“Look among the nations, and see; wonder and be astounded. For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told.” Habakkuk 1:5
Since I first encountered the Lord in worship as a young man, I have been drawn to the incredible scenes of worship in heaven in the book of Revelation, one example being chapter 7. I long for the day when I will be there in person, seeing the four living beings, the 24 elders, the many different kinds of angels and the great multitude of saints from every nation, tribe, people and language falling down in worship before God Almighty.
Two weeks ago we experienced a foretaste of that here in Cape Town at our Four12 Training Cape Flats, and wow was it good! On Friday night we gathered as pastors & elders from 25 different churches of Cape Town. Then on Saturday, almost four hundred saints, black, white and coloured, gathered at African Gospel Church in an informal settlement area of Philippi expectant to encounter God as we learned to partner together. In the middle of a massive storm, despite the electricity and two generators failing, God’s power broke through! We put down the then dead microphones and instruments, and with our voices in unison, we praised our Great God. This little taste of heaven ignited a desire in all of us, we knew we were gathered for more, more of our King & His Kingdom, more of us as saints coming together united by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
On the Sunday morning we sent out 12 teams from Joshua Generation Church to join with and minister to 15 different churches in 12 locations across the townships of Cape Town. A wave of believers breaking through the old geographic walls of this city to demonstrate what the Kingdom of God is like. God’s Kingdom is not divided by the barriers of this world such as culture, race and class. In a similar way, satan tried to divide the New Testament church according to the pattern of their world between Jews & Gentiles, masters & slaves, civilized and barbarian, but God would not allow it! Paul writes in Ephesians 2:14, “For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility.” This Scripture is coming alive in Cape Town! After the weekend, Ryan Kingsley (Joshua Generation Church) commented to me saying, “For a long time we have tried to make unity & partnership happen with little lasting fruit. But now God is going ahead of us, and we are just trying to keep up with what He is doing, a mighty move of partnering churches together that will transform this city!”
The testimonies that have come from both the Four12 partners’ side and the new Xhosa speaking churches has been incredible. God has given the Xhosa speaking church a strong gift of hospitality that was on full display as the churches hosted the various teams. A few of the Xhosa speaking pastors shared with me, “Mike, this was the first time ever that white people have come to worship with us in church, and now we feel connected to the whole body of Christ.” Some pastors came and asked Four12 to help them grow in their preaching, saying, “I have never heard preaching like this before.” A number of churches testified how encouraging it was for their church to have not to have just the ‘lead elder’, but the whole team of saints doing the work of ministry together. What a witness to literally living out Ephesians 4:12.
As we see so often in Scripture, those who go to serve and to give receive abundantly more from God in ways they never expected. Some saints from Joshua Generation Church testified they were in tears from the moment they walked into the church, convicted by the Holy Spirit that they have never before in their life worshipped together with Xhosa brothers & sisters that live just 20 minutes away. What a joy to be united with family, brothers & sisters you didn’t realise you had! Others shared how they could not believe how the Xhosa speaking churches “opened their hearts” (2 Corinthians 7:2) to them. As I am looking and watching all that God is doing, I am utterly amazed at how God is rapidly building new partnerships in the Gospel. God is doing things right here in Cape Town!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mike is married to Marie-Eve and they have 2 boys, Raph and Vince. He is an elder in Joshua Generation Church, primarily serving Four12 by partnering with Xhosa-speaking churches in the townships.
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