Wow, just wow… After multiple world circulations and all kinds of emotional, spiritual and missional waves this is gonna be a task to try and do justice all we’ve experienced and are looking towards. Coming off the coat tails of this hectic yet beautiful round-the-world family trip, there is a lot brewing in our hearts… and in that brewing we have come to some realizations and decisions we would love to share with y’all and invite your prayers over.
So, as you all know, our life has been intertwined with Cape Town, South Africa for nearly a decade now. From initial connections, to leading outreaches and schools, to full on moving there and then deciding to take a break in the midst of growing our young family… Cape Town remains such a deep part us and who we are.
One of the primary reasons we decided to spend an extended season in Cape Town this fall was because our heartbeat has always been to move back when the time felt right… as such, we wanted to plant our feet on the ground of the Mother City as a family of six to pray, reconnect with YWAM, Muizenberg and just see how it would feel as a family to have our feet on the ground again. It was an emotionally charged month for sure… we’ll be the first to admit that it’s hard, really hard, to try and discern through the layers of what is good and right and healthy for us and all the kids and and and… while also holding on to our sense of vocation and calling in this wild ragged community called YWAM. The ol’ “Word of the Lord” feels way different and implicational these days than when we were just making decisions as a family of two.
Through the veil and emotional blur we’ve kind of processed in two waves.
THE FIRST IS THE BIG QUESTION...
For it’s one thing to have an intention to moving back to South Africa… we’ve always had that. But intentions often give way easily to the immediate. The past six months or so I think we’ve really been grappling with and praying through that big question… “are we really going to move back to Cape Town?”
After a lot of aches and pains and prayers we’ve landed on a resounding (yet realistic) YES!
Yes, we do want to and feel led to move back to South Africa as a family at some point. And since that moment of affirmation on the big question, it’s kind of just been a logistical processing on our end… SO WHEN THEN?
Spending the month of October back in Cape Town reignited a lot in us… it also recalled a lot of the fears and anxieties and realities of life in Cape Town. Praying with our feet on the ground is so much more revealing and honest than praying in the abstract. As we look at where we are at as a family right now, where the kids are at right now (especially as we are just on the cusp of launching into school years) and with this affirmation in our hearts that we do indeed plan to head back to Cape Town… we actually feel like NOW is the time.
Moving internationally isn’t easy, it never has been (trust us we should know ;-), but one of our main pushes to re-root back in Cape Town sooner rather than later is because we think it will be easier on the kids to do so now. The past two years we have had back in Kona (TWO YEARS!?) have been incredibly valuable. They have honestly been everything we needed them to be… they have given us the space to really become parents, to lay down some values on how we want to raise our kids, to find our way with A Life Together, to re-focus our hearts and attention on the big picture, to really process the past ten years and look ahead towards the next ten years… we’ve needed it!! This time has also revealed to us that our hearts still burn for the nations and that we want to be “out there”… So with all that said, we feel like if we’re going to embrace another major transition and re-root life in Cape Town (Lord willing with much more permanency this time) that now is the most sensible time for us as a family. This way the kids can enter into the schooling years within an SA framework and the uprooted-shaking of transition can be as minimal as need be.
We feel like we are making this choice with eyes wide open. It’s a really different process than last time around as we really “know” Cape Town and what we are wandering into. So it feels like we get to choose it wisely, knowingly, void of romanticism.
YWAM, Kona will of course remain an integral part of our extended family. As a ministry, A Life Together now has a strong foothold here in Kona as well which we really want to see continue… so we still plan to help run schools here from time to time even as we re-root life in Cape Town. But we really feel the call of the Mother City to be where our roots go down.
On a missional front, we really feel like NOW is the time as well. South Africa is facing a critical decade ahead, especially concerning what kind of narrative it wishes to live into. Does it want to continue in its legacy of reconciliation and forgiveness or will it derail and spiral into yet another hotbed of violence and retribution? Who knows!? But as a ministry and community and family who believe the Gospel of Peace is ever timely and as people who want to invest in the work of reconciliation there really is no better time to be on the ground in Cape Town than right now!
PRAY FOR THIS FRIENDS!
Pray for this nation and its future! Pray for whatever piece of the puzzle God would have us as A Life Together fill as we seek to contribute to that great narrative of radical forgiveness and reconciliation with justice. Our lives and hearts are wrapped up in it and we ache to have our feet on the ground to join the groaning and training and praying and hoping and organizing deeply needed alongside the beautiful folks at YWAM, Muizenberg.
We invite you guys to pray for our family as well.
Pray for this transitional season… this liminal space.
That our heats would feel all they need to feel but not become overwhelmed.
Pray for our kids as we prepare to transition them from their dear friends and school in Kona to re-root in Cape Town.
Pray for new networks of friends and relationships and intentionality on our part to build community and enter into the story of YWAM, Muiz more fully than ever before.
Pray for wisdom on where to live and how to live and where to put our kids in school.
Pray for finances (we’ll probably need like $25K to move the family) and visa favor with the embassy in LA.
Pray for A Life Together, that the roots we’ve planted in Kona these past two years would roll on.
Pray especially for ALT’s expression in Cape Town… that we would grow and learn and breath more and more life into the narrative of community, discipleship and reconciliation. That we would find our place year by year and not be afraid to change.
Pray for friends and emotions and grace!
We love you all. Thank you so much for your investment of energy and invitation and pastoral care and friendship and financial support. Our journey never has been and never will be an easy or straight forward road. It’s not clear cut and it’s not always beautiful. Sometimes we feel like failures… and sometimes it all makes sense. Over the years we have had the ridiculous privilege to disciple people and to watch the Lord breathe life into communities and movements and individuals… Along the way we celebrate and mourn and grow and continue to push on because Jesus in beautiful and because people like y’all keep holding our arms up amid every twist and turn. Thanks for loving us and believing in us and champion our journey.
We love you all.
Steve, Diane, Margot, Vera, Desmond & Fable