13 December 2008
At his valedictory service, he was awarded the “Leon Schauder Memorial Prize.” This is quite a prestigious award given for “character, scholastic ability, tolerance, leadership of a non-aggressive type – a boy likely to serve the community without thought of personal gain.”
Drew is almost “21!” He is halfway through his sophomore year at North Carolina State University and continues to make us proud. He will be arriving for Christmas on Tuesday after 3 days of travel. He will be tired and we will be worried until he lands, so please pray for his safe and uneventful flights! Then, only 2 short weeks later, he will be returning. Please, pray for those trips also.
The question that you may be asking is “What about Matthew?” Matthew has applied to several universities, has been accepted to one and is awaiting responses from the others. Pray with us as he chooses the university he will attend. Pray that the Lord will guide him in making this very important decision. We will keep you updated on this.
The three of us will be returning to the States in May of 2009. Don and I will remain until the end of December before returning. Please be in prayer for us, as we face this huge change. Not only is it an “empty nest,” but it’s an empty nest on the other side of the world!
3 Bible Studies started in Barcelona Township, 2 are still going strong and 1 is struggling. 1 is a Ladies Bible Study and 1 is a Youth Bible Study being led by a missionary on our team, Cathy Burleson. The one that meets with couples and families is struggling. As we have known before, men are the hardest to commit and to attend. We are not sure if the location or the time we hold it is a problem. Please continue to pray that the Lord will direct us on how He would like for the Bible Study to move forward.
Speaking of Barcelona Township, how about a fish story:
Do you remember when Jesus told Peter and the others to cast the net out and it was so full they could not pull it in? Pictures come to mind of fish jumping in the nets wanting to be caught (Luke 5). Praise the Lord for just such an experience recently. In Barcelona, many people have accepted the Lord as their Savior. Recently, Pam and Jerry (Don’s assistant) were looking for Phillip’s house (a new believer) to tell him of the Bible study that would be starting. As we walked down the rocky, dirt street a lady came and asked why we wanted to find Phillip. We explained that a Bible study was starting and we wanted to invite him. The lady, Chanelle, immediately said with fervency, "I need Jesus, tell me how I can have him." Chanelle turned out to be the half-sister of Phillip, who had shared with her. As she told us about "what a bad person she was," she kept insisting that she was serious and that we must tell her what to do. However, we wanted to be sure she understood. She continued to insist and it soon became very apparent that she did. She willingly prayed and accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior in the middle of the street. Yes, the fish jumped in the net! Praise the Lord! Continue to pray for good fishing as He directs!
Finally, as this is the Christmas season, please remember the people in Port Elizabeth who are less fortunate. Remember them not only because of their misfortune and living conditions, but also because of their spiritual starvation. Please pray that this year will be the time when many will seek and find the light that has come into the world. Pray that they will hear the Gospel message and accept Jesus as their Lord, Savior and Counselor!
29 August 2008
08 August 2008
On July 3rd, Drew left and began summer school. His last day of class is today and his exam is on Monday. Yes, that was a quick class! He has also been busy working on the NCSU rugby schedule for the fall semester as well as recruiting new players during freshmen orientations.
On the 16th, Don & I celebrated our 25th Wedding Anniversary. It is really hard for us to believe that we have been married that long, but we praise the Lord for his love, protection and guidance in our marriage. We were able to spend a few hours in Jeffreys Bay that day watching the Billabong Pro Surfing Competition. It was really exciting and we were able to see the World Champion (and eventual winner), Kelly Slater from the USA, in action. He was impressive to watch.
Other exciting news, Matthew finished 3rd in the country in the Bio-Science Olympiad. This is a nationwide competition between Grade 11 and 12 students. There were around 120 high schools competing and several thousand students. The test was long and Matthew said is was “quite challenging.” We are very proud of him. Finally, last night was Matthew’s “matric dinner.” This is the formal event of the year for Grey High School. Since it is an all-boys’ school, they don’t have a prom but have a formal dinner. The guys rent tuxes and have a great evening. I think it is finally sinking in for him, and for us, that he is almost finished with his “school-boys career.” We will not dwell on that aspect right now.
Thank you for keeping us all in your prayers!
Wes, Jerry Reid and myself (Don) traveled to the Garden Route cities of Knynsa, George, and Mossel Bay. Tourists from around the world travel here to see the breath-taking, scenic beauty of the land and ocean, whales, elephants, birds, and much, much more. The picture at the top of our blogsite is from Dolphins Point at the Kaaimans River Mountain Pass. We did not go there as tourists. We came to pray, explore and survey how best to reach this area with the help of a very few small, scattered Baptist churches in an area of exponential growth. Please pray that we will follow the Lord’s leading as to where we should place new mission personnel and with what people group(s). Who knows, maybe the Lord will show you that you are the one we have been praying and longing for to come join us.
18 July 2008
On 6 July, Big Al the elephant in the person of Wes Tate arrived in South Africa. Wes is a 21 year-old Public Relations/Graphics Design student from the University of Alabama who has come as a one-month volunteer to help in the Southwest Area Cluster office. He has been a huge help in just two weeks. He is helping us set up 8 websites for our unreached and unengaged people groups. We are changing the Forgotten Peoples website to bring it up to date to get more people praying and possibly encouraging mission trips by some of you to visit these people who desperately need the Lord. He is also assisting us in the Barcelona where 7 people prayed to receive the Lord as their savior on Thursday. We are setting up a new Bible study and working with two converts to go out with us to share the Gospel. The Lord made it possible and he deserves ALL the credit and glory and praise.
It hasn’t been all hard work!! Wes has held and played with lion cubs, spent 15 minutes petting and stroking a 5 year old Cheetah named Duma, seen adult lions, rhinos, giraffes, warthogs, and many other types of animals. He also saw a few hours of the Billabong Pro Surfing Competition in Jeffery’s Bay and the breath-taking Indian Ocean several times.
Wes has been a joy and a wonderful help. Sadly he leaves on 3 August. Pray for him and his return to the States and pray as to whether the Lord may be calling you to help short term or long term. Thanks for praying for us.
29 June 2008
12 June 2008
This Thursday morning was our weekly outreach in Barcelona township in Port Elizabeth. Today, Don, myself, Betty Goeda-one of our national friends who regularly goes with us, and Cathy Burleson-another missionary in PE who joined us for the first time, participated in the outreach. Barcelona is one of the poorest and most crime-ridden townships here. We shared the Gospel with many adults and some children were also present. At the last house we visited, we met Maggie and Charles Olifant (olifant is the Afrikaans spelling for "elephant"). They are in their 50's and have heard of Jesus, but are not attending a church and have no relationship with our Savior. After a time of sharing, they both prayed to receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Not only
that, they were so excited that they insisted that we start a Bible study in their home for their friends and neighbors. Wow! We have been searching for such a place and the Lord has provided. Maggie says that she will "gather the people." Continue to pray as we work out the time. Pray for Maggie and Charles as they begin this journey. Maggie shared that their household (we are not exactly sure how many live there yet), has been a household with not only unbelievers but full of alcohol, drugs, fighting and many other things. She asked that we pray for those in her home. Pray for Maggie and Charles!
10 June 2008
Drew and Matthew at a rugby game!
This past week, while Matthew was slaving away in his exams (he has 14 in all!), Drew went under the knife to have all 4 of his wisdom teeth surgically removed. He came through the surgery and recovery well (and mom & dad were glad that he was here so they could take care of him). Matthew still has 5 more exams to go!