Sunday, July 12, 2009

Grootdraai

I went to take a service at a farm called Grootdraai this morning. It is 112km from Grahamstown. I struggled with preparing for the service yesterday. I only knew on Friday that I was going. I don't know how to preach to these people out on the farms. Some of them are illiterate. Not many speak English. But sometimes there are one or two who are working in the 'outside world'. I have so little conception as to the nature of their lives that I find it hard to prepare a sermon. I don't know what they know well from the Bible. I don't know what their concerns and worries are. I don't know how to communicate.
I try to console myself that I am going with a message from Jesus - but am brought up short by the those who say that we are arrogant to talk about 'taking Jesus to people' because God has always been there. Well, then, why am I doing this?
I am increasingly going back to the roots of my faith. If I am called and sent by Jesus then there must be a reason for it. I am, in a sense, taking him wherever I go, even if he is already there. And I don't think that it is arrogant of me.
At the end of the day we got lost and took a 50km detour and only one local person actually pitched up to the service. It's not what I would do for fun, but I trust that our faithfulness will have encouraged this one person to greater faithfulness and will have in some way demonstrated the love that Jesus has for him. I don't particularly regret going out there.

5 comments:

Steve Hayes said...

I spent a year almost entirely among such congregations (in Urtecht, Natal), and have enountered others since. In some ways I found it much better than city ministry.

Rock in the Grass (Pete Grassow) said...

for me: in such circumstances I have found that I need to get beyond the words to just being with people. Most often people do not come for the sermon - they come for the encounter with a fellow pilgrim.

Put differently, when I meet up with people, most do not remember what I have preached, but they will be able to tell me what kind of person I was when I preached.

Jenny Hillebrand said...

Yes, I think that the best thing would be to take a week and spend it entirely in a community like this - but here in the Eastern Cape. The people I worked amongst just outside Jhb (Rhenosterspruit) were also quite rural, but their lives were very different. Maybe I will do that. I'll have to see where this year is going . . .

Herman Groenewald said...

Hi Jenny, Well you know my thinking when it comes to 1's and 2's. We are called and we take the message to them as it is given to us. Props help as you know to hang the sermon on. Practical to what they may know and relate to. Jesus taught parables of every day life and we still learn from them.

Jenny Hillebrand said...

Thanks Herman! I've been trying to preach in these situations for so long and I still struggle. But yes, stories, thanks for the reminder.