Sunday, July 05, 2009

Happy July 4th

We had, including ourselves, 49 people at the house to celebrate Independence Day. The menu was Mexican food. Jody and I prepared beef chimichangas, chicken quesadillas, flour tortillas for soft tacos, mexican rice, pinto beans, pico de gallo and gaucamole. Everyone else brought the rest of the fixin's to complete meal. It was wonderul! It is always a great time when our other missionary friends are able to get together. It was not a typical 4th as many of you in the States were enjoying your 100 degree weather cooking out on the grill. It was cloudy, breezy, and about 55 degrees!
God has blessed us with an incredible missionary family that surrounds us. When we arrived on the field, I did not fully understand the term "missionary family". But during times like these, missing the American holidays that we do, it makes it a lot easier to endure and get through.

Friday, July 03, 2009

July Happenings

A wonderful warm greetings to everyone even though it is freezing over here. I know that some of you would probably want some of our weather. Well, I can guarantee you that I would love some of that Texas weather right now. It is cold here and it is not going to get warm for another month.

We want to share with you some stories demonstrating God’s might hand working around us.

From Jody: The Lord has been so gracious in the ministry He has given to me. It feels like each time I get a little discouraged about being here, He lets me have a glimpse of what He’s up to. About two weeks ago, I was out in Ext.39. When we arrived, the only one there was the lady in whose house we meet. I told her it was OK, that I would just share with her. We were talking about the portion in the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus tells us to give in secret. Do not let your right hand know what your left hand is doing. She listened with great interest as I told her the story of Ananias and Sapphira. After I finished, she asked if she could ask a question. She has been going to a church where the pastor would call people up to the front to give a certain amount of money. All she had was a two-rand coin. (Worth about 25 cents) The pastor told them not to fill up his baskets with one, two, or five rands. He wanted people to give big amounts. She felt so ashamed that she only had two rands to give. Imagine my inexpressible joy as God brought to my mind the story of the widow and her two mites. Mma Salamane is a widow as well. It brings tears to my eyes just writing about this. She was so appreciative about me helping her understand this. She tells me that every time we come out there, they learn something. Only God can do this. He gives me strength. By the way, the pastor told them to give the “small” money to the beggars. I told her to do just that. “When you have done it unto the least of these, you have done it unto Me.”

From Dennis: God continues to show his faithfulness and answering prayers. I had been seeking to do some other things and occupy a little bit more of my time. I had been praying for God to show me where He was working. Several month ago, I had set up several preaching times with Ben Poo, pastor of United Baptist Church. There are several branches around Mmabatho and over the last several weeks I had been making my rounds. This last Sunday I went to a branch that I had never been to before. It was about an hour’s drive away. We arrived at 10:15 and started 10 minutes later with 3 people in the building. After some singing, praying, singing, testimonies, singing, offering, singing, special music, singing, I got into the pulpit at 12:45. Ben introduced me and shared briefly about my ministry in Mmabatho. I preached from 2 Timothy 2.2 and the 5 generations in that verse. I shared with them the importance telling others – someone told them and if each one reach one, well, then this village would be turned upside down. After church was over, several of the ladies approached Ben and asked when we were coming back to lead in teaching them how to witness and reach their village. What an incredible day that God set up weeks before hand to answer my prayers.

Someone emailed me and asked what Ext 39 is. Let me briefly explain. Extension 39 in a government subsidized subdivision. Back in 1994, with the fall of Apartheid and the new democratic government, the new gov’t promised the people that they would build 10 million homes for people that didn’t have proper housing. This is a result of that promise. In this area are about 2500, 450 sq ft houses with running water and electricity – they just got electricity a month ago after living there for 3 years. So in this area is about 10,000 people – a perfect place for a church. God put this area on mine and Jody’s hearts as we were leaving for the States and returning in 2007/08.

One more from Jody: Out in Moshawane, God continues to work there also. Several weeks I have had 13-14 women and about that many children. That next week, I was asking them to tell the story we had gone over the week before. The woman of the house, Maboka, usually tells the story back to me. She’s good at it, too! This time, however, she decided she wasn’t going to talk so that another one of the group could tell the story. Kelebogile and Maboka had been talking about the story the day before, so Maboka said that Kelebogile needed to tell it. Now, you may be asking what the big deal is. Well, for them to be willing to tell the story themselves is a major breakthrough. Usually, I have to ask them questions and coax the story out of them. Anyway, Kelebogile told the story and we were able to add on to that what we were studying that day. The other thing is that they were discussing the story WITHOUT Lorato and me being there! It just made my heart glad to hear it! Some of those who can read bring their Bibles and notebooks and take notes. God is just so awesome! To Him be the Glory!

The Lord is good – all the time – all the time – the Lord is good. Thanks for your continued prayers and support. Believe me, we feel your prayers and would not want to be here without them.