Great Is Your Faithfulness
God has been so faithful to our family and our ministry this past summer. As Karen and the girls were in the USA, our newsletter will be split to show God’s faithfulness with me and the ministry in South Africa and secondly with Karen doing deputation and visiting doctors in the States.
Jason: May/June were difficult months for me. Karen and the kids left for the States, then our intern, Ester, got sick. We were in and out of public clinics and hospitals with no luck so we all pitched in and took her to my private doctor. She said she believes she has Lupus and had her admitted to the biggest public hospital to begin tests. Her parents, though are not Christians, and they came and took her home to do traditional treatments. After we found out about Ester, our pump quit working and upon inspection, we found that someone stole our float that kept our valve off of the bottom of the river. With the valve laying on the bottom, it began to suck mud and blew the front part of the pump apart.
May 26th was Tears Day. Ester stopped me and we talked through some issues she had and asked if we could reconcile. She had really held onto bitterness and wanted me to forgive her for her attitude. It was a wonderful time of crying, praying and moving on. Next, Aimable our student from the Democratic Republic of Congo, received a call that his sister died giving birth to her first child. He knew he could not go home for the service and was hurting. Again, I was crying, praying and comforting my friend. On my way back to my house, Bongani, a teacher and graduate of our program, stopped me and was nearly in tears thanking me for all that Karen and I do for them. He watched me as I went from person to person crying and praying with them. He said he is so glad God has sent people who really have love in their heart to reach out to others when they hurt. This was a day I will never forget!
July was better—Praise the Lord! Jolie returned home to attend a youth conference at Hillsong Pretoria church. It was a great time and the speakers were amazing. I snuck in during the evenings to listen for myself. We also had a team from the United States that came through to pass out glasses to people in need in Zimbabwe. They were one of our Lord’s Boot Camp teams that run in June, July, and August from Florida. I picked them up at the airport and took them to the border. About two hours into our seven-hour trip, the tire blew on my trailer and damaged the axle. We had to get someone to get me a replacement tire and weld the axle back so that we could continue. The team was awesome and didn’t mind the delay at all. We were back on the road by 1:30 pm, which is after the time we had hoped to arrive at the border. It was a long night for all of us, but thank the Lord He protected us from any accidents.
August was an interesting time. We were called upon to be the ambulance for several people. I got a call from neighbors that had been waiting two hours for the ambulance and a lady was about to have a baby. The next day we got the call that Anna had a beautiful baby girl. Two weeks later, I had two back-to-back nights of running. One was a man who had been drinking and fell asleep in his chair. The ladies had put a pot of hot water on the fire to make tea and chat. When he awoke, he thought he would go into his hut and go to sleep. He fell into the fire and his arm went into the boiling water. The outer skin melted right off of his arm and the water then dumped into his lap as he rolled. The next night the ambulance again didn’t arrive and I was called by neighbors to take another lady to have a baby. This time it was a wonderful little boy. It is so frustrating for us and our neighbors that it takes the ambulance service so long to come if they actually ever come at all.
Karen, Jolie and Joy had a great flight to the U.S. on May 10. Two days later they helped Jenn and Symps move to a house near Leo, north of Fort Wayne, where Joy will be staying for her senior year of schooling at Leo High School. The next week we started the doctor visits to get Joy ready for her last plastic surgery on her nose from her cleft lip. She had to get caught up on her shots (five at one time!), have tests done for the heart doctor and then we got to see the surgeon at Riley Hospital in Indianapolis. When he asked Joy what she wanted her face to look like, she was speechless! How many people get asked that question? So the insurance paperwork began and we waited for a surgery date.
Karen was overjoyed to get to be at the surprise 80th birthday party for her dad. We had fun camping with family four different times over the summer which included hiking, canoeing, water parks, swimming and horseback riding. The times spent with God in His creation and watching the stars around the campfire are some of Karen’s fondest memories with our grandchildren. Joy got to meet up with her birth dad, birth mom, and brother which went fantastic. Her birth mom is now coming to church with Joy, so praise the Lord!
Karen also visited many churches, groups, and friends doing presentations with updates, stories, and pictures about what God is up to in South Africa. Answers to prayer started flowing in as people helped with our expensive stay in America. We got Joy registered for school in the Fall, and her surgery date was set for August 22. This meant that Joy would do two weeks of school and then be out of school for around two weeks and that Karen’s flight would have to be moved back a month.
This gave Karen the time she had desired to do some prayer and fasting before the surgery. BUT after three days of fasting, she got very sick and landed in the hospital with DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis) with her blood sugars dangerously high. God got the glory through all this as first the ER doctor said 95% people die from this and he said: “Your God has saved you.” Days later I asked another doctor if I had any permanent damage and he said, “Most people have organ damage or severe infections from DKA.” Then he pointed to heaven and said: “God has protected you from both!” Thanks for all the prayers, concern, and visits that carried our whole family through this.
The following week Karen was at the foot of the hospital bed and Joy was in it at Riley Hospital. What was supposed to be an outpatient surgery, turned into a two-night stay. Joy had a bad reaction to the anesthetic and vomited a lot. Plus she had an enormous amount of swelling and had to be put on steroids. Even after she came home she could not eat well for over a week. Then the migraines set in which caused even more problems. After two post-op visits back to Riley she was released back to school after Labor Day.
We thank the Lord for faithful supporters, caring family, and a wonderful summer. We can’t imagine how things might have gone if we didn’t have people praying and God listening.
— Safe flights—Karen had a very turbulent flight back over the ocean so thanks for praying!
— Joy’s surgery is over and swelling may take up to a year to go down
— Karen had a close call, but the Lord sustained and healed her
— Karen’s dad, Hugh, needs for healing for congestive heart problems
— Pray for Ester’s healing and deliverance
— Karen’s hospital bill was $10,000, so please pray for God’s provision
— Joy is still experiencing lots of transitions back to the USA. We pray she leans on the Lord to help her and give her good friends and family to support her through all the changes.