End of Fifth Year in South Africa
This month marks the end of our fifth year in South Africa. As most of you know we spent two years in Zambia, so altogether we have over seven years in Africa. Like any other work, we have had our ups and downs, good times and sad times. Our worst times were struggling through the pre-election violence and struggling through a foreign government's red tape with work permits, temporary residence permits and then permanent residence permits. We were not allowed to move out of the Johannesburg area until we had obtained permanent residence status which took almost three years. This slowed us down, but we would not allow it to stop us. We knew that we were sorely needed in the Eastern Cape, but we had no idea that our work would be so fruitful. We expect another great year ahead of us.
Several have asked about our children, where they are, how they are doing, and what they are doing. Our daughter, Lisa, and her husband, Patrick Dunn, are in Oklahoma and have both finished their university degrees. Patrick is a historian and Lisa a journalist. They have a beautiful seventeen month-old boy named Caleb who is our first grandchild. Patrick is working on a job offer here in East London, South Africa. Lisa has an offer already at our local paper. If they get to come soon, it will make us very happy grandparents. Caleb is quite clever. He called 911 the other day and had quite a laugh over it when the policeman came. Lisa was shocked and did not laugh at least until the policeman left. He reminds me of what corkers Brian and Derek were when they were his age. Brian, married a Christian, Liesl, from Johannesburg, and they moved to the USA. After a year in university, the Army offered to pay his college loans and give him all the things that come with Army life. They are in Martinez, Georgia, where he is training as a microwave technician. They have a beautiful six-month-old boy. Derek has recently married Ingrid, the sister of Brian's wife. Derek and Ingrid work as managers at a well known local restaurant chain. Neither Brian nor Derek are preaching at present, and I'm not pushing them into it. Dorothy and I are very busy these days as you can read from our reports, although we do not have room to include everything we are doing.
Fifteen Baptized at Good Hope
Fifteen more were baptized during the month of November. We have had about 35 baptisms over the last four months. This has taken a lot of teaching and the brethren have done a fairly good job of follow up. I have worked hard at trying to help insure that some of these were not just getting wet. Those baptized range in age from 12 to 60. Brother Walter put up a prefab type building of pressed wood walls and tin roof. The interesting thing is that the floor is dried cow dung! How many of you brethren have met in such a unique building? We have been so busy with Mount Coke and Good Hope that we have not gone back to Transkei yet, but we hope to travel there soon. We remain in contact with them, and they are patiently waiting our return.
As many of you know, we have been seriously short of several hundred dollars per month on our monthly support for over 18 months, and for the past few months $1200 per month. This put us behind on house notes, car payments, etc. The good news is that we are picking up $500 per month in January. We are still short $700 per month, so we are still in desperate need of this. Can anyone help us who is not already helping us? Even $25 or $50 per month or one-time.
Our work here would not be possible without your help. We appreciate you more than mere words can express. We have fellowship together in laboring to do our part to fulfill the Great Commission of our Lord and Savior when he said, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." Brethren, let us always keep this in mind, "For we are laborers together with God." As we plant and water, God will give "the increase" (Mark 16:15, 16; 1 Cor. 3:6, 9). We are Christians and we have a hope that no other people possess. That is what we have to offer all the lost souls of this world. You good brethren who have helped us and prayed for us have made it possible to reach many of those souls this last year. Again, we appreciate you and love you for the caring Christians that you are. We keep you in our prayers as you do us. Keep well or as the Xhosas say, "Salani kakuhle"!
Guardian of Truth XL: 5 p. 13