WHERE ARE WE IN THE YEAR?
We are in the second semester of the 2016 academic year and itâ€™s an extraordinarily short one – three months divided by a short week-long holiday at the beginning of September, and the last undergraduate lecture-taking place on 17 October! Your first reaction might be, â€œGreat – more holidays!â€ In reality, however, it puts students under enormous pressure and really challenges our task of making whole-life disciples. The formation of students into faithful Christ-followers takes time and time is increasingly a scarce commodity. So, please pray for us, that we will work wisely with the term time that we do have with students (to know what to do and what not to do), that we will be creative in rethinking our use of the UCT holiday times for ministry, and that Godâ€™s Spirit will be powerfully at work in and through us despite these challenges. Pray also for students, as they shoulder, sometimes unbearable, pressure.
The university world is, indeed, a magnificent mission field. The diversity of people and academic disciplines are breathtaking! It is into this world that we want to communicate the good news of Jesus Christ, our Lord. In order to do this, we have coined a new category of small group, called â€œaffinity groupsâ€, which are groups that are based around a specific activity/affinity, connected to the Student YMCA. At this stage there are a number of â€œaffinity groupsâ€ â€“ â€œmaturity seriesâ€ for this who want to explore doctrine deeper; â€œtransformation conversationâ€ for those who are eager to discern how the gospel speaks to aspects of transformation; â€œbasadi mattersâ€ dealing specifically with woman issues (â€˜basadiâ€™ is the Sotho word for â€˜womanâ€™) and, in the pipeline, â€œemerging scholarsâ€ aimed at postgraduates, to equip them to look at scholarship through the lens of a biblical worldview. Please pray for us as we pioneer such new initiatives, to bring salt and light into all the nooks and crannies of the university world.
MOBILISING STUDENT LEADERS
We will be devoting special attention to this aspect of our ministry. Equipping and mobilising students for service, within in the Student Y community, but also in the university world, is a vital aspect of our calling. I feel there is much room for improvement in this area, especially with the beginning of the 2017 academic year in mind. Pray for us as we identity new student committee leaders by the end of August, and as we seek to provide training in the fourth term (September and October).
STAFF & FUNDING
Our team is small, but all the members have big hearts. Liesl, Robin, Dineo and myself make up the small staff complement, with Inga providing valuable support as Office Administrator. That said, our capacity â€“ both ministry- and administration staff â€“ needs to increase, so we would value your prayers as we look to recruit new staff with 2017 in mind. In order to pay salaries, we will be launching a capital campaign this month with the aim of raising R350 000 for staffing. We do this in faith, so please pray that God would provide generously for our needs through friends, alumni or any other avenue.