“shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight,” (1 Peter 5:2) Every time Nancy and I sit down to write a new blog article we come face to face with the truth that God has, by His grace, blessed us with the immeasurable privilege and calling to shepherd His people. It hits us between the eyes… every time… that before the beginning of time God ordained this would be our good work for Him. (Eph. 2:10) It is the role He has called me to, and Nancy, as my sweetie and helpmeet in this part of the vineyard, Southern Africa. It is both privilege and responsibility; it is both amazing and humbling.
As you know, our call to shepherd goes beyond those in our church plant at Mountain View in Cape Town, to those, our fellow ABWE missionaries and national partners, scattered throughout South Africa. This month we’ve organized a recap from a recent shepherding expedition. Nancy and I visited our ABWE team in Durban, the city that ABWE initially established as a beachhead. What a privilege to shepherd these shepherds who blessed us greatly. Here are a few snapshots from our fellow laborers in their fields and some of the amazing things God is doing here.
Hospice for HIV/AIDS Patients – The Calvary Care Centre, is a hospice care centre for HIV/AIDS patients. The Farrans lead that ministry. Kyle has had some tremendous opportunities to share the gospel and bring words of hope to those who come to the centre. Their physical needs are great… their spiritual needs even greater!
Grace Baptist Church – Grace was planted 25 years ago and today is a flourishing church. The ministry has been handed over from David and Virginia Morris and is now under the shepherding care of Pastor Des Venter (and family), who leads the flock there. What a delight to do ministry with this church and work along side them. Des also leads the Pastors’ Fellowship in Durban and we had a great time investing in each other’s lives through that fellowship.
China Mission – This is a great picture of missions thriving in a fairly short period of time. Taz was visiting her home church, Fellowship Baptist, while in RSA for a brief furlough. She was sent out by this ABWE church plant to reach people in China. Fellowship is a church plant originally started by an ABWE missionary, Dale Marshfield, that is now reproducing.
Pastoral & Leadership Training – Pastor Dan (and Kirsty) Willis are now back in Durban and pastoring at Fellowship Baptist. You might recall the privilege we had to do ministry together with them during their two-year internship at Mountain View. To see him now… shepherding, serving… was an absolute joy. You can see the growth in them and their passion for serving in the church.
Bible College – Paul (and Penny) Hesman are at Union Bible Institute in Pietermaritzburg and doing a great job in discipling and training people for ministry. Paul teaches at the Bible College, which is both Zulu and English, preparing men to shepherd flocks.
In Fashion? Our Zulu missionaries, Henry and Janet Houk, who minister at Ekukhanyeni are so well “suited” to reach this needy people group in South Africa. It takes years to grow and mature a church, especially in the informal settlements and underprivileged areas throughout South Africa.
Shepherd The Flock of God That is Among You – One last thought before you go… did any of those pictures bring to mind how God might like to use you? Have you considered cross-cultural ministry and missions? The needs here are unbelievable and we need more help. If so, please email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we can fill you in on how to get involved at an even greater level and learn about missions and ABWE.
George Ministry Trip – Next week Nancy and I will make a similar ministry trip to George, South Africa. This is the most recently established of our teams. Please pray for us as we go to shepherd and encourage our missionaries and national partners.
Specific needs and requests for this month can be found by going to the prayer tab on our blog. Thank you for your prayers and support!