We're currently melting in the heat, today the temp is supposed to drop to 27°C so that will be a welcome break from the high 30's we've been enjoying. On Wednesday Dean was in Jonkershoek where the temp' was 41° at 9 in the morning! Hopefully this evening it will be a bit cooler as Dean goes mountain biking with a friend. Dean's riding three times a week at present which is great.
Things are a bit mixed for us in Chris Nissen at present, the new year kicked off with Sandra (one of the community leaders) being very abusive towards Dean, this has caused a few problems in the community as people side with Sandra or not. Oh dear! This all sprang out of the food hampers we distributed at Christmas.
Dean's bible study is going really well, yesterday was one of our better studies in a while and at the end we were discussing the Gospel of Judas and the DaVinci Code. Wow! Not topics I would have thought the group were particularly interested in. We're currently working our way through Daniel and we're planning to do Acts next. We had a new member yesterday which was great, his name is Scottie (he's James' older brother) and he's wanting to turn his life around this year.
Home visiting in CNP continues to be a highlight of our work although it is also the most taxing part of what we do. Dean's been visiting Ben quite a bit lately as he was knocked down just after Christmas and whilst he has no broken bones, he is in a lot of pain. The new year is a difficult time for the poor in South Africa as the new school year begins and parents / carers have to buy new uniforms, books, resources and pay school fees. Needless to say a lot of folk in CNP really struggle to make ends meet. One family Dean visited are having a particularly hard time as both carers are on disability grants with a combined monthly income of R1500 (£110 at todays exchange rate). They have two kids of their own but are also looking after a little boy (Jonathon) who's mother died last year and dad is in prison. Sadly they're keeping the child off school because they simply can't afford to send him. We're looking at a few options for helping them but things aren't looking too hopeful. That is one of the harsh realities of life for the poor in South Africa.
Things to pray for:
Pray against the gossip and jealousy which rip the community to shreds. Pray especially for Sandra as she is one of the key protagonists in this.
Pray for Dina that she would mature in her faith and wisdom and know when not to get involved.
Dean's bible study group. For growth spiritually amongst the members and for numerical growth.
For Scottie as he seeks to beat his alcohol addiction and get on with his life.
Healing for Ben, he's in a lot of pain and can't work. No work = no money = no food.
Miraculous provision of school fees , uniform, resources etc to enable Jonathon to go to school.
We'll post answers to prayers as and when they happen!