Friday, October 5, 2018

Some closing thoughts...

Joy Waller
FSBC Scottsdale
→1st time serving with Hope Baptist Church in South Africa; forever connected through love and family

Some closing thoughts about our time in SA...

I was happy to be back in the familiar culture of warmth and openness this past week in SA.  What a great
Steve and Joy Waller with children from the eyeglass
clinic in Soshanguve.
week we had! Your prayers covered us in physical safety, encouraged us through fatigue, and provided words when we needed to share God's hope.  The beauty of stepping out of your comfort zone is being able to gain new perspective and learn some new things about yourself as well.  I am privileged to have the opportunity to travel many places. I always enjoy seeing the wonderful diversity of the body of Christ, and it reminds me to actively remember to reach out to those who aren't like me. 

I will share some closing prayer requests for you:
  • Pray for the many seeds planted through the eye glass clinics, and for the SA team as they follow up with each of them.
  • Pray that God strengthens the leaders at Hope Baptist Church: giving them endurance for the work, building character and leadership skills. Pray that they take the many learnings from the conference and are able to put them into practice.
  • Pray for Julius and Cintia: that their marriage continues to thrive, they have wisdom in their work, and energy for busier church life than we can even imagine.
l-r: Joy and Steve Waller,
     Julius and Cintia Mbu
  • Pray for Julius: wisdom as he shepherds many people, plants new churches, builds education and leadership programs, and casts an ambitious vision for Hope.
  • It is said that because of the many people who immigrate to Pretoria that all of Africa can be reached.  Pray that the church in Sunnyside continues to draw an international congregation that can in turn reach many countries.
  • Pray for the members of the 2018 team as God revealed Himself in new ways through this trip. May they also all be emboldened and re-energized in their walk with God.
And to our many readers: If you ever have an opportunity to go to the continent of Africa - go.  It will forever change you.

l-r: Edith Lyle, Mitch McDonald, Mona McDonald, Kathy Matney, Keith
     Matney, Wanda Bagwell, Bill Bagwell, Tracy Newcomb, Joy Waller, Steve
     Waller, Beth Shook, Steve Shook

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Saying Goodbye

Tracy Newcomb
Foothills Southern Baptist Church, Yuma
→ 2nd time serving in South Africa

It’s hard to believe that our time in South Africa is coming to an end. It’s been a great week and we have been able to witness God do some awesome things!

We started today packing up and getting ready to leave our home away from home. The staff at The Wardrobe Guest House has taken good care of us this week. Then we headed back to Hope Baptist Church for one final ministry event.
Edith Lyle sharing the gospel with a
young man attending the eyeglass
We were blessed to work with the Pastor Julius and the team at Hope for an eyeglass clinic in Sunnyside. 
We saw about 60-75 people during the clinic this morning. At least five people accepted Christ during the clinic and many more will be contacted by the church for follow up.

We said goodbye to those at the church and headed to get some lunch before heading to the government buildings. As we looked out over Pretoria we were able to spend some final moments in prayer together as a team. We prayed for the Pastor Julius & Cintia, Hope Baptist Church, Sunnyside, Pretoria, and for God’s work in South Africa as a whole. 
Mona McDonald celebrates with a 
young man who accepted Christ at 
the eyeglass clinic

Now we are once again beginning our lengthy journey via planes, trains, and automobiles as we head back home to Arizona.

Although this blog post is titled “Saying Goodbye,” in reality we know that we are actually just saying “see you later” to so many of these great people. We have confidence we will see our brothers and sisters again, either in another trip to South Africa or ultimately one day in heaven. We are so thankful for these relationships that God has given us in His body!


Good morning Washington DC!

Monday, October 1, 2018

Safari Day

Kathy Matney
FSBC Scottsdale
→ 1st time serving in South Africa with Hope Baptist Church

Today was Safari day at Pilanesberg National Park. God favored us with the most amazing display of His creativity. We saw at least 13 different species of animals- a herd of elephants, a family of hippos, a crash of rhinos, a pride of lions, a zeal of zebras, a tower of giraffes, a herd of wildebeests, a troop of baboons and several more. What made this even more amazing was our ability to see them up close and traveling in large numbers. It was a breathtaking site!  

After the safari, we had lunch at a market, took a little time to shop for souvenirs, and traveled back to our B&B to get ready for our evening session. Joy did a fabulous job of leading the Hope Baptist leadership team and us in identifying our personality types for the purpose of effective communication in ministry.

We are excited for tomorrow, the last eyeglass distribution. Please pray for us as we share the love of Jesus with the people of Pretoria.  

A Special Day

Steve Shook
Foothills Baptist Church, Ahwatukee
→ 3rd time serving in South Africa

A moment of prayer before Steve Waller gives the message at Hope Baptist
Church, Soshanguve.

Today was a special day of worship and prayer not only at Hope Baptist Church, Sunnyside, but also her two church plants in Soshanguve, South Africa: Hope Baptist Church of Soshanguve and Faith Baptist Church.  The team served in the three locations somewhat simultaneously in order to assist and lead out in the morning activities. While Keith Matney preached at Hope Church, Sunnyside, Steve Waller and Mitch McDonald preached at the churches in Soshanguve. God’s message of hope and love was shared through these three men of God, resulting in several new additions to the body of Christ.  Praise God!

l-r: Keith Matney preaching at Hope Baptist Church, Sunnyside. Steve Waller 
sharing at Hope Baptist Church, Soshenguve. Mitch McDonald gives the 
message at Faith Baptist Church, Soshenguve.
One of the more anticipated outreach events connected with this South Africa partnership is the eye glass clinic. The clinic provides much needed glasses to members of the community around the church, at no cost.  Today we held the clinic in the community around Faith Baptist Church in Soshanguve. This event gives us the chance to touch the lives of those who participate by providing prayer support and the opportunity to present the gospel while they register and wait to receive their glasses.  The setting for this clinic was quite unique - inside the tent that was used for the worship service earlier that morning. The closest I’ve ever been to a tent revival!

After a quick lunch, we returned to a significant crowd lined up to receive their glasses. In addition to those making professions of faith in the worship services, there were many that professed a new life in Christ today as a result of the clinic. God is Amazing!

I think I’ll leave you with a few more pictures to tell the story I really want to share. What a great day of worship!!

Steve Shook