Today marks 8 months in Cape Town for our family. God has been very good to us and we are thankful for the ways we have been loved and supported during our transition into this new home. Resisting the need to tell you EVERYTHING that is happening in one communication, here are a few recent highlights…
Learning to Love God
My friend Myra Perrine wrote an amazing book called “What’s Your God Language?” that we have found really helpful over the past few years. The basic idea is that each of us is created somewhat uniquely in the way we love God most naturally. In discovering our “God Language,” we can grow in the intimacy of our relationship with God as well as appreciate and help one another as we engage God together. This is powerful stuff when we bring our hearts before God this way.
Two weeks ago, I had the privilege of walking through this with the staff of The Warehouse. For many, it was a new way to think about their love relationship with God and how to live out this love best. For others, it was an opportunity to take time to evaluate the current state of their relationship. For everyone, it was a special time to see the amazing diversity God has brought together in this team and I believe it will only make us stronger as we continue to seek to serve God here in Cape Town.
I love being able to teach in the context of a ministry community where we know one another and are able to practice what we are learning together. I am also thankful for the opportunity to help train Christian leaders here in South Africa in ways that are both life-giving for them and impactful in the local church. Leaders that know their own hearts and focus on their own relationship with God will be able to help others. Several people have mentioned wanting to use this with their church or home group. May God be glorified as His people know and love Him more.
If you are interested in learning about how you are created to love God or how to shape your life to best connect with God, I’m glad to tell you more, answer any questions, and highly recommend the book What’s Your God Language?
Church Renewal and new Churches
God continues to speak His call for us to help people plant churches here in Cape Town. An interesting part of this journey has been ongoing conversations with several friends about what it means to be the church and how we can faithfully respond to God’s call for life-changing community. There is a growing momentum for a church plant among some really Jesus-loving people and some others who are seeking God but need something new. I am also excited about a particular local pastor who also has a vision for planting missional communities as a way to renew their own church and as part of a network of new churches in Cape Town. We are beginning to pray and dream together for church expressions that allow people to experience Jesus in life-changing ways – especially in ways that are needed here in South Africa. Please pray with us for new churches and growing disciples in Cape Town. I have just started a new blog to share some thoughts on the subject and would love for you to check it out and subscribe. http://differentchurch.wordpress.com/
I am taking a break from teaching courses at Cornerstone this current term. This is primarily due to the load I have taken on at The Warehouse and needing to put a lot of effort into what God is doing with me there (read about what I am doing on http://www.stewart5.net/2010/12/what-i-am-doing-at-the-warehouse ). However, I am scheduled to lecture the following courses in the upcoming in terms:
- Character of Christian Leader
- Constructive Conflict Resolution
- I am also considering teaching an intensive course with some coworkers on Reconciliation through Changed Relationships
These are all subjects that are dear to my heart and important here in South Africa. In each case, we have the opportunity to shape students from this country and across the continent to be leaders different than the norm – ones who model a passion for Christ and deep dependence on God that leads to serving and changing our world. In future updates I will tell you more about some of the individual students I am coming to know and love.
Iain is going to be baptized
Our middle child wants to be baptized J Praise God for Iain’s tender heart and desire to declare his faith and share his commitment to following Jesus with others. Iain has made a list of people he wants to invite and we are making preparations and setting the date for the next few weeks. Pics to come…
AP going to high school next year!
In SA, there is no middle school. Primary school ends in grade 7 and High school begins in grade 8. Arthur is currently in Grade 7 so we are busy looking at local high schools for January. This is a big decision! Unlike public school in America, you must apply to high schools here. Also different is that public school is not free. This is true for all grade levels, but the cost really goes up in high school. We would appreciate your prayers as we ask God where He wants AP (and potentially Iain and Mairin down the line) to be in school the next several years. Please also pray for him as he writes essays and goes for interviews.
For more Pictures
Melissa is our primary picture taker and online poster. I know most people really enjoy pictures, so make sure to visit our shutterfly site and subscribe to get updates. http://stewartdot5.shutterfly.com/ (more…)