Sunday, December 5, 2010

Praising God!

This morning we had a break-in at the house. We were all home and we are all SAFE! No injuries, and feel at peace - even the kids.... The whole thing only lasted at the most 5 minutes.

I am so grateful for God's protection. God made His presence so real to us through it all, and we really feel at peace. 

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

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thankful!

We are thankful for so many things, but we wanted you to know that we are thankful to you! Thankful for your friendship, for your support and your prayers! Thank you for being a part of our lives and our ministry.
We are also thankful to God for underserved mercy and unfailing love. Thank you, God, for being our Rock and our Redeemer!

Love, the Hawkins
Brad, Mary, Brandon, Marissa & Mya

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Olympians Games Day


We had 330 kids in attendance at our Games Day on October 23, as well as NUMEROUS volunteers (over 80) helping run the event! Praise God for beautiful weather and several decisions for Him. Check out the pictures!

Thank you for your Prayers!

Life has been exceptionally busy this week! But, oh, so enjoyable to be busy in God's work.... And it's your prayers that gives us the strength to do what God puts in our path!
Here's a little of what the week had in store for us.

Brad preached at Paseo Baptist Church last Sunday, while Mary ministered in music at our SA home church.

Monday-Thursday Mary & the kids did homeschool each day.
Monday night, Word of Life Staff Braai. It's exciting that our staff is growing enough that Mary now needs to make 2 pans of brownies to go around. :)

Tuesday night, Brad teaches the teens Bible Study at church while Mary teaches Gr 4 & under.

Wednesday night, braai (bbq) with the youth leaders from church to plan some upcoming training.

Thursday evening, we had Christy Page & the kids over for a braai. John is in the States for about 6 weeks and we just wanted to spend time with them and encourage them.

Friday morning we helped Mike & Fran VanBruggen move into their "new" house. They are teammates in our Word of Life ministry. Friday afternoon, Mary & the kids off to Olympians at church. Mary is a youth leader. Friday night, Brad spoke to the teens at Paseo Baptist Church.

Saturday & Sunday we had an End Times Conference at church, Mary ministered in music. Saturday night we had the teens to our house for pizza, rugby & games. And Brad preached at Toekumsrus Baptist Church on Sunday morning. 

The next week ahead is a busy one as well, but we'll save that for the next update. Just please continue to keep us in your prayers! It's so exciting to see what God is doing and to be used by God to bring others closer to Him.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Camp Counsellor Application

Please print this and return it if you would like to be a counsellor for student or kids camp!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Prayer Update

Just wanted to take a moment and fill you in on the events for this weekend. We have a church running a STORM Event (Sending Teens Out to Reach the Masses) This will only be the second one that has been done here in SA. Then on Saturday we will be running our FIRST Olympian Games Day! We are very excited to see what God will do through this activity. We are excepting around 300 kids and 80 volunteers! This is going to be HUGE! Now, if that isn't enough I will then be preaching at Paseo Baptist Church on Sunday morning. Busy, Busy, Busy as usual.

I know that sounds a bit crazy to be having so much in one weekend but it is not all that much when there are several workers to help. We just had a missionary, Timi, arrive from Hungry to work with us for at least 9 months! She has been able to jump right in and is a valued part of our team. We are looking forward to seeing what an impact she will have in the lives of the youth.

A few praises to pass along - We have received several gifts towards the repairs on the car as well as funds to help with the replacement of the stolen vehicle. THANK YOU all who have helped! We also have recently seen an increase in our support! We are currently at 86%! Please continue to be praying with us as we need to see this continue to climb. We are scheduled for furlough next year but we would really like to be in the 90% level's before then.

In HIS Service,

Brad 

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Help send someone to WOL South Africa Summer Camp

Here's the latest from our Country Director, John Page:


Being involved with Christian camping for about 20 years has proved to us that God works in the lives of teens and children when they are in a camp atmosphere. Would you prayerfully consider sponsoring someone to come to camp? (Read more in the attached letter!)


Although Teen camp is $90 per camper and Kids Camp is $50, any amount that you are able to share will benefit a camper! (If you would like to sponsor a camper, you may do so online by following this link and choosing camp scholarships, OR print the attached "form" and mail it to Word of Life.)


Thank you to all who helped sponsor 40+ campers for the 2009 camp season. We thank the Lord for your generosity!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Prayer Update

Thanks for your prayers! We are excited about all that God is doing here in South Africa!

