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.)