THIRTY ONE: ISSUE 18

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ISSUE EIGHTEEN

ROBYN DARCY

MICHELLE DEMI LEE

ME2 MAGAZINE

SINOYOLO MKILE

CLAIRE STEENCAMP

EDNA ELS

MEG CARRIE

SARAH JANE GRIEVE


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

- Edna Els P R O M I S E 5

- Sinoyolo Mkile C LO U DY V I S I O N

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- Meg Carrie F E AT U R E S T O R Y:

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- Robyn Darcy M Y T E S T I M O N Y 2 7

- Claire Steencamp C R E AT E D T O C R E AT E 3 9

- Michelle Demi-Lee H O P E I N T H E D A R K

- Sarah-Jane Grieve

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FA C E & 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 18 - November 2021 me2mentoring.com // victorychurch.org.za Cover Photography: Holistic Photography

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p o w er n o t e f r o m Ed n a

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Hi my friend, Don’t you just love it when God speaks to you and then confirms it through others? We never get the full story by ourselves, but somehow God includes others to pick up on His whisper to express His heart. Like little insignificant trickles of water that start flowing together to become rivulets, streams and ultimately a mighty river bringing life wherever it goes. This is what I’ve absolutely loved about the journey of ‘fleshing out’ and giving expression to THE RISING over the last three years. God was so kind when He gave us the word; “That it’s time for the mothers and the daughters to Arise, in Fullness and Freedom, to take our place and find our voice”. He knew that we needed the clarity of His voice to navigate the uncertainty of the way ahead AND that we needed each other (mothers, daughters, sisters and friends) more than ever before. As we flow with Him, the living stream carves through rocks and eradicates obstacles until His ‘bigger picture’ perspective becomes visible. God has a constantly flowing river whose sparkling streams bring joy and delight to His people. His river flows right through the city of God Most High, into His holy dwelling places. God is in the midst of His city, secure and never shaken. At daybreak His help will be seen with the appearing of the dawn. Psalm 46:4-5 TPT In these dry times, God invites us to draw from His Word, His Living Water so that we can become carriers of His living Water to be refreshed and refresh others. As the living streams come together we become a force against the enemy’s works. Flowing together in Him, the Micro will become Macro, and the small will become significant. So my friend, let’s be flooded by His Living Water to the extent that we become life giving wells in our families and community! Your friend,

Edna

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GOD HAS A CONSTANTLY FLOWING RIVER WHOSE SPARKLING STREAMS BRING JOY AND DELIGHT TO HIS PEOPLE. HIS RIVER FLOWS RIGHT THROUGH THE CIT Y OF GOD MOST HIGH, INTO HIS HOLY DWELLING PLACES. GOD IS IN THE MIDST OF HIS CIT Y, SECURE AND NEVER SHAKEN. AT DAYBREAK HIS HELP WILL BE SEEN WITH THE APPEARING OF THE DAWN. PSALM 46:4-5 TPT.

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SIN O YOLO MKILE promise

AT THE BEGINNING OF 2021, A CERTAIN UNFAMILIAR SCRIPTURE CAUGHT MY EYE, BUT AS I READ IT REPEATEDLY, IT SPOKE VOLUMES TO ME. Isaiah 40:8 reads: “The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever.” At first, I guess the logical side of me thought it referred to nature literally. But as I read commentary regarding this piece of scripture, I learnt that creation in this context means us, the human beings He made. A sudden thought popped into my spirit, “Sino, you, and others, tend to being fickle at times.” Be it shown in my doubt or the words that I speak that are contrary to what I have read in His Word and what I have heard Him tell me in my private moments with Him. Upon realising this, a typical reaction based on human nature would be to say, “Oh well, if that is the case, then this ‘waiting on God and seeing His word come to fruition in my life’ thing won’t work because I am inconsistent - right?” Actually, that would be wrong because of who God is. Not a boxed-in version of Him, but God in His entirety: His nature and His character. We as His children can rely on our constantly consistent Father, as He has been known to be through the ages and will be known for eternity.

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Photography: Sovrin Photography


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T hrough this lens and the help of the Holy Spirit, we can stand on the solid rock, calling those things that aren’t as though they are.

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Photography: sovrin photogrpahy


Now, bearing that in mind, I want to expand on that which has to do with promises. We’ve probably made a few of those in our lives, to people or even ourselves for that matter. But I think we all know that nothing compares to a promise made to us by our Father in heaven. It carries weight, hope and a great expectation for what is to come. Yet, somewhere in between knowing God is faithful and being surrounded by uncertain circumstances, and the issue of timing - we tend to wonder, “When will it come to fruition?” I do not wish to negate reality, I do want to encourage both you and me to remember that when the ‘in between’ times come, we are to stand on two things: 1) The moment He said it, He also deemed it finished and 2) His Word that stands forever is there to bring faith in our lives. Through this lens and the help of the Holy Spirit, we can stand on the solid rock, calling those things that aren’t as though they are. This is not done in arrogance but with confidence in Him who made the promise. So, what do we know? We know that our flesh and circumstances guarantee temporariness, but the Word God has proclaimed over our lives does what it is purposed to do and never returns to Him fruitless or void (Isaiah 55 v 11). Therefore, we should always be encouraged in and out of the seasons in our lives, knowing that He is steadfast and His Word is too. We can live from that place of knowing His promises are not empty but are ready to be lived out by us as a testimony!

