So often we read missions newsletters & we see “the highlight reel”. We just want to be transparent and confess that this is not easy! December has been a tough month for us as a family for many different reasons. The kids miss home, family & friends tremendously. Chad & I have had more than one ‘break down day’ this month and homesickness has been at an all-time high. We know that the Lord wants us here for this season, but that doesn’t take away the longing in our hearts for our church, and friends, and families! It’s painful to watch our children cry for their loved ones, but they also know that God will bless their sacrifice. Our last visit to one of our Care Points, we took Christmas gifts to the staff and as we pulled away Brielle said, “Before we leave Africa, I want to know that every child at our Care Points has received Jesus into their hearts.” God has called us and has us here for a specific purpose. We must remain focused on fulfilling that calling. We are continuously praying for discernment and wisdom!
Just to give you an update on Care Point Christmas parties. We traveled to a different Care Point each day for 7 days. At each Care Point, our team set up a bounce house, waterslide, craft station, dance station, meal & tattoo station, and a gift game station. The children would travel from station to station & enjoy the events hearing the repeated message, “Jesus is the BEST GIFT”. To hear their giggles and see their smiles was so fun to watch, but to see them respond to receive the gift of Jesus will forever be etched in our hearts. It was incredibly exhausting for all four of us, but well worth the cost. Each Christmas party had a closing ceremony where we would sing and dance, set off fireworks and then give each child candy, a cupcake, and a bracelet as they left the Care Point. In all there were over 6500 children who heard the message of Jesus. As you can imagine over a 7 day period we took many pictures that we would love to share with you!
We also wanted to share an update on the church plant in Hhelehhlele. Mncedisi and Purity are doing fabulous. They are currently holding a Bible study every Saturday, doing home visits daily, and brainstorming creative ways to reach the youth. We are still on target to launch the church in the coming New Year. We would like to share a testimony of a young man Mncedisi has been witnessing to. He happens to be one of the men working on the building of the church.
My name is Mbuso Ndzinisa, I am 24yrs old and I grew up at Hhelehhele. Growing up I found that I was gifted in athletics and I had a passion for it. I was one of the best in the field. That gave me huge dreams for myself. When I was 16yrs old, I woke up one morning with my feet so itchy. I tried scratching them, but felt no relief. The following morning I couldn’t get out of my bed because of the pain I was feeling under my feet and later on my entire legs. From that day on, I was forced to drop out of school because I couldn’t even walk. My class teacher took me to several doctors, but they could not help me. She then decided to take me to a witchdoctor who tried his best, but also couldn’t help. The witchdoctor referred me to another witchdoctor who then referred me to another one. In total I went to 6 witchdoctors. The last one gave me a tiny black bottle with some snuff in it after some traditional prayers were said over it. He then told me, “This is where your life is, you will never be able to walk again, and if you stop using this you will die.” I had been using the snuff for 8yrs and I was now addicted to it. I couldn’t get it out of my hands or quit because my life was at risk, so I was told. I was also now an alcoholic since I had nothing else to do, but stay in my one-room house watching my feet. My life took a turn when I met Pastor Mncedisi. There was just something about him, something I couldn’t resist. He was so friendly to everyone. He was even willing to work with us building the church and just spending time with us. One day I told him my story and he encouraged me, prayed with me, and loved on me. I accepted Christ and he helped me out of all my addictions. We literally burnt the tiny bottle, the one that was said to have my life. Now I know my life is so valuable, not to be held by bottles, but it is in Christ’s hands. I am living a life of freedom in Christ. I am now a new creation in him. For two and a half months now my life has been so great. I will serve Christ at Pastor Mncedisi’s church. My life will be for glorifying Christ alone.
Please keep Mncedisi and Purity in your prayers as they are naturally nervous starting a church. We will continue to encourage them and help them weekly. Like we said before, this is a very special couple and we feel very honored to be able to work alongside of them.
We want to thank many of you who have sent us Christmas cards, care packages, gifts of money and messages on email and FB. It’s so exciting to get a card in the mail! The kids ask to check our mailbox every day! Thank you for your prayers, especially for our children as we are striving to feel at home and adjust.
We love you and miss you all and covet your prayers!
Chad, Wendy, Brielle, Caden & Toby
Care Point Christmas Parties: