Monday, December 2, 2013

Be still my soul...

Johann & Louise Vanderbijl
~ Touching The Whole Person – Body And Soul ~

-  Vision with action can change the world –

December 2013
Dear Prayer Partners

Be still my soul…it is a well known hymn set to the tune of Finlandia, a symphonic poem by the Finnish composer Jean Sibelius…it is a hymn that has comforted and strengthened many believers since Katharina Amalia Dorothea von Schlegel first penned the words in German ("Stille meine Wille, dein Jesus hilft siegen") in 1752, and by the English speaking saints since Jane Laurie Borthwick translated it into English in 1855. 

The second verse came to mind this morning as I was reflecting on our future.

Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
To guide the future, as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
His voice Who ruled them while He dwelt below.

For the first time this past weekend, both Louise and I were struck by the reality of what we are about to do.  As we move forward into this new chapter of our lives as followers of Jesus, we leave behind our children, our grandson, and many dear, dear friends.  True, thanks to air travel, it is not as difficult as it was for those great missionaries who have gone before us, such as Hudson Taylor.  Who cannot be moved by his description of the farewell between mother and son? 

My beloved, now sainted mother, had come over to Liverpool to see me off. Never shall I forget that day, nor how she went with me into the cabin that was to be my home for nearly six long months. With a mother's loving hand she smoothed the little bed. She sat by my side and joined in the last hymn we should sing together before parting. We knelt down and she prayed-the last mother's prayer I was to hear before leaving for China. Then notice was given that we must separate, and we had to say good-bye, never expecting to meet on earth again.

For my sake she restrained her feelings as much as possible. We parted, and she went ashore giving me her blessing. I stood alone on deck, and she followed the ship as we moved toward the dockgates. As we passed through the gates and the separation really commenced, never shall I forget the cry of anguish wrung from that mother's heart. It went through me like a knife. I never knew so fully, until then, what "God so loved the world " meant. And I am quite sure my precious mother learned more of the love of God for the perishing in that one hour than in all her life before. [1]

Be still, my soul…the Lord was quick to respond with the words of this hymn.  Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side.  The certainty of His call upon our lives will carry us through into this next chapter.  He paid the ultimate price for our freedom, how can we do any less? 

This week, we leave for a short visit to Gambela.  This will be Louise’s first trip to what will be her future home.  We will also be making a quick trip down to Cape Town, South Africa, to spend Christmas with the Queen and our family.  Then back to Greenville on December 29.

Pray for us as we go, please.  We are taking in many much needed supplies and need to get them through customs without duties or fees.  It is winter now, so the threat of malaria is not as high, but do pray for our health.  Also, pray for Pat and Nancy Kenney, dear friends from Holy Trinity North Augusta, who will be with us for the trip to Gambela.

Also, do continue to pray for our support raising efforts

Thank you for your prayers and your encouragement!
In Christ’s Service,
Johann & Louise

P.S. Should you wish to become a partner in this ministry, please click on this link for more information.

The Rev Dr Johann Vanderbijl and Louise Vanderbijl are SAMS (Society of Anglican Missionaries and Senders) missionary candidates serving in the people’s region of Gambela within the Episcopal/Anglican Diocese of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa

Johann and Louise Vanderbijl
150 Oak Ridge Place, APT 4N
Greenville, SC 29615
(864) 884-4717   

[1] Hudson Taylor in Early Years-The Growth of a Soul - Volume 1 by Dr. and Mrs Howard Taylor,

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