I AM HOME
God is building a HOME where you belong.
How has being a part of God’s House changed your life?
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Today I had the opportunity to attend Restorative Justice Family Reconciliation Ceremony after an invitation by our Pastor, Amelia (Berner) Lodewyk who is part of the Hillsong Prison Ministry with her husband, Marco Lodewyk in Pollsmoor Prison, Cape Town. Hillsong Prison Ministry (an Outreach Ministries of Hillsong South Africa) is in partnership with the Hope Prison Ministry, which facilitates the Restorative Justice Programme. After a series of logistics issues, we finally managed to attend the session today and the Lord knew I had to be there because that session ministered to me as I went home and reflected on today’s experience.
Before I could send a message to thank Amelia for the invitation, I just had to sit in first and gather my words for what I experienced today. I told her that it was such a moment of awakening regarding some of the realities of God’s people out there. It gave me an awareness about the power of reconciliation and restorative justice which I learned offers internal freedom and healing as part of the process for both the offenders and their victims, which include their families. What Hope Prison Ministry is doing is indeed the Lord’s work, having experienced that first hand today was great. It ministered to me as a believer also in a way that I couldn’t fully digest in that moment.
I got home and thought to myself that, that experience is similar to our relationship with God. We sin against God, and the Evil one tries to constantly accuse us with our past mistakes, sins and wrongdoings to keep us in bondage internally, for if we are chained on the inside, we cannot fully serve God and have a beautiful experience with Him unless we come to a place of constant surrender, to confess and repent from our sinful ways in order to receive the true freedom that God secured for us through Christ at the cross so that we may have life and have it more abundantly in Him. The Devil will not have the power to constantly accuse us if receive the grace and mercy of God. If you haven’t experienced internal freedom, it doesn’t matter what your external reality is. Only God through the Blood of Jesus and by the help of the Holy Spirit can free us from any kind of bondage, including the bondage of our own sins, past mistakes and wrongdoings. Even if they do not compare to what the offenders in the Correctional Services did (sometimes they may), sin is sin and only God can truly free all of us. I am sure most of the offenders today are going to have a proper goodnight sleep after today’s experience because now they can walk on a journey of experiencing true freedom through Jesus!
And I appreciate Hillsong because they preach encourage relationship with God and not religion. Coming from a religious background, I was glad when I first attended Hillsong in Stellenbosch in 2019 because I learned about the power of vulnerability in church when our Youth Pastor, Dave Webster shared his testimony. I also learned that Hillsong speaks more about the God of love and the God of forgiveness which is contrary to the popular message of a punitive God who creates rules for us and punishes us when we don’t get them right. Contrary to that belief, our God is a of reconciliation and restoration, as written in 2 Corinthians 5:18 reiterated by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:9-10. And the first verse is a one I came across two days ago, and I went back to it today, and I was like, “This is it Lord, that’s what you were teaching me today”. I am now a volunteer in the Hillsong Cape Town CBD branch, and I serve on the welcoming team; and my favourite Hillsong slogan is the “Come as you are” banner.
My family and I started visiting the Southern Suburbs location in 2018 when we were looking for a new spiritual home. The decision to make it our permanent home was an easy one due to the sense of love and community we felt from day 1. We met the Eders when they facilitated the Welcome Home course & their passion for the House of God and its people is evident in their humility & sincerity. I prefer to be a “behind the scenes” volunteer but gosh has God challenged & transformed me significantly on my journey over the past few years!!
For me, Church is where I can praise Jesus wholeheartedly albeit, TOTALLY out of tune!!! 🤭🙈
It’s a place where it’s OK to have fun, 😜 whilst enjoying authentic fellowship. It’s Home 💛
IT IS A BEAUTIFUL JOURNEY TO EMBARK ON.
