On a typical sunny day in Cape Town, while relaxing at home, we were stunned to hear of the passing of our lifelong pastor, Pastor Leonard Weston.

A genuine ironic paradox, it came as a shock, but was by no means something unexpected. Pastor Len had been having heart problems for the past few years and was recently given only 6 months to live as his organs were beginning to shut down one-by-one. As his life drew to a close, those close to him were hoping and praying for a Hezekiah blessing (Isaiah 38:5). It was not to be.

Despite not being his flesh and blood, many around him, me included, felt a strong type of kinship with our beloved pastor and this kinship is the motivation behind this post. To briefly sum up the achievements that I have admired and continue to marvel at about this man, is the fact that throughout his time as a pastor, he would always be seen/heard or caught literally taking care and stewarding his flock. The ever-present pastor, he would ensure that his phone was never off, that he made weekly visits to his church members and that he fostered a deep and loving relationship with each of his beloved church congregants. A birthday phone call and wedding anniversary message was always a regular.

The first lesson therefore, relates to Relationship. This is the word that would sum up my appreciation and what I have learned from his life. People were more than ‘seat fillers’ in a church building. Ps Len invested his time, effort, money, love and care, never expecting unrealistic things back.

Lesson two relates to risk. Ps Len risked so much in his life. From moving to a small town with his family to take over an embattled church in the middle of nowhere, to extending the church buildings and properties in faith, to being instrumental in opening the first multicultural primary school in a racially charged town where segregation was its core identity. 

Lesson three can be summarized by laughter. Laughter is something synonymous with Ps Len. His laugh, an infectious full bodied, soul-deep, shameless and blatant laugh could always be heard in church and when Ps Len was in the surroundings. Always game for a good laugh and being a good sport, he lived by the notion that life without laugher is no life at all.

The last lesson is really about his purpose and reason for being relational, for taking risks and for having an infectious joy that made his laughter contagious. The reason was his love for and worship towards Jesus Christ. He was an unashamed follower of the one who had saved his soul many, many years ago. This love had been his fuel. The object of this love had been his guide. The outworking of this love had given birth to countless ministries and had influenced many others to follow in his footsteps, just like how he had followed in Christ’s. 

You might be reading and wondering why I would decide to write a blog post about a pastor. Apart from him being MY pastor, I thought it so appropriate because the above lessons all tie into the key word ‘pastor’ meaning ‘to Shepard’ and ‘to look after a group’. I write this post knowing that I too am a pastor. I Shepard the children in my classroom to grow, develop and learn. May I do so with the same convictions, passion and determination as Ps Len. 

Written In honor of Ps. Len and devotion to Jesus Christ. 

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