THIRTY ONE: Issue 16

Page 1

ISSUE SIXTEEN

SIMONÉ NORTMANN

EDNA ELS

ME2 MAGAZINE

SUE BISHOP

MIKAILÉ BESTER

ESTHEA MARTHINI

MELISSA LE ROUX


#16 CONTENTS P O W E R N O T E 1

- Edna Els JOURNEY INTO MOTHERHOOD

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- Mikailé Bester F E AT U R E S T O R Y: PERFECT LOVE CASTS OUT FEAR

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- Simoné Nortmann AT M O S P H E R E C H A N G E R S

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- Sue Bishop B U T G O D . . . 3 1

- Esthea Martini Y O U R G R A C E I S S U F F I C I E N T

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- Melissa Le Roux W E A R & E AT

© This publication is produced by Victory Media for m e 2 M e n t o r i n g J e ff re y s B a y. A l l a rt i c l e s a re w r i tt e n b y members of Victory Church unless otherwise stated. Th i s m a g a z i n e i s n o t f o r s a l e . Fo r f u r t h e r i n f o r m a t i o n on any of the articles, do not hesitate to email us at me2@victorychurch.org.za Issue 16 - December 2020 me2mentoring.com // victorychurch.org.za Cover Photography: provided by Simoné Nortmann

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Dear friend, We’ve all been awaiting the end of 2020 with

the smile of Heaven over us, the fact that His Love

bated breath, ready to leave this unusual year

covers us, accompanies us, enables us to face our

behind and to move on to better days where

fears and drives out the torment that the enemy

Covid-19 becomes a distant memory.

wants to inflicts becomes our reality.

However, whether or not that happens, it is so

There is NOTHING that can separate us from His

necessary to pause and reflectđ&#x;˜‰(Selah) on the

Love, even in the midst of all these things...

past year.

Romans 8:37-39 in The Passion Translation puts it so well: YET even in the midst of all these things, we

Being in the same boat as everyone else on the

triumph over them all, for God has made us to be

planet has made it easier to be content with the

more than conquerors, and his demonstrated love

here and now and to cultivate a heart of gratitude

is our glorious victory over everything! So now I

for that which we have and not for that which we’re

live with the confidence that there is nothing in the

ever striving for to accomplish and experience.

universe with the power to separate us from God’s love. I’m convinced that his love will triumph over

’God with us’ has become our necessity, our hope

death, life’s troubles, fallen angels, or dark rulers

and thankfully, our reality, even though at times,

in the heavens. There is nothing in our present or

we have to deal with disappointment and pain.

future circumstances that can weaken his love.

Gratitude brings our Focus back to the goodness

There is no power above us or beneath us-no

and kindness of an ever-loving Father that doesn’t

power that could ever be found in the universe

love us from a distance but has made Himself at

that can distance us from God’s passionate love,

home in us. It’s a holy habitation because the Holy

which is lavished upon us through our Lord Jesus,

One has taken up residence there.

the Anointed One!

He’s got the title deed, and He’s never leaving

We become depressed when we dwell on the PAST

despite the squeaking condition of the hinges

and anxious when we try and figure out the FUTURE.

and the sagging floorboards. However, when we focus on God that is an EVER Yes, my friend, at times we live unaware of the

PRESENT (and FUTURE) HELP, His LOVE and PEACE

Greater One residing on the inside of us. We

that passes understanding invades our lives.

still become intimidated by the enemy’s power ploys and empty threats. We become anxious

Thank you for journeying with us, your love for

and lose our peace and joy as we contemplate

Father and each other continues to inspire us.

a future in these uncertain times instead of resting in the full assurance that He’s got this and He’s

May His love and peace be your portion.

got you and me!

We love you, Edna and the Team

As we turn our faces towards Him and glimpse

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POWERNOTE FROM EDNA

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THE WORD BECAME FLESH AND MADE HIS DWELLING AMONG US. WE HAVE SEEN HIS GLORY, THE GLORY OF THE ONE AND ONLY SON, WHO CAME FROM THE FATHER, FULL OF GRACE AND TRUTH. JOHN 1:14

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Photography: unsplash.com

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MIKAILÉ BESTER 5


actively involved in leading in my local church. Mentally, though, I was suffering. I had an immense desire to be in control of every possible aspect of our lives— to minimize risk, to eliminate the unexpected. Everything had to be in order all the time for me to function optimally. I was overly organised, overly prepared, overthinking the smallest details. At times my thoughts were so irrational that I worried that people would judge I’M NOT SURE WHEN OR HOW IT STARTED,

me or think less of me if they could see into my

but I remember my eldest son being 13 months

mind. And so I kept quiet and soldiered on; after

old and realising that I was mentally tired from

all, everyone was taken care of, and all was

over-anticipation. I saw the potential danger

functioning well. I had a two-year-old toddler

in everything he touched or attempted to do.

