In September we had dear friends that “kidnapped” us and took us on holiday to the beach. We traveled 12 hours across the mountains and through miles of sugar cane fields to arrive at the beach near Durban on the east coast of South Africa. The many different type of beaches were amazing, even though the weather was a bit chilly and rainy. Joy did get to the Indian Ocean for her 11th birthday but the sand was more her thing. In October our Bible school students and Karen did a weekend outreach in a city near us called Laudium. The residents are almost all Muslim and Hindu. We discovered that the 10 richest Muslims in South Africa live there. We did door-to-door evangelism and several youth programs. As we prayer–walked around the area it seemed like a modern day Sodom and Gomorrah with people drinking, using drugs and fighting in broad daylight. The many mosques, temples and cult churches blatantly show the need for God even though their hearts are hard. In November we hosted both the girls’ school groups for a field trip to our base. They enjoyed a treasure hunt, swimming, games and lots of food. Joy and Jolie also had their year-end event for ballet with a performance called “In The Beginning.” It was an awesome program dancing the creation story with the scripture read for each day.
Also our new staff, Tolop Marbun, arrived from Indonesia. He graduated from the BIBLE, MISSIONARY & WORK (BMW) Training Center and has worked hard at raising funds to be a missionary. After his visa was denied to India he regrouped and discovered God’s plan for him was in South Africa. He has been a great help preparing for our summer camp. He is also very talented musically and plays the guitar and keyboard. His big smile is contagious and when we offer him some weird American food he always says, “I’ll try it.” December came in with a huge storm, probably a tornado, which removed half of the roof of our house. It picked it up and threw it 50 feet over our fence and into the road. We were away, but traveling home when we had to pull the truck over to let the storm pass. Praise the Lord we were kept safe. The next day neighbors came and helped us dry out and put the roof back on before the next storm came. Overflowing with blessings describes our December. Last year we only had 18 leaders whom we trained for Boot Camp. This year we’ve been praying fervently and God doubled the number of leaders to 36! We sing a song called “Double-O” about God’s blessings doubling your ____ and then you fill in the blank. Just know that your prayers are always answered and “that not one of the good promises the Lord your God gave you has failed.” Joshua 23:14 After leader training, the team members began to arrive and for the first time that anyone could remember we had to close registration because we had too many kids arriving! What an awesome problem/challenge! It was heartbreaking to send some away crying, but we simply could not afford to feed more than 130 kids. Jason transported seven of the teams to four different provinces in South Africa to begin their projects and one team stayed on the base with us for their service project. They were busy gardening, painting, building, laying cement, biking, training youth, visiting orphanages and hospices and the list goes on & on. Remember these are kids from the ages of 10-18 building the kingdom of God! People are amazed to see youth doing this kind of work and it draws many in asking questions, which opens the door to share the Gospel.
We also celebrated seven of our BMW students’ graduation and commissioned one student after our worship service. Even though many had family attending, it was truly like our own kids graduating. They marched in to the song by the Winans “It Was Tough But It Was Worth It” which expresses the sacrifice and hard work of these young men and women.
We hope your New Year is filled with peace and joy. Thank you for reading our newsletters and praying for us. Please let us know what’s going on with you on the other side of the world.
• For God’s out pouring on the Boot Camp and our lives
• For good health to run this ministry during the hot, rainy season
• For new staff from Indonesia and hopefully soon one from South Africa, Praise the Lord!
• We had over 200 salvations during camp. Join us in praying for the ministries and campers who were affected by this year’s outreach.
• Pray for the kick off of the Motorcycle Sunday School Ministry. Pray for people and locations.
• Pray that God would open the doors to allow us to return home for deputation.
Grace and Peace,
Jason, Karen, Joy and Jolie Shrock