February 1, 2016

Greetings from hot and dry South Africa, where the temperature is 104° today and going up to 106° tomorrow!  Yikes!  Despite being in the middle of summer, schools started on schedule two weeks ago. January is the first month of the school year here, so things are rather busy right now!  Isaac is still homeschooling grade 10, while Margaret just started homeschooling grade 6.  For the first time since she can remember, Ana is not studying!  

Margaret recently participated in Teen Movement, a two-week Christian camp at YWAM. Participants came from Brazil, Korea and South Africa!  They studied God’s Word for the first week while learning new dramas and songs. The second week they performed in the poor communities of Worcester and at the local hospice.  Their message is that there is hope in Jesus!

Thank you to all of you for your overwhelming support last month!  Your prayers and finances are sacrificial, we know.  May God pour His blessings upon you all!  Alberto can now start to look for a ministry vehicle.  The timing is great, since he has two more invitations to work with young men.  One is a post-prison program, while the second is a discipleship program for men ages 18-21.  Both are exciting opportunities!  Meanwhile, he is still working in the half-way house and with his younger boys.  It continues to be our desire to see young people empowered by the Holy Spirit when they come to a saving grace through the love and atonement of Jesus.

God bless you all in this new year!  Margaret is starting to memorize Psalm 91, which is a beautiful chapter on God’s love and faithfulness.  It is my prayer that we will all rest in the shadow of the Almighty this year.

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”
(Ps 91: 1-2, 14-16)

PHOTOS

We took our first family vacation since arriving in this country: three nights at the beach and two nights

Camping!  In the background are our damp sleeping bags, as it poured with rain our first night.  We actually camped in an area of South Africa where there is plenty of rainfall, unlike our area!

A Park Street Church reunion in South Africa!  Ashley Spencer-Smith lives in Cape Town now, while Devon and April McGettrick are visiting South Africa.

Our Barnabas group collaborated with Phoebe’s former Sunday School class at Park Street Church.  They sent us Christmas presents!

Our adopted family member Philip Christiansen, from Park Street Church, came to volunteer with YWAM for a couple of weeks!

Wild fires are far too close for comfort! Most of South Africa is experiencing a drought. Rainfall is scarce and wildfires are common.

Prayer Requests

  • Rain for South Africa.
  • Safety in all we do. 
  • Blessings on the new school year for Margaret and all South African kids.
  • Continued wisdom and guidance for Ana and Isaac as they plan their next steps educationally.
  • Absorbent brains for Alberto and Joanna as they learn Afrikaans.
  • The arrival of Alberto’s South African id book, whose release has been tied up.
  • Accreditation process of YWAM with South African officials.  This is an expensive and bureaucratic procedure.
  • Refugees pouring into Europe: a team from our base is leaving today to help YWAM Germany in their outreach to the refugees.