Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Prayer Update

Hello, again!  Just wanted to drop a quick note to say we're home and we're leaving again!

Camp was great!!!  We had 76 teens at Student Camp, and 44 children at kidz camp!  What an exciting, fun filled week of blessings....  Unfortunately I won't have time to post pictures before heading off to Cape Town, so check back next week for more updates. 

Brad and I will be flying out tomorrow for Cape Town, and our little lambs will be staying with John & Christy Page.  Please pray for us all, as 5 days is a long time to be separated! I'm sure the children will have a blast, as they will have each other and the Page kids, CJ, 10, and Chae, 8, who have been declared Brandon & Marissa's best friends!  It will probably be hardest on Mom (me) to be away so long, but I'm thrilled  to be going, as I've never been to the Cape and have only heard the best.  We'll take lots of pictures!

The main reason for our trip is to attend the wedding of friends - Deon Janse van Rensburg and Michelle Blackwell.  We also will be meeting up with the pastors from the 7 churches in the area that use Word of Life, as well as conducting a meeting with a Pastor from a church that is interested in starting a Word of Life Club.

Thanks for your prayers as we travel!  We'll post another update soon after we return.

Mary, for the fam
Brad, Mary, Brandon & Marissa Hawkins
Word of Life South Africa

Monday, December 3, 2007

Prayer Update

Sorry for the delay in communication - life is very interesting for us right now!

We are currently helping out the Pages by taking care of CJ and Chae while they are in Argentina, and a sudden growth of our family from 5 to 7 makes life interesting to say the least. :)  Extra laundry, dishes, cooking, cleaning.  It's a good thing we're enjoying them!  And they are great helpers around the house, as well.

Survivor Camp starts today!  We are excited at the ministry opportunities that lie ahead of us in the next week, and ask that you join us in praying for each of the souls that will attend the teen camp, starting today, and the children's camp, starting on Friday. 

Please pray for safety in travel as campers will be traveling to and from camp today, Friday and Sunday.

Please pray that God will make their hearts malleable, willing to learn what He is ready to teach them!

Pray, also, for strength of our counselors and staff.  Camp can be tiring as you invest of yourself both physically and emotionally!

The children and I will join Brad and the rest of the campers on Wednesday.  Please pray safety as we travel.

Please pray, also, for John & Christy Page, as they are in Argentina sharing the ministry of Word of Life South Africa!  They will be flying home Thursday and Friday.

Thank you for your prayers!  We will post an update and pictures as soon as possible after camp.

Mary, for the fam
Brad, Mary, Brandon, Marissa & Mya
Word of Life South Africa

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

New Pictures!

We have added 3 new albums to our website.  For some reason it only sent out a notice for one of them.... Anyway, thought you might like to check it out! HomeGrown Kids - The Gingerbread Man, HomeGrown Kids Concert - Music, HomeGrown Kids Concert - Gym

At the concert we served Gingerbread Men and Muffins that the kids made!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Prayer Update

We are busily preparing for our HomeGrown Kids homeschool concert at our house this weekend.  Schooling in South Africa is year round, making this the end of year for schools, along with the beginning of the Christmas season!  It definitely makes life busy!  I will post pictures &/or video after the weekend.

The guys are busily preparing for camp!  We mentioned the camp scholarship in our last prayer update.  We already know of up to 8 teens and 8 children that are planning to take the test!  We are excited at their faithfulness! 
Anyone who meets all of the requirements will be able to attend camp for free!  If you are willing to help cover the cost for these campers, or for any campers that would like to attend but don't have the financial means, please contact us or follow this link https://www.wol.org/giving/gift.php, using this account number: 06115C and put South Africa Camp Scholarship in the additional comments.

Please check out this link for a video promo for summer camp!

The children are doing well! We are busy studying Thanksgiving, it's meaning, and it's history.  We are having approximately 30 for Thanksgiving at our house this year, and they are already helping to prepare for it!  We are baking, and cutting out leaves for our Thanksgiving tree.... 

And Mya is doing great!  It's hard to imagine loving her more tomorrow than I do today, but it seems to work that way.  She just worms her way deeper and deeper into our hearts, with her precious smile, warm giggle and her special ways.  When she snuggles down in under your chin, you can't help but smile and sigh.  What a precious gift from God!

Thank you for your faithful prayers!

Mary, for the fam
Brad, Mary, Brandon & Marissa Hawkins
Word of Life South Africa

Monday, November 12, 2007

Facebook

I (Mary) now have a facebook account, so if you use facebook, add me to your friends! :)

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Prayer Update

Dear Friends,

            Just wanted to let you know what's happening.  We have Leader's Fun Day this Saturday.  This event is not only for fun, but for the youth leaders from different churches to socialize and learn from each others experiences. We are going to introduce Blitz Quiz to the youth leaders! Blitz Quiz is a fun way to reinforce the lessons taught in Word of Life club meetings.  It is a computer program that is played by up to 16 players using x-box type controllers.

            With the end of year coming closer, churches are preparing their youth for the camp scholarship exams.  We are very excited at the number of people who have been faithful in the Word of Life club program this year that will be taking the end of year verse quiz - they will be quizzed on all the verses that they have been learning throughout the whole year.  Anyone who meets all of the requirements will be able to attend camp for free!  If you are willing to help cover the cost for these campers, or for any campers that would like to attend but don't have the financial means, please contact us.

Prayer Requests:

1.      Leader's Fun Day, Saturday, Nov. 7

2.   Planning for Youth Camp, Dec 3-7

3.   Planning for our first Children's Camp, Dec 7-9

4.   Editing and printing of material for new year

Praise Items:

1.      We are officially Mya's foster parents.

2.   Our meetings in Polokwane went well, and we were refreshed and encouraged while visiting with Pastor Desmond, Sharon, and Youth Leaders Malcolm & Jacqui.


In His Service,
Brad Hawkins
Word of Life South Africa

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

We are foster parents!

Mya is now officially in our foster care! Join us in a prayer of thanks to God. Now we start the paperwork and filing for adoption....  We are thrilled that things seem to be moving swiftly and smoothly! 

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Prayer Update

Thank you for your prayers!  There is so much happening here that it's hard to decide what to share in a short update....

