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Through the Eyes of a Child – The NEW South Africa
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COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT: Lolla’s 5 Year Journey with The Sozo Foundation
3
Our Story Is Not Our Identity
4
Soul-ish Travel: Recognizing Invitations to Push Beyond Your Borders
5
Wanted: Friends Who Judge
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So… How’d It Go? Sound of the Nations: Battambang, Cambodia
7
Walking In Your Passion While Still Being Useful
8
Confessions of A Bible Student
9
Are You Afraid of Evangelism? I Was Terrified…
10
What is the Discipleship Training School about? Reflecting the Son

Through the Eyes of a Child – The NEW South Africa

Photo Credit: Sydney Priester

Sydney, hailing from the state of Georgia U.S.A., reflects on her experiences in the local community. She staffs at YWAM Muizenberg, loves teaching God’s Word, and working in the community of Capricorn.

This weekend I went to a local fish and chips shop with a vibrant, spunky, nine year old girl. I am white. She is Coloured (an ethnic group in South Africa of possible mixed origins). It is hard to believe that before 1994 this outing would have been against the law. While sitting there in the beach side cafe, we saw a Xhosa family ordering lunch at the counter. She turned to me and said, “I think Xhosa people are so beautiful! They make the nicest rice and know how to cook pap out of mealies… Oh, pap will make you lekker fat!” For a minute or two, we mused about how wonderful Xhosa’s are; then she turned to me and said, “I like white people too; they are so nice.”

That comment deserves a pause.

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COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT: Lolla’s 5 Year Journey with The Sozo Foundation

Photo Credit: The Sozo Foundation

We are excited to share Lolla’s inspirational journey with The Sozo Foundation. We celebrate the wonderful things our non-YWAM neighbors are doing to impact the local community! The Foundation recently turned five years old, and The Bay Community Church has made it possible by giving the organization its full back up support from the beginning in 2011.

The Sozo Foundation is a non-profit organisation, based in the impoverished Cape Flats community of Vrygrond, Cape Town. The Foundation creates opportunities for holistic development through various key areas of Youth Development, Education, Health and Wellbeing, and Skills Development. Their vision is to see the community of Vrygrond living with dignity, purpose, and hope. They live by their motto: We help people to know they’re loved so they can love others. Our guest author for this post is Nolis Mhone, a Public Relations Intern at The Sozo Foundation.

Lolla has walked a journey with Sozo from its inception, and we were thrilled when she joined us permanently in April 2015. Born and raised in a small town in the Eastern Cape, Nelisiwe, or Lolla as we affectionately call her, moved to Cape Town in 2007 with her mother and sisters after tragedy struck her family. Vrygrond soon became Lolla’s new home, and quickly after arriving, Lolla began volunteering at the Vrygrond Library in the afternoons after school.

In 2011, The Sozo Foundation was started and began to use the library to provide after-school tutoring to high school learners from the community. Intrigued by the newcomers and the programme that they offered, Lolla volunteered her time and helped out wherever she could.

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Our Story Is Not Our Identity

Photo Credit: pixabay cc

This post was originally published on the Chris Lautsbaugh’s blog at http://www.nosuperheroes.com/our-story-is-not-our-identity/ and is re-posted with permission.

A few years ago, our family completed a journey to adopt and emigrate our son from South Africa. This process took over four years and included custody, name changes, countless documents, and finally culminated in him receiving his U.S. citizenship and passport.

My son’s identity has changed. He has a new name, a new country, and a new family heritage.

This does not change his story. Where he came from will always be a part of his life, but how he is known is completely different.

It is this way with all of us. Our past is a part of who we are, but we have a new identity through Christ.

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Soul-ish Travel: Recognizing Invitations to Push Beyond Your Borders

I’m sorry to say it, but his beard was far more homeless than hipster. I remember sitting there as he scratched at a two-foot long monstrosity of human hair sprouting all over his face, thinking a nest of rats could make a very nice home in it. He tossed long locks over his shoulder and put his arm around his well-styled, Christian girlfriend.

Then, he said God told him to take the Nazirite vow. You know, like Samson, who got Superman-like powers in exchange for perpetually flowing locks. I’d never heard of the modern version before, but apparently this vow was all the rage amongst the super-spiritual where he came from. A bunch of hairy, young men had promised God neither scissors nor razor would come near their bodies for an entire year.

I asked him the deeper meaning behind it all. I can’t recall his specific words, but my ears heard a string of Holy Spirit jargon, making me wonder if HE didn’t even know why he was doing it.

If it’s not obvious already… I’ll admit it now: I judged him.
And, I was wrong.

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Wanted: Friends Who Judge

Photo Credit: Thomas Lefebvre via Unsplash cc

This post was originally published on Lindsey Lautsbaugh’s blog at http://www.thisisloveactually.com/friends-who-judge/ and is re-posted with permission.

“I don’t want to be judged, I just want to be unconditionally loved.”
“No one wants a judge; everyone wants a friend.”
“Don’t judge me!”

It is universally accepted that true friends don’t judge. They simply love, accept, and support you.

In my early twenties, I was a young, single woman in the new South Africa. I loved the adventure and possibility of living and working in this nation. I was just beginning to form friendships in a diverse community of people. One weekend at the office, only myself and one other lady were there. We were trying to get ahead on work. New students were arriving that week. We discussed tasks and ideas back and forth. We were as different as night and day and so often would not see eye to eye. As the day wore on, I was getting more and more frustrated at her lack of seeing things my way. Eventually, I got so angry I went quiet and ominously brooded around the office, physically present but ignoring her in all other ways. I would show her!

Suddenly, I could hear her chair spin around and her strong voice break the silence. “Lindsey, are you going to talk about this, or do you plan to give me the silent treatment all day? I don’t like tantrums.”

I was shocked. She was direct almost to the point of rudeness. I stumbled over my words. Feebly, I attempted to sort things out… I don’t really remember how it resolved.

Two months later, someone asked me, “Lindsey, who do you hang out with? Who do you consider your friends here in South Africa?” To my surprise, this lady’s name immediately came out of my mouth.

I had other friends who I hung out with more, had more in common with. But this woman spoke truth to me – Truth that often offended me. Sometimes, it wasn’t truth, it was just her opinion, and she would apologise later. Sometimes, it came out a bit rude. But she kept speaking. Of all the people I was around, I knew this one was a friend. She was a friend who was willing to wound me. She was a friend who judged.

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So… How’d It Go? Sound of the Nations: Battambang, Cambodia

Photo Credit: Kenia Godard

It was a sort of divine, grand experiment: Could we bring a distinctly African worship seminar, in both sound and staff, to Cambodia? What would happen when drums and Township Gospel met chimes and Temple Karaoke? Would it all be lost in translation? Would the catch phrase, “From the Nations to the Nations,” survive being put to the test? We had five weeks in the hot season (and let me tell you it was REALLY hot) to find out.

Average Temperature: “Frying Pan”

Tastiest Treat: “Fried Spider”

School Catch Phrase: “A ‘notha Level!”

(There’s something spectacular about Cambodian’s declaring: “It’s A ’notha Level!” complete with a South African accent.)

YWAM Muizenberg, South Africa staff, Kevin and Tonya Stanfield (USA), Billy Edwards, MJ Abrahams (South Africa), Kenia Godard (Columbia), and Fy Rasolofoniaina (Madagascar), joined forces with the incredible YWAM Battambang base to pull off the second Sound of the Nations School in Cambodia (and discover a whole new appreciation for air conditioning). Let me quote a student’s blog to tell you more:

“The purpose of this course is to dig deeper into worship, raise up local worship leaders, and encourage authentic ethnic song writing! There is a distinctive lack of contemporary ethnic Cambodian songs… God made this country’s sound exquisite and totally unique. It would be so sad to miss out on their expressions of worship!” – Caroline Clymer

Writing a song may seem easy to some, but creating unique music requires a freedom of soul and a confidence that goes beyond the skill of one’s voice: An assurance is needed, one that runs deep and quiet, whispering of the unique song that resides within each one of us… and that this song, my song, is worth hearing. It is, in fact, God’s song too.

So did the divine experiment succeed?

