January 2022

Dear Praying Friends,

We hope you had a wonderful Christmas season and are off to a good start for 2022. As many of you know, we spent most of December and the first week of January in the US, our first holiday season in the States since 2016. It was a blessed time of visiting friends and family, checking in at a couple of our supporting churches, and getting stark reminders of how cold it can be this time of year. We were delighted to see many of you on this brief trip – thanks for your warm hospitality and ongoing friendships!

The primary purpose of our visit was to “repatriate” Alyssa with her having graduated from Knysna High School in early December. We’re thankful to God that she finished her time there so strongly, with excellent grades and even more importantly, a lasting testimony. We do look forward to her return for a few months toward the end of March, but still, it was quite tough to say goodbye, leaving her behind in the US for the first time.

Since we’ve been back in SA, we have had a nice, slow restart to our ministries here. Because people in SA usually only return to work after the holidays in mid-January, a lot of our week-to-week activities are only restarting last week and this week. Our Biblical Leadership Institute courses and Launch Workplace Readiness courses begin this weekend and next week, respectively. We are well rested and ready to jump back into the full schedule.

In addition to the “full schedule,” we are taking care of more items concerning the ministry of Knysna West Bible Church. Our church planting partners, Herb and Janet Hunter, are in the midst of a six-month furlough (January through June) in Canada and the US. This means several of the things they did, we are now doing. While that makes it rather busy, we are grateful to have several of our church people stepping in to help in a variety of ways, from childcare to preaching, serving to administrating. We are truly blessed with a wonderful church family!

In addition to the above updates, we do have a few specific prayer requests to mention. First, please pray that God will continue to give us His guidance and wisdom as we seek a solution for a place for our church to meet. We’re growing, which is exciting, but are at maximum capacity (and then some!) in our current meeting place. The property we had our eye on was sold a few weeks back, so we are back to the drawing board. Please pray as we seek God’s leading in this area.

Second, please pray for three young men who’ve expressed a commitment to trust Christ at a recent youth activity we had last week. While we have a good idea on how to follow up with one of these young men, following up with the other two will likely prove very difficult. Please pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to work in their hearts and, if their commitment is genuine, to give them assurance of their salvation.

Third, please pray for new opportunities for evangelism and discipleship in the year ahead. At the beginning of each year, we think about those we’re trying to reach, and those we’re trying to journey with in their relationship to Christ. There always seems to be more opportunities than time, but we trust God to lead us to the right people, in His timing, for His purposes and glory. We realize more and more with each passing day that this is His work, not ours, and we are simply blessed to be a part of it.

Because of Christ,
The Coon Family