Fourth Quarter 2023
PO Box 727, Zion IL 60099
Barry & louise adkins
We continue to teach zebs here in Port Elizabeth/ Gqeberha. Louise returned from USA with lots of news, while Barry continues to recover from a left knee replacement and the kids are writing end of year exams.
Greg & CARLENE SEGHERS
This fall, we interacted with 16 Moody Bible Institute students by teaching Intercultural Engagement at MBI. How exciting to share our vision for reaching people from cultures different from our own. We’ve also been able to share the work of ZEMA with several churches, some new and some already supporters of ZEMA’s work among the
Finally, we’re grateful to God for our children and thankful they invite us to participate in their lives. Very exciting news is that we’ll welcome our 5th grandchild to the family sometime in the next 30 days!
Brett & evElyn miller
2023 marked a thrilling chapter for Zion Bible College. We saw an enrollment of over 800 students across 33 locations, and we were able to return to Zimbabwe and Zambia. A generous donation enabled us to pave our parking lot, significantly enhancing our ability to rent out our classroom—a critical aspect for the Bible College. For our students, we’ve shifted our focus from merely understanding the Bible to actively obeying God’s commands. To facilitate this, we’re transitioning from traditional lectures to small group discussions and personal meetings. This interactive approach fosters a deeper understanding and encourages practical application of biblical teachings. Thank you for being part of this exciting journey with us at Zion Bible College.
Paul & carrie seelhammer
On December 5 our family will celebrate 16 years of field service as missionaries with ZEMA. We are very thankful for your love and support for us as a family and for ZEMA. After all these years, opportunities for ministry amongst the amaZioni continue to grow and change. Our family is also growing and changing. We thank the Lord for his protection and provision. Thank you for your prayers.
Dennis & Caitlin boatman
This January we had the wonderful privilege of attending ZEMA’s mission conference at Sunbury in South Africa as a family, allowing us to see the camp and meet all the missionaries in person, which was a priceless experience and increased our desire to be at Sunbury as soon as possible, serving and being part of this incredible story God is telling in southern Africa. We were later able to attend a month of culture and language training in Colorado. Having also attended and even represented ZEMA at a few missions conferences in the US, we are ending this year encouraged and challenged. We are feeling more passionate about God’s work and calling for us than ever before, but also have some significant questions and uncertainties about the future that need to be addressed.
Timon & anni steiner
Every year in June, South Africa celebrates youth month. But its youth unemployment rate is the highest in the world. An economic challenge is always an indicator of a spiritual challenge. Our heart is to reach the amaZioni youth in our city. And so, we started an annual youth sports day in June. With the help of several youth leaders, we were able to advertise the event in various churches. We call the day “Sports Revival” We start out with a church service and then continue with several sports tournaments. This year was our second time to host it and we were blown away by how many people showed up. We expected 150 people and the turnout was well above 300 with more than 10 churches attending! Our theme was freedom in Christ, freedom from alcohol and drug addiction. This is a real plague among the unemployed. The youth thoroughly enjoyed the day and people cannot wait for next year! This was truly a highlight in our ministry 2023.
Jon & Lauren emanuelson
Greetings and Merry Christmas to you all! We are so grateful to the Lord for His continual faithfulness to us as we seek to follow His will and plan for our lives. After a visit to the USA, we have now returned to the Eastern Cape of South Africa. We are looking forward to seeing God at work through the Bible and church administration training opportunities and plans to encourage implementation of essential church practices among those who believe the gospel. Continue to keep this important ministry in your prayers.
Tim & luann kuehl
This past year we have begun the process of mentoring the younger missionaries and African ZEBS teachers into the permanent takeover of our primary ministry responsibilities. The nine ZEBS Bible Colleges under our purview are, by God’s grace, running well and some are growing. a zebs in Verena, was new in 2023. It opened with 55 students, including some witch doctors, in attendance and has maintained these numbers.
Luann, along with Susanne Goosen, helped the missionaries in the Eastern Cape, run their first ever Sunday School Teacher Training in March. In September Luann, along with Carrie Seelhammer, ran the Gauteng Sunday School Teacher Training with 50 excited teachers in attendance. The demand and interest remain high for this type of training. In addition, Luann has been involved with Union Bible Institute in translating UBI’s Sunday School Curriculum into English (both for those who desire English books and for use in translating into non-Ndebele languages). She has also been involved in writing and publishing Sunday School curriculum for use in Zionist churches. Graduation 2023 was in early December and we get some downtime before the new school year starts in February. May your heart be lifted in praise this Christmas for the wonderful gift of Jesus and the joy He brings to our lives. Have a Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year.