Last weekend Brad had the privilege to preach twice at our South African home church, Grace Baptist Church, as our pastor and his wife are away. I have been teaching Sunday School in their absence, as well. It has made life a little busier, but full of blessing.

Please keep us in your prayers as we have BattleZone Camp starting tomorrow. Due to changes with schools because of teachers striking and school holidays, we are only expecting half of the teens (around 40) that we expected to come, but are still expecting God to move and challenge in great ways. This is a 3 day camp to strengthen a teens' walk with the Lord. Pray for changed lives!

Please also continue to pray for our financial support. We are, on average, around $1000 per month below our support needs level. The shortage in our funds leaves us $400 short in ministry funds and $600 short in our salary each month. Our God is amazing and always meets our needs! Please join us in praying that God would direct us to those that He wants to be a part of our ministry team.

Thanks for your prayers!
Serving Him,
Mary (for the fam)
Brad, Mary, Brandon, Marissa & Mya Hawkins
Word of Life South Africa

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Hawkins Headlines, September

Here is a copy of our most recent prayer letter.
You will need Adobe Reader to open the file. Click here to download free.

Brad, Mary, Brandon, Marissa & Mya
Word of Life South Africa
Attachment: Sep 2010.pdf

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Prayer Update

I'll start with our bad news first, for those of you that haven't heard, but stay tuned for the good news, because that's the best part!

On my way home with the kids from Bible study on Thursday I had a flat tire on the N3, and I stopped but there wasn't enough room to get off the road. A Semi with a flatbed trailer didn't notice that we were stopped until too late and had to go into the median between two highways to miss us, with his trailer swinging to the side and catching the OTHER back corner of our car (not the one hit in the last accident). WE ARE ALL FINE! As the initial shock started to wear off, the radio was playing - "I will praise You in this storm, and I will lift my hands, for You are who You are, no matter where I am..."

Then on Saturday evening the whole family loaded into the Word of Life Microbus (like a van). We picked up 3 teens on the way to senior youth group, and headed for the church, as we are the youth leaders. Would you believe that when we came out of church after youth it was GONE? Yep, stolen. Crazy!

BUT, it's been a while since we have sent an update, so here's some GOOD news!!!

We ran a Micro F1 last week, and 15 children got saved! This was at Honeyridge Baptist Church, and these kids will be discipled through them with their Olympian program.

Brad and I are tag-team teaching Olympian Orientation to a team at a church we've been working with in Toekomsrus. We are excited to see this church reaching out to their community in a low income area, and we only have one orientation left before they start meeting with the children! This is a completely NEW ministry for them as they have just recently started Sunday School for the children and have never had a youth program.

A few weekends ago we had a mission trip with the teens in our own youth group. There were 8 teens that spent the weekend in our house, and we were able to do some work fixing up a local church in Kibler Park to encourage them; spent Sunday morning in their church service and the teens gave testimonies and shared in special music; spent the afternoon going door to door in the area doing evangelism; and on Monday we did door to door evangelism in Toekomsrus.

These are just a few of the blessings we've been experiencing! Sorry for the long update. We've been so busy working that we haven't had as much time to write updates! We'll try to do them more often so they don't have to be so long. ;)

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

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Pics

I know you've gotten a few links to pics we've uploaded today, but we added even more! Check 'em out. 

Prayer Update

We recently became the Youth Leaders for our senior youth at church. It has been fun getting to know the teens and we've enjoyed spending time with them!
This weekend we are doing a local missions trip with them, doing work and ministry with a church in Kibler Park and follow up with the church we ministered with on SMASH in Toekomsrus. There will be a couple of young adults from another church assisting us as leadership. Pray for results from our outreach and follow-up, and as well for discipleship of the teens and young adults going with us!
Please pray for the family as well. Marissa woke up sick this morning, and with the teens staying at our house this weekend, I'm hoping that she gets better quickly and that it doesn't spread.
Thank you for your faithful prayers for our ministry! There has been so much happening that it's hard to stay faithful with prayer updates! It is amazing to see that God remains faithful and that He can use us, despite our human frailties!
Mary, for the fam
Brad, Mary, Brandon, Marissa & Mya

