The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. Proverbs 16:9
For the year 2014, the Clark family has made many plans, but we are submitting them to the Sovereign Lord of All, asking that He would establish our steps. Here is the beginning of 2014 according to the Clark Family Plan.
JANUARY …Has come and is now almost gone (wow! does anyone else perceive time as flying?). After a few weeks of holiday, we have enjoyed getting back into the rhythm of a schedule which involves mostly homeschooling and home-managing for me, and discipleship and evangelism visits, baby home maintenance and Biblical studies for Randy. Our days are so full that we need to pause often through our day and remember that is the Lord Jesus Christ whom we serve.
We loved having our “holiday baby” from the baby home and really miss the joy and laughter she added to our home. As we watched her thrive in a family, we pray that God will quickly provide this special little one with a loving forever family that will point her to Him.
Speaking of the MBH, the last few weeks the home has received 4 tiny new babies all younger than 2 months! Precious eternal souls entrusted to the care of 1Hope is a huge privilege and responsibility. Also, in January two new interns have arrived from the U.S. to serve at MBH. The intern program is an wonderful opportunity for young (or old or in-between) ladies to serve these needy and vulnerable children. Please feel free to contact us if you are interested.
There was one event in January that did not go according to plan, (just so that we are reminded that we are not in control). A planned three day hike into the South African wilderness for Randy and our older girls with 3 other families of dads/kids was cut short due to one of the boys falling off a bridge and breaking his wrist. He is fine, and we are thankful that it was not as serious as it could have been. The trip is to be postponed until further notice.
FEBRUARY …We are gearing up for Year 2 of our children’s outreach, the AWANA program at Sunnyside Primary! We have met with the regional directors of AWANA for all of southern Africa. The school staff and children are eager and excited for the program to begin! Please pray for us. We have a great team of volunteers and count this opportunity as a privilege to bring the gospel truth of scripture to these children. Please pray that God’s word would go forth into the hearts and minds of the children and bring transformation and the free gift of Salvation to them.
Mission Malawi Update
Facts about Malawi (from Operation World 2010):
- Malawi is a Central African country extending along Lake Malawi and its outflow river, the Shire, with a population of 15.9 million.
- Malawi ranks among the world’s most densely populated and least developed countries. The economy is predominately agricultural, with about 85% of the population living in rural areas.
- It remains a stable and peaceful land in a region plagued by wars, civil strife and violent politics.
- The increasing activity of Islam is a significant issue in Malawi
- AIDS has been a terrible scourge. Life expectancy was reduced at one point to 43 and over 1 million are infected with HIV.
- The Church of Central Africa, Presbyterian is the largest Protestant denomination. Nominalism and the influence of African tradition religion are commonplace.
One of Living Hope Church’s goals is to raise up African missionaries for Africa through the planting of Biblical, gospel-centered churches throughout this continent. For the last three years LHC has been planning and praying for Mission Malawi and now the time has come! These last few months, Newton and Vanessa have been busy packing and preparing for their move back to their home country of Malawi. Their hope is to leave sometime in February and many of their belongings have already made their way up. The exact date of their move is contingent on the finalizing of their daughter, Aya’s adoption. Please pray that the courts move on this issue in a timely manner.
This past Sunday Living Hope Church commissioned Newton and his family with the task to go and make disciples of all nations, but especially the nation of Malawi, their country of birth. We celebrated and marveled with them at all that God has done in their lives to bring them to this place. Newton’s story is one of God’s Amazing Grace. Church leader, Alan Lester, lead the congregation in a moving, powerful prayer over Newton where he recalled the tragic incident several years ago of Newton being shot and left for dead. But as dangerous as that incident was, Alan reminded us that Newton faced a far greater danger than physical death. And that was the danger of being left spiritually dead. But it pleased the God of the universe to reach into Newton’s heart and infuse spiritual life. Now Newton is not only spiritually saved, but a man with passion in his heart to bring the gospel to those who are lost. We send them out with deep joy, but also with a sadness knowing their absence will be strongly felt.
Newton and Vanessa are very aware of their need for prayer and for God’s people to be behind them and have ask that we pray for them specifically:
1) That they would have the faith to perservere. The task before them will require big faith. Church planting will be a lonely work and there will be persecution. Please pray that they will be able to trust that this is indeed the Lord’s work.
2) That God would bring the right team partners to lock arms with in Malawi.
3) That they would be able to cultivate a happy, gracious home life so that when the going gets tough on the field it will be a blessing to go home.
4) Pray for the health of the entire family and especially for Vanessa who has struggled with health issues.
5) For a passion for Christ to sustain them for the long term.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. Heb 12:1-3
Read Newton and Vanessa’s testimony of faith here.
MARCH… We are so thankful that our very own Grace Church of Orange has once again rallied its troops and formed a team so ready and willing to serve, encourage and bless. They will be arriving in South Africa on March 7 and be investing their lives for God’s kingdom work in the RSA for ten days. They will come alongside the ministries of 1Hope and we pray that this will be a mutual time of encouragement and service. Read more about them here.
We have made many plans beyond March and through the remainder of 2014 which includes another missions team, visits from family and friends, becoming a “place of safety” for 1Hope, a trip to Swaziland, Together 4 Adoption conference, and a trip back to the States in order to make long term plans…but, alas, this post has already gone on too long and we will save those for another post.
We pray that as you also make plans for 2014, you are encouraged by the truth that:
Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand. Proverbs 19:21