While we were on holiday recently we met Pastor Desmond & Sharon Ventor & their family.  We really enjoyed getting to know them!  After they returned home to Polokwane (which is about 3 hours from here) they called to find out more about starting Word of Life Clubs in their church!  So tomorrow our whole family is going there to visit and spend the night.  The kids are thrilled at the idea of seeing their children again, and we are looking forward to both the fellowship and chance to share the ministry!

Please pray for us as we go about our second application for a temporary residence permit to stay in South Africa.  We have applied for several over the years, but when it came time to renew it this time we were only approved until January 21.  It appears that it is because Marissa's passport expires in February.  It is not usually based on the child's passport, but on the parents, so we didn't expect it.  So now, we have renewed passports and are going to apply again for a 3 year temporary residence permit.  Please pray that things go smoothly!

The children are doing well, and growing up too fast!  Mya has now been with us 1 month.  She is now 5 months old, and we couldn't imagine life without her.  She's one of the family.  Marissa lost two teeth this week, one of which she pulled out herself!  She is so pleased. :)  Brandon loves his new spelling program, and is also enjoying cricket.

Thanks, again, for your prayers!
Love,
Mary, for the fam
Brad, Mary, Brandon, Marissa & Mya
Word of Life South Africa

Friday, October 26, 2007

Brandon

We are back into cricket season again!  Brandon now has practice three times a week!  He really enjoys it.  We'll post some pictures soon.  Can you believe that one of the sponsors for the team he's playing on is GM?  Amazing, hey? Makes me think of Dad and smile.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Prayer Update

Thank you so much for your prayers over the last week!  It has been wonderful, amazing and challenging!  God continues to teach us and provide for all our needs.
Brandon's tooth is doing well, and all the pain seems to be gone.  Praise the Lord!
Brad is away tonight and we are home alone.  I don't mind being home alone, but would appreciate your prayers for peaceful sleep and safety.
All of our husbands are participating in a sports day tomorrow at KwaMhlanga.  This is one of the places we went to on S.M.A.S.H.  Please pray for them as they minister to the people that live there.  Pray for the people they are ministering to, that God begins even now to prepare their hearts to receive His message.
I am blessed to be able to attend a homeschool encouragement day tomorrow.  Christy Page will be keeping the bigger children, and I will take Mya with me. Thanks, Christy!
Mya is such a beautiful blessing to our family.  She is sweet, happy and chatters all the time!  We have all fallen in love with her, and she has slotted right into our routine and lifestyle. As I write, she is sound asleep in her bed and Brandon and Marissa are having a "sleepover" together in Brandon's room.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Thanks for your prayers!

Thank you for praying for Brandon!  He slept well, and had a good morning.  He had an appointment with the dentist at 3 pm, and it went well.  Brandon is so brave.  He has a new filling and it looks great.  I'll try to post pics soon.  He still has a bit of sensitivity to cold, so please continue to pray.

Thanks, again!
Mary, for the fam

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Please pray for Brandon

About 1 1/2 years ago Brandon broke off about 2/3 of his permanent front tooth and they were able to repair it with a filling.  Tonight he fell and broke off the filling, so we will be off to the dentist first thing in the morning to have it checked out.  Please pray that it goes smoothly, and that it's not too painful for him.  He's being so brave!  We'll try to get a picture before and after to share.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Prayer Update

Dear Friends,

            We have had a great few weeks here in SA.  It has been a bit of a roller coaster ride but it is just awesome to see how God continues to bless us and the ministry.

            You all heard about our breakdown coming home from Peitermaritzburg. Well it is still not right yet and we can’t get any information from the people who repaired it.  At this point I am beginning to think we may have been scammed.  However, our car is running and we are still able to get around.

            The Page family has returned from their furlough.  Our kids were so excited to see the Page kids that it was tough sitting in the airport waiting for them to come through the doors.  Their flight was delayed by about an hour and that was just painful for the kids.  We had a great time of catching up a bit last night and hearing all that has happened while they were gone.  It is hard to believe that it is time to start planning our next furlough.  We are scheduled to come back in the middle of next year.

            There is so much more to tell you and I don’t think I can get it all in and keep this short so be sure to read the prayer request and you will see all the up and coming schedule.

Prayer Request:

1.      Group from Maine coming for visit (14th – 28th of Oct)

2.      On going Repair of our car ($1500 so far)

3.      Orientation at Waterfloof Baptist starts this Sunday, 10/14

4.      Orientation at KwaMhlanga starts on Monday next week, 10/15

5.      Preaching at Florida Independent this Sunday, 10/14

 

Praise Items:

1.      Page Family home in SA

2.      Mya is fitting in great with family


In His Service,
Brad Hawkins
Word of Life South Africca

Friday, October 5, 2007

Prayer Update

Things have definitely been busy in our household this week!  Tuesday we welcomed Mya Owami into our home!  Mya has been placed into our care as a place of safety. Our long term goal is to adopt her! She is such a sweet, happy baby, and we are all enjoying her! She came home to live with us on October 2.
She was born on May 28, and is now 4 months old. She coos and "talks" and smiles all day, and she sleeps all night! We are definitely blessed to have her.
Brad is glad to be back at the office, and is very busy catching up on things.  It will be nice to have the Pages back next Wednesday.
Tonight he is off to visit one of the local churches, Leondale Community Baptist.  They are using both the Olympian program and the Teen program, so he will stay for both meetings.


Praises:
Mya Owami joining our family!

Prayer Requests:
Brad Preaching at Florida Independent Baptist - Oct. 14
Orientation meetings at Waterkloof Baptist Oct. 14, 21 & 28
Short Term team coming from the US - please pray for the ministry and travel involved
Pray that all the details of Mya's adoption work out smoothly

Thank you for your faithful prayers!

Mary, for the fam
Brad, Mary, Brandon, Marissa & Mya
Word of Life South Africa

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Prayer Update

We had a wonderful time in Pietermaritzburg!  Brad's meetings at Scottsville Baptist Church were productive, and we're looking forward to more time there in the near future.

