the joy of the LORD is your strength.

The joy of the Lord (fueled by your prayers) was our strength in the wake of jet lag and new surroundings.  This past August of 2015, sent by Redeemer church of New York City, we served with our brothers and sisters in Christ at Common Ground and Jubilee churches in Cape Town, South Africa.

Cape Town is home to Robben Island, the island prison on which Nelson Mandela was held captive in the years before the ending of apartheid.  So it represents a unique city in a country straining to move forward in unity and the church has a unique opportunity to be a catalyst for unity.  With the joy of the Lord.  In fact, the Sunday our team was introduced in its worship service, Common Ground Church began a sermon series entitled “One Cape Town.”

As a short-term, spiritual expeditionary force from a country with its own internal strife, we are quite humble about our ability to make a visible impact on our own for the Kingdom.  Which is one reason we partner with local churches, and take their direction as to how we can help (without hurting) their long-term ministry in Cape Town.  Here’s a glimpse of how we served:

                          Jubilee Community Church has several ministries in its space, a large warehouse that it also uses for Sunday worship.

                         

Jubilee Community Church has several ministries in its space, a large warehouse that it also uses for Sunday worship.

                      In addition to serving tea to homeless patients and families, Sye Kim & Marilyn Roelse prayed with families in Jubilee’s health clinic waiting room.

                     

In addition to serving tea to homeless patients and families, Sye Kim & Marilyn Roelse prayed with families in Jubilee’s health clinic waiting room.

  Dawn, Halie and Marissa Lonsdale worked with homeless women seeking to build their fledgling Hope Soap business.  The Lonsdales mixed coconut and essential oil into soap bars while encouraging the women in their faith.  The Lonsdales moved seamlessly from manufacturing to sales, convincing our team to purchase their entire output of 600 bars.

 

Dawn, Halie and Marissa Lonsdale worked with homeless women seeking to build their fledgling Hope Soap business.  The Lonsdales mixed coconut and essential oil into soap bars while encouraging the women in their faith.  The Lonsdales moved seamlessly from manufacturing to sales, convincing our team to purchase their entire output of 600 bars.

  The team helped Jubilee set up for over 600 guests (mostly non-Christians) at its Alpha Course dinner. Guests voiced questions about Christianity in a safe place.

 

The team helped Jubilee set up for over 600 guests (mostly non-Christians) at its Alpha Course dinner. Guests voiced questions about Christianity in a safe place.

  Jubilee’s Mercy Store provides donated clothing, blankets and food.  Melissa Rosado sorted books while Wally Jr. and Wally Sr. folded men’s clothing and blankets.

 

Jubilee’s Mercy Store provides donated clothing, blankets and food.  Melissa Rosado sorted books while Wally Jr. and Wally Sr. folded men’s clothing and blankets.

  Zanokhanyo and Cape Town15 team

 

Zanokhanyo and Cape Town15 team

Zanokhanyo serves the unemployed with a faith-based life training, and works with two large retailers in Cape Town to provide service personnel.  We facilitated two sessions with their training staff, demonstrating how Bible stories can be used to inform work-place scenarios like serving an unfair boss (David serving King Saul), dealing with racism (Queen Esther), finding identity and confidence in the Lord (Moses being used after fleeing the palace of Pharoah) or simply forgiveness (Joseph and his brothers in Egypt).

 Khayelitsha is a township reported to have over a million residents and to be one of the poorest areas of Cape Town.  We held an informal Vacation Bible School for smiling kids begging for some hugs.  The hero of the afternoons was Moses: the baby thrown in the river Nile; the fugitive from Pharoah; the man God selected to lead the Israelites to the Promised Land through 40 years in the wilderness.

                VBS time focuses on Bible Story of Moses: baby Moses hid in the River Nile

               

VBS time focuses on Bible Story of Moses: baby Moses hid in the River Nile

While we were making new friends in Cape Town, God brought along long-time friend, Ken Sande, who spoke at Jubilee Sunday evening on relationship wisdom.  It’s been almost 30 years since Ken and Wally Sr. crossed paths through the Christian Legal Society board and Peacemaker Ministries.

                                     Wally Larson,jr      Wallace Larson      Ken Sande

                                    

Wally Larson,jr      Wallace Larson      Ken Sande