i think most people picture heaven (where God “lives”) as far away. Maybe up in the sky somewhere (beyond space?). Perhaps just “anywhere but here.”

Dallas Willard, in the Divine Conspiracy, makes a compelling case for heaven/the heavens being not far, but CLOSE! I won’t go into all of his reasons here (read the book), but this matters a lot. If God is close, God is accessible. God can actually DO something. I think you can also make a case that if God is close, it demonstrates that God cares about us. And, it makes a lot of difference when you read the Biblical text…

For example, when we pray, “Our Father in Heaven,” are we addressing someone far away, someone we are hoping hears us across the distance, who will maybe intervene. Our Father, way out there somewhere…


might it more accurately mean, “Our Father who is always near us”? I’d rather pray to that God! When I cry out, or even when I need to have an intimate talk, I need a God who is nearby. That’s the God Jesus talks about.

Thanks to all the people during our visit in South Africa who brought God much closer:

  • Prof Jan du Toit – University of Stellenbosch helping us with our AIDS project;
  • Mr Ebrahim Rasool, Premier of the Western Cape, Prof jan du Toit, director of the Africa Centre, Prof Nulda Beyers, director of the Desmond Tutu TB Centre, Mr Michel Sidibe, UNAIDS director of country and regional support, and Prof Russel Botman, rector of Stellenbosch University, enjoying the World AIDS Day function.

  • Prof Jimmy Terry – Hollywood performer helping us with the translation and music of a special Aids DVD for Mozambique;
  • Dr. Tielman Marais with all the networking in making our boat project worthwhile;
  • FAITH IN ACTION helping us to bring GOD closer to Mozambiqueans;
  • Stellenbosch Congregation for grasping the closeness of heaven;
  • Goodwood Congregation for their heart and mission mindedness.