I started coming to Hillsong in 2020 after the harsh Lockdown. It was on a Friday, my Friends invited me to Youth. They said ” Nkosinathi lets go and play FIFA 20 on an X-BOX ONE. Along the way I was thinking about it. When we got to church , I heard loud music and for a second I thought we were in a party because of the atmosphere. Never in my life had I ever seen Young People passionate about serving GOD, that is one of the reasons I kept on GOING. The funny part was, I did not even get the chance to play FIFA because I felt like I had found the missing piece and it was GOD. In ENCOUNTER CONFERENCE 2021 I wanted to have an encounter WITH GOD and I got to have one because my Youth Pastor said I must come believing for what I really wanted GOD to do. Now I’m doing the Internship at Church because GOD said I must find my identity In HIM.
I grew up listening to Hillsong music, the music was a very important part of my journey with God. Actually my husband can thank Hillsong worship for our marriage. He used to borrow me the CDs in varsity, and we would listen to them and cry out to God.
We never thought we would be part of Hillsong Africa, we thought we had to go to conference in Australia to be a part. But the Lord knew otherwise.
It was in 2017 when we had to come to Cape Town for our post grad studies. Of course we were going to go to Hillsong Cape Town there were no questions about it. At the time we were going through a difficult time as a family as we experienced a lot of pain and hurt from our previous church home. We were broken, had so many questions, literally felt cursed.
Coming into the room playing Shadow step by Hillsong United. A peace came over my heart. I cried the whole service as I sensed Gods love in the room. He was still good I was not cursed I was blessed in Him. Being disappointed by people did not mean God had changed. I would soon attend sisterhood and Alex Seeley was sharing on forgiveness, another lesson, forgive all who hurt you. Those four months were a life line for me. I saw and felt Gods love in people I hardly knew. There were so many God moments in that season. We joined a connect with amazing people that prayed for us. When we left at the end of the four months. We went to the front with my daughter. Pst Lucinda was there, she smiled and asked if she could pray for us, it was our last Sunday in Cape Town, she prayed blessings over us and our family. I cried, I arrived feeling cursed but left believing Gods love and blessing over my life. I saw the vision “building a church to build a nation” that resonated so much with me. I said to God, I want to be part of this church, this vision.My kids loved kids church, my four year old gave his life to Christ in one of the services. We were truly blessed.
We had to go back to the EC, but our hearts were full, healing had begun. It was a miracle that in less than 18 months we would be back to Cape Town but this time to stay. Thank you Jesus. Hillsong was our church, is our church and I can tell you story after story of how my life has been impacted with my family by all the people we have come into contact with. Serving in kids, welcome home, taking a break because of my studies but continuing to feel the support of my church family. I am so glad to call this place my home. We are here to build families that will build nations.
I was at youth in the north at the baseball club and found Jesus again, I met my RDG leader and she has helped me and I’m forever grateful for her and all the leaders in the north, this is family to me! This is home where I can be myself, dance and praise Jesus for all He’s done for me! I’m forever grateful for this beautiful community 🤍
My first Sunday was the day church launched in June 2008. Although I grew up in church, that Sunday (at age 12) was the first time I felt fully comfortable to raise my hands in worship. I remember opening my eyes to see if anyone was looking at me/judging me 😅 but no one was. Everyone was focused on God. From that moment, I knew I had to make this my church my home.
It took a “minute” for my mom to allow me to leave our previous church to join Hillsong but when she did, the growth in my life started taking place!
As a young person, I was finally allowed to start serving in church – which was huge for me. I had the greatest youth pastors and leaders who drew out the best in me. Even during my years of studying at uni while being a youth leader, I had an amazing support system. I’ve found my greatest friends in church (who have become family) and I’m so grateful for that.
