21 November 2010

Thank You, Thank You and Thank You

Ten years ago, Pam and I and our boys were called to South Africa. It is because of the Lord’s prompting of your heart to give to the Cooperative Program and the Lottie Moon Christmas offering that we are able to be here. I cannot thank you enough for your sacrifice of giving and your sacrifice of taking the time to pray for us. In God’s eyes and also in our eyes, you are as much a part of the spread of the Gospel here in Southern Africa as we strive to be. We will all rejoice in what God is doing. Many Africans that you will meet in heaven one day will praise the Father for your faithfulness in allowing them to hear the Gospel that saved their soul. I have attached a portion of a document that we forwarded to many of the SBC churches to use as a bulletin insert or flyer. Once again, thank you, thank you, and thank you.

Whoa November; slow down.

This month has been very busy and it is not over yet. In addition to doing performance evaluations, making budget cut recommendations for 2011 and the many things that Pam and I have been doing, we did manage to squeeze in some fun. We saw the USA defeat South Africa 1-0 in a thrilling soccer game. We also were invited to a murder mystery based in the roaring 1920’s entitled “”Murder at the Juice Joint”. I dressed up at Notorious Nick Nementz, Northside Chicago mob boss, and my fiancĂ©e, Molly Moll was by my side. We also attended Sister Georgina Lewis’ 75th birthday party. She is a dear saint and a witnessing Christian who has led many to the Lord. She attends Eastridge Baptist Church in Mitchell’s Plain, where we worship, under the leadership of Pastor Bennie Dryer. In case enquiring minds would like to know: the cigar was never lit, the cigarette holder never had a cigarette & the bottle on the table at the 75th Birthday Party contained 100% bubbly grape juice :-)
Pam and I do wish everyone a blessed Thanksgiving. Eat a little turkey, stuffing and our other favorites with family that we will likewise miss and we will all thank the Lord for what He has done.

New Member of the Family; teeth and all- October 2010

On 14 October we brought a new 10 week old Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy to our home. The Ridgeback is a dog that originated from a mixture and successive breeding of a Khoi-khoi semi-domesticated wild dog used to hunt lions and European breeds. As you may notice in the photos, there is a ridge of hair that is prominent down the back. The rose in the picture was destroyed a few seconds after the photo was taken. Also, she is an accomplished digger and rock, stick and root chewer. Chelsea is a beautiful sweetie, but is also a busy puppy.

New Missionaries- October to December 2010

Pam and I are so thrilled to have two new families to join our TVR (Town, Village and Rural) Teams to spread the Gospel and plant and develop churches. Chuck and Amy Barbour and their three kids (Caleb, Joy and Mark) will be moving to George to work among the Xhosa People. Todd and Deborah Hoskins just arrived in Swaziland for two years to teach and disciple the new and fledgling churches around Manzini and further south. Your faithful giving and powerful prayers are the catalyst that the Lord is using to spread His Kingdom and you have an integral part in that expansion. May the Lord continue to bless you as you serve Him. Thank you so much.

Birds of Kruger- October 2010

I do not want to forget the birds of the air that the Lord has created. The Fish Eagle was sitting on a branch eating a fish. It is awe inspiring to see him swoop down and catch a fish in his talons. The Saddle Billed Stork is very rare and we saw three by the river.

The Crested Barbet came close looking for a handout (he was disappointed) and the Southern Ground Hornbill walked along with a strut.

The Wahlberg Eagle drank water while the Cape Starlings gathered round and the Lilac Purple Breasted Roller paused in the road to have a look. We saw over 4 types of eagles and many other birds as well. We had a wonderful time and hopefully we will not wait 8 more years to go again.

Other Kruger Varmints-October 2010

Besides the Big 5, there are many other wonderful animals that God has created. The Honey Badger was going down the road and he turned to bare his teeth and growled. He was impressive and I kept my distance. The Nyala, Giraffe, Kudu, Zebras, Hyena pups and many more were just a demonstration of our creative and miraculous God.

The Big 5 at Kruger Park- October 2010

Kruger National Park is a world renowned animal reserve that covers over 22,000 square meters (8,000 square miles). Pam and I took a min-vacation and went there for 2 nights. It was wonderful. We spent one night at the Satara Camp and the next at the Shingwedzi Camp inside the park. We also rented a car in which the air conditioner never worked. The first day the temperature got up to 46 degrees C (115 degrees F) and we were thankful we did not scare the animals awayJ. The next day was overcast and cooler. Pam and I saw 4 of the Big 5 (Elephant, Rhino, Cape Buffalo and Lions) in abundance. The rhino stood by the road so we waited in the heat till he would let us pass. I will not get in a tussle with him. Two lions and 4 lionesses eyed the water hole and we saw the whole scene from a safe distance. The Leopard is an elusive creature and I have only seen two and both were crossing the road. One day I hope to get a proper photo.

