At this writing we have been in the USA for one week. We have enjoyed reuniting with family, friends and going to the fall festivals, but it still doesn’t really seem real that we are home and not returning back to South Africa. It has been our home for the past 11 years and holds a very dear part of our hearts. Let’s catch you up on the last few months.
May and June were full of ministry opportunities with Karen teaching a Missions II class, lots of baptisms in our pool, getting water to people who had none for a week as the water truck was on strike, as well as food and clothing to the needy. I (Jason) took many to the clinics and hospitals, as well as lead the Bible study at the Afrikaans squatter camp. The majority of my time though was preparing for the team and getting supplies ready for the Tabernacle set up.
We had an amazing July with a team from the Teen Missions Florida base coming to help us set up the Tabernacle. We have been writing about the building of the Tabernacle for the last four years, and it is now up! They spent the month with us setting it up and ministering to our MSSM kids. We truly loved the team as they worked and played each evening around the bonfire sharing what God was doing in their lives. It was hard work and our BMW students were a big part of the set up. Daily I was out taking pictures to send to Carol and Eivind to show their work going up. The team didn’t realize how much work it would be to finish clearing the land and setting up this large structure. They worked right up to the day they got on the plane. The team did surprise us. We had asked if they could take a few bags with them since we had accumulated many things over 11 years there. They were willing to take nine of our personal bags back with them.
In August we began preparing for Boot Camp by fixing tents, getting invitations to orphanages, setting up teams and advertising in churches. We also started getting ready for the new staff arriving to help the base. First arrived Peter Putsoenyane as a new staff member. He used to be on staff as a Circuit Rider with MSSM and he is excited to do that again as well as help with work at the base. Next Kwame Asare from Ghana graduated and decided to join staff. Then Loretta Smith joined us to help with the upcoming transition at the base and to do the marketing for the Tabernacle. They all three joined TMSA in one week. Praise the Lord! He is answering prayers!
The beginning of September brought the good news that the Yoder family from our Zambian base was coming to be the new coordinators! Robert is an American married to Dorah who is from Zambia and they have three wonderful children—Ester, Ethan and Elisha. We quickly started training them on Sept. 10 and then we flew out Sept. 15. Wow what a whirlwind of information exchanged!
The goodbyes were tough and several asked if we had heard from God right. We got really spoiled with kind words, gifts like traditional blankets, hats, a tea set and books. The greatest was all of the people who either stopped by or sent us messages to let us know how much we impacted their lives. At one church we were surprised and they had a video slideshow of pictures from our 11 years in South Africa and the youth stood up and told us about their times at Boot Camp and how we made them feel special. The church presented us with gifts and the pastor and youth pastor gave us blankets that represented their traditional culture. If you have seen the movie “Black Panther” you will recognize the traditional Sosotho blanket that I am wearing in the picture above that is from the tribe of Pastor Hoffman, who showed me how they wear them.
We want to clarify our return. We know that God is telling us our time at the South Africa base is up, but we are still with Teen Missions. We will be praying on what country or position where God wants us next. There are many areas that Mr. Bland said we can serve, so we are praying about those options. We are NOT planning on leaving the mission field, but God has the final word.
Transitions can sometimes be a time of anxiousness and worry, but God gave a scripture to help us through. “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3. We are keeping our focus on Him and not our circumstances to help us walk this new step of faith. Dear friends gave us these words when we started missions, “Enjoy the journey” and we really have. Now as we re-enter the USA a dear missionary friend said, “I pray that God gives good directions for the next leg of the journey.”
We are staying at 1808 Grey Birch Rd. Fort Wayne, Indiana 46814. Our phone numbers here are Jason 260-508-6120 and Karen 260-234-0973. Call us for a chat or come by to share a cup of coffee with us.
Jason, Karen, Joy & Jolie
Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I AM God”
— Praise for safe travel back to the USA despite Hurricane
— New coordinators and staff arrived right on time
— Joy turned 20 Sept 28 and the Lord has told Karen “Joy is
— The Tabernacle is up and they are ready to begin tours
— New Coordinators of South Africa as they get settled into a
new home, ministry, and school
— Wisdom as we look for doctors for Jolie’s scoliosis and Joy’s
— Ask God to make it clear to us where He wants us to serve Him
— Healing and wholeness for our family and marriage
Email: [email protected]