and an infant feeding every two hours around the

I thought I was simply being a good first-time

clock, and so I simply put my struggle down to

mom, so diligently looking out for him, teaching

sleep deprivation.

him what to be aware of or careful for. Until one morning that I realised I was struggling not to see

When Luke was 3 months old, we travelled to

danger lurking behind every corner. I was not

the UK for Joe’s work for almost three months.

constantly fearful, but I was just acutely aware

Travelling extensively with two small children,

of everything that could go wrong and trying to

and all the additional ‘risk’ we were exposed to

manage every scenario was exhausting.

was stressful, and three months later, I was at a breaking point. I felt like a stranger to myself,

I called one of our pastoral couples and went

and I did not like the person I was becoming.

to see them for prayer. As I had suffered two

The situation was robbing me of my spontaneity

miscarriages before Matthew, I thought my fears

and my joy. I ended up seeing a psychologist on

of something happening to him stemmed from

our return from the UK, who diagnosed me with

that. We prayed together; I felt immense relief and

Post-natal Anxiety. The diagnosis explained all

moved on.

my symptoms, and I was relieved to know that I was not losing it after all. It was mainly hormone-

Eleven months later, Luke was born. From the

related, and as soon as I stopped breastfeeding

outside looking in and on a practical level, I was

and was rid of all my pregnancy hormones,

fine. In fact, I was more than fine. I was coping

things would look up. I was not ready to stop

well on my own with two small children, as we

breastfeeding, though, and knew that I would

live far away from any immediate family, and my

have to walk this out. I felt that it had to be a faith

husband was regularly travelling for work. I ran my

journey, and so I resisted medication and further

household effectively and seamlessly, and I was

psychological help.

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I was praying, quoting scriptures, resisting the

After Emmi’s birth, I was again diagnosed with

devil, aligning my thoughts with God and the

PNA, and medication was prescribed. I felt like

word, and yet, the struggle was real. I was sitting

a complete failure spiritually and otherwise and

on my bed one day, asking God why healing

was bitterly disappointed to be back here again.

and victory were just not coming. I would have

Although the PNA was much worse after Luke

times where I felt completely fine and in control,

and I had carried on without medication, I was so

only to have stretches where I felt like my world

tired of working so incredibly hard to keep it all

was spinning. I felt the Holy Spirit say to me that

together, that I knew something had to give.

He could just heal me…but He wasn’t going

I now had three small children and a husband

to. I felt God say that just healing me would

travelling more than before, and all-round the

relieve me of my symptoms, but if I let Him, He

number of strings I had to pull together had

was going to teach me stuff about Him and His

increased.

nature, about myself, and people on my road to healing. God’s heart for us is not to suffer, but

In His kindness, God just so happened to have

He is more interested in our character than our

Joe tune in to an interview on the radio talk show

comfort. I surrendered to the process. And so

that he listened to driving home every day, with

my journey started of trusting God in spite of…

a woman who had worked through PNA. He

in spite of what the media said, in spite of what

approached me with so much compassion and

the world or circumstances dictated, despite

understanding, and together we decided I would

the unrest raging in my heart and mind. And

go on medication. Light enough to continue

things started to change. Peace that transcends

breastfeeding Emmi, but to afford me some relief

understanding was my portion because honestly,

otherwise. I felt like I did not have enough faith

the world was no less dangerous and at times, I

to walk it out with God, and medication was

felt no less overwhelmed by the war within me.

a cop-out. Aware of the stigma that goes with

Yet, I knew that He was good and that His plans

any kind of mental condition and medicine, I

for me and family were good. Slowly but surely, I

felt such shame. I felt unfit to lead in the areas

was making my way up the mountain.

where I was walking a road with other women and was convinced that people would think

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Toward the end of my third pregnancy, I knew

less of me if they knew. But I pushed through

enough to recognise Peri-natal anxiety when it

and bravely shared with my me2 group, who

set on. I sat with my husband one night and cried

were already aware of my struggle, where I was

my eyes out as I felt I was in constant ‘fight and

now at. The judgement I was expecting did not

flight’ mode again, and the relapse made me

come; instead, I was loved on and supported

feel like an absolute failure. I was confessing and

in ways that, like so many other times in my life,

professing, encouraging people around me, but I

demonstrated how important it is to be planted

couldn’t keep it together myself.

and surrounded.


