Friday, August 30, 2013

PaulAnn Outreach in Xigalo

Village:  Xigalo, South Africa (right outside of Malamulele) 
Dates: July 13th - July 26th
Team:  PaulAnn Baptist Church
Church:  Xigalo Baptist Church
Pastor:  Aaron Ndove (graduate of Christ Seminary & serves as a translator with Samaria Mission)

Mark and I were able to pick up our sending church, PaulAnn, at the airport on July 13th.  Yup, Mark got to celebrate his birthday in Joburg and drive the team on the bus back to Polokwane.  (I have to say that my man did a great job driving the bus!  So proud of him.)

Mark and I had a plan to pick up the team and save money on parking (a few hundred Rand!).  I would go in to wait for the team and then I would call him when we were ready to come out and he would meet us outside to pick us up.  It worked great!  Although, I will say I was NOT ready for the reaction I had when I saw our church team come through security at the airport.  I had been enjoying an hour of people watching and then totally gave the other people some great entertainment as I broke down sobbing as each of the team members came out and hugged me.  This was the first time we had seen each other since Jill went to be with the Lord in May.  I just have to say it was an emotional few moments.  Then I managed to get myself together and take pizza orders, call Mark and we were on our way out of the airport!

The team spent Sunday in Polokwane which meant we got to host them for breakfast and dinner at our house on Sunday and breakfast again on Monday before heading to Xigalo.


This was our second time this season to take a team to Xigalo.  In June we were there with the Christ Seminary Outreach.   PaulAnn was excited about the opportunity to serve alongside Aaron.  For the last several years he has served as one of the translators with this team in Mozambique.  Pastor Aaron is working hard and desires to reach the people of Xigalo for Christ! 

The team was involved in the following ministries
-house to house visitations
- men's
- women's 
-children's ministry 
- evening services 

 The Seminary students focused on the houses around the church during their outreach so we used the China Bus this time and drove the team to a neighbor a little further from the church.  Aaron also had a few people from the church join each team on visitation.  

children's ministry

children's ministry

youth ministry

women's ministry

men's ministry

evening service

hut to hut

Julia, Annah, Alicia and Grace

On Friday, July 19th, the team was able to go to the local High School and lead a short devotion in the morning and then later that afternoon they returned to lead an assembly.  

praying before heading to the school

morning devotion

Brit and Ben leading a song

Sydney and Kim giving their testimonies (Aaron translating)

One of the team members, Brad, shared the Gospel
  The team was also involved in a few practical projects:
-finishing the toilets that Christ Seminary began to dig
-provided lighting for the church and installing it
-helped to secure the property with a fence 


The church did not have lights and it made it difficult to have a service in the evenings.  The team was able to install lights that will run off a battery.  This will work great for now and when they are able to get a pole run for electricity they will be able to use these same lights. 

Mark and Doug are preparing the battery and a two-wheeler dolly so that Aaron can easily transport the battery to and from the church.  He will be able to charge the battery with a solar panel. 

Xigalo BC has a large property - 2 hectares .  It was important to get the property secured with a fence.  Apparently the chief can resell the property if it is not properly fenced.  The team was able to help the church start the fence by driving the poles and getting some of the wire strung.  The church was able to finish the fence the following week. 



 Saturday brought Field Day.  PaulAnn has hosted a field day for the last 3 years or so.  It is always a great day of fun and fellowship. 

Luke busy face painting - he is concentrating!

Brit was helping with the 3 legged race


July 18th was Nelson Mandela Day and Aaron, Member and Jeff (one of the PaulAnn team members) were asked to do an interview on the radio.  This is Jeff's wife Sharie and Aaron's wife N'twanano listening to the radio interview.  

 I was asked to give my testimony during the Sunday service.  

 Luke was burning trash, one of the camp chores, when the light wind changed directions while he was spreading out the trash.  A piece of plastic blew up and landed on him.  He was not a happy camper!  Don't worry Grams and Grandmom - he healed quickly! 

PaulAnn decided to take over the kitchen one night and make Mexican food for dinner.  What a GREAT treat!  

 This season Luke learned how to run the showers.  Every now and then he would fill in for one of the guys for a little while.  

 Brit, Hannah and Ben would sit out in the afternoon and sing and play their guitars.  They always had an audience and several of the kids were taking pictures and videos with their phones.  

It was a great outreach and a great time with our sending church.  Thank you for all your prayers for each of us as we have dealt with the loss of Jill.  She has been MISSED!  We praise the Lord for being able to serve with her for so many years with her. 

