Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Powerful P2P meets Thrilling 2010

Our community is changing. For the good. Here in South Africa we are experiencing powerful things. We are thrilled. Last Friday night we witnessed 40 young people bound by a collective love for our Lord and each other. Bound by the desire to reach out to the marginalised and destitute in South Africa – to reach them in love with the Good News of the Kingdom of God.

Over 100 brothers and sisters and young people shared a meal of celebration and testimony at the Westville ecclesial hall. The occasion was the Final Report back evening of the 4 P2P teams who have been helping the 2010 projects in South Africa over the past 2 weeks. If you have not heard about P2P or 2010 before, read on. Powerful. Thrilling. If you have heard about P2P or 2010, you will read on.

Over the past few years on two different continents, two diverse initiatives have been developing. They started without reference or knowledge of each other, at least from a human perspective. The 2010 project developed out of a unifying vision for the Christadelphians in South Africa - A vision to grow the body of Christ significantly through sustainable preaching projects that actively reach out to the poor and marginalised. Through its varied projects, 2010 aims to “touch and teach” through enabling preachers of all backgrounds and with diverse skills to actively contribute. The results have been thrilling. The P2P project was started in Australia by brothers and sisters passionate about preaching, with a desire to prepare and encourage as many as possible to take up the divine commission. Since its commencement P2P training courses have been run in Australia, USA and South Africa. 2010 was preparing projects for preaching. P2P was preparing preachers for projects. God was at work.

And God continues to work as these two projects meet in the most powerful ways. Orphans and widows are cared for, the good news of the Kingdom is preached and lives are changed. We could not have imagined so many benefits could be realised by simply taking the challenge of “Go out into all the world” simply and practically. Each group was given the opportunity to talk about their various activities and achievements over the past 2 weeks. Each P2P team was made up of between 8 to 10 young people from the USA, UK and Australia. Each of these teams has been contributing to the development and growth of various 2010 projects throughout South Africa. This is the second round of P2P preachers coming to help out in South Africa and, like the first group in January, they have made a thrilling contribution. Their dedication and demonstrable care and love hugely impacts the communities they come into contact with. They make a huge difference in the lives of so many in so many different ways. From an orphan taking in his first view of a waterfall to a truth-seeker finding a Church that preaches the Kingdom, these are no ordinary days. Smiling faces, genuine desire to learn, absolute appreciation and simple faith welcome our P2P preachers as they bring the good news. How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace! And yet the real power is where P2P and 2010 meet.

As each individual young person personally testified to their experiences in reaching out and going forth in faith the real power became evident. These are young people growing up in a world that offers so much distraction, a world that provides endless opportunity for self-indulgence. Young people enjoy conferences and opportunities to gather together and socialise. But in these 2 weeks they have received far more than this. They experienced true connections with people who desperately needed them physically and spiritually. They found a place to personally contribute, to add value and meaning. They found opportunities to preach and serve in so many ways they never imagined possible. They found themselves doing things they thought they never would. They found new friendships and relationships, deeper than they experienced at traditional Youth weeks and conferences. They, and indeed we all, experienced the power of taking the Master at his word. Powerful. Thrilling.

If this is something you need right now or something that inspires you, take a moment right now to say a prayer and God willing we will see you soon. 

Matthew Blewett

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