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AS THE RAIN AND THE SNOW COME DOWN FROM HEAVEN, AND DO NOT RETUR N TO IT WITHOUT WATERING THE EARTH AND MAKING IT BUD AND FLOURISH, SO THAT IT YIELDS SEED FOR THE SOWER AND BREAD FOR THE EATER, SO IS MY WORD THAT GOES OUT FROM MY MOUTH: IT WILL NOT RETUR N TO ME EMPT Y, BUT WILL ACCOMPLISH WHAT I DESIRE AND ACHIEVE THE PURPOSE FOR WHICH I SENT IT. ISAIAH 55:10-11

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meg carrie cl o u d y vision

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I WAS DRIVING THE OTHER MORNING JUST BEFORE DAYBREAK, A HALF AN HOUR TRIP TO A SEASIDE SPOT I’VE GROWN TO LOVE, ANTICIPATING THE ARRIVAL OF THE SUN IN ALL ITS GLORY. I’d had a blurry couple of days and a serious case of what I’d like to call “cloudy vision” - unclear, uncertain, undefined vision. As if my head and my heart were waiting to put on their contact lenses, scrounging around trying to find them in the dark, only to come out empty-handed. You see, having moved to a new city purely based on a sense of peace, I have known nothing beyond the day that I’m in. For an A-type calendar-loving gal, it’s been a daily battle to surrender the version of the plan that I’ve had in my head, to slow down, to pace back and to drop my control at the foot of the cross. When I’m in these zones, I head to the sea, sometimes at sunrise, sometimes at sunset. It’s where I’m most aware of God. Where the veil between Heaven and Earth thins. Where His voice is near, and where I get to marvel in the magnificence of His creation. As I was driving, I looked out at the sky and was a little disappointed to see that there were no clouds, no puffs of white for the sun to latch onto on its inevitable climb up the sky. Some of the most spectacular sunrises I’ve witnessed have been a combination of sun and clouds both leaning on each other to create their magic. And then I heard God whisper, “Can’t you see it? When there are no clouds, I don’t have anywhere to display my glory”.

“OEF.” My cloudy vision, my lack of control, my surrender is the very place that He gets to show up and show off. My unclear, is His “Just you wait and see”. My uncertainty is His “You don’t even know how good it’s going to get”; and my undefined is His “I know exactly where we’re going”. My cloudy human vision leaning on the certainty of the Son, with a renewed assurance that at daybreak, we will collide together in magnificent glory. Love you Xx

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YOU WILL GO OUT IN JOY AND BE LED FORTH IN PEACE; THE MOUNTAINS AND HILLS WILL BURST INTO SONG BEFORE YOU, AND ALL THE TREES OF THE FIELD WILL CLAP THEIR HANDS. INSTEAD OF THE THOR NBUSH WILL GROW THE JUNIPER, AND INSTEAD OF BRIERS THE MYRTLE WILL GROW. THIS WILL BE FOR THE LORD’S RENOWN, FOR AN EVERLASTING SIGN, THAT WILL ENDURE FOREVER.” ISAIAH 55:12-13

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feature stor y

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Photography: Holistic Photography

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I always knew that

GOD had given me a gif t to pass on

valuable knowle dge and skills to other students, and I

always knew that I

would teach DANCE one day.

I HAVE BEEN TEACHING DANCE FOR OVER 20 YEARS.

performance. Nothing at all wrong with that you’re

My career started at the tender age of 3 when all I

thinking. Me too. Only there was always a price

wanted to do was Dance. My passion for Ballet grew

tag. My family would be subjected to crazy hours

as I studied, completed my Diploma at UCT School

of having “No mom” around, I would regress into

of Dance, and ventured out into the world.

another world, forgetting all else. My students would be drilled as often as possible to achieve results that

I always knew that God had given me a gift to pass

I deemed good enough.

on valuable knowledge and skills to other students, and I always knew that I would teach Dance one

One year I collapsed from sheer exhaustion. I

day. There was great comfort in that, knowing what

couldn’t lift my head off the pillow. I was literally

you want to become from a young age is rare. God

done.

had a plan with me. I spent 5 days flat on my back unable to move. I

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Year after year, I would train up young budding

thought physio would help, so I called on a gracious

dancers to perform with what I deemed, near

friend to see me. Chad (my husband) literally

perfection. We would do Royal Academy Ballet

carried me into the physio practice. That was

Examinations and excel, compete in Festivals and

how exhausted I had allowed myself to become.

excel, do bi-annual Shows, and wow audiences.

During that time, I wrestled with God. “Why was this

Each year I would make it my business to

happening to me? How can I be so useless? What

improve upon, fine-tune and increase the level of

am I supposed to be learning here Lord?”


