Tuesday, July 29, 2008

"Goose bump" stuff

We'll put up a few posts over the next week or so of some of the things that touched the P2P volunteers lives during the preaching work they have been in South Africa.

Waterfalls...beautiful waterfalls

Going up to Graskop we stopped at a waterfall. All the children were amazed at the waterfalls and kept saying how beautiful it was and how it made them feel so good inside, how it was the BEST thing they ha ever seen (this was the first waterfall they had seen). Just made me so much more excited every time we saw another waterfall, just remember the sparkles in their eyes when they see a waterfall. (Liezl Scheepers)

From the mouths of....

The breaking of bread service at Mariannhill was a memorable experience. Lots of children from Sunday School stayed for the service and sat as good as gold through the quite lengthy (!) exhortation. At the end, we sang “Father, God I wonder” and taught it to the congregation. The children loved the chorus: “I will sing your praises” and wouldn’t let us stop singing. They kept on shouting “again” and “more”! So we sang the song about six times! (Ruth Andrews)

"But why?

In the last week of July, Dan, Amy and I went to Margate for the week to do maintenance and run the crèche teacher course. We had 13 very keen ladies come to the four days of the course; from both close to the Margate Hall and from as far a field as Port Shepstone! We had a wonderful time sharing experiences, discussing teaching strategies, “experimenting” with the three Margate crèche children and making teaching resources in a flurry of coloured paper and sticky fingers! Not only could I see the course would directly benefit the ladies, there were many outreach opportunities where we were able to discuss our church, beliefs, the purpose of the Bible Education Centre in that hall and the community work we are involved in. The ladies would chat with Nelson and Cecilia and some of them even signed up for the correspondence course and asked to be notified when other things were running at the church. We even had a joint prayer to start the session one morning on request for someone who had lost a close friend.

However, the moment that touched me the most was on the last day, when Octavia (one of the more elderly ladies completing the course) interrupted me in the middle of explaining a concept and wanted to know if she could ask a question “unrelated” to what we were talking about. Of course I said that this was fine and she went on to say, “Why are you doing this? You come here, you don’t know us, but you love us. You spend your time and money here with us teaching us these wonderful things. We have all been talking about this and want to know why you do these things."

It took my breath away and I was speechless for a moment! We can say all we like and “preach” to people as much as we can, but toget them to ask a question like this of their own accord is pretty special. This was a direct response to us running a simple week-long course seemingly unrelated to spiritual matters. Yet it gave me the most wonderful opportunity to speak in front of these 13 ladies, who we now had a relationship with, about the love of God.

To feel that people are seeing God’s love through our actions is absolute goose bump stuff! (Leah Egginton)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Your life altering journey from Torquay (UK) to South Africa

Thumbnail Ask nearly every person (or read the blog posts) who has been involved in P2P preaching and they will tell you it has been a life altering experience. Not only have they touched for ever the lives of others, but they have seen and experienced why God asks us to preach - so that our lives will be forever changed. From the eyes of child who looks lovingly up to you as you share God's message, to the face of a young person which glows with excitement, to the words of an elder who says "If I had a thousand tongues I could not thank you enough"...this is life changing, So, if you're in the UK, and you want to be a part of this then read on.....

ThumbnailPrepared to Preach (P2P) is a program that prepares you to become involved in preaching. It is a unique opportunity designed specifically to support you in your preparation for a targeted preaching trip. P2P training events happen all around the world, and the latest one is happening soon in the UK:

13 - 21 September 2008 (Torquay, Devon)

P2P UK is a week long training course designed to prepare you to preach in South Africa at Easter 2009 and beyond.

It is aimed primarily at young people, but age will not exclude you....there are currently P2P volunteers in  South Africa in their 70s!
Its aims are twofold:

1.    Firstly that those involved will be affected personally, that the experience of the power of the word of God in their lives and in the lives of others will lead to an increased commitment to preach in many and various ways. And ...
2.    secondly, that more people will be given the opportunity to hear the word of God and to respond.

ThumbnailCourse leaders: Adam Byrnes (Sydney, Aust.); John Pople (San Francisco, US); Tim Genders (Durban, SA); and Noel Greenwood (Bishops Stortford, UK).

