Saturday, December 31, 2011

About our Sanyati Trip

Read about our trip to the Baptist Hospital at Sanyati, Zimbabwe.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Mmabatho Moments ---- Jody Edition

I’m really excited to tell you all about what has been happening the last six weeks or so. I’ve started going out to a new village called Lokaleng. God provided a new ministry partner for me as well. Her name is Motlasing, and she is a university student here in town.

After all the things that have happened this year to keep me from driving (wallet stolen and neck surgery), I finally was able to go out to this new village that has been on my mind for quite some time. The first week, I had been praying that God would lead us to just the right people, and that He would provide a person of peace for us in this place, a person who would allow us to meet in her home. Within an hour of walking around that village for the first time, we talked to several people, and some accepted Christ. The last woman we shared with is named Boitumelo. She said she was Catholic and that she prayed “The Lord is my Shepherd” every night. Then she asked, “Is that the prayer you’re talking about?” I told her that while that was good to pray, the prayer we were talking about was one to ask Jesus to come into your life to be your Savior. She prayed to receive Christ right then. We were going to leave and she said, “Why can’t you come here every week to have church? We can sing and…” Well, God had provided our person of peace! When I gave testimony of what God had done that Sunday, a thought came to me. We shouldn’t be surprised when God answers our prayers, but we should be amazed, because He is an amazing God!

Since that first week, we have gone back on Thursday mornings, and we are amazed every time. I think I have about 15 names on a list I’ve been keeping so that I can learn their names. This last week, after we were finished sharing the Bible story, there was a young girl who had been coming from the first, but we had never shared salvation with her. She said she wanted to pray, but was still unsure. Boitumelo started talking to her instead of us! This is so exciting for me. We had such a hard time in the other village getting the women to share with one another. It took a long time. For the ladies in this new place to talk to one another and tell each other the Bible stories and help them understand how to accept Jesus just makes me want to shout! Can you tell I’m excited?!

There is another thing I want to share with you also. Lorato, my ministry partner before, has started going out in the new town she lives in, and has started her own group there. This is such a blessing to me. I didn’t know she was even doing this until she visited recently and told me about it. The ministry there is also going so well. I believe there are some people from this group who have started attending the church where Lorato’s husband is pastor.

OK. One more thing. Dennis has been going out to a village named Rooigrond for quite some time to work with a young pastor out there. The same week I started at Lokaleng, I also started meeting with the pastor’s wife from this church. She has been trying to have a ladies’ group at the church for awhile, but was having some problems getting things going. Last Saturday, she met with them, and told them her story of what God had done in her life. The doors were opened, and the ladies began to share about problems they were having. They came to the conclusion that they had left the narrow way, and needed to go back to the place where they first came to Jesus. The meeting usually lasts one hour. This meeting lasted two and a half hours! The pastor’s wife said they went out of the church singing all the way. What a blessing to hear that God is at work in so many ways, and we get to watch!

Our boys have started their new school year a few weeks ago. Andy is 16, and in the 11th grade. Josiah will be 14 soon, and is in the 8th grade. Caleb is 11, and in the 5th grade. Homeschooling them has had its challenges, but they all seem to be settling in with their new schedules. Bethany is still in Grade 1 at the International School in our town. She loves it. She just celebrated her 7th birthday with 13 of her friends. Melody is almost 5! I can’t believe I’m writing that number. She is still our little song from the Lord, and if you’re on Facebook, you know that she keeps us laughing a lot!

FROM DENNIS – Let me add just a couple of things. We were able to baptize 17 from the village of Rooigrond where I have been working with Pastor Michael. I have been teaching on doctrine and one of those topics was baptism. Many realized that they had never been scripturally baptized. Of the 17, 2 were older ladies 60+, one in her 40’s and the rest were teens to young adults. God is good. Thanks for remembering us and thanks for your prayers – we have felt them.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

July Happenings

Caleb's 11th birthday
It is cold in South Africa. It is winter!!! I know many of you in the States would like to have some of our weather. I am sure that when you think of South Africa you don’t think of the cold winters. It is hard to believe that 2011 in over half way over. Numerous events and activities have happened in the first 6 months. January started out with Jody returning to the States with her mom for Jody’s grandma’s funeral. After returning home, I soon realized that my main ministry partner was busy with other things and all the plans we had were not materializing. Jody lost her ministry partner in September of last year and God was telling her to “Be still.” So, she was busy doing that.

Andy's 16th

Through the first couple of months, my main focus has been with Pastor Michael in a village, Rooigrond, 15 kilometers out of town. I have been out there most Wednesday evenings dealing with church doctrines and practices. I have been teaching and preaching on the last Sunday of every month on various subjects. Michael is a young pastor that got married late last year. He worked with a missionary that had to leave because of health issues. He was basically left with the church and building. It has been rewarding and refreshing to work with him and see him grow. The people of the church are very hungry for the Word. I have better crowds on Wednesday nights with people sitting in a cold, tin building than I did on Wednesday nights in the States.

A couple of weeks ago we were able to bless the church by providing clothing gathered from the church we attend when I am not preaching. For some, this was their Christmas – in June. The temperature was right, but not the month.

A week before our annual missionary meeting in April, Jody woke up with a stiff neck. Thinking that she just slept wrong, we thought it would work itself out and be gone in a day or two. Well, 3 months later she is still recovering. She ended up having disk replacement surgery (C-5/6 and C6/7). It was comforting to have the doctor that actually developed the disc’s and surgery perform the procedure.

The kids are doing really well. Andy is a couple of weeks from finishing the 10th grade, Josiah the 7th grade and Caleb has started 5th grade work early. Bethany is enjoying her schooling at the International School of South Africa. She is learning to play netball and is taking a cooking class on Wednesday afternoon. Netball is like basketball, but it isn’t. For a better understanding of how the game is played, “Google it.” Melody keeps us laughing with her antics and comments. If you are my friend on Facebook then you regularly “see” what she is doing. Jody says she looks like her and acts like me. I am not quite sure what she means by that!!! :)
It has been a year since the passing of Jody’s dad. It has taken a greater toll on us than we thought it would. We knew it would be difficult, but really didn’t how. My greatest difficulty is knowing that our kids will grow up without him. I miss our conversations about ministry activities, questions and answers, and the latest sports happenings. Jody was able to fly back to the States to be with her family during this time. She and her mom will be returning together with her mom staying 3 weeks – in the middle of winter. She will be cold!

Thanks for your continued thoughts and prayers. We are not able to continue what we do without your prayers. Pray for Jody as she returns to driving and seeing what God wants her to do. Pray for Dennis as he works out in Rooigrond and looks to start some new outreach groups in Extension 39. Thank the Lord for His continued protection, provision, and watch care over us.