Fullness of Joy

 You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Ps. 16:11

This past month has been so full; stuffed full to the brim with the fullness of joy through God’s richest blessings and kindness! Although we know that the greater eternal joy is yet to come, he blesses us with tastes of it here and one of the most tangible ways he does that is through relationships with our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Mission Team In June, we were blessed to host a mission team from one of our home churches. This is the fourth mission team Grace Church of Orange has sent to partner with 1Hope4Africa. It has been so fun to remember the very first team that was sent back in 2012 that Randy was a part of that lead to our move across the world.Mission team5

DSC_0297The mission team worked and played hard with us: painting and cleaning and organizing the front part of the Muphamuzi Baby Home in preparation for new house parents.

Digging, clearing, planting around our new counseling/teaching center that was christened “The Bible House”, a small wooden structure erected in the backyard of one of our  church family’s home. The Safaris live close to Sunnyside where many of our church families reside. They graciously agreed to have the building built on their land for the purpose of holding Bible courses and pastoral counseling.

The team provided childcare for an Evangelism training day and helped Living Hope Church host their 2nd annual Fun Day. They also took part in outreach at the University of Pretoria, home visits and Bible study in the refugee community of Savakop, and our monthly communion service.

U.S Visit  Two days after the team left, our family boarded an airplane leaving the chilly weather of Pretoria for sunny coastal southern California where we are currently staying for six weeks. So much joy to be had in the reunion of family and friends that we have not seen and hugged in a year and a half. It is a mere reflection of the glorious Ultimate Reunion waiting for us on eternity’s shores.

Penera family

Drone selfie with family.

With papa

Precious moments with Susan’s dad.

What joy it has been to also have our “sixth” child “Balekane” travel with us. We shared her testimony here (scroll down to “Family Additions”) and since her joining the Living Hope Church family, she has become a constant family member for us as well and we have had the joy of her being with us for a few weeks.  She has motivated us to do some L.A. sightseeing that we would not have otherwise done.

DSC_0324

La Brea Tar Pits

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LACMA

So so fun to have the Mack family join us for a weekend and have Josh, our South African pastor, preach at our American church!

Mack reunion

Living Hope Church wth Grace Church of Orange (Irvine Regional Park)

Mack reunion2

Also, through no collaboration or previous planning, the Chilligulos (Mission Malawi church plant) are  also in Orange County. What a shock it was for Randy to find Newton in the restroom of a Costco. We did know they were somewhere in Southern California, but did not know exactly where, until then!

with chillingulos

Surprise run-in!

They are now spending a few days with us and, as always, it is a joy to be with them:dinner with chillingulos

Randy and I celebrated our 20 years of marriage this month! What a gift is has been for us to go back to the words read at our wedding from Eccelesiates 4:9-12:

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor:

If either of them falls down,one can help the other up.

But pity anyone who falls
 and has no one to help them up.

Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.

But how can one keep warm alone?

Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves

A cord of three strands is not quickly broken

We feel such gratitude and joy and are humbled that God has allowed this truth to be manifested in our lives. “Two” has indeed been so much better that “one”. We have indeed picked each other up, kept each other warm and defended one another. We are thankful that God is the third cord in our strand of marriage and has been what has sustained us and kept us strong these past twenty years. To Him alone be the glory!

20 year anniversary

Twenty years!  So thankful!

We are looking forward to getting back to our Living Hope Church family in Pretoria:

LHC pic

Latest Living Hope Church photo

VBSBut before then, we will have the privilege of being the missionaries for Calvary Church of Santa Ana’s Vacation Bible School. It will be a privilege to share the work and ministry that God is doing through 1Hope and Living Hope. Our prayer is that as children hear what God is doing across the world, they will be drawn to the beauty and majesty of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

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