A Restorative Justice (RJ) campaign took place last week at Pollsmoor Prison, which Alberto participated in. Although it is open to all prisoners, only a select few decide to take the challenge and complete the six-day course. Now that it is over, the follow-up starts. Families and victims are contacted so restitution can be made. It’s a long road for all involved, but Jesus is the foundation. The number of men who commit their lives to the Lord each time is just amazing. Of course, the challenge is to walk out that faith. The following verse encourages us all to do that.
Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; in no way alarmed by your opponents– which is a sign of destruction for them, but of salvation for you, and that too, from God. (Phil 1:27-28.) Amen! May we all conduct ourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel.
August 9-23 PS’s short-term mission team will be here to do prison ministry. We are very excited for their arrival!
Isaac is in Zambia, or possibly Zimbabwe. If he hadn’t given away his phone, I’m sure he would communicate with me more regularly, right? I got an Instagram account to follow some of his teammates, but even they have not been posting recently. I think they are actually far from the reaches of the internet, thoroughly immersed in their two-month outreach as part of their Discipleship Training School (DTS). (I am grateful for the one picture I have received!)
Isaac and his team started in Asia, as you may remember, and had an incredible time exploring God’s creation and delving into His truth. It’s been life-changing, to say the least, and Isaac’s love and commitment to the Lord has grown exponentially. He returns to Cape Town mid-August, just in time to catch his flight to Messiah College in PA, U.S.A. I miss that boy!
Ana and Margaret are pictured above on the 4th of July at Camp Deer Run, where Ana is a counselor and Margaret was a camper. This camp holds a special place in their lives, and we are grateful for the Christian community that makes it the girls’ home away from home. Margaret just finished camp actually, and is now with my parents in South Weymouth. She returns to cold South Africa next week, when school starts again! I can’t wait to have her back.
Ana returns to Cape Town next month to staff the ETW DTS. Ok, those acronyms stand for Experiencing The Word Discipleship Training School, through YWAM (Youth With A Mission). Got it? She is still in the process of raising money for this ministry, which you can read about in her letter here: Ana’s newsletter. Please contact her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in supporting her.
Margaret graduated from middle school just prior to her departure to the U.S.. She starts 9th grade on Aug 1.
For the second year in a row, friends from the Church of the Holy Nativity sent money to the preschool that our friends started in Worcester.
While the older kids were away during the winter break, Alberto, Phoebe and I went on a camping/road trip with friends to Namibia, the arid country to the north. We appreciated the barrenness of the desert, lions in the game park, unusually-shaped rock formations, and refreshing hot springs. My favorite part of the trip, however, was sitting around the fire talking to our Christian friends!
Etosha National Park, although almost completely dry, does have a few remaining water holes that attract animals from far and near.
Fish River Canyon, the largest canyon in Africa.
Phoebe was a great traveler and companion. It was not always easy to get veggies and meat to make her diabetic-friendly meals. I am in awe of God’s provision and care for her, as we didn’t have a single moment of worrisome blood sugar levels.
Our camping companions, friends from our days in Worcester.
Alberto celebrated his birthday in South African style, with a braai.
Phoebe celebrated her 11th birthday on May 30.
Today an autism consultant observed Phoebe in her preschool setting, and will give practical suggestions to Plaky (and us) as to how best work with Phoebe. I am thrilled that the school is so committed to helping her learn and grow. They really do love her!
Praise God for openness to the Gospel in the prisons.
Praise God our kids have the opportunities that they have!
Praise God for our safe camping trip.
Alberto: the power of the Gospel to manifest in the lives of the prisoners, and that their changed lives will be evident to their families and victims, so that healing can begin
Joanna: wisdom as she coordinates details of kids’ comings and goings
Ana: fundraising for YWAM
Isaac: his team to touch many with the Gospel of Jesus Christ
Margaret: grace as she returns to South Africa and starts school again
Phoebe: helpful guidance from the autism consultant
Thank you to all of you who have made it possible for us to be here.
If you would like to support our work in South Africa through YWAM and Hope Prison Ministry, please make a donation to Park Street Church with our name in the memo. The online giving link is parkstreet.org/give.