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The judgement I was expecting did not come; instead, I was loved on and supported in ways that, like so many other times in my life, demonstrated how important it is to be planted and surrounded.Â

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Photography: Impact Studio


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Photography: The Le Sueurs


One of the best analogies offered to me by a

separate, but not alone. To look to Him alone

dear friend was that when you break your leg,

in all things, amid one of the loneliest and most

you use a crutch until it heals. The crutch, like

challenging years of my life, so that even in the

the medication in this case, is not what heals

hardship, there has been joy and blessing.

the break, but it definitely helps to facilitate the healing process. This was so freeing to hear.

In this process, God has taught me to approach

I was not turning to medication for healing, God

others with so much more grace and love. Giving

would be my deliverance, but it was ok to use

me so much more compassion, understanding,

a ‘crutch’ to take the weight of my ‘leg’ as it

insight, and tolerance for others’ circumstances

healed. As the medication began to come into

and situations. Despite what you see, you never

effect, everything I had to work so hard on to

know what battles someone else may be fighting.

keep together started happening more naturally.

As believers, we are called to encourage one

As those struggles started to fall away, it was

another and build each other up. (1 Thess 5:11).

so much easier to approach the situation from

We are to love one another, as He loves us (John

a place of victory, instead of defeat. God was

13:34), without judgement or condition. Struggling

parting the sea for me, making it possible for me

with something or walking something out does

to walk through the situation, without fear of it

not disqualify you, does not lessen your worth in

engulfing me.

the Kingdom. If you are willing to allow God to use you, despite your process, then nothing is

As promised, God has revealed so much to me

for nothing in the Kingdom. As I have refused to

in this process. He has taught me how to make

let this define me, or allow it to stigmatise and

bold moves, despite what I feel, to wholly rely

shame me into silence, I have had the privilege

on Him, trusting in His nature and character,

of sharing with others and walking a road with

His faithfulness and goodness. To stand on

people who have had similar struggles. Even

the promises in His word. And thus, despite

though it has been discouraging at times to walk

overwhelming anxiety at times, God has enabled

this road, I have watched God work even this

me, and His Holy Spirit empowered me, to pack

together for my good as He promises in His word.

up my house and my three small children and

And I know He who has begun this good work in

move to a foreign country for a year. A year

me, is faithful to bring it to completion…for

where very little has gone to plan, where we

His glory.

were hit by a global pandemic and have been separated from all that we know and love for

longer than ever anticipated. (An entire story all

Recently relocated back from Bath, England to Paarl,

in itself). Yet God has sustained me, carried me, His Holy Spirit, my voice of reason amid chaos.

South Africa, where she and her husband Joe are part of the Eldership Team at Paarl Family Church.

His love ever-constant amid all the change. He is good. He is kind. I have learnt what it is to be

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HERE IS A TRUST WORTHY SAYING THAT DESERVES FULL ACCEPTANCE: CHRIST JESUS CAME INTO THE WORLD TO SAVE SINNERS—OF WHOM I AM THE WORST. BUT FOR THAT VERY REASON I WAS SHOWN MERCY SO THAT IN ME, THE WORST OF SINNERS, CHRIST JESUS MIGHT DISPLAY HIS IMMENSE PATIENCE AS AN EXAMPLE FOR THOSE WHO WOULD BELIEVE IN HIM AND RECEIVE ETER NAL LIFE. NOW TO THE KING ETER NAL, IMMORTAL, INVISIBLE, THE ONLY GOD, BE HONOR AND GLORY FOREVER AND EVER. AMEN. TIMOTHY 1:15-17

Photography: unsplash.com

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PERFECT LOVE CASTS OUT FEAR

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SIMONÉ NORTMANN 16


I’VE ALWAYS DREAMT OF MARRIAGE. I’VE ALWAYS ASKED GOD WHAT IT WAS SUPPOSED TO LOOK LIKE AND DREAMT OF A MARRIAGE THAT WOULD GLORIFY HIM.

