Dear Praying Friends,
This is not our regular update, but we wanted to bring two items to your attention for prayer and praise.
ITEM #1: A couple weeks back, we experienced a major breakdown of our vehicle. We knew it was bad by how long it took for the mechanic to get back to us with an estimate – almost a full week! Our vehicle has a diesel engine that relies on two turbos to operate smoothly. Once everything was torn apart and diagnosed, we needed to have BOTH turbos replaced. This is a rare situation, and quite costly, with the total price coming to $5,300 USD. We try to save a bit each month for vehicle-related situations. But since we’ve only been here a little over one year, we are not even close to having an amount like this at hand. We ask for your prayers that God will provide as we seek to navigate this unexpected circumstance. Fixing this vehicle isn’t about our comfort and convenience. It’s about being able to fulfill the mission to which we’ve been called. It’s essential for us to have a solid, relatively large vehicle to minister in different places, while being able to transport our family and others as needed.
And yet, even in this trial, we have four praises to share. First, we were a good distance from home when we began to experience a problem with the car, but we were able to go slow and get back to town to a teammates house instead of being stranded in an unsafe area outside of town. Second, friends of ours who are also on the mission field have graced us with a financial gift of $1,000 from their reserves. This is truly humbling, and we are grateful and amazed that before we could even get this update sent, God has already begun providing for us in unexpected ways. Third, the mechanic has a policy that no credit cards are allowed at his shop. We did not have this much in our bank account here to pay cash in full, so we gave him as much as we could and pleaded with him to help us find a way to pay the rest. After a couple days, the mechanic graciously involved a friend of his who owns another business to allow us to use his credit card machine and pay the balance. This gives us some time, as the payment on the credit card will not be due until early December. That was a huge blessing! And fourth, God has given us opportunities to share our trust in Him with others who are watching us handle this temporary setback. We’re not saying we’ve trusted perfectly – there has definitely been some frustration and bewilderment! But through it we are seeking to share our vulnerability and encourage others to look to God who works to provide for us in all things.
ITEM #2: As the ongoing vehicle situation has lingered in the background, we had the opportunity to minister at Lakeside Baptist Church in Sedgefield on Sunday. George delivered the sermon, which consisted of a careful reading of the entire Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). Afterward, a young man named Gregory was talking with George, asking several questions, and expressing an interest in learning more about the Christian faith. George spoke to him briefly, but we were due to be at another church service later that morning back in Knysna. George referred Gregory to the pastor and one of the deacons of the church. We found out yesterday that after a long time of discussion, Gregory gave his life to Christ! There is nothing so effective in helping us take our eyes off our own troubles than to see God draw someone to Jesus. We praise Him for His marvelous grace!
And now, Gregory needs your prayers. He is beginning in discipleship with one of the pastors at Lakeside, and we pray that his commitment to Christ will prove to be genuine and effective. There are many forms of false Christianity and shallow spirituality all around us – much like the situation back home, no doubt. So we ask God to keep Gregory close to him and to work in Gregory’s heart to give him courage to grow and develop in his newfound faith. The enemy likes nothing more than to steal the joy of a new believer, so we ask you to join us in praying that the Holy Spirit will fill his heart with the joy that comes from knowing Jesus!
Thank you so much for partnering with us in prayer and praise for these two items. We hope to share more in the days and weeks ahead. Stay tuned next week for our regularly-planned update.
By His Grace,
George, Amy, George David, Ashley, and Alyssa