Putting your hands on the plough is a proverbial expression that signifies undertaking a new business.
In Luke 9:62 Jesus replied: “No one who puts a hand to the plough and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”
Jesus lived in an agricultural age where His audience was very well familiar with what he exactly meant. For a ploughman to be successful in His work, he must concentrate on the job he started. He knows that the only way is forward and not being distracted by the things left behind. In case the ploughman starts to look back, his plough line will become crooked. If that happens, the field he is ploughing will not yield a full harvest.
Our primary identity is in Christ. But we have a secondary identity that is formed by our experiences in the past, present and future. We develop insecurities and flawed thinking patterns due to past experiences. This has been true for me and Magda and the past four years has been a time to bring our secondary identity in line with our primary identity as we worked through the insecurities we were aware of. This is a continuous process but we feel that we are now ready to put our hands to the plough, without looking back!
We defined a new platform (Stand Firm Enterprises: www.standfirm.co.za ) to allow us to engage in income generating opportunities and volunteer work through the professional coaching, mentoring, facilitating and teaching services we offer.
We had very little income generating opportunities to date and are therefore still dependent on your donations and contributions.
We realize that the workshops on “Walking with Wounded Children” and “The World needs a Father” is mostly needed in communities that are not able to pay towards the cost of these workshops. An example is the small primary school in Fish Hoek we shared about in our last letter. A needs assessment was done and a proposal prepared, but it is clear that the school / teachers / community are not in a position to cover the cost of this training. (The proposal is available upon request).
This leaves us with a choice: Put the proposal on the shelf, or do the training on a volunteer basis covering our expenses from our own pocket. Knowing the need and the potential for restoration and transformation this training can bring to that community, we find it difficult to just turn our back on the situation. We need wisdom!
During August Theunis and his brother Louwrens went to Uganda to do “Walking with Wounded Children” Training. Magda decided to stay with her sister-in-law Gerda in their new home in Ocean View. This gave Magda an opportunity to see three children referred by the teachers at the Primary School in Fish Hoek. She had a breakthrough with a little girl suffering from trauma symptoms after the death of her father. Two boys will need more time to build a strong relationship of trust so that they can share their hurt.
This year 10 South Sudanese Pastors were selected from the group trained in 2017 to attend a week of Tutor training from 27 -31 August. They were trained to present two days from the “Entering the World of a Child” workshop as well as Matt. 18:1-4 on leadership. During the 2nd week (3-7 September) 23 Children’s workers from various denominations joined us, and the 10 Pastors presented the first two days of training. Louwrens and Theunis presented three days from the Walking with Wounded Children workshop focusing on trauma and the sandbox and toys as a tool to journey with traumatised people. We praise God for testimonies of healing in the lives of the Pastors and their families. They did very well as Facilitators-in-Training, presenting two days of training to 23 children’s workers and we are looking forward to hear more testimonies of restoration and transformation as they use their new knowledge and skills to enter into the world of children, building strong relationships and listening actively to the stories of trauma and hurt in the community.
Theunis facilitated an evaluation and planning session with the Kingfisher Mobilizing Team in Uganda on behalf of Kingfisher Mobilizing Center from 9-11 September 2018. It was a very productive meeting and we trust God for the continuation of His work in the Church in Uganda through the work of this small but dedicated team.
The World needs a Father: Dad’s Talk and Mother Design Workshops
We were also involved with “World needs a Father” (https://www.theworldneedsafather.com/ ) for the past three days at Every Nation Church, N1 City, Goodwood. It was attended by 25 Pastors, leaders and staff members. Magda attended the Mother Design Workshop with the purpose to be trained as a facilitator. Theunis helped to facilitate the Dad’s Talk Workshop. We pray that these trained pastors and leaders will influence the communities where they live and work to bring God’s Kingdom into families and communities.
We hope to be able to present this material as a couple in the near future.
Magda presented information on the “Walking with Wounded Children” – Workshop to pastors and leaders at a circuit meeting of the Bellville circuit of the Dutch Reformed Church.
She did the same at the meeting of Sunday school leaders and volunteers of DRC Stellenberg. They have invited us to prepare a proposal to train their volunteer leaders towards the end of 2018.
We are in the process of renting our home out. Hardus and Zanelle bought a home in Welgemoed, Bellville and they invited us to move to a 1-bedroom flat under the main house towards the end of October.
We have also decided to put our 2007 Hyundai Getz 1.4 up for sale.
These measures will help to ease the financial pressure we encountered since our move back to Cape Town.
Thank you for your continued love and support.
We covet your prayers and would like to hear from you, so that we can pray for you too.
Theunis & Magda