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MY HUSBAND (MY KIND-HEARTED, TALL, DARK

I’m by nature a very impatient person (before I

and handsome gift from the Lord) and I, have

had the fruit of the Spirit) and decided to make

been married for a year and a half. Many people

my appearance a month before the due date.

warned us that our first year of marriage would

Because my mom’s actual gynaecologist wasn’t

be the hardest, and we should prepare ourselves

present during labour, another doctor helped out

emotionally. We laughed whenever couples said

and put me on my mother’s chest before she could

that because we definitely chewed rocks for the

say anything. She keeps telling me that once that

first few years of dating!

happened she couldn’t give me away because I

was so cute up close. My husband confirms this. My

I’ve always dreamt of marriage. I’ve always asked

parents got married a few months after my birth but

God what it was supposed to look like and dreamt

got divorced four years later. I saw my father every

of a marriage that would glorify Him. I read every

second weekend, but when he moved to Cape

book on marriage and dating that I could possibly

Town, I saw him twice a year.

find. I watched sermons on it, asked my mentors

about it, and attended relationship conferences

At the age of fifteen, God, by His grace and by the

year after year. And yet, my fear of rejection

power of the Holy Spirit, enabled my heart to open

always looked for validation and acceptance

wide and receive His love and mercy. I had no

in relationships and made me fall back on

choice but to surrender everything - every broken

compromise.

piece, mystery, question, anger, and even my

depression. Most of my life, I felt unloved, unwanted,

When I was fifteen years old, I found out that my

and unworthy. I performed for acceptance and

parents weren’t married when I was conceived,

questioned my existence. So, when I tasted God’s

and that they had attempted to abort me three

love in a very tangible manner, it turned my world

times before they put me up for adoption. My

upside down completely. It was pure grace and

mother, being in the Air Force, would have been

real unconditional love. None of it made sense. I fell

dismissed for falling pregnant outside of wedlock,

to the floor, weeping as electrical currents of love

and my father was worried about his reputation in

swept through my entire body. It was tangible and

the military. When the attempted abortions failed,

the most real experience and encounter with pure

adoption seemed like the best option. Luckily

love that I have ever tasted.

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From that encounter, God the Father started

heart would send me into destruction. I had to put

ministering to my heart, reforming my identity into

Andries on the altar and surrender him completely.

one that said, “beloved daughter.” But it took a

IF we ended up together, God would intervene as

while for the revelation to go from my head to my

he did with Abraham.

heart. The lies from my childhood were still deeply

entrenched in me, and most visibly surfaced when I

In that season of consecration, He started teaching

started dating Andries.

me that the foundation of marriage lies in laying

down your own life for another regardless of

When we started dating at the age of 24, I thought

how they behave towards you, and ultimately,

I was ready to be in a relationship. We dated for

regardless of whether or not they love you back. The

a year before God revealed to both of us that we

way God loves you and me. The problem is that the

weren’t ready for a commitment to marriage. I

Spirit of rejection hates this kind of love. Rejection

put a lot of pressure on Andries because marriage

feeds off of someone else’s behaviour. It is carnal,

was an idol in my heart, and Andries was wrought

volatile, and changes with the wind. No marriage

with fear of commitment due to his own parents’

can be built on the sand of rejection. When the true,

divorce. It became a very hurtful cycle. His triggers

fulfilling, all-encompassing love of Jesus went from

triggered my trigger. We knew we had to break up.

my head to my heart, I started fearing rejection less.

So we did, but only half-heartedly. We continued

I started believing what God said about me, and I

seeing one another, hurting one another, trying

began to trust in His love. The fruit of my life started

to change one another, and eventually decided

to look different. Song of Songs says, “Who is this

to get back together again. Those few months

coming up from the wilderness, leaning on the one

weren’t fruitful at all. The hurt continued. God

she loves?” God became the One I leaned on to

couldn’t heal Andries because his distrust triggered

fulfil my heart’s desire for acceptance and love.

anxiety, which he unloaded onto me. God couldn’t

heal me because I kept putting my expectations of

A few weeks later, I unexpectantly bumped into

love and fulfilment onto Andries. In 2017 God told

Andries in Stellenbosch. The rest is history. The day

me that the point of obedience was the point of

we got engaged, Andries showed me what he had

power. We finally broke up. This time it seemed final.

engraved on the inside of my ring: 1 John 4:19, “We

love because He first loved us.”

After the break-up, God showed me that Andries

was my Isaac. My promise from the Lord that took

God, the ultimate author and knower and perfector

first place in my heart. He became the big love of

of love wrote our love story, and I wouldn’t have

my life, taking the seat of Christ in my heart. God

had it any other way.

was gracious in breaking us up because He knew having someone else seated on the throne of my

— Wife to Andries Pretorius, beloved local actress, speaker and entrepreneur, residing in Pretoria.

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WHEN THE TRUE, FULFILLING, ALLENCOMPASSING LOVE OF JESUS WENT FROM MY HEAD TO MY HEART, I STARTED FEARING REJECTION LESS.

