In Honor of Fr Ray
August 1, 2023
We are excited to report that we soon will be constructing a beautiful new brick Catholic church building in South Africa. This new church will be dedicated in honor of Father Ray McHenry who has led mission teams from his church, St. Francis in West Des Moines, IA every year for the past 8 years. This wonderful man and church have been a blessing to the people of South Africa in so many ways for these past 8 years. They have helped drill wells, build toilets, and develop gardens to help with our nutritional programs. In addition, they have been a great spiritual encouragement to the Catholic and protestant parishes that we visit with their annual mission teams. Forty to fifty individuals have been on one or more of these amazing mission trips led by Father Ray.
Some of those individuals and families came to me last year desiring to do something significant in his honor in South Africa. The Holy Spirit led us to the idea of constructing a new church building for a rural parish consisting of 40 families who have been meeting in a delipidated building for a few years now.
Everyone who has ever traveled with Father Ray on one of these trips loves him and is excited to be part of this great honor being bestowed on him. Some of those individuals and families came to me last year desiring to do something significant in his honor in South Africa. The Holy Spirit led us to the idea of constructing a new church building for a rural parish consisting of 40 families who have been meeting in a delipidated building for a few years now. We met with the priest of this African parish and the Catholic bishop of this diocese and agreed with them to proceed with the project.
We all agreed that the Africans would contribute $15,000 toward this new church and that we in America would contribute $100,000+ to make this a reality. Here in America, we have been successful in securing pledges for this amount and reports from South Africa are that they are 50% towards their goal and assured us they will have their funding in place by the end of October 2023.We have secured a nice piece of land and will soon proceed with building a secure fence around the property and hope to start construction of the new church building in November and dedicate the church to honor Father Ray in January 2024 during his next trip to Africa. There are still a few spots left on this mission team for January 18th through the 30th. Please contact Father Ray or our office if you would like to be part of this great mission experience.
Prayer request: We have experienced some stress due to a bit of unrest with the local tribal council where our Del Cramer Child Development Center is located due to the tribe transitioning from their existing chief to a new chief. Please pray for the Lord’s peace to come over our entire area. Please also continue to pray for travel safety as we travel about in South Africa. My very good friend Dr. Danny who was just 35 years of age was just killed in a tragic auto accident earlier in July. He has been a great friend and ministry partner of mine for the past several years.