August 2018 – Absence Make the Heart Grow Fonder
When God created Adam, he saw that he needed a helpmate so He created Eve. I have been thinking a lot about the value of a helpmate this last month while Beth has been in South Africa hosting a couple of our mission teams. She is still my helpmate and is working hard to help me, but I am missing the closeness and fellowship that we have. It is rare that we are apart even for a day or two. I do not have the same joyful spirit that I usually have when Beth is with me. I am sure that our staff will be happy when she gets back from Africa. I have been here in the US since April and plan to return to South Africa in October. This is the longest that I have been out of South Africa for many years. It has been good for our son, Dustin, to be out of my shadow and managing the day-to-day operations of our ministry in South Africa—he is doing a really nice job.
A few good things have been happening with our ministry over the last couple of months. We got our labor disputes at Del Cramer Children’s Development Center resolved and things are running well there. Amber, the new director at Del Cramer, had a baby girl and Kabelo and Suzetha had their second daughter. Our family is growing!
Our medical school clinical rotations with the University of Iowa got started this summer with our first two students enjoying their clinical experience with us. For some reason, all three of our mission teams this summer have consisted primarily of females and that is why Beth and her sister, Paula, have been in Africa without me hosting these teams.
We were blessed with good news from Hy-Vee who pledged financial support to help us drill 10 wells each and every year in the future. We also were just awarded a Rotary Grant for $134,000 to teach African children the love of agriculture and give them agricultural skills using their school gardens.
Our new sports programs of soccer and netball are up and running well. Participating in sports gives the children an improved sense of self-esteem and pride in their own school.
I am currently busy looking for funding for some additional long-term missionaries to work with us. We are hoping to have one young person, specializing in agriculture, to help us roll out our “Teach a Child to Fish” program, along with teaching agriculture. We are also looking for a second intern or young missionary to work full-time with our nutritional programs.
We are always looking for quality people to come to Africa to serve with us on either a short-term or long-term basis.