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THEREFORE THE LORD HIMSELF WILL GIVE YOU A SIGN: THE VIRGIN WILL CONCEIVE AND GIVE BIRTH TO A SON, AND WILL CALL HIM IMMANUEL. ISAIAH 7:14

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Photography: unsplash.com

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ATMOSPHERE CHANGERS Bringing hope, encouragement and truth to the workplace.

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By being intentional, maintaining an excellent work ethic, respecting all (even those with differing world views and beliefs) and being authentically me, countless opportunities have arisen to influence the atmosphere and to share the love of Jesus. I have lots to say about this subject, however I will focus on 7 practical ways I have personally been able to encourage and inject truth into my workplace: 1. Laughter: “A joyful, cheerful heart brings healing to both body and soul. But the one whose heart is crushed struggles with sickness I NEVER IMAGINED MYSELF BEING A NURSE.

and depression.” Proverbs 17:22 [TPT]. “Your

The only reason I went to nursing school was

laughter is contagious,” is what I’ve been told

because I had no clue what else to do after

by co-workers. For those that know me, I do

graduation. I had enjoyed high school biology

like to laugh, especially at myself. Working with

and my friend Gail enrolled into nursing a year

cancer patients does not mean we are always

ahead of me, so, I followed her. I was seventeen

sad. In fact, it is a place of hope and there is

years old. Heaven knew it was the right fit for

lots of room for smiles and laughter. I believe

me and I am grateful for over three decades of

laughter is self-explanatory to changing the

experience working in various areas - urology,

atmosphere.

plastic surgery, ICU, CCU, cardiology, emergency, research, patient and staff education, recovery

2. Injection of scripture and the prophetic (God’s

room and, for the last eleven years, oncology.

encouraging words) into natural conversation:

I love nursing! I have some incredible stories of

“Sharing words of wisdom is satisfying to your

life, death, endurance, hope, sadness, laughter,

inner being. It encourages you to know that

personal growth, and extremely interesting cases

you’ve changed someone else’s life. Your

that might intrigue you or turn your stomach. Just

words are so powerful that they will kill or give

ask my kids.

life” Proverbs 18:20-21 [TPT]

I am passionate about bringing truth and love into

One of my colleagues recently stated she

areas of influence, whether it is to my neighbours,

had a dark cloud following her and that she

local grocery stores, or my workplace. One of the

expected bad things to happen. What an

privileges I have had over the years, is to learn to

opportunity for me to say, “Your words have

be an atmosphere changer and an ambassador

power...speak life into your day, and don’t say

of hope and encouragement - not only to my

that your patients are all going to have serious

patients and their families, but especially to my

reactions, because they will.” She agreed and

co-workers.

we ended that workday with no serious adverse events.

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There have been numerous times where I

brook— like deep waters that spring forth

have been able to declare scripture into the

from within, bubbling up inside the one with

atmosphere without my patients or colleagues

understanding.” Proverbs 18:4 [TPT].

knowing I was speaking the Word. How fun! However, one needs to know scripture in order

Story of Allison: When I first met Allison, I was

to do this. It is easier than you think to declare

fairly intimidated by her crass comments. I

God’s goodness and blessings over people

dreaded working with her but over time, my

and to give prophetic words naturally (without

heart became stirred when I found out that

having to say, “This is a prophetic word”).

she had no family in Canada. So, with great courage I invited her to Christmas dinner, and

3. S trategic timing in giving scriptures, words

she accepted. Over the years this became

of encouragement, songs and Bibles to co-

a tradition even though we had gone onto

workers: “Like apples of gold in settings of silver

different workplaces. I knew something was

is a word spoken at the right time.” Proverbs

very wrong when she told me that she had lost

25:11 – [AMP]. Holy Spirit often prompts me to

her job as a nurse (that is something that does

share a particular scripture, song, word, or Bible

not happen easily in Canada). One day I felt

verse with a specific individual at a specific

prompted to call....no answer, so I went to her

time. It has taken great courage to do so, but

house and broke in. At the door, I met her

oh, the joy I’ve experienced over and over

very large German Shepherd for the first time....

again when I’ve been told, “Thank you, this is

he let me in. I found her emaciated with a

exactly what I needed.... it was perfect timing.”

dangerous low body weight and consumed

Please know that most of these dear people

with alcohol. By God’s grace, I managed

have a very different faith or belief system than

to get her to hospital and a detox Center.

I do.

Allison recovered from severe alcoholism

and eventually became a follower of Jesus.

