Tuesday, August 16, 2016

What's Luke been doing ...

Luke was able to spend the last three months in the States with Brit and family.  All of our family enjoyed having both kids around this summer and they were able to spend time traveling and enjoying time together.   Luke was also able to attend two summer camps with our home church, PaulAnn Church. This was the first time he had to attend any youth camps since moving here.  We were excited for him to be able to experience that.

We praise The Lord for the relationship He has allowed Brit and Luke to have.  This truly is an answer to prayer.  You can take a look at their time together here

One of the most exciting things that happened this summer is that Luke accepted The Lord as his Savior.  We had a Facetime call from the kids on Thursday morning, June 16th at 5 am (which was 10 pm Wednesday night on June 15th for them). Luke was attending Super Summer Camp and Brit was a sponsor at the camp.  CB, the youth pastor at PaulAnn, was also there with them when they called us.  Long story short Luke had just accepted The Lord and they wanted to call and tell us.  We were beyond excited!  The next week I was telling our friend, Derrick Chauke the good news.  Later that day, he came back to the kitchen tent and told me he was thinking about Brit and Luke.  He said that is what every Christian parent prays for - their kids salvation.  At that point, I realized (even though I knew this) that BOTH of our kids are SAVED and that NO MATTER what happens in life here on earth WE WILL have ETERNITY together worshiping OUR SAVIOR!  Now that is something to PRAISE THE LORD FOR! 

On Sunday, June 26th, Luke was baptized at PaulAnn.  We praise the Lord for technology that allowed us to be apart of it.  We were able to see his baptism live, along with the Journey team, from the kitchen tent in Makumeke, South Africa while we were on outreach.  We weren't able to hear very well but within minutes two minutes one of our friends sent us the video and then later another friend posted his testimony and baptism.  We are so thankful for technology and friends!  It helps that ocean not seem so wide.  

You can check out Luke's testimony and baptism by clicking here.

 Here are our pictures from the kitchen tent in Makumeke, South Africa.

Monday, August 8, 2016

2016 Outreaches

Things were different this year as we had to make sure that teams had their Mozambique Visas before they arrived in South Africa.   It meant that teams had to be formed and committed much earlier.  We then had to send off team information to the church in Maputo and get a letter of invitation.  It was not an easy process but the Lord saw us through.  We had fewer teams this year but we believe that God had the exact people here who He wanted to be here.  We saw the Lord at work in the team members as well as in the villages that He took us too.  

We had four teams serve with the mission this season and we were blessed to be apart of three of them.

June 18th - July 1st
Journey/Bryan Team in the village of Makumeke, South Africa

July 2nd - 9th
Boksburg Team in the village of Panhame (we were not on this team)

July 3rd - 10th
Christ Baptist Church in the village of Mbuzi 

July 16th  - 29th 
PaulAnn Church in the village of Tchale

With all the people who came on outreach, there are hundreds of photos floating around Facebook.  We hope that you are friends with several of them so that you can see and read from them how the Lord worked in and through them.  

Check out this video Mark put together to show this past Sunday at CBC highlighting the Outreach Season.

If you would like to see pictures and updates of the teams as they were here serving with us, visit our Samaria Mission Facebook Page and you can go back over the last two months to see the updates as they happened.  

 And he said to them,
"Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation." 

Mark 16:15

Sunday, August 7, 2016

It's time to catch up on things ...

Well, we are behind on updates ... AGAIN.  At least this time we can say that in the last two months we have only had 13 days at home.   We would love to share some highlights with you over the last two months.  We hope you like pictures because we will have several to share with you.

The heart of Samaria Mission is the Church Development/Discipleship ministry. (This is our monthly leadership training you often see us posting about.)  This ministry focuses on teaching and discipling the pastors and leaders of village churches with the goal of establishing a “God-glorifying church” that can minister to the community. This includes developing and training church members to be able to adequately share the gospel and lead men’s, women’s and children’s ministry.   Currently Samaria Mission has two teams that travel to two different villages in Mozambique each month for leadership training. During this time we are able to come alongside church leaders, both men and women, to teach them the truths of God’s word and encourage them to remain steadfast in their service to the Lord.  

During the middle of each year we host teams from America and South Africa for two weeks at a time.  These outreaches are a very important tool in teaching short-term teams about the context in which we are ministering and to experience cross-culture ministry firsthand.  Teams participate in teaching, hut-to-hut visitation where  they have opportunities to share the gospel and pray with those who are visited, they also get to share their testimony of God’s work in their lives at the nightly church services.

We also have opportunities during this time for a few people to join us for three months as "Outreach Missionaries" where they come along our staff and help serve the teams that come on outreach.

Our outreach season started on May 21st when our three Outreach Missionaries (OMs) arrived.  Mark and I oversee this ministry within Samaria Mission.  We love to serve alongside those He calls to join us for three months.  Connor Hixon and Ryan Tovias are from our sending church, PaulAnn Church, in San Angelo, Texas and Dietre Stols Jr. is from our local church, Christ Baptist Church, here in in Polokwane.   Noah Hixon, Brad's son, also served alongside them.

