Wendy and I started our recent visit to South Africa with a great weekend at Jubilee Church in Cape Town. On the Friday evening P-J Smyth addressed a youth event underlining the need to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Scores poured forward at the end and many were receiving the Holy Spirit.
Jubilee was packed on Saturday morning when I started a three-part series on Elijah. Steve van Rhyn then gave an insightful and very stirring word on Luke 24. Elijah part two on Saturday evening led to many people responding to God with fresh devotion. It was great to see many being prayed for at the front.
On Sunday morning we enjoyed visiting the Bay Community Church. Sadly, Jeff Kidwell and his wife Viv were away preaching elsewhere, but the church was full of people and the presence of God. It was encouraging to see several being healed.
In the evening, Jubilee hosted a citywide celebration and I concluded the short Elijah series. I really felt God’s power and presence on these three talks and will aim to get the teachings on the resources section of this website as soon as possible.
On the Tuesday we arrived at a Southern Africa leaders retreat just outside Johannesburg. We kicked off with a Terry and Wendy interview including some searching questions. P-J then got us started with some penetrating teaching on reputation and men’s or God’s approval. Most people in the room stood in response, acknowledging our vulnerability to the temptation of wanting to shape other people’s opinions of us.
I then took three sessions on Worship, Adoption and Healing. We enjoyed God’s presence in superb worship times throughout the conference.
Next day found us in GodFirst Church in Johannesburg, where we started the God’s Lavish Grace weekend. Crowds packed in from the beginning so that even the balcony was very crowded.
I have to say that this is a great church. Worship was breathtaking, behind-the-scenes serving was superb and a sense of love, joy and peace was very tangible.
On the Saturday morning, the opening session was taken by Mbonisi Malaba (affectionately known as Bones). He brought highly motivational teaching from the whole book of Jonah followed by Pauls visit to Corinth and concluded by showing a map of sub-Sahara Africa and as the cities were named over the mic the location and population of each city came up on the screen. This was followed by heartfelt prayer.
This in no way interrupted the Grace series. Instead, it added urgency and motivation that we should be fully liberated by grace, free from sin, bondage and introspection, released to go on mission together. What a weekend!
I finished at the 8.30 and 10.30 morning meetings concluding the Grace series and rejoicing to see people responding to the gospel in both meetings. Praise the Lord!
What a joy it is to see a vibrant church in the heart of Johannesburg with huge implications not only for that burgeoning city but also overflowing in church plants. I was also very encouraged to link up with people that I had met years before on visits to Johannesburg, Durban and elsewhere when I first visited South Africa and used to speak at large celebrations.
I loved meeting bright, new converts so excited about Jesus and his church.
Two question and answer sessions and twelve preaches in twelve days meant that it was a very busy time, but what a joy and privilege to be among such people pumping with life and joy, and especially to have the very provocative experience of rubbing shoulders with spiritual giants from Zimbabwe who are riotously proving God’s grace and sufficiency against such a calamitous backdrop of Zimbabwe today.
Can’t wait for my next visit to Southern Africa!