4. I ntentionally meeting co-workers outside

Her story did not end there. Allison went on to

work and supporting them in their passions.

develop severe MS. After several years, God

Giving time to co-workers outside work gives

told Allison to move back to the UK to reconcile

them a sense of worth and allows deeper God

with her family and she did. Shortly after, Allison

conversations to occur. I’ve had so much fun

died suddenly of a heart ailment, but not before

kayaking, going for walks, drinking bubble tea

she told them about Jesus’ love. I learned an

and supporting their side business ventures

invaluable lesson: Never underestimate the

(i.e. exercise courses). Yes, it has required a

power of obeying Holy Spirit, especially with

sacrifice of time and sometimes money. Was it worth it? Every time!

difficult co-workers. 6. Prayer: “Pray for all men with all forms of

5. R eaching out to the coworker who is ‘difficult’. “Words of wisdom are like a fresh, flowing

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prayers and requests as you intercede with intense passion.” 1 Timothy 2:1 [TPT]. In all my


ONE OF THE PRIVILEGES I HAVE HAD OVER THE YEARS, IS TO LEARN TO BE AN ATMOSPHERE CHANGER AND AN AMBASSADOR OF HOPE AND ENCOURAGEMENT.

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ALL OF US HAVE THE ABILITY AND OPPORTUNITY TO BRING HOPE, ENCOURAGEMENT AND TRUTH TO THE ATMOSPHERE AROUND US...NO MATTER WHERE WE ARE

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career I’ve had only one patient say “no” to

had no perforations, no bleeding, no adverse

prayer. I’ve never had a co-worker say “no” to

outcomes, except a little embarrassment for

prayer. This is huge! My friends, most people

not chewing my food better. These miracles

are open to prayer and it is not dependent on

and other testimonies have given me so many

their belief system. We were created to have

opportunities to give glory to God and talk

relationship with God, and it is an innate desire

about His goodness.

to have connection - even if it initially means someone else is connecting to God on their

All of us have the ability and opportunity to

behalf.

bring hope, encouragement and truth to the atmosphere around us... no matter where we

7. P ersonal testimonies of God’s miracles and

are. My advice in a nutshell: “Just do it”. We

goodness. See Revelations 12:11. During this

may never really know the results of our words or

COVID season, my elderly father and myself

actions but do it anyway. This is where we trust

ended up in ER with potentially serious and

Holy Spirit and Father’s love for our co-workers,

life-threatening situations. My 88-year-old

neighbours, family and the plans He has for them.

dad fell off a step ladder and sustained a

It is not really about us; it is about allowing Him to

small brain bleed which lead to a critically low

love and work through us.

sodium level. I prayed for two things: He would have the smartest and most compassionate

“So, we are convinced that every detail of our

nurses, and that he would not pass away during

lives is continually woven together to fit into God’s

COVID isolation. As I was not allowed to visit,

perfect plan of bringing good into our lives, for we

I often called the hospital to get updates.

are his lovers who have been called to fulfill his

During his most crucial time, my co-worker

designed purpose.” Romans 8:28 [TPT].

(who also works in the ER) answered the phone. She was assigned to my father and is

that super smart and compassionate nurse

Married to Graydon Bishop, Sue is an Oncology Nurse

I’d prayed for. My heart sang! I told her that God had answered my prayer! Within a week,

and Lead Pastors alongside her husband at The Local Church Edmonton, Canada.

my dad was completely mobile and back in his garden. A few weeks later, I ended up inadvertently and unknowingly eating a 2.5 cm piece of glass while at work. I had no idea until 4 days later when I developed sudden razor-sharp pain in my lower GI tract. A scope procedure recovered the piece of glass, which we found out later came from a cracked rim of a food container I had taken to work. I

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FOR TO US A CHILD IS BOR N, TO US A SON IS GIVEN, AND THE GOVER NMENT WILL BE ON HIS SHOULDERS. AND HE WILL BE CALLED WONDERFUL COUNSELOR, MIGHT Y GOD, EVERLASTING FATHER, PRINCE OF PEACE.. - ISAIAH 9:6

Photography: unsplash.com

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ESTHEA MARTINI But God... 31


This was my “BUT GOD” year. Even though

In order for me to explain my “BUT GOD” year,

everything around me looked different, and

I need to share some vulnerable thoughts and

insecurities surrounded me, I concluded that God is

emotions. I had thoughts and questions like:

my constant! “Will we make this?” Never have I ever felt so insecure and unsure about what I saw happening around me, yet so secure in

“Will our children be okay with all the change and

God and sure of who He is.

disappointment?”