Sunday, June 20, 2010

SMASH Update

Around 120 at the Soccer Marathon and around 100 at Holiday Bible Club. Crazy busy last day of ministry with amazing results - many coming to know Christ. Thank you all for your prayers! Please pray for us as we minister in our local church this weekend with youth and music ministry and jump back in to another SMASH with HBC and Soccer Clinics on Monday!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

SMASH Update

We had a great day of ministry! We started HBC off strong with 115 kids! It was COLD and windy today, with a high of 8C and we spent a lot of the day outside. We had a great time with songs, puppets, games, lesson and memory verses all based around the World Cup Soccer.
We also had a group of around 30 kids at the soccer clinic, with one salvation decision!
Our third outreach today involved people from some local churches going door to door in the neighborhood, with around 15 salvation decisions!
Please pray for us as we continue to minister in Toekomsrus this week! Pray also for Pastor Sidney and his church as they follow up with those that we are ministering to.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Prayer Update

Please keep us in your prayers as we prepare for our first Winter holiday SMASH this year! This will be one of three. We are going to be ministering in Toekumsrus with Pastor Sidney's church, and will be running Holiday Bible Club, Soccer clinics and a soccer tournament. We also will have a group of volunteers from Grace Baptist Church in Poortview. If you want to help out, too, just let us know!
Our staff are in the middle of major preparation, including making vests for soccer teams, repairing PVC soccer goals, preparing for Bible lessons, games, and puppets. It's a flurry of activity as we prepare for the group of teenagers that will be helping to arrive on Monday, and ministry to start on Tuesday.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Hawkins' Headlines June 2010

Dear Friends & Family,

Thank you so much for your prayers and support of our ministry! We are excited about all that God is doing in South Africa! We are thrilled to share with you that Mya's adoption has been finalized and she is officially a permanent part of the Hawkins’ family!!

Mike, Fran, Bret & Rachel VanBruggen have joined us in South Africa, and with more staff comes more ministry! There is a lot going on in the next few months. We have just returned from a Southern Africa Staff Retreat where we joined the Word of Life Mozambique Staff, and we are feeling rejuvenated and united as we press forward to reach South Africa for Christ.

South Africa is hosting the FIFA World Cup Soccer beginning in just 11 days! The schools are taking 5-6 weeks off school, and we are going to jump on the chance to minister to these children. We are running 3 SMASH (Students Ministering And Serving Him) camps, providing soccer clinics, tournaments, and Holiday Bible Club (VBS) while using all of these as a medium to reach people for Christ. Please join us in prayer as we will be teaming up with local churches, providing opportunities for upwards of 60 teens to minister with us, and especially for souls to be won for Christ!

There have been MANY ministry opportunities for us in the last few months, and there are many more in the near future that we just don’t have room to share! Unfortunately, our support level has been low on average over the past year, and has limited some of what we could do. Our incoming support is approximately $1300 below our support needs and we will not be coming home on furlough until some time in 2011. We know that we have a God that will meet all of our needs, but with more funds we could do more ministry! Will you please pray about whether God would use you in this way to further the ministry of Word of Life in S. Africa?


Thank you!
Brad, Mary, Brandon, Marissa & Mya

 

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Prayer Update

Thank you so much for your faithful prayers! Our SMASH trip to Cape Town was amazing! It was exciting to see the impact that it had on each of the people in our group. There were 35 of us, and we are praising God for the ministry opportunities in Holiday Bible Club, Camp and Evangelistic Outreaches, as well as the safety provided for our group as we traveled.

In the last month the events on our already busy calendar have multiplied! Please keep us in your prayers as we have jumped into some new roles in our church. Brad & I are now leading Word of Life Clubs in our senior youth, Brad teaching a teen Bible study, Mary leading a children's choir, along with Mary's previous involvement with Olympians in the junior youth and the music ministry. Of course, these activities are on top of our ministry with Word of Life!

Please pray specifically that we will remain focused on God, His Word and our families needs during this busy time.

We are preparing for 3-4 weeks of mid-week (Monday-Friday) local SMASH mission opportunities for teens in June/July. South Africa is hosting the FIFA Soccer World Cup, and schools will be out for 6 weeks. We are going to be teaming up with local churches and going into nearby settlements to run soccer clinics, tournaments and Holiday Bible Clubs. We are looking at the involvement of up to a total of 60 teens (20 weekly) and working with up to 12 local churches. Please pray for the details of each week to be sorted out and for things to run smoothly so that the Gospel can be presented in a clear manner, resulting in salvation decisions as well as opportunities for follow-up and discipleship through the local churches!