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Walking In Your Passion While Still Being Useful

Photo Credit: Michael Quinn via Unsplash cc

This post was originally published on the Chris Lautsbaugh’s blog at http://www.nosuperheroes.com/walking-in-your-passion/ and is re-posted with permission.

“May I never lose the wonder, oh the wonder of your mercy.”

This line from Matt Redman’s song “Mercy” has the power to bring tears to my eyes.

Grace is my passion.

It is my One Big Thing.
It is what brings tears to my eyes when I see its absence.
It truly is the truth, which gets me out of bed in the morning.

As Andy Stanley said at the recent Catalyst Conference, “It is what I want people to line up to thank me for at the end of my life.”

I am looking for a larger portion of the opportunities I say “yes” for, to flow through the lens of grace.

“Can I make an impact (in my passion) in this area?”

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Confessions of A Bible Student

Photo Credit: Kjersti Brennsaeter via pixabay cc

The School of Biblical Studies’ students completed their intensive, nine months of study and graduated this week here at YWAM Muizenberg. One student Sydney gives her honest and encouraging outlook as her view of the Bible changed from boring and insignificant to essential to knowing God and living life. I hope you are inspired that the Bible is essential to your God-filled life!

“The B. I. B. L. E. Yes, that’s the book for me…” Yeah, yeah, I had heard it since Sunday school – I should read the Bible. Call me a “bad Christian,” but if I was honest nothing, seemed more painstaking.

With that, here are the confessions of a Bible student:

  1. For most of my life, reading the Bible consisted of opening it at random, slapping my finger on the page, and reading whatever verse I landed on.
  2. I thought the Bible was boring. It only seemed somewhat relevant when the pastor on stage came up with a witty presentation.
  3. Frankly, the Bible was too overwhelming, and I thought I would never be able to make sense of that dusty piece of literature for myself.

That was until I decided to embark on a journey. A journey to see what would happen if I read the Bible in its entirely. What would it reveal about God? How could 66 books of ancient literature, written in three different languages, over the course of 1,500 years, actually apply to my life today? Little did I know but this quest would change the course of my life forever.

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Are You Afraid of Evangelism? I Was Terrified…

Photo Credit: Cayla Bertelsen

This post was originally published on the Cayla Bertelsen’s blog at http://caylabertelsen.blogspot.com/2015/06/evangelism.html and is re-posted with permission.

When I hear the word “evangelism,” my heart starts racing. I don’t know about you, but the thought of walking up to a complete stranger and asking them about the status of their relationship with God has always terrified me. People’s stories make it sound easy (well, sometimes…), and then I wonder what is wrong with me? But, when the call comes at the end of the sermon for me to “go into all the world and preach the good news,” suddenly things begin to look very complicated.

Now, I want you to know that I am no expert in evangelism. I am not descended from Billy Graham. I am no Amy Semple McPherson. However, the Holy Spirit does live inside of me, and this makes all of the difference.

This morning, while I was spending time with Jesus, He reminded me of two times last summer when I was able to share my faith with a total stranger. Both of these were unplanned meetings – but they have really changed the way I think about evangelism. I am not so scared of it anymore. I hope that after you have heard them, “evangelism” might not sound like such a scary word to you either.

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What is the Discipleship Training School about? Reflecting the Son

Photo Credit: Michael and Stephanie Chesterman

Michael and Stephanie Chesterman are leading the upcoming Discipleship Training School (DTS) at YWAM Muizenberg, which begins June 22nd. Recently, I heard Michael speak about the DTS. I was so moved by his passion for the school as he shared how God will transform the students’ lives and work through them to impact the nations! So if you’re wondering about DTS or doing a DTS at YWAM Muizenberg, here’s a little nugget, from this school’s leaders Michael and Stephanie, of what God has in store for you during the Reflecting the Son DTS!

As Christians, we are called to be ambassadors for Christ. We are to reflect what Christ has done for us and in us to those around us. Christ set an example for the disciples, and so we are to be an example to the world. Paul says that we are to always have a testimony. It is said that actions speak louder than words. Does the way we live our lives give an accurate testimony of what God has done in and for us?

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