Widows


Since becoming a widow in 2014, I have come to understand the widow's plight.  This sudden change in lifestyle is very distressing and results in many emotional dips.  Loneliness slips in as the widow receives less and less invitations for social interaction.  Life goes on, one's family and friends are busy living their lives, and the widow faces a daunting future. Often she feels rejected or forgotten.


This has led me to reach out to widows in my neighbourhood.  In May 2018, we held our first morning tea.  Seven ladies attended and another 4 plan to join us next month.  What a wonderful time was spent over a cuppa, as we shared our own experiences, encouraged each other and discussed future get-togethers.
We are planning to meet for a social once a month.  Outings for lunch, sight-seeing and so on, will also be planned.  The ladies have also been encouraged to support each other and meet in two and threes so as to get to know each other better and become firm friends.

Outlook for 2018


The year has already brought many changes.  A botched tooth extraction and following shortly thereafter, the death my be beloved cousin Edward Gale brought a challenging start to 2018.  Recently, my son and his young family relocated to the United Kingdom, to take on an wonderful employment opportunity.  The Lord has seen their faithfulness in serving and giving and has now rewarded them in return.


During July 2018, I hope to attend the EMIT training conferences in Namibia.

Please pray for:
* The Church in Namibia.   There is an amazing work of God happening in this African country and it is good to hear the testimonies and to meet the people who served and love the Lord with all their hearts.
* For opportunities in which I can be a blessing.
* My health.  Living/travelling with Type 2 Diabetes has it's challenges.
* Financial provision.  As a volunteer, I am required to raise the necessary financial support to cover my expenses.  The Lord has graciously supplied in the past and I believe He will do so in the future.

A sincere word of thanks to those who have been faithful in supporting me in this ministry both in prayer and financially.

Table Mountain

My children blessed me with a trip up the cable car on Table Mountain.  Many years have passed since I was last up there.
The cable car was filled with many people speaking foreign languages.  On the return trip, there were only 2 ladies speaking English, who were from the UK.  I felt like a stranger in my own country!!

Spending time with my children and grandchildren is a honour and privilege.  So many families are scattered throughout the earth.  The little ones are growing well and are happy and healthy.  The Lord is opening many doors for my family and we are so blessed that He is faithful towards us.

Namibia


Namibia is a country that one can’t help but love. From the vast expanse of scenery to the amazing heart of it’s people.  It is my heart’s desire to one day travel the width and breath of the country to experience it’s “vibe” and meet people of it’s various cultures.  For now, it’s the southern half of the country that has crept into my heart.

I am looking forward to 2018 and all it offers with regards to the EMIT vision.  My task will remain much the same, i.e., keeping the Student database updated.  Interacting with each Student is such a blessing and therefore, I hope to attend the institutes again during the year ahead.  

East Africa


What a busy year which has just passed.  My late mother always said that the older you get, the shorter the days are and the quicker the years fly passed.  Back then, I did not understand this.  Monday morning meant a whole week of school had to go by before one could again enjoy what the next weekend had to offer.  And goodness, did time drag by.  But now, I do understand what Mother was saying and fully agree with her opinion on the matter.

Unfortunately, I was unable to travel to East Africa during 2017.  However, I did continue with the admin work for the 3 countries.  We saw a number of Pastors graduate after 4 years of training.  Graduation is always a wonderful time of celebration.  For the Staff and Volunteers, it is always a joy to stand on the side-lines and experience the atmosphere created by the celebrations.  To God be the glory.

As a Volunteer at EMIT, I have been blessed to participate in the training of these Pastors.  The knowledge the subjects provide, equips these men and women to continue the work of the Lord successfully.  Many entered the program feeling defeated and discouraged. Four years later, they leave with a spring in their step and an anointed determination.

Over the past 2 years, EMIT have begun a program to empower the women of Africa.  Subjects include Entrepreneurship, Computer skills, Trauma etc.  Women from all walks of life are invited to participate in the course, including amongst others, politicians, educators, business women and the lady who sells vegetables on the street corner..  A sense of anticipation is experienced at the training institutes.  Many women have never had to opportunity to attend such training. 
In keeping with the Lord’s plan for my life, I will no longer be directly involved in the work of EMIT in East Africa.  Naturally, my emotions are somewhat mixed.  I met many wonderful people in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.  Many of these folk are now FaceBook friends, so we will remain in contact. 

