Here are a few highlights from our latest newsletter! Merry Christmas and we wish you the best in 2016
Ending Bible Poverty <<<<
It has been a fruitful year with the School of Biblical Studies in Africa. Chris leads the Hub for these schools in the African continent. This role includes providing support, encouragement, and training to the schools on the continent.
This year he was able to visit Rwanda, Uganda, Togo and two schools here in South Africa. Togo was a highlight as they had a Hub Gathering, bringing together leaders and staff from 6 different Bible Schools across Africa. It was a gift to strategize with so many faithful men and women who are longing to see an end to Bible poverty in Africa.
The Exchange <<<<
It was exciting to see The Exchange women’s retreat finally take off this year! Women in South Africa carry a massive load in their churches, families, work and communities. This retreat was a time for them to come together and find fresh strength, hope, and courage in Jesus.
It was an amazing time of relationship, laughter, teaching, worshipping, pampering, and of course eating! We had such amazing and lovely women come to rest and receive. Almost all of them had never experienced anything like this before. On one afternoon we did manicure, pedicure and massages. So many of them had never had a massage in their life. It was a blessing for them not just receive spiritually but also physically and relational. One lady commented, “Just to be out of my community for two nights was amazing.”. She lives in a very intense and impoverished community and was able just rest away from her day-to-day
Light Shines in the Darkness >>>>
We often try to avoid telling the stories that might perpetuate the negative images that people have of South Africa. No nation is a sum of the negative stories. We always seek to be looking for places where God is at work. But, all nations have times of struggle and this was a year of struggle for South Africa. The government is facing the reality of rampant corruption. The massive divide between rich and poor is causing emotions to run high and hope to run low. Unfulfilled promises have caused overwhelming frustration resulting in widespread protest and sometimes violence. A shortage of electricity and water is looms daily in the life of this nation.
With these challenges comes opportunity. Christmas reminds us that it got darker, darker and darker… and then Jesus was born. Darkness and difficulty is always an opportunity for light to shine brightly. We value your prayers for South Africa.
Between the Headlines
In October, we had the huge blessing of hosting an outreach team from the Worship Center church in Pennsylvania. What a massive blessing they were. The women on the team served at The Exchange retreat; cooking, cleaning and pampering the women! They also served youth, gave input to men, encouraged young fathers, and did a painting project to bless a widow. They were an amazing blessing in every way!
Reaching Every Location
- The School of Biblical Studies is in 9 countries in Africa.
- Chris or other co-workers from the Hub office, have been able to visit all of these locations for support and encouragement.
- There are plans to plant 3 more Bible Schools in 3 new African countries.
- Our local school has 31 new students currently studying the Bible verse by verse. Reading the entire Bible 5 times through in 9 months!
One big thing we do which can’t be photographed or put in to a statistic is mentoring. Both of us spend a lot of our time meeting one on one with people. A lot of is simply listening, encouraging, and praying. No matter how big the vision; relationships is always the primary strategy of Jesus modeled for us to follow.
Another year is in the books for Garett and Thabo. In December they finish Grades 3 and 4. They both are doing so well, really working hard, and showing a lot of determination.
Both boys played Rugby and Soccer this year. They love sports and seem to have boundless energy. Both boys are learning Afrikaans. Garett especially is immersed in learning this local language.
At 9 and almost 11 years old, we feel we are in such a sweet season of seeing who they are becoming.
This year we also celebrated our 13 wedding anniversary. It’s fun to be teenagers again!
Thank you so much for your prayers, support, and friendship!