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I recovered and went on holiday as it was the

internet and sound issues to missing students, to

end of the year. The following year began and I

space issues; we faced every single one of them

continued in the same vein. Clearly, no lesson was

head-on, and I persisted.

learnt. When people speak of “doing it in my own strength,” I now know exactly what they mean. All

Once again, the biggest price tag being my poor

me, none of Jesus.

family having to endure my “insanity” for a time, but they all did, so graciously and I love them all so

Each year I’d promise myself to let God step in and

much for dealing with me so gently. Some days I’d

help manage me and my work. Each year I would

want to smash the TV, rip out the WIFI connections,

face the same battles from the year before.

or burst into tears and my family calmly helped me see past it all. The frustrations I felt surpassed

Then lockdown hit. I would not allow anything to

anything I have ever experienced before.

step in my way. We went into our hard lockdown Thursday 26 March, by Monday 30 March I had

By this stage, I was working solely in my flesh. I was

signed into a Zoom Account, set my online classes

angry that God had allowed all this to happen to

for the new week and I had it all under control.

us and hurting inside because I couldn’t do the one

Nothing and no one was going to stop me.

thing I was good at properly.

The challenges were only about to begin: From

We came out of lockdown and I was determined to

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If I was to hear

HIM, I nee de d HIM next to me, and so

my Father star te d

teaching W I T H me. I physically pray GOD into my space, HE

gives me teaching

plans I’ would never have dreamt of,

amazing ideas that

were not mine from the star t, and a

refine d approach to teaching.

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enter Royal Academy Exams even though I knew

God steered me and my Studio into the greatest

we weren’t polished enough. Needless to say, in

Ballet Season we have ever experienced. There was

my mind, my students’ results were terrible. I had

a sense of calm in the Studio, an air of excitement,

failed. I had disappointed all my students and I was

a deep joy we all began to experience. Our Studio

now ready to retire from teaching. In my mind, I

did remarkably well on that stage. So well in fact

was really preparing to stop teaching and I started

that people were stunned. My own daughter, Sophs

to assess other options. As it says in Proverbs 19:21,

took to that stage and performed like I’ve never

Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the

seen before. That was when I realized that God

Lord’s purpose that prevails.

had stepped in and given me His authority to teach with Godly wisdom, not my own wisdom. That I was

This little voice inside of me started to deal with me

holding, and still do hold a mantle to be honoured.

so gently. I started to hear God confirm that I am meant to be a teacher. That I am exactly where He

I suppose the biggest blessing was when one of

wants me to be. That I am a teacher of worth and

the teachers at the Festival asked me what I had

that He will show me in time.

changed or done to achieve such excellent results. I told her I hadn’t changed anything, it was just how

I thought I would start 2021 with a new approach.

I was teaching.

My first thought was, I will never again give another Zoom Ballet Class. But that I will purposefully

Our journey isn’t over yet, it’s really only just begun,

welcome God into my Studio as my co-partner.

and even though it has taken me so long to truly

If I was to hear Him, I needed Him next to me, and

see what God sees, I wouldn’t have had it any

so my Father started teaching WITH me. I physically

other way. I’m maturing daily as a mother, wife,

pray God into my space, He gives me teaching

daughter, teacher, and friend and I am so thankful,

plans I’d never dreamt of, amazing ideas that

deeply grateful that my Heavenly Father loves me

weren’t mine from the start, and a refined approach

so gently.

to teaching. We prepared for the Dance Festival in Port Elizabeth in June. Our approach was now different. It wasn’t about what I was teaching, but how I was teaching and with whose authority. Pastor Louis once said to, “Take up your place”, and I never knew what he meant back then. Now I do.

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JESUS ANSWERED, “EVERYONE WHO DRINKS THIS WATER WILL BE THIRST Y AGAIN, BUT WHOEVER DRINKS THE WATER I GIVE THEM WILL NEVER THIRST. INDEED, THE WATER I GIVE THEM WILL BECOME IN THEM A SPRING OF WATER WELLING UP TO ETER NAL LIFE.” THE WOMAN SAID TO HIM, “SIR, GIVE ME THIS WATER SO THAT I WON’T GET THIRST Y AND HAVE TO KEEP COMING HERE TO DRAW WATER.” JOHN 4:13-15

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Photography: sovrin photogrpahy


claire steen kamp

Every older sister’s dream (or it was at least mine) is to have a younger sister that they can help take care of. Around 6 months into this fairy-tale, everything changed. Rachel was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL). ALL is a type of cancer of the blood and bone marrow that affects the white blood cells. The day after my sister was diagnosed, my parents took Rachel up to the Red Cross Children’s Hospital in Cape Town. My sister Sarah and I went to go and stay at our granny’s house. We stayed with her for the first 3 4 months while my mom and Rachel were in CT.

My name is Claire Steenkamp, and this is my

These circumstances forced me to grow up very

testimony. When Jana asked me to write an article

quickly. I tried to fill “the motherly figure gap” in

for the 31 magazine, I was really hesitant because

my mom’s absence, for Sarah, as best as I could.

