The Jacaranda City October in Pretoria is marked by clouds of purple on every major street as the estimated 70,000 jacaranda trees begin their yearly bloom. These trees are not indigenous to South Africa and the first two trees were imported from Brazil in 1888 and planted at what is now Sunnyside Primary School (Where we held AWANA for two years). The trees did so well in Pretoria that the government commissioned a horticulturist to line every major street with jacarandas. Ironically, these trees are now considered an invasive plant and it is no longer legally to plant new ones. The city is stunning purple profusion and we are in awe of it and the paintbrush of our Creator when our daily activities require us to drive around the city.
Mission Malawi Update
Newton and his family have been in Pretoria recently attempting to acquire their daughter’s official unabridged birth certificate. Their first application was submitted in January. They were told it would take 6 months, but they waited beyond that time period in order to allow Home Affairs plenty of time to do their job. They arrived in Pretoria in September, optimistic that all would be finalized, only to discover that their case was closed in July without any notice. They submitted a second application at the beginning of September, but when they went to check on it about one month later, one office said it was in process while the other claimed it was never received. It has been quite frustrating and discouraging for them as they have had to apply for this document four times due to the lack of efficiency of the department in charge. Every time they speak to someone or go down to the Home Affairs office, they get the run around and are asked to re-apply. Because new South African law does not permit children to travel outside the country without this document, Vanessa and little Chisomo have been forced to stay behind in South Africa while Newton returned to Malawi. He has traveled back and forth a few times in order to be with his family as well as continue pastoring the church plant back in Lilongwe, Malawi. As it stands currently, Newton will be returning to Malawi on Friday and Vanessa will once again stay behind for a minimum of three weeks. Please pray for the needed documents to come through so that the family can be reunited and back home. In the meantime we have been enjoying their company:
Also, pray for the church plant that is still very much in its seedling stages. Over the past seven months the church has grown from a handful of committed attenders to 20-30 strong. Within this small church body, as in much of Africa, many would profess to be Christians, but do not seem to have a true understanding of the gospel. Newton’s work is to provide Biblically sound teaching for these young believers so that “Christ may dwell in their hearts through faith… and that they, being rooted and established in love,may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that they may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.(Ephesians 3:17-19) Vanessa is reaching out to the seven women that consistently attend to disciple them and grow them in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Other ways they are reaching out to their community are college campus outreaches, Bible studies, door-to-door, and men’s monthly evangelistic breakfast. Newton’s heart is, “for his people to come to correct understanding of the gospel and the implication it has on their everyday lives”. He says that main obstacle to this is “religion”. Please pray for the Chilingulos as they seek to further God’s kingdom in Lilongwe, Malawi.
Muphamuzi Baby Home Update This last Friday, the twin girls were placed in their forever family! As much as 1Hope would like to have an input regarding the families our children go to, this is not always the case. And so we pray and trust that God is sovereign over all things. As the babies were meeting their parents for the first time, Britt, our baby home manager, discovered that the girls were being placed with parents that know and love Christ. She was overjoyed! In her own words, “it was amazing to see how the Lord answers prayers! We pray for these little ones from the day we get them that they will be placed in a forever family with a mommy and daddy who love the Lord and will teach them about Jesus and God answered that prayer today! The parents were so excited to hear how God answered prayers through bringing them to adopt our little girls. It is just amazing what a big God we serve! I can look at a situation and become discouraged- namely that the babies are with an agency and we don’t have a say in where they go- but nothing is too big for God! He sees everything and knows exactly what will happen to each of our babies. What an answer to prayer and what a big God we serve! Praise theLord!!”
Other Happenings in the Life of our Church
Our current baby home intern is Tabea from Switzerland. She is serving with us for three months, loving and caring for the babies and diving into the life of Living Hope Church!
In Family News, Randy celebrated his birthday last month turning half a century…
And finally, it is Rugby World Cup 2015 season and my children (at least Julia and Marissa) have turned against their home country in order to root for a winning team. Who can blame them when the USA vs RSA score was an embarrassing 0 to 64? Randy and I, however, tried to remained loyal in support for the underdog.