Ephesians 4:11,12 “He is the one who gave these gifts to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ” NLT
We have performed many of the roles above in preparing young people to do God’s work and build up the church. Our favorite role, though, is working with you, our partners. Don’t get me wrong, being in South Africa working with people that we get to love on is humbling and exciting. But knowing that you are praying and supporting us on this journey is our strength in times of weakness. When I (Jason) have had those times of doubt and I am tempted to give up I remember those of you in the body of Christ that have given so sacrificially to support us. It is then that I really feel the power of your prayers to keep running the race.
We want to give you a bit of a year in review and reveal to you the blessings of God through you, the faithful. Many, many of you played a role in the development and spiritual education of our two oldest children Jennifer and Brent. We were so blessed to start off the year 2013 with both of them marrying wonderful people. Sympathy and Alison have really grown in our hearts and we are so thankful for God’s provision.
We were also able to visit with several of you through the churches that support us. What a privilege and honor it is to visit with you and tell the stories in person of what God is doing among the nations. We wish we had the time to sit with all of you and answer all of your questions and tell all of the amazing, miraculous stories of God moving among His people.
We were so blessed in July to lead a team of 10-13 year olds back to South Africa to pass out shoes to children in need. This was the first ever Preteen Foot Washing Team and they did an amazing job. We passed out hundreds of shoes to kids in need and were a blessing to the villages and squatter camps where we went.
On October 16th our first grandbaby was born. Karaline Sue is such a bundle of joy and Karen was able to fly back to Ohio and spend time with Brent and Alison in November. She loved being able to love on our little girl. Our immediate family has grown from six to nine and we are so thankful for your faithful prayers. God is keeping a watchful eye over our family.
The ministry in South Africa is also growing and blossoming. Our students do various outreaches every Saturday in our local area. They experienced 297 salvations during this last year and have been referring them to a local church for discipleship. They have had around 75 people request Bibles. If a person will pay half, we cover the other half of the cost of the Bible. One day, our team was out walking the streets to talk to people and came upon one of the ladies that had received a Bible out telling others about the Scripture that she had read and that they too need to get a Bible and see how God can change their life. He is already raising up evangelists from the farms here! We have also made 25 trips into the capital city to assist elderly and disabled people to get financial assistance grants. There are two shelters for homeless around us and the people live in little 8×8 wood or tin shacks and beg for money to be able to pay their rent and buy food. The grants help them considerably. We have been able to join with a man who picks up donations for one of the shelters. Since joining with him to help transport the food in our truck, the donations have doubled. We are now getting enough food for their shelter as well as for us to use and make food parcels for people around us that are in desperate need.
The greatest blessing we have seen has been the spiritual growth of the people in the area. Through our Bible studies and outreach people have found that they can come to us and that God will help them. They are slowly gaining more independence and understanding in the power of God. One couple had no job or food, so they went out early one morning to find work. Walking back with no job, they passed by our base and sat down to rest. They kept looking at the cross on our logo and decided to come and ask for prayer. I opened the gate for them and gathered our staff around to pray for them. We began praying and I immediately felt that God had answered their prayer, so I thanked Him. When they returned home they received a call from someone who had food for them, so they went to pick it up. After returning from the food pick up, they got two calls from people offering them jobs. God has been good and people have been turning to Him daily.
Our South Africa Boot Camp was an amazing time and we were so very blessed again by what the teenagers were able to accomplish. During that time we saw 317 salvations and multiple people were healed. Two wonderful works came through our Zebra team. At one house they visited, there was an elderly lady with swollen legs. She was unable to walk and stayed in bed. After the team laid hands and prayed for her, the pain was gone. She was able to get out of bed and walk into the sitting room to be with everyone. At another home a deaf man was staying with his daughter. She asked the team to come and pray for him. As they finished praying the man said that he could hear what they were saying and answered their questions. They reported that the power of God was present. We had 92 team members and leaders that took up the call to go out and be the hands and feet of Christ. What a powerful time we had.
Much has been done, but there is much more to do. My verse for this year is Ephesians 3:20 “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.” ERV
• An amazing South African Boot Camp
• Joy and Jolie are starting grades nine and seven.
• This year we will have two staff ladies from Indonesia, one staff lady from
Canada, an intern from Australia, and two interns from our base joining us.
• We still need approximately $27,000 more to purchase the bus
• We desire to build a training center to teach computers, sewing and jewelry
making to get the ladies off the streets and into legitimate jobs.
• We will be hosting youth teams from the US, Spain and Australia this year.
• The construction of a life size tabernacle to be built here and travel