Posted by: Catherine Weston | March 13, 2009

A Visit to Stellenbosch

Cape Winelands

Last Sunday we made the acquaintance of an African Grey parrot, a couple of Chinese students and a moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Malawi.

We were spending the weekend exploring the winelands an hour’s drive from Cape Town. We enjoyed Cape Dutch architecture, verdant vineyards, craggy mountains and a museum about the French Huguenot refugees who settled there in the 17th century.

Part of our tour took in the beautiful university town of Stellenbosch, where we spent the night with the Goosen family, owners of the aforementioned parrot. Jurie and Maggie Goosen are, as far as we know, the only South Africans engaged full time as missionaries to international students. We first met Jurie at a conference and he has spent some time with us in Oxford. He had invited Richard to speak at their international fellowship on Sunday morning – which is where we met the two Chinese students and the Malawian clergyman. Korea, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, the Netherlands, Nigeria and Taiwan were also represented amongst the students there.

Apparently there are nearly 3000 international students at Stellenbosch University, representing 97 nations, including Libya and Iran. Jurie tells us the numbers of international students in the University of Cape Town are even higher. It was great to enjoy the Goosens hospitality and share fellowship with them. Our visit brought home to us the value of our proposed future role – to encourage and stimulate the growth of international student ministry in other parts of the world. Could South Africa develop its own home grown ministry?

Do pray for a training course Richard and Jurie have begun to plan to take place on the back of a Lausanne Consultation in Cape Town next year. Richard hopes also to talk this through with a couple of student ministry leaders here before we leave.

We also have an opportunity to talk about our ministry to the GWC student body later this morning during ‘Principal’s Hour’. Pray God can use it to sow seeds in the minds of future South African church leaders.



  1. so enjoying your weekly update..nothing quite so colourful happening here but wanted you to know we are following your stay in S.A with lots of interest!

  2. Dear Richard and Catherine,
    lovely to read your news and to see the pictures!
    Good to hear that you are having a good time.
    with love and God bless

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