I am naturally a private person. I thought about it

My mom and Rachel were in CT for about 7 months

long and hard, wrestled mentally, trying to figure

in total (which felt more like 7 years). During this

out what I should write about or how my testimony

period, my dad used to take us up to CT to visit

would impact anyone’s life. So, I prayed about it

them. Rachel was 13 months old when they moved

for about 3 weeks, I asked the Lord for guidance

back home (Port Elizabeth). For the next year and

and a clear answer, and then just like that, in mid-

half, Rachel was in and out of hospital for treatment

conversation with someone else, the Holy Spirit

and check-ups. Then at 2 and half years old, Rachel

whispered to me gently and said, “Just start from

passed away...

the beginning”. It is so settling to know the Lord hears all our prayers and will always answer them

I remember my mom telling me that one of her

in His time. So, I am sharing my testimony, even if it

friends had a vision of Rachel going up to heaven.

only touches one person’s life, then it’s all worth it.

He said that he saw Rachel running up to heaven, her clothing changed to white and St Peter said,

I guess you can say I grew up in a normal Christian

“Make way” and she ran into the arms of Jesus.

home. I remember giving my life to Jesus for the first time when I was 7 or 8 years old. My early

Now that I am saved again and have an intimate

childhood had no significant highs or lows. I was

relationship with God, I have SO much peace in

10 years old, when my youngest sister, Rachel

my heart knowing that Rachel is safe in the warm

was born. I was only 3 when my other sister was

loving embrace of Jesus, free from all pain and

born so this time around being ten years old, I can

suffering. But at the age of 12 all I can remember

remember the excitement of being an older sister.

was the heartache and anger. I was angry with God

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because I couldn’t understand why He would let this

handmaiden: she is as beautiful on the

happen to our family. I literally felt like my family

outside as she is on the inside: as tall and

and life had fallen apart and shattered into a million

straight as she stands in the natural, she

pieces.

will stand tall and straight for Me in the spiritual – a strong beacon that will not

Although I know there was a big void left in our

bend. She has a gentle heart and a very

family. A lot of heartache, turmoil, and anger,

strong spirit. I am going to use her in My

through my own anger and pain I locked those

Kingdom, I am going to use her life to touch

years away in my mind so while writing this, it’s

others. As she draws near to Me and learns

difficult for me to recall those memories.

to trust Me, I will use her in a mighty way.

Little did I know that my heartache was not over,

Tell her I love her very much and am with

and the storms kept on rolling in.

her every moment.”

Three years later, my dad lost his job, so at the age

Reflecting on it, I believe with all my heart that

of 15 I took it upon myself to get a job. I started

there is a message in this for every parent today.

waitressing after school so I could help with things

Regardless of where your child might find him or

at home. Although it was tough having to finish my

herself and how you feel as a parent - if you hold

homework quickly after school, do chores and then

onto God’s word and you proclaim His promise over

work until 10pm at night, this became my escape

your child’s life - He will always come through for

from having to deal with the trauma at home. Little

you and never fail you.

did I know, “my safe place” gave me access to a world that I was not ready for as a 15-year-old.

Back to my story, fast-forward 2 years. During my

During this time, there is a day that stands out. I

final year at school, I moved out of the house and

was with my mom at Spar, when one of her friends

rented my own place. After that I took a gap year

walked up and greeted us. Later that afternoon, she

(not the VGY type) and saved up to buy a car.

called my mom and told her that God had given

The following year, I enrolled at university for a

her a prophecy about me. My mom shared this with

degree in teaching. Being completely self-sufficient,

me at the time, but I could not really comprehend

having my own transport, my own money, my own

the message because I was so angry and didn’t

place to stay, it was my rules, my life and it was a

want to hear about Jesus. My mom wrote it down,

wild ride. For the next couple years, I lived a very

stuck it on her door and proclaimed this prophecy

reckless life. Looking back, I can recall numerous

over my life every day in prayer.

incidents, where, although unaware at the time, I was protected by a higher power. Little did I know,

This is the prophecy:

it was my mother’s prayers and intervention for me

“I was walking around the shop and thinking

that kept God in my life.

about Claire. Thinking how beautiful she is,

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how lovely and tall she is and how straight

After receiving my degree in education, I did a

she stands. I sensed a tranquillity /serenity

post grad in Special Needs Education. During my

in her. I then heard God saying: Claire is My

postgraduate studies my parents got divorced. I


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was devastated and heartbroken yet again.

amongst all the chaos of people everywhere, speaking a foreign language and then my very first

I opened my own remedial practice the year after

encounter with this new world, was the sound of the

that and threw myself into my career. Helping

prayer call from a nearby Mosque - ushering in the

young children with learning disabilities was

break of a new day.

more than just a job for me, it was a deep-rooted void I subconsciously tried to fill. The opportunity

At that moment I knew, I was all alone - in a Muslim

presented itself for me to teach at an International

country - for the next 2 and half years … and I had

School in the UAE. Nothing was holding me back, so

left my God back home when I was 12 years old.

I decided to go. The UAE was one of the best and most challenging Four months before I was set to leave for the UAE,

experiences I had ever been through. The culture

I met the man of my dreams. We had known one

was just so different and very much in your face all

another for a long time and truth be told, his life was

the time. For the next two and half years, my alarm

just as wild as mine at the time. We had both been

clock at 5am every morning was prayer calls from

through a lot of heartache, pain, and destruction in

multiple mosques all around me. This repeated 5

our lives and little did we know at the time that this

times a day, every day.

was the start of God’s plan to not only unite us, but to bring us both “back home”.

