Friday, October 25, 2013

Video Update

Check out this video update on our ministry with Word of Life South Africa!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Final SMASH 2013 Update

Thank you so much for your prayers and support for our SMASH trip to Cape Town! We were part of a group of 49 teens, young adults and staff and were able to work with 3 different pastors doing a variety of ministry including door to door evangelism, playing games with kids, soccer tournament, drama, and tract drops.

From Brad:
I had an opportunity to speak at a soccer tournament, with around 47 decisions for Christ! It was awesome to be used by God!  
It was a blessing to see some of those that we have been pouring our lives into over the years taking over leadership roles on the ministry team. What an encouragement that they were capable and willing to step up to the plate when needed! I preach and teach and harp on discipleship, and I love to see it in action - we have shown them how to do it, done it with them, and now we could sit back and watch them at work! 
Sbu (one of WOLSA's National Missionaries) & Brad
This is the first time my son, Brandon was old enough to be an official SMASH participant, and it was great to see him being used in the ministry and the growth that was a direct result of this trip. I can't wait to see what God is going to continue to do in his life.

From Brandon:
I would say the highlight of my ministry on SMASH was playing with the kids. The kids spoke mostly Afrikaans, so it was a real challenge to communicate, but I enjoyed working with them because us being there obviously meant a lot to them. 

I had the opportunity to share the gospel in that same area when we did door to door evangelism. We came across a teenage boy, and he was very open to hearing about the gospel. You could see that God was working in his heart and he made a decision for Christ. It was really encouraging for God to use me, and I was challenged to continue ministering in life, not just on SMASH.

We attended a youth rally with teenagers from several different churches. As our group was 49, we nearly outnumbered them! It was fun and encouraging to spend time with other believers the same age from a different part of the country.
All in all, I had a great time and this trip will have a lasting impact on me!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow

Thank you for your prayers as I shared at the Ladies' Retreat with the women from Grace Baptist Church in Queensburgh. I really enjoyed getting to know these precious ladies better!

We had a refreshing, relaxing time away together, renewing ourselves in the Word, in worship and wonderful friendship.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

God's Plans

God had different plans for our Sunday than we did! Yesterday our meeting at Pine Town Baptist was cancelled. Then this morning at 5:30 we got a phone call asking for Brad to preach for the pastor at Crossroads as he had lost his voice. I so enjoyed the service there this morning! I felt like the worship songs were handpicked with me in mind. It felt like a special gift from God! We had a great time of fellowship with friends there. 
And yesterday we found out that our friends Henry & Janet Houk were presenting their ministry at Grace Baptist Queensburgh tonight before they leave for furlough on Thursday, so we got a double blessing, hearing about their ministry at Ekukhanyeni Baptist and fellowshipping with with our friends there, too.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Prayer Update

A SMASH Update will be coming SOON!
In the meantime, Brad and Brandon have returned home safely and hit the ground running. They returned Monday night. Tuesday morning, Brandon was back to home school and Brad went off to teach his first class for the new term at Durban Bible College. This term Brad is teaching Youth Ministry on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Wednesday night Brad met with the Young Adults from Bethany Baptist Church continuing the series on evangelism.

Later today Brad will be having a discipleship meeting with Sbu and Philani from Ekukhanyeni Baptist Church. Their pastor, Henry Houk, will be joining them today. Pastor Henry is going on furlough next week and Brad will be discipling Sbu and Philani, meeting with them weekly in his absence, as well as assisting with any needs the church has with their youth.
Pastor Henry & Janet Houk, ABWE Missionaries
Please pray for me as I finish preparing my lessons and present them at a Ladies' Retreat with Grace Baptist Church, Queensburgh Ladies this Friday & Saturday! Please pray for a calm spirit and clear communication, as well as a relaxing fun time away with other women!

Sunday we are off to Pinetown Baptist Church to start training with their youth workers.

There is so much that God is doing in Durban, and we are grateful to be involved with just a small part of it! Pray for us to continue to walk closely to Him so that we can serve and minister others effectively.

