Father's House Discipleship School Eight, located near Robertson, Western Cape.
We were mightily blessed on our very late arrival during November 10th in Cape Town. We were met at the airport by Pastor Patient Mukubu and seven of his elders from the Source of Life Church. They then drove us in a motorcade of three cars through neighbourhoods and townships to our guest house! This was facilitated by Pastor Godfrey Msimango, now in Ottawa, who founded the Source of Life church.
The first Sunday after we arrived in the Western Cape, we visited the Southern Suburbs campus of Hillsong South Africa. We loved it – they are a mobile church in a high school, set between the Constantia and Kenilworth neighbourhoods. Our guesthouse was a lovely Victorian home that felt like a place for a second honeymoon. After we were royally greeted by Hillsong pastoral staff and volunteers, Laurie-Ann was prayed for, and we listened to an excellent sermon by Pastor Phil Dooley by video-linkup. He shared about the Jewish people rebuilding (after the Babylonian exile), and that we are called to build as well – to build and not tear down. We need to spend considerable time reworking or building new foundations. We through this message was timely for us – since we are building a new ministry – the Worcester satellite of the IRIS Western Cape family.
We rented a ‘bakkie’ to transport our trunks and suitcases to Worcester, an hour’s journey from Cape Town through gorgeous country and mountains. Right now we are in a guest house in a suburb, a quiet place for beginnings. We are in the research stage of the neighbourhoods where we are to minister (plus the local prison). We are setting appointments with local Christian and social leaders, to learn where they feel the needs are greatest. Some of our hopes may turn out entirely differently than we expect – and this is okay – as long as we are led in the right direction. What works in Robertson (35 Km away) may not work as well in Worcester. We are trusting God with every step in this new season.
We are also looking for the right place to live, so we don’t feel like tourists, but rather long-term residents. Foundation building also requires that the ground is prepared for the dig. This area has been under severe drought for some time. Cape Town is still under a water restriction. Worcester’s restrictions have been lifted, but until Tuesday, the land here was also dry and parched. When we arrived it rained for two days! The farmers are rejoicing that their prayers are being answered. We aren’t taking the credit!
We also pray for spiritual rain upon Worcester and the whole Breede River valley. May this wine-growing region come to know deeply the new wine of the Holy Spirit, the love of the Father, and salvation through Jesus Christ.
During the next month or so, we are working to establish connections, networks and relationships. We are building family with Jesus at the centre, as we are also connected with the Fouries at the IRIS Robertson base.
We are about to attempt to learn some Afrikaans, and the town – neighbourhood by neighbourhood. While we have huge plans, we also are not twenty. This also is Africa – not everything moves forward like we would want it to. Yet we are confident that we are here and being led by God, who is faithful to complete what He has started. That means He’ll complete His work IN us and through us. We need to keep our eyes on Him. He will help us not only build, but also keep us in safety. Security is an issue in South Africa, but apart from being careful, we know we will be protected. He is in control.
On Sunday November 19th, we joined in the graduation ceremony of the 8th Father’s House Discipleship School. Eighteen would-be missionaries from world-wide received their certificates and shared their joy after the seven-week school, all eager to go forward to mission fields of various types; some abroad, and some in their home areas. Some of them took the opportunity of asking us about our situation and plans. All of them were salt of the earth good people loving the Lord – and having fun!
Love, Laurie-Ann and Tony
“Unless the Lord builds the house, the work of the builders is wasted. Unless the Lord protects a city, guarding it with sentries will do no good.” (Ps. 127:1 NLT)
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Tony and Laurie-Ann Copple (usually Laurie-Ann)
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