Dear Wake Chapel Partners,
"We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints. For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel." Colossians 1:3-5
We praise the Lord for you and your faithful partnership in the gospel here in South Africa!
Northdale, a predominantly Indian suburb where poverty, addictions, broken families are the norm, there is a missional church. Pastor Daniel and I have a kinship in our passion to reach both the Indian and Zulu people with Christ. To not only reach them with Christ but then walk with them in their understanding of being a part of new creation. I have been co- teaching a discipleship class with one of our mentees, Syvion, to a small group at this church. It has been exciting as we challenge these believers to now live as a part of new creation, as daily followers of Christ. On Easter Sunday, I had the joy to preach about the resurrection and new creation at Pastor Daniel's church.
The welcome was warm, the music vibrant, and the topic... the resurrection and new creation. We wondered how the gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection, was making a difference in their lives. Would the good news of the resurrection encourage them to live above their circumstances?
John states, “On the evening of that day, the first day of the week,” Jesus appears to the disciples. His words are assurances of peace to a fearful band of disheartened disciples. They are also words of commissioning rooted in the sending of and the sentness of the triune God. Our God is a sending and a sent God. The disciples are to embody and announce the message of new creation. We are to be signposts in the present world of sin, darkness, and death, that God has launched his new creation.
The community of faith at Northdale welcomed the message of new creation. Through John 20, I encouraged them to rise above their circumstances and to live as God’s new creation, anticipating the return of Christ, who will consummate this new creation!
“Father, thank you for the opportunity to preach your word. Thank you for the community of faith in Northdale. Thank you for the narrative of new creation, perfectly embodied in Jesus Christ, that encourages us to be those who are sent in the power of the Spirit to announce forgiveness of sins.”
Airplanes, Paper Crosses and the Gospel
On Thursday, I went to Mashaka Primary with simple fare: paper and Easter eggs…prepared to tell of the cross and the resurrection. I went class by class...a total of approximately 200 children in all. By using a paper airplane and a tearing technique, children can quickly understand that though real airplanes and rockets can take us far…they cannot take us to God. I first made an airplane and asked, “Where can we go in an airplane?” Answers like Pretoria, America, Howick, Durban, London, Zimbabwe, Mpophomeni (a neighborhood around the corner) were given…I agree, suggesting it might be better to take a taxi to Mpophomeni than take a plane… Then I asked, “Can you take an airplane to heaven?” They all emphatically said, “Cha” (“No”)!
Then with a little tear and a fold…there is a rocket. Now in Zulu eyes, a rocket is not a common sight. So I had to share that you can go to the moon, stars,..to space in a rocket. When the question came, “Can a rocket take you to see God in heaven?” The children looked at each other and a brave soul raised his hand and timidly said, “Yebo” (“Yes”)…So I quickly replied, “Oh, rockets can take us to amazing places which only a few people have gone to,..but sadly, rockets can not take us to God.” Then with a flip of the hand, an “Ahh” of amazement from the children, the rocket became a paper cross, and opened the conversation of the resurrection. I was then able to take my children’s Bible and tell of Jesus, God’s son, who died on the cross for us. He died and then three days later rose again, he is alive!! Then the conversation continued that Jesus, God’s son, said that if we confess our sins, believe that he died, rose again…we could then become a part of God’s family.
What amazing news this is for these children, for us all, yet for many of these children who are orphans, salvation has an even greater meaning,… they have father in heaven. They can be a part of a great family, the family of God through Jesus!
We were so excited to have Pastor Shahn, his wife Juanita and a lovely couple, Keith and Marci from Riverview Baptist Church in Ripplemead, Virginia to visit us. They were with us for only a few days but what an encouragement! Pastor Shahn powerfully preached the gospel at two school assemblies using an object lesson of a beach ball. The kids loved it! Juanita, Keith, and Marci spent time with these children, demonstrating Christ's love to many who have experienced more pain and loss in their young lives than we will in our entire lives. We praise the Lord for the folk at Riverview Baptist and there eagerness to send their pastor and team to be with us. Thank you!!
Many of you have heard of our newest edition to the family, Duke. How we can have a border collie named Duke and a daughter studying at Chapel Hill is a bit of a mystery! The boys love Duke and he has added a whole new dynamic to our home. When our young adults arrive for life group on Wednesdays, Duke is our greeter and the evidence of his greeting is his lovely paw prints on everyone's attire!
Just a reminder that our address has changed to 21 Irvine Road, Hilton 3245 South Africa. Our Skype and email details have remained the same.
Thank you for your faithful partnership in the gospel!! We praise the Lord for each of you!
"I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now; Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ" - Philippians 1: 3-6
Please praise the Lord for...
• Opportunity to partner with an existing South African Church for a church plant in the Zulu community. The Sweetwaters church plant will begin with a cell group in the area starting next week!
• The opportunities to serve in the Northdale area through evangelism and discipleship classes.
• A wonderful visit with Pastor Shahn, Juanita, Keith and Marci from the USA.
• The faithfulness of our supporters, both through finances and prayer, has been encouraging. We are humbled and grateful.
Please pray for...
• Syvion Myeni who will be primary church planter in Sweetwaters. Pray for strength, discernment, and provision for Syvion, Thuli, and their young daughter.
• Paul as he mentors and assists Syvion with this Zulu church plant.
• The teachers and children at Mashaka Primary...that teaching and learning will be optimized and a weekly Bible study will be established.
• The children at Sibongumbomvu Combined School and Mashaka Primary...many of the children are orphans and many are in abusive situations. Please pray for God's intervention into the lives of these children. Pray that the children and their families will embrace Jesus as their Saviour.
• The Missional Mobilization Team as Paul leads in the various outreaches of Hilton Baptist.
• Paul has inquired concerning a prison outreach and will have a second meeting with the leadership there in the near future. Pray for God's leading in this ministry.
Blessings in Christ,
Paul, Penny, Kathryn, Joshua, and Michael Hesman