Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Train Trips, Chicago & Visas


We are headed to Chicago on the train today. As an American, you can travel to South Africa for up to 90 days without applying for a visa, but in order to stay longer, we have to submit applications to the South African Consulate, and the one for our region is in Chicago. A visa application involves a lot of supporting documents, and it can be stressful to acquire everything necessary and anticipate what else they might ask for. It includes things like medical reports, radiological reports, marriage certificate, proof of insurance, bank statements and much, much more!


We will go to the consulate tomorrow morning, submit our applications, and hope and pray for approval. We are requesting a 3-year visa, as the application process is tedious and the less often we have to renew, the better! But, if they approve our application, they can give us any amount of time up to 3 years. Please pray with us that all goes smoothly!


We are making this trip as a family, minus Brandon. He doesn't need to apply for a new visa at this time. We are feeling a little incomplete, leaving him out our temporary home in Michigan while we are in Chicago, and in 2 weeks, we will be moving Brandon into his dorm at the Word of Life Bible Institute in upstate New York. He will study there for one year. I suppose this is just the beginning of our transition! Please pray for each of us as we process this change in our lives.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Durban SMASH 2017


Brad at the Opening Session

Thank you for your prayers for our recent SMASH Camp (Students Ministering and Serving Him). We had a total of 29 youth and leaders involved, and we had an amazing week, both in ministry, and sitting under the teaching of our country director, John Page.

Quillan, William & John Page

It is so exciting to see the faith of the teens and young adults grow as they raise their support, come away from the world to focus on the Word of God speaking into their lives, and step out of their comfort zones to serve others.
We had the opportunity to volunteer at a local home for mentally challenged residents, Horizon Farm. We also spent some time doing work projects on the property for the church that hosted us, Grace Baptist Church, Queensburgh. They worked hard, ministering to the residents, and serving there and at the church. A lot of physical work and it was HOT!



A small part of our team prepared songs, lessons and crafts and interacted directly with the residents at Horizon Farms. What a blessing to see our youth learning from them as the residents served each other happily, despite whatever physical or mental limitations they might have. We learned so much from them!





The students also had the opportunity to learn how to share the Gospel clearly, and how to effectively share their personal testimony. These sessions were taught by John Page and some of the young adult leaders in our group.

Brandon teaching about Evangelism



On Saturday, we joined up with the children from Grace Baptist Church, Queensburgh, and headed over to Flame Lily, a local retirement village. We were able to had out chocolate covered marshmallow Easter eggs and invitations to the Good Friday service. We sang to the residents, and were able to interact with the residents, giving hugs and smiles, and hopefully brightening a few people's days.