Dear Wake Chapel Family,
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!
I quit...there is no hope... I have tried and tried and tried, I am finished...ever felt that way, especially when it comes to people? I have...I had invested into a life until I felt I could give no more. There was no change of heart, no alteration in action, just the same old pattern of bitterness, hopelessness,...life without God and full of bad choices...But God's grace has no limits, time or space. I continued to pray for this person, feeling that praying was my "spiritual" responsibility... but no more of me. I was done, I had lost hope....So glad God approaches us with an unfailing love...always sees hope, possibilities where we have lost vision, I was reminded of this when I saw the one person of whom I said "no more, I'm finished"...God said "more, I am not finished"...This person is changing, finally seeing the past is the past and the future includes God with possibilities. An ever investing, ever loving, ever giving God perseveres even when we give up. God, forgive me and make me more like you.
Sibongumbomvu...Reconciliation all around...
"And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross." Colossians 1: 18-20
As a church, Hilton Baptist, has adopted Sibongumbomvu Combined School. This does not mean we donate things...no, this adoption means we invest people.
In May, we began with our first set of volunteers. South Africans from a church of predominantly white middle class people going almost daily into a very economically poor Zulu school. Building relationships through tutoring, encouraging teachers and students, providing professional development for the teachers, painting walls, playing sports, reading with children...all permeated with gospel sharing, living and loving. The goal is to see people restored to being what God created them to be through Jesus Christ: people who understand that they are created in the image of God with the gifts, abilities, and capacity to make decisions and to effect change in the world around them; and people who steward their lives, communities, resources, and relationships in order to bring glory to God. Through the gospel of Jesus Christ, lives are changed.
You see, through serving at Sibongumbomvu school, reconciliation with Jesus is happening in the lives of not only the children from indigent communities, but this restoration continues into the lives of those from Hilton Baptist as we all realize, as children of God, regardless of race or economic resources, we are all "poor" until we realize our role in God's amazing plan demonstrated in an extremely diverse family..How amazing is our God!
Back to Where we Began
Began in Phoenix, back in Phoenix,...when we first arrived in South Africa, we had the privilege of serving in a church plant, The Phoenix Baptist Fellowship. A multi-ethnic congregation meeting in a school in a predominantly Indian area. Since that time, we have continued the friendships made in that first year.
Phoenix Baptist Fellowship is no longer meeting in a school, they have a lovely church building, still not quite finished but certainly ready for ministry. As exciting it is that Phoenix has a building, they presently do not have a pastor. With their pastor resigning recently, Paul was asked to serve as their interim pastor and help guide them through the process of finding a new pastor. Though it is a difficult time for the church, God is at work and we request that you pray with us that God would give the leadership at Phoenix wisdom as they search for a new pastor. Pray for Paul as he preaches, serves and travels to Durban every week.
The Beginning of a Church Plant
A small group has begun in the nearby Zulu area of Sweetwaters (pictured above)...the first step in the church planting process. We are excited! Our prayer is that by the end of the year, there will be a few small groups meeting during the week praying and learning God's word, bonding together in Christ.
Syvion Myeni lives in the area and is the primary leader of this small group. Our strategy in church planting has always been to be the scaffolding for the church plant. Support, mentor, assist, provide resources to a local guy who lives in the area and is from that culture. Paul has been attending the small group, but Syvion is doing the teaching. Syvion is the primary church planter, Paul works in the background to provide the framework to do his ministry well. We have found this approach to church planting effective, the local church planter is recognized by the church people as the leader from the very beginning.
Josh and Michael just finished a school term filled with exams, soccer, and rugby. They are ready for a break. School vacation has just begun. We will be taking a few days to go to Kruger National Park to see the wildlife of South Africa. Against popular opinion, the "wildlife" of South Africa is not found in the Hesman home! We are looking forward to being away for a few days to enjoy God's amazing creation.
Kathryn is doing well. She is working this summer. God opened two amazing internships at two different law firms. These internships were truly an answer to prayer and the opportunities she has been given are amazing. We are thankful!
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!
"Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;
That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,"
Ephesians 1: 1-20
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 has begun with a cell group in the area.
- The opportunities to serve and preach in the Phoenix Baptist Fellowship..
- The faithfulness of our supporters, both through finances and prayer, has been encouraging. We are humbled and grateful.
- The amazing internships that God has provided for Kathryn this summer.
Please pray for...
- Syvion Myeni who is the 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.
- Paul as he preaches at Phoenix Fellowship and helps guide the church through a pastoral search.
- The volunteers from Hilton Baptist, the children and teachers at Sibongumbomvu, that God would begin the process of reconciliation to Himself and to others in the lives of all.
- 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.
- Paul as he has met with the leadership at a very large prison to discuss providing a computer class as a gospel platform. He had a positive response in the meeting and is waiting for green light to begin.. Pray for God's leading in this ministry.
- Kathryn, she had a brilliant experience at the first internship, pray for her as she begins this next job and continues into her last year of Law School. We are thankful for God's provision.
Blessings in Christ,
Paul, Penny, Kathryn, Joshua, and Michael Hesman