Monday, January 15, 2018

Four Funerals and a Wedding

“Johann, you cannot plan anything for December or January. Seriously, the country closes down during that period.” Sage advice as this is exactly what happened…even some churches in southern Namibia shut their doors as people flocked to the coast to get away from the heat!

My aunt had died early December…she was the last of that generation…and I was asked to participate in her funeral. It was an interesting funeral as three denominations led the service, Roman Catholic, Lutheran, and Anglican! A rather petite nun stole the “show” with her rendition of Psalm 23…she was so precious we nearly stole her! There were so many folks present that we have not seen since 1996…some were mere babes in arms back then! So it was a good time to catch up as well…

Then, as many members of my family are not churchgoers per se, it turned out that the ashes of three dear family friends (also related to us by marriage) had not yet been scattered…so we scattered them on the beach in front of their old home using the short Prayer Book service. It was a special and memorable time. So, four funerals…

During this time we heard that my cousin’s daughter is getting married in June…and they asked if I would preside over their wedding service. This is a great honour indeed! It is scheduled to take place at the Kalahari Anib Lodge in Namibia, the first week in June. So, one wedding…

Today we had a meeting to discuss our 2018 schedule…it turns out we are tentatively booked solid until the end of October already! We are trying to space our training sessions a little better than we did in 2017 as we pretty much ran ourselves into the ground by the end of the year. Not good, but this is a HUGE Province and there are still so many areas we have not been able to access yet…like Lesotho, Angola, Namibia, and Northern Mozambique…not to mention St Helena Island!

We are hoping to do some training in Namibia around the same time as the wedding and Northern Mozambique following that. But we really need a reliable and suitable vehicle in order to get there…the roads, especially in Angola and Mozambique, leave much to be desired. Please pray that we will be able to raise the necessary finances for such a vehicle soon! We intend to visit these areas in winter (May, June, July, August here), as the heat is simply too much to handle!

Dear friends from Addis Ababa, The Very Rev Roger and Dr Lynn Kay, will be stopping with us in January. In February we are training in Zululand, Kwa-Zulu Natal, Polokwane, and Johannesburg (we will be teaching Foundations in Johannesburg this time – the second of the four modules – yay!). In March we will be training in the Diocese of Cape Town (Youth) and then later in Klerksdorp. We are then hoping to visit the US in March and April. We haven’t yet met two of our five grandchildren, so we will spend time with them, as well as with many supporters. Heyns and Hanna have planned to have their son baptised while we are there, for which we are grateful. Please pray for speaking opportunities and for new contacts as well. Our support is still not quite up to snuff.

In May, June, and July we plan to be in Namibia and Mozambique. We have made some great contacts in Mozambique and hope to be travelling up with two short termers who know the lay of the land. They will also be our Portuguese sparring partners here…so maybe we will finally learn more than just hello, how are you, thank you, and goodbye! August and September will be spent preparing for the biannual Anglicans Ablaze Conference in October …they are expecting more than 3000 participants this year! We have never done this before, but those who have say it is absolutely exhausting, but totally worth it. We will let y’all know once we are through our first one!

And then it will be November…but we haven’t planned that far yet.

So, it looks like we have our work cut out for us! Thank you for your prayers, your encouragement, and your on-going support. I know I sound like a defective CD (stuck record doesn’t cut it anymore!), but we really can’t do this ministry without you! So, thank you, thank you, thank you…

I hope you are as excited about this year as we are…so many yet to train that will be enabled to train others! Come along with us on this thrilling adventure!


Johann and Louise

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