Kruger National Park, the largest game reserve in South Africa, was formally established in 1926 to protect wildlife against uncontrolled hunting. It covers 20,000 sq km (7,722 sq mi, the size of the country of Wales) and is synomonus to the word “safari”. This month we had the opportunity to spend some time in this game reserve “hunting”(with binoculars only) for African animals roaming free in their natural habitat. We were able to spot four of the Big 5. No leopards. Here is a sampling of our sightings:
From this last photo, it may look like we have gained a couple of children, but actually our beloved friends and fellow 1Hope team members, the Macks and Andre, have been in the U.S. visiting family and casting vision for the work that God is doing through 1Hope and Living Hope Church. Due to visa restrictions, two of their precious kiddos stayed behind and we have had the privilege of being their family this past month!
Mission Malawi Back in January of this year we shared that Newton and his family were commissioned by Living Hope Church to plant a church in their home country of Malawi. Their hope and prayer was to make the big move in February. Well… all we need to do is walk this life a bit to discover that our ways are not God’s ways:
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” Isaiah 55: 8-9
Newton and Vanessa are still here and we have had the privilege of sharing in their precious fellowship just a little longer. Right when it seemed that their daughter’s adoption would be finalized, a new form to complete the process was added. They quickly filed this form and were told it would take only three weeks to process. This was in early March. After their fourth visit to the National Office of Social Development without any success, Vanessa, understandably, was quite frustrated. However, after turning her heart and will over to the Lord, she is now at peace and determined to wait patiently on the Lord trusting that He is at work.
In the meantime, Newton has been using his time for kingdom advancement by preaching and teaching at several churches and conferences, all the while trusting in God’s sovereignty over all things, even overworked government offices that are not as efficient as one would like them to be. Also, he has been able to step into Living Hope Church leadership while the Macks have been away which has been a surprise gift and blessing for us! Their attitude reflects that of their precious Savior: “Not my will, but yours be done” Please continue to pray for them as they wait and trust God for His perfect timing and will for their lives.
They have a new and revised plan. They have applied in faith for permission to travel with baby Aya and when the Mack’s return in August. They will travel to Malawi for five months regardless of the status of the adoption to establish their home and explore church planting options.
Newton told us, “God has been teaching us patience and I believe we will need this patience as we church plant in Malawi. We do not expect things to be easy in Malawi”
Specific Prayer requests for the dear Chilingulo family:
- Wisdom and God’s will for them as they pursue different options for church planting in Malawi. They will be exploring several options during their five month stay and as Newton said, they expect the road to be difficult.
- Their adjustment and being able to truly establish Malawi as their home. They have both been away from the country for about twenty years and in most ways, it is very much like a foreign land.
- The form that they are waiting on to complete Aya’s adoption will come through quickly in order that they may proceed with adoption finalization.
- Good health for all, especially Vanessa as her health continues to be a struggle.
- Evangelistic opportunities to build relationships and share the transforming power of the gospel.