The Houghting family- Ron & Louise and their children, Robyn, Aimee, Craig & Timothy - graciously hosted our family for the second time now, and we thoroughly enjoyed our time together!  They are so kind to open their home to us and treat us like family.  Thank you!

We then moved on to the South Coast to spend some time with another missionary family and have a few relaxing days off at the beach.  What a blessing!  It was relaxing and encouraging.

Unfortunately our car broke down on the way home!  The car broke down Sunday around noon, and Monday was a public holiday.  So, when you add the fact that we were in a little town, you end up with a repair that's finally finished on Thursday morning!  We are ecstatic, overjoyed and elated to be home tonight, and will rest nicely in our own beds again.

Thank you so much for your prayers as we traveled.  We thank God for returning us home safely.

Mary, for the fam
Brad, Mary, Brandon & Marissa Hawkins
Word of Life South Africa

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Prayer Update

Dear Friends



I can’t believe it has been two weeks since my last letter to you all. We will be heading to Pietermaritzburg on Friday for a few meetings with one of our current churches. I will be meeting with the Olympian leaders as well as the Student leaders. I am looking forward to this time with them and I pray I will be an encouragement to them.


While the family and I are down there, Alan and Garth will be running a Sports Marathon here in Jo’burg. It was tough to know we would be missing it but the really cool thing is that other people have offered to “take our spot” so to speak. There is a couple who have been helping at the last few events and now they are going to be doing all that Mary and I would normally do. We have been meeting with them for discipleship and it is just so awesome to see their desire to serve God growing these last several months. They are a great couple and we are looking forward to see God using them in a great way.



Prayer Request:

1. Page family on furlough

2. Trip to Pietermaritzburg

3. Sports Marathon

4. Family as we travel over next few weeks


In His Service,

Brad Hawkins

Word of Life South Africa

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Prayer Update

Life seems to be settling down into our normal routine again.  While still busy, it's nothing like it has been for the last couple of months!

Spring arrived on Saturday with a bang!  It seemed more like summer.  A week & a half ago we were heading off to church bundled in sweaters and tights and scarfs and now we're wearing shorts & t-shirts!  What a contrast!  As I type it's a beautiful 26 C (79 degrees F).  We were very ready for spring!

Everyone is busy preparing for upcoming events!  Brad & I and the family will be heading off to Pietermaritzburg on the 14th for meetings with Scottsville Baptist Church on both the 14th and the 15th.  This is about 6 hours away.  Please pray for safety as we travel, and for productive meetings.  This church is using both our Olympian program and the Teen program in their church.  We are then heading about another hour or so to the coast to have a few days off with a missionary family from Alaska, serving in South Africa with TEAM.

While we are in meetings in Pietermaritzburg, there will be a Sports Marathon here in Joburg.  This event uses sports (Rugby & Netball) as a medium to reach unsaved teens with the gospel.  Please pray for preparation for this event, that it will run smoothly, but, most of all, please pray that many unsaved youth will attend and make a decision to follow Christ.

Starting September 24th, we will be running another week of Holiday Bible Club.  As this will be a different church, we will be using the same program, Back to the Beginning.  Please pray for the planning of this event, as well as stamina for all involved.

Thank you, again, for your support and prayers for the Lord's ministry here in South Africa!

Mary, for the fam
Brad, Mary, Brandon & Marissa Hawkins
Word of Life South Africa

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Prayer Update

Dear Friends,

 I just wanted to tell you what all has been going on in the last few weeks.  Alan and I went to visit a new youth ministry in Pretoria last Friday night.  We are going to be hosting a conference with them this Saturday.  We are looking forward to being involved with the ministry there.  I will be visiting with the Youth Pastor tomorrow just to go through the final details.  Be praying for the leaders and us as we begin planning how to introduce the Biblical principles to the youth.

            We are currently a bit short handed with the Pages on furlough.  They left last week and it was tough on the kids to see their friends leaving.  Be praying that the time goes quickly and they can accomplish all they need to do.

            In a few weeks we have Sports Marathon for the youth here in Jo’berg.  Mary and I won’t be there as we will be traveling to Peitermaritzburg to meet with Scottsville Baptist Church.  They are using our Olympian material and we are going to do some training with them.  I plan to meet with their Youth Pastor while we are there as well.  We are looking forward to helping with the needs of the Leaders there.

Prayer Request:

  1. Page family on furlough
  2. Trip to Pietermaritzburg
  3. Sports Marathon
  4. Family as we travel over next few weeks
Praise Items:

    1. 13 Salvation Decisions at T-Junction
    2. Our family is healthy - thank you for your prayers!
    3. An encouranging visit from Greg Sanford, a missionary with New Tribes and a member of my home church.

In His Service,
Brad Hawkins

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Prayer Update

Well, life is definitely busy, and what better things to be busy with than ministry!

Yesterday we said goodbye to Lauren Grey, short-term missionary from the US.  It was a pleasure to have her here!  She was here for three months and was an immense help in the office, with events, and was able to build some excellent relationships with teens and young adults in the area! 

We have plenty that short term missionaries could help out with.  You should pray about joining us for a little while!

This Friday, August 17, is our annual T-Junction!  We are thrilled at the new turn that this event is taking. We are going to have an all night event at an Aqua Dome with Heated Pools, Water Slides, Basketball, Volleyball, Bowling, Adventure Golf, and much, much more!!!! The objective of this event is to bring in unsaved youth and share the gospel message, bringing them to a "T-junction" in their lives.  They will have to choose between turning to Christ or going their own way.

Brad will be starting a new orientation with Waterkloof Baptist Church in Pretoria on September 1. This is the first church that we will be working with in this area!  Please join us in praising God for opportunities to spread the ministry of Word of Life.

I would love to share with you a recent blessing!!!  I have played the flute now for approximately 22 years - hard to believe it's been that long!  When I was in my last year of school, my parents blessed me with a new (to me) flute.  Since moving to South Africa almost 6 years ago, I've been able to play in church once or twice a week!  Well my flute decided to give out on me, costing more to repair than it was worth.  I was quite disappointed, as I thought I was going to have to go without playing for a while as we saved for a new flute.  I took my flute to a local instrument library to see if there was something they could do just to make it work in the meantime, and when I went back, they shared that, unfortunately, there was nothing they could do.  BUT, someone had donated a used flute to the instrument library and they passed it on to me!  What a blessing from the Lord.  I was moved beyond words! 

