Due to the global weather phenomenon, “El Niño,” which periodically occurs due to the warming of ocean temperatures, South Africa is currently in the grip of a severe drought. As a result it has been the hottest, stickiest, driest summer we have experienced so far. But this did not prevent a very sudden and extreme hailstorm to hit our neighborhood a few weeks ago, which caused our kids to run out and pretend it was snow. Unfortunately this resulted in quite a bit of damage to our newly planted flower garden but thankfully, our roses are rallying.
In everything give thanks (1 Cor 5:18). In November, in honor of our beloved American holiday, the grocery stores in Pretoria stocks frozen turkeys. The largest turkeys I was able to get my hands on was a whopping 4.24 kg (9.35 lbs) and only took 1 ½ hours to cook! We needed three of these birds to feed our Thanksgiving party.
Mission Malawi Update We are thrilled to report that the Chilingulos have returned to Malawi. All of Chisomo’s necessary paperwork, after three months of waiting, has come through. We were grateful to have them celebrate Thanksgiving with us and so enjoyed having them stay with us awhile. But as much as we will miss them, they were overjoyed to return home to the life and ministry that God has called them to in Lilongwe, Malawi.
Living Hope Church Children’s Ministry One year ago, if you were to visit Living Hope Church during the sermon time, you would have seen mothers sitting out on the lawn with their babies or chasing their young toddlers through the service at the same time trying to catch a few words from the sermon through a speaker that was set up on the outside of the church. But due to the ministry of the ladies (in the photo below) and the commitment of men coming early to help set up the tents and tables LHC had a nursery for the babies and Children’s Church for preschoolers this year. Our preschoolers learned the books of the Bible, questions and answers from a Children’s Catechism and memory verses. We pray that one day God will provide a church building for Living Hope and Sunday school can be held for all the children, but until then, we are excited for another year of children’s ministry Living Hope Church style.
New Seminary Graduate For the last four years, Nixson Pasipanodya left his family every two weeks and travelled three hours north to the town of Polokwane in order to attend classes at Christ Seminary where he was working to earn a bachelors degree in theology. His wife, Esther, sacrificially, would say good-bye to her husband for two weeks a month managing her home and three children without a husband and daddy. They grew in their trust and dependence on God to provide for their family. Nixson’s diligence and perseverance has paid off and at the end of November, LHC celebrated his cum laude graduation!! Nixson’s words from an excerpt in the graduation program:
“It is our duty now as we leave the seminary to go and entrust the great truths of Scripture to faithful men so that we can have men who are able to cut straight the word of God, a thing which I believe will bring great transformation to our continent…May God indeed help us to stand firm and be grounded on His Word alone, even when the tide is going against us. For we know whom we have believed and we are convinced that He is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to us. (2 Timothy 2:12)”
Amen. We are privileged to stand alongside Nick and his family as they seek to further the gospel throughout the continent of Africa.
Family News Marissa and Sophia both celebrated birthdays this spring (American fall). Sophia is 10 years old and with Marissa turning 13, we now have two teens in our family.
Family Additions The Muphamuzi Baby Home will be closed for the holidays in order to give the caregivers rest and time with their families. We have the privilege of caring for this sweet baby boy (only for 1 ½ weeks). He is one of the newest little ones at the Baby Home and is just over a month old. Precious Eternal Soul.
20 year-old Balekane is a student at a local private art college, who last June at the prompting of a friend, found herself compelled to listen to sermons by Paul Washer. She listened to the same sermons over and over until she became aware of the truth that, contrary to what she previous believed, she was not “good”, but a sinful person in need of redemption and reconciliation to God. In her searching she learned the truth: that this has already been graciously, mercifully, and lovingly accomplished by the finished work of Christ on the cross. She also began reading her Bible and in a short amount of time read through the entire New Testament. She continued to listen to sermons online, but also began searching and praying for a church. Through a series of God-ordained events and to our delight, she found herself at Living Hope Church. Bale lives with her parents only a few minutes from us and we have officially “adopted” her as the sixth child and oldest sister. She joins us at least one evening a week and shares her amazing artistic talents with our kids.
“Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away our sin.
Behold the Lamb of God, the life and light of men.
Behold the Lamb of God, who died and rose again.
Behold the Lamb of God who comes to take away our sins.”