Sunday 26 Feb Day 17
Sunday dawned upon this sleepy family. We decide to attend the church with which Living Hope is associated. It was with great joy that we once again heard it being preached that we are here as the body to serve and to rub shoulders with others. He kept asking – what is your story? Can you tell your story? He spoke about binding up the broken and setting captives free, the same words spoken again and again to us. It was profound hearing exactly what God has said to us as a family over the past months.
After church we spent a lovely afternoon catching up with another beautiful family who have loved us so much over the years. When I first started homeschooling Kadin was probably about 18 months old. Her daughters were 12 years old and up. Yet she would let me come into their home – whenever I rocked up on the door step – and just let me be there.
We sat colouring in or playing with the chickens while she homeschooled her girls. So much was woven into the fiber of my being mom and raising my children to love and serve God in those simple hours of just watching them raise their children and being a part of their everyday life. As we still have no place to stay on Monday she gave me the number of a friend who she thinks may know someone who is away, we also left our names at the church in the morning. All we can do in this regard is trust God. Our dear friends did however invite us to camp in their garden if need be. I know that this is not the answer but just knowing there is somewhere to be brings some comfort to us in this time of absolute unknown….
We then spent a beautiful evening with my cousin on the beach watching an eclipse and the sunset. I don’t think my children have played on the beach till 8pm before! Winding our way home over the mountains I was asked to read our school story book to them as they dozed in the car. My mind is feeling so mixed up here. As we used to live here 10 years ago and now we here for a while but we are not on holiday and we technically have no home in KZN… it’s a very surreal feeling knowing the only place that you truly belong and can call home is heaven.
Sunday 12 Feb
Sunday morning saw us again fed from our toes up! What a glorious morning feast! We did then have to hurry off to visit a church headed up by old friends of ours – Dave actually married us and moved to Grahamstown to start a church about 8 years ago. It was quite surreal being in that place, seeing this congregation that God had brought together – something God had predestined and called this couple to step into obedience and build. As we sat in the meeting I found the tears warmly slipping down my cheek as I remembered Dave and Kate saying they were going and us wondering how they would ever pull of such a thing in such a small town. Yet here they are today with an amazing community built in Grahamstown. Phew – the awe of seeing the fruit of obedience! I can’t help thinking what fruit I’ve missed out on through holding onto fear or disobedience.
The sermon was one directed to their congregation but we had to smile as it was so predestined that we were there as it spoke exactly into where God has been talking to us as a family. Into us becoming climate Changers. Bringing heaven to earth and shifting the environment around us. Influencing the spheres into which we are called and bringing God into that moment and time and place. Later on our trip we were in a campsite and some guys arrived in a taxi with their music pumping. As they disembarked the whole atmosphere changed and we quickly finished packing up before moving on our way. Afterwards I thought back on this sermon and wondered at how the world walks in such confidence with no fear of bringing whatever they have and whoever they are into that place and time and yet as Christians we slink around, not wanting to offend. We slip around difficult or controversial topics and in so doing allow the world to be the atmosphere changes instead of us stepping in with the authority of God in that moment to bring the truth of the kingdom of heaven.
After church we took a walk through the old chapel in Grahamstown and stood in awe of the craftsmanship. Our children challenged by the idea of having a different reverence and level of excellence in our workmanship to the glory of God.
How amazing is the quote on this plaque I found in the cathedral honouring men who had died.
Once we had returned to Cath and packed ourselves up to go spent the night with Dave and Kate we headed off to the shops to restock on some vital food items. As I ran into the shop Neil and the kids tidied out the car and repacked their sitting spots for the journey the next day. As I wove among the isles looking for bread and milk I felt a deep panic begin to rise up within my soul. “What are we doing? Why exactly are we on this trip? Are we really hearing God? If we were why do we not have accommodation in Cape Town yet? Where are we going to stay? Is this all actually going to back fire into a sick joke with us returning home next week with our tail between our legs? Where will we stay in Cape Town? Where will we stay? Where will we stay? I could feel fears icy talons work their way around my chest making it hard for me to breathe, let alone think about what I needed to buy. As I stood turning in circles trying to remember what I was in fact in the shops for I heard the gentle voice of my father simply saying, “I can’t use you like this. When you let fear take his hold all you think about is yourself and you can’t even notice the people around you let alone hear what I want to you to say to them. Fear makes you only see yourself.”
As I stumbled out of the shop I was still aware of fear grasping for my heels but I needed to see my family, the car and trailer packed for this trip. I needed to know the truth that our father in heaven has so clearly directed our feet thus far that he won’t let us down now.
We had a good laugh as people tried really hard to look like they weren’t looking at us as we ate our lunch alongside the trailer and then proceeded to unpack our bags in the carpark so that once we reached Dave and Kate we could simply take in one bag for the night.
A lovely time was spent at Dave and Kate catching up and seeing what God is doing in all our lives. They have the most beautiful view from their kitchen window over the whole of Grahamstown. I think if I were to start a church in a town that I would love to have a view like that from my kitchen sink as there isn’t a better way to have a regular reminder of the people you’ve been called to serve and to lift them all up in prayer wherever they are in town at that moment whilst you are washing the dishes. I think one of the most profound things I’ll take away from our time with Dave and Kate was when we asked him how they started the church they are heading up. They arrived knowing only one student so how did they gather people. The reply was so simple and has yet left me with a profoundly impacted. They got people together to eat and pray.
So the simplicity of food and prayer was the start of this beautiful community!
Living out of town has made regular church fellowship a real difficulty in our lives. We just find the stress of trying to get there was ruining rather than building the family. So we decided for this season to have a break from formal meetings. This was great in that it has taken away all the stress that was tearing at few precoius family ours together. However what I didn’t realise was how it would affect the rest of my week! This week – for the first time in ages – I put on some worship music in the house and began to worship whilst doing my chores and aaahh the lightness of spirit and joy that began to return. It was then that I realised that inadvertently – whilst distressing our Sundays, by not attending church I had stopped worshiping!
“Unless the Lord builds the house – its builders labor in vain” says Psalm 127:1. As I’ve tried to mother alone I’ve realised now that it’s only through my Father’s strength and my leaning on Him that I can Mommy effectively and do all I have been called to do – with joy in my heart whilst doing it!