It has been an honour to serve the Lord’s people in these countries.  However, it is now time to move into the next season that the Lord has planned.  Thank you to each one for your friendship, advise, guidance, laughter, and acceptance. 
I will continue to pray for you all
God bless.

New Year 2017

Here in Cape Town, we have entered the New Year with strict water restrictions due to the ongoing drought.  Our supply dams are at less than 30% capacity, which a very serious situation.  Please pray for rain.

It is all systems go for 2017 and the mission work I am involved in.  AFMIN has undergone some changes, which includes a name change.  Now known as EMIT based on the fragrance of the Lord that we emit.
Although I shall continue doing volunteer clerical work for my project leader, I possibly will not be travelling to East Africa as much as in the past, due to various restraints.  These include health issues and also financial challenges.  Not only do I need to provide my own travel expenses, but I also need to provide for myself on a day-to-day basis, both in the field and here at home.  Past support is greatly appreciated.  However, due to the economic situation in our country, sponsorships are not easy to obtain, and therefore I need to look at other forms of income. 

Recently, I was reading about Daniel  (in chapter 10).  Daniel had had a bad dream and was very perturbed by it.  For 21 days he fasted and prayed. Then the angel of the Lord came to him and said that the Prince of Persia  (an evil spirit) had delayed him….  I could relate to this as although I pray earnestly, I do not receive the answer I need.

Family news:
Baby Eva Rose joined our family in August last year.  I lovely little girl, who is very people conscious and smiles a lot.  She is all eyes for big brother Cullen.  I am blessed with these 2 little people in my life.

My daughter, Roelene is leaving the nest.  She has been offered a teaching post in the Far East and leaves in a few weeks.  This is quite an adventure and I send her with my blessing.  I am looking forward to following her adventure via photos and social media.
Thank you for your prayers and support.  May the Lord bless you all.

 

Preparing for Graduation

Suddenly, we find ourselves in the 2nd half of 2016.  But it is not time to start winding down to the end of the year.  Quite the opposite.  Here at AFMIN, we are busy with Schools in all the countries and the highlight of the year – the graduation ceremony.  Students who have successfully completed there 4 years of studies, covering 37 subjects and  trained up at least 10 other church leaders qualify for graduation.  It is a time of pomp and ceremony.  Family and friends gather and the students, dressed in their graduation attire, enter the auditorium.  Each graduate is presented with his diploma, together with certificates for the 10 people he/she has trained during the 4 years. 

With these ceremonies in mind, there is a vast amount of admin work required.  Through the 4 years, the students’ progress is individually monitored, checked and audited.  Correct spelling of names for diplomas and certificates is crucial.  Once this information is finalized, the information is sent to head office for checking and printing of diplomas and certificates.

I am directly involved in the monitoring of Students’ progress.  Data capturing and producing updated reports is essential, albeit time consuming.   Currently, we are preparing for 3 graduations in our geographic areas of ministry, namely Uganda (September), Namibia (October) and Kenya (November).

 

Winter 2016


In August 2016, our family welcomed Eva Rose..my beautiful granddaughter.  Birth is a miracle and we are honoured that the Lord has sent this little girl into our lives to bring joy.  Together with big brother Cullen, this is one proud Granny!!

Newsletter - Autumn 2016

What a start to 2016 !!….and to think we have reached April already.


In the 3rd week of January 2016, I had to undergo should surgery, on my dominant side.  The rotator cuff had a 100% tear and quite a bit of work was done on 2 bones in the joint.  I was not prepared for the levels of pain or the long-term recovery period.  After a few days, I was re-admitted into hospital because my blood sugar levels were too low and I was not coping with the pain.  Thankfully, I am on the mend.  I am able to drive my car again and have become more independent.  Physiotherapy is tough but necessary and I hope to have full use of my arm within 12 months.

