Thank you again for lifting our brother Alan Lester and his family up in prayer. By God’s grace and goodness they are doing well although, as Alan said to me on Sunday, “not a day goes by without tears”. Please continue to lift the Lester family up in prayer.
Last Friday we met with AWANA missionary, Clive Atkins, who has been overseeing these precious bible clubs in South Africa for almost 40 years! He provided us and other members of Living Hope with training and advice on how to establish an AWANA program here in Pretoria. Targeting the children of inner city Sunnyside, Living Hope Church is growing more and more excited about reaching these children with the gospel. A number of people from Living Hope have approached us with the desire to volunteer and participate in this ministry. So we have volunteers. We have training. We have children…Now all we need is a location. Which leads to our next update.
As Randy wandered the streets of Sunnyside searching for possible church/AWANA locations, he found himself knocking on the doors of Sunnyside Primary School. He did not feel it would be appropriate to just come in and request the use their site, so instead he volunteered his services at the school.
Having taught in inner city Santa Ana for 17 years, he is very familiar with the challenges the students attending this school face, and feels completely at home. Incredibly, God has been training Randy to naturally come alongside these students, teachers and principal! He is now volunteering once a week tutoring students who require extra help with their reading skills primarily because English is their second language. (Hmmm…sounds so familiar!!) The beauty of these relationships is that the “religious restrictions” placed on a teacher back in the U.S. do not exist here, and Randy may freely share the gospel without offense! Our prayer request is that Living Hope would be able to come into the school and establish an AWANA program as an afterschool program! Randy has spoken with the school’s principal and will need to submit a proposal to be voted on by the school’s Governing Council. Please pray with us that this would be an open door to begin this children’s program to reach the hearts of the children and families of Sunnyside for the gospel!
The Salvakop bible study, which we blogged about here, is growing! Having trained with Wycliffe Bible Translators, Randy understands the importance of reading a bible in one’s own “heart language”. The members of this small group were thrilled to receive a bible in Shona, a Zimbabwe language. Also, by God’s grace and leading, Randy has spoken with another principal at another primary school in this area to see if the group would be allowed to begin meeting in the school’s assembly hall. Although Cladious’ home is cozy, the hall would provide electricity and more space and is more conducive to community outreach. The principal responded positively and Randy needs to present him with an official proposal before they can begin utilizing this space. Please continue to pray for this ministry to Salvokop. Pray that more and more hearts would be transformed by the beauty of the gospel.
Our family was given the special opportunity to visit a primary school (yes, this is now the 3rd school in this post!) in Mamelodi, a township just outside of Pretoria, to observe Nick and Sheila Court in action. Nick and Shelia are the directors of Step Wise Youth Ministry. “Step Wise Youth Ministry aims to teach and help children and young people to know the Bible and Jesus Christ as the source of all knowledge and wisdom.” During the morning assembly, Nick and Shelia shared a bible story and prayed with the children. To show their appreciation, the children treated us as they beautifully, joyfully sang this African song! Please pray with us as we ask for God’s direction in how we, as a family, can be involved in leading assemblies at this school.
Baby Home Update
We said goodbye and gave God praise, as one the sweet baby girls has gone home to be in the care of her biological mother. Just before she left, 1Hope and the Muphamuzi Baby home was entrusted with another little life.