SPRING HAS SPRUNG?
I was thinking about the fact that technically, in our part of the world, Spring is supposed to arrive on the 1 September. While the birdies have “Spring fever,” the rest of nature is waking up slowly to the fact that Winter is supposed to be over, and Spring is supposed to be here.
Which got my mind onto the topic of expectations? Louise was privileged to go with two other ladies to visit a dear old lady in her Frail Care Facility. Louise’s impression of the place was that it was such a lovely place to be, with wonderful caring and an impressive atmosphere.
When they got to spend time with this dear lady, her description and experience of this place was quite different from Louise’s.
This dear lady’s expectation of this time (season) in her life, she is 92 years old, is that she will remain independent without relying on anyone to help her until she is much older, she is also determined to get stronger and get out of the wheelchair she is in because of a fall.
We do seem to be in a hurry to get through challenging times where the Lord does the hardest and deepest work in our hearts and live on the mountain tops, where the Lord also works in our lives and temptation is far greater to rely on our own strength.
The soup kitchen in Motherwell has been fun to go to and the number of people we are feeding on average is just over one hundred people. It has been good spending time with these ladies who are members of this Zion church as well as with the bishop. The soup kitchen will end at the end of September and the church plans to start it up again during the Wintertime next year. This Sunday Barry is invited to preach at the church and the ladies are quite excited about Louise wearing her Xhosa outfit to church as they are celebrating a “Cultural Day.”
We have been able to have good conversations with the people that live in the area. It has been a good witness for the church to the community. Even here the word “expectation” sneaks in. When we first went there, we thought we would “Pray,” “Preach,” “Teach” etc. However, we had to lay down our expectations and agenda as we were visitors helping, Morning Star Church in Zion, do what God had laid on their hearts to do and that was to feed hungry people. I often think of a question I once heard a pastor ask. He asked, ‘If the church had to close its doors today, would the community even notice?” Well for some folk in the immediate area around this church the answer would be yes, sadly, people do not only get hungry at wintertime.
Please continue to pray with us for this team of people we have come to know and work with each week, that the Lord would continue to strengthen our relationship with them so that we can continue to do life with them and share Jesus with them as that happens.
The numbers are slightly up, and we are looking forward to seeing the Lord continue to bring the students back. It is weird to be preparing for graduation already with the ordering and selling of gowns as it still feels like we are only just starting this year.
Barry will be having his first knee replacement on the 4 October, and they plan to do the second one early next year. He has been battling for a long time with his knees, as many of you may know, and the doctor is quite happy that Barry is ready for the surgery now, although Barry is not that sure. Please pray for him, that the surgery and recovery will be far easier than he anticipates.
Nathan has discovered chess and is learning fast and enjoying winning and learning how to lose well, (this is the hope and expectation). He was one of five children chosen from his school to be part of a government initiative to plant a tree for Arbor week to reclaim a piece of land that is to be rehabilitated. He was excited because he got the day off school and got to be outdoors and in nature. He continues to excel in class and is battling with his English teacher who tends to shout a lot, which makes Nathan stress and not be able to learn. He is fearful of failing English so we would appreciate your prayers for him please.
Peta-Jade did well at Varsity in her first semester and we praise the Lord for His faithfulness to us all as a family. This semester is stressful with group work and dynamics that are unreasonable at the best of times. Her wrist is also taking much longer than expected to heal and is requiring OT and painful exercises to rehabilitate it.
Nathan's nook at the church "carboot" sale.
We got quite a shock to see that our ministry funds are in a negative balance at the moment and while we do realize that it will be more accurate to see how we are doing support wise at the end of the year, which is what we are planning to do, we do appreciate your prayers with us as we continue to trust the Lord to provide and give us wisdom and sensitivity to His guidance as we seek to partner with new supporters.
Lots of love to you in which ever season you find yourself in.
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