There have been ups & downs on this 14 year journey but I wouldn’t trade it for anything! Church has played a huge role in shaping who I am today and given me the confidence to achieve my goals & dreams in my personal life. I’m excited for what God has in store in the future. And I do have to say: West truly is best 🥳 #iykyk
WELCOME HOME, two words with a depth of meaning that resonates deeply with me. After moving to Cape Town over 20 years ago, I found it so challenging to settle into a church community and truly feel that I belong. One Sunday morning, watching a service on TV, an announcement about Hillsong at the Convention Centre came up and I just about fell off my chair! For about 12 months before, I’d been praying and believing for a word about my future. I’d been questioning my purpose and whether I was on the right path. Leading up to the announcement, I’d listen to the WOW contemporary Christian CDs and a particular track really touched me deeply – This is home by Swtchback. Lyrics This is home…
Now I’m finally back to where I belong, Where I Belong. Yeah, this is home, I’ve been searching for a place of my own. Now I’ve found it. Maybe this is home, This is home. And now after all my searching, After all my questions. I’m gonna call it home, I’ve got a brand new mindset, I can finally see the sunset. I’m gonna call it home. I’d play it over and over every morning, often driven to tears, and then the announcement… The very next Sunday morning we were at the Convention Centre, standing in line waiting for the second service. Walking in, the place was packed, but the first thing that I noticed was the screen with the words Welcome Home. I re-committed my life to Christ that morning. Being part of God’s House is so important, no matter which room you find yourself in!
I’m blessed to be part of Hillsong, 6 years ago my friend invited me to join Sisterhood, I had never been to church as I was Moslem, The day I step into the Hillsong building with my daugther, we have never turned back. We have built our journey together and We are SAVED!!! God truly changed our lives, my boyfriend and our baby also attend church with me in the Northern Suburbs. This is HOME, THIS IS WHERE WE BELONG ❤ and I thank God for saving our lives and being with us always.
Who am I? I cannot believe that I am actually attending church, I am serving at church. I am praying for others? This was not me a year and 4 months ago.
I am a Jesus freak now. When I open my eyes I think of my Father. Before I close my eyes I thank Him for my life every day. I speak to HIM right through the day. I sing and dance when I worship my God. I am in love with Jesus. My life has turned upside down and inside out. I feel worthy. I am free. I have found home.
I AM HOME.
You see, I was invited several times to come check out the new Hillsong church in Plettenberg Bay. After I ran out of excuses and because the friend was determined I figured let me just go and endure it and get it over with, the kids might enjoy it. To be honest I was just pleasing my new found friend. But you know what?
I found my salvation that morning. I found God in this house, I couldn’t stop crying. The Holy Spirit started to work in me that moment I walked through the doors. I felt love, I saw love, I was HOME. I was back the next Sunday and I find it hard to stay away.
I am grateful to God for His kindness, for His grace and for the family I have found.
My life has changed in every single way. God gave me so many gifts and I am so grateful to use all my talents to serve in His house and especially others, I am free friend. My life has just started and I am running, it is well with my soul.
Coming from KZN to the Western Cape, it was a very scary yet exciting journey, Hillsong Stellenbosch was of course the exciting part. Nothing but true friendship, love and support blossomed from my connect group, we were truly and still are a tight knit sisterhood. I’ll forever hold Hillsong as my Home ❤️
I joined Hillsong after my daughter started her 2 year internship (2018-2020). I have been on this journey, visiting at the 5pm service since Hillsong came to South Africa. Although I was at another church, I enjoyed the worship, when we still had cassettes.
I have never missed a Sisterhood or Colour conference ❤️ That’s what drew me in! I was only going to warm the pew but, coming from leadership, God had other ideas🙏🏽 Serving on the pastoral team, leading a sisterhood connect group and recently joining the choir has given me a sense of purpose. Seek ye first the kingdom of God… is the verse I live for. Learning how community cares for one another is on a whole other level ❤️ Yes, no church is perfect but we keep our eyes on Jesus
Wow where do I even begin.
I wasn’t a Christian growing up and the concept was completely foreign. At the age of 9 someone gave me Hillsong Album with Darlene on the cover and Hillsong united. I didn’t understand it at the time but after listening to it, I felt different. I couldn’t put my head to it but I knew I wanted what they were singing about. Shortly after that I got saved but I was looking to be in Hillsong ever sense then.
Fast track South Africa 🇿🇦 I received communication from Maggy Adair in Hillsong Sydney (spiritual mom) that they were opening Hillsong in Cape Town in the CTICC. At age 20-21 I went down to Cape Town. It was just before my 21st bday! I remember that day so clear. It was pouring rain and there were 3 services was scheduled. The day we launched we had more than 5 services I think 3000 salvations 🔥🔥🔥 and there was queues on queues. I was finally home in 🇿🇦🇿🇦. I joined a volunteer team. My work transferred me back to Gauteng but I decided I still wanted to volunteer so I flew to Cape Town once a month.
