Alan Preller

Posts by Alan Preller

Church Planters 2015: The Final Week

Alan Preller
April 21, 2015

Lectures all day, role plays, laughter, tears, friendships, massive amounts of input, heart adjustments, assignments, community meetings, Sunday meetings, report backs, worship, worship leaders report back meetings, different beds each week, new relationships, friendly banter, serious grappling with scripture, different food, really good coffee, old friends, youth meetings, elders meeting, prayer, stomach upsets, information overload, hunger for more… All of this and much more, for a whole month! This is, admittedly, a very brief attempt to describe a bit of what the Four12 church planters’ course has been like. Theresa and I have had the privilege of attending this course during April, together with Steve and Else Fouche and Lesedi Kristle Williams from Oxygen Life.

Yes, we have sorely missed everyone back home – not least of all our precious daughters. But we have had the huge benefit of sitting under the training and teaching of the likes of Andrew Selley, Mike Davies, Grant Banwell, Ivan van Vuuren, Julie de Lisle, Melanie du Toit and Nadene Badenhorst (a powerful prophetic combination!), Mike D’Offray, Ryan Kingsley, Lance McIntosh (a legend in youth ministry who is in his 50s), Russell Fraser, Adam Hellyer, Dawie Brand, and more to come in the last week of the course. This last week will also feature the one and only Will Marais. What gifted men and women these are! The Four12 field is a fruitful one, for sure! Thank the Lord that we are part of this field as a church right now!

I need to also mention that are people from all over the place on this course – Zimbabwe, Rustenburg, Benoni, Swellendam, Brazil, India, Wellington, Mossel Bay, Isle of Man, Australia, all over Cape Town, Pretoria and, of course, from the beautiful city of Port Elizabeth. Connecting with different people over lunch and coffee has been amazing, as well as at social times together, including an epic game of touch rugby on the grass at Eden on the Bay! We also caught up with our ”own” well-loved Cliff and Keigwyn Hiscock and their girls, who are now in Josh Gen. Today we bumped into David and Annelise and Reynardt and Lisa, ex-Oxygen Lifers who are now part of the Josh Gen Durbanville congregation.

To say we have been hugely impacted is an understatement, I guess. Time alone will tell just how much this course has meant to Theresa and myself. For now, we say, “Roll on!” to this final week, and then, wait for it… HOME!!! We can’t wait to be with our Oxygen family! We miss you all so much and can’t wait to see your beautiful faces!

Love you guys loads.

Al and Theresa


What Happened to 2014?

Alan Preller
December 17, 2014

I’m sitting at a desk in our new offices writing this blog and thinking about the December-January holidays coming up… December-January! You must be joking! It feels like the year has just begun! What happened to 2014?

Well, actually, quite a bit has happened this year. Not the least of everything would be us getting our own building. I still have to kick myself to make sure it’s not just a dream! I mean, a year ago we still had no clue as to when or where we would be moving; now we’re on the brink of starting construction on our auditorium, and we’re busy finishing the offices for the business hub upstairs. Unreal! We have witnessed so many miracles up to now, from buying the building with the help of a bank loan that never seemed possible, to the manual labour of volunteers who helped prepare the downstairs area for construction, to the sacrificial giving towards the building fund and more. What a testimony to the bigness of our God! What a testimony to the faithfulness of our God! And there is more to come!

Of course, the physical building is merely to facilitate the ongoing work of God advancing His kingdom in and through our lives, and this has been absolutely wonderful to see and to participate in during this year. Praise the Lord for those who gave their lives to Christ this year, for those who once again gave of themselves to disciple others into maturity in the Lord, and for those who opened their homes and hearts to others so that the word “community” could mean more than a Wednesday night meeting together. We thank the Lord for leaders who have heard the call of God to help lead others into more of Jesus, and who gave themselves to the task faithfully and wholeheartedly. We also say thank you to those who got involved in helping raise awareness and funds for the Isithembiso Babies Home, and to the church for total buy-in at the Isithembiso Home Run! Really, we praise the Lord for every single person in Oxygen Life and pray that all of us together would never lose the wonder of His love and grace, but that we would overflow with thanksgiving and praise to our great and glorious King.

