Hope you’re all doing great. Things here are going well in South Africa! We are again approaching the time to greet and even though it’s still a few months before we leave we are starting to plan and even pack. Together with this comes allot of emotions but I will leave this to Marie to share as she is preparing a bit of family news.
So here is a bit of Mengen news for those who are sharing the load with us.Most of you know that we have decided to stay in longer in SA for various reasons and one of them tied in nicely with our Mengen church plant strategy, which is to see a self sustaining church being planted that’s not dependent on us. In other words we are wanting to work ourselves out of job as quick as possible yet see a church functioning on its own in all areas. We thus decided to give the church a bit of space to see how they do while standing on their own feet without any missionary presence. This would give us a good idea of where they are at and what the needs are. Since then up to now the church did fairly well although they had many major hurdles to overcome. As you might remember some key guys were struggling with sin in their lives and had to be removed from their responsibilities for a time in order to be discipled. They also continued to maintain a high pace of work especially in the outreaches and so it happened that one of our key guys were on the verge of burn out over being very sick with Malaria. The GREAT news is that the guys went through all these hurdles on their own and without much input from us have made some changes in direction and work tempo that would really benefit the church until we return. It is thus amazing to see how they trust God, use his Word and the community of believers to evaluate their situation and make decision! A MAJOR PRAISE! Thank the Lord with us that He is faithful in building his church!
Something else I would like to share is the progress with our translation work! The bulk of the work at this time is being done by our co-worker, Rebecca Preheim. I am sure she will be embarrassed if she sees this but she has an amazing testimony and is a true example in faithfulness and perseverance under very difficult circumstances. After lots of very hard word she together with the Mengen helpers and consultants checked 7 New Testament books, which means they are complete and ready to be printed and used. There is an ENORMOUS amount of work that goes into having just one book translated and ready to be checked and so once again a MOJOR PRAISE point! Thank the Lord with us for Rebecca and please pray for her as she continues with this.
Finally I also need to praise the Lord for the way he has provided to have these books printed. As you know we as missionaries are responsible to cover both personal and ministry costs. Basically, usually, the whole project in PNG is funded by us as missionaries, in other words it comes from you guys. Rebecca recently wrote a mail sharing that the kids program at a supporting church of hers donated R12 000 towards the printing of these materials. Just amazing to see Gods grace practically working through His body.
Many blessings and love
Lourens for the Mengen church