ZEMA Focus Newsletter Dec 2022
ANDY & HEATHER SULLIVAN—continued We spent most of May through September at home doing local ministries and some traveling in South Africa. A highlight was attending the induction of Heather as the President of the Baptist Women’s Department at the Annual Baptist Assembly. During October and November, we were privileged to stay at UBI where Andy taught the Book of Hebrews to 2nd and 3rd year students. We were blessed to be able to visit prayer supporters, friends, family and our home church.– Scottsville Baptist Church.
TIMON & ANNI STEINER Since the covid-lockdowns it has been a real challenge to network and meet up with AmaZioni in our town. But lately God has opened a lot of doors in a short space of time. We’ve been able to make strategic connections to leaders in town. We also saw a church open up their doors for Timon to come and teach a “This We Believe” foundations course.
This has been a breakthrough after many churches not being open for Bible studies of this kind. For years we had been praying for a German volunteer to come and help teach the German home school curriculum to our kids. This year a young lady (aged 19) said “yes” and flew down to us in September. It has been a huge relief for Anni. Our two oldest kids are now both in primary school grades and our two-year-old daughter is not yet in pre-school. This situation would have been very demanding alone. The volunteer is with us for 6 months, just enough time, until our little one enters pre-school. God has provided once again, in his perfect timing.
PAUL & CARRIE SEELHAMMER Paul has continued to produce and distribute the Trumpet of Zion radio programs this year which now totals 240 programs. It has been a blessing to see how God is working in the lives of Zionists through ZEBS and ZEFA as we walk together in the love of Jesus. Paul will begin his term as ZEMA Field Director in January. We praise God as He continues to provide for the needs of all the families serving as ZEMA missionaries.
GREG & CARLENE SEGHERS This year, Greg and Carlene have been running ZEMA’s home office, and Greg has been handing over the Field Director responsibilities to Paul Seelhammer. Greg will officially hand over all FD responsibilities at the ZEMA Missionary Conference at Sunbury in January 2023. In April 2022, the Seghers relocated permanently to the USA and moved into a home with Carlene’s parents in Pleasant Prairie, WI. In 2023, the Seghers will focus solely on running the home office and expanding ZEMA’s network to facilitate the support and growth of ZEMA and the amaZioni work in Southern Africa. The Seghers love the work of ZEMA and the way they have shared in diverse cultures joining together to share one Gospel: the Gospel of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. Through ZEMA’s Bible school ministries and the relationships they’ve developed, the Seghers have been privileged to witness syncretism challenged, and once strongly syncretistic, some amaZioni have become Bible teachers and faithful brothers and sisters in Christ. ZEMA missionaries are culturally diverse. They look forward to sharing ZEMA’s story more and more in the USA.
KIT TISCHLER This year, God prompted Zion students at the University of Johannesburg to start a weekly bible study. They worked through Colossians, Jonah, and now are studying Philippians. Sometimes there have been 20 students attending. During a recent session in Philippians, there was a long discussion about the relationship of the law and the grace of Jesus Christ. A student told me that after the session, he could not sleep that night, and read the book of Romans to find the answer to this question.
TIM & LUANN KUEHL All of our family has experienced God’s protection this year in many ways. We thank and praise God that our eldest daughter Marie is now 18 months cancer free! Our son Matthew’s first year as a ZEMA missionary is going very well and our youngest is settling into the Midwest after 5 years on the west coast. God did a wonderful work to reopen eight ZEBS in our area. Many of our leaders and students experienced serious hardships from the pandemic and rioting. Our hearts are uplifted to hear them declare that God is good, and they are not turning back from following Jesus or turning to other beliefs in spite of many adversities.
Recently, I chatted with Bishop Shadrack Gumbi. He graduated from Katlehong ZEBS three years ago. He said that he decided to give his life to Jesus only at the end of his third year of ZEBS. He was the top Bishop of his Zion denomination. When he started to teach at his church what he learned at ZEBS, the people said: “You can’t teach that here.” They wanted to remove him. However, he told them that he would not leave but just sit in the back. He felt responsible for the people as he knew he had taught them false teaching. Well, he was able to report that the people never removed him from his position, and he is now teaching the truth to his many church branches, transforming his Zion denomination for Jesus.
