South Africa - The Mission of Holy Fellowship

Colbert Presbyterian Church

4211 E. Colbert Rd.
Colbert, WA 99005

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The only way to build love between two people or two groups of
people is to be so related to each other as to stand in need of each
other. The Christian community must serve. It must also be in a
position where it needs to be served…. ~Kenneth Bailey


The South Africa Task Force (SATF) created in 2006 was in response to the desire of Colbert Presbyterian Church to nurture a PARTNERSHIP with St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Mthatha, South Africa. A partnership built on relationships, not Colbert Presbyterian, a first-world church, sending St. Andrew’s, a church in the developing world, money. What began as a dream has subsequently become a reality. Banner made from fabric from South Africa and some from here that represents each of us coming together in Christ (the blue area with the shots of light fabric represent our prayers for one another).
Palm Sunday at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church
Since that time, Colbert has received three delegations from St. Andrew’s and sent four to South Africa. We have commonly shared our hopes and dreams in ministry, discussed ways we can learn from one another, and worked on establishing a mutual relationship.
“Before my travels to St. Andrew’s, I was less than satisfied by the seemingly vague understanding of the partnership held by the SATF at Colbert. Their descriptions contained words like “mysterious,” “holy,” “inspirational,” “diverse,” and “trans-cultural.” What I have since come to understand is that the taskforce was not being evasive, but intentionally open to the leading of the Holy Spirit.” (Leesa Birdsall) Flo and Nomayeza visiting the Birdsall family
Loren Birdsall and Christopher Dennis when we visited 2010, playing music with the St. Andrews youth, during an outdoor picnic Ubuntu is a South African word often used by Archbishop Desmond Tutu. It is not a word that is easily defined, but can ultimately be explained in this way, “My humanity is caught up, is inextricably bound up, in yours. We belong in a bundle of life.” [Tutu]. In other words, we are connected. Distance, time, and culture cannot separate us from one another.” Vivi, a visiting congregant from St. Andrew’s found this word to well describe the relationship we are creating together.

Perhaps the greatest strength of the partnership between CPC and SAPC is the unity in purpose. Both congregations have come together in relationship with God at the center. The aim is to be one of glorifying God by living out the commandment given by Jesus. “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.” [John 13:34].

South Africa Task Force Members:

Leesa Birdsall (chair)

Loren Birdsall

Mary Borgman

Brad and Kathy Beal

Amy Johnson-Colwell

David and Jan Hicks

Paul Lineback

Chuck and Sherry Vokoun