Dear Wake Chapel Friends
As 2016 begins, we want to express to all of you..."For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ. And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; That you may approve things that are excellent; that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ. Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God." Philippians 1:8-11
The Story of Jesus
The Christmas music was on, our boys, Joshua and Michael, along with Paul and I were busy tying ribbons to 200 individual gifts of a pencil and toothbrush. This is the way our Christmas season began, humbling as we realized that this would be the only gift for many of the children at Mashaka Primary School, located in a very poor Zulu community. It was a simple gesture, but the children were delighted with the gifts. A kind donor made this possible. I was able to go to each classroom and tell the Christmas story of Jesus to the students. The children were amazed as they heard that God sent the angels first to tell the shepherds of the good news...it wasn't to the presidents or the rich of this world but to the shepherds ...The story of Jesus, of his birth, life and death for everyone. What a blessing to be able to share this again with the children and teachers of Mashaka reminding us all that in God's eyes, everyone is important! The teachers were also blessed with a simple book about our salvation and walk with Christ. Please pray that the message of Christmas will continue in the hearts of the children and teachers of Mashaka as they begin this new year.
I will be returning next week to continue at Mashaka Primary School for a few months before I transition to another school. Please pray that before I leave, I will be able to establish a Bible study and prayer time with the teachers of the school. I have been doing this one on one but would like to see a weekly corporate time of prayer begin at the school among these teachers. Pray also that the teachers would continue to implement the teaching strategies they have learned so that they will empower these children, not only with the gospel but also with the skill of reading.
Ayanda Kakaza graduated!!! Now this statement may not be significant to many of you, but to those of us who have followed Ayanda's story, it is amazing! Ayanda is the young man Paul has poured his life into this past year...he was a UBI student but came from a very difficult life. God rescued him a few years ago out of a life of crime, drugs, and self-destruction. When he came to know Christ, he could not stop sharing with everyone about Jesus. A church in the Eastern Cape asked him to pastor their little church and he did...soon realizing that he had the passion but lacked the experience and knowledge to lead a church. That is when he came to the Bible College. Paul invested in him during his time at UBI and when he completed his diploma, offered him an internship of intense mentoring and an opportunity to supplement his diploma with an honors degree. We had a couple of generous donors who assisted, making this year possible for Ayanda. He was a part of our family, literally, for a year, being in our home, studying, eating with us, studying, serving with us in ministry, living life with our family, and did we mention, studying...Paul assisted him in numerous ways, helping him to grow in Christ and complete his studies. Thank you for your prayers on his behalf. We give God the glory!!
Ayanda Kakaza married Khulu Mkhize! Another amazing event... after much prayer and many obstacles, Ayanda and Khulu were married on December 12th. Family issues, lack of money..all contributed to the difficulties but ultimately, the family of God at Hilton Baptist here in South Africa, came to the table, realizing that God had placed these two young people together. Ladies worked together to provide food for the wedding, our cell group joined together staying late into the night to decorate for the wedding reception (and clean up after), one young lady loaned her wedding dress to Khulu, a local Christian school provided their assembly hall as a venue for free, numerous people made other contributions to the wedding... it was wonderful to see God's people come together to make this special day an event to remember.
Amazing... a ministry...
Ayanda and Khulu are now at LIV Village (www.liv-village.com) serving in this Christian orphanage. Khulu is a nurse and is working at the clinic nearby. Ayanda is working with the teen boys at the orphanage helping them live for Christ. He is also planning to assist in ministering to the leaders there. As of January, they began living in a cozy home on the LIV campus and will receive a small salary. Hilton Baptist has committed to be their sending church and will also be supporting them a bit. Ayanda still has a heart to church plant and hopes to start one in a few years after gaining some experience at LIV Village. He made this choice with much prayer and counsel. We give God the glory for all that He has done in and through His people!!
Church plant in progress...
We are hoping to begin the ground work for the church plant in early February. The final proposal should be ready to present to the church (Hilton Baptist, South Africa) in late January and we can then proceed based upon the response of the church folk. As a part of the leadership of Hilton Baptist, Paul has led the committee who is doing the ground work and preparing the proposal as the church prays. Starting an outreach to the Zulu community has been mandated but exactly which community and how is being finalized...we have a few options and many obstacles. We are excited to be partnering with a South African church in planting this new church. This does mean that more people are involved in the decision making process which makes the process a bit more cumbersome, but the result is a host of God's people investing their lives in this outreach...it is not just a church plant but a "sister church." This is exciting!
Many of you may be thinking...what about Ayanda, wasn't he supposed to be the one to be the primary Zulu church planter? The answer is yes, but we were mentoring Ayanda for God's service, wherever He called him. Though Ayanda would love to church plant now, he recognizes that God has opened this opportunity at LIV Village to allow him and Khulu to grow as a couple before jumping into the rigors of a church plant. After Ayanda requested the church's blessing to leave for LIV Orphanage, God brought another black South African man our way who has also been trained at UBI and did an internship a few years ago at Hilton Baptist. This married man, who is a bit more mature in ministry than Ayanda, is living in the area of the proposed church plant. We are praying whether God has placed him to be the lead church planter alongside Paul. Please pray with us that we will be sensitive to God's will concerning the church plant and his choice of a black African church planter.
Pray as Paul seeks God as to who to mentor this year...we are finding this investment in two or three young men for at least a year, to be invaluable in developing godly leaders for God's service. We have some possibilities, but are presently praying for God's confirmation. Mentoring, while being involved together in a church plant, is an ideal context for the development of Christian leaders. We covet your prayers.
In addition to the church plant, mentoring, serving at Hilton Baptist in numerous ways, Paul also may be teaching at another small Bible College in Pietermaritzburg starting in March. They are presently receiving their full accreditation and we are praying about this possibility.
Kathryn was with us for Christmas! What an absolute blessing...we could not have asked for a better Christmas holiday. All of our children together in sunny South Africa. She has returned to Chapel Hill and back into the rigors of law school. Please pray for her as God guides and provides for her. The boys, Josh and Michael, are back in school. Joshua is in his last year of Primary School, grade 7 and Michael is now in grade 4. They are looking forward to Cricket season. We wish we could say the same...these three hour games are for the birds!
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 to all who give to us generously throughout the year. Thank you also for the numerous Christmas gifts and cards. We were truly overwhelmed and humbled. Thank 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...
- A wonderful Christmas with our all of our children here in South Africa.
- A successful year of studies for Kathryn.
- Ayanda's graduation, his marriage to Khulu, and this amazing opportunity to minister at LIV Village.
- Opportunity to partner with an existing South African Church for a church plant in the Zulu community.
- Safety and provision throughout 2015. The faithfulness of our supporters, both through finances and prayer, has been encouraging. We are humbled and grateful.
Please pray for...
- The Church plant....that God would confirm the who and where of this outreach. That He would give us and the leadership of Hilton Baptist great wisdom as we step out in faith.
- Ayanda and Khulu Kakaza as they begin their life of ministry together.
- God's choice of two or three young men for Paul to mentor this year.
- 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 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.
- Future ministry opportunities...the needs are great in South Africa, pray that Paul would have God's wisdom and discernment as he chooses how best to serve.
Blessings in Christ,
Paul, Penny, Kathryn, Joshua, and Michael Hesman
Our mailing address is:
P. O. Box 267
Hilton, KZN 3245