Oct 11, 2022 | Gilbert's Journal



I arrived in Johannesburg last Thursday for my fifth visit to this historic country for a scheduled two-week teaching and encouragement trip.

What is quite unique about this visit is that it is my first during South Africa’s unique Spring time and it also marks the “post-covid era”. Just as Spring represents a season when life springs back or anew through colorful leaves on trees, this season marks a reawakening as South Africa and the world at large return to life after more than two years of the pandemic.

Teaching on the Holy Spirit last Saturday was very apt in helping to restore life in the hearts of disciples. It was a hybrid workshop as others joined online from churches in countries around Southern Africa.

One of the leaders among the sisters whose family were my first amazing hosts believes that I am going to be teaching on this topic for the next 15 years or more given the level of interest and engagement she observed from the participants. A survey that I conducted prior to the workshop really did help to set the stage for the rest of the 3 Part lesson.

Before speaking on Sunday in the North West Region, I did spend dinner and lunch time with individuals and small groups, including Justin Renton, the lead evangelist here and Director of Disciples Today.

Sunday’s Service was a feast in worship, in teaching, and in fellowship as I taught from Paul’s letter to the Colossians on the Christ-Centered Life. One of the encouragements on Sunday from another seasoned disciple was her mention of what she termed “your authentic teaching” – I did embarrass myself by sharing vulnerably from my life and struggles.

The experience continued during a hangout with a small group of single professionals in the Church. Beyond the hospitality of those who hosted us, it felt like a workshop we didn’t plan for but the Spirit worked it into my schedule. Very refreshing time as I shared, from the decades of experience my wife and I had as singles in the Church.

My second host in Johannesburg is a blood brother and friend of my family. It’s been amazing catching up with him and his family through meal times, jogging outdoors, deep conversations, and prayer walk.

I am preparing to leave for Port Elizabeth tomorrow and will be speaking there at the midweek about Paul’s letter to the Corinthians. I really look forward to the time with my good friend Neil Trollip, his immediate and the Church family. We will also be doing a road trip to encourage a group of older disciples in Umthatha over the weekend before my return to Johannesburg next Monday.

The Holy Spirit seems to have closed the door to Luanda, Angola on this trip through some visa mix up and I might be visiting Cape Town if it is God’s will.

May His will be done and his good purposes fulfilled as I continue to count on your faithful prayers. My prayer and heart’s desire is that life is fully restored in the hearts of disciples just like the beautiful leaves we see on trees like the Jacaranda.



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