Three years ago, Alastair Buchanan (affectionately known as "Pastor Al"), began working with The Message Trust in order to build the Eden Network and its teams throughout the city of Cape Town. We recently celebrated his farewell as he officially passed the baton for further building these teams to another Message team member, and we wanted to share his thoughts about the time he has been a part of The Message team...
Message from "Ps. Al:"
4. Isaiah 61:3-4 speaks of the effect of the Messiah’s Spirit-anointed ministry by changing captives and others into rebuilders of the ruined cities. So, probably the highest point (close to an epiphany for me) was watching our two Eden team leaders addressing an Exploring Eden gathering one night in Gugulethu as they encouraged others to join our teams by sharing their stories of deliverance. Because they are both ex-offenders, ex-gang-members and ex-drug-abusers, I sensed as they were speaking that the Holy Spirit had come alongside me and was whispering in my ear: “Alastair, you are watching Isaiah 61:3-4 being fulfilled right before your eyes, right here.”
This work for me has had many challenges and we have had many failures and short-comings but the above are just some of the stories of God’s doings that have nevertheless enriched me as I have been at The Message leading the Eden Network (and space has not allowed me to talk of exciting new developments like the launch of a new coffee shop and of low-cost housing initiatives our Salt River team has just embarked upon, as well as many others). In closing, I am so grateful to God for having been given this opportunity and I am confident that what He has begun in The Message and Eden, He will continue.
With much love in Jesus,
It really has been a joy and a delight to watch a number of key aspects to this exciting incarnatational vision of Eden developing. After having the privilege of seeing many who have been led to Christ and begin going down the road of disciple-making with Eden members during this time, the next most thrilling aspects of the last three years have to do with watching the teams develop their ministries to serve the least, the last, and the lost of Cape Town. Here are just a few of the high points in this ministry for me:
1 . Watching each teams camaraderie developing as well as the bonding of the different Eden teams during combined Eden events.
2. The contextualisation of the Eden UK Vision into each teams own area of focus. Two examples being the development of disciple-making materials by Grant in Salt River and the programme for the mentoring of young footballers developed by team leader, Mkululi Letsatsi, in Nyanga.
3. Seeing the incarnational aspect of the Gospel of Jesus Christ being not only spoken out in the three communities but also lived out among them. A great example of this is Elton Hanson, who attends our Eden Pelican Park team. He was approached and asked by a half-dozen or so ex-drug addicts to form a group, saying that they had seen how he has changed over the last few years through knowing Christ and would like him to help them come off of drugs too. He and another Eden member now meet with these new guys
every two weeks.
"Pastor Al," we will surely miss you but we are so thankful for the work you have done for The Message Trust. We are inspired by your faith and trust in the Lord and know that He will continue to use you in all that you do. Although we have said "farewell," it will never be "goodbye" as you will always remain a part of our Message Family. Not only that, but the impact you have made will continue for generations to come. Much love and blessings from all of us at The Message!