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UCT – Student Testimonies

Akhona Mxatule


Student

Email Akhona Mxatule

Where are you from? I’m originally from Eastern Cape, in a small town just after Queens Town called Lady Frere. But my whole family is staying here in Cape Town, Khayelitsha in Makhaza. What course you are doing? I’m currently doing 3rd year of a general degree in the Bachelor of Social Work What res you are in? I’m in Obz square Last year during the June vacation, God’s grace found me and I became born again where I accepted Jesus Christ to be my Lord and saviour. So when I came back from the vacation, I was desperate to find a place to fellowship and that will enable me to grow as a new child of God. In high school I attended SCO services at school and so one day I was passing by Mowbray main road and I saw the Student Christian Organisation (SCO) offices and I went in there, I asked them about all kinds of Christian student organisation in UCT, but they recommended to me two societies which were Student Y and Student Christian Fellowship and they gave me directions to the Student Y. the following day I went to the offices, the first thing that struck me was how welcoming everybody was in the office and so the receptionist told me more about the student Y and what they are about as a society, I remember I even sat for few minutes chatting to two men who came in and they both asked me “How I got saved?” this was kind of a tricky question for me because my answer was instantly that “I accepted Jesus Christ to be my Lord and saviour” or “I chose the Lord”. And the second answer was always the one that came out first which is that “I chose the Lord because I realised that I needed him in my life………. Fortunately enough, Gods timing was perfect because on the day I went to the for the first time to the Student Y offices, it was the second day of orientation where they taught students who just got born again about who God is, about what is sin and what Jesus Christ has done for us and how we got redeemed. After the orientation my answer to the question of how I got born again changed because it has made me realise that I did not choose the Lord but he chose me first and that his grace has found me . Ever since then, I have been an active member of the Student Y family and been attending bible studies (Res and Wow), Hub and other gatherings that took place in the Student Y. One of the major areas of growth that God has helped me with through the student Y is the reading and understanding God’s word in depth and in context. One of many highlights at the student Y would be ESC camp; It was a mind blowing experience in ESC whereby we were doing the book of Jude and being equipped in so many ways such as to reading the bible in context before applying it to the present or quoting one verse out of the whole chapter. The reason this was particularly mind blowing was because my reading of the bible was reading it for the sake of reading it, even though I knew it was God’s words but honestly I didn’t approach it as though it was. So amongst other things we were taught at ESC, to me it was an eye opener to the importance and relevance of God’s word which left me with totally different approach to the bible. Also the Student Y bible studies has helped me and gave me an opportunity to engage with each book in the bible in great detail, and that is something I wouldn’t have been able to do on my own and I bless the Lord for that.

Martha Widger


US Exchange Student 2013

Email Martha Widger

Hey guys! My name is Martha – I hail from the good ol’ US of A and I studied abroad at UCT during the first semester of 2013. Although I was looking to get involved in a Christian fellowship while in Cape Town, I did not expect to find such a welcoming and Christ-centered community as the Student Y. Within my first few weeks at The Message church, multiple people invited me to either Hub (the Friday night shindig) or the WOW women’s breakfast. I was feelin’ the love before I even attended any events! I decided to take everyone up on their invitations and go to the Women of the Word Tuesday morning study. I confess that I mostly went because of the free breakfast (who can resist muesli and yogurt). However, the honest discussions caused me to look forward to this early morning gathering every single week! (Seriously! And I’m not even a morning person!) We considered challenging topics – from homosexuality to predestination to fasting - through the steadfast truth of God’s word. It was such a blessing to have this time with other awesome women who were also looking to center their lives on Christ. The Friday evening event – Hub – was also such an encouraging gathering. I know I was often pretty tired by Friday night, but I never regretted heading up to the Y to sing some great songs, learn about the gospel, and eventually chow some dinner. Not to mention chatting with some all-star mates whom I came to know throughout the semester. Guys I came to South Africa with zero friends and a very hazy idea of what I was getting myself into. It was difficult to go to events where I didn’t know any people or what was really going to happen, even for this semi-outgoing American sorority girl! Yet all of my worries disappeared once I realized that Christ was at the core of the Student Y and its members’ hearts. The Y challenged me to set my own anxieties aside and truly put the Lord at the center of my time at varsity. Because of the strong Y community, I was more and more delighted to pursue the Lord and consider His word. What’s more, I had a riot doing so with my new Y pals! I want to encourage anyone who is struggling to make God a priority in their life to simply try one of the Student Y gatherings. It’ll be great. God bless! - Martha

Martin Conibear


Graduate 2010

Email Martin Conibear

The Student Y really was a home away from home for me! I was told to "go find it and check it out" by family friends who had also been through the Y, and my introduction was a wild drive through the streets of Cape Town in the back of Fritz's car for the O-Week Amazing Race! I stuck with it from then on and I'm truly grateful to God for the teaching, friends and support he provided for me through the Y. Sitting here writing this, I just keep going over so many memories of good times, sitting drinking tea on the purple couch, Ironman mornings, committee meetings (yes, sometimes they were good), baby-sitting Lance's kids and of course my year living in the bottom of Two Bare Feet! The Y provided a great spiritual home, there was such a strong focus on teaching a well-grounded faith, making sure you knew why you believed what you did, being able to read the Bible for yourself and defend your faith. Stuff that you take with you throughout your Christian walk. So go and be a part of the Y - remember it's a society of real people with their own unique personalities so it might take some time to slot in, but you won't regret it!

Rachel Shaw


Student

Email Rachel Shaw

Hi everyone! Last year was my first year at UCT, although it was my second year in Cape Town. I'm originally from Zimbabwe so it was quite a change coming from a fairly sheltered place to university. I did a year at a cooking school before signing up at UCT, and having worked in a kitchen, university seemed a little less stressful! Like most of you, before my year in rez, I had to do my own meals, cleaning and washing - as well as trying to study. At first I felt really overwhelmed with all the changes, but I soon discovered that being a part of God's family means that wherever you go in the world you have family! People at both the Student Y and the church I'm at (the Message) were so friendly and loving that I felt at home fairly quickly. The women's Bible Study on a Tuesday morning before lectures has touched me many times. Although it's early (6.30 am!) it's always worth it! The topics discussed are helpful, and it's a really special time to share with other girls who are going through similar things. This last year we did a week on forgiveness which was something I really needed to hear - and put into practice later on. Please feel free to come and try WOW out - you'll be so welcome! We want to help you walk the path you've been called to!