I wanted to share a few testimonies from team members ... 

"We went hut to hut in Xigalo today.  We met two families today who denied ever having heard the name of Jesus before.  This was a first for me and brought home how important what Samaria Mission work is and what a debt of gratitude we owe to those missionaries who come here to live and minister."  -
Jim, from First Baptist Carlsbad, TX

"It was amazing how much most of the people here in South Africa are so interested in learning about Jesus Christ.  After seeing how well all of the teaching’s and hut to huts went I was blown away at how many people were so excited to praise the Lord and makes me think that we need to continue doing the work we have done here with Samaria Mission at home and honor our Lord with everything we have"   -Misty, from First Baptist Carlsbad, TX

"This was my first experience with overseas missions and within that I had many other first experiences. I shared my testimony in front of the church for the first time, shared the Gospel with the people of Xigalo as we went hut-to-hut, helped build a fence around the church, taught a lesson in the children’s ministry and experienced a culture completely different than mine. It was amazing to me to be surrounded by people living out the great commission which the Lord has commanded us all to follow. So much more went into the preparation of these two weeks than I understood before we got here. Many people worked hard and prayed for this to happen and I cannot express my gratitude enough. I have learned so much from the people of the church in Xigalo, spending time talking to the Samaria mission team and probably most of all just living life with these people as I watched  them serve through His power.  I am overwhelmed by the desire for the church members here to learn more about Jesus. They are so hungry for God’s word. Tonight as I sat in church next to a young boy probably 16 years old, he was recording the sermon as he took notes. There is a real craving to know more about God and deepen their relationship with Him. It encourages me to do the same. On Sunday I attended church at a refugee camp. The people had so little, some of their homes were made of trash and random pieces of scrap they put together, and yet they said to us “We may not have much, but we have God and He is everything”. I don’t think I will ever forget those humbling words. I hope that in every season of my life I will be able to stand and say I have God’s love and nothing more, I would have everything."  -Gabriela, from Paul Ann Baptist Church San Angelo, TX

"As I try to put words to the amazing experience this week has been, I am overwhelmed. I am overwhelmed with love for the people of this village and with all the things the Lord has done this week. Even as our plane landed in South Africa, I was unsure if I had made the right decision in coming here. I didn’t know how I could be used to further the Kingdom, and I was not very excited about coming here. I didn’t really want to come, but the Lord is faithful. He gave me a heart for the people here and graciously allowed me to experience his work first hand. I helped with the youth and was immediately blown away by their passion for Christ and knowing the things of God. They knew so much about the Bible and took in every word you said to them. They were not afraid to ask hard questions. They are so hungry for the Word, and they do everything they can to learn more. It was so encouraging and humbling to see their desire for Christ. The youth of Xigalo Baptist Church have changed me. They have shown me the urgency for sharing Christ and having conversations that have eternal meaning. I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve the Lord with my brothers and sisters in Xigalo. What an amazing week!"  -
Kimberly Skiles, Paul Ann Baptist Church serving in Xigalo

CBC, Boksburg and West Frankfort Outreach in Mashushu

 Village:  Mashushu, South Africa 
Dates:  June 29 to July 6
Team:  Christ Baptist Church, Boksburg and West Frankfort
Church: Back to Jesus Baptist Church
Pastor:  Lazarus (graduate of Christ Seminary)
A report from Mark on the outreach to Mashushu ...

Samaria Mission organized an outreach to the secluded village of Mashushu near Mafefe on the outskirts of the Wolkberg (Serala) Wilderness Area.

Samaria Mission organized a partnership with Back to Jesus Baptist Church.

This outreach comprised of a large team of 35 individuals;
3 members from West Frankfort Baptist from Illinois,USA, 
10 members from Boksburg Baptist Church,
9 members of Christ Baptist Church, and
12 Samaria Mission associates along with one translator

This outreach was a made up from a various cultures from United States of American, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. 

I was privileged to have been involved with the youth ministry. 

One of the youth had a disorder, which I would consider cerebral palsy.  When someone first looks at this young man, many would think that he is unable to truly understand what is being taught.  He was not able to speak and had disabling motor functions.  But I found myself watching him and seeing that he was able to find Scripture references quicker than some.  It is such a blessing to see God working in those that man have disregarded as unable.  This young man is such a powerful testimony to God’s sovereignty on He chooses to call.