I experienced a rollercoaster of emotions daily

“Will we have food to eat and enough supplies in

and was completely overwhelmed by the tornado

the house during lockdown?” (yes, I bought way too

of information that came my way every day over

much toilet paper and canned food!)

WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, and daily news updates. I would find myself gripped by fear or

“What is going on in the world?”

worry. Trying to ignore those thoughts and emotions, I would watch a movie or find some other way to

For the most part, I felt totally out of control.

deal with it. BUT not even that helped quiet the noise in my mind or the overwhelming emotions that

BUT GOD - He gave me the most precious scriptures

caused me to feel like someone in an ocean trying

that carried me through this year, and they still

to keep my head above water.

sustain me today ...

BUT GOD!! Yet again, He showed Himself faithful. It

Psalm 119:105 says, “Your word is a lamp to my feet

was in the drawing aside, putting on worship music,

and a light to my path.”

reading and meditating the Word, journaling, and choosing to praise Him especially when I did not

Through this verse, God told me that He would lead

feel like it, AND, YES, I did have those days!

me step by step. We need a lamp when it is dark … okay let me just be brutally honest with you … it

As I chose to draw close to the Father, I

felt pretty dark to me, and I needed God’s written

experienced His peace that surpasses all

Word and spoken Word to lead me step by step, as I

understanding, and I knew I was okay because

allowed Him to lead me, I started to feel safe!

God is my hope!

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Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ is the same

weeks became months, and as I come to the end

yesterday, today, and forever.”

of 2020, I can see His faithful leading.

Everything changed around me, but He remained

This was a different kind of year, but looking back,

the same. This truth caused hope to arise within

different is not always bad. My “BUT GOD” year

me in a time where hopelessness was trying to

anchored me deeper in God and caused me to

overwhelm me.

seek God like never before.

These scriptures became my anchor that I held

I believe God is raising up “Davids” in His Kingdom.

on to. I think for me as a daughter of God, it was

A people that know God. People who know their

time to implement and live what I believe! It is so

authority in God and walks in humility and boldness.

much easier to tell someone what the Word says,

We might face a few giants in the future, but we

but to actually believe it and walk in it amidst

know who God is, and we know who we are in

very challenging circumstances is another story! I

Christ.

came to a place where I had to ask myself some important questions:

As you come to the end of your year, take time to reflect on your “BUT GOD” moments, and you will

Whose voice is the loudest — that of the world

see that He has led you step by step, day by day,

or God?

week by week, always remaining the same.

What do I really believe about God?

— Along with her husband Brent Martini, they are lead

In who do I put my trust? Navigating these questions are a lot more complicated when considering the challenging year we’ve had...BUT GOD, true to His Word, lead me constantly and consistently. He reminded me to turn my full attention to Him. He reminded me who He is. He reminded me of His faithfulness in my life. And as He led me daily, days became weeks,

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Pastors of Paarl Family Church.


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WHEN THEY HAD SEEN HIM, THEY SPREAD THE WORD CONCER NING WHAT HAD BEEN TOLD THEM ABOUT THIS CHILD, AND ALL WHO HEARD IT WERE AMAZED AT WHAT THE SHEPHERDS SAID TO THEM. BUT MARY TREASURED UP ALL THESE THINGS AND PONDERED THEM IN HER HEART. THE SHEPHERDS RETUR NED, GLORIFYING AND PRAISING GOD FOR ALL THE THINGS THEY HAD HEARD AND SEEN, WHICH WERE JUST AS THEY HAD BEEN TOLD. LUKE 2:17-20

Photography: unsplash.com

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YOUR GRACE IS SUFFICIENT MELISSA LE ROUX

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HI MY NAME IS MELISSA. I GREW UP IN A BROKEN

My past left me feeling broken and damaged,

household. My father was abusive, jealous, and

but I got to a point where I had to make peace

unfortunately, I was his victim. He was addicted to

with the people that had hurt me, forgive them

pornography, and I was exposed to it from a very

and set them free, especially my dad. It was so

young age. I grew up thinking pornography was

difficult, but I found so much freedom and joy by

love. I saw love as a very sexual, manipulative,

doing it. I decided to tell my close friends what

and controlling. I grew up thinking that women

was going on in my life and I shared everything

are only objects to men, that we are only here to

with them that I had struggled with. Talking about

give pleasure to them and that we have no voice.

it and bringing it into the light was the start of my healing process, it gave me so much freedom.

