Monthly Archives: August 2012

A family favourite…

Recently, I shared an idea for a family outing with a tourist website, and they actually published my suggestion!! You can view this “open secret” for a fun family adventure on http://www.sa-venues.com/things-to-do/westerncape/a-stoll-in-kalk-bay-harbour/.

Latest Newsletter posted

You can read our May – July 2012 newsletter in english on ralphdeb.info/news. Enjoy reading and if you like it, don’t forget to subscribe to receive future newsletters in your email: subcribe (english version) / anmelden (german version).

On Ralph’s birthday we went out for Fish & Chips

Here a quick preview of the first article:

“That almost happened to me!” exclaimed a young student from the township when hearing about the topic of Human Trafficking at one of the “Traffick Proof” trainings Ralph has been leading. She was offered a job, no experience necessary, only willingness to to pack a suitcase and be taken away to an unknown location for unpaid training. In concern for safety, her mother forbid her to take the job and she had been angry with her ever since. Now she says “My mother saved my life! I may never have returned!”
READ MORE HERE…

Finding God in the Car Pool

“We encounter God in the ordinariness of life: not in the search for spiritual highs and extraordinary, mystical experiences but in our simple presence in life.” – Brennan Manning
 

Life is mostly made up of ordinary moments, the simple everyday rhythms and routines that keep us human…keep us fed, clothed, rested and clean. I have never been more aware of these basic rhythms than when caring for small children.

In this season of motherhood, it is tempting to dream, wishing myself away to a time when I can do something “important”. It is a challenge to be present in the moment and notice God in the mundane, the scrubbing floors, peeling carrots, wiping noses, brushing tangles and car pooling moments.

Frederick Buechner, a favorite writer of mine, has a fabulous challenge, “Listen to your life… In the boredom and pain of it, no less than in the excitement… because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace.”

So I’ve been trying to be more attentive and listen, to see God in the small things in the unexpected ordinary places and have been pleasantly surprised to find God in the car pool. Almost every day I haul four little people in my car to school and mostly I do it in survival mode, praying: “Let me get there on time and may the kids not fight!”

 

As I take time to notice, these two have a lot to teach me about God.

Well the other day I decided to be selfish and keep the radio tuned to my talk show and forgo “Psalty the Songbook” one day. A lady was sharing a story of how God met her in the most painful time of her life, when her son went to prison. She shared that as they drew close to God in the midst of the ache, the verse from Genesis 28:16 came alive to them. ““Surely the LORD is in this place, and I was not aware of it.” Jacob was amazed that the place of painful wrestling was truly God’s place of meeting with him.

this Honda became our church

Tears were rolling down my cheeks and I realized that my sniffling was the only noise in the car. A holy hush had descended upon my Honda. The kids had stopped talking and were actually listening to the broadcast. We arrived at school, I shut off the radio and we sat in the silence for a minute until 3 year, Clara, spontaneously broke out into a “Psalty” love song for Jesus. “I love you, I love you, sing to the Lord, I love you”. Soon Lily and the boys were joining in the song. We were having church in the car seats, fogging up the windows with our praise.

Surely the Lord was in this place, this car pool, this mundane, everyday routine, and I had not been aware of it.

Take the challenge, look for God in your boredom, in your daily details. He is there, even when you are not aware of it.

 

check the news for the answers to prayer

Before moving to South Africa last year. I read a BBC article about Lavender Hill one of the most dangerous communities on the outskirts of Cape Town. The article reported how gang violence had become so rampant there that the local citizens began taking the law into their own hands. Their community had become a literal war zone and they were desperate for any means to peace, but sadly, violence never overcomes violence.

I googled the location and found out this community is only a few kilometers away from our new home in Muizenberg. My heart was burdened for Lavender Hill and began to pray for the peace of God to overtake this place.

After moving here to Muizenberg, we would often drive past Lavender Hill and I would wonder, “Is there any one reaching out in the war zone, or all we all too scared?”

The first time we visited our church, Bay Community, a lady got up and announced that they had been regularly prayer walking Lavender Hill. They had opportunities to minister there, even to gang members. I knew at that moment, we belonged here. I needed to be a part of this bold community who did not fear to step into the war zone and take back the land in prayer and love.

In the upper room of the church, I have joined this rag tag band of intercessors, who gather weekly from every facet of society, race, age and background. They are united in one pursuit, to encounter the Kings of kings, be swept up in his love and bring forth this heavenly love to earth. Time stands still in these gatherings and hours seem like only minutes.

The other week we focused our prayers on Lavender Hill and the gang violence that has been raging out of control in the past weeks. The South African military was deployed and tankers filled the streets but with no end to violence in sight. Yet as we prayed for peace, God’s presence came and I knew something shifted, something happened that night as we prayed and I began to search the newspapers to see the answer.

Prayer becomes exciting when you find the answers on the local news. I heard reports on the radio that the gangs called a truce and that it has stayed. The gang leaders even implored the local churches and mosques to take care of the young boys that they had been grooming for gang warfare. This is what we prayed for, that the church would be ready to embrace the gangs. We still need to see this answered.

Now this crazy bunch of prayer warriors has permission to pray and worship in the police station every Saturday this month. Cannot wait to see the results of this… I’ll keep you posted!

Have you checked the paper lately for answers to your prayers?