Dear Friends and Supporters,
Warm greetings form a colder George in S. Africa.
As most of you probably know; we have re-located back to S. Africa from where we will continue to be doing mission work in Zambia. We do however plan to scale down on our physical activity and involvement out in the sticks and focus more on training others and sharing about our experience and God’s faithfulness in rural missions over the past 43 years.
We are both in our 70’s and we believe that there is a new “season” in ministry for us ahead. Going out into the sticks is getting physically harder for us as time goes on, and we have to think about
where we will stay when older. In Zambia there are no retirement places and what do we do if one of us passes away? Not being Zambian citizens is a big problem to move a corpse back to S Africa.
We had do give thought to this and we believe it is better to move while we can do so, rather then having to move because of some physical ailment forcing us to do so. When moving to Zambia in 2013 we gave ourselves 3-5 years and then return home, so our time there has been completed and we will now be visiting Zambia from S. Africa. Our Board in the US has also advised us to re-locate back to S Africa. We are planning to stay involved in Zambia for the next two to three years. Time will tell, but we know our bodies are telling us to scale down and focus more on sharing what we have learnt in rural missions during our forty three years. We are very willing to “give what we have” and share that with younger people who are interested and who might find benefit from that.
The move back to S. Africa has not been easy on us, especially on Wilna with her back problem, but we believe it will get better once all of the unpacking and nesting in has been done. We are also getting ready and have booked flights to Zambia in July/Aug. when we will be going there to do a Church Leadership Training seminar and a Conference up in the far North of Zambia where we started mission work in 1996.
The ministry there was handed over to Zambians in 2006 with Pastor Chanda overseeing all the churches that were planted there over the years. We have wonderful relations with different church denominations that has come mainly through our agriculture sports and skills projects in the far north of Zambia, The Leadership Training in July will be for leaders from different denominational churches in that area and Past. Chanda notified me that about 60 church leaders have signed in to come to the seminar.
I am humbly honored to think so many church leaders are willing to come and learn more about the Lord. May the Lord grant me the word and all that is needed through the Holy Spirit to minister to them from His heart, because I know He loves them.dearly.
I will also be spending time with the water drilling project which we handed over to Living Water International. The drilling rig and compressor was donated to them and they will be using the equipment full scale now as it is winter for us in Africa and it is a windy and dry season when streams and hand dug wells dry up.
I helped them drill one well before we moved to S Africa just so their driller would know the rig and so he could get better accustomed to drilling with DTH Air. That well unfortunately collapsed while the casing was done, because it was done in the rainy season and the ground was still soaking wet. It is now dry season and in Zambia we do not get ANY rain from May-November which
is when there is a desperate need for clean drinking water. This of course creates a wonderful platform for sharing the Gospel to the rural villagers.
Living Water has also asked me if I will be able to go to Uganda in January to help them with the training of drillers. This is something that I have been praying about for many years, ……the technique of sighting where to drill without using electrical equipment is something which the Lord has taught me over many years. I do not want to take this wonderful gift from the Lord, with me to the grave. I want to “impart” it into others who might be interested, all for the glory of the Lord and the expansion of the His Kingdom.
I will still be coaching sport at schools. It is a great opportunity to make friends with the younger generation and have the chance to share with them about a relationship with the Lord.
I always think about myself when I was young and in school and how things have changed over time. I also remember the great impact sports has had on my life and how much I have learned through sports and being able to apply the discipline to situations in my life.
I therefore believe that sports plays an important part in the physical development that all young people go through. It teaches them the basics in discipline, how to enjoy and manage winning but also how to deal with loosing, which they will experience many times in life.
The agriculture projects will continue with new areas opening where water drilling is done, the older project/places are now ready to carry on by themselves. I however will try to follow up where I can to give some advice where needed, The rural people are completely dependent on agriculture and planting crops to survive year round, is a major part of their life. They do not have jobs that generate income, so they rely entirely on agriculture for food for the year plus some extra for selling and trading for other things they need like clothes and other goods.
It is therefore important that they do their farming correctly. There are basic principles in God’s Word that challenge farming which also bring forth His promised blessing. If farming is done right and according to His Word, then it will bring forth super harvests and much increase in livestock. We can put a seed in the ground and even water it if needed but we cannot make it grow or tell it what percentage they should multiply when it comes to harvest time, that comes from the Lord.
Wilna has come to the point where her back doesn’t allow her to continue with new skills training projects. She will focus on the ones she has and keep on advising the ladies where needed. If she comes across a lady who is gifted and she can help her or teach her some basics one on one, then that is what she plans to do. As long as it doesn’t put strain on Wilna’s back, like having to bend forward or up and down between the women sitting. She will also focus more on advising them on what they can try to start their own self-help small businesses.
We believe we are in a “new season” in our lives and ministry. The Lord has taken us a long way through rural missions in different countries in Africa. We have learnt so much about Him and His
ability to show us what to do, when things seem impossible. He been so very very faithful over all the years. We believe it is now time that we will be able to share and witness about His Power and Might to the newer generation and those that come our way and are willing to listen. It does not matter if it is to churches, small groups or even an individual, …..whoever is willing to listen and learn.
We do not know everything, but what we have learned about the Lord, is what we are very willing to share with others, so that they will set their hope in the God!
It is easy to say we want to do this or that, but as you know very well; all is in the hand of the Lord and his blessing of good health which will enable us all to do what He plans for and through our lives. We still feel challenged through John 4;35 “lift up your eyes and look on the harvest”…….. the time us very urgent and we need to continue do what we can to bring this harvest in for His Glory.
It isn’t easy to scale down and focus on other things especially when you are used to doing exciting things like drilling water for the rural poor, …….to see those women sing and dance around the water when it comes out. Words cannot describe being part of that. Nor is it easy to scale down on your way of living and giving away long kept things, as ones lifestyle goes smaller and smaller,
It makes me think about death and that we can take nothing with us through the grave to the Lord except people. (the Harvest) May the Lord continue to give us the ability to carry on even in old age, may He continue to use us to draw rural people and any other unto Himself, as He touches peoples hearts through the demonstration of His love in meaningful ways.
We want to thank every one who has been praying for us, every one who has supported us and making it possible for us to do what we are doing, we also want to thank you for being our friends, ……friendship means soooooo much to us especially out in the sticks where it can become very lonely.
Thank You to All from the depths of our hearts, may the Lord who sees in secret, reward you openly!
May His Kingdom Come!
japie and wilna.