Following on from this P2P UK training week is an organised mission trip to South Africa during Easter 2009:

4 - 19 April (Easter) 2009 (South Africa)
This is an opportunity to be involved with the 2010 preaching work that is going on in South Africa and to be thoroughly prepared before you go (by attending the Torquay training course mentioned above).

The work in South Africa is varied and requires a whole range of skills, it involves working with children and adults and P2P will identify where you can be most helpful and prepare you for it.

ThumbnailFor more info and booking forms, please see the P2P UK website:


P2P focuses on “casting the net on the other side”. Bringing the Good News to the blind, the lame, the destitute of the highways and byways of society ... for it is here that a great harvest awaits us.

Prepare to preach. :-)

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

Friday, July 11, 2008

Amanzi - The Water of life continues to flow

Below is an article that was to appear in the Christadelphian Magazine - it, may be a few months after the event, but the power and love that started there is still being felt, especially now as groups of P2P volunteers are spread across the country sharing the Good News of the Kingdom of God (more posts on this soon).


What a way to start 2008! Amanzi (“Water” in Zulu) was the first ever International Christadelphian Youth Conference - with 250 people from more than 10 different countries converging on the south coast of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

The main studies were led by Bro. Craig Blewett (South Africa) on "Much much more than you imagine" and Bro. Shane Kirkwood (Australia) on "Lessons from Timothy".  Craig's Kingdom vision and Shane's thoughtful words regarding lessons for young people were both inspiring and practical.  A feast of other spiritual and fellowship activities, in the company of young people from different backgrounds, was certainly a “life-changing” experience.

Well done to those visionary and hardworking committee members who made it all happen … Thanks to our South African brethren and sisters who were the very best hosts … Our commendation to Amanzi attendees whose behavior was exemplary … And above all our thanks and praise to God and His Son for giving the increase.

The Amanzi Conference energy continued to flow as during the next two weeks it was time for 10 x P2P (Prepared to Preach) Teams to preach the good news of the Kingdom of God all around South Africa – after a year of intensive preaching training programs in Australia and America.

The 10 teams spent a week each on various projects, including Thembisa Orphanage, Kingdom Youth FC, Lamontville PreSchool, Mason Lincoln School for Disabled, Umlazi Tent Ministry, Margate Creche, Candu and Bible Education Centres.  Everywhere we went we saw people and cars branded with the "Good News of the Kingdom of God".

The impact this preaching had on the young people involved and the communities they were working in was immeasurable…

"P2P was incredible, I never imagined it would have such an impact on me and my life. Even though everything has been happening in my country I was quite apprehensive to get involved. I now feel so much more confident when telling people about The Kingdom of God...." (Rachel Bamber, South Africa)

"The Kingdom of God on Earth. That is what my time in Africa gave me a glimpse of! The smiles, the willing and helping hands, the hugs, the constant conversations revolving around our LORD and his plans, the praise, the laughter, the joy! I just can’t wait to see what more God has in store for us!! :) My magic moment was in the form of a tiny little boy. We were running a holiday "Kids Club" for the Umlazi kids and one of the activities was a prayer group. We asked the kids to say the one thing that they would like to pray to God for...more than anything else in the world. Instead of wanting to be a better soccer player, or to be rich, this little one's hearts desire was for "every man to be with his God." (Melody Kingston, Australia).

And the response of the communities?

"I'm unable to say thank you to you all for what you've done. One thank you is not enough for everything you've given us....I wish I had a thousand mouths, so I could give you a thousand thank you's...What is most amazing about what you've given us, is that you came here spending your time, energy and skills in service. You could've just sent a cheque...but instead you came here to see the children, and to lend your skills. And your skills, especially in this country, are priceless." (Nick Morgan on behalf of Leonard from Umlazi)

May God continue to bless us all as we seek to grow in love and share His Good News with many more.  Please visit www.gnotkog.org to find out more about the South African Project “2010x2010” and P2P activities.  The South African brethren and sisters need all the help they can and the opportunities are overflowing, waiting for field workers right now!

"I tell you, take a good look at the fields; the crops are now ripe and ready to be harvested!" - Jesus (John 4:35)

Peter and Hilary Osborn (Amanzi hosts)