The last two months have been a whirlwind of activity, especially the month of November. My husband visited a new village and started Bible studies there once a week. It was exciting to see the eagerness of the people in wanting the study the Bible. Hopefully that interest will translate to a seeking of God and His truth and not just an interest in what the white man is doing, or wanting money from him.
My husband also met a young lady named Lebo at her tuck shop outside the hospital. She was very interested in studying the Bible, so I started meeting with her. She eagerly worked her way through the correspondence studies and did very well, answering most of the questions correctly. I did the Scripture diagrams with her and she seemed to really understand the truths. She said she loved Jesus and the fact that He died for her sins. I noticed that she was wearing a ZCC star, which meant that she was a member of the Zion Christian Church. But I just kept teaching her the Bible and praying that God would work in her heart.
When we got to the end of the Scripture diagrams, she claimed to have been saved in 2008. When I asked her about it, she counted her baptism as her salvation. She said she had been in many churches, but when she found the ZCC, she knew she had found the truth, so that was where she was baptized. So I challenged her on what the ZCC believes. ZCC mixes Bible teaching with African religion. They teach that salvation is found by praying to their founder. There are also many rituals and things you must do to keep your salvation. It is one of the biggest cults in Africa.
I showed her many Scriptures to show her that what they teach is wrong, but she did not want to agree with me and say that they were wrong. So I told her plainly that she could not believe in both. She had to choose one or the other. Pray that the Lord would open her eyes to the truth. She reminds me so much of the verse that says, “Ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (Second Timothy 3:7) She has heard much truth from the Bible—but that truth will do her no good until she turns from her idols and accepts Jesus Christ as the only way of salvation.
The Castners arrived late in the evening on Thanksgiving Day. Five of their suitcases got “lost” so they had to fill out claim forms for the airline. We celebrated Thanksgiving on Friday with steak on the grill, corn on the cob, watermelon, and homemade ice cream! On Saturday the missing suitcases arrived, and the electric and water were turned on at their house, so they were able to move in on Monday afternoon. We gave them some things from our house for them to use until they could get more furniture of their own. And we let them borrow our car so they would have a way to get around until they find one to buy. Then Bro. Castner dropped us off at the airport in Francistown on Tuesday morning and we began our journey to America.
Our trip home was long but thankfully good and uneventful. It basically takes 36 hours from start to finish with all the flights and layovers—and there is really no way to shorten that. So you just endure! It was good to be in services on Wednesday night with our church family.
Now we are adjusting to life on the east coast! The next 6 weeks are going to be very busy with traveling to see family, celebrating Christmas, and planning a wedding. We are enjoying eating out at our favorite restaurants. We are enjoying spending time with our children, and all the hugs from the grandkids. We endured cultured shock with our first trip to Wal-Mart. So many choices—and all in one place. We have survived re-learning how to drive on the right side of the road instead of the left side. All these things keep life interesting and exciting!
Wedding plans are going very well. We praise the Lord for the way He has provided in our lives. Rachel was in North Dakota over Thanksgiving and the church at Grand Forks had a bridal shower for her and Ethan. Then this past week, the ladies of our church here in PA had a shower for them. So through the generosity of God’s people, they have many things to help them get started in their new house.
If you are anywhere in the area, you are invited to attend Rachel’s wedding on Saturday, January 5th, at 1 PM at Lehigh Valley Baptist Church in Emmaus, PA. If you can’t be here for the wedding and would like to watch it, it will be streamed live online. Just go to our church website at www.lvbaptist.org and follow the directions there to watch the service.
Thanks for the prayers and the love from all of you. We know that the time here in America will go by very quickly—and at the end is another good-bye. But we will enjoy the time here while we have it. And when the time comes to leave for Africa again, God will give grace to say goodbye to all our loved ones here and return to the work that He has called us to.
Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas!