Saturday, December 19, 2009

Final Update [Important One] before arriving in Kenya for Christmas Goat Stew!

[Picture we got hiking near Table Mountain before my camera was stolen...but, thank God, I got another one coming]

Hamjambo wote (Hi everyone),
Greetings in our Lord Jesus. I really appreciate all of you that replied back to the last update and are making the effort to keep in touch. I know it is not easy, but it is so incredibly encouraging. I believe, at least in our first location, that we will be able to give out weekly updates as we report back to the base. But before we get there.....

There is much joy at this time for isipho wa Nkulunkulu khakhulu (a great gift of God).... Thandi and I just found out last week that she is now 8 weeks pregnant with our first child. While it was at first quite shocking news to us, we have individually and corporately sought God and known His peace about this child He is giving us. While we also don’t feel ready at this time to be parents, we do trust Him who is over all and in all (Rom. 11).
God has been challenging me to be more organized, so that He can show His power and care more in my life together with Thandeka. Therefore, I am asking you to see about supporting us in prayer for one day each week, with the end goal of having someone praying for us every calendar day of every month. So, if you are able to sort through your schedule, please respond to us at this email or to tell us when you are able to pray. We really need this, though I will not likely get back to you about it until after this outreach and the students are graduated. Thanks so much...Siyabonga khakhulu!

Obviously a main prayer at this time is for Thandi and the baby. We are discussing options of her being with us the first month and then me taking her back to Nairobi to fly back and be with her family in Johannesburg, while I reconnect with the team to head north to the more dangerous but promised north. We know it will be difficult to be apart, but that bus/lorry ride/walk up will likely be too bumpy for her. Thank you for lifting us up in prayers. It is a great surprise to us, but after much prayer and discussion, we have peace from God that this timing is right and this will draw us further down the path He has called us to walk.

Outside of our immediate family concern and the DTS, Thandi and I have felt led to lend our projector to a Brazilian-Belgian couple who are going to YWAM Swaziland to pioneer the SBS (School of Biblical Studies) there for the next three months. It will prove very valuable to them as they conduct much of their teaching via Powerpoint, and can more effectively pass on the inductive Bible study method--i.e. Observation, INterpretation (meaning to the original hearer & reader, etc.) and Application--to the native Swazi students who will stay on to staff. It is so powerful because the students must arrive at a personal application of the Word, which is exactly as God intended for us. This drills into us who we are in Christ, to be more than conquerors in this world of evil and despair!

We will be getting reimbursed for the time they use it (since the bulb costs nearly as much as the projector itself), but are so glad to see it put to use rather than sitting in our closest for the next two months while we are on outreach. We look forward to taking it with us for ministering in the towns and villages of Sudan once we hear God on that.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Final Week: Team Dynamics and Preparation

Bwana Yesu asifiwe! Bwana asifiwe tena kanisa wa Mungu! (Praise the Lord Jesus! Praise the Lord again CHurch of God!)...

Soon I shall be re-entering into a land very dear to my heart--KENYA. However, this time will be the first with my wife at my side! HOw sweet it is to have someone constant in your life to refine you and teach you to love better.
While it was a bit of a process narrowing down why God was challenging Thandi and I to lead an outreach team to Kenya while still so young in marriage, we are more excited than ever to jump in with the team. A big part of this, of course, is the strong team dynamic we have built up thus far with the students. Truly, we cannot give out what we ourselves have not first received. And how much more powerful is our giving when done in unity! As it says in Psalm 133, it is there that the Almighty God of all creation commands a blessing--and, oh, how we want to be a blessing to all peoples and nations (tribes) he puts in our path!

This week has been filled with many practical activities to prepare the teams for various forms of culture shock and be on our guard for deceptions from the enemy. We shall go into battle triumphant because of who we are in Christ! (Ephesians 2...Actually, all of Ephesians drills this into the believer).

God bless all of you in unforeseen ways this Christmas!