Mission to South Africa
News from Grace Place 28 January 2013

I sat under the tent with the family – crowds of people around us as we were just one of four funerals that morning. The drums throbbed, the singers chanted, the soft shush of the dirt as it was shoveled into the deep hole kept time with the drums and the singers – shush, shush, shush, shush. Soon the hole was filled and rounded up.  Twelve candles were stuck in the dirt and lit – then I was asked to speak on behalf of Jacob who had worked for me for many years. I could speak of his faithfulness and that he loved Jesus and that as he went quickly, so could they. They needed to make their lives right with God – it could be any time, and they could be too late.

I’ve made a note in my mind to always be ready – I may be called on at any time to speak and this came as a surprise to me.

Jacob’s family are poor people and this will be very hard on them as he provided much of the food for the family.  I hope I can help Jacob’s young nephew, Hendrick, with his schooling needs. He’s about 16 and a good kid. Always preferred coming to the farm and spending time with Jacob to running around in Leseding with the other youth.

The good news is that friends came to visit the first weekend of January and Plamen was able to fix my gas fridge! Praise the Lord! Ilka is also very industrious and got stuck into picking mangos. As I’m allergic to them, I can’t work with them. Plamen and Ilka and their twins, Vaneta and Nadia were such a blessing. And they were able to take Mbilizi back to Joburg – he had been with me three weeks. As for the mangos,there wasn’t much of a harvest as the baboons and monkeys have been coming. I saw a big baboon go out of the orchard one morning. With the mangos gone, I hope they are also gone.

The other good news is that the road coming up to Grace Place has been fixed (as best they could) by about 15 of my neighbors and their workers. It’s not good, but about 100 per cent better than it was. It got so bad that we were driving up and down the pass on stones and holes. It looked like a river bed. There was no soil holding things together.

Kid’s Club is up and running again – began small, but this week every piece of bread (640 sandwiches) and 100 litres of milk were finished. The other two weeks the excess went to Bushveld Mission who care for about 60 school children.

Our lessons have been The Wordless Book which tells the gospel message, the youth also did the Wordless Book so they could help the younger ones and then we made wordless books for all of them. Now our lessons will be on Teachings of Jesus each week and we began with The Temptations of Jesus with the youth – then one of them will teach the Kid’s Club, and the Revolution Group will have the lesson in more detail on Saturday morning.

Other activities have been helping the youth get organized with school clothes and books. They must have school uniforms and it is a big expense for those where the parents are unemployed – which is many. At least now they can go off to school looking great!

About 14 of the youth have been here the past few Fridays and Saturdays. It’s a good time to talk and pray and for them to watch some new Christian DVD’s. I usually have them 2 at a time, but sometimes break my rule.

Tickets are booked and paid for our international flights for Kathleen and I.  Still working on the internal flights and schedules. We depart from Joburg on 20 March and Kathleen returns on 29 April, me on 14 May.  I don’t know yet how much the internal flights will cost – those must still be paid.

Had a great talk with Jo last night about when she and Lance will arrive, etc.

I thank the Lord for health and strength, and for His guidance always.

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