The children I taught had to take Arabic and Islamic studies at school. During Islamic classes, I used to sit

As you can imagine, finding true love for the first

outside my classroom and mark books. The Islamic

time, having butterflies in your tummy, and being

teacher used to chant verses from the Quran to the

faced with having to choose between a relationship

students and then the students had to repeat the

or pursuing your career, was one of the hardest

lines back to her. In a matter of months, I realized

things that I had to do.

that I was able to recite the lines back to myself too. Reciting these lines, made me feel uneasy in my

Through tears, my then boyfriend told me to pursue

spirit and I was longing for something that I felt I had

this opportunity and that he would wait for me.

lost a long time before.

He said that if we were meant to be, we would overcome this. He didn’t want me to look back

Throughout the entire time that I was teaching in

at this opportunity and regret not taking it. With a

the UAE, I could feel a constant spiritual battle. The

heavy heart four months later, I moved to the UAE.

children were wild; they had no respect or manners

This was my first flight ever. It was one of the scariest

and I often just wanted to quit. My boyfriend (now

things that I had ever had to do, and I cried the

husband) was one of the people cheering me on

whole way.

and supporting me all the way. But I knew I wanted and needed more.

At 5am, I landed in a foreign land. In the dark, not knowing where to go, who was fetching me and

Even though emotional support was one Skype call

where I was going to stay, with bloodshot eyes

away, I had no idea or reference on how to rekindle

from crying all night, I felt like a bewildered animal

my relationship with God. In a moment of despair, I

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felt the Holy Spirit reach out to me and comfort me.

I started following Elevation Church and watching

One day while randomly scrolling through some

sermons online… I then started sharing the Sunday

Instagram stories, a teacher that I follow had posted

evening services with my fiancé, Jaco.

a screenshot on her story of, “O Come to the Altar”

Side note: I forgot to mention that we got engaged 4

by Elevation Worship.

months into me being in the UAE.

I was curious and enticed by that Instagram story.

At first, Jaco was a bit hesitant, but I could see God

(At that time, I had never even heard of Elevation

softening his heart week after week. It became

Worship – so had no idea what to expect. I don’t

a thing where we started watching online church

even think I realized that it read “Worship”) - So I

together.

scrolled back and took a screenshot of her story and reminded myself to google it once I got into

Days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months,

bed.

but they were easier to get through because I knew that I had the Holy Spirit with me. After the

Later that evening, I put my earphones in, googled,

encounter with Jesus, I would pray every day over

“O Come to the Altar”, and listened to the words of

every corner of my classroom. While marking books,

the song…

I started listening to praise and worship music instead of the Islamic teacher chanting the Quran.

Are you hurting and broken within? Overwhelmed by the weight of your sin?

I still had spiritual attacks and was even confronted

Jesus is calling

by students as to why I was a Christian in a Muslim

Have you come to the end of yourself?

school. But unlike before, my spirit was calm, and I

Do you thirst for a drink from the well?

knew where my strength came from.

Jesus is calling O come to the altar

I’m not going to bore you with all the details... But

The Father’s arms are open wide

for the next year and a half, myself and Jaco, made

Forgiveness was bought with

turns visiting one another every 4 months. Time

The precious blood of Jesus Christ

seemed manageable, well, until we got married.

Leave behind your regrets and mistakes

Yes, we got married, while I was living in the UAE

Come today there’s no reason to wait

and my husband was back in JBAY. We had a lavish

Jesus is calling

wedding planned with all our rockstar friends, and

Bring your sorrows and trade them for joy

all the glitz and glam that goes with it. But we both

From the ashes a new life is born

knew that we were walking a different path and at

Jesus is calling (Oh, oh)

that point most of the friends we had were friends from our wild past.

… my heart was arrested, and I felt the peace that

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surpasses all understanding, and, I knew I had

So, while visiting JBAY on my second last holiday,

found my first love once again. It was like I never

Jaco popped the question, we got married, had a

lost it.

small, perfect, intimate wedding on the Friday and I


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left for Dubai for another year, on the Monday.

Mona and her husband, Benji would have on our

Yes, you guessed it, I cried all the way back to

lives. Not only as friends but as spiritual mentors too.

Dubai. One Sunday we decided to go to Victory, low One of the most challenging dynamics was building

and behold on stage, leading worship were our

a relationship with Jaco’s children over Skype

newfound friends, Benji and Mona. Coming into

and short holidays. But we made it work. I feel so

Victory, we felt welcomed, and we immediately

honoured and privileged that the Lord entrusted me

knew that we had found the church and spiritual

to be a role model and mom to Kellen and Emma.

family we were looking for.

During the last couple of months of my teaching

Looking back at my journey this far, there have

contract, we were toying with the idea of

been deep valleys, dry deserts, and stormy seas. I

immigrating to the UAE, but then Jaco came up

often used to think to myself…. “I don’t know how I

with a crazy idea of opening a coffee shop back in

am still alive after all that”, but with the knowledge I

JBAY. At first, the idea sounded ludicrous, as neither

have now, I know that the times, when there was a

one of us had any idea on how to run a coffee

single track in the sand, God was the one carrying

shop, but what I did know was that I needed a

me, and he never left my side.

break from teaching and to decompress after the UAE. So, we jumped at it, and Machine was born.