In grade 8 I met a guy. He was my best friend,

From there on I really just focused on getting

and this relationship was my escape from my

closer to God and hearing the truth from Him. I

home life. One day he showed me a video, it

really had to focus on the renewing of the mind. I

was pornography. From that moment, I started to

had been programmed to see the world as full of

believe the lie that I was going to be a woman

hurt, rejection and lust. So I had to re-programme

who was going to be trapped in a sexually

my mind to think differently and to see the world

abusive relationship, with no voice. It affected my

in light, love and freedom.

whole being, my entire identity. I felt trapped in my thoughts. I felt alone, guilty, and so dirty. I felt

Today I am free, fearless, and faith-filled. I am

like I didn’t deserve to be loved or even give love.

no longer on medication, and although I do

I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror. I rejected

sometimes struggle with anxiety, I know it’s an

myself in every way.

ongoing journey. I want to encourage you, keep moving forward. There is so much healing and

Because I didn’t know how to cope with all of this

joy in store for you. You are NOT alone. No matter

I struggled a lot with anxiety and panic attacks.

the extent of your brokenness, anxiety, guilt or

Whenever my father raised his voice, I would get

regret, there is ALWAYS a bigger plan, picture, and

a panic attack that lasted several minutes. When

purpose when you put your faith in God! I know

I reached high school, I started taking strong

that I am loved and accepted and that no matter

medication to control these attacks.

how tough and long my journey has been, I have never been alone. I have encountered true love

In 2016 I got the chance to move to Cape Town,

from God, and I know that I am capable of being

which I thought was an answer to prayer for a

loved and giving love. Love is beautiful. It is an

new start. I was so excited, yet it quickly went

invitation to love others past their walls of shame,

from bad to worse. The circumstances in which I

guilt, fear, and unforgiveness. I have experienced

found myself were full of triggers that increased

God’s freedom and forgiveness, and so can you!

my anxiety: from manipulative relationships, to

You were made to be loved. Freedom and joy lie

unhealthy habits, to feeling trapped. I was stuck

on the other side of the big wall that you build to

in a dark, deceptive world, and I couldn’t get

protect yourself.

out of it. All of this left me angry, disappointed, suicidal, hopeless, and scared. I felt so alone and

defeated.

Intern & VGY Alumni from Victory Church, Jeffreys Bay

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WEAR BY JANA ELS

LINEN With it’s effortless elegance, a linen garmet is an essential investment to anyones wardrobe. Linen is lightweight and loosely woven making it both breathable and absorbent, keeping you cool in Summer and warm in the cooler seasons. Yes, linen does crease - but that is part of linen’s unique beauty and gives it it’s classic elegance. Think style and comfort with flowy dresses, button-up shirts, bermuda shorts, structured blazers and wide-legged pants. Linen has the versatility to compliment any occasion, so whether you’re spending the day lounging around or dressing up for an evening out - you can’t go wrong with linen this summer. Styling linen is easy. Pair your linen pieces with your favourite denim jeans or jacket, a cotton tee, leather jacket, wool sweaters and don’t be afraid to layer! Complete your look with your summer go-to accessories, a leather bag or basket, a straw or linen wide-brimmed hat, sandals, espadrilles, wedges or a block heel, a pair of huggie earrings and a statement lip and you’re good to go.

Photography: Pinterest

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EAT CRÈME BRÛLÉE

B Y A N N E G A L LO WAY

A classic crowd favourite, this Crème Brûlée will surely impress.

INGREDIENTS: 500 ml heavy whipping cream

5 ml vanilla extract

4 large egg yolks

sugar, white or brown, for sprinkling on top

55 g sugar

METHOD: 1.

In a small pot, heat cream over medium heat until tiny bubbles form around the edge of the pan.

2.

In a larger pot (off the heat), whisk egg yolks and sugar until well-blended.

3.

Slowly stir in the hot cream, while continuing to whisk.

4.

Place the pot on a burner, and cook over medium-low heat, constantly stirring until the mixture thickens and coats a spoon well, about 15 minutes (the temperature of the custard should be about 76º to 80º (170º to 175º F), but do not boil or it will curdle).

5.

Stir in the vanilla extract at this time.

6.

Pour the hot custard into ramekins, cover and refrigerate until cold, at least 6 hours.

7.

Just before ready to serve, or a few hours beforehand, sprinkle the tops of the desserts with some sugar; natural sugar (raw sugar) works best. Using a kitchen torch, heat the top of the custard to melt the sugar for the brûlée topping.

8.

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Serve immediately or within a few hours (keep refrigerated) so the crisp shell doesn’t turn soggy.


Photography: unsplash.com Photography: unsplash.com

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