Grace Church returns

This year our Pretoria “March Madness” involved hosting a mission team from our very own Grace Church of Orange!  GCO sent a team to serve alongside 1Hope last year and had returned for round two!

The team arrives early Friday morning.  1Hope and GCO team greet each other at the Mack home: (L to R) Karlien and new baby Ben, Paula, Marda, Susan (me) and Pastor Doug

The team arrives early Friday morning. 1Hope and GCO team greet each other at the Mack home.

The age of the seventeen team members varied widely from little Hannah Bush, age 10 to our older and wiser Steve Manthorne of 69!

Steve with lovely lades from Grace Church and Living Hope Church

Steve with lovely lades from Grace Church and Living Hope Church

They spent ten days with us, and each day was packed full of adventure and ministry South African style! Here are some highlights:

Awana– The team arrived early on a Friday morning and jumped right in, pushing through the weariness that comes with being on an airplane for 24 hours and landing in a time zone that is ten hours ahead to participate in our Awana session. They enthusiastically served the students leading music, games, teaching time and small groups.

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Jim Hughes having lead Awana for over twenty years was totally at home leading our Awana Games.

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Matthew Ma leading the kids in song.

AWANA South African style!

AWANA South African style!

 Townships According to Wikipedia:

In South Africa, the term township usually refers to the (often underdeveloped) urban living areas that, from the late 19th century until the end of Apartheid, were reserved for non-whites (black Africans, Coloureds and Indians). Townships were usually built on the periphery of towns and cities….During the Apartheid Era black people were evicted from properties that were in areas designated as “white only” and forced to move into segregated townships. Separate townships were established for each of the three designated non-white race groups (black people, coloureds and Indians). 

Although segregation and forced eviction ended in 1994 when Apartheid did, these township communities still exist. The government is working to improve the living conditions of townships, but the residents still face many difficulties.

 During their time with us, the GCO team had the opportunity to minister in two different township areas, Katlehong and Modimolle, where they were able to listen to the stories of lives transformed by the power of Christ, play with the endless number children, and meet with families to model and lead family devotions.DSC_0194

 

Steve meets Uncle George whom he encourage to begin attending church with his family on Sundays.

Steve meets Uncle George whom he encourage to begin attending church with his family on Sundays.

IMG_3478Muphamuzi Baby Home– Of course, no team can come to serve with 1Hope without spending a few days working at the baby home. The men worked on various building projects while the women held babies and left their artistic mark by painting a mural on the wall.IMG_3782

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Evangelism– The team came alongside Living Hope Church members for an afternoon of evangelism at a couple of local parks in innercity Pretoria and also in Salvakop.

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Pastor Newton gives the team some training on evangelism

Although rain was forecasted for the entire time the team was scheduled to be here, they somehow managed to avoid the wet weather…well almost.IMG_3745

Whew!  The trip was full and fruitful and we pray that God has and will continue to accomplish His work in each life that was touched by it.

Saying good bye to brothers and sisters in Christ from Grace Church of Orange.  We love you and are thankful for you!

Saying good bye to our brothers and sisters  from Grace Church of Orange. We love you and are thankful for you!  Come again for round 3!

 

Grace Church of Orange leaves its mark.

Grace Church of Orange leaves its mark.

MBH Unpdate:  We are experiencing a change of season (summer to fall) which has caused all sorts of viruses to be floating around.  One of the tiny preemie babies (nicknamed “Small” by the caregivers) became so ill, he required hospitalization due to pneumonia.  Unfortunately, the government hospitals in which the babies obtain critical care are very very understaffed.  Small was admitted to the hospital for two days until a doctor was available to see him which was quite scary for our caregivers. Thankfully, Small is doing much better and is now back in the loving care of the Muphamuzi Baby Home.  But this ordeal has given 1Hope the resolve to raise money for a MBH Hospital fund that will enable the babies to receive care at a private hospital when needed.

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Baby “Small” is doing fine, but gave the caregivers quite a scare!

 

Our sweet Christmas baby went to her forever family this past month!  We miss her and she will always have a special place in the heart of our family.  But we are thrilled and thankful that God has provided for her and pray that she will be cherished and come to know the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

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Our sweet little girl has gone to her forever family. We thank God for His goodness toward her!

Of course, to fill the space a new one has come:

Newest little girl arrived one week ago and was only days old!

Newest little girl arrived at the Baby Home one week ago and was only days old!

Clark Family News:

Over the past year and a half since we first began this African adventure,  we have watched God provide for our family in so many ways. We have experienced the joy of having our children serve those in need.  We have been blessed by a fellowship of believers from different tongues and nations.  We have experience deep community with like minded co-workers whose aim in life is to have the Glory of God known through the awe and wonder of the gospel; and we have witnessed the need for laborers in a harvest that is plentiful.

As our “one year” stay in South Africa has turned into two, we are now praying and pursuing the opportunity for a much longer term of service.  We are trusting God to continue to lead and provide as we start taking steps in this direction.  Please pray for us; that as we make our plans, it will be the Lord that will establish our steps. (Proverbs 16:9)

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Our Julia Faith turns 14!

Our Julia Faith turns 14!

 

 

 

 

 

5 thoughts on “Grace Church returns

  1. Hello Clark Family,
    God blessed me with HIS PERFECT TIMING on reading your latest blog… I have 1 whole hour without any of my kids around. In my house, that happens maybe once a month or less (I am sure it may never happen in yours). Anyhow, I got the beautiful opportunity to read your blog and just surround myself with all that is going on with your life. Reading about your family, your ministry, your faithful children, and your response to Christ’s daily call ONCE AGAIN helps me to place all of life in perspective. It is JUST SO AMAZING to watch Christ work and change lives one by one through yours (and through those you work with) faithful service.
    Your kids are getting SOOOO BIG and more beautiful in VERY PICTURE!!! We miss the Clarks and wish you were here but we do see the MUCH BIGGER PLAN HE HAS FOR YOU THERE.
    Although I have not emailed u in an extremely long time, that does not mean my prayers are absent. You are in my prayers weekly.
    With love,
    Cindy

  2. Clark’s

    Today is the 1st day of April and my set aside day to pray for your awesome family. Today I am praying for wisdom and guidance as you consider extending your “stay”. May the Lord give you His heart in all the details of this decision. And I am thanking God for the great partnership with Grace Church of Orange, it looked like the time was super productive! Please pass along Birthday month wishes to Julia…14 will be a great year!!

    God is faithful,

    Matt Doan

    • Dear Matt, Thank you for your faithfulness in prayer and for praying so specifically for our family. We would love to pray for your ministry as well. Please let us know how. It is true…God is faithful!

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