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• Persecuted church encouraged
• Love, prayer and service to the community
the editor, iindaba committee members and the diocesan staff
wish all our readers
a very blessèd Christmas and a joyful, peaceful and prosperous 2007.
Persecuted church encouraged
team of 16 people, aged 56 to 72, from various parishes has just
returned from outreach to the persecuted church in Egypt, reports Lynne
We left for Egypt on 9 September and within two
hours of our arrival we were praying for a family in Cairo. We then
travelled on to our first destination and later in that day we were
asked to pray for a group of medical workers. On the second day we were
given the name of Agape - ‘a group sharing the love of God’
- and this set the theme for the rest of the trip. We prayed for young
people, who responded very well to us because I think they saw us as
grandmother or grandfather figures, we prayed for older people who saw
us as their peers. All the time just loving them with the love that
only Jesus can give.
We travelled as far south as Aswan and then
slowly made our way back north to Cairo stopping along the way to visit
churches, monasteries, hospitals and orphanages and in each place we
would encourage and pray for the Christians there. We had the privilege
of visiting areas where the average tourist never goes, and walking
through the villages smiling and greeting the people in the streets. It
is forbidden to evangelise outside of the church buildings so we were
always careful not to draw attention to our real purpose - not because
this would have been a danger to us but it would have created problems
for those we were visiting.
The purpose of the outreach has
always been to go and encourage the persecuted church in Egypt by
praying with them, showing them the love of Christ and, where we can,
giving material support as well as creating, in the hearts of those
that go, an awareness of the plight of Christians living in a Muslim
dominated country. The team was well prepared for all this as we had
been meeting for six months for spiritual and practical preparation,
and to do fund raising to enable us to take much needed items and money.
went with the idea that we were going to be a blessing to the people,
but the more we blessed them the more blessings we received. Everyone
was amazed at the depth of faith that these Christians have. At
every turn the hospitality was overwhelming, even the poorest of
communities would offer us refreshments. I don’t think that any
of us has come back without having been changed in some way.
are hoping to continue to take teams every year and we are also hoping
to take a team of families, so that the young children can be exposed
to the persecuted church and hopefully grow up to fulfil the great
commission of taking the message of Jesus to the ends of the earth.
If you feel called to join one of the outreach missions or would like further information please contact:
Kirsten Roux - 041 365 0000 / 083 657 0040 or
Lynne Axon - 041 583 4522 / 082 320 4564.
aboard - Ready to encourage the persecuted church in Egypt with love
and prayer were this group of parishioners from various parishes in our
Love, prayer and service to the community
visit to the Sisters at the Community of the Resurrection in
Grahamstown during October showed that the life of a CR Sister is not
all one of quiet contemplation and prayer, but also one of social
action within the greater community.
includes soup kitchens for poor folk in the area, helping at the
Raphael Centre for people living with HIV and AIDs, which belongs to
the Sisters, visiting old people's homes and those in hospital,
together with counselling and prayer. The sisters are seen within the
wider community as a non-threatening presence, someone to trust and
with whom one can share one's burdens, and someone just to talk to.
There are only six sisters left in the Community in Grahamstown,
although there are also a few others in residence, such as Sr Makhosana
who is testing her vocation and who is hoping to join them soon. Mother
Zelma oversees the work and sees to the administration with the
help of her assistant, Sr Kekelso. Sr Carol, who is well known within
our diocese for her banner making, and Sr Dorianne who has put together
beautiful photo albums containing the life-history of many of the nuns
who have died, such as our dear Sr Mariya of the House of Resurrection.
Sr Dorianne joined the Community in 1940 when there were 122
sisters in Grahamstown and many others in branch houses reaching from
Cape Town to Zambia. She is a fountain of wonderful stories, some very
Becoming a nun
some older women, as well as the younger ones, feel the call to the
Religious life, and look for a community that caters for their gifts.
Some communities are involved in teaching or nursing or evangelism
outreach, so the scope is wide. Aspirants will join a Community to test
their vocation to see whether they can live within a Community. If they
really feel the calling is for them they become Postulants for a period
of about six months, always testing whether this is really the vocation
for them. They then become a Novice for about two years before finally
taking their vows and donning the habit of a Sister. Three of the
Sisters in Grahamstown are also ordained priests and help in the
churches when needed.
There are some different Anglican
Communities within the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, and indeed,
throughout the world. For more information phone Mother Zelma at 046
band of pilgrims - Sr Kekeletso, Makhosana Zulu an Aspirant, Sr
Dorianne, Mother Zelma and Sr Carol (seated) on a balcony at St Peter's
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