Please pray for the health of our family!  We have been battling one form of minor sickness or another for 6 weeks now, and it would be nice for the whole family to be healthy again!

Mary, for the fam
Brad, Mary, Brandon & Marissa
Word of Life South Africa

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Back to the Beginning Update from July Prayer Letter


We arrived home from S.M.A.S.H. on Friday night about 8:30, just in time to do all our laundry and leave the next morning for another road trip!  This time it would be to Pietermaritzburg, South Africa which is about 5 1/2 hours away.

We arrived in time for a meeting with the WOL staff and then were whisked off to the home of our hosts for the week, Ron & Louise Houghting and their 4 children, Robyn, Amy, Craig & Timothy.  We couldn’t have asked for a better place to stay!!!  The kids immediately took to each other, and we thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Ron & Louise.  They have a heart for serving God and were a blessing and encouragement to Mary &  me.

We were able to set up the church, Scottsville Baptist Church, for Holiday Bible Club on Sunday afternoon and evening, and what a transformation!  We had a wooden 3-D dinosaur skeleton on stage that was about 5 1/2 ft. tall and 5 1/2 ft. long!  We also built a time tunnel entrance to the meeting room.  It was a dark entrance and you walked guided by runner lights through black curtains to a tunnel with black light and glowing stars and dinosaurs!  We took them right “Back to the Beginning”.  Our  messages  were all about creation.  We were able to share from science  and  scripture that the story of Creation in the Bible is the true account, and that the earth was created in 6 literal days. We did a daily drama with the evil villain “Evil-ution” and the kids loved it!

9 of the young adults from S.M.A.S.H. joined us for this week of ministry, along with many from their church.  We had 200-250 children each day, and we were able to keep the children divided into 30 groups by age, with no more than 10 in a group.

After a fun intro each day with singing and laughing, we settled into a time in the Word of God.  Then the 6-9 year olds would go to crafts and the 10-12 year olds to games.  Time for tea, (snacks &  juice) and swap, older to crafts and younger to games.

We kept them busy from 8 until 12, winding up with a final rally to get them excited about the next day!

We enjoyed the week just as much as the students and we are looking forward to doing the same Bible Club for another church in September.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Swaziland S.M.A.S.H. Update from July Prayer Letter

We are so excited to share with you what God has been doing in and through the youth of South Africa! On June 22 we saw 41 young people register for S.M.A.S.H. and begin an exciting week of training and ministry.

We spent the weekend at a local venue training to share the gospel, preparing dramas and practicing sport in preparation for the days of ministry ahead of us.

We then traveled about 1 1/2 hrs. to KwaMhlanga.  On Monday we went out into a squatter settlement and the group went from house to house inviting people to come to our sports day. Squatter settlements are makeshift housing settlements, usually with little if any sanitation, no electricity or running water. We organized soccer and net ball teams and had an exciting tournament. There were lots of little children that showed up and many in the group spent their time loving and playing with these children. Brandon took the opportunity to work with another boy to share the gospel message with a group of children using a rope trick.  It was a special moment for us as parents! 

After the first leg of this tournament, we took the time to bring them all together, the children in one group, and the teens and adults in another, and share with them how we are all the same in God’s eyes. The book of Romans tells us that ALL have sinned, and that the wages of that sin is death.  But it also tells us that the GIFT of God is eternal life! All we have to do is accept it.  What an exciting message!!! There were many that trusted in Christ as their Saviour and we were able to give their information to a local church to follow up with.

Tuesday, we traveled to Swaziland. This is about a 6 hour drive. However, just after we crossed the border, the bus broke down. The group had such a good attitude, deciding that this was an opportunity to share the gospel with those in the area, and there were many seeds planted and 2 decisions for Christ!

We arrived at the orphanage late Tuesday night and were greeted by 27 excited little faces. The  children   were   all   primary school kids, and it was a testimony to our group to see their joy and excitement in spite of having little worldly possessions and no hot water. You must remember that this is our winter! We even saw snow flurries one morning.

There are about 80 children from the community that also come to school at the orphanage and on Wednesday we ran a sports day with them, sharing through drama and telling them about Christ. Many of the children there are already Christians.  Pastor Solomon and the staff at the school are a great testimony to the children and were a blessing to us, as well.

On Thursday, we were able to go  to a youth centre in Mbabane for another day of soccer and netball.  The teens in our group jumped right in sharing the gospel with people before the soccer even got started!  It was great to see how God was already working in the hearts of these people.  One of the teens helped Marissa share the gospel with another little girl by asking Marissa questions and letting Marissa tell this little girl that Jesus is the only one that can take away our sins and you can only get to Heaven if you put your trust in Him!

(Click on links to view pictures.)

Saturday, July 21, 2007

July Hawkins Headlines

Here is a copy of our most recent prayer letter.
You will need Adobe Reader to open the file. Click here to download free.
Attachment: July 2007.pdf
Attachment: July 2007 pg 2.pdf

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Prayer Update

Dear Friends,

Wow! is all I can say for last few weeks here in South Africa.  I have been meaning to send you an update before this, but it has been go, go, go since we got back from Cape Town. Let me tell you about our trip:

  • 6 of us (4 with WOL and 2 local Leaders) flew down on Friday, June 8.
  • We had a youth rally on Friday night with 200+ students and leaders in attendance.
  •  On Saturday we taught a Leaders Conference for the local leaders and churches.  When we planned this trip the told us to plan for about 35 and when we got there we found around 50 people.  We had a great time of sharing about the principles WOL is founded on and sharing how to apply them practically.
  • The 6 of us split up and went to different churches on Sunday, many getting the opportunity to preach.
  • We have already had 2 churches call and express a desire to start right away and there are going to be more in the coming weeks.  I can’t wait to see how God continues to work this out and see how this will grow.

