Dear Prayer Partners,
I have a new view from my office desk! Alyson, Penny, Bernhard and I have all moved into the Resource Centre for a while and I now look out onto the Volmoed fields instead of across to Hamilton-Russell vineyards. Our office renovations are under way thanks to a generous blessing of building materials from a house which was being renovated, and Volmoed received the old stuff! We have glass sliding doors which are going to close in the stoep area of our old offices to become the reception area and the old offices are changing. We are all being moved around into new spaces which can be exciting but also a challenge for some! We feel as though there is an “umbrella” over Volmoed and we are being especially blessed during the building operations - we have had little rain compared to other areas that have been under water!
This morning when the bell rang at 10 o’clock for Prayer Time, Alyson and I wrapped up warmly and took umbrellas for our walk to the Chapel. It was one of our first winter mornings and the wind was blowing and black clouds threatened. Almost all the leaves had been blown off the Pin Oak on our way to the Chapel and sadly the carpet of brown leaves cosily arranged in a circle around the sloping branches was gone. I loved the sight of them and told everyone please not to rake them up but the wind had other ideas! Walking along, taking in all the colours and sights of the season, I was thinking about my June prayer letter and what the theme would be....and there I found it in our prayer time – again through the book “Running over Rocks” by Ian Adam. I, and many others, have been so blessed through the chapters. This morning the chapter was on “Blessing (Become Blessing)” and it started with a poem which spoke into so many situations we find ourselves .....and then, the reminder of how awesome blessings can be .......
Let’s go, let’s grow, let’s go for a walk, let’s not settle for talk Let’s imagine new worlds, let’s see fears unfurl, let’s listen to dreams, let’s paint the town green Let’s spike guns with flowers, let’s confront tyrants with prayers, let’s meet abuse with blessing Let’s hear people singing, let’s nurture our wonder, let’s pause to ponder, let’s stand amazed Let’s fall down dazed, let’s love this place, let’s be flooded with grace, let’s meet hate with love Let’s fly Picasso’s dove, let’s honour our labour, let’s love God and neighbour, Let’s eat bread and drink wine, let’s kiss and give time, Let’s grow, let’s go!
I returned back to my desk energised and grateful for what I had heard from the reading and the blessings seen along the path back and forth to the Chapel and above all the blessing of Volmoed in my life, in the lives of the team and community and the wider community out there. Wow! We know in a small way what Volmoed means to our visitors when they share with us. The month of May was busy with people coming for personal and led retreats and church groups running programmes. Give grateful thanks with us.
In his book Ian shares ...”A blessing is more than words that are voiced, greater than any gesture made. Possibilities are opened up in an ever-moving cosmos. It’s about nurturing the act of blessing in our daily lives. And it’s about letting the act of blessing change both the giver and the receiver so that we become blessing in our very being. True blessing is never a power game. It’s never a gift of the haves to the have- nots. A true blessing has a reciprocal quality. Blessing changes the one who receives the blessings. The act of blessing someone engages the spirit of compassion within the person offering blessing. And the receiving of blessing helps the person being blessed to step into the future that is waiting for them. True blessing gives dignity and worth to the person being blessed. When the person offering the blessing looks into the faces of the people being blessed with compassion and care, even if she or he doesn’t know them as individuals, the blessing can be one of integrity, bringing change.”
We have been praying for Anna, one of our Volmoed team, who has been battling with life recently. We have asked you to pray for her previously as she and Gustav have been trying for a baby. This has put a lot of pressure on the couple and they were seriously thinking of splitting after 11 years of marriage but wonderfully Anna shared that they had thought and prayed and have decided against it and are now looking into adopting a baby. Anna’s Mum was very ill with cancer but on her last doctors appointment they could find no more growths for which we give such grateful thanks and share Anna’s relief and love to see her smiling face again! Please continue to pray for Anna and Gustav.
Di Miller, our UK agent, was out in SA again as her Mum, Mary Stanford, died. Mike and Alyson went to the funeral in Somerset West and it was a celebration of a wonderful lady’s life and all she did in the different places she lived over her 92 years. Please give thanks for Di and all she does for Volmoed.
June is holiday month for many at Volmoed – Penny (our bookkeeper) and her husband Wim are off on holiday on the 3rd June for two weeks. They will be connecting with family and friends in Pretoria and Graskop. Pray for a time of refreshment, relaxation and happiness. John and Isobel will be on holiday from 28th June – 13th July. They will be meeting up with their daughter Jeanelle and her friend Heidi and taking their grandchildren David and Kate to discover the “de Gruchy roots” in Jersey. John was away in Canada in May where he received an honorary doctorate from Knox College at the University of Toronto. A week later he received the Andrew Murray-Desmond Tutu book-prize for 2014 for his recent book “Led into Mystery.” Wendy will be away from the 27th June – 14th July and Anna and Serghay are back from their leave. Please pray for all travelling for safety, good health and wonderful times . Molly is back from having a couple of weeks in Kloof helping to babysit their new grandson Fynn – she loved every minute of it!
VOLMOED JUNE HAPPENINGS:-
2nd – 6th David Newton retreat
5th Steve de Gruchy memorial lecture
6th – 8th Olivia Kate Anderson Christening
6th – 8th Cape Town International Convention Centre- wedding expo
10th – 11th Friday Means Fellowship – George Johnson
10th Hermanus Ministers
11th – 13th Peninsula Schools Feeding Association – Mark Walker
13th – 15th Fynarts Festival – Alyson giving painting demo’s
16th Sword Truths seminar for ladies
17th – 19th College of Moderators – Barry Brown
26th – 28th Commonground Church
28th Quiet day for lay ministeries in Anglican Chapelries of Hermanus
30th – 4th Volmoed childrens' camp
As we go into June may we all receive blessing upon blessing. May we realise the power to bless, to encourage, to heal relationships and renew one another as Our Lord blesses us.
May Jesus shower you with His love and blessings, God bless and love,
Jane and the Volmoed family