JOHN & LAUREN EMANUELSON Reflecting upon this year, it is very evident how God has been faithful to us as a family and to the ministry. Many exciting things are happening for which we are thankful! One highlight is seeing how 5 students at the Mukhanyo Theological College distance site in East London, Eastern Cape are finishing the accredited diploma program. It looks as though the final work will be completed and sent to the college by the end of November, just in time for them to graduate in March of 2023.
As this update is being written, we are preparing for our furlough in the USA. We are scheduled to arrive on the 30th of November and plan to return to South Africa around mid- October, 2023. We hope that this will be a very blessed time for us and the family, friends and churches we are able to visit. It is always a joy to report on what God is doing among the amaZioni in the Eastern Cape of South Africa.
RICHARD & GERLDINE AKERS Our lives and ministry have been much impacted by health issues. Covid was finally declared to be a matter of private choice, rather that having the Government choose our behavior, and within 6 weeks Richard was found to have cancer in the lungs and in a floating body tissue mass and put on medication which has had many and varied side effects. WE PRAISE GOD however that although we did miss some ZEBS classes, no classes were missed as our colleagues were able to pick up the slack. We are hoping for a good CT scan result this next week and trusting God for a 2023 without health matters!
MARK & BARB HUGO This time next year, we are due for furlough again. Thankful for the need to look back, we see the Lord is faithful fingerprints in our lives, at CCSP Sybrand Park and amongst the Zionists of Western Cape. We find ourselves at a crossroads of sorts. The church ministry has grown (from around 15 on a Sunday, to now around 45). We are seeing some regulars taking over leading ministries, which is very exciting. We also see ongoing areas in need of growth and development. Although Mark is supposed to be 50% available to the Zionists, we have found the church has taken most of his time. But the need for him to have time and energy to draw alongside individual Zionist’s, teachers and to explore new open doors for ZEBS, is also a huge need and priority . So, please pray with us as we put this crossroads before the Lord for His gentle direction.
MATTHEW KUEHL I have enjoyed getting to know the ministry that God has called me to more and more this past year. In December, I will finish my second year of my first term with ZEMA. It has been a blessing to see how things changed for me over this past year in both personal growth and ministry. But, almost more importantly, I enjoyed seeing how things stayed the same. As the year began, I found myself doing things I had done the year before. But now I was more confident, and I actually knew what I was doing. As I slowly learn the language and get more and more plugged into my ministries there is a lot of joy and excitement. Getting to know more and more of the inner workings of ZEBS and helping/doing more things like paperwork
and prepping for the classes. What an amazing school, how interesting and intricate it is to run behind the scenes. I’ve discovered that I like to do the organization. Also, I have been able to go to many all-night services this year – something I had not been able to do last year because they were not allowed under the government’s covid lockdown restrictions. Seeing the amaZioni express themselves in their most genuine way in worship has been amazing. Every chance I get to be with them I take. I have followed the mantra of my fellow missionaries: “participate in everything, speak the truth, emphasize conversation and relationships.”
BRETT & EVELYN MILLER In 2022 we were able to open all of our classes again. While we were down in student count (about 250 students), the students’ motivation was dramatically increased. We have 750 or so students attending any month, with an active registration of 1,000. The prison ministry, shut down for 2021 due to COVID and unrest, is in full swing and very well atteneded. The radio ministry, our primary teaching platform during COVID, has retained its new listeners and is often rebroadcast for free due to its popularity. Our former students have organized themselves in an alumni association. They have begun meeting. They have a three-fold purpose: 1) recommend classes for further study, 2) reach out to the community in the name of the college in service, and 3) raise support for the college. We are thrilled that they chose this role and path. The political situation is deteriorating, but the recognition of the need for spiritual things is growing.
In 2022 we resolved to augment the college’s long-standing focus on teaching the students to know the Word of God, with particular attention on teaching them to obey the Word. We are shifting systems, processes, and content to support that obedience and growth. A recent study on Zion Bible College demonstrated the effectiveness of the college in teaching knowledge of the Word. Students, and amaZioni eSwatini in general, were coming to know the Word. That, rightly, was the first goal of the college. Now, more is needed. To fulfill the great commission, we must teach to obey, not just to know. That focus is changing our college so we can meet the changing needs of those we serve.
LUAAN & SUSANNE GOOSEN On the other end of the phone line, Luaan heard a person pleading with him to please come and teach the Bible in their village. This person also contacted other church leaders and local people to join for this new class. Finally, the day arrived for Luaan to go and teach the 16-week evangelistic class in that region. Expecting to see someone with a Bible and someone who was very excited to study scripture, he found the exact opposite. He was face to face with a witchdoctor. In some instances, people want a Bible class just for the certificate, but in other cases people are desperate to be free from the clutches of evil that Satan has on them. By God’s grace, this class is still in progress and students attend faithfully and even bring their friends. How wonderful that via word of mouth, these classes are started by people saying, “Please come and teach us the truth.”
