends to join us for this special time and it was a true celebration of God in his life. Iain did a great job sharing about his commitment to following Jesus and says he is glad that each person in our family helped with scriptures and blessings for the day. Thank you to everyone who has prayed (and continues to pray) for our children with us – God is doing such amazing things in their lives.
Grandpa Lee’s visit
Melissa’s dad – Lee Liddle – visited us for the first two weeks of April. We had a lot of fun introducing him to our new city, neighbourhood, the kids’ school, and friends. It was hard to see him go, but we are thankful for the time together. I think the kids are already talking about the next time Grandpa comes to visit.
When I was younger I always pictured myself having both a career and a family, but was naïve about HOW I would do it all! During our last year and a half with NieuCommunities in Pretoria I realised that I had been operating beyond my relational capacity for quite some time. So, I have been seeking a new vision about how to live as a Jesus follower who is a wife, mother, friend and neighbour. Since returning to South Africa I have been hesitant to take on significant ministry commitments outside of our home and the kids’ school community. Thankfully, God understands me fully. He has surrounded me with caring, welcoming, like-hearted people who are beginning to become wonderful friends and mentors.
I have joined a weekly prayer group currently consisting of women who previously worked for The Warehouse, but have stepped back from those roles in order to be present with their children. A couple of moms from the kids’ school and I have begun walking for exercise one morning a week in a nearby park. I even enjoy most of my regular household duties while the kids are away at school, primarily because I get the house all to myself and no one is saying, “mommy?” I am also able to get to the gym for a class or two each week (I can flex my triceps now;)
Tomorrow I begin volunteering two hours a week at my kids’ school with a non-profit organization called help2read (http://www.help2read.org). Currently there are about 500 volunteers in over 125 schools in the greater Cape Town area. I have been assigned two students who I will see one-on-one for 30 minutes twice a week. As an early childhood educator I resonate with help2read’s child-centered philosophy and am thrilled to have an opportunity to help children learn to love books and become confident readers.
Leading worship & blessing leaders
The last few months have been very fulfilling for me (Arthur) as I’ve had the opportunity to lead or coordinate the morning prayer and worship times at the Warehouse (http://warehouse.org.za/). Each morning, we gather for an hour with God together – absolutely necessary for those working in the difficult realities of poverty and injustice. We believe that our direct encounter with God is THE thing that connects our hearts with God, shaping us more into the image of Jesus and giving us God’s heart for those all around us. It’s just one of the ways I get to pour into the lives of these amazing leaders. In the upcoming months, I will turn more of my attention to working with local church leaders. There is such a huge need here to care for, encourage, and listen to pastors. These men and women are given the responsibility of guiding God’s people, yet who looks after their hearts? Because the Warehouse’s mission is to serve the church in its response to poverty and injustice, one way we can help them is by ministering to their leaders. Please pray for me as I move into this important (and exciting) role.
A great way to keep up to date on what God is doing through the Warehouse is to sign up for the newsletter mailing list: http://warehouse.org.za/newslettersignupform
Mairin is turning 7 on April 28th!
“We are going to have my birthday party at a park. My friends and I are going to play and have a cake with butterflies. I am very excited to be seven ”
Arthur Paul high school update
“I’ve sent in all of the applications and am waiting for a reply from either. It’s pretty boring just waiting for news :/” – AP. Just a note to say thank you to everyone for praying with us through the high school visiting and application process. We have applied for two schools and will hear back in the next month or two on acceptance.
We are missionaries
God has asked us to live in Cape Town, South Africa, and we have said yes to this and all that He asks of us. We are sent and supported by churches and individuals who believe in us and are investing in the Kingdom work we do while partnering with and working for local ministries. We need prayer, encouragement, and financial help to do this. I point this out because while many are encouraged (inspired?) by what God is doing with our lives, they don’t know that we raise our own support to do this. Maybe God wants you to be part of this with us. If you are feeling a nudge, email me.
Two links for you to check out
May this season bring good things in your life!
Arthur for the Stewart5