February 17, 2017

Picture

Pictured above is Ana’s DTS (Discipleship Training School). Students from various parts of the world gathered in Worcester to seek God during this five month program.  After three months of intensive classes and local outreach, the students scattered to various outreach locations further afield.  Ana went to Swaziland for two months where she worked with children, visited the sick in hospital, visited people in their homes, and even preached her first sermon! Through these experiences, Ana has grown in her love and understanding of God.  She has seen God work through her and around her, and thinks this is the most exciting thing in life.  We agree!  She wants to continue serving God all the days of her life! Amen!  What else could parents want?  We are very proud.  We are blessed. 

Because of this newfound passion, Ana has deferred her college admission to next year. (Last-minute decisions seem to run in the family, which causes me great stress!)  She decided last Friday that she would not start class this Monday, thereby just making the deadline in change of status. 

Ana has a few options this coming year, such as staffing a DTS and taking a Bible class through YWAM.  Please pray for clarity.

Pictures of Ana’s graduation from DTS last week, Swazi kids, and her DTS class.

Picture of Isaac and Margaret

Isaac and Margaret returned to school in the heat of the summer last month. Isaac started his second semester of 11th grade, while Margaret started second semester of 7th grade. 

Isaac is flying to Israel this weekend to represent his school in the Model UN conference. He is very excited about this opportunity, and will be able to tour Israel briefly after the conference with his delegation. 

On the flip side, Isaac feels a bit lonely at the school. He does not have a Christian friend and the social scene is a bit crazy. Please pray for a Christian friend, and that He would be a light to those around Him.  He is very diligent about reading his Bible every day, so knows God is using him and sharpening him through this experience.

Academic pressure is high for Isaac this semester.  He is looking at U.S. colleges on-line, which has its limitations.  Please pray for clarity for us all! 

Margaret loves her new school!  You may recall that she was awarded an unexpected scholarship recently.  She is much happier now, and is quickly adjusting to a different academic system. God has provided her with a friend who also attends our church.  I am relieved that she is finally happy, as we had exhausted most of the options. Praise the Lord for His faithfulness and provision.

Margaret has braces now!

Picture of Phoebe

Phoebe is also enjoying a new school. She attends a home-based nursery school in our neighborhood in the mornings.  There are 7 other kids, but Phoebe is the only special needs child. Her teacher and aid are working over time to make this a positive experience for her, which is more than I could have ever asked for.  What a blessing!

Picture

Alberto has started working at the juvenile prison.  He met and befriended an older Coloured man who has been volunteering in the prisons for years.  This partnership is a gift from God, as the older man has a good cultural and linguistic understanding of the inmates. They study the Bible with the boys and discuss ways of managing anger.

Prisons are a scary place in South Africa, due to overcrowding and gangs. Through ministry moments, prisoners are encouraged to take responsibility for their actions and to ask forgiveness for their crimes.  Yet I also believe that society needs to confess the sin of not providing better opportunities for these young men.  Growing up with no opportunities is a breeding ground for crime.  Chances of prisoners staying clean once they are released is slim. That is why it is so imperative that Jesus be involved in this process.  Only He can change hearts and lives.  Only He gives hope.

Picture

Rony and Alé visited us from the U.S. over Christmas!  We had a wonderful time with them.  We took them surfing, camping, and on a mini safari!

The drought continues.  Reservoir levels are down to 35% of their capacity. Severe water restrictions are in place, which means we recycle most of our water. Public taps have been turned off, and people are starting to wonder what will happen if we run out of water? God has blessed Africa with many things, but water is not one of them (at least not in this part). Please pray for rain!

Financial Gratitude

Thank you to all of your who made a special contribution to our ministry here in South Africa (and Swaziland). We were greatly encouraged by our December account, and have entered the new year in a much better situation. Thank you, again, for your generosity and partnership with us.

If you would still like to contribute, please make a donation to Park Street Church with our name in the memo. The online giving link is parkstreet.org/give.  

May 1, 2015

Thank you for all your prayers and emails concerning the robberies on the YWAM base. With 75% unemployment among young black South African men, thievery is far too common.  On a national scale, there has also been increased crime against foreigners pouring into South Africans from neighboring countries in search of employment.  Many lost their lives in the most recent xenophobic attacks.  Some say not much has changed since apartheid ended 21 years ago.  Race relations are tense, and inequality rampant.

We as Christians need to be an example to the rest of South Africa.  Here on the YWAM base, we represent 33 nations.  Just last night we had a worship time when people from each continent were asked to spontaneously worship God in their language and dance.  It was a beautiful sight to see the differing cultures worshipping the one true God!  I don’t know who were louder: the Africans or South Americans!

Alberto has finished his counseling course!  He is happy to be done with the classroom requirements.  These next two months will be spent in practical outreach.  His assignment this past week was to work with 10-14 year old Coloured boys in their neighborhood.  The boys live a bleak existence, and are actively recruited by the gangs.  Alberto has a heart for these kids, to see them stand strong for Jesus in an environment that will test them.  At this time, he is the only one working with the boys, as the rest of his (female) team is working with young girls.

Alberto and I just completed a marriage course, which strengthened our own marriage and gave us the tools to help others with theirs!

Ana celebrated her 18th birthday!  She graduates from high school in October.  She recently participated in her school’s beauty pageant.

Prayer

  • Join us in praying for the crisis in Nepal, and tense racial relations here in South Africa.
  • Please continue to pray for our housing.  The most recent house we applied for (there have been many) seems to be a real possibility!

Contacts

Dec 13, 2013

EVENT REMINDER

Join us on Sunday at 9:45 in the Granary Room at Park Street Church for our second informational session!  We will be sharing our vision for missions in South Africa. You’ll get to watch a video about YWAM, see some photos of South Africa, hear God’s testimony of His faithfulness in our lives, hear what plans we have, and find out how you can partner with us through prayer and finances. Refreshments will be served!  We’ll be done in an hour. Hope to see you there!

For those of you who can’t make it, we would be happy to share the same presentation at your small group or Bible study.  Contact us!

FAMILY PRAYER REQUESTS

  • Sensitivity to God’s Spirit as we seek Him
  • Wisdom in the details as we make plans for our departure
  • More monthly financial pledges to maintain our work in South Africa
  • Opportunities to share with small (and large) groups
  • Mental clarity as Ana and Isaac write exams next week

 

FORMER PRESIDENT NELSON MANDELA DIED LAST WEEK

Nelson Mandela was actively involved in the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa.  He was imprisoned for 27 years, and was later released to became the country’s first black president.  He received the Noble Peace Prize for his work at dismantling apartheid and facilitating the country’s first democratic elections.  He transitioned the country from a small white rule to majority rule.  Because of his leadership and God’s grace, the country did not turn to violence through a civil war.  He is remembered for his advocacy for peace and equality. He died December 5th, at age 95.

Pray for the country as they mourn their hero.  Many are looking for a new hero, and feel disillusioned with the slow change.  This is when the Gospel can shine.  Only Jesus offers lasting hope and forgiveness.   Matthew 11:28 says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”  It is the weary and burdened that break our hearts.  And what an amazing God we serve!  He delights in transforming lives!