'Tim Keller’s the Fourth one of the Trinity, right?', By Esther Larson (New York, NY)

Pastors in Cape Town, South Africa have a sense of humor and a deep respect for the Kellers and Redeemer; a respect cemented by the extensive training and support they’ve received via Redeemer City to City.

While on a Micah Global Foundation mission trip to Cape Town this summer, our Redeemer team partnered with these pastors and discovered their congregation’s secret to vibrancy & power as they speak into the brokenness of a post-apartheid city.

The Gospel.

Rigby Wallace and Ryan TerMorshuizen, Common Ground Church pastors, preached on diversity the Sunday we joined them, no easy feat in a context where apartheid, which literally means “the state of being apart” permeates racial relations even today. Only Christ is able to bring what’s apart, together.

The following Sunday we worshipped with Stephen Murray, Pastor of Hope Presbyterian Cape Town, who called on his congregation to “not simply wallow in self-pity but truly repent and turn back to God”.  In an urban setting where temptations abound and the Church is counter-cultural (much like New York City), this is no easy feat.  Especially when you’re a church planter, looking to build a congregation.

Only Christ is able to bring what’s apart, together.

During the week, we conducted a social media workshop with Jubilee Church pastor Stephen van Rhyn. We talked with him and his marketing staff about how social media can be a force for good to reach the inner city of Cape Town while dialoguing about the dangers, pride, and challenges of using this medium.

These pastors’ willingness to reflect upon hard truths and converse with us in an authentic way, reflects the deep power of the Gospel, no matter the cultural context.

Each of these Pastors and Churches has been deeply impacted by the ministry of Redeemer and City to City.  Through Tim and Kathy’s books, their congregations have been touched and reminded of Gospel truth, learned about marriage, gender roles, loving the poor and how faith should infuse our work and be a living prayer to our Lord.

Redeemer’s emphasis on the Gospel transcends culture and language – from New York City to Cape Town and beyond, God has used His bride to deeply impact cities to respond to the brokenness and let the Gospel infuse it to bring flourishing and redemption.

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