O WHAT A GLORIOUS NIGHT.
This past Saturday night we had a family picnic and carol service at our church, the aim was to enjoy the family togetherness that the Lord has been growing in our congregation this year as well as invite new people who do not necessarily do church. It was such an enjoyable time. As part of the carol singing, we got the kids and some adults involved by doing an impromptu Nativity play.
We all had so much fun and once again we all felt like family because of what Jesus did and is doing in our lives. One thing that stood out for me though, was that I have heard the Nativity story so many times in my life. While I do focus on it and prepare my heart each Christmas for meeting with Jesus in a new way, I tend to read the story and miss so many key parts of the reality of what that time must have been like. The fact that Mary was pregnant and not married. The fact that Herod ordered that all young males under the age of two were to be killed, so many significant life-changing, glorious and devastating things happening when Jesus came to earth at exactly the right time.
I am “treasuring these things in my heart” again because this last part of 2022 has left us as a family in survival mode again. Life has really been hard for us as a family and Jesus has been faithful and wonderful in holding us as we do life and ministry. Thank you for your support and prayers.
CHRISTIAN MORNING STAR CHUCH IN ZION.
We had a great cultural day at our ‘soup kitchen’ church. It was good being a part of the church service as they honored some of their older ladies who now find it difficult to get to church. Each old lady was given a certificate as well as a gift of a blanket as a token of “thank you for your commitment to the church”. Barry was able to preach, and it was good being able to be there on a Sunday to be part of the church and get an idea of the congregation behind the soup kitchen. We are praying for wisdom and open doors to continue to build relationships with this church and the ladies who run the soup kitchen.
Louise with Thursday morning Bible study singing "I will follow Him"
Thankfully, graduation could take place like it did before Covid. It was good to be able to have the families celebrate with the students. Louise was able to be there as well. The program started much later than expected, and this gave Louise time get to know some of the past ZEBS graduates and their stories. It was an enjoyable time of connecting. Barry was not yet able to drive, nor sit for very long so we were only able to stay for part of the celebration.
Nathan has had quite a journey since our last newsletter. Puberty has added a whole bunch of new challenges emotionally for him and it has been a very overwhelming time. This has led to quite a few changes that have also been difficult to adjust to. They made a few changes to his meds and we have taken him out of Cape Recife High School and put him in a small tutoring facility just around the corner from our home. He is one of eleven children there and is doing the same curriculum as he did at Cape Recife on an online platform. He has passed Grade 8 with excellence despite all the challenges, and we do praise the Lord for that. Please pray with us as we continue to adjust to having him home three hours more a day than we were used too, and as we look for positive ways to channel his “superpowers.” It would be good for him to find a friend that he can connect with even though relationships are a real challenge, as he is feeling so lonely.
Barry’s knee replacement went well, and recovery has been painful, difficult, and slow. He has lost quite a bit of weight and his system has taken a lot of strain from the surgery. We had no idea that he was going to battle like he has and that our children were also going to take so much strain because of their dad not being well.
Life is a little easier now that he can drive, and he continues to push himself to do the exercises to be able to get his knee to bend to where the doctor wants it to go. We are praying the swelling and stiffness will ease up soon, like before Christmas.
Peta-Jade has also had a difficult semester and is anxiously awaiting her marks for the group activity which caused so much anxiety and stress. Must admit we are so glad it is over. She seems to have done well again and we wait for all the results. Her graduation next year (April/May) is going to be a victory moment for us as a family. She plans to continue studying next year.
Thank you so much for being on our team in whichever way you are part of supporting us. We do love and appreciate you all. Please continue to pray with us concerning our support levels as we look to doing support raising in 2023.
May you have a wonderful Christmas and may you meet with Jesus in a new and precious way this holiday time. May you also find time to rest and restore as we look to the new year and all the Lord holds for us in 2023.
Season’s greetings and loads of love
Barry, Louise, Peta-Jade, and Nathan.
PS. All the bold writing are prayer points, thanks for holding us up in prayer.
Giving in South Africa:
Standard Bank Current Account; Acc name: ZEMA; Acc no: 081047401;
King Williams Town; Branch no: 050419; Ref: “Your name/ Adkins