It’s so great to be at a place where we can see GROWTH. Last year at this time we were celebrating the marriage of our oldest daughter and preparing for the trip home for the wedding of our son. Things constantly change around us. We grow older and hopefully wiser and our children and ministries change as well.
Jenn and Symps are settling into their life together as a married couple nicely. They have a wonderful two-bedroom house that they rent near the church where Symps is a pastor. Jenn has been working with the American International School of Johannesburg and both keep very busy. We never thought that when we settled in South Africa that any of our children would be an hour’s drive from us. Brent and Alison now have a gorgeous little girl named Karaline and just bought their first home in Ohio. We are so proud of them as they are wonderful parents and keep Grandma and Grandpa up to date with plenty of pictures.
Joy and Jolie are the ones that we really notice growing though. Joy is in 9th grade and turning into a beautiful young lady. Jolie is in 7th grade and keeping mom and dad busy with competitive dance right now. As I type, she is in a city north of us competing for a chance to go to Los Angeles. Both are very active in their youth group at Hillsong Church which opened a campus about 20 minutes from us, and the girls have fallen in love with it. They beg to go to church and especially the Friday night youth group, which is a favorite time of Karen’s and mine as we get to have a date night!
Our extended family has been the most interesting to watch. When you are gone for so long, the next time you see someone, it is amazing how much they have grown. We miss our families a lot, and they have been wonderfully supportive of our being away. My niece seemed so young when we left and now she is a mommy of a little boy Levi. Others were in elementary school when we left and last year, upon returning, we found many to be as tall as we are. Life seems to move along and we are blessed to be able to see them in pictures. We praise the Lord for Facebook.
With our African family, the ministry is really growing as well. I am excited about the continued changes that take place. We are always looking at the people here and the needs that arise. We aren’t doing a program just to do it or keep a program because we always have. This last year we began a Bible study to the workers at two large strawberry farms around us. We have permission to come during their lunch time twice a week and do a Bible Study while they eat. It has been so productive. A lot of them have bought Bibles and are really reading them. We call this ministry, “Fire on the Farms”!
We have opened three new Motorcycle Sunday School Missions (MSSM) locations where we go out and do children’s Sunday school. We have an intern from South Africa, Kgotso, and an intern from Australia, Ruth, with a huge passion for the work. The kids are so hungry for attention, the Word of God, and also physically hungry at many locations. Our ministry to the Samaritan Ladies continues each Saturday. Many are coming to the Lord and receiving Bibles. Karen and some of our BMW students were pleasantly surprised when one of the ladies, Nokwazi, that we have been working with, quoted Jeremiah 33:3 which says, “Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable thing you do not know.” How humbling to see a woman in such a desperate situation learning the Holy Bible!
Two brand new outreaches will begin this summer (our winter). One is called the African Awakening. Our base in Florida has three full-size Old Testament Tabernacles just like the one that Moses had built. They conduct tours and talk about how it was a foreshadowing of Christ fulfilled by living and dying on the cross. They also use the Tabernacle to raise awareness and funds for the overseas ministries. Mr. Bland, our Director, has decided to build one here in South Africa and then we can take it on tour throughout Africa to the many TMI bases on this continent. We will be having adult volunteers coming throughout the year to assist with the building of the Tabernacle. We are raising up 300 prayer partners to prepare the way for this project. If you would like to pray for this, please email me at [email protected] and I will add you to our group to receive prayer points.
The second new outreach is working toward opening a training center for the ladies on the streets, gardeners, shepherds and the unemployed around us. So many complain that they don’t have employable skills in order to find better jobs, so we hope to be able to offer computers, sewing, jewelry making, cooking/baking, welding and carpentry once we are fully functioning. To get us started, we have a group of youth coming from the U.S. in July to start building the security fence that will surround the property we want to use. In December we have a group of youth from Australia that will come to finish that project.
The last area of growth is our need for a 22-seat minibus. We are using so much of our funds renting or trying to borrow buses when we have groups that come. We could grow a lot more if we had our own. There are so many people around us that need assistance getting to the clinic or government offices for assistance. We are so limited in being able to help as I can only take a few at a time in our pickup truck and I don’t have the funds for gasoline to make multiple trips. This means I make one or two trips a month and can only help a handful of those that need assistance. The government assistance is $120 per month. Rent equals around $65, food another $40-50 so they are left with about 200 rand ($20) to live on. If they used this money for taxi fare to town or clinic, they would be left with about 100 rand($10) or less. Many are left to beg to see if they can get enough money for the taxi to go for assistance. Our trips allow them to put their money toward other supplies. We have raised between $3,000 to $4,000 but need $30,000 to purchase the bus. If you would like to give, send your donation to Teen Missions International, 885 East Hall Rd., Merritt Island, Florida 32953-8418 and mark it as “Bus Donation South Africa.”
As ministry expands and needs abound, we are so thankful for supporters and prayer partners like you. Our desire is always to do more so we depend on the Lord for His guidance and provision.
Growth in family and ministry
Ruth Noble being here for the last three months
Jolie’s dance team won two bronze and one gold medal
Volunteers and safety as we begin construction of the Tabernacle.
Jenn is praying for a full-time job and they really need a second car.
Safety of the youth teams coming and that they will glorify God with their hard work.
Provision of a new minibus to transport students, Boot Camp teams, and the local who are needy.
Jason, Karen, Jolie & Joy
Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God!”
PO Box 865, Pyramid, SOUTH AFRICA 0120
Cell: 027 079 393 0492
Email: [email protected]