Family news:
My daughter, Roelene has an on-going battle with health issues, due to  her thyroid having been removed 6 years ago.  At that time, she was treated for Thyroid Cancer.  Recently, she spent a week in hospital as further tests were done, as her body is not absorbing the replacement thyroid medication correctly, and was diagnose with Thyrotoxicosis.  She has also been tested for metal imbalances. The results have not been very good, with very high levels of mercury and other metals. A new course of medication has been added to detox her body and we have to research all foods to be sure that she is not consuming too many metals  (goodbye Sushi!)  Slowly, she is recovering and has been able to return to her teaching position.




My grandson, Cullen, will be turning 1 year old in April 2016.  He is Granny’s heart-throb and came into my life at the perfect time to fill the gap left by Peter.  Another blessing is that he will become a big brother later this year.

Ministry News:
The shoulder operation limited my typing abilities but at last I am managing to keep up with the clerical work that I do for AFMIN  (Africa Ministries Network).  In 2016, we will be holding graduations in the four countries where I am involved.  This means much updating of student data and reports.  I love this sort of clerical work which the Lord has allowed me to use in ministry.  As I am not a a pastor or evangelist, this is a wonderful way for me to be involved in service to the Lord and the people who do go out and win/nurture souls.  
 Many of the pastors and church leaders who are been trained by AFMIN, would otherwise not have the opportunity to gain this type of knowledge. 37 subjects are offered over a 4 year period.  Further to this, Students who graduate with an Advanced Diploma have the opportunity to register to do a Degree in Theology at the South African Theological Seminary (SATS).
Currently, I am involved in ministry in Namibia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.  The year ahead:
There are 4 more AFMIN Schools (Conference weeks) during 2016,  which I am trusting the Lord that I can attend.  Due to the operation, I had not been able to travel but have now been given the go-ahead by the medical people. 
During the Schools, I am directly involved with interviewing each student so as to ensure that they remain up-to-date with their studies and other practical requirements, so as to aim for graduation.  Considering that 35 to 70 students attend each “School”, time is of the limit as we strive to give each person quality time, during their interview.  I continue with admin work at home which equals a full-time clerical position. 
This ministry is extremely fulfilling and has been very beneficial in my searching for purpose after losing Peter.  The Lord has a calling on each of our lives and it is up to us to seek His Will and then put ourselves into 100% service, no matter where He leads us.

Prayer Requests:
*For the Pastors and Ministers of the Churches in Africa.  Ephesian 4:11 – that the Lord will use them to build up His People and to supply their needs according to His riches in Christ Jesus.
*Afmin staff and volunteers and each one strives to fulfil the vision  (www.afmin.org)
*The safe arrival of Simon and Melanie’s baby in August 2016.
*For Roelene regarding her health issues.  For wisdom to be given to the medical people involved in her case, so that they can treat and advise her positively.
*For my health issues.  I am Type2 Diabetic and I have a constant battle as to whether it controls me or I successfully control it!  The diabetes affects my eyes, kidneys and often is responsible for low energy days.
*For my safety when traveling, protection on my belongings and that the Lord will supply my financial needs both for travelling and daily living.  As a volunteer, I am responsible for raising funds through sponsorship.

Please feel free to send any prayer requests through to me, so that I can support you in your endeavours and the situations that life present you.

Thank you for taking the time to read this newsletter.  

Family Reunion

There is something very special about arranging a big reunion with cousins, who one has not seen for many, many years.  So many years in fact, that our children are now adults and parents themselves.  

75 people descended on my childhood hometown of Dundee in South Africa for a period of 5 days.  We hired the local junior school hostel as our base.  Many activities were planned, including visiting the local museum, a hike to bushmen’s paintings and a clime but the mountain on the family farm.

Besides keeping an eye on the cricket, we survived without TV, and spent much time out on the rugby field with a ball and also playing other games.  The children all got along famously without any squabbles.  The only tears I saw came from a 2 year old who was over-tired.  Previously unknown relatives made firm connections with cousins, which is bound to produce many contacts for the future.

I can encourage all families to consider holding a family reunion.  Weddings and funerals are not the appropriate places to enjoy the fun and laughter that a reunion provides.