Hillsong Pretoria opened and I felt God release me to join worship. It brought so much joy to my heart to be able to do what I feel called to do.
This house has made me a better man. I always thought this church’s worship was incredible however serving in Hillsong I started to see how the word of God got preached and brought so much depth to my life. Wanting more and seeking God more. This house has corrected me. I can be a rebel haha 😂 however This house believed in me and when I did something stupid they gave me the space and believed in me. I’ve been given space to lead while being heartbroken, I lost my dad a while back. I was completely broken and knew if I didn’t lead with strength, hope, love that I wouldn’t have been able to do it. The song highlands means so much “I will praise you on the mountain, I will praise you when the mountains in my way.” This house supported me through grieving my father.
This house continues to love me, correct me, believe in me and challenge me to be better! I am nothing without Jesus and God used Hillsong Church Cape Town & Hillsong Wonderboom and now Hillsong Durban.
I am incredibly grateful and I will be remiss if i can not give honour to the most incredible pastors that had huge impact in my life Armando and Gillian Stander.
I love this house and so grateful for it. Thanks so much, Ps Phill and Lucinda words cannot convey my love and respect for you!
I’ve been in and out of church for a few years, until end 2020. My mental health was so incredibly low, with so much hurt, frustration and immense suicidal thoughts. I would tell myself not being on this Earth would make me happy. I decided to watch one of the Sunday sermons (I cannot recall who said it), but in the sermon, he said “God is fighting for you”, “He fights in the background”… I WAS DONE! I told myself that I am valuable and I remind myself everyday that I AM LOVED and Jesus Loves Me! Thank you to Hillsong and what it’s done for me and my mental health. YOU’LL NEVER KNOW HOW MUCH YOU SAVED MY LIFE & SOUL! Love forever!
Church has been home to me since day one of being part of Hillsong. I kind of grew up in church but something that kept me coming, something that kept me convicted about the house of the Lord was actually a scripture that says, “ I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever so that I can be in awe of the beauty of the Lord.” I think knowing the power of coming to the house of the Lord has changed everything for me, community was a big part of it but knowing that coming to this room, this building can shift my life. That’s what kept me coming back, knowing that I would feel refreshed, renewed and find good people as well!
My church community has always helped me by just being available. The availability of people at difficult and good times has always been something really special. Just knowing that there is someone and that you’re not alone, has always been special for me.
I can remember the day I stepped into church, everything changed for me! I said that this is the place that I definitely want to be at in my life and continue coming back. I immediately felt accepted and felt part of this family.
I joined a group last year and it was amazing! I joined a group last year because I decided that I’m going to make this work! I joined, attended week after week and I can’t tell you how much I’ve grown. And today, I’m a group leader! Church has played a major role in my growth, in my relationship with God and the people around me. Church is shaping me into not only the woman but the mother that I want to be.
Church has been home to me because I’ve found a community, a healthy community of friends. I did the internship and it’s really brought me amazing people and people that I love and that love and care for me.
I’ve been part of our Mitchells Plain location since the beginning and have always loved being part of the Heart & Soul of church. Serving and being part of a group has allowed me to not just grow in my spiritual walk but also in my every day to day life. It has given me the tools on how to lead and serve at a level of excellence at the work place and definitely given me confidence to take on tasks and challenges I would never have done. Through that, many doors of work opportunities opened up for me.
I met amazing friends at church, who I get to do life with and are there in every season of life, friends I can trust and allow into my inner space.
I am forever thankful for the amazing pastors and leaders I am surrounded by!
In August 2013, after a season of not being in a church environment (although I grew up and church and went to church previously) a friend invited me along to go to a Hillsong church service. I agreed to go with and this arrangement went on for two weeks, as the church environment at Century City is a lot, especially for me as an introvert. The third Sunday, however, my friend could not make it. So I went on my own.
