1For everything there is a season, and a time for very purpose under heaven: 2a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; 3a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; 4a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; 5a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 6a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; 7a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 8a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.
After a month in the UK it"s good to be back in sunny South Africa. After an 11 hour delay at Amsterdam due to fog and ice and snow covering the ground on my arrival in Manchester, the warmth of the African sun makes a pleasant change, But there is a season for every thing as Ecclesiastes reminds us and all around the world the changing seasons are evident in every walk of life.
I would like to wish each and every one of our readers a happy New Year. May the Lord cause all your paths to go straight as you continue to walk daily with Him.
The Christmas period has been a mixed blessing with the arrival of a new child and the loss of a valued team member. I will introduce Carlos to you in a little while but first of all I need to make a statement on behalf of the Southern Africa and International boards.
First of all please accept my apologies for the delay in our newsletter. Since our last letter in June so many things have happened that it has been difficult to actually make time to write to you all. But thank you to the many people who have sent us letters of encouragement and continued support with ministry gifts.
Romans 8:28 " And we know that God causes all things to work together or good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose" NASB
Greetings in Jesus name.
Once again can I thank you for your faithful support to this ministry. It has been humbling to see how God faithfully provides for us all through the family of God.
Norbert is recovering from being hit in the side by a Lorry. He is resting but experiencing internal bleeding. Dave Royle was informed by security personnel that they believe Norbert was intentionally attacked by the same people who Norbert is taking to court for stealing the orphan's maize. Please pray for his recovery, the opportunity for his Christian witness to overcome the circumstances, and renewed faith in the face of evil.
Dear Friends in Christ Jesus,
First of all I would like to wish all our friends and supporters a very blessed New Year. I also pray that some of you managed to get some rest over the holiday period.
This Christmas was once again a time where we observed the awesome ferocity of planet Earth unleashed against mankind. In fact two years running, boxing day pictures on TV shook us to the core. In 2003 the terrible Earthquake in Iran killed 35,000 people and now in 2004 the Tsunami that has taken to date, over 250,000 lives, a huge proportion of them young children. Was this a judgement from God? Is this a sign that we are living in the last of the last days? These are the questions I hear from many sources. What do I think? Well I honestly don't know if this is a judgement from God. God being sovereign does not preclude this and many of us know of the hundreds of thousands that have been murdered by Islamic extremists, particularly in East Timor. But I'm not God, nor has God prophetically spoken to me on the issue. Are these the last days and is this a sign of His imminent return? O' I hope so. When I see the suffering of these young children all I can say is come soon Lord Jesus".
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
First of all thank you for the response to my last newsletter. It was good to check the mailbox and receive several letters of encouragement from our supporters; they have been very welcome in what has been a difficult couple of months.
In labors more abundantly, in prisons more abundantly, in stripes above measure, in deaths oft. 24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. 25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day have I been in the deep; 26 in journeyings often, in perils of rivers, in perils of robbers, in perils from my countrymen, in perils from the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; 27 in labor and travail, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. 28 Besides those things that are without, there is that which presseth upon me daily, anxiety for all the churches (2 Cor11 ASB)
When we look at these words of Paul we wonder at what inspired him to continue under such intense oppression. And then we read the words of Ch12:10
10 Wherefore I take pleasure in weaknesses, in injuries, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christs sake: for when I am weak, then am I strongÃ‚
Dear Friends in Christ Jesus,
Thank you once again for your support over the last few months. God continues to do great things amongst us; the greatest of these is His provision of salvation. Both at home here in Africa and on tour we have seen the angels celebrate as lives have been surrendered to Him. Thank you also for the Christmas cards we received, as I often say, to here from brethren all over the world is an encouragement to us.
The holiday season is almost upon us and once again as the New year arrives we have opportunity to take stock and objectively see what the Lord has done in our midst.
It's been a tremendous year of encouragement and this months bumper edition of our newsletter is testimony to Gods grace here in Southern Africa.