2011 - January

Hi everyone,

Greetings from a wet and lusciously green Ovamboland. We have had much rain but thankfully not too much. All the pans are full and some have the most beautiful flowers in them.

I spent most of December in Cape Town and arrived back here on the 30th. It was really great spending time with both my children and family, some of whom I have not seen in years. It was good to be back at Brackenfell Community Church and a special highlight was attending the carol service at Emmanuel. Unfortunately time was too short and I did not get around to everyone I had hoped to see.

Your response to my December's needs list was overwhelming. Thank you ever so much. I loaded as much as I could into my Tazz and the rest will come up as we find available transport. The ladies are very excited about the sewing machines and are looking forward to using them. Please pray for wisdom for me concerning how best to distribute the machines and materials. For example do I give them to individuals to use at home or should they rather stay at the churches and only be used there? Also should there be a minimal cost involved for the machines and material and for the second hand clothing?

On New Year's day I attended a service at St Peter's at Onamambili, after which a few of us had lunch with Christofine, the lay worker.

Figure 1 Lunch with Christofine, Lydia & Ifgenia

That was the last day I actually managed to drive to St Peter's church as much of the ground road is under water. At the moment 1 meet with St Peter's leaders at Christ Church in Ondangwa because if it has been raining I cannot get to Christofine's house either. They walk through the water to the tarred road where I collect them.

While I was away Christofine and Ifgenia continued with the ladies bible studies and were well received by the other ladies. I am really thankful to the Lord for this, as my whole aim is to train Christians to teach others.

Once I had arrived back I was feeling pretty overwhelmed by the huge amount of work to be done here but as always the Lord pointed me back la the basics. The first Tuesday that I was at St John's we were sitting outside under the tree again because they could not find the church

key. We had just finished the bible study when five ladies walked up to us and sat down. Needless to say we had a second session. After explaining what a Christian is and is not the main question asked was "How do I then become a Christian?"

The following day I was at Christ Church in Ondangwa when one of the regulars asked the same question. I knew there had to be something worrying her as I had already explained the gospel to her numerous times and was sure she had made a commitment. After a while it became obvious that she was just unsure whether she truly had been forgiven.

We had our first sewing day on the 14th and had 19 ladies and our first young man. Frans from St John's enjoyed making beaded bracelets while the ladies sewed bags for their cell phones and decorated them with beads. As it was still holidays some of the school children joined us.

Figure 2   Frans from St John's

As from next week the ladies bible studies change from weekly to fortnightly on Sundays after church. This is because the ladies are all busy working in the fields with their muhungu crops and will continue until June. My Tuesday morning study with the core group of potential bible study leaders changes to Tuesday afternoons and the group has now grown to five. Christofine Lydia and Ifgenia from St Peter's and ' Asnath and Emilia from Christ Church Ondangwa. ' Christofine will continue leading the St Peter's and St John's bible studies, which have both grown in number and I will sit in with Meme Asnath as she takes over Christ Church's bible study. Every fortnight Ifgenia and I will go up to St Paul's at Ohangwena and see if we can start a Sunday school and ladies' bible study there. Please pray that the minister and the elder will be willing to let Ifgenia do the Sunday school during the service so that she is available to translate for me after the service. The youth bible studies at St Peter's and St John's have now both been incorporated with the ladies studies on Sundays. Christ Church's youth study continues on Saturday mornings. I thoroughly enjoy these youngsters. They are sharp and really keen to study God's word. St Luke's will unfortunately only resume with bible study once the new church is built. This is Victoria's (the lay worker) decision not mine. Please pray for perseverance for Victoria as the builder she hired has left them in the lurch.

All the bible study material I write has to be translated. Christofine and Ifgenia can do some of the translation into Ndonga but not into Kwanyama. Penny, my neighbour who was doing the Kwanyama for me has unfortunately moved. Please pray that the Lord will provide someone else to replace her.

Language study is still going slowly although I am starting to follow and understand some of what is being said in the services.

My neighbours here at Punyu Village are doing well. One is busy reading the New Testament and came to church with me on Sunday. Penny before she moved took some of the cd's I have ofSt James' sermons. Another lady also from the village goes to the Universal Church of Jesus Christ and has asked for material to teach her children. I am truly thankful to the Lord for all the opportunities he gives me to share his Word.

Please continue praying for The CEN congregations, ministers and leadership. Pray for changed hearts and lives and that God's name will be glorified in everything we do. Please pray for Ifgenia, my translator. Her father died two weeks ago so she has now lost both parents. She is the only adult (24yrs) left at her homestead and has to cultivate the fields on her own. She also has the added responsibility of looking after her sister's two children aged 7 and 9.

Thank you for all your continued prayers, support and encouragement. It is much appreciated.

Your sister in Christ, Tish