Written by Ryan Strydom
This last weekend (12 – 14 August, 2011), Mark Meeske and a team headed towards the area of Mokhotlong in Lesotho to facilitate and lead the Geographical Training Time (GTT) that took place there. (For those that don’t know, a GTT is very much like an EQUIP time in Johannesburg except it focuses on the region and takes place over a few days.)
The team was made up of fourteen individuals from Cornerstone, eight of which were the Life Team.
After a ten hour drive to Mokhotlong, the team had supper together with the local leaders on the Friday night to connect. It was then off to an early start on the Saturday morning in a Youth Centre just outside of town. The morning consisted of training and there were about fifty to sixty local folk that came through.
After lunch it was time to do some door-to-door evangelism in the village close by. The local guys and the Cornerstone team headed off to invite others to a late afternoon / evening meeting which was to focus on healing, God’s presence and power.
The meeting indeed saw many breakthroughs as the team preached about signs and wonders and prayed for the sick. There were a great deal many evidences of God’s power which was all quite encouraging.
Sunday morning the team split into two to visit two local churches. The original plan was to visit the four relating churches in the area but this unfortunately couldn’t be done due to the team only having one vehicle.
Mark preached at the one church while Casper Versluis and Kyle McClean preached at the other. The morning was quite fruitful and the team packed up at 1pm and got home around 10pm.
There are four churches which we relate to in the area and throughout the years we have seen a lot of growth and life in these churches. Still, we’re really praying to see more churches established there and also more churches relating to the team so that we can work much more effectively into Lesotho. This is a key prayer point alongside the constant challenge of poverty the churches face there.
The next trip to Lesotho is planned for the weekend of 11 – 13 November. This time we’ll probably go to Maseru (the capital of Lesotho). It will also be a GTT. Chat to Mark if you would like to join in the trip. If you would like to call him you can at the church office number, 011-616-4083 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, have a chat to him at one of the Sunday or Wednesday meetings.
This man has something to say and the way he says it will have you doubled over with laughter. The topic was him donating a kidney to his dad who was very ill and needed the kidney or he would be on dialysis for the rest of his life (which is no life at all). This is no laughing matter but as he explains this whole process he has you rolling on the floor. He starts off with being totally disgusted that his father has the audacity to even ask one of his kids for a kidney and feels that it is just going to be him. It turns out that he is the perfect match (6 out of 6 match – which is nearly never heard of).
If anything can go wrong in an operation, it did with him. His antics are hysterical even though the tough time he goes through most certainly is not. He is totally embarrassed by the processes that he has to go through before the op and he goes into the details. He nearly dies a few times in the process while his dad is up and about a few hours later after receiving Michael’s kidney. His recovery is also slow after all the complications but in the end he pulls through and lives to tell his very humorous tale. I left with valuable lessons on life and how to overcome with a sense of humor.
The all sites celebration time was awesome. The band rocked out and having the choir on stage was the icing on an already very delicious musical cake. It was great having the Uptown guys and girls with us and their presence definitely improved the dancing skills average by about 98.3%, if not more. We had serious fun dancing and singing together.
The song and dance was followed by a whole bunch of people getting baptised. It’s always great seeing people get baptised and sharing that experience with them. There was a real sense of family and community as we all supported those taking the step of baptism and it was really wonderful to be a part of.
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Written by Ryan Strydom
Hennie Keyter recently returned from a trip to Cairo and on Sunday gave a small report-back of how things are in that side of the world. It was quite encouraging but at the same time the people there need a lot of prayer as the country is going through a tumultuous time.
What was encouraging is that for the first time in history the various Christian groups have agreed that the time has come for them to lay their differences aside and work together. Along with this group, a Muslim group, who would like to continue what they are doing peacefully, look like they may form the official opposition.
However, there is another Muslim group which appear to want to go a more aggressive route, and in this the people of that country need prayer as there is a lot of uneasiness. There is a parliamentary election in November and people are aware that this must happen for things to go forward, but there is obviously a lot of uncertainty on how everything will transpire.
“The leaders God has raised that we are connected with are people of integrity and we trust, and pray, that they will be able to make a huge difference in the country,” Hennie says. Let’s join in prayer for that.
Written by Ryan and Shannon Strydom
This last Thursday for EQUIP, Michael and Amy Smalley from the U.S. came to give us a little talk on marriage. Their talks took place throughout the whole day, starting with sessions at Newday Edenvale and then culminating in an EQUIP evening session at Central Cornerstone.
The Smalleys were witty in imparting some key principles on cultivating an environment of love – “allowing love to grow in the home,” as they put it. Or in other words, becoming a “lurve magnet”.
Their evening talk boiled down to four points, which were:
1) Respect your spouse’s boundaries
2) Don’t be judgemental of each other
3) Value each others’ differences
4) Be Christlike towards your spouse (love and serve them unconditionally)
These were driven home by some hilarious stories and clear illustrations from their own marriage. One of the encouraging points of the evening was that there is hope for every marriage situation – no marriage is beyond restoration.
Recently Marcus highlighted the new social justice initiative that we as a church are embarking on under the banner of Ukwahka Isizwe (Nation Building.) Read more
Chippy Brand spoke at the Exchange on friday 5 August, and was throughly enjoyed by all. Just a real testimony of how there are tough times and good times in life and yet through it all God is faithful in building our characters so that we can be used more by Him. Chippy used the analogy of road construction, where the different layers need to be prepared and compacted (through trying times) before the top layer can be placed, which is where the road is used, and is what is visible.
I really enjoyed the humourous stories associated with his upbringing, different projects and even testimony of how God looked after them during his farming experiences. Chippy’s testimonies of the business decisions he made based on his faith are great. The practical aspects of setting up a business, choosing staff, making business choices and much more – just could see how those grey hairs were earned.
Get the audio here.