His master replied, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness! Matthew 25:21
On August 12, a faithful brother and member of Living Hope Church was called to his eternal home and is now sharing in his master’s happiness! Quiet, gentle 65 year-old Jannie was a man who though he had very little by the world’s standards, was rich in his love for the gospel. One of our favorite stories of Jannie is how he suffered a stroke one day, and was out the next day evangelizing in the park with a mission team. He grew weak and tired easily, so he sat on a park bench to watch and pray. Jannie had a tremendous impact on many lives as he humbly and lovingly served those whom God put in his path. Several young men stood up at the memorial service to testify how Jannie had ministered and discipled them. He was nothing less than a father to these men.
One such young man is Ally whose life story shows our Lord as Rescuer and Redeemer from darkness and evil. Ally is from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and at age 15 was forcibly taken from his family and home to be trained to serve with rebel armies in the jungle. He spent six terrible months in the jungle and then, through the help of his family, Ally was able to escape. For his safety, he fled his home country. After several months and making his way through Burundi, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe, staying in refugee camps and taking odd jobs along the way, Ally finally found himself in Pretoria, South Africa and attending our very own Living Hope Church.
Ally is now twenty years old and in his last year of high school. He recalls his first Sunday at Living Hope hearing Pastor Josh preach about growing in the truth of the word of God. He says that on that same day, he told the friend who invited him to Living Hope that this was the church he has been searching for; a church that truly cares for one another and has a heart for the lost. Ally has a dream of finishing school, pursuing a career, and one day returning to his family when there is peace in his country. In the meantime he places his hope and trust in Christ alone and depends on Him to provide. Ally’s dramatic story is a reminder of the truth scripture so clearly points out – We are all in need of a Rescuer and Redeemer:
For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:13-14
Back in RSA Our dear friends and fellow ministry partners, the Mack family and Andre DeWit returned safe and sound from their U.S. visit.
Mission Malawi Update– We are thankful and praise God that Newton, Vanessa and baby Aya have arrived in Linlongwe, Malawi and are beginning a new chapter of their long anticipated life and ministry! They will be there for five months and will then need to return to (hopefully, finally) complete the paperwork for their daughter’s adoption.
Swazi Connection Since our visit to Swaziland in June, God has provided us with the opportunity to build relationships with the founder and director of Hosea’s Heart, Mary-Kate Martin and her interns who are ministering in a home for sexually-abused girls in Swaziland. They have come to visit us for the weekend a couple of times and we have enjoyed hosting these special ladies as they take a needed retreat from their very demanding ministry.
Clark Family News August marks the two-year mark for our family arriving in South Africa. When we first arrived in 2012, I truly believed that our time here was temporary; that we would return to resume our lives in Orange, California. But somehow, through God’s loving, gracious, gentle leading, we have come to realize that His will for our family is right here in South Africa. The reality of this has hit home last month as our house in Orange County, California went on the market, quickly sold and all our possessions were moved into storage! (Thank you so much, Grace Church of Orange and our dear friend and faithful realtor, Mark Donaldson!!) So strange that all this could happen to our “stuff” while we are on the other side of the world!
As roots of our “old” life are being pulled up, we are laying down roots in another land. Through God’s generous provision, the sale of our house has allowed us to purchase one here in Pretoria, which we will be moving into at the end of this month! The house has so much opportunity for ministry/hospitality and we pray that God will use it for his kingdom purposes and that it would be a blessing for all who enter.
Just as we move into our new home, in the beginning of October, we will pack up to travel back to the OC where we will be for three months in order to “take care of business” that enables a long-term move. We would so appreciate your prayers in many areas of our lives as we anticipate the next six months being very busy:
- For our move at the end of the month to go smoothly (it is amazing how much a family of seven can accumulate in two years)
- Preparation/packing to return to the U.S. and a safe journey
- For all the details that need to be seen to while in the U.S. – obtaining a new visa, going through all our possession that are in storage, securing a container to ship some of our things and donations for the ministry over etc..
- A joy-filled holiday season with family and friends. We are so excited to see many of you!
- That many others will join our team through prayer and support
Eish! (They say this term a lot here and it has somehow snuck in and stuck! Eish!) It all seems too big for us, but we are relieved and thankful that our God who is so much bigger is ABLE:
Now to him who is able to do immeasurable more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen! Ephesians 3:20-21