STAND FIRM Journal

We are on a continual journey to develop a greater Christ-consciousness.  We know that spiritual growth does not equal spiritual transformation. Jesus never emphasized the “heart decision” of going to church – He emphasized the “mind decision” of being church and going into the world. Transformed believers do not aim to fill buildings and delight their hearts. They aim to transform their thinking, and to change the neighbourhood. The flow of behavioural change starts with our thoughts. Thoughts lead to actions, actions to habits, habits to discipline and discipline builds character that determines our destiny. Following Christ requires new mind-sets, new principles and new values. The following poem written by Sir Francis Drake (Adventurer: 1540 -1596) is a fitting reminder of the mind-set needed on this journey towards the transformation of our minds and greater Christ-consciousness:

Disturb us, Lord, when
We are too pleased with ourselves,
When our dreams have come true
Because we dreamed too little,
When we arrived safely
Because we sailed too close to the shore.

Disturb us, Lord, when
With the abundance of things we possess
We have lost our thirst
For the waters of life;
Having fallen in love with life,
We have ceased to dream of eternity
And in our efforts to build a new earth,
We have allowed our vision
Of the new Heaven to dim.

Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly,
To venture on wilder seas
Where storms will show Your mastery;
Where losing sight of land,
We shall find the stars.

We ask you to push back
The horizons of our hopes;
And to push back the future
In strength, courage, hope, and love.

This we ask in the name of our Captain,
Who is Jesus Christ.

Impact Stories

We are grateful for the God-given opportunities to bring about transformation during the past month: despair into hope, ashes into beauty and mourning into joy.

Walking with Wounded Children Training

We completed the training with “Moms for Wellington”. (www.masvirwellington.co.za/ ) We had 12 participants from diverse backgrounds who were confronted with their own trauma and pain as we taught them to walk with the hurting children they are working with. The feedback was very positive and the management team at the organization are very pleased with the visible change in attitude displayed by the participants in the interaction with the children at the center. You can watch scenes from our training at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gv6ei4wTdyA&t=63s

A desperate mother called us to help her deal with her 5 year old son. She described him as frustrated and aggressive at times. He only became aware of a father in his life when he was 3 years old, and since then the father has not been constructively involved. Theunis “played” with “Z” twice a week for the past 5 weeks. His mother reported the following changes in his behavior:

  • He started to talk freely and out of his own about his dad.
  • He is much more relaxed and we have had no reports of him hurting children, from the school.
  • He communicates much better with other children.
  • He will initiate conversation with me – something he never did before.

We praise God for this report. “Z” will now be seen by an occupational therapist that will help “Z” and the family to function well.

It was a privilege to work with Integer Network SA (https://web.facebook.com/IntegernetworkSA/) in facilitating a Walking with Wounded Children Workshop in Noordhoek. The participants were experienced children and youth workers involved in children ministry in the Masiphumelelo community near Kommetjie.

Looking Forward

Project Restoration

Tickets have been bought for Uganda and Theunis and Louwrens will return to Uganda between 23 August and 11 September to continue the training of the South Sudanese Pastors in the refugee camp to become facilitators of the Walking with Wounded Children material.

The South Sudanese civil war started in December 2013 after fallout between President Salva Kiir and Vice-President Riek Machar, which caused Machar to resign and lead rebel forces against Kiir’s government. A peace agreement was achieved in early 2016, but the conflict erupted again in July that year. Since then the International community has tried to foster a peace agreement but discussions broke down several times. The people we have spoken too has lost hope and do not trust the current leaders to come to any lasting peace agreement. They hope that new leaders will arise that will be able to rise above the current tribal divisions to focus on unity and collaboration. According to the United Nations, there are currently more than 2 million South Sudanese refugees and more than 1 million of them are living in Uganda.

Our goal is to prepare the 10 Facilitators-in-Training to present 5-days of training, including the material from the Walking with Wounded Children workshop. We will again stay in the refugee camp for the duration of the training. You can follow this link to see a video clip with scenes from our previous experience in 2018:

https://youtu.be/A47_bSwM1S4

Special Request

The pastors and leaders we work with need smart-phones. They are many times separated from family members residing in other sections of the refugee camp and some have family and friends who remained in South Sudan. A recent model smart phone in good condition can help them to stay in touch with family, friends and people they have met wanting to support them. Please contact us urgently if you upgraded recently and have a phone to donate.

We continue to seek more income-generating opportunities to alleviate the shortfall on our personal budget and to continue to replace donation income with income from coaching and training opportunities.

Please refer possible clients for business-and life coaching and training to us.

Thank you for your continued love and support.

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