Monday, October 31, 2011

The Power of God's Word

I was reminded this past Friday of the power of God's Word.  It is so incredible to see the Holy Spirit move.  A typical Friday at the Soup Kitchen has us sharing a Bible story that is translated into Zulu, eating a meal, and then having a Bible study.  This past week we decided to change things up.  I had noticed a change in the men's demeanor the past couple of weeks during the Bible study and wanted to see where the Lord would lead.

This past week we only had a Bible study that was done in English.  It's almost as if the men sat on the edge of their seats when they saw the Bible and I began to read from it.  They were hanging onto every word and taking it all in.  Usually when I hold a conversation with them either before or after the Soup Kitchen, it is difficult for me to understand them and vice versa.  Durnig the Bible study there were no problems at all with them comprehending what was being taught!  I just want to praise God for working in this way and opening the ears of 35+ men to hear His Word in a language that is not their own. 

I felt led to give an invitation at the end of the study.  In an African culture, if they can tell the answer you want them to give you they will do so, so as to not be rude.  If you asked them to raise their hand if they wanted to accept Jesus, every hand would immediately go up.  Same thing if you asked them to come forward.  I decided to have them close their eyes and then asked them to look up at me if they wanted to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior.  About 6 or 7 men immediately looked up.  I said a prayer and told them to say it in their heart if they truly believed it.  I encouraged them to come tell me afterwards if they accepted Jesus.  This is another big deal in African culture to admit you have become a follower of Jesus because it may mean you are shunned from your family/community because you have turned away from ancestor worship.  No one came to me afterwards but I know that the Holy Spirit is working on many of them.

Please join me in praying for these men.  Pray that they would see their need for salvation and how Jesus is waiting for them with His arms open wide. 

Fun at Suikerbosrand!

We had such a great time this past weekend camping.  It was nice to get away and just enjoy God's beautiful creation.  2 other families went with us and one more family joined us for the day on Saturday.  It was nice to get to know our new friends better. 

The boys loved getting to sleep in a tent!  They keep asking when we get to go again.  This was Erin's first camping trip and she really enjoyed it as well so I think we will be going again!  Great memories were made that we won't forget.  One of them being the baboons greeting us each morning by knocking over the trash barrels and going through whatever we left outside the night before!  Luckily they would scare off easily.  I was amazed at how large they are.

The campground had a great swimming pool and 2 large water slides that provided hours of entertainment.  Kaleb also got to ride another horse so he was thrilled.

It did rain on us each night but that didn't spoil our fun.  We got the kids down pretty early each night which left a lot of time for the adults to play games and talk around the bonfire. 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Soup Kitchen Update

The Soup Kitchen began dwindling in numbers about a month ago.  The Pastor spoke with me about canceling it during the summer months here since there is typically more work available so less men would be available to come.  I told him we needed to pray about it.  

Well, God answered that prayer and showed us His will about 30 minutes later!  We had gotten down to only around 7 men coming but that day over 25 men showed up and they all stayed for the Bible study!  This pattern has continued over the past month and we have had anywhere from 25 men to 40 men each week with maybe only 1 or 2 having to leave before the Bible study. 

It is incredible to see them soaking up God's Word.  They all have Bibles now and are beginning to ask for Bibles for their wives.  Most of them can't share their Bible with their wife because they speak different languages.

We are going through the book John and have made it through the first 2 chapters now.  I'm amazed at how much they remember from previous weeks.  They really enjoy hearing about the miracles Jesus performed.  Please pray for them as next week we will begin chapter 3.  My prayer is that their eyes will be opened and they will see that God truly sent His only Son to die for everyone, which includes them.  I pray that the story of Nicodemus will show them how we can be born again when we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.

Many of the men have expressed interest in coming to church and some of them have started coming.  There is one man that I just love seeing the smile on his face that shows the transformation that has happened in his life!  Pray for them that the Holy Spirit would give them what they need to overcome the pressures and temptations that they face daily.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Excitement in 2012

We are so excited that my parents get to come in February!  Can't wait to see the look on the boy's faces when we pick them up at the airport.  It will be a lot of fun to spend time with them and show them our life here in Africa.  I hope we can see the Big 5 on one of our adventures!

After Mom and Dad leave we will be preparing for our first volunteer team coming in March!!  We are very excited to see how the Lord will use the team from Broadway Baptist.  We will be holding a VBS during the afternoon in a township that we would like to see a new church planted and then having a revival each night at our church!  Please be in prayer that God would be preparing the hearts of the volunteers as well as the hearts of those we will be serving.

After the volunteer team leaves we will be preparing to spend a month in Zambia for training.  We will gain a lot of African culture on this trip that we are not exposed to everday. 

We look forward to an exciting and busy start to 2012 and can't wait to see what else God has in store for the rest of the year!

Craving Mexican

So we both have been craving Mexican since we got here but salsa is ridiculously priced and if you can find tortilla chips they are very expensive too.  There is a restaurant up the street from our house that has 'Kids Eat Free on Wednesdays.'  We had noticed on the menu before that they had nachos.  So we thought this would be an excellent way to satisfy our Mexican craving and not have a big bill. 

The description for the nachos sounded really good.  It mentioned, 'zippy salsa with guacamole.'  We both ordered the nachos from the starters (appetizers) menu and then ordered the chicken nuggets meal for both boys.  The waitress had a funny look on her face and asked if we realized that tonight kids eat free.  We both agreed and said that's why we came!  She then informed us that we would each have to order a meal in order for the kids to eat free.  I told her we needed a few more minutes.  She came back and asked if we were ready.  I saw on the menu that the nachos were also available as a meal.  I verified with her that the nachos would work and she said they would.  In the meantime Erin decides she wants a quesadilla instead of nachos.  As the waitress walks away she gets another funny look on her face and comes back and says, "this will still not work."  She said both items are still considered starters.  I pointed out on the menu that we ordered the 'meal' portion of both dishes under the 'meal' category and not starters.  She stood there for a minute and then decided she could make an exception.

The food finally comes and I just had to smile when the nachos were set in front of me.  The tortilla chips mentioned on the menu are miniature cheesy Doritos and the zippy salsa is spaghetti sauce!!  It was an interesting combo that somewhat satisfied our Mexican craving!

On Saturday we actually found tortilla chips at the market.  We bought 2 bags since this is the first time we have seen them and they are just slightly larger than a small individual bag.  Those 2 bags cost us $10 but it was well worth it!!  We made some homemade guacamole that afternoon and thoroughly enjoyed our high-priced Mexican snack!