Last year we were on furlough from 7 Dec 2021-Jan 2022. We were able to spend time with supporters, visit Pieter at his Naval base in California, and help Sarah settle into life in America. Sarah found a job at Cracker Barrel restaurant and enrolled in adult education at a local school for cosmetology. She is living with Susanne’s Dad and stepmom. It hasn’t been easy adjusting to life without our children nearby.
Katelyn was in grade 9 this year and really worked hard to get good grades in her schoolwork, and her efforts paid off. It was difficult to make subject choices for grade 10 so after prolonged thought and discussions with others, she chose pure mathematics, biology, business, and consumer studies.
A highlight of this year was when Greg, Sarah, Rayah, and Olivia Akers moved to East London in April to join us in the work. They have been a huge blessing and help to us already.
Luaan was responsible for nine Zion Evangelical Bible Schools that were held at the following venues: King Williams Town, Queenstown, Grahamstown, Port Alfred, Qamata, Mdantsane, Dordrecht, Willowvale, and Mthatha.
Luaan lectured at Dumisani Theological College on spiritual growth and on how to preach once a week for two terms. He was able to continue working on the translation project which involved the following: writing tracts, getting them translated, printing them out, and distributing them to soup kitchens, petrol attendants, shop workers, and Bible school students. He also taught the “This We Believe” doctrinal course several times a week to a circuit of venues which included the following: Gwebeni (a rural, remote mountainous region), Mpumzana, Seymour, Whittlesea and Gonubie.
We were blessed to have the funds available to purchase a more reliable bakkie that can traverse difficult terrain.
Susanne was involved with Sunday School teaching at church as well as a Sunday School Teacher Training Seminar that was held at Dumisani in King Williams Town on 2 April. Tim and Luann Kuehl were able to join for that greatly anticipated event. Susanne also taught Child Evangelism lessons after school on Fridays to girls in grades 1-2 at Kingsridge School for Girls in King Williams Town during terms 2-4 once Covid-19 restrictions were lifted. Sarah Akers often came along and helped to manage the girls and give them their memory verses. About 60 attended on average. The lessons were not compulsory, so we praise God for the girl’s desire to know more about the scriptures. Susanne taught from the book of Genesis about creation, the patriarchs, and through the life of Joseph. Most girls sit and listen and soak up all they can like little sponges because they have never heard these stories before.
We hosted several visitors throughout the year. Jim Robertson from Lancaster, PA visited us for a week in April enroute to completing some ministry outreach in Malawi. In September, Paul and Vicky Young, American chalk artist missionaries based in Cape Town, came to our area to preach in public schools for two weeks. We hosted two African Pastor’s Conference (APC) in October that were held in King Williams Town and Mthatha. APC provides pastoral training and very reasonably priced commentaries and other resources for the attendees to purchase for use in their areas.
We truly appreciate that Church of the Open Door brought a team again this year to help at the annual ZEMA missions conference. We are thankful for all their efforts and for their desire to serve the Lord in any way they can.
Our book club has been going through John Bunyan’s classic Pilgrim’s Progress this year. He emphasizes that there is one path to follow from the City of Destruction to the Celestial City and one door to enter but there are many obstacles and trials along the journey – ALL the way to the last moment. We praise God for His grace and mercy to help us, despite all the trials and temptations in this world. He is a faithful God and is worthy of our praise! We are thankful for his gifts of salvation and faith, and we pray that He continues to draw many souls to Himself. We look forward to what he is going to do in 2023.