As I am writing this we are on our way back to Cape Town after an incredible weekend with our beloved family at Oxygen Life. Some 40 of us made the trek to Port Elizabeth for a jam-packed weekend of fellowship, great food and times of equipping for the leaders and saints respectively. As one of the youth leaders in JoshGen it was incredibly special for me to travel with some of our Youth from the Sunningdale and Durbanville youth groups; to see them loving the church, serving where needed, praying and pouring themselves out for their fellow brothers and sisters in the faith, and reminded me again why I love working with teenagers so much. No fear, just flat out Kingdom building passion.
Oxygen Life will always hold a very special place in my heart, as it is the family where I genuinely found a love and passion for God through the church’s genuine passion and love for people and a desire to see them come into all the fullness God has for them in Christ Jesus. They are a city on a hill, shining bright the way to the Father, and I am incredibly grateful for the 7 odd years I spent there before relocating to Cape Town. Every time I go back and see old friends it feels to me like I never left. Thank you Oxygen Life for your love and genuine care for others. It brings a smile to our Fathers face.
A few of us joined the Oxygen Life youth on Friday night and to say that we were blown away by the groups hunger for the Spirit would be a massive understatement! They may not have the largest numbers but the potential for this group, especially as their space increases when they move into their new venue, is very exciting. The core of the group are so hungry for the Spirit and to meet with the Father, I can see how as the space increases and school friends start visiting this group will grow at a very fast rate, with the depth of genuine passion for the things of God to carry the momentum that the smaller group is enjoying. The picture I got was one of a small tree growing in a pot, as the tree was removed from the pot and planted in a lush garden the tree shot up and seeds fell to ground sprouting other ‘oaks of righteousness’ which in turn sprouted more. South Africa and the world, watch this group of teenagers closely, I am very excited for what God has in store for them. Nation Changers and History Makers are terms thrown around all to easily these days but as far as this group is concerned, they are bunch of ‘crasy’ Nation changing history-makers. It is becoming very clear to me that God is doing something amazing in the teenagers, both in JoshGen and other Four12 partnering churches; not to say it is only us but from my experience there is a shift taking place in a large portion of our teenagers hearts. There is a generation that God is busy raising up right in front of our eyes, that instead of having to deal with guilt and shame in their twenties because of sin and rebellion in their teenage years, they will be storming ahead with faith and power in the Spirit because of a deep hunger and passion for the things of God at a young age. They are the future and the future looks ever brighter. It might not be getting easier as we see an increase in our fight for religious freedom the world over, but if these are the vessels God is raising up for His glory I have hope. What we will have achieved in God at 45 they will achieve at 25, “when the enemy comes in like a flood, God will raise up a banner.”
Saturday saw us all coming together for a picnic while Andrew and the elders held a training time for the elders and potential elders from around the Eastern Cape. One thing you can be sure of when visiting Oxygen Life is there won’t be a shortage of crazy, in a good way. These guys and girls know how to have fun, proper fun, and there is no shortage of delicious food either. A brilliant example of hosting with excellence. Our hosts, the Duthie’s, went way beyond expectation to make sure we were well fed and enjoying our stay. Do yourself a favour and request them if you plan on visiting Oxygen Life.
Saturday night was our first ‘corporate’ meeting together and man did it rock!! The hall was packed to the brim with people from all over the region. A joint worship team from Oxygen Life and JoshGen ushered in the presence of God in a powerful and tangible way. When the call came for us to take our seats for Andrew to bring the word we would have loved to continue jumping, dancing, shouting and singing for the King but there was a great expectation for what God wanted to do through His Word. Andrew preached a cracker of a preach. The listeners were left with a very real sense of where the church needs to rally in unity to continue to enjoy the freedom we have in South Africa to bring His word in fullness and power. There was a great response as husbands committed to leading and loving their wives as Christ loves the church, and an equal response from the wives to respect and support their husbands as Christ intends them to.
Sunday morning saw us coming to together again at the Sunday morning celebration, a chilly light rain fell outside for most of the day but that didn’t seem to effect the atmosphere or dampen any spirits, as everyone was greeted warmly. Morne van der Walt, an elder from JoshGen, did a wonderful job of leading the meeting and after another wild time of worship and the prophetic we settled down to probably one of my favourite preaches in Andrew’s arsenal. We looked again at the radicalness of true New Testament Christianity and many hearts were spurred on, challenged and encouraged to put Christ back at the centre of their everything. A wonderful response came forward in an act of devotion to what was heard, with around 10 salvations to boot.
It is always a bittersweet feeling heading back home after a ministry trip like this one, feeling excited to get back to my JoshGen family, yet sad to leave my Oxygen Life family. Thankfully it is not a “Goodbye”, but rather “Til we meet again.”
by Rae Trew-Brown