April, 2019

Dear Praying Friends,

This past month has been unusual as our family has been apart for most of it. As many of you know, I (George) have been in the States since April 11 and will leave on May 7 to head back to South Africa. The central purpose of my trip was fulfilled last Friday, as I had the honor to be the “surprise” guest speaker at a building dedication ceremony where the Skeels Christian High School building was named after my dad. It was so encouraging to hear others give testimony of his impact in their lives! I thank God for the great example he has been in my life, and the Christlike way he has faithfully carried out the ministry to which he has been called. I’m reminded of Hebrews 13:7 – “Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.”

I am grateful for family members who generously funded the travel to make this possible, and I am grateful to the churches and individuals who helped offset other expenses associated with the trip. And a hearty thank-you to those who knew about this but kept the surprise in tact leading up to the big event. Believe it or not, my Dad was completely surprised! In addition to the ceremony honoring my Dad, I’ve been able to check in with almost all of our
supporting churches and meet up with many friends and extended family members. It’s been a great trip thus far, but I’m looking forward to reuniting with Amy and the kids soon!

Meanwhile, back in Knysna, Amy and the kids have been battling ongoing frustrations with vehicle problems. That has, unfortunately, been the theme of the month for them. As of Tuesday, we are thankful one vehicle seems to be back in action with the issues resolved after being in the shop for twenty-two days, while the other vehicle is working but still in need of further repair. Amy has probably earned the equivalent of a degree in logistics in light of the recent struggles, trying to coordinate all that’s needed for getting herself and the kids where they need to be everyday, with broken, unreliable, and borrowed vehicles. In spite of the trouble, God has been gracious, and we are so thankful for our ministry teammates who have helped us every step of the way. I don’t know what we’d do without them and their patient assistance!

Last month we mentioned Amy was recovering from minor surgery. She is fully recovered, back to her normal activities, and feeling great. Thank you for praying for her, and thank you to those who took time to send her an email or a facebook message. Her computer and typing classes continue to go well, and by the time we send our next update the classes will be finished. The next round of classes will probably begin in July, and she is already looking forward to her next set of students.

The kids are doing well and keeping busy with all their school responsibilities. This time of year there are a lot of holidays which means days off of school and shorter weeks for George David and Alyssa. Since Ashley is taking online classes through LBC she doesn’t get any breaks or days off, but she only has one week remaining for this school year. It’s hard to believe she is just about finished with her freshman year of college classes. She will enjoy her break until school starts again in August.

Typically in our monthly updates, we mention prayer requests concerning ourselves and our ministry. But for this month, we’d like to share prayer requests concerning other ministry team members whom we introduced to you some months back.

First, please pray for Hannah Bennett. She has been battling a heart condition for a long time; and while it’s not life-threatening, some recent developments have necessitated an extended return to the States. Please pray that she will be able to get the medical attention she needs so she can return to us soon. At the sending of our update she is currently en route to the US. Please pray now for rest on her two long flights.

Second, please pray for the Mello family. They are expecting a baby later this year, and many of you might remember praying for them just before and after we arrived in SA. Terrah is experiencing the same problem with this pregnancy as she did with the previous, and while they are trusting the Lord there are still anxious moments. Please pray for peace for Caleb and Terrah and wisdom for the doctors as they treat Terrah. Please also pray for good health for Terrah and baby Lily.

Third, please pray for the Golson family. They have been on furlough in the States since mid-January, and we anticipate them back with us by the end of June. While on furlough, they are needing to replace a large percentage of their support, and time is short. Please pray that people will come alongside them for financial support, and that they will be able to begin giving soon. We need them back with us, fully supported, so that they can continue the ministry they’ve established here.

As always, we thank God for your prayer, support, encouragement, and love. We cannot serve God effectively without your involvement, thus we praise God for your partnership with us!

In Christ,
George, Amy, George David, Ashley, and Alyssa