06 January 2010

Seen it with my own eyes!!

Pam and I joyfully reported to many of you about the new Barcelona Church in the area where Pam, Betty, and I first started working. We were joined by other nationals and missionaries that God used to propel the work onward. Sunday morning, 3 January 2010, we worshipped with the church. Many were missing due to the holiday time, but we praised the Lord (in Afrikaans) through singing, testimonies, reading the Bible, and then through the sermon.

Stuart Mortimer, a layman from West End Baptist, has left his church to minister to this body of believers and his wife Karin will start a Sunday school in the coming weeks. Please be in prayer for them, and the church and also that they will find a place to worship closer to the area where the people live.

Hello South Africa; we’re back!!

After saying good-bye and giving ten more final hugs to Drew, Matthew, Don’s mom, Danny, Tricia, Hannah and Hailey, we were on our way. Thirty-seven hours later, from the time we arrived at the Raleigh-Durham airport, we went to where we would spend the night. The next day we flew to Port Elizabeth at 39,000 feet and saw the African moon that usually shines both day and night. Thanks so much for your prayers and giving that has made this mission outreach a reality through the power of the Spirit.

A lot is happening with the arrival of 2010. President Jacob Zuma married his 5th wife (currently married to three, one he divorced, one committed suicide, and he has already proposed to the next one). He may desire to have riches and as many wives as Solomon, but I pray that he will come to know the Lord as Solomon did later on in his life. The talk on everyone’s lips is the 2010 Soccer World Cup in June and July. Please pray as so many people prepare to share the Gospel as the world comes to SA.

Welcome Baby Kaylynne Chandler! December, 2009

On 21 December 2009, Pam and I became a great aunt and a great uncle. Kelly, my Brother Kenneth’s oldest daughter, had a baby girl. We praise the Lord for this new arrival to our family and pray for the days ahead for Adam and Kelly. Wow, Kaylynne certainly is beautiful!

Family Christmas time in Carolina December, 2009

There are very few occasions more joyous than spending Christmas together with family. On 19 December, Pam hosted the Gilbert side of her family to an annual Christmas feast. The ladies brought wonderful food and desserts and Pam cooked a 19lb (8.6kg) turkey and a ham that was delicious. Heartbreakingly part of the family was snowed in towards the Winston Salem/Wilkesboro area and were not able to attend. We missed them very much. We did rejoice over the ones that were able to come. We did get 2 hours of snow flurries in Cary. It created great excitement for all of us!

On Christmas Eve, we ate and visited with my mom and all of the Lynch family in Rockingham. We had great food and a wonderful time together. I even had Christmas Goose like in Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” for the first time. That was nice. All of these memories will stay in my heart for a long time.

The hardest part of being a missionary is missing family. However, at God’s request, we are missing most of these times and going to another place to share the Gospel. He has told us of a greater celebration in the future; one in which dear, saved, and long gone family members will attend and also those who have been added to the family of God overseas. One day there will be no more good-byes for those that know the Lord as their Savior.

Hurricanes and Christmas Parades December, 2009

In South Africa, field hockey is a popular sport and enjoyable to watch. It is also played in the U.S to a lesser degree. However, ice hockey (which resembles field hockey on ice has pads, helmets, and lots of bruising and vicious, bone jarring hits and slamming of bodies into the wall) is played on the professional level. We got to see the Carolina Hurricanes take on the NY Rangers. It was exciting!

Pam and I also got to watch the Cary Christmas Parade in the bitter cold. We saw the floats, the marching bands, the dancers and the performers along with Father Christmas (Santa Claus). We even got to see “Elvis” sing and greet the Chick-Fil-A cow. (We love Chick-Fil-A chicken sandwiches).

Lottie Moon Christmas Offering Time December, 2009

Pam and I had a wonderful December as we had the chance to share what God is doing in Southern Africa. We spoke to the brothers and sisters at First Baptist Church Cary, Forest Hills and Ephesus Baptist in Raleigh, Fellowship Baptist in Moyock, and Liberty Baptist in Thomasville. I am so encouraged at how these churches and others are being used by the Lord to bring the Gospel to the whole world. Thanks to all of you for your giving and praying. I have included some pictures from the outer bank of North Carolina. It is a wilder place than I had imagined. We also got to spend some time with Ron and Gail Davis who served in many places in Africa before returning to the States. We enjoyed visiting with them and Pastor David from Liberty Baptist.

A House Divided; Clash of the Titans November, 2009

All four of us have been able to watch American football and even attend quite a few games. However, since Don graduated from NCSU and Pam from UNC-Chapel Hill and Drew attends NCSU and Matthew attends UNC, the ultimate family clash was looming on the Horizon. UNC was nationally ranked and favored, but long-standing rivalries make for anybody’s game. In the photos, UNC is kicking a successful field-goal and NCSU is running for a good gain. After a long fought battle NCSU emerged with a one point win. We went to the game together and returned together knowing that bragging rights last until next year. The struggle continues.