The past Easter we reflected on the meaning of Love. We discovered that true Love cannot be contained in a heart that is filled with fear, suspicion and hatred. We cannot have Christ and not have unconditional Love. This does not mean to get fuller with Love, but emptier of ourselves!
For many believers the way to God is “up”. Deeply embedded in us is a belief that the spiritual journey is an ascent, not a descent. And yet, Jesus had only one operational mode: “down”…going lower, taking the lower place.
In our own desire to build capacity and contain more of Christ, the route must be down. There is nothing heroic, by any of our normal standards, in becoming a loving, humble and servant-like person.
This is the path of Philippians 2:6-8:
Have the Same Attitude as Christ
6 Although he was in the form of God and equal with God,
he did not take advantage of this equality.
7 Instead, he emptied himself by taking on the form of a servant,
by becoming like other humans,
by having a human appearance.
8 He humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death,
death on a cross.
During April, a friend invited Theunis to join him to coach a group of students at Eagles Rising Leadership Academy outside Strand: (https://web.facebook.com/eaglesrisingleadershipacademy/?_rdc=1&_rdr).
At Eagles Rising, they inspire, encourage, teach, equip and mentor students (18-24yrs) from a deprived background, to believe that the future can be different from the past and that they can significantly impact society. This is achieved by providing a loving, secure and wholesome Christian environment and a variety of part-time and full-time training programs.
We followed a process over 6 sessions helping them to discover their life purpose. We discussed their life stories to take building blocks from their past for their future; we helped them to discover their potential through understanding who they are in terms of their personality, skills and abilities; we helped them to discover their passion and to develop a Life Mission Statement; we helped them to integrate and align their life with their vision, mission and values.
At first the participants were noticeably shy, with low self-esteem and little self-belief.
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.
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.
During our final one-on-one sessions with the participants they were able to look us in the eye and with confidence declare who they are and what they belief the purpose is that they will fulfil.
This was a very satisfying experience. It was also a “labour of love” because we did not receive any income to cover our cost.
Your faithful donations and monthly contributions enabled us to travel to Strand and to devote our time to these students.
Theunis is still involved in a business coaching process, helping friends to develop a vision and plan for their business.
We had three inquiries about the “Walking with Wounded Children” training and we are waiting to see if any of these doors will open to present the training.
We spent time with Magda’s parents and siblings during Easter weekend in George. It was a special time with family and friends and we cherish the memories of the time we spent together.
We attended the Missions-Focus weekend hosted by the DRC Fish Hoek from 26-28 April 2019. It was good to have fellowship with other people in different ministries supported by the congregation.
Thank you for your continued love and support.