There is a beauty here in Africa that is stunning. Currently the Jacaranda tree is in full bloom. It produces a bright purple blossom that is very eye catching. Set among green trees it spreads far and wide over the canopy of smaller trees and landscape. It is almost staggering among the foliage.
This week has found us spending down time with Ronas and Busie Marule. We went north to the Kruger Park and saw animals and talked. What a invigorating time. Each moment we spent together you could feel the relationship slip deeper and deeper. You should hear some of the topics of discussion. The laughter and joking seemed continual. Ronas stated, it is so soothing to get away from the stresses of work and home. This was truly restful and pleasant.It is the same thing Jesus said to his disciples when they came back from their first ministry experience. Come away with me to a lonely place and rest.
The week of solitary laid the foundation for the future and what God might do in the next five years. It is amazing how our busy lives prevent us from looking past tomorrow.
Last week the Youth for Christ South Africa staff conference was a joy. But the week began with an interesting meeting with an Australian young lady. She came to Africa to serve children in a YFC setting. I asked her about church and discovered she didn’t believe in God. So we had a conversation about her questions and concerns. I really enjoyed it. A couple of days ago I received the following email from her.
How are you doing? It was so nice meeting you during conference and such a shame we did not get more time together.
I hope you and your family are well. Are you still in Africa, or have you returned home?
I wanted to send you the images of the Australian Santa’s that we talked about. As you can see they are very varied, and this is just a small selection.
I also had a couple of questions for you. I have been talking and talking to different people about this confusion in my head regarding the new found wish to have a relationship with God. Everyone has been lovely and open to talk and everything, but I am not getting much in the way of the kind of practical advice I feel I need.
I have been told over and over that I need to just take things slowly, one step at a time. And I feel that I have taken the first initial step - deciding I want a relationship with God.
My problem is I really don’t know how, when and where to find the next step. I don’t know where to start looking.
The other question I have relates to comments I have had from a couple of people. They have mentioned to me that they don’t really know what advice to give given that they have grown up in the church and have always known and felt God in their live. They have had those support structures of their churches around them to help them to understand and know. Having not had this, what should I do? Being too old for children’s church, what is the best way to develop that understanding and foundation knowledge of Jesus and Christianity?
Hopefully this makes sense.
Would love to hear your views when you get a chance.
What a joy to see God use us in such a special way! That was not planned. Isn’t that the way God always works.
This coming week will be fast. I will be teaching leadership to youth leaders in six different communities and ministry sites. It will be three hours of intensive exploration through God’s Word at each setting. A seventh setting will include pastoral leadership from several churches. We ask for your focused prayer during this time. It can be exhausting and your prayer will stabilize our hearts and minds during such a grueling schedule.
Four decade veteran of youth ministry in churches, Youth For Christ and now is the Founder and Executive Director of Deeper Still Missions. Danny and his wife Cathy spend most of their time mentoring missionaries in Africa, Europe, Central America and North America. Future opportunities include South America and the Asia Pacific area.