Next, I want to share with about what is happening in the next two weeks.  We leave Friday for camp.  Our Mid-Year Leadership Conference will be Friday and Saturday and at the same time will be the training for SMASH (Students Ministering And Serving Him), our annual mission’s trip for South African teens.  On Sunday and Monday will be more training for SMASH and ministry here in Gauteng.  On Tuesday we leave for Swaziland with the youth from SMASH to do ministry there.  We will return to Johannesburg on Friday, June 29.

Now if that wasn’t enough when we get back Mary and I have a one day turnaround and head for Pietermaritzburg.  We will be hosting a Holiday Bible Club in a local church there we are currently involved with.  Our theme is "Back to the Beginning" and we will be teaching on creation.  Then and only then will we be coming home and getting back into the swing of things here.  We are all looking forward to seeing how God is going to use all these opportunities!

Prayer Requests:

  1. Trip to Swaziland
  2. Trip to Pietermaritzburg
  3. Mid-Year Leadership Conference
  4. Churches in Cape Town
  5. Family as we travel over next few weeks
  6. Mary & Marissa as they are recovering from sinus infections/tonsillitus and hope to be well before SMASH.

Praise Items:

  1. Friends who purchased Mary’s hard drive
  2. Successful trip to Cape Town
  3. Safety for our family

In His Service

Brad Hawkins
Word of Life South Africa

Friday, June 15, 2007

Welcome to the VanBruggens!

The VanBruggens have been accepted as appointee's to Word of Life South Africa!  They will be serving at Word of Life INN in Schroon Lake, NY this summer with the STC program.

The Van Bruggen Family
Mike, Fran, Ethan (16), Bret (14), and Rachel (12)

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Prayer Update

Dear Friends,

Just want to share a bit of all that has been happening here in SA.  We are finishing off the preparations for our trip to Cape Town, we leave this Friday.  There will be 6 of us, including the 4 on our staff, John Page, Garth Lombard, Alan Schuster & I, as well as a local Pastor, Wayne Gordon & a local Youth Leader, Mike Cameron. We are going to be hosting a youth rally for about 200+/- Students that night.  We are planning a great night of teaching and sharing from God’s Word as well as some games for them all.  On Saturday we will be meeting with about 35 - 40 Pastors and Youth Leaders to share about the ministry of Word of Life. We are so excited to see this trip growing and how God has sparked the interest of the people in the Cape Town area.  Then, if that isn’t enough, we all will be preaching in different churches on Sunday before flying home to Jo’berg that evening.  Please be praying that we see God’s leading in what we need to do to help these churches in the coming months.

            Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?  You can come and help anytime you want! We currently have a short termer here now and it is great to give her a chance to see all this first hand and to help get everything done for all these trips.  It has been a blessing to have an extra pair of hands and a heart that's willing to work!

Prayer Request:

  1. Youth Leaders and Youth
  2. Trip to Cape Town – Traveling safety and finances for traveling is needed
  3. For the Family while I am away to Cape Town
  4. SMASH Camp to Swaziland
  5. Marissa’s Birthday this Friday – Daddy will be away

Praise Items:

  1. Friends who purchased a new hard drive for Mary's computer
  2. God's ongoing provision for the Ministry
  3. Safety for our family
  4. Mary and I celebrated our 14th Wedding Anniversary

In His Service,

Brad Hawkins

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Prayer Update

Dear Friends,

It has been a great few weeks of ministry and I am having trouble deciding what to tell you and what to miss. We have been sharing with several new churches about Word of Life Local Church Ministries and I am so excited that they want to start. I have just finished training several churches and I will be beginning with the new ones next. I am so amazed how God works and how He works out all the details, I couldn’t have planned it any better. One of the new churches is in Pretoria, which will be our first work there and there is potential for many more contacts in that area.

We have been preparing for a trip to Cape Town to introduce Word of Life to that region. We have been working with a Pastor Blackwell there and he is going to get a group of Pastors together for us to meet with. Here is the big part; it could be up to 20 Pastors. This could be huge for us as we look at spreading the ministry around South Africa. Be praying as we try to work out the details of this trip. It is going to be June 8th – the 10th. There will be 6 of us heading down to do the training and we will all be preaching in different chuches on Sunday. It will be a great time to meet some new people and Lord willing we will be able to help them reaching their youth.

Prayer Requests:

  1. New Churches starting in Pretoria and Jo’berg
  2. Youth Leaders and Youth
  3. Trip to Cape Town – Traveling safety and finances for traveling is needed
  4. SMASH Camp to Swaziland

Praise Items:

  1. New Bible Study Mary and I just got started with a couple
  2. God's ongoing provision for the Ministry
  3. Safety for our family

In His Service,

Brad Hawkins
Word of Life South Africa

Update from Tim & Kim Carter (3)

Here is an update from our friends, Tim & Kim Carter. To see the original prayer request click here.

We got the results of my scans.  The PET-scan was not negative however it was really close and because of that my Dr. is satisfied with what he saw and I am now able to start with my radiation treatments.  This is a huge answer to prayer.  My tumor has gotten smaller as well although it is still there.  The radiation should continue to shrink the tumor as well as help with any reoccurrence of the cancer in that area.  I go on Wed. 5/23 for my radiation set up appointment and then I will know for sure when I will start my radiation treatments.  I expect it to be the following week.  I will be having 4-5 weeks of radiation which will be everyday Monday-Friday.  The side effects should not be as bad as the chemotherapy.

Thanks again for your continued prayers and support.

Tim, Kim & family

Upcoming Travels

We are planning and preparing for some upcoming travel. I thought I would attach a map of Southern Africa so that you could see where we will be heading. If you click on the map, it will show you a full size image and you can read the locations.

S.M.A.S.H. (Students Ministering And Serving Him), will be from June 23-29, and we will be going to Swaziland. We will take a group of teens from South Africa to minister with us. Please pray for all involved, that it will be a fruitful time of growth and ministry.

Brad & I will travel back to Johannesburg with some of the teens, returning them to their homes, before heading out again to Pietermaritzburg for Holiday Bible Club at one of the local churches. We are expecting around 250 kids and will be teaching on the theme Back to the Beginning (creation). There is a lot of planning and preparing for this and please pray for all of us that we are well prepared.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Praise the Lord!!! (Re: Mary's Computer)

I am thrilled to report that John was able to retrieve the data from my hard drive!!!!!!!  Thank you so much for praying with me.  I don't have the data home yet, but it's waiting for me at the office.
Please join me in giving thanks to God.  What a blessing and an answer to prayer!

