Dear Wake Chapel Family,
Life is Buzzing
We have begun a new term at the Bible College. The buzz of student life is back...the momentary quiet of the Spring holiday is gone. Students studying, asking questions, laughing and sometimes crying, praying, preparing sermons, singing songs, playing soccer, discussing life and theological concepts,...this is life during the school term. Sometimes living becomes very messy as campus life overflows into family life but it is never dull. I remember vividly reading a book about bringing up adolescents...the author reminded me to look at every "disruption", every "crisis" as an opportunity to build into lives and to grow as the person God wants us to become. I have found that advice to be true in all of life...God always has a purpose. Pray that we can remember this even when things are "messy".
Bachelor of Theology, for Real!
The Union Bible Institute has received approval by the Department of Education of South Africa the right to offer the fully accredited Bachelor of Theology Degree! A long process of application, preparation...application again.. and resulting in an exciting new degree for the college. Previously, the school could offer a Diploma and could only service a BTh through another college. With this accreditation comes much responsibility. New courses have to be designed, marketing of the program has to be organized, and logistics have to be planned, all before January! Please pray as the leadership and lecturers prepare for this program, that God would receive all the glory and many more people will be trained for ministry.
We have a first year student named Nsindiso. His name means "salvation." He represents his name well. Part of campus life includes everyone pitching in to help with the upkeep of the campus. This includes everything from cleaning toilets to mowing the lawn, to troubleshooting computer problems. Nsindiso helps us near our home. We often work alongside him and his attitude, whether it is digging in the garden or painting a fresh coat of paint, is one of servitude. He often says, "I just love being here. I learn everywhere I go in this place. Even in the garden or raking leaves...God is always teaching me something new." He is an intelligent young man, doing well in his studies but his character is what shines so bright. It gives me a new perspective on Philippians 2:14-16. "Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation. Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain."
Zulu or English or Both
It has been refreshing and challenging to be back at Mashaka Primary. As we overcome one challenge, we face another one. Teaching English reading to non-English speakers continues to be one of the greatest obstacles. Helping the teachers to understand the critical nature of beginning conversational English in Kindergarten and grade one so they have a base for English reading in grades two and three is a hard concept to sell. They underestimate the abilities of those little ones to navigate more than one language, something I have seen children do with ease while we adults struggle. We are making progress! I was able to give the grade three some readers of the story of David. It is a brilliant opportunity to be able to place Bible stories into these young hands. The teachers are happy to use them to teach reading and will even emphasize that it is a true story from the Bible...wish we could do that in the public schools in the States!
Please pray especially for Katy Mkhize, the grade two teacher. She has embraced Christ. She is struggling with a painful knee. The doctors have not been able to diagnosis the problem. The knee is so painful, she is considering resigning even though she only has five more years before retirement. She is a wonderful witness and example of grace at the school. She is also a single mom with many challenges. Please pray for God's intervention in her life.
Kathryn is half way through her first semester of law school at UNC Chapel Hill and getting into a routine of life, living, and constant studying. She is finding niches of opportunities to grow in life and career. Please continue to pray for her.
The boys, Joshua and Michael, are well. They are going into cricket season, which is the British version of baseball (that is stretching it)! They transitioned well into school and are enjoying life and living. Spring means lots of afternoons filled with cricket, soccer, bike riding, and friends. Life is good!
We have a new addition to our family. Paul's brother's daughter, Shireez, is now living with us. She is eighteen and has had some challenges in life since her father died four years ago. We are hoping to help her as she finishes her studies. Please pray for her as she continues to study and us as we learn to adjust as a family.
|Thank you again for your partnership in the gospel. God continues to work in South Africa. We love you, pray for you, and praise the Lord for 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
Prayer Requests: Please pray for...
Praises: Please praise the Lord for...
Blessings in Christ,
Paul, Penny, Kathryn, Joshua, and Michael Hesman