July update.

I can’t believe July has come and gone again. Looking at the pictures on my phone and I can say that a lot has happened and here are a few memories I would like to share.

The first memory that I want to share is the fact that Pravani and I celebrated 7 years of marriage on 11 July. We are so grateful for the 7 years God has given us as husband and wife. Being parents for the past 2 years is a bonus. Looking back over the past year we reminisced over the good times, remember how we made it through the tough times and asked ourselves how we could have done this without God’s strength. I must also add that the blessing of eating good food at our favorite restaurant also made the experience amazing.

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The next memory I’d like to share is a training that we host a few times a year. NLTC is our basic training in the evangelism, discipleship and sending of lifetime laborers for Christ. At the most recent NLTC, I taught a lesson called “Developing a personal ministry strategy”. It had been a while since the last time I had to present a teaching and was unsure of myself. But as usual God guided me through the lesson and I could share from my own experiences.  In the lesson itself we focused on 3 action steps, namely:IMG-20160723-WA0001

  • What is your sphere of influence?
  • Ask God for a clear strategy on how to be a witness for him.
  • Have a follow-up structure in place to build into the people you reached.

I gave the class a 20 minutes thinking/asking God time, to work through these 3 points. May God use them to make a difference in their sphere of influence to His glory.

The last memory that I am sharing with you is our monthly outreach. Once a month our bigger Western Cape team gathers together to add manpower to one of our ministry strategies for a day. This time our Crossroads ministry strategy partnered with a group that is reaching a primary school in the Cape Flats. Our colleagues Nyameka Sonti and Bianca Groats who are the missionaries working with this strategy conducted a teambuilding trust exercise with the school teachers while the rest of the team prepped for our time with the learners. Afterwards we did prayer walk on the school grounds. Jerrah Jackson – our team leader for the Student-Led Movement, was unexpectedly invited into a class and was asked to pray for the class. God used Jerrah there and then to be a blessing to that class. After the prayer walk we had an opportunity to witness to the grade 6 and 7’s. We did an icebreaker, shared a testimony and then broke them into groups of ten. While sitting with my group of 11 year-old boys, I came to the hard realization that I do not know how to witness to them. I tried sharing the material handed to me, but they were constantly distracted. It felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere with these boys. I don’t feel that I was effective in the 15 minutes given to me, but that is where we see success in witnessing. Our definition for success in witnessing is simply taking the initiative to share Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit and leaving the results to God.

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Looking back at July a theme that became clear is “Being Stretched”. It usually doesn’t feel nice or comfortable, but afterwards you walk away hopefully wiser and with a new perspective. As you read in the previous paragraph, I discovered a shortcoming in my tool belt of sharing my faith. I have 2 choices, grow towards it or evade it. How do I decide what to do?

  • I can look at my calling – did God call me to this (ministry) field.
  • Will this skillset improve the work that I do?
  • I can ask wise counsel.

There can be many more steps and I am still learning. One of the ways I have decided to learn is finding a mentor at my church and asking to connect on a regular basis to ask me the hard questions and to advise me on the thoughts and challenges that I am going through. I need accountability, wisdom and an understanding heart. I’m please to say that God has provided someone who has agreed to mentor me and I look forward to our sessions together. My question to you is, do you have a mentor that is challenging you? What do you need out of a mentor? Are you mentoring anybody at the moment?

I will leave you with these 3 questions. Have a blessed day.

Nicholas

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