Regardless of how far off track I went in my past, there is no place too far or something too

We had grown accustomed to watching Sunday

disappointing that I could have done that the Lord

services online, and although JBAY was our home,

wouldn’t come and find me and lead me back

our close friends were either abroad or in other parts

home.

of the country. We didn’t really know how to plug into the community or find a church that gave us

Now, as I grow closer to the Lord, I try to live in the

the same experience as Elevation.

prophecy that was spoken over my life 15 years ago. Today, as I write this, my life almost seems

One day Kellen (our son) asked if he could go to

perfect. I have a loving husband, 2 amazing kids,

Frontline at Victory Church with some of his friends

a beautiful house and God blesses us beyond our

and came back home, full of excitement, just

wildest dreams. I give Him all the honour, glory, and

wanting more and begged us to go to a Sunday

praise. I am humbled and so grateful that He never

service. We kept putting it off.

gave up on me.

While we were building Machine, neither Jaco nor myself can recall how this happened, but we crossed paths with a potential tenant by the name of Mona who owned a fashion label by the name of “We are Jona”. Little did we know, the impact that

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“A FATHER TO THE FATHERLESS, A DEFENDER OF WIDOWS, IS GOD IN HIS HOLY DWELLING. GOD SETS THE LONELY IN FAMILIES, HE LEADS OUT THE PRISONERS WITH SINGING; BUT THE REBELLIOUS LIVE IN A SUN-SCORCHED LAND.” PSALM 68:5-6

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Photography: unsplash.com

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mich elle demi lee create d to create

FOR AS LONG AS I CAN REMEMBER I HAVE BEEN

captivated by creativity. As a little girl I treasured my craft collection and would find any excuse I

could to bring out my art supplies. Always painting, cutting and pasting, inevitably making a mess wherever I went. (My family nicknamed me

“hurricane Michelle”.) Since then, I have learnt two

very important things. One: to clean up after myself, and Two: my love for creativity has always been far

20th birthday, August 2018, in my second year of

VGY, my creative hobby became a small creative business, “Just Demi Designs”. It all started on the

greater than simply enjoying an artistic hobby.

floor of my friend’s lounge with a watercolour pallet

Creativity is my birth right. As a daughter of the

logo, a few business cards and a handful of orders.

ultimate Creator, made in His image. I was created

and a few sheets of paper. Within a week I had a I will never forget that feeling of excitement as I

to create, and so were you!

watched my business slowly grow.

Let me tell you a bit of my story and how God

At the end of that year, I moved back to my family

has used my creativity to show me not only who He is but how He sees me. A few days before my

in Johannesburg because I strongly felt God say that that was where I needed to be for the next

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season of my life. For those two years I painted,

I have been in back Jeffrey’s Bay for 9 months, still

worked, and painted some more. Grateful to be

painting and working on my business, now with a

with my family but missing the community I had

different perspective. I am learning to seek Him

found in Jeffrey’s Bay. I spent late nights and most

first, to create from a place of worship instead of a

weekends in my little studio, after a full day of my

place of need. Allowing Jesus to be my source of

“grown up” job, taking on as many orders as I

inspiration and assurance. Letting go of the pressure

could. Not thinking of the impact it would have on

for perfection and earthly growth has brought so

my mental, physical and emotional well-being.

much freedom. So, I will carry on pursuing God’s voice and trust for more breakthrough as I continue

My business had become my top priority and

doing what I was born to do.

eventually my passion for creativity had turned into a “just get it done” mindset. Constantly comparing

I want to end off by saying this: ”YOU have been

myself to other local artists, questioning every move

created to create.” There is no point in denying it by

I made and whether it would make more money

saying that you are not creative. You are an image

or not.

bearer of God. You hold his likeness and carry His breath in your lungs. Creativity is your birth right

By the time we went into lockdown I had run out

and the fear of failure should never stop you from

of whatever it was that I thought I was meant to

cultivating it. Take the pressure off, allow creativity

give. My body and physical health took the brunt

to bring you joy without worrying about the

of it and my emotions were all over the show. It felt

outcome. Being a creative has absolutely nothing to

like a never-ending battle in my mind and spirit.

do with your ability or skill set but everything to do

I had received so many prophetic words about

with worshipping Jesus. I want to encourage you to

how God would use this business. So, I could not

see yourself as a creative today, regardless of your

understand why I felt heavy and broken, now I see

talents or job description.

that I had spent so much time and energy trying to create what I thought was right and hardly any time

Pick up a paintbrush, dance, write a song, work in

seeking my creator. I had forgotten that my identity

your garden, re-arrange your bedroom, play with

was set in Him, not my work.

your kids, cook a meal and share it. Allow creativity to seep into your life and let it be your worship. You

By the end of 2020, after months of praying I

are a creative, not because you are an artist, but

decided to take a huge leap of faith and move

because you are a child of God! You have been

back to Jeffrey’s Bay. Leaving my home and family

created to create.

for the promise that I’d heard from God. He was calling me to be present, not perfect. To put down the mindset that I had to “hustle” and pick up the peace and protection that He provides. For the first time in my life, I truly felt that shift in my spirit, where His voice was undeniable and clear.

