He is Good!
In the middle of tough times, it’s good to remind ourselves of the goodness of God. As I (Keith) am reading through the Bible once again this year it struck me that even in Genesis 1 the goodness of God is revealed. Seven times in this chapter God looks out and sees what He has created is good. In fact, the seventh time, when surmising the whole of creation we are told it is very good. Very often when we think of the goodness of God, we connect it, sometimes presumptively, with our betterment (Romans 8:28). Sometimes it is just good to sit and meditate on the goodness of God, that is in His heart, for it is one of His attributes (Ps. 34:8; 86:5; 100:5; 107:1 etc). When we do, like the Psalmist, we are led to the praise of God, with no agenda other than worship. He is good!
Just before Christmas, we received funds from Elim International Missions relating to the ongoing COVID relief appeal. The timing was perfect. We borrowed a trailer and purchased 1.5 tonnes of food, which went to feed roughly 500 people for two weeks through our Global Partner, Emmanuel Assemblies, in four villages. It meant the most destitute had food to eat over Christmas. Thank you to all who have given to this appeal. It makes a difference.
As many will know, when we were on furlough last year, we were raising money for a roof to be put on a new building at one of the church plants near us. Thank you to all those who have contributed - we thank God for your generosity! We received (almost) all we needed and purchased steel and had enough for labour. Due to the rising costs of material we felt this was apposite.
We are so nearly there. As we write the roof is being constructed as far as we can go. We are only £1000 short of the target, so it's not too late to donate through EIM should your church want to help.
Barbie continues with the baby box ministry. We were so blessed to raise much-needed funds on furlough. Such is the need we have almost run out of stock and are purchasing more. Our one struggle has been getting Sepedi Bibles. These were held up in China during COVID’s lockdowns, but they are still really hard to come by. We ordered some back in November and are still waiting!
Please pray for a reliable supply of Bibles for the Baby Boxes and for the
mothers’ receiving them.
Barbie recently gave out some in a church (it's a great outreach). She was able to give a health talk around breastfeeding, overheating babies and what to do to help prevent jaundice in the baby. Then she preached the gospel!
We were able to spend Christmas with one of Barbie’s sisters and brother-in-law, camping in the middle of nowhere! There was no phone signal, no way to get emails, just relax for six days. We find Christmas week is our hardest week being away from our family back home, so it was good to get away.
Keith has been writing again! Well, he more or less finished when we were on furlough. Last week the manuscript came back from Barbie’s other sister, who undertook the proofreading; she literally read every word. The manuscript is now being beta-read by the Elim Missionaries book club (who knew such a thing existed) in several different countries. We are really grateful for all the help. It is a Christian novel called The Promise. We will keep you posted so that if you’re interested you can pre-order copies.
Over Christmas, Keith received a message to call home. We had to (literally) go and hunt for signal and ended up in the middle of a farm.
Those of you who know Keith well will know his upbringing was disjointed. Keith’s step-brother told him that his father is really not well, in fact, is at the end of life phase. In some ways this was not a surprise as we had tried repeatedly to contact him last year to little success; the last time we spoke was April. At that time Keith felt something was wrong and let the wider family know.
It turns out that Les, Keith’s dad, has severe dementia and also oesophageal cancer that has spread to the lungs. He is now in a care home. Sadly, he wants nothing to do with Keith, his brother Clive, or any of our children. This is probably dementia, for growing up this was very much the state of affairs.
In light of this Keith applied for his new passport, as his was running out soon. The UK government website said to allow three months for an overseas application. The new passport arrived in under three weeks, including having to courier the old one back and wait for the new one!
We met with Emmanuel Assemblies District Council last week about a possible new project (watch this space) and church planting. We are looking at relaunching the church planting department and also training church planters. It is a good time to do this as our COVID restrictions now permit such activities in terms of numbers gathering.
Please pray for wisdom as the District Council consider the proposals and allocate funds towards this.
We are so grateful to all those who helped us do the suspension repairs to the Ford Ranger. It’s made such a difference!
Sadly, last week when we were leaving a meeting with our Global Partner some ninety minutes away, the car lost power and went into ‘limp home mode’. We managed to get back to our town and the Ford dealership diagnosed a cracked intercooler (no, we don’t know what that is either).
Typically, our extended warranty ran out in December! We had no choice but to get the repair done but that has led to a squeeze on finances. Should you feel led to assist please feel free to send any gifts via EIM marked ‘Car Repair.’ Thank you.
Thank you for praying for Sam. He is now training as a firefighter in Essex.
Thank you for praying for Susanna, she is now over her bout of Omicron!
The church roof is going up!
Pray for Keith’s dad, Les; he is not a believer.
Pray for Keith to be able to attend the funeral in the UK if needed.
Pray for the church planting initiative.
Pray for the latest book to be well received.
Pray for Bibles to come and for the mothers’ receiving baby boxes.
Thank you for standing with us.
Keith and Barbie
The Small Print
All gifts for ministry should be sent to us via Elim Missions. This can be done:
1) online via the Elim Missions website- www.elim.org.uk/missions,
2) by post to Elim International Missions, De Walden Road, West Malvern, WR14 4DF. Cheques should be made payable to Elim International Missions & marked (Jacksons, South Africa) on the reverse. Or,
3) if you would like to set up a Direct Debit, Standing Order or make a ‘one off’ bank transfer donation, please contact the Elim Missions office firstname.lastname@example.org, to request further information.
On the rare occasion that money is given to projects which become either over or under-subscribed or is continued to be given for a missionary after they have completed their missionary service, we will make every endeavour to contact donors before we divert funds to works of a similar nature.
To cover the cost of administrating missionaries and overseas organisations, Elim Missions withholds a small percentage on gifts given.
Registered Charity 251549 (England & Wales) / SC037754 (Scotland)