We have been settling in to our new life in Pretoria, South Africa for just over one month, but it has been incredibly filled with the things of life (a week of jet lag, four weeks of kitchen construction, a couple bouts of the stomach flu, a trip to the emergency room for a concussion, unpacking our things from our shipping container and lots of new ministry opportunities) that it seems as if we have been here for several months.
Before we go into anything else, we must report a wonderful answer to prayer. I will let Newton Chilingulo, Mission Malawi pastor, tell you in his own words from his most recent special update:
As most of you are already aware, we have been asking you to pray with us for the adoption of our baby girl. It has been a very frustrating, lengthy journey that has taken almost three years. We faced delays and government bureaucracy not to mention inefficiencies of some government officers. The process delayed our move to Malawi. BUT GOD! We are delighted to let you know that your prayers have been answered. The adoption is FINALISED. TETELESTAI. HALLELUJAH!…
I went to the Registrar and received the registered adoption order that says “According to the provisions of Section 242 of the Children’s Act (Act No. 38 of 2005), your adopted child is now for all purposes regarded as your child as if born to you and you are now for all purposes regarded as the parent of the adopted child”. SOLI DEO GLORIA!
New Ministries Launched In 2015, Living Hope Church/1Hope4Africa has launched three new ministries:
Ladies Bible Study – Our prayer for the ladies of Living Hope Church comes from Ephesians 3:16-19): “that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Ladies Bible Studies are meeting weekly alternating between a large group and smaller groups.
Nursery and Pre-School Sunday School – In the past, mothers of young children found themselves sitting on the lawn just outside the church building during the Sunday service trying to catch a bit of the sermon in order to not disrupt Pastor Josh’s message. But with the launch of our new Children’s Sunday School, these mothers are now able to relax and enjoy the church service knowing their children are lovingly cared for.
The purpose of this foundational course is to help students understand how the Bible works and what the Bible is about so that they will benefit from it and be able to explain the purpose of the Bible to others. Both Randy and I are taking this course and learning so much.
The Muphamuzi Baby Home internship Program continues and currently 1Hope is hosting two interns. Hannah Hochsmann, a sweet God-loving 19 year-old from Germany, who flew in on our same flight from Frankfurt to Johannesburg, will be serving at the baby home until April.
Alli Sciarra (eldest daughter of Mike Sicarra who pastors our sending church, Grace Church of Orange) has been here since the middle of January. When Alli’s spring plans for graduate school did not work out, she decided she would like to use the time to serve in some way. Her brother suggested the baby home, but her first response was not in favor of this amazing life-changing option as babies are not really “her thing”. However, as she prayed and read through 1Hope4Africa’s website, the idea began to grow on her. When she told her parents about the possibility, her mother said, “The Baby Home? You know that means you will be working with …babies?” But the Lord put in Alli an excitement about joining our ministry for four months and she has valiantly been caring for our four little ones currently at the baby home. In the weeks that she has been serving here, God has been graciously teaching her what it means to sacrificially give of time and service and she is has genuinely grown to love the babies.
The Muphamuzi Baby Home internship program is vital to the success of 1Hope’s endeavor to care for vulnerable babies. The interns help keep the running cost of the home down while maintaining a high standard of care. We are thankful for both girls who are currently with us and are praying for God to continue to provide young ladies willing to serve Christ in this way. For more information click here.
Last Friday, the 13th was our “lucky” day. At about 6:45 am, without the promised “we will let you know when it is on it’s way” phone call, our shipping container with our belongings and ministry donations that we packed and sent off in December of last year, arrived. From Long Beach it sailed to San Francisco, then crossed the Pacific Ocean to Hong Kong where it transferred vessels, then down to the port city of Durban, South Africa and finally, to our front door in Pretoria. We were given four hours to unload, but with the help of a construction crew from Germany who are here currently working with 1Hope on a building project , the entire contents of the 40 foot container were unloaded in an hour and a half! We are so grateful that God graciously provided for us in this way and allowed our belongings to follow us to South Africa. We give praise to God, from whom all blessings flow, for what He has accomplished in our lives to bring us to this place and point in our lives.