After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” Revelation 7:9-10
If there one thing we absolutely love about Living Hope Church is the fact that although we are small in numbers we are a body of believers from all around the globe and when we gather to worship King Jesus it is a foretaste of heaven. Currently, we are going through a series on what it means to be a member of the local church and last Sunday Donovan reminded us that when the church is deeply united, God is glorified. Testimony is given that something supernatural has happened and that the gospel is real.
Ladies Ministry: Year two of Ladies Ministry is in full swing. We gathered together on a Saturday in January for our year kick-off with a “Women on a Mission” conference together and have now resumed our study of the book of Galatians. We are learning over and over from the Apostle Paul the amazing truth that the gospel is real and that our righteous standing before God is not a result of performing goods works for God, but is a result of faith alone in what Christ has done on our behalf.
Project Timothy: One of the ongoing ministries of 1Hope is Project Timothy. From the website: Project Timothy is a focused, comprehensive, church-centered program that seeks to mentor godly men from Africa for biblically faithful, effective pastoral ministry, so that more healthy churches are planted and existing churches are strengthened, for the saving of the lost, the maturing of believers, and the glory of God. Two men are currently being supported through Project Timothy, Nixson , who recently graduated from seminary and is training to be an elder at Living Hope and Antony from Malawi who currently in year two as a student at Christ Seminary. Also pictured is Micha, a young man from Germany who has come to intern with Living Hope and 1Hope.
The Muphamuzi Baby Home has welcomed two new members to its staff: Sarah Ray from Little Rock, Arkansas has joined the 1Hope team as Director of Interns for the MBH. She has committed to two years and has jumped right in to ministry life. Emily Kirk has joined us as a Baby Home intern for the next few months.
1Hope Fun Day– As the ministry team grows, we must be intentional to spend time fellowship and growing together. In order to facilitate this, Andre and Karlien put on a Master Chef competition for the members of 1Hope. It was great fun and Handy Randy was on the winning team!
A Lucky Story One Sunday before church, Randy was on his way to the hardware store to pick up cement and other supplies for a building project. Usually, there are several men hanging around the outside of the store hoping to get hired for the day, but this Sunday morning there was only one man holding up his arm in attempts to catch the attention of those driving by. Randy found the man still there after leaving the store. It was a Sunday and we really had no work for him, but Randy figured he could be of help by unloading the bags of cement for us, and so picked him up. Lucky (the man’s name) worked hard that hot summer morning unloading the heavy bags and when it was time to get ready for church, Randy intended to drop him back off where he found him.
Before he sent him on his way, Randy handed Lucky a booklet that Pastor Josh has written entitled, “The Best Story Ever”. This little book carefully and Biblically details God’s redemption of man through the glorious gospel. Lucky’s response surprised Randy when he said, “Oh, I have that book.” (And since only a few hundred of the books are in print, my first very skeptical, suspicious response when Randy told me was, “No, he doesn’t. He’s making that up.”) Lucky went on to tell Randy that “some white guy handed it to him” while he was selling things at the stoplight and showed Randy the chapter he was on. Randy then asked him if he would like to come to church because the author of the book is our pastor. Lucky did come to church with us that Sunday, but afterwards we did not hear back from him despite Randy’s attempts to get in contact with him.
Two Sundays later, however, at 9am, Lucky showed up at our gate wanting to go to church. After asking around, we discovered that Micha, the German intern, hands out the booklets to the people begging or selling items at the stoplights. Lucky was in need of work and a place to stay, but more importantly he was in need of the Savior. We have been privileged to be placed in Lucky’s life for now to help him with his physical needs, but more blessed to be able to share the love of Christ with him. In the month that we have known this young man, he has proven himself to be a very diligent, consistent worker and he has made efforts to come to church although he now lives very far away. We pray that God may open the eyes of his heart that he may see that the gospel is real and come to a genuine saving faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Lucky’s story reminds me that our Sovereign God is a God who is near. He sees and cares for all. From the sparrow that falls to ground to a hungry man looking for work standing outside a hardware store – not one is outside our Father’s care.
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Matthew 10: 29-31
Family News: So far in 2016 our family has had three birthdays:
Elijah turned 9 in January:
Gabriel turned 11 in February:
Julia turned sweet 16 in March:
Since South Africa was voted most beautiful country in the world, we figured we may as well experience it while we are here! Back in January we were thankful to get away a bit and enjoy some family time together hiking, biking and horseback riding in the magnificent beauty of this country.