Greetings! Today is Wednesday, May 15th, and we can’t believe the week is half way over! We are excited to share what we’ve been up to in Knysna and how the Lord is shaping us and using us for God’s kingdom to be furthered.
On Sunday, we visited the church that Chris pastors in the townships. Seeing a group of people gathered together to praise God’s name was very encouraging. Austen led us in a few worship songs, and Lance preached in English while a church member translated in Xhosa. Lance preached about the importance of loving Jesus through faith and works. He used the story of Jesus restoring Peter after he denied him three times. What an encouragement to remember that although we fall short of the glory of God, He desires to restore us because He loves us.
After church, the team went to the Riverdeck restaurant with the Wilkins’ and some church members. We had a time of fellowship through feasting, and then went to Buffalo Bay to enjoy some time together! Knysna is such a beautiful and unique country.
The past few days we have engaged in the main project through the Hands and Heart program. Before we depart for the day, our team has been meeting in the mornings for a time of singing, praying, and reading scripture together. This time has been essential to our mission as we go.
The men have been partnering with the Hands and Heart skill program. Most of the young men in the program, between late teens and early twenties, have been learning to be good workers. Before work, the team leads a bible study time with these young men. This time has been a blessing for both the team and the students. They’ve been diving into the book of John to discover more about Jesus and specifically the Holy Spirit. After the bible study, the work starts but the conversation continues.
As we clean and paint houses and complete various projects, the true mission remains building on these relationships. Though these young men have working knowledge of the Christian faith, the challenge still arises to bridge the gap between understanding and a heart transformation. They are very open to talk and and be honest about their beliefs and where they are in life. Many of these men come from and currently live in difficult environments. A few of these men are true followers of Christ, and it has been a pleasure to encourage them to stand firm in their walk in the midst of the world around them.
As for the Lindsey and I, we have been spending our days with Rebecca and Maris, the Wilkins’ daughter. Part of the mission is to encourage the local missionaries, who are often lost in the shuffle of the go go go mission and logistics. It has been such a pleasure to simply let Rebecca and Maris be still and have great community together.
Tuesday evenings, Chris and Rebecca hold Bible studies for the men and women. As we led the two women in a study of Genesis, Chris and the other men gathered into a hut and engaged in a study of the first two chapters of Jonah. Reading the book in Xhosa and then English, the group dived into the story and the men did not hold back their questions. For one hour and a half, the men *stood* and intensely listened and spoke questions from the hearth. Not only about Jonah, but about their personal lives in Christ. This was an encouraging moment for the team to see just how deep this weekly fellowship is growing and how strong their roots are.
As for the team, we have bonded so well as we eat meals together, travel together, and prep lunches together in the evening. It’s been so fun to put on some jams in the evening and just be together as we debrief from the full day. Thank you for continuing to pray for our team and our time spent in Knysna! You play a huge role in this mission!!
Amelia and the Knsyna 2019 Team