Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Grace on Campus- UCLA

We have been attending and serving as 'staffers' (as the students call us) at a Grace church student ministry. it's a university called UCLA (university of California, Los Angeles- for the other foreign brains out there... :) ). 

It has been an amazing blessing for so many reasons but one of the highlights for us as a family has been the enthusiasm and joy that is clear from brief interaction with the students at GOC! It is a pretty big group and yet I will never forget how welcome we felt when we first arrived on our first Friday evening (we meet every Friday evening). Another big highlight is how sweet the students are with our boys! It is so fun to see how they pour love out on Jonathan and Benjamin! I can't think of anything better than our boys growing up in the midst of a throng of students who love Jesus and live their lives in a way that is different to the world because of their devotion to our Saviour. I am thankful that the Lord has brought us to this group of students at this time and look forward to seeing what He has in mind for us and for the students!  

This is a link to the Grace on Campus website- There is even a Youtube video on the site if you would like to see a little more about the ministry. 

Apart from that, we will be celebrating our next Thanksgiving on the 27th of November and I love the concept (even though we don't celebrate Thanksgiving in SA) because it is such a reminder to count our blessings and be grateful. Who doesn't need an opportunity to eat together and celebrate life and His goodness to us? :)

Psalm 34:8, "Oh taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!"

Thursday, October 30, 2014

It has been too long!

Well, it is official. The Lord has been so kind to us and Izak has graduated from the Mdiv. :) I can't help but exhale with thankfulness when I say that or think about it. What a gift from His perfect hand.  When they called his name for him to walk across the stage, it was as if heaven was celebrating with us in my heart! There was no doubt in my mind that the Lord had taken our hands and lead us through the whole degree and accomplished it in our lives by His grace! Izak worked so hard but the thing about ministry is that we cannot do it on our own strength and He was faithful to show us that!

After the graduation ceremony, we had an 'after party' in a room shared with a precious couple from the UK. Everything was perfect. We just laughed, cried and enjoyed each moment... reminiscing on His kindness to us small town South Africans!

Here is a photo from the evening of graduation!
Now, we are about half way through his first semester (of 4) completing the ThM (there were some other options but in the end this is what seemed the most viable one) and I can see how it is going to be so helpful to us for the future! It is so encouraging to see how He has a plan for our lives and is working it out for our good and His glory. Our God is our gracious and strong Saviour.

Isaiah 43:1b-3
"Fear not for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with  you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you."

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

4 years later...

Something Izak said in his Senior Testimony struck me (here is the link to see that if you haven't yet He said we arrived with 4 bags, nearly 4 years ago. We now are a family of 4 and have way more than 4 bags worth of stuff in our little home. :) I am just so encouraged by His faithfulness to us. I remember wondering how we were going to make it here for the entire time and not only have we made it through Izak's Mdiv (he graduates on May 11th) but by the Lord's grace, He has opened the door for us to stay on and complete his ThM (Another two years). I can literally only shake my head and smile in acknowledgment of His mercy and kindness showered on us. Wow. Great is His faithfulness indeed. 

I have been meaning to write for months. And, for once, that is no exaggeration! Benjamin Levi Bakkes was born on the 13th of September last year and has taken our world by storm! hehe! I wish I was kidding, but I was not aware that going from one child to two could be such an adjustment! I am convinced that the Lord will make me more like Jesus through motherhood than through any other means! It is such an incredible experience because I have never been this dependent on Him, this humbled, this in love with my Creator. He knows my name and has poured out my cup/portion for each day of my life in His perfect kindness. I am so thankful to look back and see His handiwork in so many areas of my life. Let's just say that I am even more aware of my need for my Saviour today than what I was two years and almost three months ago (when J was born). 

Well, I have decided to try to write more often and less lengthy posts beginning today. Here are a few snapshots of the last few months.

Here is little Ben with his Pappa and Mamma:

And a couple of our little family of four:

Psalm 103:11 (NET), "For as the skies are high above the earth, so his loyal love towers over his faithful followers."