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Benjamin

Coming to South Africa was a great adventure for me. For six months I decided to put my ordinary life aside and enter an absolutely unknown environment full of new and unexpected things. But I was surprised at how God used the "life I had left behind" for the good of the people around me.

In Slovakia I was very busy with my chess career, it was a very important part of my life. After some time here I started “losing” chess and asked the Lord to do something about it. We found out about the upcoming Tshwane championship and it seemed like something I wanted so I was disappointed when the tournament was canceled due to the Covid situation. But. God had prepared something even better for us.

After some time during our youth meeting we found that many young people, especially from Refilwe, a township close to our house, enjoyed chess and were keen to learn more. A combination of all these factors inspired us. We had the idea to ​​start a chess course in Refilwe and create a chess club. Chess, is not only a tool of evangelisation but also serves to build something meaningful into the lives of these young people. A sport with great values, discipline and a good time full of education. Our idea was well received and so within a couple of days we did a big shop and the training courses started.

Our chess club is doing very well, it attracts many young people aged 7 to 23. Each encounter is filled with developing minds, joy and friendship. We have already discovered many talented children with great potential. In the future we plan to develop this project even further, attract even more young people and create a community youth center. A huge thank you goes to Koinonia in South Africa for giving us this great opportunity and to my amazing parents who have supported us financially and provided us with everything we needed for this project.

Sr. Weronika

Join the Fight

There are many different ways to prepare the soil for new growth and strangely, one of them is by fire!

 

When I first arrived in South Africa, I was very surprised to see huge fields of grass deliberately set alight and consumed by fire. Beginning during the winter months of June until September, the fire seemed to devour everything around us. Initially, this sight filled me with sadness. However, I was astonished to discover afterward that the function of the fire, was not to devour, destroy and damage the fields, but to purify it and so prepare it for a new season of growth. I learned to see in the burnt fields the promise of an abundance of fresh, green grass that was about to grow back! Being able to see in this way is nothing else but HOPE!

 

During the last few months, it seemed as if there was a great fire burning around us: a fire that physically burnt the South African land; a fire of suffering and tribulation caused by Covid-19 and by violence and poverty. This fire also began to burn inside some of us, trying to devour our trust in God; in his Omnipotence and in his Infinite Love. Faith is under fire!

 

At the same time, the prophetic Spirit is opening our eyes of faith. A prophetic message from the environment of Koinonia in different parts of the world is reaching us: The opportune time for new sowing is coming. The soil is getting ready!

 

This is the important thought that I wish to share with you...

 

The fire that you may see and experience in you and around you is not to destroy but to purify! Faith must be tried to purify us from any distrust; from any pretense that God acts as we want him to act; from any desperation that tells us that He does not listen to us and from any self-dependence that still makes us try to manage on our own.

 

With humble hearts let us ask the Holy Spirit for the gift of Hope!

 

So even though we are still in the middle of winter, surrounded by fire and smoke, we can already catch a glimpse of spring approaching. The fields are about to be covered with fresh green grass. It is the time for new sowing of the Word of God in our lives, in our families, in our cities, and in South Africa!

 

"Arise, my love, my beautiful one", says Song of Songs, "for behold, the winter is past ... the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land." (Song of Songs 2: 10-12). Arise Koinonia!!! Arise our Lord’s beautiful one!

Get ready for Spring. Your faith is purified. The soil is ready. Now may the voice of your Testimony be heard in our land!

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Sr. Bernadette

Jesus you are my everything!

Christ is Risen! When I first received the news that I was going to do my vows, I was so happy but after a few days I started to ask myself many questions- How exactly is this going to work? I am in a foreign country and due to added Covid restrictions, I knew that no member of my own family would be able to attend. 

I really did not expect the celebration that we had- a beautiful mass, the presence of our Bishop Stanley and of course good food, cakes and gifts as well. There was a beautiful sense of unity and collaboration between both consecrated and lay members of Koinonia from Pretoria, Durban, and Umzimkulu. I felt unity everywhere, in everything, and with everyone. From the start to finish I was feeling a great joy within me. I felt the presence of Jesus among us and the sadness  of the absence of my own family and all the worries I had were gone.

 

After coming home that night I was lying on my bed and remembering all the events of the day and I said to myself "Indeed I believe the words Jesus spoke in Luke 18: 29-30 'I assure you that everyone who leaves home, or wife, or brothers, or parents, or children for the sake of the Kingdom of God will receive much more.'" I said "Jesus you are my everything and in You I have found much more than anything I had before."