Blog Written by Patty Spykstra
As Tim and I were preparing the upcoming board retreat we spent some time extra time praising the Lord for His blessings, thanking Him for His faithfulness in the unknown and unexpected, and asking for His discernment and wisdom. The sign posted on Oceans Retreat Centre has a logo and the words “Make the Father Known.” The key components of this vision are Prayer, Discipleship and Retreat. I’d like to highlight how this is happening here in Fish Hoek & the US.
Prayer: It is a rare to find a group of 40-50 people from various backgrounds all gathering together for prayer on a Monday night. What a blessing to be able to walk to such a meeting here in Fish Hoek. On Tuesdays at 9am, Oceans’ staff and others seek God’s face with a time of devotion and prayer. On Wednesday mornings, Tim joins a prayer time at a local school, and other opportunities continue to pop up here in Fish Hoek and abroad. We rejoice at how several teams Mike brought out from Michigan have embraced the idea and need for prayer in their personal lives, in small groups and corporately. Spending time in prayer with the teachers at Oceanview Care Center is such a privilege. Many need the power of the Holy Spirit as they overcome the trauma in their own lives and as they live in a community surrounded by drugs, gangs, violence and poverty.
Discipleship: March 2020 in the midst of lockdown those of us on campus and in the US gathered for prayer and study of God’s word via Zoom, and that has continued. Discipleship doors have also opened for us to meet with teenagers and young people in smaller gatherings. Whether that be with a 19 year old young man void of a father, looking for direction after high school graduation or listening to a teen process the loss of a parent when just a child. I believe discipleship can be in the role of encouragement as we connect with other pastors, missionaries and non- government agencies locally. Tim uses his book Stepping into the Lord’s Prayer as a guide for an on campus recovery group. Mike continues to have many opportunities to connect with people at the Wooden Shoe motel ministry and offer spiritual direction to those who have joined on the Kingdom Encounter to South Africa or Lesotho. We pray the blog is also a means of spiritual development. Truly authentic relationships, encouragement, and a listening ear are steps to pointing others to the Father and His love for them.
Retreat: What a privilege to offer others in ministry a chance to rest, regroup, vision cast and pray. My hearts desire has always been to “encourage the encouragers” and during our time here at ORC we have come alongside others to have teas, share a meal or braai, enjoy day retreats, weekend refreshment and fellowship together in praise, worship and teachings. We have hosted groups such as Hope Africa, Virtuous Girls, groups from Wycliffe Translators of Madagascar, World-Wide Evangelism for Christ, Satellite Bible Church as well as YWAM missionaries, pastors and their families have resided on campus.
The conference room is a great location for both teaching and praise and worship gatherings. Each group is unique, some study God’s Word and then sing late into the evening while others desire to have a quiet time hearing God’s voice. Some groups want breakfast with hot milk with tea, others bring their own meat to braai. Although the Retreat Centre is clean and well maintained, it is nowhere near a 5 star hotel, but we think our guests are 5 star and want to let them know they are loved and cared for. For many who stay it is a rare and special occasion to get away from the reminders of the brokenness all around them. Thank you for your support to help Oceans host such get-a-ways a fraction of the cost it would be at other venues.
Tim and I are so thankful for the Oceans Board for their wise counsel, providing direction with ministry opportunities and decisions, as well as keeping Oceans financially accountable.
We so appreciate our friend Henry’s assistance in publishing all 3 of Tim’s books and who also maintains the webpage and helps out with so many behind the scenes aspects of Oceans.
We are also grateful for Mike Verkaik, who joined Oceans in August 2017 and together he and Dawn have faithfully made the Father known by taking teams from the States to Lesotho and South Africa as well as bringing His love to those living at the Wooden Shoe Motel.
We are beyond blessed by so many of you for praying, texting, emailing, commenting on blogs and posts and contributing of your resources to Oceans Ministries. Thank you for your part in “Making the Father Known.”