This morning, we took the tour of Living Hope and all their related ministries.
Mike Talley did a great job condensing what is normally a much longer tour to accommodate our schedule. I realized today that no matter how many times I hear about and witness first-hand all the ministry areas where Living Hope is involved, I am stll moved and humbled at the challenge of ministering to so many people in such dire need.
From Masiphulelele where 50,000 people live in horrible conditions - to Ocean View where people were forced to move there by the government years ago, and are still angry for it - to Muizenberg where Living Grace feeds at least 100 homeless every day at noon - to Capricorn where Living Hope has just built a new building and Fish Hoek Baptist is planting a new church there - to Overcome where the government made the land available to anyone who could establish a “dwelling” to do so, and 6,500 “shacks” were put up in (3) days by people needing a place to “dwell”. The conditions are as you would imagine - horrible.
In the midst of this overwhelming reality of poverty, HIV-AIDS, oppression, and despair, God is moving in and through the people of Living Hope to do just that - bring hope to people. The Health Care Center (formerly known as the Hospice - the name was changed last year when 92% of the people who were admitted to the Health Care Center were walking out!) is an example of how God is moving and working to heal people’s diseased bodies. Next door to the Health Care Center is the Living Hope headquarters (so to speak). After touring all the other areas, we went upstairs to see the newest of ministries - sewing and computer training. We entered a room where (5) people were sitting at computers learning skills, and at least (10) women were sitting at sewing machines being taught how to sew. Job skill training is so important for people living in these surounding townships.
After lunch at The Team House, and a brief bit of down time, we headed up the West Coast to a community called Melbos. Tonight, we led a one-night, condensed workshop for a small in number, but very large in response group of people from a fantastic church called, The Fellowship. This church is yet another church plant of Fish Hoek Baptist (King Of Kings Baptist Centre). The pastor, Rob Lucas is a larger than life wonderful man who completely captured our hearts.
Boggs and Shane led a time of worship that was nothing short of amazing. I continue to be in awe of how God is using these two men to lead in Kairos on Tuesday nights at BBC. Michael is way more than a gifted worship leader in terms of his musicianship which is extraordinary. Tonight, he revealed more of his heart, his sensitivity to the moving of the Spirit in the room - it was a beautiful experience of worship that seemed perfect for the time and place and people present.
Following the time of worship, Boggs and Shane taught a class on vocal technique combined with some general worship leading concepts while Doug and Doug had the audio guys in the back talking shop about audio ministry. Then, we came together to watch both groups function as they would in a worship setting on a Sunday. The church’s worship leader, Ryan is a “surfer boy” - no kidding. The dude is evidently quite the surfer. He is also a really good worship leader. He got up with his team and led while we gave encouragement and some simple suggestions here and there. The people present love to worship. The church is exploding in growth. They have (9) prayer meetings a week. They would not let us leave. We arrived at 6:00pm and we finally got away around 9:30pm.
On the hour drive back home, the majority of our conversation in the van centered on how God had moved in our midst tonight. It was strange because going into tonight, we really did not have a good sense of what would happen. None of our previous teams had ever done a one-night workshop. Avril could not be with us this evening, so we were “on our own”. Boggs said it best in the van coming home - “God’s presence is a gift” - tonight was truly a blessed gift........