Mary


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Tim & Kim Carter

Here is an update from our friends, Tim & Kim Carter. To see the original prayer request click, click here, and for the last update, click here.



I have now completed my sixth and final round of Chemo.  I
had a CAT-Scan and PET-Scan this past Friday.  I meet with the Doctor this
coming Thursday morning to find out the results.  If the PET-Scan comes back
negative (that is what we are praying for) then I will be able to start
Radiation.  If the PET-scan is not negative then they will have to do something
different, I can’t start radiation until I have a negative PET-scan.  We will
also find out the results of the CAT-scan which will let us know the size of
the tumor now.
 



Thanks for your continued prayer support,





Tim & Kim Carter




Saturday, May 12, 2007

Mary's Computer


For the two previous days I was in bed in sick all day - I am nicely recovering. Unfortunately I think my computer caught my virus, as yesterday I got the "blue screen of death"!

Apparently there is something wrong with my hard drive on my laptop. However, I am praying, and would ask you to join in, that there may be some possible way of retrieving the data. John Page, our faithful leader, is working on it for me. You could also pray for him, that it isn't too time consuming to find out if it's possible. He's busy enough already!

I know God was faithful to provide for the computer in the first place, and will meet all of my needs! I am determined not to worry or dwell on it, because it won't change the outcome! Thanks for letting me share, and for praying with me.

Mary




Saturday, May 5, 2007

Page's Progress VISA Update

Please join us in praising the Lord!  The Pages have been given a temporary residence permit for 1 year in South Africa.  We don't see any problem with them getting it renewed next year, as this is the method that we have gone and we have had our permits renewed several times.  Thank you for your prayers!

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Prayer Letter




Here is a copy of our most recent prayer letter. If you prefer this
method of reading our prayer letter and would like to be removed from
our email list, please let us know!

You will need Adobe Reader to open the file. Click here to download free.

Attachment: Apr 2007.pdf

Page's Progress VISA Update


Please pray for our teammates, John & Christy Page. They are waiting to get their visas and temporary residence permits approved. Click here to visit their website explaining more. There are some meetings taking place today regarding their status and we should know more tomorrow.





Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Prayer Update



We have had a great week! There has been a group of 5 people with us from Word of Life Argentina and Brazil. They were visiting several different countries, training staff for
Born Again to a Living Hope. They also trained some of our staff in hopes of performing this drama here in South Africa starting in December. At that time we will need to be able to train others to join with our staff in order to perform at schools, prisons, churches, etc.

Easter was a day of fun, relaxation and fellowship. We spent lunch with some missionary friends that are in Joburg with TEAM Mission. We just met in December and have really enjoyed getting to know each other. They are from Alaska and their names are James, Ella, Hannah, Max & Bronwyn Embree. Here are some pictures from the afternoon.

For dinner we all packed up and headed to WOL for a big traditional Easter dinner. There were 24 adults and 9 children. It was delicious, but more important was the time spent together as one big family in Christ.

On Friday, April 13, Brandon will be celebrating his 8th birthday!
It's amazing how time flies. His birthday happens to fall on the Homeschool Ice Skating day, so we will be spending the morning ice skating.

Saturday, April 14, is a Soccer Marathon. Please keep this event in your prayers! Please pray that many unsaved youth attend and make a decision for Christ. Please pray also that things run smoothly and that there are no major injuries.

Thanks, again, for your prayers! We appreciate your part in our ministry!

Mary, for the fam
Brad, Mary, Brandon & Marissa Hawkins
Word of Life South Africa





Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Prayer Update



Dear Friends



It
has been a while since I wrote you all a note.
We are still busy and it doesn’t look like it will slow down at
all. You have seen the pictures from our Soccer Outreach and our BattleZone Camp just recently. But more has been happening right along with
those things as well.



I
have been meeting with several churches regarding orientations. We have been
meeting for some time and it looks like it will be ending soon. Each church has its own unique problems and
it has been fun to work through these situations with each of them. Be praying for Valley Community
Church
as they are
looking a building their youth ministry from one student at this point. Then you can also pray for EBC Riverlea as
the Leader there is looking into recruiting some people to help with the youth
there. At this point she is all on her
own.







I
was able to meet with a Youth Pastor a few days ago to show him the material that
WOL has to offer. We have sat down a few
times and he seems very interested in our Quiet Times for the Students and
Leaders. He has about 280 students in
the youth ministry at this point. The
leaders there are doing a great job but they have noticed that they need help
in the discipleship side of things. We
have offered our assistance in training and resources. I am excited to see how God is going to work
through this opportunity. Be praying
that everything falls into place.

Prayer Request:



  1. New Churches
  2. Youth Leaders and Youth
  3. Soccer Marathon coming soon
    April 14th
  4. Recent trouble with cars – Our alternator has been replaced
    twice now.




Praise Items:



  1. Discipleship of young people and youth leaders
  2. Gods provision for the Ministry
  3. New supporters in the last few months







In His Service





Brad Hawkins






Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Prayer Update

Brad returned home from Battlezone Camp this evening excited about the wonderful time that was had by all, and exhausted from all the activity! This camp was a new experience for us and we'd love to share about it with you.  Check out the pictures!

23 teens arrived for registration on Monday afternoon and we had 2 days filled with fun and learning. Our focus for the first meetings was walking the walk. Then our focus changed to talking the talk, as we trained the teens how to share the gospel through various means, including a rope trick, a color bracelet and drama. We concluded the camp with an outreach as we headed to Norman House, a place of safety for troubled kids. We had quite a few youth make salvation decisions and also others that had many questions. Please keep both the campers and the youth at Norman House in your prayers.

Most of these campers will come to S.M.A.S.H. (Students Ministering And Serving Him) later this year. S.M.A.S.H. is a yearly short term mission opportunity for South African teens. This year we will be headed to Swaziland to do ministry.