DAN & BETH HOFFMAN We have been blessed in ministry this year to work more closely with the teachers of the Zion bible schools at Sunbury and further north in KZN. In sharing with the leaders at our local congregation in South Africa about our involvement with ZEBS, they have expressed an interest in becoming involved by hosting a bible school in their church building and we are excited about this opportunity! We became grandparents in September of this year and made a brief visit back to
the States in October to see our new granddaughter. She is beautiful! And we were able to enjoy some great family time and the vibrant fall colors of the Midwest while home.
GREG & SARAH AKERS We started with ZEMA in April. We have been so grateful for the welcome we received from the ZEMA body, and the freedom we’ve been given to pursue God’s call in our lives. There are many pastors who, upon hearing direction from God’s Word, are so quick to obey and sincere in their obedience – and that with much joy! We have been challenged to learn to love God and delight in Him as these do.
BARRY & LOUISE ADKINS Ministry this year has been exciting and challenging as we have seen the Lord open doors for us at a new venue in Motherwell. We have joined a Zion church in Kwanobuhle and have been so amazed at the Lord showing His kindness as we have come alongside the Bishop and some of his key church ladies. It has been so much fun spending time with them preparing food for their community and watch them share their lives with us more and more as they have grown to trust us and get to know us etter. We know the Lord has a beautiful plan for these precious folk as we continue to do life with them and we know that it will be a case of continuing to earn a right to share Jesus each time we are with them. Please pray for wisdom for us as we seek the Lord’s guidance as to how this ministry will look going into this new year.
STEPHEN & JESSICA LANGLEY 2022 saw lots of opportunities to study and teach the Bible! We completed the first edition with translation of a Bible study curriculum we’ve been working on for a couple years: a 12-part Story of the Bible overview. We have had opportunity to teach through the book with several Zionists who we’re discipling as well as make it available to others. Stephen continued his discipleship ministry with some young Zionist guys and teaching at ZEBS under the leadership of Pastor Sipho Mfusi. Jessica continued her small group Bible studies as well as teaching a Bible lesson at a nursery school one day a week. We both continued our Masters’ studies at Western Seminary and look forward to completing those degrees in 2023.
DENNIS & CAITLIN BOATMAN We started earnestly fundraising after Caitlin’s visit to January 2022 Missions Conference and are already receiving about 20% of our monthly support (with more promised by the end of this month)! We travelled from coast to coast this summer – South Carolina for a family vacation in May, and Washington state after a camping trip in September. Between each final destination, we visited many old friends telling them about ZEMA and our missions plans. Dennis finished his citizenship process in July removing the main roadblock to getting to SA (besides funds). God is good! Garrett (6) is in first grade and is a reading and math machine, Connor (4) is refusing to potty train, and Eden (almost 2) will hopefully get the hang of communication to minimize tantrums and ease the frustration on both our parts! We are looking forward to January 2023 Conference!
ANDY & HEATHER SULLIVAN During 2022 we went to the UK and Germany on deputation during the months of March and April. We visited with Heather’s two sisters and many prayer supporters. We also visited supporting churches in Stoke on Trent and Ipswich as well as Peterhead, Scotland. During this time we travelled to Germany by train for a few days, spending two nights and a day in Paris on the way. While we were there we visited a German speaking church and Andy preached in Darmstadt.Baptist Church—an English speaking congregation that used the German speaking church building. We had the privilege of visiting the Hasenknopf family who had spent eleven years with ZEMA as well as friends from South Africa who now live in Germany.
Is God Calling You?
Z.E.M.A. is looking for a couple to join the ongoing ministry at Sunbury Christian Camp, a conference and retreat center owned by Z.E.M.A. and located in KZN, South Africa. Sunbury serves as a venue for
Z.E.M.A. related events (Bible and Leadership train- ing). It also serves as a retreat center for churches and Christian groups when not in use by Z.E.M.A.
If you have skills or an interest in hospitality and facility management (including administration, bookkeeping, maintenance, and staff management) and would enjoy working cross-culturally to further the gospel, please contact Z.E.M.A. to further dis- cuss how you can be a part of this work.