Does anybody else feel like life is a roller coaster? Our plans continue to be changed, and it is evident that we are not in control, but we must continue to trust God. He is in control!
The Zion Evangelical Bible School Teacher’s Conference was held the last weekend in May. This was one of the highlights so far this
year. It was a blessing to actually have a productive meeting where we could spend some quality time together sharing challenges and supporting each other. Thirty-three teachers from around South Africa attended. It was encouraging to hear similar stories of challenges in ministry due to Covid-19, including the loss of teaching venues, the deaths of students and teachers, and the real financial and emotional hardships that we are all facing.
Simultaneously there are many new and creative ways we are utilizing new methods and technology to bring Bible teaching and encouragement to the students and churches, such as audio lessons, and social media platforms.
Another highlight is that an additional radio station, called Nkandla FM, began broadcasting the Trumpet of Zion radio program in June. This ministry has much potential and does not seem to be slowing down. We are also looking at the possibility of creating a Zion podcast and developing a new ZEMA App. In this new season that Covid-19 has created, we must be creative and find new ways to bring people to Jesus.
We have all said it. Someone asks me, “How are you?”, and what do I say in return? “Fine.” Everything IS fine, but not really. We have so much to be grateful for: our health, our family and friends and their health, some fun activities that we like to do, ministry that continues through tough times and so much more. But underneath being fine, there is a lot that is not fine. Perhaps you all feel the same way? Many things are unknown, many thoughts are negative, and life is not going like normal or expected. We are trying very hard to “go with the flow”, but there isn’t really a “flow” right now.
Josh is fine… but not really. He has friends, but hardly gets to see them. He enjoys youth group at church, but it is closed again. He is getting quite good at playing the drums, but he has missed some lessons because we needed to self-quarantine a few times after we were with someone who may have had Covid. He likes playing tennis but has missed some of those lessons too. He smiles and wears his mask and he is fine.
Abbie is fine… but not really. She has friends, she sees them if they are in gymnastics or Drama Buzz with her, otherwise she hardly ever sees them. She enjoys youth group too, but its closed. She has a great opportunity to compete at a higher level in gymnastics, but again they need to do training on-line. Therefore, she is not able to practice her difficulties and risks (sorry, it will take too long to explain the gymnastics terms). She was finally out of self-quarantine, and went to a birthday party, yay! She got Covid at the birthday party. She is a very accomplished self-quarantiner (This could be a new word.). She smiles, wears her mask, she is fine.
TJ is fine… but not really. We had so many great expectations about him going to school. Even though all things changed, he still likes going to school. He likes having teachers, but they must consistently remind the kids not to hug them. He really enjoys his friends, but they must sit a meter apart even at break time and cannot touch each other. He likes playing soccer, but they must wear masks while practicing! He smiles and wears his mask, and he is fine.
I suppose that this is a good time to practice transforming our mind, like the Bible tells us in Romans. We need to remember that God has his plans and what we are really supposed to do is to follow His ways, not our expectations. Thank you, Lord, for all the good things in our life, especially our faith. Faith: it is not sidetracked by the circumstances of the world, or by the circumstances in this ministry or by our difficulty adjusting to them. God is still present, and we are still his children, doing his will in all circumstances.
Praise be to God for salvation, an indescribable gift!
Thank you all so much for praying for us. The Lord’s leading and protection is evident to us. Thank you for praying for the ministries we are involved in and our co-workers. Thank you for praying for our children, both the South African and American residents.
Continue to pray as we trust God to work all things out for the good for those who love him.
In Christ Jesus, our Savior and King,
Paul & Carrie, Josh, Abbie and TJ Seelhammer