Interview with Christopher Appel

Christopher! Tell us a bit about you and your family:
My wife Lorette and I have been married nearly 11 years now.  We met at church during a course on the gifts of the Spirit.  I received a greater gift than I had expected!  Lorette was born and grew up in a small town in rural South Africa and did a short stint in the UK after school.  It was whilst she was studying her diploma in Photography in Pretoria that we bumped into each other.  I am the New Zealand born son of diplomatic parents and thus had the privilege of an international upbringing with multiple nations and schools behind me.  After school I spent 11 years as a pilot in the South African Air Force.  A motor vehicle accident that Lorette and I were involved in in 2007 eventually ended my flying, but opened the door in 2011 to serving the church in a full-time capacity.  Our son Joshua (7) and daughter Megan (4) are an incredible joy to us as parents.  They are both Cape Town born, so whenever we see their happy, chilled-out and layed-back attitude to life, we can’t help but chuckle that Cape Town certainly rubbed off on them.  We have been living in the great city of Johannesburg for the last  41/2 years where I have been on staff with GodFirst Fourways as well as leading the work onto the University of Johannesburg at Godfirst UJ.
Describe each family member in 5 words or less.

Christopher – Futuristic head with people heart
Lorette – Heart of the family
Joshua – Big hearted action star
Megan – Princess with loving zest

How did you become a Christian?

I know we all love and cherish our stories of Gods saving work, but I particularly love mine 🙂  My parent’s weren’t Christians, but appreciated the value of a Christian upbringing.  When I left home at 18, I ran for the hills away from anything vaguely ‘religious’ and kept that up as long as possible.  In February 2003 at age 23, I went to bed an unbeliever, and woke a believer…  Wnderfully between closing my eyes and opening them again, God had revealed Himself to me and I became fearfully aware of my own sin before a Holy God.  After 2 weeks of much tears, repentance and uncertainty of what had happened to me, I made my way to a church, and spent the next few months discovering about the miracle of being born again and the new life that the Holy Spirit had brought about in me.

Briefly tell us what made you want to come to be a part of what God is doing in Redeemer?

We absolutely love the off-the-charts faith and love for God that we see and experience at Redeemer.  There is a Europen map in the Redeemer office with pins in it.  Those pins represent influential cities that you have a desire to plant churches in and influence with the love and grace in the gospel of Jesus Christ.  That resonates tremendously with us and we can’t think of anything greater to give ourselves to, than to partner with the lovely Redeemerites in serving the Hague, The Netherlands and Europe with the love of Jesus.  Our fervent desire, with you, is that many many people of all ages, languages and cultures, would come to know the redeeming love and grace of God in Christ and turn in repentance, faith and joy to Jesus as Lord and savior.  We are thrilled to be able to partner with you in this great endeavour.

How can we pray for you in this time of transition?
  • ‘Prayer is the fore runner of mercy’ says Spurgeon.  We need lots of mercy!
  • Please continue to pray for my mom to settle into her own house well and happily and that the next season would be marked by huge influence as a ‘mother’ and ‘grandmother’ to many.
  • Please pray for Lorette’s VISA processes to speedily be approved.
  • Please pray for our kids to embrace the mission and adventure of this move for and with God.
  • Please pray for our hearts to remain grounded and rooted in Jesus above all things.