Thank you for your prayers regarding Battlezone Camp!
Mary, for the fam
Brad, Mary, Brandon & Marissa Hawkins
Word of Life South Africa

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Prayer Update

We were excited on Sunday night to answer a phone call from Community Baptist Church in Montoursville, PA. They called us on skype during their evening service for an update on our ministry for the missions conference! The phone rang around 12:10 am, as we're 6 hours ahead of EST, and we were able to use our webcam for them to see us on screen. We so appreciate their part in our ministry and it was exciting to share with them what God is doing here in South Africa.

You'll notice if you look at our calendar that the ministry is growing! We are doing orientation with 2 new churches, and it's been great to see their excitement and desire to see spiritual growth in their youth.

Here are a few upcoming events that we would like you to pray for:
  1. Soccer Outreach, March 17 - We are coordinating an outreach with a church in a nearby informal settlement, Diepsloot. This event is hard to plan for, as it is impossible to do registration ahead of time. We don't know how many teams will be involved, but we are praying that many will be exposed to the gospel and that many will come to know Christ as personal Saviour! A group will be here from Maine to help with this outreach, as well as several people from local churches in Joburg.
  2. Brad is preaching at Southern Suburbs EBC, March 18 - Brad is excited for the opportunity to fill in the pulpit as this church is currently without a pastor.
  3. Battlezone Camp, March 26-28 - This camp is during school holidays and has a focus on discipleship with a ministry opportunity. Our goal is to encourage the kids to share their faith.
  4. Ladies' Bible Study, March 30 - This will be the first of bi-weekly Bible study meetings that Mary will lead in our home. We will be studying a book of the Bible using the book Discover The Bible For Yourself by Kay Arthur.
The kids are doing well! It's hard for me to believe they're getting so big as they insist on reminding me that they are not 4 and 7, but almost 5 and almost 8. Tomorrow is Brandon's last cricket game for the year. The year's going so quickly - I feel like he just started!

I have been teaching them, along with a few friends, how to play the recorder. They have so much fun! And it's actually beginning to sound like music.

We have also started learning Afrikaans, thanks to Genevieve, who is living in our flat. We are having lessons on Saturday morning, and I will share with you what we've learned after our first lesson (pronunciation in parenthesis as best as I could type it)....
Hallo (hallow) - Hello
Ek es Mary - I am Mary
Kop (cope) - head
Skouers (skoewers) - shoulders
Knee (k-nee-a) - knees
Tone (two-wanna) - toes
en - and

In case you wonder why these words, we're learning to sing "Head & Shoulders, Knees & Toes".

We have previously learned a LITTLE Afrikaans, but hopefully soon we'll be able to have small conversations in it!

Love,
Mary, for the fam
Brad, Mary, Brandon & Marissa Hawkins
Word of Life South Africa

Monday, March 12, 2007

Praise Update


Thank you for praying for the Schusters! Their house has sold! Here is the email that we received:

"We have wonderful news! I bet you have
been praying! The buyers suddenly decided to go with a full bond instead of
having us wait on the sale of their house – we didn’t put any pressure on them
at all it seemed strange that they would change to put themselves out. THEN just
after we signed to agree with that (as it would all go through sooner) they SOLD
their place and were offered cash for it! God is so good – we are thankful!"



Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Tim & Kim Carter


Here is an update from our friends, Tim & Kim Carter. To see the original prayer request click here.

Just want to give you a quick update on where I am in
my treatments. I am now officially half way there; I have gone through 3
treatments and have 3 to go. The last treatment itself went well, but I
was very nauseous for about a week. After the second treatment I had a
ct-scan and it showed the tumor is now 10cm by 5cm. So that is an answer
to prayer that the tumor is shrinking. The next step is a Pet-scan
today. This test will determine if the tumor is dead or not. If this test
shows that the tumor is now dead, then I will continue with the last 3
treatments as scheduled. If the tumor is still alive, they will have to
look at the treatment they are doing and possible make some
adjustments. We don’t expect to find out the results of the test
until March 15th at a doctors appointment. The 15th
& 16 are the dates of the next treatment.





I again just want to thank you for your continued
prayers and support during this time as I continue to trust and rely upon God.

Praise:



  1. That the tumor is smaller.
  2. It has been awesome to see how God is providing financially and
    physically for our needs.
  3. The kids are doing well in school and were excited to hear daddy’s
    tumor was smaller.






Prayer Requests:



  1. That today’s test will reveal that the tumor is dead.
  2. That the Lord will continue to meet our financial and physical
    needs.
  3. That the kids will continue to understand when daddy does not feel
    well.






Thanks again for your prayers,

Tim, Kim, Timmy, Nicole and Austin






Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Prayer Update


Well, hello again from the busy city of Johannesburg! We just keep running along to keep up with what God has in front of us.

Last
Sunday we visited Valley Baptist Church, with Pastor Ada & his wife
Rachael. It is a wonderful church on the East side of Johannesburg,
and we really enjoyed our time of fellowship together. They have
decided to have a Word of Life Teen Club, and will be starting
orientation once a week for the next three Saturdays. We are thrilled
to be working with them!


You
will notice that our schedule is quickly filling up - here is a preview
of what March looks like for us right now, with new items being added
daily to the list....


March 3, 7 & 10 - Orientation with Valley Baptist Church
March 17 - Soccer Marathon in Diepsloot
March 19-26 - Born Again To A Living Hope
March 26-29 - Battlezone Camp

Along
with these scheduled events, Brad is trying to visit youth meetings on
Friday nights and also visit some of the churches on Sundays. This
helps build relationships, and makes him available for any questions or
concerns that the youth leaders or pastors may have.


We will also be meeting with Deon, Earl & Gena for discipleship weekly (Tuesday & Wednesday evenings).

Please
keep us in your prayers, that we keep God's vision for the ministry and
don't get to busy "doing" to spend time in His presence seeking His
will.


Our
teammates, Alan & Rachael Schuster, will be moving back to
Johannesburg March 16. Please continue to pray for the sale of their
house. There have been a few offers, but nothing is final yet.


