And there was light!
Greetings from South Africa!
As we write this edition of ‘kandbinsa news’ we are preparing to receive our first ever team from the UK. John and Joy Wilson will be joining us for two weeks from Life Church, Chelmsford, where we ministered previously. It will be great to see them and also to work alongside this inspirational couple.
The Reality of Living in Africa
‘Load shedding’ is a term unfamiliar to our UK friends. It has nothing to do with slimming clubs! Eskom, the State owned electricity provider is in dire straits and there is an escalating policy of turning the power off, in rotation, around the country. Some places are affected more than others. For us, in a rural area, we experience a lot of load shedding, sometimes this can be four times a day, for two and a half hours at a time. During this power outage, criminals take the opportunity to steal the copper cables! Another issue is that when the power is reconnected the resultant power surge can knock out transformers. Recently we experienced a 10 day period of load shedding plus a fault in the system, so were without electricity for most of the time. This meant cancelling video calls home and Skype pastoral care appointments with Elim Missions as we had no internet and no phone signals. No electricity also means no water, because the water company can’t pump the H20 from the purification plant to homes, so as people use the water the pressure becomes lower and lower until there’s none left. We have gotten used to our water being brown at times! Thankfully, one of our supporters felt the Lord prompt him to send us money for a generator. This will mean during load shedding we can keep a fridge running (with Keith’s meds in) and run a fan and hopefully the internet. We are so grateful fo this generous gift.
Barbie’s phone was stolen too recently. We do not have new phones, but kept our old ones when our UK contracts expired. Although old, her iPhone was too much of a temptation for someone. We were able to track her iPhone, using the Find My Phone app, to the local police station. Thinking is had been handed in, it soon became obvious that the phone was actually in the police’s sleeping quarters. Accompanied by the on-duty Sergeant, Keith went into the accommodation and, surrounded by 10 off duty policemen, explained what was going on. Although the phone was on one of them a search did not take place as a warrant would be needed. We gathered them outside and Keith explained why we are in South Africa and how one corrupt cop is ruining the reputation of all ten. Then Barbie preached the gospel! We still didn’t get her phone back but are now known to many of the police locally!
Barbie has competed her dispensing course and has to submit one final, very small, piece of evidence. However, they have already told her she has passed with 96% having submitted a 23,500 word dissertation to the Health Advance Institute of SA. She will receive her dispensing licence in due course and will mean that she can prescribe and dispense medicines related to her practice.
A real issue now is the recognition of her midwifery experience. Although her qualification as a nurse has been recognised, and although SAQA (the official qualifications agency) has recognised her degree, the nursing council will not accept this. Barbie now has to get several pieces of paperwork from the UK, including a new DBS check, plus sit an equivalency exam. The total cost of this is really beyond us right now as we are preparing for our annual ‘home assignment.’ Several churches have expressed an interest in us taking her mobile midwifery clinic into their communities, but we cannot do this until she has completed the process now required of her. We are trusting that the Lord will make a way as so many are in desperate need of this ministry.
A highlight for Barbie was being invited to speak at a local church’s ladies day to speak on female health issues, which they loved.
It has taken a little time for Keith to build relationships with the Emmanuel Assemblies
pastors and leadership here, for there to be clarity on his role and for the churches to begin to use his gifts. However, the last few months have seen an exponential increase in his workload (which he loves). He has preached every weekend in churches in both Districts where we service (Highveld and Northern). This is a vast geographical area, nearly 3.5 times the size of the UK. At present there are not many churches in the Highveld but there is a real desire amongst the pastors there to begin planting more. We are so grateful to those who gave towards the purchase of our 4x4 vehicle, which is proving great on long journeys and also over all kinds of rough terrain.
