From the highest of heights to the depths of the sea
Creation’s revealing Your majesty… Chris Tomlin
1Hope Holiday Last month, we were blessed with the incredible privilege to experience yet another part of this breathtaking country. After a 13 hour drive of making our way down the continent with our colleagues and dear friends, The Macks and the De Wits, we arrived at Bushman’s River Mouth located in the Eastern Cape. This section of river is an estuary and empties into the Indian Ocean. The sights were stunning and testified to God’s mighty and glorious creation! This Californian Family did not realize how much we missed the coast until we experienced it again. It felt like we had come home! It was a precious time of living in community with our partners in ministry as we drank in the beauty of the river and the sea.
This amazing 1Hope Holiday Retreat was an incredible gift made possible by our good friends, Andre and Karlien De Wit, who both serve full time with 1Hope Ministries International. Andre serves as 1Hope’s Director of Operations, while Karlien works for 1Hope as attorney and legal administrator. Karlien’s expertise and service to the babies placed under the Muphamuzi Baby Home’s care has been invaluable and a tremendous blessing. Andre has a true servant’s heart and his service to our family when we first arrived in South Africa was constant and faithful. During our first few months, whenever we had a question about whatever, our solution was always, “Ask Andre”. Both Andre and Karlien left secure, dependable salaried careers to work for 1Hope which is evidence of their very real faith and commitment to Christ. The holiday home we stayed in belongs to Karlien’s family and they were so gracious to open it up to us.
Living Hope Baptisms On our first Sunday back at Living Hope Church we celebrated with four of our church friends as they made an outward public profession of their inward faith and redemption through baptism. Being on the southern side of the equator, we are quickly headed into winter around here, and the Mack’s pool is quite chilly. But this did not stop these committed souls from braving the frigid water to obey Christ’s call to be baptized. We were especially thrilled for Linda, who lives in a very tiny shack (about the size of a large walk-in closet) in Salvakop and faithfully attends Randy’s Wednesday night Bible Study as well as Sunday church service. Linda is from Zimbabwe. She lost her husband in 2005. She has four children back in her home country, two of whom she is doing her best to put through school by working here in South Africa. In spite of these hardships, she always is ready to offer a sweet smile. Her joy and hope in Christ is real and she gave testimony to it this past Sunday!
MBH Anniversary The Muphamuzi Baby Home opened its doors on February 11, 2012, but due to baby illnesses and scheduling, 1Hope postponed its celebration to this past week. It was an honor to attend the celebration and marvel at all that God has done through the Baby Home over the past year! Since its opening, the home has taken in 11 precious babies. God has placed four of these little ones into loving Christian homes.
Marda read to us the following statistics. Since its opening the Baby Home has experienced:
- 8,000 nappy (diaper) changes
- 10,000 bottles made
- 2,000 baths given
- countless hugs and kisses given:)
- 400 short nights for Head caregivers Jeanne and Patricia
- close to 200 international visitors
- over 30 social workers
- over 20 volunteers
- 4 interns (3 more coming soon)
By the way, if you are interested or know of anyone who may be interested in working as an intern at the Baby Home for a few months or so, please let us know.
Speaking of the Muphamuzi Baby Home… I (Susan) am excited about a new position that I will be taking on there. Child Development and Health Monitor. Randy and the girls (Julia and Marissa) have already been volunteering at the home once a week with my handy husband taking care of miscellaneous projects and the girls helping with the babies. I and the rest of our crew will now be joining them so that I can interact with the babies, evaluate and chart each child’s medical and developmental needs and pass on any concerns to Marda and Heather Drew (Baby Home manager). Full of thanksgiving for this opportunity to serve!
Clark Family Update! As you may know, we came to South Africa with the intention of Randy taking a one year leave of absence from his teaching job to work alongside 1Hope for a year. As we have plunged into ministry life here, it has become obvious that staying for only one year and then returning home would not be honoring to the work that God has begun through our tasks here, which primarily focus on discipleship and relationship building. This type of ministry involves time and investment, and is not something we feel can be handed over at the end of one year. As a result, after much prayer, discussion and seeking counsel, it has become obvious that we are to remain in South Africa serving with 1Hope for at least one more year! Please pray for us as we move forward to live the next year of our lives in Pretoria, South Africa. We are full of thanksgiving to you for your partnership with us in the cause of Christ to spread His powerful and transforming gospel.
You placed the stars in the sky and You know them by name.
You are amazing God
All powerful, untameable,
Awestruck we fall to our knees as we humbly proclaim
You are amazing God… Chris Tomlin