Fellowship and Prayer- October 2010

On the first of October, most of the IMB missionaries from the southern part of South Africa met at a bed and breakfast in the farm town of Malmesbury (65Kms or 39 miles north of Cape Town) for an intense time of meetings and prayer. This is the first time many of us have been able to get together in over a year. The Lord blessed us in being able to find an inexpensive place for all of us to meet. We discussed pressing issues, planned and prayed over many items from early in the morning to late in the evening. We also had some of our wonderful support folks to inspire, challenge and assist us in many ways. Thank you so much for your faithfulness in giving so that we can have times to really seek after the Lord and be in tune with His leading.

Air Show over Cape Town- September 2010

Pam, John and Liz Johnston from the Northern Cape and I discovered that there was going to be an Air Show at Ysterplaat Air Force base here in Cape Town. John is former USAF and we looked forward to attending the show. We saw many sights as shown below such as the predator drone used in Iraq and Afghanistan, SA’s Grippen fighter, a mock war with helicopters and SADF (South African Defense Force) soldiers and a US C-130 that dropped American Paratroopers. We also saw 5 vintage C-47 (DC3) aircraft that were used during WWII, and a variety of jets, prop planes and much, much more. I really enjoyed talking to dozens of our Air Force personnel from all across America and please continue to pray for all of our servicemen and women and their safety.

Proper Teas and Evangelistic Train Services-September 2010

Kirby Woods Baptist and Eastridge Baptist in Mitchell’s Plain teamed up to reach out to people in the community. The youth from Eastridge approached us about doing a train service. In other words, we boarded the Metrorail train and rode 45 minutes into the Cape Town city center and then reboarded for the trip back. While on the train, we sang, gave testimonies, handed out tracts, witnessed and preached. The youth and the adults all took part and many people including Muslims heard the Gospel and read the tracts. Two days later, the women on the team and the church ladies held 5 Women’s teas. The Eastridge ladies asked unbelieving neighbors to host a tea in their small homes. The volunteers served tea and biscuits (cookies) and also taught Bible stories and did multiple crafts. The attendance was phenomenal and 135 ladies were ministered to with the Gospel. As you can see, it was standing room only.

Kirby Woods Baptist Church Volunteer Team–Feeding the Spirit & the Body-September 2010

Pam and I were overjoyed to have our dear missionary colleague friends from Memphis back to minister alongside us. They faithfully worked with us to plant a church in Barcelona and have now followed us to Cape Town. They are a wonderful blessing. Over 9 days they presented the Gospel to over 1500 people (including a 20 minute Gospel presentation to over 1350 students and staff at a middle school). They taught kids, adults, and anyone who would listen at different locations in Mitchell’s Plain. We also had 4 outdoor soup kitchens in the poor areas where we offered physical food after the spiritual food had been served. The follow up is in progress and pray that even more may come to the Lord.

15 August 2010

The Himba and the Holy Fire - August, 2010

Pam and I had a rare opportunity to visit a Himba village. Unlike tourists who come to snap pictures of a people that live off the land and still dress as their ancestors did, we wanted to know the people. We sat down and conversed through our Himba translator and asked many questions. They even asked about our kids. The women cover themselves with red ochre which is a combination of goat or sheep fat mixed with a special red clay. It was fascinating to hear how the people have adapted to the elements and their genius in doing things. For example, our translator showed us the wooden pillow that the men use. A man will lie on his right side with his head on the “pillow” and his wife will sleep on his right arm. At night, the people will sit around the “holy fire” and discuss things and ask the ancestors or their “supreme god” for assistance. Sadly, all of the people are needed for the village to function, even the kids, and very few ever leave or learn a second language. I could envision a missionary sitting around the fire and telling Bible stories. We do not want to change the positive elements or even the dress of their culture, but we just want them to know Jesus and let him transform the crucial elements in order to be faithful to him.

The Peoples of Sun-scorched Southern Namibia - August, 2010

Namibia is a very beautiful country. The southern part borders on or is in the Kalahari Desert. In our research to learn about the peoples and how to reach them, we also learned quite a bit about the country. I remember reading about the settlers along the mighty Omaruru River in the town of the same name. It turns out that on a good year the river will run for only 2-3 days.

We met and talked to many inhabitants of the land such as
the Nama,

the Basters,
the Coloureds and the Damara.

What a joy to talk with many of these people and to especially meet some dear brothers and sisters in the Lord. The Nama are part of the overall Khoi-Khoi peoples and are found mostly in Southern Namibia. The Basters are a combination of the Coloureds originally from South Africa (African mixed with Malay and European White) and the White German and Afrikaans farmers, primarily around Luderitz. The Damara are a Bantu tribe that seemed to have lost most of their cultural identity or at least merged with the Nama. It is a wonderful combination and I pray that all of these peoples come to be our family members in the Lord.