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... now I see that I had spent so much time and energ y trying to create what I thought was right and hardly any time seeking my creator. I had forgotten that my identity was set in Him, not my work.

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THE RIGHTEOUS WILL FLOURISH LIKE A PALM TREE, THEY WILL GROW LIKE A CEDAR OF LEBANON; PLANTED IN THE HOUSE OF THE LORD, THEY WILL FLOURISH IN THE COURTS OF OUR GOD. THEY WILL STILL BEAR FRUIT IN OLD AGE, THEY WILL STAY FRESH AND GREEN, PROCLAIMING, “THE LORD IS UPRIGHT; HE IS MY ROCK, AND THERE IS NO WICKEDNESS IN HIM.” PSALM 92:12-15

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Photography: unsplash.com

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HOPE IN T HE DARK

Sarah Jane Grieve

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DREAMING OF TOMORROW HAS ALWAYS BEEN A

felt the call to start a church in Cape Town. So, in

part of who I am. I’m a dreamer, creative and

2005, we sold everything, cashed in all investments

everything happening in my thoughts feels like

and sowed all of our resources into pioneering a

a big, real-time musical; filled with romance,

church from scratch with our two daughters, Chloe

adventure, drama, comedy and tragedy played

and Paige, aged 1 and 3. (I always joke and say

out in full harmonies, with beautiful costumes, sets

that we had such a huge Kids church, as 50% of our

and a story that makes you laugh and cry all at the

members were kids - meaning our 2 daughters!)

same time! We had the great privilege of living in Cape Town In a nutshell, that pretty much sums up my life at 41,

for nearly ten years. In that time, our church - The

I’m married to an incredible man, Barrett and have

City Church, Century City continued to grow and

been for 21 years; I’ve been a mother for 19 years

impact people’s lives. I recorded an album, which I

with 3 exquisite daughters: Chloë, Paige and Eden.

wrote and produced and we had a third daughter, Eden in 2012. She is such a beautiful blessing, and

What a beautiful time in my life to sit back & reflect

miraculously survived whooping cough at the age

on what was, what is and what is still to come. Get

of one month (that’s a story for another day) and

ready for my ‘real life musical’ that has made me

she’s nearly nine years old now!

laugh and cry through the drama, adventure and tragedy.

God really used Pastors Louis and Edna Els (who we had met and started a great friendship with in

Worship has always been at the forefront of the

2000) to establish identity and the value of family

calling that God placed on my life, so after school

in our hearts. We made a huge shift from being

I studied music. Barrett and I met at my parent’s

performance driven to family orientated, which has

church (I’m a pastor’s kid), when he joined our full

helped Barrett and I navigate our lives in a healthy

time Bible school. Initially I was extremely attracted

and Godly way. From making big life choices, to

to this breathtaking, good-looking man, and then

raising our daughters and leading churches, finding

the spark became a fire when I watched him love

our identity and family in God just keeps aligning

Jesus more than anyone else and follow Him with

our lives!

passion and purpose. This has been particularly valuable for me, as I grew He was called to full time ministry, and I knew 100%

up as a pastor’s daughter in a time where church

from the age of 14 that I was too. So, we “ticked

was filled with people who loved God, but I had

each other’s checklist” and it was a match made in

also seen a lot of “attention seekers” who would

Heaven.

seem spiritual to attract attention in churches, rather than genuinely seek God! This put a bad taste in

After we married, we went into full time ministry with

my mouth for church generally and at some point,

my parents in Gauteng. But, after a few years we

I didn’t see the point of being a pastor anymore.

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I remember so clearly a conversation with God,

2. Investing in a loving and healthy marriage (this is

where I was wrestling with this concept. The Holy

the best gift you can give to your children)

Spirit said to me that day… “If you give up on the

3. Spending time with our children and choosing

church of Jesus, who will lead them? If you and the rest of your generation don’t step up and find

them ahead of any other people in our lives. 4. Loving people with an authentic Godly love (This

a way to seek God in a real way - what will My

can cause you the greatest joy, but also cause

church look like? I am coming back for my church;

some hurt, as not everyone in your life will love

I need you to help to get this generation ready”.

you back the same way you love them).

Wow! What a conversation I had with God that day, this was a huge turning point for me, and I realized

There are many other values that we live by, but

the need for us to be passionate, real and focused

these three are our first and most important.

pastors, who would lead people from a position of authenticity.

I must also just say that choosing family as a big priority has been so incredible! There are many

In this moment, God reminded me so much of the

‘parent guilts’ that we will carry, as we are never

role that I was to play in His church, but at the same

going to be perfect, but the one thing we have

time confirmed my “sonship” in Him. Not by my

control over, is our hearts and time. Once we

ability and strength, but purely by His!

aligned our hearts and time towards our family, God’s peace began to be around more often than

So much so that in a very dark and difficult time of

before. Remember that children spell love like this…

my life, I wrote a song that says…

T I M E!