Thank you for your prayer for our ministry!
Love, Mary for the fam
Brad, Mary, Brandon, Marissa & Mya 

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Prayer Update

Here's a quick update on our lives!

Tomorrow we have a skype call with Brad's home church, Community Baptist Church in Montoursville, PA. Brad will also be preaching via dvd! Exciting times! We were able to make/edit this dvd with our new Apple Mac Mini. Thank you to those of you that helped with this purchase. It will be a blessing to us and our ministry!

Tuesday we welcome our new teammates to the field! Mike & Fran VanBruggen will be joining us full time, and we are so excited to have more hands to do the work that God has placed before us!

On Wednesday Timea Hood will arrive short term to join our SMASH trip that starts on Friday.

Friday evening we head to a local church to meet up with our team for SMASH (Students Ministering And Serving Him). We will leave early Saturday morning to drive most of the way to Cape Town, stopping Saturday night and finishing the trip on Sunday.

Once we arrive, our team will split. Part of our group will be running a week of camp and the other part will be doing an HBC (Holiday Bible Club, a.k.a. VBS) and evangelistic outreach events. Among other responsibilities, Brad will be teaching Bible lessons to the children and organizing outreach events while Mary will be cooking meals for approximately 40 people.

We would appreciate your prayers through this time, for strength, for the children, for health and safety for all involved, for changed lives (both of our team and those we will be ministering to).... Thank you!!!

We arrive home the day before Easter, and will be celebrating our deliverance through Christ's death on the cross with our American Missionary "Family". We praise God for placing good friends in our lives!

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

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Prayer Update

from Feb 18
Please pray our visas are approved so that we can continue to stay in the country! We have renewed our visas in the past without any issues, and didn't foresee there being issues this time, but they expired last month and they haven't renewed them yet. They have given us an extension twice, saying that they are still being processed. Just pray that they are returned soon and we have them in our passports to put our hearts & minds at ease. :)

Feb 19
Brad is off to South Africa Home Affairs this morning to check on our Visa applications as our extensions expire today. We aren't expecting any difficulties, but would appreciate your prayers all the same! 

As well, Brad has a busy weekend of ministry! Today at 5 we are running a Micro F1 at our home church in SA, Grace Baptist Church in Ruimsig. This event has a two-fold purpose today. 

First, and most importantly, we will be sharing the gospel with the children and have encouraged them to invite their friends and their parents. Pray that decisions are made and lives are changed! God's word does not return void!

Secondly, WOL Olympians in new to Grace Baptist Church and we hope to give the parents a small picture of what it is all about in hopes that they catch our excitement. :)

Brad will be visiting a youth group tonight, doing orientation at a new church in the morning, following that a planning meeting for an all-nighter, and another youth group visit tomorrow night.

Thank you for your prayers! We are excited about all God is doing here in Johannesburg, and the privilege to be a part of it! 

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

Friday, January 15, 2010

Prayer Update

Please keep us in your prayers as we hold our annual Leader's Kick Off tomorrow. January is the beginning of our school year, and all the youth meetings are starting up again.
We are expecting around 75 people tomorrow for our kick off, and will be holding seminars and handing out 2010 material.
We are still training some churches that are new to Word of Life, and their youth meetings will be starting soon. It is exciting to see the passion these churches have to make a difference in the lives of young people, with evangelism and discipleship first on their minds!
Please keep our staff in mind as this is a busy time of year for us, finishing up our new material, distributing it, training, and visiting existing clubs. Thank you!

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

Monday, January 11, 2010

Mya's Adoption

Thank you so much for your prayers!

Mya's adoption was approved by the magistrate!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now we're just waiting for the official paperwork.

PRAISE THE LORD!!!!!!!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Prayer Update

Just got back from a meeting with a Youth Leader and I am simply humbled by the commitment of the Leaders. They are such awesome people and I am thankful I can be apart of what they are doing!

Tonight Mary and I's home church will begin Orientation for WOL Clubs! So excited to see their passion for the young people! Then tomorrow I will be helping one of the new groups with their first planning meeting for the year.

Things are happening!

Brad

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year from the Hawkins' fam!

Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man. ~ Benjamin Franklin

Happy New Year from South Africa! This came to mind this morning as I contemplated leaving 2009 behind and heading into 2010, and I thought I would share it with you!

More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.

Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Phil. 3:8-14