SUNDAY 31 OCTOBER
Hi to all from Cape Town,
We've been into Khayelitsha and Gugulethu townships to see some of the projects there. It's been a refreshing change in the townships to see so much progress on the infrastructure of the once squalid areas that we visited and helped in the 80s. We've been into hospices and HIV units as well as the churches there.
Here in Elsies River we ran a Global Mission workshop with the church on Saturday. It's very heartening to see how much the church here treasures the relationship with St Philip's. It was also handy to have just attended the Lausanne Conference on Global Evangelism which enabled me to bring the information up with the latest news from around the world.
This morning we attended Elsies River as pastor Gugulethu from Khayelitsha was away but we hope to meet up with him later in the week. Tonight it's over to the team as they share their own testimonies of what God is doing in their lives and their present ministries.
On Monday we are booked in for our prayer walk around Robben Island and we just hope that the wind is not too strong to cancel the ferries, which is what happened last week.
Everything is fine and we look forward to going South to Hermanus on Tuesday.
MONDAY 1 NOVEMBER
Sunday night service led by the team was an amazing time. Consisting of testimonies from the team it was amazing to see the golden thread of God's grace in their lives. We prayed and sang with the church and all agreed it was a great time with them.
Monday provided us with a sunny day and calm seas to begin our prayer walk on Robben Island. Landing from the ferry we were whisked into the tourist tour of the prison which was once again enlightening being led by an ex-political prisoner on the island. He was lucky, he said - having been sentenced to 17 years he only served 5 when Aparthied was overthrown. The tour was moving and gave us plenty to think about.
Then we were released from the prison and walked back to the leper colony, the cave in the quarry where Mandela and others taught as a sort of University of Robben Island. We finished at the two churches on the island - one at the leper colony and the other a garrison church. We read scriptures and prayers at each site with different members of the team taking turns. A very significant time once again.
Tomorrow we take our red minibus south towards the Southern Cape and will be stopping in Hermanus.
We are getting on really well and enjoying a very profitable visit. Our hosts are brilliant but perhaps feed the team a little too much!
Greetings - Alan
THURSDAY 4 NOVEMBER
The team returned safely from after seeing whales and penguins in abundance. The team time in a hired house near the whale spotting Mecca of Hermanus ended up being a good time for us to collect our scattered thoughts and pray and think about the next few days.
This morning saw us driving down the wild coastline to Cape Town and then it was straight into a visit to a “White Church” to meet the Pastor there and hear about South Africa from another different perspective. The church was where CYFA attended an evening service three years ago on their mission visit. A wonderful building greeted us and the Pastor Andrea took us straight off to see an orphan project that the church supports in Crossroads. The afternoon unfolded with a description of their link with Swaziland which Tommy and others are now joining in with. It felt like this church was a church of the future South Africa reaching out beyond their own confines across the racial groups.
One interesting part of the conversation was the relationships between the White groups which Andrea described as difficult. Boers still remember the Anglo-Boer war and it still makes it difficult for them to integrate. However it was a beginning perhaps to speak to us about it.
We are just about to have one of Tommy’s famous 'braai's and so the mission goes on. Lots more platefuls of meat and lots of fun at Tommy’s house. The team are well and looking forward to the next few days where the pace is not likely to slacken.