Dear Wake Chapel Friends,
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." Galatians 2:20... Once dead, now alive,... Though we live in the flesh, we live by faith in the very one who lives in us, and gave himself for us. It is this message we share with those we meet in South Africa, the gospel message of hope and grace through Jesus' life, death, burial and resurrection!
Phoenix Baptist Fellowship...a time of healing and restoration
Messages of forgiveness, reconciliation, and restoration have permeated Paul's sermons at Phoenix Baptist Fellowship. As a reminder, Paul is serving as an interim pastor at Phoenix, a multi-ethnic church, where we first served when we arrived in South Africa in 2002. With the unpleasant departure of their pastor over six months ago, the people at Phoenix had to begin facing some of the ugliness that comes during a time like this. Hasty words were said, anger and bitterness spread,...ever been there? I think we all have, whether it is in a church, a community or in our own home. What do we do in the aftermath of a hurricane? We assess the damage and begin the difficult and time consuming task of cleaning up, repairing, rebuilding...
We have been so pleased to see the growth and restoration of the people at the church. Many had the task of forgiving, some had the difficult position of asking for forgiveness,...Forgiveness is a beautiful thing. You know, it is not an option,.. it is required of God. He says clearly in Ephesians 4:32, "And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." The basis of forgiveness is clear, it is based on God's forgiveness, not on the person who did the wrong. The healing that occurs after forgiveness prepares the way for restoration.
Please pray for Paul as he preaches through Ephesians to lay the base of the rebuilding of the church. Also pray for Phoenix Baptist Fellowship as Paul guides them now through the process of seeking God's heart and His man for the church.
Mashaka and Laddsworth...worlds apart but just around the corner.
We asked you to pray for the educational partnership between a traditionally white school, Laddsworth Primary, and a Zulu school, Mashaka Primary. God answered our prayer! After much discussion, the principals from both schools met and visited each other's schools. Though the obstacles are great, the principals and leadership of the schools have agreed to "work together". Presently, this means a sharing of ideas and some resources. It is a beginning.
If you recall, the dichotomy in education in South Africa is huge. The traditionally white schools have many resources and marvelous facilities; the traditionally Zulu schools struggle even to have enough books for instruction. Apartheid has ended but economic apartheid continues...In the case of these two schools, they are in close proximity, a five minute drive between the two...worlds apart, but just around the corner.
Our teachers at Mashaka that we have been mentoring for a few years responded immediately to the news of the partnership, "Praise God! This is an answer to prayer." We thank God for what he is doing in the lives and hearts of the teachers and children at Mashaka Primary as we first instill the hope of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and then being Christ's hands and feet by fostering improvement in educational standards. Pray for both schools as Penny strives to share Jesus every week in both of these contexts.
Site 11...finding restoration through God's Word
Every week, Paul invests in the lives of a small group from a Zulu slum. Through an outreach by an Indian church located near this community, Paul has the privilege of teaching the basics of the Word of God. These Zulu students have committed to a year program that could extend to two years. Their commitment is amazing, their longing for a greater understanding of the Bible is inspiring, and their stories are convicting. As we meet people who own nothing in this world but are complete because they have embraced the Gospel of Jesus, we are reminded of the wholeness of the restoration that comes from the grace, forgiveness and love of Jesus Christ. Please pray for these students as they study the Bible and grow in their faith.
Church Plant...A Delay in Plans
The church plant in the Zulu area of Sweet Waters has been delayed. Syvion, the gentleman that we were partnering with for the church plant has decided to not be involved in ministry at present. He has decided that his work responsibilities and challenges at home prevent him from pursuing ministry now. We still continue the Bible study which is presently a ladies' Bible study led and hosted by one of our members from Hilton Baptist, Mrs. Thusini. We were discouraged by this turn of events but confident that God is in control. We have learned from experience, that partnering with a Zulu church planter is the best way to minister in the Zulu communities. So we pray and wait for God's man and on God's timing.
Other ministries continue, the outreach at Sibongumbomvu combined school continues to grow, the Missions' Mobilization Team from HBC just had an outreach during the Mandela Marathon, Penny guides the prayer ministry at Laddsworth Primary, Paul serves faithfully on the leadership team at Hilton Baptist...God is faithful and we are thankful for the many opportunities to serve.
All is well in the Hesman household...at the writing of this letter, everyone is healthy and enjoying life and living. The boys have just enjoyed a short school break and returned back to school this week. Here in South Africa, schools run for the calendar year and our seasons are the opposite of the States so, not only do our boys look forward in a few months to the Christmas holidays but also to their long summer vacation. Exciting days for the boys! Joshua will be finishing his grade seven year and is looking toward high school in January and Michael will be beginning grade five.
Kathryn is in her last year of law school at UNC Chapel Hill. Her internships this summer were challenging to say the least but extremely productive. She has had one job offer and is hoping to have another one in the next week. Please pray that God will open the right opportunity for her.
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 again for your faithful partnership with us as we minister in South Africa. We never feel that we can fully express our gratitude for your prayers, friendship and financial support. We are humbled and grateful for God's people and their impact in our lives and in the lives of the people of South Africa!
Praises - Please praise the Lord for...
The healing and restoration process at Phoenix Baptist Fellowship.
The opportunity to serve and minister again at Phoenix Baptist Fellowship.
The educational partnership between the two schools.
The spiritual growth of the teachers at Mashaka Primary and Sibongumbomvu School.
The hunger for God's Word by the Zulu students at site 11.
Prayer Requests - Please pray for...
God's man as pastor for Phoenix Baptist Fellowship.
God's man for a church plant in Sweet Waters.
The progression of the educational partnership between the two schools.
Syvion, as he seek God's direction in his life.
Continued freedom in sharing Jesus in the schools here in South Africa.
Strength, provision, and guidance for Kathryn as she finishes her last year of law school and chooses her next steps after graduation.
Continued spiritual growth of ourselves and our children.
Blessings in Christ,
Paul, Penny, Kathryn, Joshua, and Michael Hesman