Growing Disciples in South Africa

In the Province of Southern Africa Rooted in Jesus is directed by Revd Trevor Pearce and overseen by Growing the Church. National Coordinators Estelle Adams and Nicole Curtis have sent us some faith-filled testimonies from group members.

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Small group leaders in the Diocese of False Bay

Valencia Ruiters and Chante Pepino, group members in the church of Christ the Redeemer in the Diocese of False Bay, have just moved on to book 3 with their group. They write:

“I thank God for allowing us to go on this RinJ Journey with awesome people who not only touched me but welcomed me from the very beginning. It all started with a whatsapp message from a friend. This point in my life was full of disarray and hurt mixed with anger and pain. She invited me to come and join her at a gathering that I knew nothing of or in fact not even knowing that she was saved, this was the turning point in my life where I would not only discover what I have lost as a child of God but what was about to change my life dramatically. Like Brad (RinJ Trainer) says, ‘when the scales come off your eyes’. My first impressions walking into the church was people welcoming me with open arms as if they were expecting me, like you would feel when you have a family gathering and not feel all awkward, but little did I know that the spirit in me would fire up and I would walk out of there with tremendous peace.

The session started off with a prayer, I closed my eyes and felt so warm, they even prayed for me and my presence that I felt so welcomed. The facilitator that night was uncle Edwin and they did a repeat of what was discussed a few weeks prior to me being there, but I listened and try to catch up, still not knowing what the night entailed. James 4:7 submit yourself to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you. I did not know what this verse was about but little did I know that the weekend ahead was the awakening of my spirit. After doing the memory verse we went to into groups and everyone had a chance to talk about what was bothering them and we all had to join hands and pray about what was said, this was the ultimate change for me as I felt the spirit firing up in me as if I was sent to this place for a reason.

I have since started reading the bible every chance I get, having empathy for people, trying to be better as a parent, I can say that this journey has made it easy to identify when the enemy is present and wanting to steal my Joy, I have relied on scriptures to guide me in my life with wisdom up until now.  No question to God is unanswered, no trial and tribulation that I find myself in was not resolved.”

“I have learned that we should not judge people and always forgive as God has mercy on all. If we ask for forgiveness how can we expect him to have Mercy on us if we can’t show mercy on others. I am trying to change my mind set to a more spiritual understanding than the understanding of our human nature. I have discovered that I can pray not only when I go down on my knees but have that conversation.

Trusting in God and allowing my thoughts to be pure and not filled with anger, irritation, and all those things that don’t come from God. All the memory verses up until the last had a big impact on my life and have steered me in the right direction. I am convinced now that this journey has not started on that Friday night alone, it has been coming on a long time ago and will continue to grow. Thank you Regan and all the people that made RINJ possible, I believe that it was only through the grace of God that I am writing this today and thank God for saving me! I pray that you will continue the good work and hope that many more lost souls like me is awaken, I ask this in Jesus name, Amen.”

Meanwhile Brad Sitzer reports on a new work with children in Church of the Redeemer in Mitchell’s Plain, Cape Town:

“Salty ministry team is a group of late twenties- to early sixty-somethings who meet every Friday night. We have gone through Alpha twice, RinJ senior Book One a few times and other short courses. Our ambition is to do life together more and more and to integrate with existing family lives.
We have had a babysitter for the participants’ children, and she has enjoyed looking after the kids. We then felt compelled to take the opportunity to disciple the kids in some way. Messy Church, Rinj Junior and Godly Play were the options. We recognise all three to be quality programmes. Yet due to the ease of implementation and low resource requirements, we decided that Rinj Junior would be the best place to start. Hence we have begun our Rinj Junior journey! The kids have been enjoying the first few sessions. Three of the kids are not baptised and are actually Muslim; but their mom has recently decided to follow Jesus, so she enjoys her kids being a part of this journey.”
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Children from the new group in Mitchell’s Plain

Looking ahead

Following the major report Intentional Disciplship and Disciple-Making, a Decade of Discipleship has been launched across the Anglican Communion, and this will be the major focus for Growing the Church from now on. The report endorses Rooted in Jesus, Rooted in Jesus Junior and The God Who is There for use in discipleship and disciple-making. RinJ has already been introduced in 17 of the 28 dioceses in the Province, and Estelle Adams reports that the formation of small groups in parishes will be a key element in discipleship training across the Province; “Rooted in Jesus and The God Who is There will be the tools used for training Small Group leaders who will then run small groups in their dioceses”.

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Growing the Church – board members with Archbishop Thabo Makgoba

Posted 27 February 2017

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