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  • YWAM Port St. John’s: Proteas and Open Doors

YWAM Port St. John’s: Proteas and Open Doors

We sat down to interview Meyer, who has recently pioneered YWAM Port St. John’s as a ministry under YWAM Muizenberg. It was so beautiful to hear the story of how this all came to be – and to hear his heart for the Eastern Cape. The interview is quite long, but it’s so worth reading all the way to the end. I left this interview with him feeling emotional, inspired, challenged and mostly excited about what God constantly does through us and with us. For any more information you’d like on YWAM Port St. John’s – e.g., how to donate or get in touch about bringing over your outreach team, head over to Port St John’s. Happy reading!

Chenayde:

So, you can start off just by telling me a bit about yourself – where you did your DTS, just a little about your life in missions.

Meyer:

Okay. So yeah, I did my DTS in 2010 in Worcester, straight after high school. I thought I planned to do a gap year, but I think I’m in my 12th gap year now! I did the DTS and then after my DTS I felt led to join a missions organization in Cape town called Jabulani Africa – they’re still running. It was with them that I went on my first outreach to the Eastern Cape, and I experienced that culture and that little world and made really good friends there. So, with Eastern Cape, the rest is history.

Meyer Blignaut, the pioneer of YWAM Port St. John’s – a new outreach post under YWAM Muizenberg.

Chenayde:

That’s great! So, how would you describe your ‘heart’ in missions? What drives you and keeps you here?

Meyer:

Missions? I didn’t think we have enough time for that! But I would say I love reaching the lost, but I also love the current church growing in maturity Christ, growing in their fellowship with God and growing in intimacy. I love seeing Christians enjoying the freedom that’s already given to them. And then and pioneering, that’s a big thing. I love the pioneering nature of YWAM and I’m a pioneer. So that comes to Port St. John’s as well.

Chenayde:

That’s really nice. And I think on the topic of pioneering then – we can move onto talking about Port St. John’s and all that’s going on with that! How did it all come to be?

Meyer:

Like I said before, my first mission trip after my DTS was there and I became really good friends with the people there. That’s also where I actually saw miracles for the first time. I grew up in a very conservative, Dutch reformed church, and it was amazing, just seeing miracles, healings, deliverances – it was crazy stuff. I also met really interesting people who became friends there, but there were just two people that I became really close with, Lucia and Michael. You can read all about them and their story on our website, YWAM Port St John’s.

The beautiful Port. St John’s, Eastern Cape.

Later, I took my wife there, I gave her a little tour, and I showed her Michael’s old house. Then Father spoke to me, and He said: ‘Hey, why don’t you make this a base?’ So, I came back to Muizenberg and communicated that vision to my circle leaders. We then did a scouting trip, me and Lunga and a bunch of people. And that was a really great trip, everyone witnessed that God’s doing something unique there. So then since then, I felt like, okay, I need to go for it.

And so, I put an offer for Mike’s house, and then I needed R50 000 for it and I didn’t have that money. I prayed about it, and I didn’t put it online or anything like that. I just prayed about it. And I felt to approach one person and I said ‘Lord, but he needs to bring up the conversation’. So, we were hanging out, and then he was like ‘Okay, so how do your finances work in your ministry?’ And he’s never asked me that before and I’ve been friends with him for a while!

I told him about Port St. John’s, and he said ‘Okay, I’ll give you an interest-free loan’. So, we bought the house and now we’re in a place of fundraising to have it renovated so that teams can go and stay there and then eventually have a full-time team there!

Chenayde:

That’s amazing. So, as you receive teams, what would you say that the blueprint for this ministry is?

Meyer:

At the moment I’m trying to keep it as open canvas as much as possible. Because I just really want to be open to what Holy Spirit does. I would say though, that it has to be a home for young people to feel that they’re not judged. They can just be who they are and there’s no performance. People know God, people know the Bible, but to really see Jesus as a lifestyle – to experience Jesus as a lifestyle, you know, other than church songs, other than Easter services. If you go there, you need to know you can’t go with a program, so you have to be adaptable. And preach the simple gospel, not the complicated gospel – not long doctrines that can confuse people. A very simple Christianity, like love, the finished works of the cross, intimacy with God, faith.

Chenayde:

Wow. That’s so nice. So, if there were teams, like – if I was preparing an outreach team to come – what would you say that I could expect?

Meyer:

To be honest, some maintenance work duties. If you’re one of the first teams coming, you’ll be a pioneering team since it’s a new property. So, you’ll be involved in painting the place and doing some gardening, fixing the roof. You know, that’s just part of it. But what you can expect, anyone from any culture, from any country – can really expect a warm embrace from the local community there. You won’t ever feel like an outsider.

Chenayde:

Wow. And what would you say are your immediate needs right now?

Meyer:

Missionary teams that want to commit to come for like a full outreach, at least a month and a half. Also, people donating – that’ll be great. The money goes straight to the YWAM Muizenberg base and then the finance department helps me allocate funds. I mean, it’s not gonna be like a hotel, but I need some bunk beds, I wanna do some health and safety standard things a little bit – the house will be able to host about 14 people!

So, people wanting to come and minister there, it’s as easy as them just emailing me and then I can connect them with my friends there – at that date and no program, no agenda. It will be really cheap to rent and it’s self-catering – and it will just be such a good time. By faith, it should be open to receive teams by January.

Meyer & Annalien Blignaut, and Thyler & Rachel Taisey – part of the Kardia (more on the website on this) and YWAM Port St. John’s team.

Chenayde:

Cool! And what do you think are important values that people should hold onto when they come there?

Meyer:

Firstly, you need to have a ministry of grace. I don’t want people coming, preaching condemnation. That’s not my vibe. Like – if you’re gonna come and give people there a bunch of rules and try to do behavior modification. So, you need to be able to know grace and know the Father heart of God. You’ll meet a lot of shame in the community, from historical injustice, fatherlessness, drugs – expulsion from the church. So, you need to be able to have mercy to people. There’s a lot to tackle there.

Back to the values – of course – gender equality. The mamas there are like the key people, and they’re the people I’ll do like anything for. They take care of me like their own child. They take care of everyone’s children! They’re like the backbone of the community. When I go, I ask them like, what do you guys need? What needs to happen? And then they know everything about everyone. They’ll be like, go pray for that person. Go and preach that. These people need reconciliation, go and reconcile. And then I just say, yes, mama. They’re like my bishops. That’s like a big thing for me. If you gonna come and be like, you know, well, women don’t have authority to say, blah, blah, blah – then don’t come.

Chenayde:

I like that. That’s good. And if people want any more information about YWAM Port. St John’s, they can just check out the website, right?

Meyer:

Yeah, for sure!

I don’t know about you guys, but I am super excited to hear about this outreach post and all that Meyer and the team have been experiencing in the Eastern Cape. Be sure to check out their website, reach out to them, and keep your ears peeled about upcoming trips to Port St. John’s!

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