Praise God for His work in some of the Zion University students like Tebogo. Tebogo and I worked through the book of Colossians, addressing topics like the Trinity, Christ and culture, and discerning the spirits. What a joy to see his passion for God growing! There were also great opportunities for evangelism on the university campuses. Sibusiso happened to be sitting by a fountain and pondering about God, when I stopped by and chatted with him. We scanned through the book of John together, looking at what it means to receive Jesus. He recommitted himself to Christ and pledged to seek after the Lord.
Greg & sarah akers
As we remember Jesus’ coming to the earth to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10), so we remember that He sends us (John 20:21) with a beautiful message of God’s grace. It has been a year of real joy bearing and proclaiming this message. The fields are ready for harvest. Please pray with us for the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest field.
Stephen & jessica Langley
2023 was a whirlwind year for us. We spent 5 months on furlough road tripping across the United States and connecting with many supporters and friends. There were two big highlights this year: one ministry and one personal.
Our big ministry highlight was the official launch of the BibleProject Zulu YouTube channel, which will translate and fully reanimate the BibleProject’s Bible Overview video series into Zulu over the next two years. We’re so excited to be working as team leads for this initiative.
On the personal front, during our furlough we got to be present for Stephen’s dad’s retirement celebration after 26 years as pastor of CCC. It was a blessing to be with the family for this special, bittersweet occasion.
After a busy but blessed furlough, we are very glad to be back in South Africa.
Luaan & SuSanne goosen
We are so thankful for the privilege of serving the Lord here in South Africa among the AmaZioni people, and we appreciate your prayers and partnership in the gospel.
We have been greatly encouraged in hearing several students saying again and again, “We love to study the Bible. We love these Bible school classes. We love that you teach the pure truth of the Word of God.” In a recent class discussion, some of the church leaders were saying that the reason why our numbers are not greater is because the missionaries keep coming back to ‘What does the Bible say?’ They appreciate that pure truth is being taught, but conversely, this is the very reason why some leaders are not eager to study anymore. As a result, many have stopped coming. They want Jesus but also their traditional ways to God via the ancestors.
We were blessed to have our son Pieter come visit us this year for four weeks during his leave from his Navy post in the Middle East. Our middle daughter Sarah is busy finishing up her semester at Liberty University and is doing very well with her course work, by God’s grace. She is scheduled to come visit with us during the Christmas break. Our youngest daughter Katelyn has almost finished Grade 10 and is busy with final exams.
Richard & Geraldine akers
There is an old chorus written by Oswald Smith which reminds us that “There is joy in serving Jesus” which could have been our theme song in ZEMA over the years. God has given so many amaZioni hearts which are receptive, He has given missionaries who are eager to see the Gospel preached and He has given ZEMA ministry tools which have proven to be effective, no wonder ;There is JOY in serving Jesus.
In spite of ongoing Cancer treatment this past year, we have both been able to continue with all our ministry using the ZEBS program and we continue to delight in God raising up AmaZioni pastors who are able to teach so we end this news with another song…”To God be the Glory, great things He has done”
2023 was my 3rd year of my first term as a missionary. It was truly amazing! I got more involved, The Gauteng area has 9 ZEBS and I am working at 6 of them, Teaching, helping behind-the-scenes, and working in the book shop. I love ZEBS! it is a wonderful discipleship ministry and I feel very blessed to be a part of it! The BIG change of 2023 was the addition of Zimbabwe ministry. God opened a brand-new door when A retired man, who was doing personal trips from South Africa to Zimbabwe, let us know that the amaZioni he was interacting with said that they wanted to learn about their own history. They wanted deeper teachings than he was able to give. From June, I made 5 trips to Zimbabwe. By God’s grace I was able to visit in many homes and in many churches. Once I was able to attend a weekend of church services where thousands were in attendance. I had many opportunities to preach the truth of God’s Word and share the gospel! Through these visits, we were also able to start up a brand new ZEBS school. This, along with reopening a ZEBS that had been closed for 4 years because of covid, means we now have 2 schools in Zimbabwe run by the Gauteng team. This is also my first experience in starting a brand new ZEBS. Fun, Exciting, Hard work! Praise God for how He is growing me and His ministry.