June 11, 2008

5 days till our short term team arrives!

Thanks to all of you who prayed for us this last week! It was an emotionally full week, but the Lord is sustaining us. This last Thursday we drove up to Vaalwater to see the ministry there for ourselves and to finalize the ministry details for that area. I thought that we were pretty “in touch” with the poverty and sickness here in South Africa, but rural poverty is so much more devastating than urban poverty. I have always wondered why people would choose to live in a squatter camp with all the issues there and the reality is that “home” in the rural area isn’t any better and you have a higher chance of getting a job in the city. In the Vaalwater township, they have very few subsidies and there are so many issues. (they get running water for one hour every couple days, 35% AIDS infection rate, unemployment, orphans, child led homes, teenage pregnancy, abuse, poverty, no sewer system, and more) The events and ministry we hope to do in their community will be like a drop in the ocean compared to the vast needs they have, but hopefully they will remember that they were loved and as we pray for them and encourage them they will know God loves them as well. I don’t even know how to begin to describe what we saw, but hopefully some pictures can help us share stories with you in the next couple weeks. We will be working in the Vaalwater and Lesiding communities with Hamish and Terri Rodgers and are looking forward with expectation to what the Lord will have for us there.

This is our final week of preparation before our first team of ladies arrives on June 16. Things are coming together smoothly!

About three weeks ago Dan was asked to be the project manager to frame an orphanage building this week. He has a background in framing and there isn’t any local expertise in this area since all the building structures are made of bricks here. The Americans who are building this orphanage are shipping all the lumber over in a container! The orphanage will be in Pretoria so he will have a substantial commute and be working long hours this week. Please pray with us that things will go smoothly and that he part of the project will be completed on time.

There haven’t been any new reports of attacks against foreigners in Johannesburg this past week – praise God! The city certainly has their hands full with figuring out what to do with 30,000 homeless people, but we have seen the church stepping up to support and encourage which has been a blessing. Please pray God continues to bring His peace and for wisdom for the leadership to know how to respond.

Thank you for your support of us!

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