Sunday, June 29, 2008

SMASH/YRO

Youth Reachout arrived from the US yesterday with 15 teens and 5 leaders, ready to jump into ministry! They rose early this morning to lead the morning service at Grace Baptist Church.
After the service they headed back to camp to greet 41 teens and young adults from South Africa, ready for a week of service!  It was a great day of training, learning an evangelistic rope trick, the evangi-cube, and a few dramas. We are looking ahead to a great week of ministry!  We will keep you updated throughout the week!
Please keep us in your prayers - for health, safety, smooth running events, and most of all, lives impacted for Christ.

Love,
Mary, for the fam
Brad, Mary, Brandon, Marissa & Mya

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Prayer Update

I am sitting here curled up in my quilt trying to keep warm! 

There is so much going on now as we prepare for Youth Reachout to arrive on Saturday and S.M.A.S.H. to begin on Sunday!

Youth Reachout (YRO) is a short term missions team of 20 teens and leaders from all over the US that are coming to South Africa. They will be in South Africa from June 28 - July 6, and will be joining up with our annual S.M.A.S.H. camp.

S.M.A.S.H. (Students Ministering And Serving Him) is also a short term mission team, comprised of youth from South Africa. 

All of these youth, from US and SA, are giving up their school holidays to further the Gospel of Christ.

We will be ministering together in MANY capacities, including church services, orphanages, open air evangelism, etc.  We will be using drama, music, hand bells, evangelism cube, rope tricks, and sports, among many other resources as a means to share the Gospel of Christ.

Please pray that we will be an encouragement to those we are ministering with, as we try to come along side local churches and existing ministries, and that our message will bring many to their knees before Christ, seeking His grace.

We will keep you updated throughout the week, as our mission trip is based right here in Joburg this year.  Thanks for your prayers!

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

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Prayer Update

Thank you, again, for your faithful prayers!  Life sure is busy, both in ministry and on the home front, and your prayers give us strength.

Please pray for Jonathon and Rebecca, two short-term missionaries that will be arriving on Friday. Pray for safety in travel, and smooth adjustments to both the time change and the culture.  They will be in South Africa for approximately 2 months.  We are excited to get to know them, and grateful for more hands in the ministry.

We have just over 2 months before heading to the US for furlough!  Please pray for us, as our calendar gets busier and busier. This is what it looks like so far - a few days in Pietermaritzburg (4 hour drive) doing ministry as a family, a short term mission trip (SMASH) with approximately 30 South Africans and 20 from the US with Youth Reachout, at least one Micro F1 outside of SMASH, a trip to Polokwane, again to do ministry as a family (3 hour drive), and a short term mission group of 5 from Sinking Springs, PA. Most of this is added on top of our normal ministry functions of visiting clubs, contacting youth leaders, organizing materials, studying for teaching God's Word, etc.  Please pray for strength and faithfulness in the little things.

Please pray for our trip to the US, as well. Pray for a full schedule to present the ministry and refreshing time with family and friends. Our calender will continue to be filled with travel and events, as we spend 3 weeks in MI, 3 weeks in PA and 6 weeks traveling to FL and back to PA. Please let us know if your church might be interested in hearing more about our ministry!

Last but not least, please keep Mike & Fran VanBruggen and their family in your prayers as they travel and raise support to come to South Africa.  We could definitely use more hands in the field to further the Gospel of Christ!

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

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Mya coming to America

I know many of you have been praying about Mya's paperwork for adoption and our trip to America.  I'm going to give you some specifics, so you know a little better how to pray for us....

3 months ago, we tried to apply for Mya's passport.  We were told that we must have a letter of permission from the Social Development department or have the adoption finalized in order to do so. When we approached the Social Development department, we were told that the adoption will be finalized ANY time now, and it would be easiest to go that route, so we waited....

Now we have run into some complications with the paperwork for the adoption, and the adoption cannot be finalized until at least August 2, making that WAY too late to apply for a passport to fly on August 13! So on to the permission to take her out of the country as a foster child....

In order to do this we had to get permission from her mother (granted last Tuesday) and then take that to the Social Development dept. to have permission granted from the minister. This is what we're waiting for now. We are hoping to have permission by Wednesday.  Then we need to take this form to the Home Affairs dept. to apply for the passport.  Once the passport is received, we need to apply for a Visa.

Now, if you have not lived in South Africa, you may not understand that we need God's hand to get this accomplished in time, but we do! Paperwork here is processed at a painstakingly slow rate. PLEASE pray that God orchestrates the steps of those involved to work together to get this done in time.  We know that we have an ever faithful God that is all powerful!  God can do anything.

We just can't imagine leaving our little girlie behind in SA for 3 whole months!  Resting in the hands of our loving God, knowing that He knows best.

Thanks for your prayers!
Brad, Mary, Brandon, Marissa & Mya

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Prayer Update

Greetings to all from cold SA

            It has been way too long between letters and we are really sorry for the lack of communication.  Let me tell you what has been happening and I think you will forgive us.

            We were able to run 2 Micro F1’s in the last few weeks.  The last one was so awesome because one of the parents decided to stay and he ended up receiving Christ as his Savior, along with several children.  We are looking forward to a few others in the near future and pray that they go just as well.

            We are getting ready for our Mid-Year Conference which is this Saturday.  I am excited about getting all the leaders together and having some fellowship and training.  This is one of my favorite times of the year.  To have many of the leaders together and getting an opportunity to hear from them is such a blessing.

            Some family news for you as well.  I know many have been praying about the adoption of Mya.  We ran into some trouble recently and won’t be able to finish the paper work before we furlough.  But it should go through while we are in America.  This means we need to get permission to bring her as our foster child.  We have begun this process and it is looking promising.  Keep up your prayers!!!

Prayer Request:

1.      Mid-Year Conference

2.      Furlough Schedule

3.      Paper work for Mya – We want to bring her to see you all.

4.      Car Repairs – Our car seems to always be in the shop; pray for wisdom in this area as we consider what to do next with it.

Praise Items:

1.      Micro F1’s over the last few weeks – many Salvation decisions

2.      God’s provision in the everyday situations

3.      Meetings already setup for furlough – still some openings though going quick!

In His Service,

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Brad Hawkins

Word of Life South Africa