Happy Fall​

November 1, 2022

I am traveling back to South Africa to finish off this year by hosting a team from the Lutheran Church of Hope in Ankeny and also a group of African missionaries from Convoy of Hope.  The first team will focus on Celebrate Recovery and help us improve and grow our Celebrate Recovery program.  We already have one of the largest CR recovery programs in the world for high school youth.  We are serving over 200 youth each week in one of our 3 sights in South Africa.  We plan to expand into our capital city of Polokwane, setting up a new program for adults in a large church there that will soon start doing CR in the provincial prison.  I have often said that these great programs are helping prevent teenage suicide.  One of our small group leaders often tells me that there are many wet faces in the small group discussions.  For me, tears tell me that the Holy Spirit is at work in this program.

The following week we will be hosting 11 missionaries from countries all over Africa at our main campus at Shikwaru.  The largest program that COH works with these missionaries is their child feeding initiative. Still, we also all work together in improving agriculture, water and sanitation, sports programs, and women’s empowerment.  It is always a great pleasure to work with these missionaries who are partnering with COH; they are all servant-hearted individuals and model their lives on what Christ would be doing.

In the third week of November, we will be hosting a representative from the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. We hope to be able to host FCA teams of coaches and sports players from all over Europe and North America.  Our new sports field is now complete and is the perfect infrastructure to do lots of ministry with young adults; it is now time to put it to good use.

We will also be honoring the memory of Dr./Pastor Manyathela, who died during the pandemic, by christening our sports field the Dr. Manyathela sports field.  We just received our scoreboard with his name on it.  His widow and 2 children will join us for this big celebration.  He was well-known and loved by our African community

Many of you have been wondering how Beth is doing.  She had her left should joint replaced on October 13th and is healing well.  Prior to surgery, she was suffering lots of pain and discouragement.  She is working hard with physical therapy and will soon be back to normal.  I want to thank everyone who has been praying for us, many of you brought food to our home and some of you even came to stay with Beth so that I could go to work and get out for a few bike rides during our beautiful Iowa fall weather.

I encourage all of us to take some time and count our blessings as we move into the season of Thanksgiving.