Gala Update: We just completed our 11th annual gala- it was a great night. We were so blessed that Dustin and Alex were able to make it back to the United States to help present at our gala. We were also blessed to have representatives from Convoy of Hope traveling all the way from Cleveland, OH to join us. We honored Meals from the Heartland, Maxwell and Hilda Chongoni from South Africa and Rick Burger, our media specialist at this year’s event. Each of them received a beautiful piece of metal artwork thanking them for their service in Africa. The financial gifts are still being tallied but at the end of the day it will be an improvement over previous year’s galas. Praise the Lord!
Over 300 guests attended this year’s gala. Our message focused on why we do what we do and highlighted what we hope to accomplish in the coming year. There are so many wonderful things going on with our ministry in Africa that it is always difficult to choose exactly what to share in the brief time we have with our friends at these events.
Update on Methodist hub in KZN: My blog last month focused on our feeding program where I did my best to explain the infrastructure required to feed 60,000 children. Our Methodist hub representing 40 churches in the Durban area is so desperate for their children’s nutritional needs right now that they have been busy raising their own funds. They would like to pay for 20% of the cost required to provide them with additional food packets. They are also pledging to fund 25% of the cost next year. This is well above what we had even asked them to do. Thanks to our generous donors we are able to say yes to this urgent request and pay for 80% of the cost of this food; we will be sending them an additional 4 tons of food in the next couple of weeks.
International Global Methodist Conference: This week Bethany and I are attending the first gathering of the new Global Methodist Church group in Houston. A year ago, our ministry was appointed as a mission group with the GMC and we are now excited to partner with many of these new congregations. We just hired a new full time staff person, Brett Hendrickson, to assist us in connecting with new church partners over the next couple of years. Brett comes to us from New Hope Assembly of God Church in Urbandale where he was the music pastor for the past 24 years. We are excited to welcome him on our team. We are also in the process of having Johanney’s church in South Africa join the GMC. This will be one of the first GMC churches in all of South Africa and will be a good sister church for some of our US Methodist Churches.
Next month, I hope to share with you some of what God is doing in the area of agriculture and how that is helping us to address the food insecurity issues throughout Africa.
Prayer request: Please join me in prayer for our good friends at the Methodist Church in Altoona where they will be voting on May 7th to stay with the UMC or disaffiliate. This is a stressful situation for their pastor and the entire congregation. Please pray with us that God’s will shall prevail and that the peace of God will come over this entire community.