It was good to be able to meet in person as a missionary body for our annual conference. It is always encouraging to hear how the Lord continues to work and do miracles even with the world feeling so up-side-down. Mike McDowell reminded us to make our plans for ministry and the future loosely as we really don’t know what the future may hold. The thing that stood out for Barry was that as believers we are “foreigners” on earth. This is not our home; this is not where we belong. Foreigners really do feel like they do not belong. So, he asks the question, is my Christian life so radical, that I stand out or is it middle of the road, and I am just like the folk all around me?
ZEBS has started off well with a few new students joining the class. We are looking forward to seeing the numbers increasing as things hopefully settle a little more as the year goes on. Barry has had a great time interacting with the students. The other day Franky was teaching, and he said the Apostle Paul is busy writing about something, he gets carried away, his emotion takes over and he writes something else, then Paul gets back to what he was originally saying. Sometimes the same happens to Barry, he is teaching, then he starts to cry, then comes back to what he is teaching. I think that sums Barry up well. Even in ZEBS, God uses our everyday life and experiences to speak into other people’s lives.
Barry continues to use his Light stream device in and outside of the ZEBS, and people seem to love to have the Jesus film on their cell phone. As we draw nearer to Easter, we are trusting for more opportunities to use this technology. Barry was talking to a Philippine sailor that he met at the beach, and he was sorry that he did not have the Jesus film in Pilipino, as it would have been good to have been able to load it on the sailor’s phone.
Our plan is to start visiting with Zion churches in the city to make some new contacts and grown the work and encourage folk to come to ZEBS. Please pray for the churches in the Townships as many have closed, for those that remain open attendance is down, numbers are low. We do realize that this is happening all over the world and so as we pray for churches all over, please remember us here in Port Elizabeth.
Barry and I have nearly completed the teaching our first Family Connections 12-week course. There are over 2000 people on the waiting list worldwide. The course is to help families and teach skills that are helpful in doing life with a person with borderline personality disorder. It has been good being able to be part of this course. The preparation and stories have brought back home how difficult it is to live with BPD and it has reminded us again of how amazing the Lord is in giving us this opportunity to equip other folk in the same way that we have been equipped.
Nathan has had a rough start to his high school career which has left us all wondering what on earth is going on and how are we going to do this. It has been a very stressful start for him as he battles to settle in. While this is common for him, it has seemed to be more so this year. The school has really thrown them in the deep end as far as fending for themselves is concerned and it has left a lot of the kids feeling like they are failing and that is so discouraging for them. Academically he is doing ok, but life in general has been tough.
Peta-Jade has started Varsity College and is coping well thus far. She has already started stressing about her assignments which are due in a month or so and she is enjoying most of her subjects. We are hoping that the Lord will open some doors for her to make some good friends as the year moves on. Pray for the class dynamic, that she will be able to focus on her studies, and not be distracted by bullies and folk that are there just to socialize.
It is quite different having two kids having to get to and from school in two different parts of the city an interesting adjustment which will need to be reworked with the price of fuel doing what it is doing.
Louise heads off to Field Council during the first week in April in Durban and then we head into Easter weekend after that and would appreciate your prayers for that as well. An awesome opportunity to share Jesus with so many.
So as the seasons change and we have no idea what the future may hold, let us together hold tightly onto Jesus as He remains constant and faithful in these uncertain times.
Lots 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