We attended the church in Mayville this morning. I was the guest speaker. Their services last for 3 hours. They start with a hour of prayer and singing. They then have a time of personal testimonies which many times being with or end with a song. They brothers and sisters love to sing and worship.
I was given 50 minutes for teaching this morning. I spoke from Titus chapter 1 on the qualifications of an elder. It was part of my Titus series was was to deliver earlier in the week but never did because Ecclesiastes took two sessions. This was the third time working with my interpreter, Themba at this church. We really got into a rhythm today. The presentation of the material went really well. Thank the Lord for working this out.
Themba’s son, who is about 8 years old, told me that his Dad let him use their new Kindle. He was really excited about it. I will be sending special books to him. Lucky Mbuli told me today that he was really enjoying his Kindle. He is 62 years old but never to old to learn and read. This all was very encouraging.
We had a first delivery of Kindles today. The leaders from the Mayville and Amawotana churches received their Kindles today. We had a 3 hour training session this morning. They were really excited to receive their Kindles. We have approximately 60 books installed on the Kindles. I want again to thank Crossway for their generous donation of the 9Marks books.
We taught the leaders how to use the Kindles. Many of them are not computer literate so this is the first time they had such a device. The ones who have smart phones were able to come up to speed really quick They were able to assist the others. There are a good range of books on the Kindles from Bibles to commentaries, practical living to theology, study guides to doctrinal books. The men were very excited to receive such an extensive library. I want to thank all who help donate to this project.
We will have picture of the classes early next week. It is hard to teach and take pictures so Brent took the pictures for me.
Tomorrow I will be preaching in the Mayville church. It will be a sermon from Titus 1 on Sound Leaders. It was part of the series I was going to teach in the evenings but I spent the two days on Ecclesiastes instead. The was so much to cover in Ecclesiastes.
We started our trip to South Africa almost a week ago. It has been a very busy last week. I will finish teaching tonight at the Amawotana church. I had planned on teaching both from Ecclesiastes and Titus but Ecclesiastes has taken two full days. Each session is two and a half hours. Needless to say I am tired when I get back to where we are staying. Each of the nights has been very encouraging.
We learned how the Zulu handshake last night. Everyone started shaking hands with the first person in line and then they get in line and everyone shakes hands with them while everyone sings. This continues until everyone has shook hands with everyone else. It is something we will have to try when we get back to the U.S.
We have a very busy weekend planned. I will get my next break Monday and Tuesday next week. But then we have a all day session on Wednesday with the 9 Marks of a Healthy Church seminar.
Here is the itinerary for next week:
Mon Apr 29, 2013 – Rest Prep Day
Tue Apr 30, 2013 – Rest Prep Day
Wed May 1, 2013 – All day 9 Marks Durban
Thu May 2, 2013 – All day To Newcastle – Two Ways to Live seminar
Fri May 3, 2013 – Kindle Meeting – Newcastle – Delmar & Linda
Sat May 4, 2013 – All day 9 Marks Newcastle
Sun May 5, 2013 – All day New Castle Bible Church
Last night I finished the first of a two evening Bible conferences this week at the Mayville church in Durban. I did an overview of the book of Ecclesiastes and how it relates to modern life. It is a book that talks about human wisdom and the author tries to comprehend the complexities of life. Life is messy and things do not work out as one expects them to happen. We have an advantage because we have the complete revelation of God. We can look to the New Testament and see answer to the questions the author proposes. It is really great to see verses in the New Testament give answers to life questions.
I get the chance to repeat the series the next two evenings the church in Amawotana. It should be easier.
Today I am on batteries and my cell phone. The electricity when out about 45 minutes ago. But at least I have a cell phone and a laptop. The first thing I did when arriving in South Africa before flying to Durban was to get a SIM card for South Africa for my iPhone. I have a voice and data plan while here. It sure is nice having technology available to you.
I had the first of my teaching session last night. I spoke for 1.5 hours to the church in Mayville. It was really different speaking through an interpreter. It take about twice as long to present. I noticed this when the scriptures were being read.
About 35 people attended. It was a really nice time of fellowship. I spoke from the book of Ecclesiastics about human wisdom and tied it into the wisdom given in the New Testament. The author describe life as being very complex and messy. There are no easy answers. But we believe in the sovereign control our our Lord in all matters. From the New Testament we learn that contentment not striving in a manifestation of the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer. We look forward to the day when we will be in the presence of Christ our Savior.
We have not done any sight seeing yet so I do not have any “neat” pictures. The place we are staying at is suburban. Other then different vegetation and monkeys running wild you would not know you are in Africa.
Keep praying for us. I am speaking again this evening and the next two evenings.
TIA is a favorite saying with the family we are staying with. It means “This is Africa”. We began to realize with the little things that we see. I went for a walk yesterday and thought I saw a strange looking cat in the distance and on getting closer I realized it was a wild monkey, TIA. Monkeys instead of squirrels. The trees are not oaks and elms but acacia trees, TIA. There are palm trees like at home but not much else in common. Linda and I went walking last night and we looked up at the southern sky for the first time. It is strange not seeing the Big Bear or Little Bear constellations, TIA. We saw the ocean yesterday and it was not the Atlantic or the Pacific but the Indian, TIA.
We are adjusting well to the 7 hours time change. We went to bed at a normal time and got up at our normal time. We will see how the day goes. We have gotten settled in at my cousin’s home in Durban. This is our home for the next 4 weeks.
I have my first teaching session this evening and will be teach Ecclesiastes and tomorrow evening I will be teaching Titus. It will be interesting because I will teaching with a translator.
Tomorrow I should post pictures. There is not much exciting right now because we are a typical suburban home right now.
Linda and I were take to the airport at 4:30 this morning by our daughter and son-in-law Seth Guenther. We each did not sleep well last night because we were so excited about our trip.
We made it through security with all of our Kindles and did not ever hav to take them out of the cary-on. Our big suit cases are checked all the way through to Durban. We jus hope they arrive when we do.
We left Austin on time and landed 3 hours later in Washington, D.C. Our next flight is to Johannesburg, S.A. We have a 6 hour lay over ins D.C. So we are trying to catch up on our rest.
Our next flight is the long flight. We will fly 8 yours and land in Dakar, Senegal. We will be on the ground for 1 hour and then we fly on to Johannesburg. We will arrive at 8:00 pm S.A. time tomorrow. A long trip. Please pray that we will adjust to the time change quickly.
Here is my itinerary for the next week:
Sat Apr 20, 2013 – All day Travel to South Africa
Sun Apr 21, 2013 – All day Arrive South Africa
Mon Apr 22, 2013 – Rest Day
Tue Apr 23, 2013 – Ecclesiastes Mayville
Wed Apr 24, 2013 – Titus – Mayville
Thu Apr 25, 2013 – Ecclesiastes – Amawotana
Fri Apr 26, 2013 – Titus Amawotana
Sat Apr 27, 2013 – Teach Kindle – Mayville – Delmar & Linda
Sun Apr 28, 2013 – Preach Amawotana
Much has happened in the last 3 months. The Lord has been gracious in providing for this ministry.
I want to thank Ryan Townsend and the team at 9Marks in working on getting the 9Marks study guides and books provided for no cost from Crossway. A special thanks to the Crossway team for seeing the vision of providing these materials to those pastors and teachers in the third world.
I also want to extend thank toe Joseph Rodriguez in shepherding the process in finishing the Zulu translation “What is a Healthy Chruch”. Our first ministry is going to be in South Africa.