Keith has preached in too many churches to mention but some highlights stand out: In
February he was one to the two speakers at Emmanuel Assemblies National Leadership Day. It was a great honour to speak directly to hundreds of pastors and their leadership teams. It was well received. Also in February he was invited to spend a day training the newly elected Northern District Leadership Team around issues of teamwork and vision implementation. In March the Highveld District invited him to give input to all of the pastors there for a day, which they appreciated. During that weekend we also ministered in Alexandra at one of the Emmanuel Assemblies. Alexandra is an impoverished area (think Brazilian favela) in the shadow of Sandton, South Africa’s most prosperous area. In the past this would have been a ‘no go’ area for non residents. Although challenging to get to the church, once there the Lord really moved among the people. Lastly, Keith delivered a church planting seminar for those interested in starting new churches in the Northern District. This is really implementation of the church planting strategy he submitted to the Executive Council at the beginning of the year. An encouraging number attended and nearly 30 people
have signed up, including pastors and lay people, to become part of the church planting teams in this region. The next stage will be to call them together for a specific day of identifying the locations for new churches, for strategy and prayer. It was a very encouraging time. During March Keith also gave a series of Bibles studies on Tuesday evenings at one of the Emmanuel Assemblies near to us. One evening this was done to the lights on people’s mobile phones due to load shedding!
We have moved forward in getting Keith’s latest book, Surrendered Warriors, published. We started a GoFundMe page and a number have contributed to this project. Although we will not make the anticipated publication date for this book in May in the UK, we are pressing ahead getting it published here. All those who gave will of course get a copy when it is released. Exquisite Jesus, Keith’s first book, is now available here and there’s been a great deal of excitement in the churches we visit. For both of these books, whilst they help raise some funds for the ministry here, we are splitting the profits 50/50 with the local churches and the Districts for their programmes. In everything we want to be a blessing.
It is been a learning curve trying to produce an itinerary here for us as things tend to be done at the last minute (or so it seems to us). However, we do have a number of exciting things we can make you aware of for the coming months:
3rd-16th: Visit of John and Joy Wilson from UK
5th: Teaching at Magulasavi Village High School
8th: Teaching at Welverdiend Primary School
8th-14th: Revival Outreach Mission at Nkomo-B Emmanuel Assembly
19th-21st April: Emmanuel Assemblies Easter Convention at Bushbuckridge
28th: Ministering at Mahale-A Emmanuel Assembly
29th: Ministering at the weekly Police parade in Phalaborwa
1st: Fly to UK for Home Assignment
5th: Life Church, both morning services.
10th-13th: Elim Missions Global Conference.
12th: Speaking at Evesham Elim, morning service (TBC).
14th-16th: Elim Leadership Summit, Harrogate.
19th: New Life Church, Elim Crewe, morning and evening services.
26th: Westcliff Elim in the morning, Ashingdon Elim in the evening.
1st: Commissioning Service at Regents Theological College (Sam, our son, is being commissioned after completing his studies).
2nd: Family get together with our children for Barbie’s birthday.
9th: Paignton Elim, morning service
16th: Still free if your church would like us to visit
17th: Fly back to South Africa
22nd - 2nd July: Visit of Darren and Rhi Lee from UK
25th-27th: Emmanuel Assemblies Missions Workshop, Bushbuckridge.
29th: Leadership Training Day in Steenbok
30th Emmanuel Assemblies, Steenbok.
Here are some things that you can help us in prayer for:
The process for Barbie to get her licence to practice midwifery in SA.
The timeous publication of Surrendered Warriors
For all the travel and a successful home assignment.
For John and Joy Wilson as they visit us, for health and travelling mercies.
For the outreach at Nkomo-B Emmanuel Assembly in April.
For Sam, Susanna and Joshua, that God would open the right door of ministry for them as they leave Regents Theological College.
Thank you for standing with us.
In His service,
Keith and Barbie
All gifts towards our ministry should be marked 'Jacksons South Africa' and sent to Elim International Missions, Elim International Centre, De Walden Road, West Malvern, WR14 4DF (cheques payable to Elim International Missions).
If you would like to make regular gifts towards our support please visit our giving page or our contact page.
Thank you so much.
Charity No. 251549 (England & Wales) SC037754 (Scotland)