June 2020

Dear Praying Friends,

We continue to thank God for your prayers and support. We hope you are all doing well and staying safe, as we attempt to do the same here. Our food relief activities continue, even as South Africa has lowered the lockdown restrictions somewhat. Ministry moves ahead, albeit in ways we would never have anticipated or chosen. In all this, we rest in the sovereign grace of God, confessing His control of all things, and being reminded of our need to trust in His everlasting power and love.

For this update, we want to get right to several prayer requests:

First, please pray for Jeniel, one of the students from Sivuyele School for the Deaf. This little guy was viciously attacked by three dogs a month ago, and he nearly died. While we praise God for sparing his precious life, he is in very bad shape. His left arm had to be amputated, and doctors were just barely able to save his left leg. His back and neck are ravaged with deep wounds, some of which may never fully heal. He was already facing huge obstacles with multiple special needs, and now he faces even more. We will keep you posted on his condition and needs going forward. For now, we are grateful he’s in one of the best hospitals for children in all of South Africa (Cape Town), and we pray for opportunities to minister gospel grace to him and his family in the weeks and months ahead.

Second, please pray for the Covid-19 situation here. While the number of cases in our area are rising rapidly now, we are being told the peak will be sometime in late-July to late-August, which is the height of our winter. Someone close to our church family has tested positive and is recovering at her home. Please pray for her full recovery. Related to this, please pray for Alyssa’s return to school, scheduled for this Monday. While Alyssa has LOVED being at home with us (what 16-year-old girl wouldn’t want to spend every waking moment with their parents?), she is ready to get back with her friends in the classroom. Please pray she and those around her will be careful, not fearful, and that the school year will resume properly. Also, please pray they will recall the things they learned just prior to the start of lockdown the end of March. Next week they will be taking the term tests which were scheduled to be taken but had to be postponed until now. This is causing added stress to many of the students.

Third, please pray for wisdom as we navigate the regathering of our church family. We had a “test run” Thursday evening for a small group Bible study which went well, but we are trying to determine the best way to still include everyone – those in good health who can meet in person and those who either aren’t comfortable being in groups just yet or are older and who have been encouraged to stay home. Our people are more than ready to get back together, but we need to be a good testimony (especially as foreigners!) and follow rules, doing all we can to be as safe as can be. We must ultimately obey God, but we must also obey our governing authorities. So, as we navigate how that looks for us, we need to have a Christ-like attitude and a Spirit-led determination to glorify God in how and when we meet together as a congregation.

Finally, please pray for Ashley as she anticipates returning to us for six weeks from late-November to early-January. We are hoping very much that international travel will be allowed by then, but as everyone is learning these days, nothing can be taken for granted. In addition to Ashley planning to come home for a visit, George David’s girlfriend, Sarah, and George’s dad (also George!) are planning a trip here at Christmastime. Please pray that these plans will hold as we anticipate some much-needed family time at the end of this year.

We love you and praise God for your involvement in our lives! Thanks for all you do for God on our behalf – we ask Him to bless you abundantly for your faithfulness.

By His Grace,
The Coon Family