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

Friday, September 20, 2013

SMASH Update #1

Brad & Brandon arrived safely in Cape Town yesterday! The rest of the SMASH team is making the drive from Johannesburg tomorrow (13-15 hours). Please keep them all in your prayers!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

S.M.A.S.H. (Students Ministering And Serving Him)

Dear Family & Friends,

In less than a week my dad & I will take a plane trip to Cape Town to meet up with the SMASH team of approximately 50 other youth and staff from Joburg. I’m looking forward to this opportunity to serve God in various types of outreach.
I’m so grateful for the funds provided for me to embark on this journey. It was faith building for me to see God provide all the money needed almost immediately after the need was shared.
I think it would benefit my ministry trip if I had some prayer supporters throughout my time in Cape Town. Word of Life suggests I have at least 5 prayer supporters. If you would commit to praying for me during this time, please let me know. I would really appreciate it.
You can follow our trip at the ministry facebook page, SMASH Cape Town 2013.

Thank you,

Brandon Hawkins

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


From Brad:

Had a great couple of days with the kids at camp last week! Several of the campers made decisions for Christ and many others made decisions to better know God through Quiet Time, Scripture Memory, and Bible Study.  It was such a pleasure to share God's Word with them and the leaders. Check out the video below!

I am heading off tonight to the first Young Adult Bible Study for this term, but only for this one as we are all heading to Jo'burg next week. We are going up to help with Word of Life's Student Fusion, a missions team arriving from the US.  I am excited to have the family coming along on this trip, as often that doesn't always work out. We are grateful to God's "yes" answer to our prayer to find a house sitter so that we could all go together. Pray for us as we now need to get the house ready for the month we will be gone and pray for God's work in the lives of those coming on the trip.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Holiday Bible Club #1 - Grace Baptist Church, Queensburgh

We had a great week at Holiday Bible Club (VBS)! It was exciting to see all the children being challenged to know God and His Word more, to obey and serve Him!

On Friday a little girl told Marissa that she wanted to know Jesus, and Marissa was able to clearly share the gospel message with her. What an exciting opportunity for Marissa, and little Danika now knows for sure how her sins can be forgiven!

Here is a little video I put together from the week:

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

School Holidays

We are on a 3 week "holiday" from school, but it is not really a break for us! Keep us in prayer as this week Brad & the kids are at Holiday Bible Club (VBS) at Grace Baptist in Queensburgh. Next week, the kids & I will be at Holiday Bible Club at Grace Baptist Amanzimtoti. And the 3rd week, Brandon will be back to school while Marissa & Brad head off to camp, Marissa as a camper and Brad as the speaker. Pray for health, servant's hearts and most of all, lives changed for Christ!
at the same time, our teammates in Joburg have travelled the 2 1/2 hours to Welkom and are running a satellite camp for teens. Please pray for them as they work alongside existing ministries in Welkom to help them lead others to Christ and strengthen Christians.

Monday, June 17, 2013

This weekend we hosted a team of 14 young adults on a missions trip from Joburg. They came to the South Coast to assist at a youth camp. It was so encouraging to have them here! We have known quite a few of these young adults for years through Word of Life clubs and camps, and a number attended the Word of Life Discipleship Training Centre. They seem like family to us. They ran the service Sunday evening at Grace Baptist Church in Queensburgh, and we felt like Paul when he wrote, "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth." (3 John 1:4)

Great weekend! Went to a Youth Event where there must have been around 200 young people and meet several new churches. We visited a new church on Sunday that I pray we will be able to assist in the near future and then took a group of young people to a different church Sunday night. Love seeing people serve and humbled by being apart of it!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Brad preached at Bethany Baptist Church this week. It has been great to have so many opportunities to get to know the church family there. We always feel at home there and enjoy the fellowship.

This week was the final exam for Brad's first year Evangelism students at Durban Bible College (DBC), and we all got in on the practical part of the exam, as they had they had to share the gospel with MarissaBrandon and I. It was great to see how much they had learned! Please pray that they put what they have learned about evangelism into practice in real life!

Brad is continuing to teach the Young Adults Group at Bethany Baptist Church on Wednesdays, and has started a video series from The Way of the Master. The young adults are starting to open up and share, and it is encouraging to see spiritual growth.

On a family note, Mya turned 6 this week. She is growing up too quickly. She keeps us laughing, and is so good at making everyone feel loved. We are so grateful that God brought her into our family!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Visa Renewal

For those of you who have been following our long visa renewal process, we received a phone call last week saying we could collect our new visas in 5 business days! So yesterday Brad went to Home Affairs. And our visas were there! Brad was issued 3 years. Brandon & I were issued 2 years to accompany him. Marissa's was entered with the wrong passport number. SOOOO, while we have been approved and can continue living in South Africa, 3 of the 4 visas were sent back to be corrected. Waiting!

