Back In Cape Town

Over the next week, I have the privilege of being in Cape Town, South Africa walking alongside Deo and his team of youth ministers. This group of seven leaders represents an amazing answer to our prayers that Alicia and I have prayed since 2006, when we first visited the 6th Avenue Squatter’s Camp in Kensington- a suburb of Cape Town. Young people living at 6th Ave are often marginalized and excluded by their surrounding community and many of the face the desperate poverty and domestic turmoil that can lead to abusing drugs, joining a gang, dropping out of school, becoming pregnant and so on.

During the three years that Alicia and I focused our ministry at 6th Ave, we prayed that there would be a team of local youth ministers who would build relationships with the youth there and share the love of Jesus with them. While this never came to fruition while we lived in South Africa, things started to change last September, and Deo and other young adults in the community began to be drawn to 6th Ave. Under Deo’s wise and innovative leadership, this has grown into a team of seven youth leaders who are regularly heading to there and building relationships with the teenagers and children there. There are also several key people in place who are supporting this team in various ways. Big things are happening. I am so encouraged.

This week, I’ll focus on walking alongside this team in any and every way I can. Deo and I are working on getting this ministry established as a local non-profit. I also get to facilitate relational ministry training and strategic planning times. We’ve already med once, and it was a time that was so very encouraging as I heard stories of these leaders helping kids that I know get their first job or just have a friend who listens to them; and so heartbreaking as I also heard stories of yet another boy that’s dropped out of school and another that’s begun using.

I would appreciate your prayers that I would have the wisdom, presence and heart to be able to encourage, equip, empower and sustain these leaders who are doing amazing ministry in a very challenging place.

Thank you for all of your support and prayers and love that make it possible for me to be here, walking alongside these folks, and continue to be a part of ministry at 6th Ave.

Answers to prayer: Jennifer, Tanya, Colleen, Barry and Deo (plus Marvin and Jason) make up the team of leaders who are working with the youth and children at the 6th Ave. Squatter’s Camp, the community where Alicia and I spent three years ministering.

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Picture of Robyn

She right in the middle, as usual.

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Nexus Africa April Leader of the Month

I’ve been wanting to find a way to introduce the leaders I have the privilege of walking with in Africa with people back here in the USA who help make Nexus possible. So, I introduce to you the Nexus Leader of the Month, a quick interview. Please let me know if you have any questions you’d like me to ask these leaders, or follow up questions to what you see here.

For April, the leader if our dear friend in Cape Town, Robyn. Alicia and I first me Robyn very early into our time in Cape Town when we were serving together with Lifezone ministries. We became fast friends.

Robyn was part of the initial group of young adults at Good Shepherd Church that we began to walk with more intentionally in 2008. Since then, she’s been leading Good Shepherd’s youth group, BASIC (stands for brothers and sisters in Christ). I got to see Robyn in action in February at BASIC. Her love for the young people she shares her life with is remarkable, and her vision and passion for sharing Jesus with in BASIC challenge and inspire me.

Why have you chosen to be involved in youth ministry at BASIC?

I have always wanted to be involved with youth ministry but listened to others and never felt it was the right time but when God presented me with an opportunity through you and Alicia I grabbed it with both hands and never let go. Good Shepherd is my home parish, so where better to start than right there and there is a need at our parish for youth development and mentoring.

What is your biggest challenge in your ministry right now?

My biggest challenge right now is two fold because I need to keep the youth motivated but with people within our parish working against the young people its hard. The older people in our parish are not as open to change and new ideas as the youth so it makes it hard for us as BASIC to get involved without being made to feel not welcomed. The group is amazing and are always wanting to learn and get involved but at times their commitment is really tested by members of our own parish.

Please tell me about one of the youth that you walk with. What are your hopes and dreams for her?

At this stage there are two that I am walking with because we don’t have a male youth leader or mentor, Lisa and Jean. The two of them motivate me to keep going no matter what obstacles come my way in leadership. They were inducted as peer youth leaders two weeks, which made me feel like a proud mother hen 328 being able to walk with them since we started 3 years ago, seeing their transformation and growth has been such a blessing and honour. My dream is for them to realise the plans that God has for their lives and keep going. I can see such amazing futures for them in Christ and I can see them soaring at all they do. My dream for them is to find true happiness in Christ and maintain their relationship with Him always, to be rooted in Christ in all they do.

How has Nexus (hanging out with Alicia and I) impacted your life and ministry?

WOW!!!! It has changed my life so much and I’m so grateful for Nexus ministry, specifically you and Alicia. I have found my purpose and passion by your and Alicia’s leadership and teachings. I will be eternally grateful for your leadership in discovering God’s purpose for my life. Thanks to the two of you I have experienced a piece heaven of earth and true happiness. Your example of being young people worshiping Christ has been an example of love and commitment. You have taught me that life happens while serving God but it’s important to stay rooted in Christ and continuously work on my foundation to remain strong and be able to bear fruit.

What is one thing that you’ve learned from Nexus that has helped you in ministry?

Stay rooted in Christ and never stop working on my foundation.

What are your dreams for yourself and your personal relationship with God?

My dream is to always remain true to myself and always strive to be truly happy. I always want to feel that I’ve never learnt enough about my relationship with God and to always have the yearning to want to know more. I want to be fully reliant on God in ALL situations and ALL the time, no matter.

Thank you for your amazing and God given ministry. Nexus is truly a blessing to not only me but BASIC as I share what I learn and hopefully set a good example.

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Leopard Tortise

While we didn’t get to do a safari or anything, the wildlife came to us. This guy was hanging out outside our guesthouse.

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Damaris on the Radio

Damaris has a daily Christian radio show in Nairobi that Deo, Mary Jean and I got to be guests on.

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Deo: So Strong

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At Tuamaini

Mary Jean, me, Daniel and Damaris at Tumaini. Daniel ended up being able to attend part of our Walk Thru the Bible training in Nairobi. It was good to meet him.

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