Creede Baptist Church

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Lots of News

As I am writing this the rain is falling and creating a cool environment. Thank you for your prayers. Today I had many new experiences. First, I went to the bank with Pastor Darryl, for those of you who have difficulty with patience, I suggest you move to South Africa. The pace here is much slower than at home. We spent over an hour in the bank to accomplish a relatively simple task.
Later, I met a man named Onan. Onan is a refugee who has come to know the Lord and has been called to be a missionary. Along with his wife Christine and son Obed, Onan is preparing to go to Turkey and teach English as a Second Language to support his mission. Onan’s story is long and I will share more of it upon our return. Onan’s hardships are the things of movies. I was truly humbled to meet this Godly young man.
I have found great contrasts here in Joberg, but it seems that no matter how difficult the situation here, people are always smiling. They are a great joy to be around.
The service tonight was very well attended (maybe 150) and almost two thirds of them came forward in public repentance. There is a great desire to see an out pouring of God’s spirit. Thank you for allowing me to come here and teach the deep truths of the scriptures to these great people.

Again my day was filled and busy. But I am truly enjoying learning about South African Christians. We started the day by going to the Baptist Union. The BU is South Africa’s equivalent of the SBC. While there I met the General Secretary and the Director of Missions. I was able to have a time of prayer with the staff and I was truly blessed. God showed me several similarities between the SBC and the BU as some of its members seek God and others engage in politics.
After our excursion to the BU, Frank Pretorius, took us into downtown Joburg where we learned about the Door of Hope (DOH). This is an organization that willingly accepts unwanted babies, cares for them, and adopts them out to worthy families. In its 6 year existence DOH has saved almost 500 babies. These little ones have been found in trashcans, gutters, and fields. Some have physical problems that local doctors remedy for free; others just need to be loved. DOH has four houses now and the two houses I went to housed 23 children with the oldest being only five. Frank told of a house they have out in the country that is being modeled on the South Texas Children’s Home. There a child can grow up in a farm environment and learn about love and responsibility. The vision of this farm is to eventually have 22 houses staffed with dorm parents to care for the children who do not get adopted out.
The service tonight was again challenging. God is doing a remarkable amount of restoration in the church. I am so grateful that He is using this time in such a great way.

Wednesday is Darryl and Marianne’s day off so we had a relatively quiet day. We started out with a hike in a nature area here in Joberg and I was blessed to get to see Weaver Birds working on their nests. Darryl and I were able to sit and talk for several hours which was another blessing.
The service tonight was focused on unity. I obviously hit a nerve. So I pray that God will intervene and heal whatever problems there may be here.

It was good to be reunited with the other members of our team. The first thing I noticed was an overpowering joy one faces of everyone. They were drenched in sweat and beaming with an inexpressible and glorious joy. The work in Phake (pronounced paukey) has been productive. Several have come to know the Lord. Others, curious about the Word and the Lord, have already been to Pastor France’s Bible study.
The ladies teaching the home based care workers (HBCW), (Ginny, Patty, and Regina) had glowing reports about how quickly the HBCW picked up on not only the techniques but the necessity of the medical procedures. Sherri and Doolie have had great enjoyment in teaching their ladies. Sherri is teaching the momo ruties (pastor’s wives) and Doolie is teaching the Mamas and the Sissies (older and younger ladies). Sherri has mentioned how mature some of the momo ruties are and what a great vision they have for the church their husbands pastor.
Caleb is like a superhero here. It is a beautiful sight to see all of these three and four foot tall black children surrounding this giant (very) white man as they play games together. I do not believe I have ever seen a greater expression of unadulterated love than what I see in the eyes of these little ones as they play with Caleb.
Lowell, David, and John have been involved in several ministries, do odd jobs as needed. Tomorrow they will be going to the coffin factory sight and exploring all that is necessary to get this enterprise off the ground. Thank you for your prayers concerning the weather. From all accounts this has been the coolest January in some time. Please continue to pray for us in several ways. First, several of the group will be leaving in the next few days. So pray for their traveling mercies. Second continue to pray for strength, especially spiritual strength, because while the fields are fertile here, the evil one is also strong here. But remember, greater is He that is in me than He that is in the world (1 John 4.4)

It has been awesome to spend the last couple of days with the pastor’s wives. They are very curious about American culture and we studied about dressing modestly. The idea is for them to go back to their churches and be able to teach the younger girls. They all shared and asked questions and we had a great time together. The heat was the worst this day but God blesses in wonderful ways. On our ride to the lodge we were able to stop and watch a couple of Rhinos and after we got onto the Phakama property we saw a giraffe- incredible, the color of the giraffe was darker than what we see in pictures he moved so gracefully thru the trees it was awesome. Then we went for a swim, had dinner, sat by the fire for a shorter time than usually, as everyone was very tired, and headed to bed. Thank you all for your prayers and continue to pray for the work God had started here to continue until its completion. Sherri

The Pastor’s Conference was a pleasant success. The pastors were a little reserved in their participation on the first day but as they gained confidence in me they began to ask more and more difficult questions. Practical theology is the most difficult part of becoming a pastor. I thank you for your prayers as God did a very good work with these men. Tonight Sherri and I return to Joburg for our last ministry there. I will be preaching four times tomorrow. God has enabled me to have the energy to complete the tasks he has given me so far. I know he will continue to enable me.

There is a possibility that this will be our last post for a while. We will pray that God creates an opportunity for us to find an inexpensive connection.


At 12:31 PM, Blogger Scott said...

Wow, it sounds like God has really been walking with the group. I know you all must be tired, we will pray for your strength as well.

Can't wait to hear all the details when you get back home. Scott

At 5:39 PM, Blogger Chuck said...

I am not amazed at all, but I am stunned by the sheer quanity of your successes! I read Doolie's email also, I'm so pleased that everyone is experiencing such joy in the fruits of their labors. Wonderful!

God bless you all, the prayers continue . . . Chuck

At 1:55 PM, Blogger Tom & Mona said...

What a joy it was to have so much news from Africa...thank you for sharing! We are so blessed to be able to hear what's going on there. We will surely be ready to hear all that you have to tell us when you all get back! We know that God will give you what you need as you continue your journey there. God Bless each of you...
Mona & Tom

At 6:05 PM, Blogger Chris said...

I am so jealous of all of you! What a special time God has ordained for this group. I also think of the many who will continue to be changed by what all of you are doing now, even after your return to Creede. Not only will their lives be changed, so will yours.I will continue to pray for those I love and miss until we meet again!!! By the way. did anyone mention that we have white stuff on the ground? Love Ya, Judy

At 6:06 PM, Blogger Chris said...

Chris Didn't really say that.


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