Creede Baptist Church

Sunday, January 22, 2006

First few Days

We have arrived and we are getting settled in. We have our guides Megs, Rita, and Ethan (pronounce Eden). They are full of energy and woke us up this morning with a traditional African song.
Last evening we met Pastor Bethuel and Cliff and Lauri Ingram (IMB Missionaries). They were very gracious and greeted us warmly. Today, Pastor Bethuel has arranged for us to have a traditional African greeting but several of the women in his church. The greeting will be offered in the nine languages of this region.
After settling in we were treated to a safari ride through the bush. We were blessed to see many of God’s creatures including Impala, Kudu, Heartbeast, Warthog, Diku, and Giraffe. The bush here in South Africa greatly resembles the Hill Country of Texas. The temperatures are comparable and the wildlife is remarkably similar.

The day started slowly which was good. Most of us slept through the night. One notable exception was Martha. She has become ill but seems to be on the mend. We had our first South African breakfast. It was quite good. We met with Cliff Ingram for an orientation to the culture and discussed our assignments for the next few days. Around 11 o’clock we were treated to an impromptu African worship service. It started out as a traditional African greeting by the grannies from one of the churches but quickly elevated itself into an international gathering of brothers and sisters in Christ. During a break Doolie and Patty Mason went over to the grannies and began to learn how to dance and sing some of the African worship songs. It was wonderful.

After the greeting, I had to leave for Joberg. I am now with Pastor Darryl and Marianne. The team was going to go out to see where the churches are and meets some of the pastors. I had the opportunity to attend a birthday party for a 60 year old Indian Christian. It was quite a great time. There were many who thanked her for her faithfulness and how she was instrumental in leading them into the faith or encouraging them to remain faithful. The food was unique. We ate curried chicken, and another dish that included rice and chicken. They were spicy.

God has prepared an opportunity here for us; I just pray that we can be sensitive enough to be useful.

What a good day in the Lord. I had an opportunity to preach four times. I found the people here to be hungry for the deep truths of scripture. One of most blessed events that happened today was the ability to preach to the Zulu’s. I must admit that preaching with an interpreter takes some getting used to. But what a remarkable people! They sang and worshipped for two hours before they took time for the sermon. When I preached, they felt I didn’t preach long enough. That is a miracle! I have discovered a fondness for all the peoples in South Africa. They are so receptive and generally a happy people. As Christians they are not so different from any other Christians to whom I have had the privilege to minister. They want to be fed the meat of scripture.

During the English speaking services God has encouraged me to spend time refocusing the church to follow God. God has been faithful to use me to help begin a restorative process. I am very pleased. Please pray for Pastor Darryl and Marianne as they are tired and discouraged because of a small group of people in the church.

God is revealing the good work he has sent me here to do. Please pray that the evil on will not be allowed to enter the activity and disrupt our progess.


At 7:47 AM, Blogger Chris said...

Hey gang! It was great hearing from you and that all is doing well. Just know we are keepin you in our prayers every day and can't wait for you to get home to hear all of what our great God is doing while you are there. We love and miss you much. Judy

At 8:23 AM, Blogger Scott said...

WOW, sounds great!!! Can't wait to hear more about the trip. You have so many people here in the states praying for you.

Keep strong in Christ and follow where He leads you. - Scott

At 12:02 PM, Blogger Chuck said...

I can hear God moving in your words Dr. Pastor Rabbi Man, He is preparing a great work. I hear His blessings also in what you say. God is so mighty in His love!

Know that we are praying continually and that we will pray specially for Martha to get her through this physical distress. God be with her.

We love and miss you guys and pray for your safe return--after a productive deliverance of the gospel of truth to all whom God puts in your presence.

God bless, in His Spirit and His name,

At 12:05 PM, Blogger Chuck said...

Oh, and one other thing, did that new camera get broken already? :-) Blessings . . .

At 12:59 PM, Blogger Jeannie said...

Pat and Crew, It was so wonderful reading your words. I've heard many times over the years what a wonderful people the South Africans are, and how they will travel hours and even days to hear the Word of God preached and to spend an entire day in church worshipping and praising God is not too much for them.

I am praying for all of you. Hope Martha is feeling better and will continue to grow in strength.

Know that you are all being lifted up before the Lord that you will continue in good health and strength to do His wonderful work!

Much love, Jeannie L.

At 1:44 PM, Blogger Nurse Sarah said...

It is wonderful to be able to hear what is going on with the team. I can't wait to see the demonstration of the dance and songs Doolie has learned. Martha I hope you are feeling better. My prayers are with each of you and I am sure every moment is a blessing from God for the team and the people you touch. All is well here. Randy is doing great. He sends his love and prayers.
Keep the news coming.

At 4:48 PM, Blogger Jim Matush said...

So glad that your first Sunday went so well. Also glad that Martha is the only one so far to be having troubles. Probably because she took the biggest supply of medicines. Hope they are working for her. I sent an email to Doolie at the hotel about M&N Blair's family problems. If she did not get it, let me know in your next blog and maybe she should call me.

I didn't think Baptists danced. Got a message from one of my daughter's saying that she hope the locals don't think that all American's sing like her Mom.


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