After months of discussing and planning, we finally confirmed and delivered the Higher Experience alongside New Zion church in Montrose Park, Mitchells Plain. This community is ridden by gang activity, substance abuse, and unemployment. Upon scouting the community, we sensed so much hopelessness. Many adults were sitting on porches consuming alcohol, young men smoking marijuana in their school uniform, young pregnant ladies (teenagers) roaming the streets. This seemed to be accepted by the community as “normal.” We knew we had our work cut out but were fully convinced that God sent us there to show and share His love.
We set up in three recreational areas where the young people usually gather throughout the week. We were pleasantly welcomed by approximately 30-40 young people every day. It was so great to see the community get in on the action. They laughed and danced with the team throughout the programme, and we are convinced that it left a lasting impact on the kids and the community at large.
New Zion provided snacks and drinks for the kids and their families; this act of kindness was really appreciated by the community and assisted in them opening their ears and hearts to receive the encouragements shared by the team through testimony and dance.
Areas reached in Montrose through Higher Outreach:
Tuesday, 1st March – Priscilla Crescent (Park)
Wednesday, 2nd March – Veronica Crescent (Soccer Pitch)
Thursday, 3rd March – Samantha Street (Park)
The programme at each of the venues mentioned above would be as follows:
- Prayer and Setup (all sound equipment)
- A performance by Kinetic IV and A.B.O
- A testimony from Frans, who used to live in the community
- A Gospel message from Shaun, who serves at The Message
Higher Experience Friday Event:
The main event took place on Friday 4th March and kicked off at 6 PM. We were so chuffed to see over 230 young people in the building, we hosted young people from all over Cape Town, and 44 young people came directly from the outreach done in Montrose Park.
The programme welcomed electrifying performances by the Higher Collective artists: Kinetic IV (Gilead, Taliana, Taryn, and Carlyle), Chrissy T, Jordyn, Leo, Christian, A.B.O Butch Cassidy, and King Smasher. A powerful testimony from Clint followed these performances. Pastor Candice Alben concluded the even with a powerful word, where we saw 77 young people respond to the Gospel by making a faith commitment on the night.
Those who responded were ushered to the back of the auditorium where Shaun led the “Response moment” he was supported by the Youth leaders from New Zion, praying alongside all who needed and requested prayers. We also used the time to collect all contact information from the young people so that they could get plugged into the Youth progamme offered at New Zion.
It was so encouraging seeing how well our teams served together to make this possible.
Higher Sunday Service:
We closed off the Higher week with two services on the Sunday. Dr. Tim Tucker ministered at the Sunday morning service, and Shaun Pretorius ministered at the Sunday evening service. Both services were well supported and attended, and we saw more precious souls make the decision to surrender their lives to Christ Jesus.
Feedback from New Zion Youth Pastor Alison Redlinghuys Toohey:
The Higher Tour Team coordinators, Ps Shaun, Christina, and Michaela, met with Apostle Hilton, Rhoda, and I at their home in Thornton to discuss the Tour to their church, New Zion Mitchell’s Plain. It was a wonderful and fruitful meeting.
The tour ran from Tuesday the 2nd to Sunday the 6th March. Three outreaches were had at three different locations, each different regarding whom we met, spoke to, and ministered to. I loved the first one, as many adults also came to sit in the park and listen. Some adults were quite touched that one of their neighbours, a special couple, were members of New Zion. The couple used the opportunity to evangelize their neighbours. We spoke to a young Muslim girl, in matric and highly pregnant. We prayed for her and chatted about her future. She was grateful that God had used the pregnancy for her to find HIM. God’s presence was surely felt as the Team ministered.
On Day 2, we were quite scared as the kids just didn’t appear…but eventually, after about 3.15 pm, the kids started coming home from school. Ps. Shaun and the Academy students went to meet the kids at the entrance of the area where we were for the day. It ended up a fruitful afternoon. The girl who won the dance competition also followed us to the 3rd venue, came to the Higher Event, won the competition there, and was at youth this Friday.
Day 3 was fabulous. The highlight of all the outreaches was that members of our church were there supporting. At each outreach, they fed the kids with sandwiches afterwards, but some people bought juice and chips for the children on this day. Ap. Hilton brought lollipops. It was so touching dancing in the park and telling passers-by about Jesus.
Friday’s event was truly amazing. Each performance was so anointed, and the kids loved it. The testimony shared by Clint was remarkable. Ps. Candice shared the word, and the alter call by Ps. Shaun really moved the kids. I was amazed at the young people’s response to the altar call. All those naughty in the crowd during the preach went up and gave their hearts to the Lord. They were back in church on Sunday morning.
Both the Sunday morning and evening services were terrific. Chrissy T set the tone for ministry by Dr. Tim Tucker. Dr. Tim was very relaxed. He relaxed the crowd, and hearts were moved. Fourteen little children were visiting for the first time.
The youth service was electric. Praise and worship was just such a highlight, as young people worshipped God with so much passion. They thoroughly enjoyed Kinetic IV again. Ps. Shaun was on fire.
A special thank you, Michaela and Team, The Message Trust, for impacting our church and Montrose Park in such a remarkable way. The foundations of Montrose Park were shaken. I was so honoured to be part of the Outreach. May God increase your strength as a Team.
Ps. Alison Redlinghys
Feedback from New Zion Senior Pastor Rhoda Toohey:
The Higher Team, we say thank you. This is our Time! So prophetic!
Prior to the outreach, we were praying and looking forward to ‘Heaven Invade’ from Higher, and we were definitely not disappointed. They were on time, reaching out, gathering the children, relating to them lovingly, disciplining of course. The ministry of the Word, music, song, and dance; absolutely awesome! We were amazed at how the kiddies caught on and responded that by the 3rd day, they were singing and dancing along. Sunday was the cherry on the top.
The response on Friday and Sunday night, of course, spoke volumes. This Friday past as well at youth, many said the Higher Team had invited them. Gilead’s advertising was class.
Apostle Hilton was blown away by the response of the little ones. No wonder Jesus said, “Suffer the little children to come to me and do not hinder them, for the Kingdom belongs to such as these.
We learned as Catholics, ‘Give me a child up to the age of 13, and they will have been indoctrinated. Ap. Hilton and I are products of that school. The Communists say, ‘Give me a child up to 9, and we will produce a Communist. The cry of our children is just ‘Give me Jesus’ and that is what the Higher Team fed our children.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We know too that the seeds of Mission have been sown into restoring the Fortunes of Zion. Ps. Alison can never say enough about the authenticity of ‘The Message.’ This is indeed a divine connection, and we are convinced there is going to be lasting fruit.
From Mother Rhoda,
with much thanksgiving and blessing on your ministry.