Knowing God

“Knowing about God is crucially important for the living of our lives. As it would be cruel to an Amazonian tribesmen to fly him to London, put him down without explanation in Trafalgar Square and leave him, as one who knew nothing of English or England, to fend for himself, so we are cruel to ourselves if we try to live in this world without knowing about the God whose world it is and who runs it .The world becomes a strange, mad, painful place, and life in it a disappointing and unpleasant business, for those who do not know about God. Disregard the study of God, and you sentence yourself to stumble and blunder through life blindfold, as it were, with no sense of direction, and no understanding of what surrounds you. This way you can waste your life and lose your soul.”  ― J.I. Packer, Knowing God

Ministry Programs Begin Again   At Living Hope Church we are serious about growing in our knowledge of God as He has revealed Himself in His Word and through His Son. So…after breaking for a few weeks over the holidays in December and January several, ministries are back up and in full swing:

Appropriately, Ladies Ministry ‘s theme this year for this year is Knowing God Together.  We will be studying the incommunicable attributes of God (which in common language translates to the qualities of God that are true only of Him.) This month we studied that God is “infinite.” He has no limits and is therefore unlimited in all his attributes.  Limitless in love, mercy and grace. Limitless in knowledge, wisdom and power. There is none like Him and so He is worthy of our worship and praise.

I am honored and privilege to be teaching a few times this year. It is a gift to be teaching my sisters about our great and infinite God, and I am thankful for the opportunity to grow in my knowledge of Him in this way.  Enjoy this quick video with our LHC ladies singing about knowing Him.

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Sisters in Christ agree:  Knowing You, Jesus…there is no greater thing.

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Sisters from all around the world: Mexico, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Congo, South Africa and  U.S. pause for a moment to pray to the One “whose world it is and who runs it.”

Our Children’s Church and Creche (nursery) which cares for children ages 6 and below during our sermon time resumed at the end of January. Thanks to the funds raised by Calvary Church VBS during our time with them back in August, we have launched a new Sunday School program for preschoolers using curriculum from Children Desiring God. The children will learn Bible stories that will encourage them to understand more of the greatness of God in Christ, as well as begin to hide God’s Word in their heart through the Foundation Verses memory program. We are thankful for the privilege to be starting this program with these little ones and pray that God would use it not only in their young lives, but also the lives of the teachers and families to grow in their knowledge of God.img_0937

African Bible Training Centre has added two more courses to their already running Old Testament Course. Julia, Randy and I will be taking the survey of the New Testament class every other week where we will look at every book of the New Testament. Julia, Marissa and Randy will be looking at Systematic Theology to study foundational Biblical truths.16473686_10154255446651629_8947202079938978859_n

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Equipping the saints

Swaziland Pastor Vusi whom we met last year visiting with a mission team from my sister and brother-in-law’s church has come to join in on these two classes this past week and is hopeful to continue with these classes with the help of Hope Chapel, Hermosa Beach. It is precious to witness Pastor Vusi’s humble heart and his hunger to learn more of God’s word and be willing to make the long trek (9 hours on public transport) to Pretoria to take part in these classes. (watch a beautiful video of Pastor Vusi’s rural community here)

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Pastor Vusi with Elijah


Muphamuzi Baby Home
Our oh so sweet Christmas Baby was reunited with his birth mama last month and we believed that God has heard our prayers for this sweet boy and answered.16107223_1216483218435795_657476714987062252_o

Two more babies have also been placed in foster families over the past few months. Foster families in South Africa is at least a two year placement and the first step towards adoption if the courts rule favorably.

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The Lord has provided Baby T (far left) with a family. Garakai and Makonnea are the Baby Home house parents!

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Our dear friends and fellow 1Hope missionaries brought home baby girl R (also far left)

Interns are needed: From our Director of Interns, Sarah Ray : 1Hope accepts interns throughout the year. (We can accommodate up to 2 ladies at a time, so sometimes it is fun to do the internship with a friend or sister!) Our interns serve at Living Hope Church (www.livinghopechurch.co.za) and Muphamuzi Baby Home, are discipled regularly in the Word of God, and are encouraged daily to live life for God’s glory.

intern-recruitment-flyerThe initial qualifications for female* interns are:


  • committed believers in Jesus Christ who are currently active in their local church
  • at least 18-years-old at the time of coming to South Africa

  • ideally, able to commit to a 3-month period of service with us

If you know of ladies in your church or family who would be interested in learning more, would you personally let them know of this opportunity? They can email me at sarah.ray.1hope@gmail.com for a Prospective Intern Information Packet or with any questions.

 

Visitors     When Sarah Bush first travelled to South Africa with her family as part of a mission team in 2013, it was done very reluctantly. However, The Lord moved in her heart on that trip and since then she has joined two other mission teams to South Africa from Grace Church of Orange. Now, on her fourth visit to a place she originally dreaded to come to, she has journeyed willingly and joyfully and is joining the life of Living Hope Church and the Clark family for three months. She has blessed us with a servant attitude and is helping me with the daily homeschooling, volunteering at the baby home, plugging into the different ABTC classes, providing childcare for communion and Ladies Bible study.

Our Mission Malawi family, the Chilingulos are also in Pretoria as they are seeking medical attention for Vanessa. She has two separate appointments and we are praying that she will receive the medical care that is necessary to help her. Please pray for these dear ones.

Church Facility!  We joined Living Hope Church in 2012 and over the past four years the congregation has doubled in size. The small hall that we rent from the Lutheran Seminary overflows on most Sundays. For the past couple of years Sunday school and creche has been held outside under easy-up tents.  Every Sunday Randy has packed up our van and trailer with sound equipment, easy-up tents and tables and toys and books and craft-supplies for the creche and Sunday school, tables and coffee urn, and mugs for the coffee table.  He has gotten it down to a science and as soon as he pulls into the parking lot, many servant-hearted hands are there ready to set up church. We have prayed and search, and then prayed and search some more for a different facility that would better suite our perceived needs.  And God’s answer all this time has been “not yet.” As we have prayed, we believed our need was for a different building to rent or purchase, but God in His sovereignty has shown us that our real need was to grow in our dependence and contentment trusting Him.  We believed our need was for a proper place to hold our Sunday children’s program, but our real need was to give our people opportunities to serve in helping set up tables and tents.  We believed our need was for a space to hold church events such as communion, ladies Bible study, ABTC classes but our real need was to give people an opportunity to serve the church with hospitality opening their homes for these church events. And then suddenly out of nowhere in casual conversation our elders became aware of a Presbyterian church in financial need looking for another church to rent their extra space. In a matter of a few short weeks a contract has been presented for much larger space, more hours on Sunday, availability during the week all for less rent!  The news was announced at our church family meeting today and there was great rejoicing!  We are thankful to our good Father who always knows what we need when we need it and who gives good things to those who ask!

Family Holiday  Just before all the ministries started up again, we were blessed to take a few day off to enjoy one of our favorite RSA destinations.  Truly a wonderful way to grow in the knowing God is spending time in His awe-inspiring creation!

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In case you noticed, there is an extra Clark child in this photo.  Micah, who is interning with 1Hope is  from Germany and  joined us for our family holiday.

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4 thoughts on “Knowing God

  1. How beautifully God has taken care of our little family in Africa. We are going through rain at present and now they are saying we are not in a drought any more and all reservoirs are filled up. Left over water goes to the ocean. The weather has been nice since we don’t much rain to begin with. Thanks for the update of the last couple of months. You always keep busy. the kids look happy and healthy. May God bless you on your way.
    Love to all, Mom and grandma. Grandpa says hi too.

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