Mark and France
Trevor Gobo introduced me to another young man, Desmond.  One of our ministry meetings, Desmond began asking questions about particulars like the trinity and Jesus being God.  I gave him some answers but he kept asking for more scripture reference.  Trevor explained to us later that night that Desmond family members were Jehovah Witnesses and he was raised in that religion.  Once finding out Desmond’s dilemma, scriptures were gathered to handle the errant beliefs of Jehovah Witnesses.  Later, we talked to Desmond about what he believes.  Desmond said that he does not believe in the Jehovah Witness teachings and wanted the scriptures to talk to his family about the Truth.

I contacted the Pastor, Lazarus Mashwene, and asked him how this outreach has impacted the community of Mashushu.  Pastor Lazarus reported that eight people (5 youth and 3 women) have come to know Jesus Christ as their savior.

Also on this report, Pastor Lazarus is looking forward to more outreaches in partnership with Back to Jesus Baptist Church.

Here are a few pictures from our week in Mashushu.  

  This was the first time all three church groups were together so they took some time Sunday afternoon to meet in groups and discuss how the different ministries would work during the week. 

the guys discussing men's ministry

the ladies discussing and planning women's ministry

this groups was making a plan for the children and youth ministries

Jesus Film

Pastor Lazarus

children's ministry

children's ministry

Brit and Lucia making dessert - well taste testers are important!

evening wrap-up

fetching water from the river

camp - it was a long walk from one side of camp to the other
 Riana, from Christ Baptist Church, shared about a visitation ... "On Tuesday morning, on house to house visitation, we visited with Mama Esther.  As we walked into her yard, I said a prayer, "Please give me words to speak."  She said that she was a Christian.  Years ago she had burnt her leg and still had a lot of pain in her legs due to that.  She did not go to church because of the distance to walk to church (+/- 1 km in a mountainous area) and she could not stand the pain.  I felt peace in my heart to share with her encouraging words, (and not like most other homes where we shared the Gospel).  We prayed with her and told her about our ministries but that we would understand if she could not come due to the pain in her legs.  She showed up everyday at the ladies ministry and for the evening services.  She listened very attentively with a smile on her face.  I nearly teared up as I sat and watched her face light up while she listens to the teachings."

Mama Esther

women's minstry

house to house visitation

house to house visitation

house to house visitation

Brit playing a game during youth ministry

Mark teaching the youth (Lucia was translating)

Pastor Lazarus wife, Rose

Luke was able to help Nicholas and Mervyn make a cross for the church. 


  The church was busy preparing for a youth conference that was to take place the weekend we left.   We spent some time on Friday helping transport things to the conference center. 




 Mashushu is a beautiful place.  Some of the youth on the team went for a hike on afternoon.  

our girl
Here are a few more testimonies from various team members ... 

"During one of our home visitations a lady asked if she would be welcomed at church since she had visited a witch doctor and another man asked the same because he belongs to a church that wears a specific clothing.  I am so glad to serve a God that doesn't care where you have been, or what you wear.  His Grace is SUFFICIENT for ALL!" - Tracey from West Frankfort

"Hearing the people's questions during home visitations helped me realize how important that ministry is because you get to know the people and their spiritual needs." - Katelyn from West Frankfort

"2013: Different
New village, new faces, new scenery, new experiences, new partners in ministry
The Same:
Children’s smiling faces, women eager to learn, joyful worship, door-to-door visitation, sharing the glorious news of salvation
My heart’s desire:
To continue to share the hope of Christ, to build up the body of Christ-his church and to celebrate together the glory of Christ
Thank you Samaria Mission for 10 years of outreach together!"  –Rathel from West Frankfort

"I think the missions trip was excellent. I felt closer this time to people that I never knew before like the Raleys and Doug and Debbie. Also to share in South Africa was amazing. The countryside was exquisite and it just proved to me how Almighty God actually is. We thoroughly enjoyed the trip. The morning devotions were meaningful and the people were hospitable and despite the illnesses experienced it was an amazing eye- opening trip." -Jenny from Boksburg

"This was my first mission trip ever!  I felt so excited to finally put my Christianity to practice (not to say I didn't back home.)  I have never shared the Gospel as much as I did during this week, day after day, individual after individual.  We are all encouraged to share our faith and love with one another and draw people nearer to God, whether we are on mission, at work or at home.  I have learned and experienced so much on this trip and I'm so grateful for this opportunity that the Lord has granted.  I am glad to say that this was my first but definitely not my last mission trip!" - Lucia from Christ Baptist Church