I could go on and on about what God has done this year… I mean, I haven’t even begun to write about the Summerstrand Congregation and all the amazing guys and gals there! But to make sure I am not still typing away by the time Christmas comes (!), let me finish up with two things: 

Firstly, a huge thank you to all who were involved in honouring the elders and their wives recently. We were blown away by the generosity and kindness shown to us! And then to wish everyone a wonderful time over this Christmas and New Year season. We trust that those going on leave will have a restful break, and that those who will be at work over this time will find the grace and strength to carry out your duties with excellence as unto the Lord. And may all of us have happy and memorable times with family and friends. Let’s come back ready for great things next year, because next year is going to be wildly insane – just wait and see!



Our Summerstrand Congregation

Alan Preller
October 17, 2014

It's hard to believe that we have been meeting for two years already, but it’s true! Yes, it was just over two years ago that a group of us set out to establish a congregation, meeting on campus at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (what a mouthful!) It’s a good thing we didn’t call ourselves the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University Oxygen Life Church Congregation! Instead, we came to be known as the ‘Campus Congregation’. At the same time, we affectionately coined the phrase, ‘The Mothership’ for the main Walmer congregation. All in the name of good fun!

Although we started out meeting on campus, the move to our current venue at Cape Recife school, just off the campus, has been strategic. Not only did it provide a more permanent meeting place, but the Lord has also used it to challenge us to trust Him to reach families and children as well as students. In fact, we changed our name to the Summerstrand Congregation as a result of this. So, although we will always have a big influx of students and a vision to reach the campus, we are also a family church with arms open wide to “whosoever will”.

What is it like being part of the Summerstrand Congregation? Well, firstly, it is great being a “part of the whole”. We are a congregation from within the wider family of Oxygen Life Church, and that is something to really celebrate and be grateful for. We have the support, prayers, love and total backing of the wider church, and it makes a huge difference, as opposed to going it alone.

Then, it is exciting, fun, intense, constantly changing, and challenging all at the same time! We have lots of laughs together and, yes, there are tears as well. Most of the tears come because we are constantly called upon to say goodbye to guys – a reality we have had to come to terms with. People finish their courses and return to their home towns and nations, or get jobs elsewhere, and it is hard to say farewells every year. At the same time, it is exciting, as we are sending these guys out to shine brightly for Jesus wherever they go, and hopefully our input and influence in their lives helps carry them in their new spheres of life. So we are getting used to embracing new people every year, with the joy of seeing their lives turned around as they are loved and discipled into maturity in Jesus. Then, we are also learning to say goodbye as guys leave, but we are not willing to forget them. We are exploring ways of staying in touch with people from other nations who have been part of us while here in Port Elizabeth. In fact, one of our leaders, Joy, will be going over to Germany in her December break to visit Anneke, who came to Christ through us while she was doing a service year in PE.  Wonderful stuff!

Please allow me to salute the wonderful people of Summerstrand Congregation who love Jesus so passionately, worship Him with all they have, give of themselves for others and help carry the beautiful gospel to a lost and dying world. It has been an absolute privilege and joy for Theresa and myself to be leading this group of Jesus-followers, together with Ant, a fellow elder, and other amazing leaders. Once again, this year we have seen salvations, baptisms, deliverances and spiritual growth. New leaders have risen up and the community lifestyle of Acts 2 has been reflected, especially in the guys’ and ladies’ digs. Well done to all! May we continue to grow from glory to glory together, and from strength to strength and, as always, give God  all the glory, all the honour and all the praise!

All the best to those facing exams right now. We lift you up in prayer and pray God’s favour over your lives.