These guys hit the ground running from the time their feet hit our driveway.  Brad, Mark and Member were going for our monthly leader training on Monday, May 23rd in Mozambique.  They were planning on taking some of the equipment in for a few projects that would take place during the outreach season and the OMs got to go help prepare the new ground for the Mbuzi church and also where our CBC team would camp while on outreach.   These guys worked hard and with a smile all the time.  What a joy to have them around.
Day 1 ... arrival
straight to work from the airport

cutting steel for a project in Matsilele
loading equipment
4:30 am on Monday, May 23rd -heading to Moz
headed to training and church site prep in Mbuzi, Mozambique
preparing the new church site - digging a toilet
trimming trees in preparation for the CBC team to stay at the new church site
Pastor John Bayloi helping
getting water for camp
training with the leaders

the guys after a week in the bush
These guys took some time to go help our friend, Debs, do a little work at her flat.  She had recently moved back on her own after living with us for a few months during her recovery of a broken arm.  They helped her with some adjustments that needed to be made to help her live independently again.  You can read her story here.  

May 31st was the day to work on the big vehicles and take them through the road worthy test.  This meant that all the big vehicles needed a wash and a quick check on things to make sure they were ready for the test.  The major work had been done previously. 

June 1st an unexpected meeting was called to discuss the new plan since the Journey/Bryan team was unable to get their Mozambique Visas in time.   The decision was made to have their team come alongside Derrick Chauke and hold an outreach in the village of Makumeke.  This is a church plant from Mchipisi Baptist Church in the Malamulele area.  There have been teams there in the past and it was great to be able to join Derrick in the work he is involved in.  (More updates on that outreach in the next post). 

The guys also went shopping with Alicia to buy some food for the Samaritan Center and the Ngwana Baby House.  As a mission we were able to take some much needed donated food to both places of ministry here in Polokwane.


 During the OMs time in Polokwane we arranged for them to have a few classes to help equip and grow them during their time here.   

Member did an introduction to the Xitonga language and taught the pronunciation and some basic phrases.  


 After class they headed over to help one of the Pastors at CBC assist his neighbor in moving a car that had been parked for years.  They had to air up the tires and push the car up a small incline to the garage next door.  These guys had a great attitude no matter what job they were asked to help with. 


Their next class they had was with William.  He taught over chronological teaching.   What it is, why we use this method and how to use this method.  

Pastor Andrew (who is a lecturer with Christ Seminary) taught on Missions.  He did a basic overview of missions.   He covered what missions is and why we do missions.  

After a week of hard work and class time we decided that it was time to take a break and go fishing.  It was a nice break and good fellowship.  

I am telling you these guys worked hard helping us with all the things that had to be done before teams arrived.  One of those jobs was helping finish the new vehicle files that all our guys in the mission have to have with them when crossing the border.    Did I tell you ... they never complained about any job and they always found a way to have fun while doing it! 

Another class was ...
African Tradition Religion by Pastor Charlie (another Christ Seminary Lecturer).  He spent some time going through what African Tradition Religion is... what they believe, etc.  

After class they helped to sort the Bibles for each outreach.  

The last class they had was Evangelism and Testimony which was taught by Brad and Mark.  This was day that turned out to be very special.  The Lord was at work and we are grateful that we were able to be apart of it.  Brad went through scripture and taught on the importance of evangelism with the why and how to share.  Mark then spent some time in the Word with them talking about a testimony and the importance of sharing your testimony.  They spent time studying Paul's testimony in scripture.  Afterwards, Mark had them take time to write out their testimonies.  About 45 minutes later he asked if they were finished and then surprised them with the news they were now going to share their testimonies!  What a day. (Jay and Noah joined us for this class)

Then the shopping had to happen.  We had two days to shop for three teams (all non perishables).  It had to be packed in action packers so they could all be loaded the next week.  Jaylynn and I headed to the shops and the guys continued working on other projects until we were checking out.  Then they came and helped pack and load the trailer at the shop.   
Day one we shopped for two teams ...

my new shopping buddy since Brit is in the States

Day two did it all over again for the third team ...

taking a quick break from all the shopping
They spent a few days doing some woodworking projects.  They built a few boxes to help protect some of our equipment. 

They also built a stand for our new camp hot water heaters.   








Then there was the final prep day ... 


Bentley and Allie were proud of their hard work loading that trailer

this was a great way to end a long day
We loved hosting these three guys while they were in Polokwane.  We have enjoyed watching them grow in the Lord!  One of our favorite parts of the day were the evenings.  Most nights after dinner we would watch a session from the latest Secret Church by David Platt.  The topic was perfect for heading into our outreach season.  Each session was packed full of scripture, information and all very challenging.  It made for some great discussions.    It was called A Global Gospel in a World of Religions.  If you haven't gone through this it is well worth the time!  

June 16th ... the set up team headed to Makumeke to set up camp for the first team arriving on the 19th.  


We will post another blog soon highlighting the three teams we were apart of.   Thank you for praying for our family, fellow staff members and the teams as well as the villages we took the Gospel to this outreach season.