Hello! It's been nearly three months since our last newsletter, and we've moved from a lovely, wet winter into a beautiful spring. We're finally ready to try this new format, and we hope that you will find it easy to access and read. We would love to hear your feedback!
SCRIPTURE UNION NEWS
The past few months have been full of a all kinds of activities at Scripture Union. One of the things that has kept Tim on the go is that he has been traveling to each of the regions to assist with fundraising events. So far the events have been very well-received and many people have come on board to support the work of SU. Two of the regions have also been conducting searches for new Regional Directors, which required Tim to spend a lot of time reviewing CVs (resume's) and conducting interviews. The two new RDs will start in January. One of the things that SU does to serve churches is host children's ministry training, and they recently hosted a very well-attended training in the Western Cape. Leslie has also gotten involved in some voluntary SU work recently. She wrote a week's worth of devotions for SU's annual "Closer to God" devotional book and she was part of the team that is planning and preparing next year's SU holiday club material for national distribution. Another exciting thing that's happening at SU is that the organization has recently purchased 30 tablets from another NGO called "School in a Box," thanks to a donation from Calvary Baptist Church in NYC. The tablets are pre-loaded with a huge assortment of educational programs, as well as discipleship material. We are looking forward to figuring out ways to make use of them in schools next year.
HAPPENINGS AT MOKONE PRIMARY
A lot of exciting things have been happening at Mokone Primary. In our last update we spoke about the amazing holiday club (VBS) that took place at the end of June. Once the third term started in July we were delighted to hear many of the children continuing to share the stories and memory verses they learned.
There continues to be a faithful group of children coming to the Indlela Bible Club each week. One week when we got to the school we discovered that classes had been let out early due to a function. To our surprise about ten children had remained behind to wait for us, so we made some quick changes to our plan and had a great time with the children who were there. Another week we asked them to write down some of the things they had learned so far this year. Below are a few of the comments:
The annual standardized testing is coming up for the Grade 6 learners in about 10 days, so we have been focusing on preparing the children for the math part of the tests during Friday Numeracy and also during the recent week long break between 3rd and 4th terms. During the holiday math program we shared the gospel with the 40+ children who came each day, and we also provided sandwiches and fruit each day. One of the teachers also joined us in helping with food, and it was a real blessing to have her partnering with us.
Pastor Julius and his wife, Lulama (Irene), continue to serve the Lord and the 30+ children in their care with great joy in spite of the many challenges they face. Pastor Julius has had more struggles with his vision that have necessitated getting injections in one eye to help dissolve a blood clot that was obscuring his vision in his "good" eye. The injections seem to be working, and his vision is improving.
At church we have recently completed a series on the first half of the book of Daniel titled "Following God in a Godless World." It was amazing to be reminded of how Daniel and a few others had the courage and faith to stand firm in the midst of incredible trials. Tim had the opportunity to preach during the series at the Langa congregation of Common Ground, which was a real treat for him. As we continue to reflect on the story of Daniel, we hope and pray that even today leaders would get a glimpse of the glory of God and say, "For he is the living God, enduring forever; his kingdom shall never be destroyed, and his dominion shall be to the end. He delivers and rescues; he works signs and wonders in heaven and on earth, he who has saved Daniel from the power of the lions." (Daniel 6: 2, 27)
During the time that we were going through Daniel at church there were a number of horrific gender-based crimes and xenophobic attacks that took place around the country. These issues of injustice are key moments for the church to take a stand and offer the hope of Christ in the midst of trials, and Common Ground did that very well.
In July our son James and his wife Mackenzie came out to visit for a couple of weeks, and we had a fantastic time with them. It was Mackenzie's first visit to South Africa, so we did lots of touristy things. It was great to be able to spend a nice chunk of time with them.
In August Tim made a quick trip to Michigan to help celebrate his parent's 60th wedding anniversary and our nephew's wedding. This month we're both headed Stateside for 10 days to see Leslie's parents, who also recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary, and to attend a mission's conference at Calvary Baptist Church.
Thank you all so much for your interest in what's happening here in Cape Town and for all of the ways that you support us. We consider ourselves to be very privileged to be able to do what we're doing, and we couldn't do it without you!
May God bless you