Ministry Update: Living Hope Church (August 2017)

It may take work to serve God, but serving God is not simply work. It is a privilege. I often think if God gave us the opportunity to spend our lives scrubbing toilets for his glory it would be a greater honour than we could ever deserve. We are amazed he has allowed us to spend our lives serving him as missionaries in South Africa and we are so grateful for the part you have played in helping us do just that.

God is working in many exciting ways throughout the world and we are so happy about the way he is working here at Living Hope.

Churches Planting Churches

One of our goals at Living Hope is to mentor, send out and support godly African men to serve as church planters throughout Africa. We want our church to be a trampoline for them, helping them go higher and further than they could on their own. We are thankful for what God’s doing already through Newton and his team at Reformation Bible Church in Lilongwe, Malawi and we are looking forward to sending Nickson Pasipanodya and his family as church planting missionaries in December 2018. This is one area where we could really use your help. If you are able, please check out our website for more information about how!

Mission Malawi

We have been praying God would help our church become a church that is passionate about church planting and missions, and we are excited that God allowed us to send our first ever out-of-the-country missions team to visit and work with the church that is being planted by the Chilingulos, whom we sent out a couple of years ago now.

They had a wonderful trip and brought back a great report of what God is doing in Reformation Bible Church. As you can see, they also were given the opportunity to eat some interesting food. You know you are a multi-cultural church, however, when that kind of food creates a fun church-wide “debate.” There were many in our church who thought, of course, “That looks great!” and others like me who thought, “Wow, suddenly I am not so hungry!”

The church has been growing quite a bit recently in many ways. One specific way is numerically. We are beginning to fill up our new space on Sundays. That growth is exciting if we are able to reach out and disciple those who are coming, which is why one of the things we are most excited about is the discipleship training class we have been holding. We have around thirty men and women coming and we are training them on how to disciple someone else, using some really great material called Partners. The long term goal is to have every one of these individuals equipped to work with someone else until “disciples making disciples” just becomes part of our church culture.

African Bible Training Centre

Please continue to pray for African Bible Training Centre. We are looking forward to seeing our first class complete the program this coming December and to welcoming new students at the end of January. Besides working at developing the curriculum, we also have been working at developing a website, which will be filled with resources we hope will be of help especially to African pastors. We would love to have check out what we have done so far and let us know what you think.

Racism: When Colour Divides

We are grateful for those who worked hard at putting on this conference recently and thankful God allowed us to be a part. I taught on counselling those you don’t like and helping those with more help those with less. I thought you might appreciate listening to some of the messages from the conference, which you can find here.

Muphamuzi Baby Home

Some months back, the Department of Social Services suggested we request to become a “Cluster Care” property. This means we would be allowed to have two baby homes on the same property. We are happy to report that, after various meetings with Architects, City Planners, Department of Social Services, and a Child Protection Organisation, God seems to be swinging doors wide open for this opportunity. We were met with enthusiasm in each meeting. From government workers to CPO workers, our expansion was met with full agreement and willingness to help wherever they can. We were told our home is a “luxury home for babies” and more homes like this are needed!

The application is now in process. We were not allowed to submit the application until we got “pre-approval” by all of the above parties. So now, as we understand it, it is a matter of getting paperwork done as requested. We’ve been told Muphamuzi Baby Home will be the very first “Cluster Care” property in South Africa that offers “temporary care” in this particular manner. This is exciting to us since our passion is the family, and we pray that our babies will only be in our care for a short while as they await their forever family. We are chomping at the bit to get started. This past month we have had to say no to six babies as our current home is already full! Home #2 would have already been filled, and this breaks our hearts each time we must legally say, “Sorry, we are full!” Will you pray with us that we can see the doors of MBH #2 open very soon?

This is our amazing baby home manager Britt with a little child who was just adopted this past week. What a privilege to be part of this process.

Biblical Counselling Training

Over the years, Dad has had the opportunity to develop a fantastic counseling training program. His son-in-law, Sybrand, is now working at gaining accreditation in South Africa for that program to offer a Masters degree. I am thankful for the opportunity to sit on the board and also be one of the professors in the program as well! You can find out more information about this training at SMTI.

Family Updates

These are our five teenagers. We are really having fun with them as a family and are so happy for the new opportunities we have with them as they grow. Bayley and Lincoln both turned nine years old this year. They are really sweet children and such good friends. Our two oldest girls were given the incredible opportunity to go back to the United States to enjoy a special camp hosted by Grace Community Church. The church there is so gracious and allowed the children of its missionaries to participate. We are really grateful. They also took advantage of the trip to spend time with their grandparents. They absolutely loved it!

We enjoyed celebrating Grandma’s birthday. It is a blessing to have both her and Granddad live with us.

We were sad to say goodbye to a young man from Germany who lived with us the past ten months and served as an intern. He made a big impact in our family and in the church.