Dear Praying Friends,
First, thanks again to all of you for your prayers, support, encouragement, and communication. We know it takes a team of people to properly support and uplift a missionary, and we thank God for moving in your heart to be part of that team. Whether you give, pray, encourage, or otherwise communicate, we are thankful for all of you. You help us far greater than you realize.
Second, we know the world is going crazy (again!) over the latest iteration of Covid. We know South Africa’s place in all of this, and we acutely feel the pressure facing our dear South African friends and ministry partners. Please know that we are fine, and we intend to carry on with normal ministry to the extent we are able. Our plans to be in the US from December 9 – January 5 are still on track, and there is no indication this trip will be interrupted. Please pray with us that our plans will hold.
Third, we have numerous items to report, all worthy of tremendous praise. Concerning the ministry of Knysna West Bible Church, we are abounding with joy over the recent salvation of two young men in our Friday afternoon Bible study, which is held in the Bongani Township. These two have professed saving faith in Jesus within the last few weeks, and they are eager to grow in the knowledge and love of God as they embark on their newfound journey of faith.
In addition, another one of our “Bible Boys” was baptized last Sunday at a special youth-oriented service honoring our high school graduates. This is a huge step for this young man, as he will now face much criticism and potentially ostracism from his family over his decision to not only give his life to Christ, but even more so his decision to follow the Lord in believer’s baptism. Please pray for him, that he would have courage to stand in the face of what promises to be intense opposition.
Concerning the ministry of Launch Workplace Readiness, we are happy to report that Amy and her co-teacher, Kristen Golson, will be graduating another 18 students in various stages of computer training. The graduation ceremony will take place December 4. Out of this ministry, we continue to have opportunities to share the gospel, encourage people into Bible-believing churches, and even engage them in biblical counseling.
Concerning the ministry of the Biblical Leadership Institute, we have finally completed our entire 15-course program in our Sedgefield location. Between March of 2018 and now, we have had a core group of committed students log over 250 hours of “in-class” time, and a few of the braver souls have logged nearly 2,000 hours of coursework to earn full credit for their work. We are planning a completion (graduation) event for early in the new year. The BLI program continues in our other two locations: Knysna and George.
Concerning our involvement in the Sivuyele School for the Deaf, we are delighted to report that they have now become a satellite school of a properly registered school for special needs based in George. What this means is that the Deaf School we have been supporting for the past 3+ years, through the generosity of many of you, is now financially sustained and supported from government funds with assistance from a “parent” school. We are still helping with transportation costs to get the children to and from school, but even that will be winding down early in 2022. This is a fantastic example of a community upliftment project that has accomplished its purpose, resulting in a sustainable solution for all involved. Praise God for His provision and grace!
Finally, we would like to offer thanks and praise to God for how He has worked through our precious Alyssa during her final year of high school. She has had tremendous opportunity to share her faith as the school year has drawn to a close. Recently, she gave a valedictory speech in front of a couple hundred people, where she challenged her classmates, teachers, and others in attendance to consider their need for a true, saving relationship with Jesus. This kind of speech would have resulted in her being forcefully removed from the platform of most schools in the US, but here in South Africa, she had perfect freedom to exalt her Savior, and that she did! All glory to God!
In closing, we do have a couple special prayer requests to share. Please pray for Alyssa (and us!) as she finishes her last week of exams and prepares to return to the US. There are many “last” things she must do (or gets to do), and each one of these tasks/events is filled with emotion and a sense of finality. We are excited for her to be moving to her next phase of life, and we trust God for His protection and provision. Of course, we are also sad at the thought of being apart from her, but we know the best place she can be is where God wants her to be.
Also, as some of you know, we have been praying for several months about a place to rent or purchase for our church to meet. Our present meeting place (the Hunter’s home) can no longer contain our congregation properly, and we are seeking God’s leading for a solution. Recently, we’ve become aware of a property on the west side of Knysna (the suburb of Belvidere) that includes a house, a large garage, and a few acres of usable land. The potential of this property goes beyond a meeting place for a church and extends our vision for multiple ministry opportunities in what would be a multi-purpose facility. We have no idea if this is a feasible option, but it would be a fantastic place to initiate further ministry opportunities as God leads and provides. The total cost of purchase would be roughly $270,000. At present, several parties are interested in the property, so we don’t know how quickly we may have to act. We would, along with our ministry partners, need time to raise funds; if it’s God’s will, the seller would need to be willing to take a modest down payment and give us time to provide the remainder. Please pray that God will lead us to a responsible decision that demonstrates both expectant faith and careful stewardship. We need His wisdom as we move forward! If you have further questions about this potential opportunity, please contact us.
So much is happening, and all of it is a reminder to us that God continues to work His will and purposes for His glory and our good.
The Coon Family