Romans 12:3-5 (NASB) 3 For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a […]
My first thought in retrospect concerning 2014 is: “Where did it go?” I know that it is common to feel like something has moved quickly when it is finished, but for Trina and I this year really did seem like a blur!
The first three months were spent in the USA renewing our visas and raising funds for our new car. The next quarter was spent organizing the vehicle purchase, reorganizing our local outreach and traveling to see pastors and Churches largely in our home Provence of KwaZulu-Natal. Then we traveled outside of Africa and much within South Africa during the “conference” season that largely makes up the third quarter of our calendar year. Finally we touched base with some of our key relationships by spending a good bit of interpersonal time with leaders we have worked with for a long time. Within all of this there were many times of preaching in Indian Churches, our own home congregation, and our personal outreach to African refugees!
At the end of 2014 I was as tired as I’ve ever been in ministry and the rest over the Christmas holidays was very welcomed. Trina and I are happy to be rested and are already working on many fronts to start 2015.
We are especially excited about the new doors opening in our outreach to the Indian Community in Durban. We are now actively working in the oldest established Indian borough, Chatsworth. Long ago I was impressed that Indian Christians would be the most effective witnesses to the Zulu population in our area. Please pray for the Lord to continue to grant opportunities to encourage these precious people as they continue to shine the light of Christ in our area.
Matthew 28:18-20 (NASB) speaks to us of one of the most fundamental purposes in Christianity, 18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the […]
Trina and I have just returned from Harare, Zimbabwe where we co-host a Southern Africa leadership conference. This is the eleventh year we have participated in these meetings and it was definitely one of the best experiences we have had. We draw influential leaders from […]
My goodness how the time has flown as we pass the half way point of 2014! We have two major happenings since our last post!
Trina has a significant update on the July Holiday Bible Club (or vacation Bible School as it is called in the USA):
North Coast Holiday Bible Club 2014
Every year a group of volunteers get together to prepare, plan and participate in the North Coast Holiday Bible Club for kids aged 4 through grade 5 with a different theme each year during the winter school holiday. 2013 was the first year that the kid’s holiday club was run as a community event whereby church members, from not one but many north coast churches, worked together to put on this high energy, fun filled holiday program.
Over the years local business and individuals have shown their dedication and care for our north coast children by assisting with donations of food, signage, flyers, prizes and so much more to help keep the price of this nonprofit program at a minimum year to year.
The annual program theme and supporting materials come from churches in the USA. This year’s program “Bug Zone” was made successful by over 60 volunteers including youth pastors from local churches and members of many other ministries. Teens, parents, grandparents and teachers from local schools volunteered their time during the holidays to help as group leaders and inspire the youngsters.
Three hundred kids arrived each day in anticipation of loads of fun! Each age group participates in game time, song and puppet time, story time, crafts, snacks, and this year, as an added bonus, there was a science lab with the nutty professor where they transformed everyday items into astonishing creations like ‘elephant toothpaste’ and ‘solid, yet liquid’ wacky goo which had the kids laughing out loud. Lucky draw prizes were handed out at the end of each day and no child left without some kind of small gift.
Bubba, the blue faced funny guy, was there again this year and a surprise party was held for him during the closing program on Friday evening where parents got a glimpse into what their kids had been up to during the week.
Over the course of a week 380 different children heard the gospel of Christ. We gave away over 100 bibles to children who accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior. We already have reports of these children sharing with their family and friends what they learned at Holiday Bible Club and in the process being instruments of change in the lives of those they love.
Mark 10:14 -15
“Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.  “Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.”
Our prayer is that this event will be more and more community transforming and that the blessings from it will continue to grow.
New Car Here, Old one given to Zulu pastor!
We continue to be overwhelmed and thankful for the supernatural way the Lord moved on the Body of Christ to purchase our new car (click here for that story)! We have one final, amazing report to conclude this testimony. We had been offered a decent amount of money by more than one individual for our previous vehicle. However, we knew that the Lord had something far more special in store for the car that had served us so well. Because of the generosity shown in our recent fundraising effort, we were able to refurbish our old vehicle to the point where it could be practically used by one of our closest Zulu leaders in the rural area that they serve.
John and Irene Mkhulisi have never before owned a vehicle. By God’s Grace that has changed and we have finished transferring it into their name. There are areas, very near their house, that require a car to access and we believe this will greatly facilitate their work and lives.
How glorious it is to serve the Lord in Africa! We can not wait to see what God will do next!
The Western Cape Provence of South Africa was our first destination in this country thirteen years ago. Many of our oldest and most cherished relationships are here and we always look forward to the time we are able to spend in the area. Trina and I went together and one of her observations was very telling of our entire experience, “I am amazed at the maturity I see in the people.”
Mqokeleli Mntanga has been a friend, facilitator and pastor to the Mbekweni Township for more than 15 years. Often in the face of significant opposition, He has tirelessly preached Christ and been a spearhead for a number of private community development projects in this area. They called us from a tired place and asked for a weekend of meetings that focused on encouragement and vision. From our perspective, they were in a much better place than they thought. Many of those who have been part of this work for years have progressed to the point where the Lord is beginning to use them. We focused on 1 Peter 4:10 NASB which says,
10 As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
The Brothers and Sisters in Christ in Mbekweni have been growing and are poised to share the Life of Jesus with many. We can’t wait to see the fruit of the Lord making Himself known through these precious people.
From there we visited a number of other fellowships that ranged from small and new to larger and more established. We traveled over a 100 kilometer area to churches in the cities of Wellington, Kraaifontein, Melkbosstrand and Durbanville. We spent individual time with the leadership and preached to those who attend the larger gatherings. In addition to the public ministry, we do our best to pay attention to the specific spiritual environment around the individual works. Because many of the relationships with these churches are new, we are praying for the wisdom to address what we believe the Lord is showing us in each situation.
Even after two full weeks of work we weren’t able to be with everyone. Please continue to pray for the Western Cape and that on our next trip we will carefully follow His will as we continue to serve this part of South Africa.