Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The last couple of weeks in review...

Its been a busy but good couple of weeks. Jack Hughes (the pastor at my sending church) and Scott Ardavanis arrived two weeks ago to preach(along with my dad) at our South African Shepherd's Conferences. The conferences seemed to go well and the preaching was awesome! All three of the main speakers were practical and convicting! I had also forgotten how much fun it is to not just hear Jack preach but to see him. He's got great mannerisms when he preaches. Spiritually, it was a refreshing time. I heard Jack preach on God's providence three times in three days. It was so great to be reminded how God can and does use evil in our lives to accomplish His plans (the doctrine of concurrence. And later that week when my electricity went out and someone backed into my gate, I realized in part why God wanted me to hear it so often.

On a personal level, it was really fun to have someone from home to show what is happening here. Someone compared having a visitor from home to having a cool glass of water on a hot day. Its a great description. I had the chance one day to take Jack to see some of the things we are doing in Katlehong and introduce him to some of the people. We also took him to a fun restaurant called the Carnivore. They serve all the wild game meat- even Rhino and Crocodile. Its quite an experience when they come serve you the meet on this huge spear. It really was fun.

(Pictured 'stolen' from the Archers blog)

I also had the opportunity last week to host two couples from Georgia (the Enters and Blackburns) who had come to visit and see the ministry here. It was encouraging to have people come to South Africa not as a tourist but really with a desire to see what is happening here. It was a great week! They even survived a night without electricity :). More importantly, Paul says of Philemon that he refreshed the hearts of the saints. I truly felt that way after spending a week with these couples. My heart was refreshed. They were encouraging, gracious people to be around and I really don't know when I have laughed that much in a long time.

Then Saturday we had a work day in Katlehong at the school. We had about 20 people show up from the two churches involved. We were able to get the broken doors replaced, the broken windows replaced, the roof patched were it needed it, some ceilings fixed and various other odds and ends done. One of the coolest things was to see people form the community there working right alongside of us. The other encouraging thing is to really see progress in building relationships within the community. People are so overwhelming thankful that someone is finally taking an interest in their school and fixing it because no one else has. That has given us some opportunities to share why we are wanting to help. Please continue to pray that God will give us wisdom as we seek to bring the gospel to these people. We don't want to simply be a bunch of 'do-gooders'.

The funniest part of the day was when they did traditional dancing for us as a thank you for coming. The girls come up to dance and next thing you know they are taking off their shirts. Apparently, in their culture this is done to show that they are pure and innocent still. It was one of those times when to make an issue out of it could have possibly undone a lot of the good that had been accomplished that day.

And this Friday the fun continues when my brother and his family arrive! How exciting!

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