Thank you for your prayers!
Mary, for the fam
Brad, Mary, Brandon & Marissa Hawkins
Word of Life South Africa






Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Prayer Update


Dear Friends


            I can’t believe what all has happened in the
last two weeks.  It has been great times of seeing God do His thing.  Last week
I got a call from a youth leader from one church asking me to contact another
church who needs help in their youth ministry.  I was able to meet with Pastor
Ada of Valley
Baptist Church
.  The family and I will be visiting
the church soon just to meet everyone.  God just keeps send people our way and
that makes everything that much more exciting.




            On Sunday this week Mary and I were to visit
a new church and I was even going to share about WOL.  We were so excited about
meeting with them and sharing what all God is doing here in South Africa
with the youth.  We were on our way (about 2 miles away from the house) to the
church and our car just died.  We had to call for help and began to realize we
wouldn’t be able to make it to the church.  I had to call the Pastor and let him
know what happen.  This was the first time we ever had to do that.  I was very
disappointed but we are working on rescheduling the meeting.  We were able to
get the car fixed the next day and now we are back up and running
 

Prayer Request:


  1. New Churches

  2. Youth Leaders and
    Youth

  3. Soccer Marathon coming soon
  4. Family

  5. Schuster’s home to
    sell

  6. Recent trouble with
    cars


Praise Items:


  1. Discipleship of
    young people

  2. New Churches calling
    us

  3. God's provision for
    the Ministry

  4. Safety in
    traveling
In His Service,

Brad Hawkins

Word of Life South Africa



Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Prayer Update


We have been updating you regularly about our Word of Life Clubs, and the growth in the number of churches we've been working with. This continues still, praise the Lord! We received another call this week about a church that is interested. We are excited to see the number of youth that are growing in the Lord as a result of faithful youth leaders in their churches.

We are also excited about the way God is allowing us to be used with those that we are discipling and doing Bible Study with outside of the club ministry. Brad is continuing to meet weekly with Deon and the two of us are beginning next week to continue our meetings with Earl & Gena.

The Ladies' Bible Study I have been working with is changing slightly due to the needs of those in the study, and has become, for the time being, an online Bible Study, communicating throughout the week through email and holding each other accountable for daily quiet time and scripture memory. We will soon be starting a study on a book of the Bible, as well. We are discussing meeting bi-weekly at our home, but we have to consider the needs of these ladies that work outside of the home and also have families that need them. Please pray that we make a wise decision, considering what God would have us do with our time.

Brad and the kids slept out in the tent last night, and we are taking the day off from formal schooling in honor of Valentine's Day. We have been making chocolates and valentines for our American friends, and will be having a family date this afternoon to miniature golf. Dad took the day off work, with the exception of a lunch meeting, and we are enjoying a relaxing morning together at home.

Love,
Mary, for the fam
Brad, Mary, Brandon & Marissa Hawkins
Word of Life South Africa


Thursday, February 8, 2007

Prayer Request


Please pray for our friends, Tim & Kim Carter. Below is a letter from them that will explain:



First, we just want to thank God for
his love, provision, and his peace. We truly know that God is in control of
everything and that the things brought into our lives are to help us to become
more like him. We know he has a perfect plan through these difficult times but
he loves us and we are excited about how God is going to use this in our
lives.

Thank you for your cards and e-mails
expressing your love and support by prayer. We knew and still know that many
people are praying for us and lifting us up before God’s throne. This has been
an awesome learning time for us because we could truly understand the peace that
comes from God because of your intercessory prayer on our
behalf.



Here is a quick update on where we
are at.



On Fri. 1/5 the results of a chest
X-ray revealed a large mass in my chest. I had a CTscan on Mon. 1/8 which did
confirm this and was scheduled right away an appointment with a Oncologist
doctor on Tues. 1/9(Dr. Castro). On Tuesday, the doctor explained to us that my
tumor was about 14 centimeters X 9 centimeters and where it sat in my chest. It
had displaced my trachea a little, collapsed a portion of my left lung and was
touching my heart. Because of the size and placement of the tumor I was
admitted to the hospital right away. On Wed. 1/10 I had a bone marrow biopsy
which was negative and a biopsy of the tumor to determine exactly what it was.
I was diagnosis with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Large cell B on Thursday 1/11. On
Fri. 1/12 I began my first treatment of chemotherapy around 3pm. My body did
have a few side effects and the treatment ended around 3:30am on Saturday. I
then had another drug that was by IV over the next 24 hours. Saturday was a
much easier day. I was released from the hospital on Tuesday 1/16. I have felt
pretty good since being home and have been able to eat again. My taste buds are
all over the place though; it may sound good in my head but not my mouth. On
Sat. 1/20 I took my last medicines and they say my blood counts will be
declining and there will be decline in my body physically. I agree with them
because I have been really tired most of the day and slept pretty well. It will
take a few days and the counts will increase again and I should start feeling
better again. They checked my counts again today 1/23 and they are at the
bottom, which explains why I have been achy and sore the last 4 days. The
hardest thing has just been not being able to get comfortable in any positions
and the sore, achy body. I go back down on Fri. 1/26 for another count they
just want to make sure they come back up. My next treatment is Thurs.
2/1.



The doctors expectations are that
after I go through the next 5 chemotherapy treatments that my tumor with shrink
in size and disintegrate. My chemotherapy treatments will be every 21 days, the
first 2 days by IV as an outpatient and then the rest of my cycle at home. The
remaining 5 chemotherapy treatments will take us into May by the time of my last
treatment.





Praises:


  1. God is in control and the lessons we
    are learning through this

  2. Opportunities we had with doctors
    and nurses to live before them and show them the grace and peace of
    God

  3. My mom, dad and mother-in-law being
    able to come and be here with us, and safety as they traveled
    home.
  4. God’s grace and provision in
    many unexpected ways.





Prayer Requests:


  1. Our children Timmy (5), Nicole (4)
    and Austin (2) that they would adjust well to understanding that daddy will have
    good days and bad days.

  2. That I am able to rest as my body is
    very achy and it is hard to find a position to be able to comfortably sleep or
    rest.

  3. My body physically to do well and
    respond well to future treatments (next starts 2/1)

  4. That Kim and I would take advantage
    of this time together and continue to grow closer to God through
    this.




Thanks again for your prayers and
support.




In his grace,



Tim, Kim, Timmy, Nicole &
Austin