Wednesday, June 11, 2008
It is hard to believe that it has been so long since our last correspondence. The Lord continues to show his faithfulness to us each and every day – just through the things that we might call little. We hear stories from other missionaries about their tribulations; from children breaking their leg, not setting right, surgery to re-break the leg to others getting robbed and car-jacked. In our 4+ years here in Africa, we have yet to have any of those kind of experiences. We know that this is a direct result of God’s mercy, protection, and many of you praying daily for us. For your prayers, we cannot thank you enough. I am beginning to understand the love that the Apostle Paul had for the church at Philippi when he wrote, “every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God.”
These weeks seem to be traveling by faster and faster. I have had the opportunity to preach in the churches that I have worked in previously and renew the friendships that we left nearly a year ago. I find myself amazed at how God is able to draw believers together upon initial gatherings or in the reacquainting of relationships. In my weekly Bible study with some young men, I have grown to love these guys and their desire to grow and know the Lord. After one of the Bible studies, one of the guys named Elvis (yes, Elvis), said that “we need to do this 3-times a week.” When was last time you have heard that kind of yearning for the study of God’s word.
The work in Extension 39 is not going as well as I would like for it to. I am beginning to feel and see that this is very dark place where the work will become harder and harder. Ex. 39 has a nickname borne out of its prevalent immorality. This immorality has victimized the young man who I really wanted to work with in this area, as he was a resident and could have been a strong link into this community. We will press on and work in conjunction with Jody’s and Lorato’s work.
I am also teaching Evangelism at Mmabatho Baptist Church. This is a fun night as attendance has grown each night. In our last meeting, I was greatly encouraged as a lady shared about a witnessing encounter she had. I was sharing with them on how to use their testimony and that it needed to be up to date. People want to know the difference that Jesus in making in your life right now. That is exactly what she shared. It was neat to see them practice on each other sharing their testimony.
FROM JODY: Hello all. Hope everything is going well for each one of you. The work here is still going on. We have begun to visit Ext.39, and have seen a few accept Christ as Savior. It is a battle, though. There is so much darkness there. Please continue to pray for these people. I would also like for you to pray for something very specific. Would you please pray that a church planting movement would happen in Ext. 39? In a couple of weeks we will be having some extensive training on church planting movements. In one of the books we are reading, I have seen the utter necessity of bathing everything in prayer.
We’ve also been continuing to go to Moshawane village. About four weeks ago, I experienced one of the hardest situations since we’ve been here. An eight-week old baby girl died at the government hospital because of an error by the nurses. She was the grand-daughter of Maboka, the lady in whose house we meet. It was heart-breaking. I’ve never seen such grief here. Please pray for the mother of the baby. Her name is Peni (Penny). Also pray that Peni will grow stronger in her faith, and desire to make better choices in her life.
Personally, I have had to have some tests done on a lump I found. Praise the Lord! There is no malignancy. Email me if you want to know anymore that that!
Thank you all for continuing to pray. We appreciate it so much.
The kids are all doing well. Pray for us as we continue to home school Andy. Some days are a struggle. He turned 13 on May 11th. Wow! I have a teenager! Any advice? Josiah is asking to be homeschooled next year. We are still considering what would be the best for him. He continues to do well in school, and has lots of friends wherever he goes. Caleb is the artistic one out of the bunch. He really does have a great gift for drawing. We’re hoping to get him some art lessons if we can.
Bethany is such a joy. We have to play “girl games” all the time. Meaning games that little girls can play. She loves her sister, and her brothers (most of the time). Melody is a mess! She’s cute and knows it! Her latest word is “blue.” If you ask her, everything is the color blue. She also has been going through the “taking all her clothes off” phase. It wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t winter here! She’s so funny, and we laugh at her all the time.
Thank you for praying for our kids. We all struggle sometimes with being homesick for the ones we love and for home.