Saturday, May 5, 2012

April Update: We are moving!...

It is just over a month since we returned from our pioneering ventureinto Uganda and the new Republic of South Sudan, and we are only now gettingadapted into our new schedule back in Cape Town. And now winter seems to be in full swing as the cold wind and rain kicks up and lasts longer. It has been a long recovery, mainly for Bryanas he has been suffering from a stubborn infection with open sores around hisbody, which (along with a return of intestinal issues) has lowered his energyall around. What a blessing it has been, however, to be welcomed back into thecommunity of Overcome Heights as if we were never gone! We are now even reconnecting with families wehad been visiting and holding small Bible study groups with two years back, and it is so encouraging to see them understanding more of the vision to walk in obedience to God's Word and not just gain more knowledge of it (what we do in Simple house churches). The second picture shows Mom having the chance to join us on ministry during her 3-week visit with us, bonding with Mama Gloria. We also got to go on the Table Mountain Cableway for the first time on Thandi's birthday--it was a perfectly glorious day (see Pic 3). Bryan is busy getting all the requirements together for his permanentresidence application (so there will be no more need for Visas in SouthAfrica), though has been setback with the additional requirement of anotherpolice clearance from the US, since the last one was submitted at a differentHome Affairs location. We appreciateyour prayers that this application will be received soon and smoothly, including the fingerprints being sent back to the States. The biggest news for us right now is our move to a home with ayard! [Will be sending some pics with our next update, which will also give a full report of the Issore Outreach]. We have felt a while now that the time was right to move out of ourself-enclosed flat, but were just waiting on God for the right place to openup. The rent will only be about $100 more a month, though the challenge andscramble has been buying a lot of furniture since this place comes withabsolutely nothing (except toilets and running water;). We have so far bought a stove, two beds (onefor guest room), dining table, washing machine, and working on a fridge. We have been blessed to find great deals, a lot from friends who are moving out as well,so we really thank God for making it far easier than what it could be. It has also been nice to not have to changerealtors, but to continue paying rent to the same office a few blocks away. The hardest part in this move has been the reality of acquiring andinvesting in a lot of new material things without the exact knowledge of whenwe will be making the move up to Uganda/South Sudan. We have been praying for a couple years now,though have not arrived at an exact time or even a first location to beginministering from. That is a major reasonwhy Bryan is planning to make a scouting trip up to the newly pioneered base inWau town, Bahr al-Ghazal, South Sudan by the end of this year or beginning ofnext. The timing will depend on when the next Church Planting and Leadership school will be run from our Frontiers Department. We had planned to bump the school a quarter earlier to July, but, due toa lack of students applying up to now, it looks like we will be holding it from Sept. again, which would mean Bryan's Pastoral visit to the team in South Sudan would be in Jan/Feb 2013. We are excited to be having a Ugandan lady we worked with a bit on our last trip passionate about church planting and applying to do our school. Stand with us in prayer for the right students to be coming to our base at the right time, that more laborers would be sent forth equipped for the great harvest among the unreached in the frontiers... In addition to our Tues/Thurs. ministry in Overcome with some DTS students, we have been making more prayer walks and treasure hunts downtown with peoples from all over Africa and the Middle East. We have sensed God leading us as a department to be more intentional in building relationships with Muslims and other unreached peoples that all over here in Cape Town. It has been exciting to hand out JESUS film DVDs to Wolof speakers of Senegal, and see their joy at receiving a message in their native tongue! I have been going by train with Pastor Jack, a very humble Congolese brother now on his DTS outreach alone, and he is very anointed in leading people to recognize their need for Christ. Just last Friday he had the privilege of leading 6 souls to the Lord in a nearby township, 2 Malawians and 4 Zimbabweans, speaking prophetically into their lives and seeing them come broken before their Maker and Lover of their souls. We are together trusting God for increasing fruit among the Muslims in downtown Cape Town markets, and know God is busy making Himself known. Lastly, we were so blessed as a family to be invited to a church last Sunday in a predominantly Muslim part of Cape Town called Athlone by a pastor friend along with our colleague Simon from the UK. We didn't know what to expect, but just knew we have been praying to impact more communities that are not receiving the gospel here in Cape Town, and Athlone is the historical Muslim heart of the city (along with Bo Kaap neighborhood). The pastor was gracious enough to allow both Simon and I to share our hearts, about the department and about our focus in South Sudan as well. The congregation also wanted to hear from Thandi and she testified once again to God's faithfulness to us in protecting Busi everyday in unpredictable South Sudan (she also got to share in our home church in Overcome township, along with Mom:). It was amazing to see the women drawing so much courage from her, and more importantly, faith in the Almighty. The pastor has seen a decrease in his congregation as he has been obeying Jesus to preach about church as a discipling community, and not just a building to gather in. He was very excited as we talked more about Simple Church and its goal of obedience and growth for every member. We were also blown away when they treated us to lunch afterwards, gave an offering for my petrol, and spoke candidly about their desire to support missionaries in the field (meaning us in South Sudan)!!! Praise God, what a joy it is to draw together in His presence. Thank you all for your faithful support and care shown to us as a family...may we continue to pray the Kingdom come in all we are privileged to take part in. The Whitlocks Psalm 46:10 NOT SURE WHY THIS BLOG IS CLUMPING TOGETHER ALL MY NICELY-FORMED PARAGRAPHS, BUT WORKING ON IT...SORRY NOW IF IT IS DIFFICULT TO READ (PLEASE LET ME KNOW YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS IF YOU WANT TO RECEIVE EMAIL UPDATES THAT ARE TIDIER:)

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