“I have come to realize, You’re the reason for my life You convince me time and time again - You love

There are so many stories that I could share of my

me. And when I fear the world around, You lift me

multi-genre musical, as we ended our season in

up and hold me tight. You convince me time and

Cape Town, with many highs and lows. God was not

time again - You love me”

finished with me yet; He had a trick up His sleeve which would lead me into the most extreme highs

There is always HOPE IN THE DARK! Jesus is right

and lows of my journey so far! Kind of like a movie

there with you, shining His light into your life!

set in the desert, just as you feel like you might die of the heat, a beautiful oasis appears to quench

Through our journey, we have learnt some important

your thirst and exhaustion! But that is our story for the

lessons and made some important adjustments.

next edition. (Paige says… Oooh mom, the second

Setting in place some values that have directed our

half of your story is the “spicy” part). So, join me

lives, Barrett and I have made some personal things

next time for the SPICY edition of … Hope In The

our biggest priorities …

Dark!

1. O ur personal relationship with God (this is the best gift you can give to yourself).

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In this moment, God reminded

me so much of the role that I

was to play in

His church, but at the same

time confirmed my “sonship”

in Him. Not by

my ability and strength, but

purely by His.!

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“THE POOR AND NEEDY SEARCH FOR WATER, BUT THERE IS NONE; THEIR TONGUES ARE PARCHED WITH THIRST. BUT I THE LORD WILL ANSWER THEM; I, THE GOD OF ISRAEL, WILL NOT FORSAKE THEM. I WILL MAKE RIVERS FLOW ON BARREN HEIGHTS, AND SPRINGS WITHIN THE VALLEYS. I WILL TUR N THE DESERT INTO POOLS OF WATER, AND THE PARCHED GROUND INTO SPRINGS.” ISAIAH 41:17-18

Photography: unsplash.com

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FACE BY INGE BURGER

7 S T E P S F O R N AT U R A L G LO W Y M A K E U P A bronzy, glowy makeup look is perfect the festive

Step 4: My favorite step, bronzing up the face for

season. Whether you find yourself in the north or

that sunkissed look. Use a nice fluffy brush

south hemisphere this time of the year, a glowy

to apply bronzer to the cheeks, temples

look will fit a sunkissed summer or a snowy glittery

and blend into the hairline. I also use the

winter.

same bronzer with a smaller brush on my eyes as eyeshadow for a monotone look

Since recently becoming a mom I’m all about

and one less product to carry around.

easy looks using minimal products and using the same product for different things on the face.

Step 5: To take the glow even further add highlighter to the top of the cheek bone,

Step 1: Creating a dewy skin will be vital for a

the temples, under the eyebrows and

glowing bronze healthy look.Use you

even in the inner corner of the eyes

hands to apply a glow enhancing primer

above the lash line.

all over the face. Step 6: Apply mascara to the eyelashes. Step 2: To enhance this natural look even more apply a tinted sunscreen. Using a tinted

Step 7: Apply a tinted lipbalm to the lips for a

sunscreen gives you a more natural skin

beautiful lipstain. You can also dab some

like finish. You can use your hands or a

on the apples of the cheeks as blush.

damp beauty blender. Voila! This is a foolproof, easy and quick makeup Step 3: Use a concealer on blemishes for extra coverage as needed and to brighten under the eyes.

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look that will make you feel put together and ready for any occasion. Enjoy


Photography: Pinterest

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E D N A’ S RUSKS For us, Christmas is a super special time to gather friends

EAT

and family to celebrate Jesus, catch up on life and enjoy

BY EDNA ELS

time together! One of our Christmas ‘family traditions’ is baking the rusks consumed during early morning coffees on the patio. (Stoep)

Whether it’s a sunrise coffee with Jesus and your journal, or whether you’re entertaining a toddler that won’t go back to sleep, or picking up on a late-night conversation that got interrupted, coffee and homemade rusks (by Ouma Edsie-Betsie and the spoon-licking gang) is a non-negotiable part of the Christmas story! Here is my (not so secret) recipe that varies depending on the music, the mood and the level of chaos that ensues with too many little pairs of helping hands! INGREDIENTS: Wet

Dry

500 g Butter (Melt in microwave)

250 ml Wholewheat Flour

250 ml Oil

1 Kg Self Raising Flour

500 ml Brown Sugar

5-10 ml Salt

3 Large Eggs

250 ml of already crushed All-Bran Flakes

500 ml Buttermilk

125 ml of sunflower seeds

10 ml Vanilla Essence

125 ml of sesame seeds or mixed seeds

Add a hand-full of cranberries or nuts,

METHOD:

whatever preferred.

1.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees.

2.

Mix together we ingredients after butter has cooled down.

3.

Mix the dry ingredients and add to the wet ingredients.

4.

Grease oven tray/ use baking paper if preferred (spread till about 2cm in thickness).

5.

Bake for approximately 45 minutes untill light brown.

6.

Let cool completely, cut into thin slices, spread out on baking trays and let dry out completely overnight in the oven at 50 degrees.

7.

Put into airtight containers and store near the coffee station or picnic basket! May you make great memories whatever you do!

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