Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. Hebrews 12:1-2
I cannot believe that we are already almost at the end of April. It is a year ago since we were in the US and it truly feels like it was just the other day! We have much to report back on….in our last e-mail we had mentioned that we were hoping to get a newer second hand car to replace our dear 39 year old car, and it has happened. God has been so gracious to us!
In January our kids church team started doing a kids club for the kids that attend the pre-school that runs from our church. We had 56 children every week for 8 weeks and were able to do crafts and puppet shows and teaching with them. It is hard to know how much of it they understood, as their english is not the best, but we trust that as we sow the seed God will grow the faith in each of those little children’s hearts. Mell is now gearing up for Trailblazers (the outreach to Grade 1 and 2 age children). A good number of volunteer mums have come forward and things are coming together well.
Craig is grateful that his term is finished, including all the marking that goes with that and is enjoying his 2-3 week break before they return to college. Next term he will only be teaching 3 courses which is a wonderful change to his 4 or 5! However he will be largely responsible for overseeing the Missions teams that will be coming from Gordon-Conwell and Covenant seminaries. The majority of students coming this year will be doing the ‘Theological Track’, of which Craig is responsible for overseeing.
This year we have 8 students coming and a family of 6, so it is promising to be a busy term.
It was learned just a few weeks ago that the daughter of TCZ’s president (Tinashe Motsi) has Leukemia. She is 12. Treatment is difficult to get in Zimbabwe and is not covered by medical insurance and so this means travel and huge medical expenses for the family. Tina is currently in Johannesburg receiving and responding to the treatment. However the family is still well short of the funds that are required. Please be praying for them!
On the home church front, we have had a good number of visitors in the last few months with visits from the head of Westminster Bible College in Uganda. Friends from a PCA church in St Louis and most recently friends who annually do a Pastors Preaching Conference here in Bulawayo at our home church. We so appreciate the many people that we get to meet who are a part of God’s Kingdom and who are so willing to share their knowledge and expertise with us. It is so amazing to be a part of God’s BIG global family.
The babies home continues to do well and recently have installed a large 5000l water tank and 2 large solar geysers in an effort to try and help with the ever rising prices of utility costs.
Mell has joined a group of people at our home church doing a course on Biblical Counseling. We are just at the beginning stages but are so enjoying it, despite the challenge of trying to get my very tired brain to engage!
On a completely different note, as a side line and in an effort to raise a little bit of money to help make ends meet, Mell has begun a very small venture in supplying Helium Balloons. Whilst it is not a huge money maker, it is something that we can do quickly it provides some cash and it means that Mell is able to continue with the ministry that she is involved in. We are still in the process of setting up, getting all the little gadgets and a decent stock of balloons, but so far it is going well.
On the Zimbabwean front, not much changes. It was rumored some weeks ago that our president was not very well, but for all appearances seems to be doing just fine as he arrived in Bulawayo this week to open our International Trade Fair. Our city council has been on strike, and our power outages are worse than they have been for a long time, on average we are without power for between 8-12 hours every day. These things all present their own challenges. The South area of Zimbabwe – Matabeleland, has received very little of its expected annual rainfall which will send the city reeling into crisis before the end of the year. We can expect to have water cuts and all the challenges that go along with that.
Several months ago we sent out a prayer request for a man who ‘disappeared’ he is still missing and people fear that he has been the victim of political crime. Death continues to be a reality and sometimes hard to get to grips with when it seems like it could have been easily avoided. But God remains on His throne and we are so grateful that we can trust in His sovereignty in every situation and circumstance.
Despite all the challenges, we are so grateful for the gospel and the impact that we see it having on different peoples lives around us. Please pray for us as we strive to ‘live out’ the gospel here in Zimbabwe. We so appreciate each one of you and your love and care for us as a family. We would love to hear from you all and look forward to hearing all your news. Please find below our list of prayer requests!
Standing in His Love,
Trusting in His Grace,
Craig, Mell, Brett and Dean
1. Please pray for The Theological College and their students and faculty. Pray that God would use the college to reach people with the gospel. Please pray for the Motsi family and their daughter at this time.
2. Pray for God’s church in Zimbabwe – pray that the gospel would be proclaimed fearlessly in the face of much false teaching. Pray for encouragement and strength for those pastors who proclaim the truth of God.
3. Please pray for the missions teams who will be visiting Zimbabwe from mid May to mid July, pray that they would have a fruitful visit to Zimbabwe.
4. Please pray for the children’s outreach ministry ‘Trailblazers’. Please pray that the children will ‘get the gospel’ that lives would be changed and God would be glorified in all we do.
5. Please praise God for His continued provision for us as a family! Please pray that God would continue to change and grow us to be more like Him as we work and minister to those we come into contact with.