Hello friends and family!
Well we have had another great weekend in ministry and are so thankful for all God has done! It was an exciting one as we spoke at the Capricorn Community Church (they are baptist 'affiliated' but not called Baptist - semantics....) youth retreat! The campsite was near our house which was helpful as Kieren never could figure out how to take a nap or sleep AT ALL with all the noise around. First impressions of the kids as the arrived was taken in through our EARS as they were so loud! I mean I have been around groups of loud and noisy kids before but this group of almost 30 early teens were like a stampede everywhere they went! Honestly, I think they scared Kieren until about the last day when she finally warmed up to them :) But I think it's because they are in an environment where they are always feeling judged, always looking at others, in harsh family situations, and so you put them in this beautiful camp setting and they came ALIVE! It was truly awesome. The theme of the weekend was 'Reality Check' and we used reality shows as a theme to talk about the reality that God has for their lives even at a young age. Casey spoke the first night about Jeremiah and his challenge was to 'chase the race' that God has before them. I spoke Saturday morning about Esther and I helped them to follow her in the theme 'give, get, and GO!' Then again I spoke Saturday night about Jesus' encounter with the rich young ruler and pushed them to surrender ALL to God so He could make them new. It was a beautiful time of worship and reflection afterwards. Then Sunday morning Casey finished up by talking about David and how we have to 'forget fear' and run ahead knowing that God loves us even when we fall. We think the kids really 'got' our messages and had a fresh encounter with God. We loved hanging out with them, being in a beautiful environment, and just seeing them have a blast. They ran, yelled, laughed, sang, jumped, and loved every minute of their time away. It really was fun to see how profound a weekend away can be for kids living in a hard township environment, and we felt very privileged to get to share the time with them. I am so proud of our friends Shagmie and Lauren Levendall and the great ministry they do with these teens, along with their strong group of adult leaders. It was TIRING for sure (I seriously took a nap EVERY day of the weekend, including Friday) but such a blast. Then Sunday afternoon we came home a rested a bit before our weekly Hillsong Sunday night outing. We had a BIG group of friends that ate dinner together in town afterwards, and this weekend Kieren even had a buddy! We have new, GREAT friends Brad and Kate Senekal who have a daughter, Bailey who is 2 years old. Kieren and her are becomings buds and they are Hillsong friends too so they joined us after the service. It is pretty funny trying to keep TWO toddlers from total late-night meltdowns in public, and nice not to be the only one making a scene :) Brad is South African and Kate is American and they met here in Cape Town and also have a heart for Ocean View and live very close to us. God continues to bring such awesome people into our lives that bless us!
Well we are still a bit fatigued from the weekend but excited for another week ahead here. Thanks for your prayers this weekend! We will post our talk notes and hopefully some pics soon!
Lots of love,