Mosaic Ministry – Timon continued to serve at the Mosaic community centre for the first school term. It was good to be among the kids regularly and be immersed in their language and culture. Ministering regularly among the teens was rewarding on the one hand. But on the other hand, Timon found out that he could only scratch the surface. For example: One teenager had a question about ancestors and the Bible, but because we only had a short time with one another, he kept on getting distracted before we could sit down properly to go through the issue.
Furlough in Germany – From June through August, we went back on home assignment to Germany. This was our first home assignment. This took up a lot of time preparing and planning in advance. Because we had such a short time overseas, we knew we would hardly have any time to prepare anything while we were there. Overall, it was a fruitful time, seeing people from various churches and friendship circles. But it was also a stressful time, especially with the kids, as we were at different church services almost every weekend.
We did plan a bit more stable time August where we stayed close to Anni’s parents in the village she grew up in. It was special for David and Jemima to meet some of their friends again at the DMG mission base. Even Aaron (who was 3 at the time) felt more confident to approach other kids, because they all spoke German.
Home School Volunteer – The Lord answered a special and longstanding prayer request for us this year. A young lady, Janina, volunteered to come and help our kids with the German home schooling. We were able to visit her family while we were in Germany, and she even came back to SA with us on the same flight. She has been a tremendous help for us. This has definitely been our family highlight of the year!
It’s also been God’s timing because in September Jemima also started with home schooling in September. At the same time, our youngest was still at home, so it would have been almost impossible for Anni to home-school two different grades, since Luisa is in a phase where she demands a lot of attention. Anni has really felt the difference, where she’s now getting more time for her mind to actually think about herself, and not just running after family demands.
This We Believe Course – One thing we started doing this year, is advertise the “This We Believe” course to churches wherever Timon had the chance to make contact. One township in particular seemed tough to get into, in terms of ministry. The local ZEBS teacher, Franky, had brought me into contact with a Zion bishop there. Bishop Moko, as I found out, was quite an influential man. And he told me, I must present the ZEMA ministry to the local fraternal. I did this, and they even invited me back the second time. But as it is in that culture, they all sounded very positive about it, but afterwards I got a long-written message from the secretary of the fraternal which sounded a bit political and didn’t give a clear yes or no. (Which may be normal in that culture). So, in the end, nothing became of it, and our time in Germany interrupted that process.
Bible Study and Open Doors – One of the most encouraging things to see this year, was building a stronger friendship with my young friend Vuyani. We continued to meet weekly at his house for Bible Study. And when we came back from Germany, he just opened so many doors to churches that I wouldn’t have without him. Often, the Zion churches are so hidden in a tin shack, that you need someone to tell you where they are.
Through this, one Zion church also opened their door for Timon to come and teach their youth the “This We Believe” course. We’ve met a couple of times and it seems they are committed to finish the course to the end. The only tricky thing is the “This We Believe” course is more geared to adults, and Timon has to try and make it a bit.
livelier for the youth. And with youth, I really mean under 20 years of age. One thing I would really love, is to have a “youth equivalent” of the This We Believe course. So, if anyone has a resource they can recommend to me, that would be great!
Mukhanyo in Port Elizabeth – Finally, Timon has applied to become a tutor for Mukhanyo Theological College. A number of us seemed to be using their distance learning model to facilitate more in-depth discussion and discipleship. So, from next year there will be a Mukhanyo ZEBS Gqeberha in town. We want to offer this especially to ZEBS graduates who want to study further.
Language Learning – Up to our furlough in Germany, Timon continued with online lessons in Xhosa. From then, he had reached a point where he had enough “theory” and it seemed better to concentrate more on practice. Progress has been there, but it still seems to be happening very slow, since English (unfortunately) works well in many contexts.
Prayer Requests –
Pray that we would be able to disciple ZEBS graduates with an accredited distance programme through Mukhanyo Theological College.
Pray for more AmaZioni churches to open their doors for the “This We Believe” course.
Pray for the children and youth who mostly have no age-appropriate Sunday School.
We praise God for answering prayer for a German volunteer to come to help us with home schooling. It has been a huge relief for Anni.