Tuesday, July 22, 2008

July Update

Time has simply flown by since the last time that we sent out one of these updates. Also, I have been negligent in my motivation to send these out. I have hardly touched the blog either. I will be more consistent in our updates. Your prayers are vitally important to the “success” that we have over here. I know that it is not our success, or that God is dependent on us to make Him successful. But, we want you to know what’s going on so that you will be able to pray specifically and intelligently.

3 Weeks in Roodepoort

From the middle of June to the 3rd of July, we were in Roodepoort, just outside of Johannesburg, for three weeks of training. We learned some new methods and processes for effective evangelism and discipleship. I believe these have effectively equipped us to do the work that God has sent us here to do. We were blessed with some wonderful Bible study, teaching and fellowship. I feel as confident in knowing what to do and how to do it as I have since arriving on the field. There were more children there than adults. The children had a wonderful time, as this was 3 weeks of fun for them. Anytime you can replace 3 weeks of school for 3 weeks of no-school – it is a wonderful time. They enjoyed being around many new MK “cousins”.

We were incredibly blessed as everyone stayed healthy and neither Jody nor I had any “sick days” with the kids. The temps were in the 60’s and lows were in the 30/40’s. It was cold, but God blessed and we stayed warm and healthy. The food was definitely not taken from our recipe book, but we survived – many times PB&Js did the trick. One Saturday morning, Jody and I made about 11 dozen donuts for everyone. The cook at that camp said that ours were the best donuts she’d ever eaten! We had a good time making them for everyone. We were asked about what would happen the next Saturday.

On one of the weekends, we were privileged to go to the Lion Park. We were able to drive around and see lions and cheetahs. The boys got their pictures taken with some lion cubs. We also fed some giraffe and ostriches. Have you ever seen how long a giraffe’s tongue is? It’s about as long as its neck!!!

Josiah and Caleb were able to return to school without having too much work to catch up on. The boys are out of school for the whole month of August. There is a possibility of doing some camping up in Botswana with another family. We’ll just have to see how that pans out. Jody and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary a week ago, but we decided to do something in August, so it would be warmer for whatever activity we planned.

The Zim Guys

Going to Roodepoort for three weeks meant that I had to leave the Bible study I was doing with the guys from Zimbabwe. When I returned, I found out that they had been picked up by immigration and deported. As Pastor Ben told me this, my heart just sank. Anthony, who I’d led to Christ, and Elvis were bright spots in my week because they had such a hunger for spiritual things. But, I realized that again, God knows what He is doing, and He may have sent 2 missionaries back to Zimbabwe.

From Jody

Hey everyone! Dennis has told you what has been going on during the last few weeks. The training in Roodeport was really great. We were able to see some things from a different perspective, and what it meant to change some of our methods in ministry. We talked about doing good things versus doing the best thing. We studied the book of Acts, and what the early church looks like. We learned a method of training called T4T or Training for Trainers. It is based on the premise of training nationals to train other national with the Word, and basically working yourself out of a job!

With all this overflowing from me, I immediately put into practice some of the things we discussed. For the last two weeks in the village of Moshawane, I have told the Bible story to the women and children like before. This time, however, I have asked those who want to go deeper into the story to stay. I had eight women stay the first week, and six stayed this past Friday. It’s really made me excited to see what God is showing them in His Word.

Miracle in Moshawane

I must tell you what has also happened in this village. Before I left to go to Roodepoort, I was called to go to the home of one of the ladies in my Bible Study. Her son, Onkarabile (Own-kah-rah-bee-lay), was very ill. When we got there, we saw a nine year old little boy who had suddenly lost the ability to walk or even hold up his head. No one knew what was wrong. Of course, the first thing you suspect here is AIDS. The mom had taken him to the clinic, but had not received the results. We prayed over him, and left. While I was in Roodepoort, a missionary friend, Eulee, and Lorato went to see what the test results were. They said he had TB, but I was very perplexed about this. The clinic had given him medicine to start for the TB, and sent him home. My missionary friend is a nurse, and she said she didn’t think he would live very long. I was heart-broken. I thought he would be dead before I got home. Eulee and Lorato decided to go see him again the next week. Meanwhile, at training, we had been learning a storying method called “Creation to the Cross.” Part of this story is about the power Jesus showed to us while he was on earth. Trust me, He still has the power! Wednesday night of that week, I was awake in the middle of the night, and God brought Onkarabile to my mind. I began to pray, and I really felt like I was doing battle on behalf of this little boy. I claimed the power of Jesus over every sickness and every disease. I don’t know how long I prayed. I eventually went back to sleep. I didn’t know it, but Eulee and Lorato went to visit Onkarabile the next day. Eulee text messaged me, and I called her. Onkarabile was holding his head up and smiling! Eulee said, You WILL see him again!” I was shouting Hallelujahs! When I got home from Roodepoort, Lorato and I went out to see how Onkarabile was doing. We pulled into the yard, and Lorato said, “Mma-Moruti (that’s me), we are witnessing a miracle!” I said, “Where is he?” We got out of the car and Onkarabile WALKED out of the house! I was shoutin’! My God has the power over everything on this earth. I want Him to receive all the glory! Continue with me praying for Onkarabile’s complete and total healing and recovery. God wants to do something through this boy’s life. I can’t wait to see what it is!

Prayer requests

Mosime(Moe-see-may)- A five-year old little boy also from Moshawane who has had some kind of seizure. We still don’t know what is wrong with him. Please pray! He is near and dear to my heart! Remember, our God has POWER!

Ext.39- Another place where Jody is working. We’ve seen some accept Christ, but still have not been able to get a group started there.

Pray for Dennis has he reorganizes his priorities and groups to fall in line with the Roodepoort teaching and directions.

Pray for Dennis and Jody as the make a new commitment to language learning.

By the way - gas price here is $5.37 a gallon.