During pre-roll, the following words flashed on Screen : ” You’re no longer wandering exiles. This kingdom of faith is now your home country. You’re no longer strangers or outsiders. You belong here, with as much right to the name Christian as anyone. God is building a home. He’s using us all—irrespective of how we got here—in what he is building. He used the apostles and prophets for the foundation. Now he’s using you, fitting you in brick by brick, stone by stone, with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone that holds all the parts together. We see it taking shape day after day—a holy temple built by God, all of us built into it, a temple in which God is quite at home.” That struck me, as I could identify with this – a wandering exile, that thought he could not be part of church family.
Fast Forward to 2017, although I served in the Welcome and Hello Teams from 2013- 2015, and taking a break in between, God called me back to the gifting I have with creative technology and I joined the Creative Tech team and Century City. God was not done with my story!
In June 2018, I received a message from the then creative tech lead in Stellenbosch (as some Sundays I helped out in our Stellenbosch location, to also grow myself in the Creative Tech environment), that due to roster changes, he have to play guitar that Sunday Morning and that I had to be on my own on the sound desk. To add a twist to the story is that our Lead Pastor, Phil Dooley was preaching, not over the link but in person. So no pressure to the rookie (me) on the sound desk, haha. It was during the message by Pastor Phil on Psalm 1, on being planted like a palm tree, that I felt the call. That I must make Hillsong Stellenbosch my home. I did, and since 1 September 2018 , I have been part of what God has been doing in Hillsong Stellenbosch, in the good seasons, and in the waiting and staying season. I found Home.
I love my Church! When I found my home in 2008, I found love. The journey has not been easy but I will never leave this home. My son Kaden, who is now 15, was 18 months old and my life has been transformed. I started serving at Info Desk and looking back I see how faithful God has been. I honour all my leaders especially Pastor Phil and Lucinda who believed in me and loved me when I felt worthless. Thank you for my people!! Let’s all celebrate Jesus for freedom 🙏🙏
I went from a broken, conflicted, wounded and scared season in my life to a restored life. I remember that day where I was sitting alone, deep and drowning in my thoughts, I had been looking for a church to call home but that started to feel like a futile exercise. I then got a call from my mom reminding me of what she experienced when she went to Hillsong Church, that call was followed by an invite from a close friend of mine to come to church.
The first Sunday of 2019 December, I went for the 5pm service at Hillsong Wonderboom. It became a day engraved onto my heart for eternity. From the second I walked through the doors of Hillsong Church, I knew I was home, home to stay. The youth was a whole vibe, the hosts were so welcoming and friendly. I knew that my life would now be surrounded by people who’d help me up, wipe my tears and cheer me on.
The first Sunday of 2020, I made a choice to get baptised, that was the seal. The moment I was dipped in those waters, a heavy weight was washed away from my shoulders. I didn’t know what the future held for me, but I knew who held my future.
I now have a community that cheers me on, I’m surrounded by people who support me, love me, value me and sustain me with prayers. My journey till this day is filled with so much expectation of what God has in store for me as he blesses beyond what I ask for, Hillsong church is my home. From day one when I was told “Welcome Home” indeed was and still is a home.
I filled in a prayer report and today I am working a job I’ve prayed for during the miracle of May 2021. I thank God for granting me a church I can call home.
We started attending church earlier this year after meeting Wayne and Grace at a tidal pool in Camps Bay. Wayne told us about church and we decided to go the very next day, since then, we’ve never missed a Sunday.
The first time we stepped into church, it felt like home. The people made it feel like home! They were very welcoming and we found that church no longer felt like a task, but rather something that we looked forward to.
We serve on the welcome team which, for us, feels like a way to give back to God. Serving doesn’t feel forced, it feels so natural! We also saw that the moment we put God at the centre of our lives, and our marriage, we saw a “day & night” difference.
If we could encourage anyone, who is thinking about coming to church, we’d say, “just show up!”. Come exactly as you are, God wants you just the way you are. We are good enough because God has called us!