28 September 2009
Well, well. Yes, it is football time in America. A time we haven't been able to enjoy for many years. However, this weekend was family weekend at NCSU and we were able to spend time with Drew and his friends. Drew was able to get tickets for us to the NCSU vs. Pitt game. So, after enjoying some really great food (of course, BBQ) at the tailgate, we headed for the game. Even though there was a light mist most of the game, we stayed and cheered until the last minute. Who could have left, it wasn't decided until the last 30 seconds. But the Wolfpack pulled it out and beat Pitt 38 to 31. It was great and our voices will come back soon! (We eagerly look forward to our next football game, NCSU vs. Duke, then its UNC vs. Florida St.) But then, the grandaddy of them all, November 28, UNC vs NCSU!
at 4:51 AM
One week later, we were privileged to take part in the 1st GIC (Global Impact Conference) at Colonial Heights Baptist Church in Virginia. We shared with the Sonrisers Class and the Journey in Faith Class about what the Lord is doing in Southern Africa. It was wonderful to be in their homes as well as their classes and share with them. They are all very loving and generous. We were hosted by George and Beverly Stephens in their home. We kept them up way too late each evening but really enjoyed our time with them.
We were able to tour Historic Jamestown, Colonial Williamsburg and the Blandford Church. Again, as is becoming quite noticeable, we ate way too much delicious food! We were also thrilled to hear of their outreach to Colonial Heights, Petersburg and the surrounding areas. We pray that the Lord continues to bless this church!
at 4:14 AM
We had a wonderful opportunity to take part in the 13th annual GIC (Global Impact Conference) at First North Church. We were able to share what God is doing in Southern Africa and also met many wonderful folk! We stayed with Pam Benedict and Melanie Watt. They and the Barnabas Bible Fellowship Class were wonderful and generous and we were so encouraged to see the difference they are making in Spartanburg. While in Spartanburg, we had a wonderful time hiking and enjoyed visiting the Hope Remains ranch (ministry for troubled youth). We ate way too much and laughed more than you can imagine! May the Lord continue to bless and prosper them.
at 3:56 AM
We are sure that many of you debate from year to year whether to go to homecomings and reunions since they happen every year. However, if you haven't had one in 9 or 10 years, it is a wonderful and exciting event. We were privileged to go to CaVel Baptist Church's 75th Homecoming! You probably remember this is where Don served as Associate Pastor of music and worked with the youth and where he was ordained.
We also thoroughly enjoyed the Cameronian Presbyterian Church's Homecoming, where Don grew up. He was also honored to be asked to bring the morning message. We finished up the month at the Gilbert Family Reunion in Kinston. (see photos) It was wonderful to see everyone and catch up on old and new news!
at 3:26 AM
For the first time in a long while, the four of us went on a vacation! Only Drew had ever been to Charleston, but all of us fell in love with it's old Southern charm and beauty. We visited Fort Sumter, Patriot's Point and Folley's Beach. We also got to see the USA Eagles rugby team defeat Canada! All of us enjoyed dining at Bubba Gump's Shrimp Co. and Sticky Fingers. We even visited the Moon Pie General Store!
at 3:08 AM
As many of you know, the IMB underwent a reorganization to sharpen the focus on unreached peoples everywhere. Although some of the reorganization focused on cost savings, the goal was to effectively use the resources that God has given through the local Baptist churches to finish The Task! Under the new changes, Don will be in charge of strategy for all of the Town, Village and Rural teams in South Africa, Namibia and Swaziland. This is huge and challenging area. Pam is also the prayer advocate for this vast area. Please pray for us to follow the Lord's leading in enabling others and ourselves to reach the lost. When we return to South Africa, we will be moving to Cape Town. Pray that the Lord will give us the right ministry area to evangelize and disciple.
at 2:57 AM
26 September 2009
The team from Kirbywood Baptist Church has visited South Africa multiple times. We wanted to visit them! We had a wonderful time reconnecting with these wonderful folks on their home turf. We enjoyed times of fellowship, food and worship at their church; plus we got the grand tour of the city. We ate with the team at Rendezvous BBQ just off of Beale Street after watching the world famous ducks at the Peabody Hotel.
We visited Graceland (a first for both of us), the Civil Rights Museum (where Dr. King was assasinated) and Sun Recording Studio (where Elvis, Johnny Cash and others recorded and still record). We also had an opportunity to thank the church and the team for their wonderful support of missions around the world.
at 3:40 PM
25 September 2009
On 7 May, we arrived in North Carolina for our Stateside Assignment. It has been so nice to see family and friends and to make new friends. First Baptist Church of Cary has graciously allowed us to live in their mission house. We have enjoyed the church, the Sunday School and Don has even been able to sing in the choir (every once in a while). We have been able to spend time with both boys and even help them to start back to school. Our address in Cary is: 208 S. Harrison Ave, Cary, NC, 27511 and our cell phone number is 919-389-2339. Please feel free to call or visit us, and even visit the church!
at 11:55 PM
Although we live in South Africa, we rarely get to do many things due to time and money. However, since Matthew would be leaving South Africa soon, we decided to do some exploring and be adventurous. We visited the Knysna Elephant Park where we were able to ride, pet and feed the elephants! They are awesome.
We also climbed the George Peak, elevation approximately 4500 feet above the starting point. It was a grueling climb and return, taking over 12 hours and a distance of 17kms (or over 10 miles). It has only taken 6 months for Pam's big toenails (which came off during the trip back down the mountain) to grow back! :-)
at 10:28 PM
Our dear friends from Kirbywood Baptist Church returned to share the Gospel with children, youth, women and adults. Yes, they were as busy as it sounds! They came as ambassadors and represented the King and His message. They led many children and adults in Vacation Bible School and worked in conjunction with a feeding project in Barcelona township. They also had time with the women in the township, teaching them first aid, cooking, planting vegetables and sowing the Word. The kids at the children's home remembered the team from last year and excitedly welcomed them back. These kids are often neglected, but the team ministered to them in songs and crafts, while sharing God's love through His word. Because of this team's ministry and the township, Pam and Matthew were able to share God's plan of salvation with the local tavern owner who accepted the Lord as His Savior. Please pray for him, as he has many hard choices to make to be true to his new faith in Jesus.
at 10:03 PM
After much deliberation, Matthew chose the university he wanted to attend. He was accepted at the 5 universities to which he applied and accepted the invitation from UNC at Chapel Hill. He is adjusting well to life on campus and covets your prayers.
at 9:53 PM