Dear Praying Friends,
Much has been happening since our last update, and we wanted to get this out before we lose track of time. For this update, we will focus on a general overview of what’s happening. Then, sometime close to October 1, we will send another update giving some of the more relevant details of our involvement here in Knysna.
Shipping Container: Our shipping container arrived on Saturday, September 2nd. A few minor items were damaged, but overall, we were very happy with the entire experience. The unloading crew had a very difficult task, as our driveway is terribly steep. The trailer was not able to get close to our front door; so the men had to haul everything up a steep hill (about 100 feet), then up a flight of stairs to our door, then up another flight of stairs to our main level! It was back-breaking work, but we praise God for the great weather and the safety He granted to the workers.
Alyssa’s Health: As you all are aware, we have asked for much prayer over the past year for Alyssa. Things had been getting better as we approached our departure; and we’re happy to report that since we’ve arrived, she has been completely symptom free! She is back to her “old self” and, while being somewhat careful, back to eating regular food. It’s been amazing to see God’s healing hand upon her. Thank you for your faithful prayers on Alyssa’s behalf!
Current Ministry Opportunities: While we are still settling in and organizing our home, God has already brought us several opportunities to serve, many of which have just begun recently. Alyssa is adjusting well at Knysna High School, making friends and finding ways to have a positive impact on her peers.
Ashley and George David have begun volunteering at the Knysna Christian Mission School here in town. Two mornings per week, they are listening to 1st graders practice their reading, which has been a need at the school for some time. George David has also begun giving piano lessons to one of the students at this school.
Amy and Ashley have volunteered to do some facility cleaning at the Knysna Deaf School. This will happen one morning per week, once all involved can settle on a start time and date. They will most likely start next week. The deaf school is a current key focus of our Knysna Hope team, and we’re thrilled to get involved in this capacity.
George has been able to preach on a few occasions at two of our local churches here, filling in for our teammates as needed. He also began teaching on Tuesday mornings at our Ironman Theology Fellowship. Just last week we began a biblical theology study on the theme of grace.
Theological Education: Last week, I had the opportunity to travel to Cape Town with one of our fellow missionaries, Dave Rudolph. While there, we were able to meet with and interview eight individuals from seven different theological schools in the area. This was an excellent opportunity to listen to these individuals offer their perspective on theological education in South Africa. They offered good advice and gracious support of our intended ministry along the Garden Route. We were humbled by their willingness to give of their time and open themselves up to us in the way they did. We are planning to take a similar trip to the Johannesburg area sometime in November to meet with more people involved in theological education.
Church Family Matters: As of this coming Friday afternoon, we will have already attended three funerals since we’ve arrived. The first was for Micah, the newborn baby of Caleb and Terrah Mello, for whom we’ve asked prayer on a few occasions. He only lived 20 hours, but the impact of his brief life is still being felt by many. The second was for a sister of one of the men who attends Lagoonside Baptist Church. She passed away at only 47-years-old after her battle with cancer, leaving behind a loving husband and two young children. The testimony of her faith in Jesus Christ and her commitment to her family had a profound impact on the hundreds of people attending her memorial service. The third will be for our dear brother Andre, a long-time pillar of the Lagoonside church. He was well into his 80’s and passed away this past Saturday after a brief bout with cancer. His testimony was incredible, as we all had a chance to meet with him before his passing. He made it clear that he was not afraid to die, for he was looking forward to meeting his Saviour! His prayer was not for himself. Rather, he desired that all who knew him would find salvation in Jesus, just as he did.
Prayer Requests: In light of all these things, please continue to pray for us as a family, that we would be effective in ministry and service. Pray that God will keep us close together, as we keep close to Him. Pray that these most recent opportunities will bear spiritual fruit in the lives of many. Please pray for those grieving in our church family, that they will find comfort in knowing their loved ones are with Jesus even now.
In our next update, we will give more details on some of these things, and therein offer more items for which you can pray. From the bottom of our hearts, baie dankie (Afrikaans meaning “many thanks” and pronounced “buy-uh donkey”). We thank you for the ministry you have in our lives as you lift us up in prayer regularly. We thank God for you all with great joy and praise!
Your Partners in Ministry,
The Coon Family