I had the privilege of being part of an energetic and Holy Spirit-fired-up team of ‘JoshGenners’ who travelled from Cape Town to Johannesburg for the Four12 Gauteng Regional Equipping Time in May 2016. Nothing could have prepared me for the weekend, including the information on the application form, the various animated testimonies of previous equipping times from precious saints, or even my own ‘prophetic’ insights and expectations.
At the end of it all, I can truly say the spiritual gain far exceeded the physical cost and energies exerted. I walked away with a priceless revelation of the beauty and importance of being part of a community and safely knit in family even within a dynamic (global) partnership of churches like Four12.
As one who battled with rejection, I often found myself isolated because I believed a lie deeply rooted in past wounds. People had let me down a million times before and for that reason I ‘did not need anybody’. Needless to say, this model of self-reliance was founded on a wound of rejection and soon enough I found myself isolated and secluded from my local church family. While I had found an amazing family at Joshua Generation Church, my wounds drew all my attention to maintaining an image of self-sufficiency based on pride rather than building family through vulnerability and just letting people see ‘the real’ me.
Needless to say, this model of self-reliance was founded on a wound of rejection and soon enough I found myself isolated and secluded from my local church family.
Prior to the equipping time I had begun the journey of overcoming rejection thanks to vulnerability in community and walking in the truth spoken to me in love by my precious Joshua Generation Church family and friends. The equipping time solidified and reaffirmed the truth of God shared in Psalm 68:5 – that GOD truly is a Father to the fatherless (including me) and it is He who sets us firmly in family.
During the Equipping Time, I had the opportunity to fellowship with two congregations – CLC Benoni and the Tree of Life in Barcelona (Daveyton). Both congregations are not where I typically fellowship every Sunday, yet immediately upon my arrival it felt like home (and no, not home away from home, just home). There was a supernatural sense of belonging from the moment I arrived.
While each teaching and session held invaluable nuggets of wisdom there was also a common thread that ran across the entire weekend. We are all from different congregations, different backgrounds, different socio-economic circumstances, and even different colours, and yet it is our faith that unites us and our faith has no colour but the colour of the blood of Jesus. As I had stepped out in the assurance of safety in family, I chose to be vulnerable and get over myself. God in His faithfulness met me more than half way and placed me firmly in family. Had I not been vulnerable and heeded the voices of wisdom and truth in Joshua Generation Church family, challenging the lies of the enemy and the wounds I carried, my fate would have been that of those who are rebellious – living (outside of family) in isolation in a dry land (Psalm 68:6).
We are all from different congregations, different backgrounds, different socio-economic circumstances, and even different colours, and yet it is our faith that unites us and our faith has no colour but the colour of the blood of Jesus
While we are called to be a part of our local church, the Equipping Time brought a deep revelation that I am safely knit in family. Yet for this revelation to come, I had to get over myself, let my guard down and reveal who I truly am. It was through this vulnerability that there was a true knitting of hearts and strangers became family through a deep connection solidified by unity in Christ.
To sum it up, as Carol Kuykendall rightly states in her article ‘The Art of Vulnerability’: “Our vulnerability is a gift because it helps us recognise our need for community and it deepens our connections.”
I am already looking forward to, and excited for, the Four12 Conference in Cape Town in October! Come join me and the rest of the Four12 family, for a special time of fellowship with Jesus and one another! For more information click the event below.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sandisiwe is a saint in Joshua Generation Church. Her desire is to support the body of Christ and to see the saints equipped. As a development economist she finds the interplay between economics, politics and social justice intellectually intriguing and is passionate about exploring biblical solutions to poverty.
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