Dr. Wayne Mack is one of the most respected leaders and authors in the Biblical Counseling movement. In 2006, Dr. Mack and his wife Carol moved to South Africa to begin Grace School of Ministry, dedicated to providing a seminary level education in Biblical Counseling. This ministry is under the direction of Grace Fellowship Church of Pretoria, South Africa and the curriculum and teaching is led by Dr. Mack.
Dr. Mack invited Faith Baptist Church, Lafayette, IN to assist him this year by providing teachers for the Theological Basis of Counseling course in Pretoria or Cape Town, South Africa. Our leadership considered it a privilege to be invited to participate in such a ministry with our friend, Wayne Mack. We naturally jumped on the opportunity in Cape Town because that would allow us to visit our missionaries there. Faith Baptist Church is the sending church for Marc and Judie Blackwell and their son and daughter in law, Marc, Jr. and his wife, Nancy and their two children, Nicole and Matthew. Pastor Andy Woodall and David Selvey were sent in response to this request and this is our story.
Visiting the Blackwells
Missionary Marc Blackwell, Sr. met us in the Cape Town airport where we arrived about 9pm Friday night after travelling 28 hours. We enjoyed good fellowship with Marc as he drove us to the airport. It seemed a bit strange for the driver to be on the right and for us to drive on the left side of the road, but the roadways are modern and in good condition.
Saturday we enjoyed a delicious breakfast in the clean hotel followed by a walk around the area … lots of sunshine and pretty warm. Marc picked us up at the hotel around noon and took us to lunch and tried to fill us in on 36 years of ministry in a few hours. In the afternoon, we had the privilege of attending the ordination counsel and service of two South African Nationals for service in the gospel ministry. It was a tremendous privilege and blessing to see Llewellyn and Dean, two dedicated South African men, ordained into the Gospel ministry. One of the men is a very successful insurance executive who is now dedicating his life to serving as a pastor of the English speaking church in Blue Downs, a Cape Town suburb.
After the ordination council we drove out to the camp facilities that God has provided. We praise God for providing facilities where young people can go for a concentrated time of biblical teaching and discipleship.
On Sunday morning Marc, Sr. picked up Andy and took him to preach in one of his church plants. Marc, Jr. and his family picked me up a few minutes later to take me to preach in his church plant in Blue Downs. The last time I was here was in 2005 when I preached Marc, Jr’s ordination service and the dedication of the new building that Victor Pereira and I helped complete with a CWE team. The building is shared by two churches. Marc’s Afrikaans church meets first and then the English speaking church meets after them. The people were warm and accepting, listening attentively to the message from God’s Word. After that service, we stayed for the English speaking church which was installing their new pastor that had been ordained the day before. What a marvelous privilege to see a local church install a national pastor.
On Sunday evening Pastor Woodall and I each taught in the Church Ministry Institute (CMI) that they have in each of their churches for training national church leadership. We enjoyed the teaching and fellowship time together. After our time with the Blackwells, Marc Jr. drove us an hour or so across Cape Town to the place where we would meet with Dr. Wayne and Carol Mack.
The ministry in which we were to participate is Grace School of Ministry, which provides a two year seminary education in the area of Biblical Counseling. The program is offered in Pretoria and Cape Town. The course of study includes 4 classes per year for a period of 2 years. Classes are all taught in the form of 5 ½ day modular classes in each of the two locations. These modular courses are not for the faint of heart. Students have extensive pre-course assignments and post course work to do, as well.
Dr. Mack taught all the sessions on Monday so Pastor Woodall and I could see how he taught and how the class functioned. Pastor Woodall picked up the teaching Tuesday afternoon. For the remainder of the week, Pastor Woodall taught 3 hours before lunch and I taught 3 hours after lunch. Andy also prepared and taught 90 minutes each evening on counseling youth. Saturday was a half day with Andy teaching the first half of the morning and Dr. Mack teaching the second half.
We had a regular attendance of around 35. Pastor Doug and his wife, Ann had travelled 900 miles from Pretoria to attend the class. A single woman, Anna travelled all the way from Sweden … I think she said it was 14-16 hours by plane! The people were so incredibly hungry for the practical theology of God’s Word that we were a bit overwhelmed by their thankfulness for the Word and the teaching of it.
- God has taught me a lot this week.
- Today I realized that I need to apply these principles to my life before using them to help others.
- God’s Word brought great conviction to me this week.• I must reevaluate my ministry and even my whole perspective of life.
- Please thank your church and your families for allowing you to come and teach us this week.
- I have a degree from a prominent, well known seminary in the USA … I teach in a Bible College in Pretoria … I am a pastor and I teach in a Bible College yet this theology is eye opening for me. Thank you so much for leaving your families for a time and teaching us God’s Word in this way this week …
We even managed to squeeze in a little bit of fun with a visit to the harbor Saturday afternoon and a quick trip to the beach early Sunday morning before leaving for the airport. After our quick swim we heard they closed the beach due to great white sharks in the area! The flight out of Cape Town was delayed an hour, but we had plenty of time between flights in Johannesburg. God was so kind as to have the 16 hour flight only partially filled so we had room to work and move around a bit. Total travel time from our hotel in Cape Town to Lafayette, IN was 35-36 hours. It was a long trip, but well worth it.
We want to thank our wonderful church family, Faith Baptist Church in Lafayette, IN, for making it possible for us to partner with the folks in South Africa and to begin building a relationship with the church there. Teaching with and for Dr. Wayne Mack all last week was a humbling, but wonderful experience for Pastor Andy Woodall and me (David Selvey). He and his wife Carol and his assistant, Ian were greatly encouraging to both of us.
Please pray …
- For our missionaries in South Africa, Marc and Judie Blackwell, Sr. and Marc and Nancy Blackwell, Jr. along with their children Nicole and Matthew.
- For Marc and Judie Blackwell, who are now in the US reporting to some of their supporting churches through the end of April.
- For the new South African pastors installed last week, Llewelyn De Kock and Dean Kramer.
- For all the Blackwells’ church plants that God will raise up national pastors to take over those works.
- For the students who were in the Theology of Counseling class that the Word of God will take root in their hearts and lives and make long lasting change.
- For Ian Murray as he faithfully serves Grace Fellowship and the Macks.
- For Wayne and Carol Mack as, after more than 50 years of ministry, they continue to serve God faithfully in spite of their physical challenges.
- For the ministry of Grace School of Ministry in South Africa.
- For Andy and David as they attempt to catch up and get back into busy schedules and recover from jet lag over the next week or two.