Friday, March 15, 2013

I had a great visit with two different youth groups tonight. First I was at Ekukhanyeni Baptist Church with Henry and Janet Houk. We are looking at dates to start WOL Orientation to train leaders from within the church.
Then I went to Grace Baptist Church Queensburgh with Louis and Sonja Fourie. They have been doing Word of Life with their youth for years! 
It is exciting that in two youth groups so very different in language and culture that I can see the one true God drawing students to Him!

The Chilingulo Family

We had a great visit with Newton, Vanessa and sweet little Aya last month! They were in the area for a wedding and came to spend a couple of days with us. We had some sweet fellowship!

Brad had the privilege to work alongside and disciple Newton Chilingulo in connection with his leadership of the youth at both Bethany Baptist Church in Johannesburg and Living Hope Church in Pretoria while we were still in Johannesburg. Newton and his wife, Vanessa, are raising support to be missionaries in Lilongwe, Malawi. Malawi is their country of birth, and their heart is to return and share Christ with their people!

They are currently working with Living Hope Church and Maphumazi Baby Home in Pretoria, and are in the process of adopting little Aya. Please keep them in your prayers!

New Missionaries in South Africa!

Sbu Andile DlaminiThato Sathige, and Thobile Gama are graduates from our Discipleship Training Centre and are raising support to be missionaries with Word of Life South Africa.
Follow the links below to read their newsletters!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

YA at Inanda Dam

Had a great day at Inanda Dam with the young adults from several churches! We even had a time of worship together under the tree in the rain, and Brad challenged us from God's Word. It was great to spend some time relaxing and enjoying God's creation.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

We had an amazing time of fellowship with fellow believers at Grace Baptist Church in Queensburgh this morning, followed by a training session with their Olympians Leaders. — at Grace Baptist Church - Youth Ministries.

Paulette & Rogene
Then tonight we had a Skype call with dear friends Rogene & Paulette Wagner, members of our Serving as Senders team at our home church, Community Bible Church in Montoursville, PA. It's been a great day! 

Also, new Discipleship Training Centre Students are arriving at Word of Life South Africa today. Praying for them as they begin a new exciting adventure in the Word of God this year!

Natasha (a new DTC Student) Cremelda & Ntombi (2012 DTC Students)
These beautiful young ladies are girls that Mary has had the chance to disciple. We miss seeing them on a regular basis, but are so excited about what God is doing in their lives! Please pray for Natasha, as she starts Bible College this week. Pray also for Cremelda and Ntombi as they have recently finished at the Discipleship Training Centre and have moved back home. Pray for them to live lives sold out for God and to closely follow His leading in the days and months ahead. They are excited about the impact they can make for Him in their community.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Student Camp Update

Here is an update from our teammates, the VanBruggens, on teen camp in Joburg! 
"For teen camp we registered one hundred sixty. There was quite a diversity between the churched kids that won Cre8tive Discipleship awards and un-churched unsaved teens. The theme for camp was The Amazing Race, Hebrews 12:1-2. Very many of the teens signed dedication slips to live their lives for God and several were saved there too."
And here is a testimony we received today: "Before I came to camp I knew drugs, guns, and gangs. Now I know Jesus." Praise the Lord!

Brad is off to a training meeting with the youth leaders from Grace Baptist Northdene. Pray for him to teach with clarity and for them to have the strength and excitement to start off the new year strong discipling their youth! Also pray that the car starts when Brad is finished as we had to jump start the car before he left.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Prayer Update

Traditionally in South Africa the Christmas Season is holiday. Schools and businesses shut down, as well as youth groups, etc. It is our Summer Vacation. We arrived in Durban just a couple weeks before holiday season, and have been visiting churches, spent a week at camp, had 9 guests staying in our home, and are already back to homeschooling to catch up from the move!

Now, as schools and businesses return to normal next week, Brad has found himself thrown into ministry, which is welcomed! We are excited about the new aspects of ministry that lie ahead of us! Brad is meeting with 3 pastors tomorrow alone, and has training meetings lined up for the rest of the month. He will also start teaching Marriage and Family to the students at Durban Bible College starting next week.

Here we go!