The response to this initiative has been overwhelming! So many have encouraged their congregations to participate. Patrick Gill spread the word for Bible Ambassadors and set targets for the collection of Bibles. Our goal was 20,000. The kids coming to Lake James Christian camp collected 1500 alone. Since then, the total has increased to over 23,000! This is a tremendous response by so many.
There is one major problem. MOL Shippers, who previously have waived the sea freight costs from a US port to Cape Town, are unable to do the same for the next container. I have been in regular contact with Herschel at MOL, who has been extremely helpful and his news is Good News/Bad News like the old vaudeville routine. MOL is amalgating with two other shipping companies into one global shipping line. Personnel have been laid off, transferred or quit. It will take some time for the dust to settle but Herschel has told me that as soon as he can, he will arrange for me to speak to the new executive management. So, for the moment, we must see if we can find other means to ship the containers of Bibles and search for sponsors.
I have so many to thank for their hospitality and kindness during this last furlough. Matt Love and all the personnel at Lake James Christian camp were wonderfully accommodating and helpful. Some even contributed to the Bible collections. Gene sand Janet Warstler put up me with me for the summer in their upstairs room and I never wanted for anything. They were more like family than kind helpers.
I managed to see my sons and grandkids before I left despite Hurricane Irma bearing down on Florida while I stayed with Walt and Bea Mielke. My middle son, Kyle, married his girlfriend, Ferlin)a Chinese Christian), while I was based at camp and although I couldn’t make it for their nuptials, I flew out later and stayed with them for a few days. They are very happy together. Also, my eldest son, Kent was supposed to be away assessing the clean-up of tornado damage in Albany, GA but worked like a demon to finish early so he could spend time with me. Kent works for a FEMA-contractor and was called away urgently to Houston after a few days.
I spent quality time with my grandkids, Jen (Kent’s s wife) and her mother, Jane. Walt called a few days before I was to return to inform me that every seat out of Hilton Head and Savannah was full of people clearing off before Hurricane Irma. We agreed to hire a car, which he did, and to my surprise, when I picked it up, a bright red V-8 Dodge Challenger was ready! I headed south on I-95, across the I-10 to I-75 down to Tampa. All lanes heading north were jammed full of cars. Every town’s fast food joints, gas stations and roads were full, too. I kept the Dodge pointing south and arrived at the rental office in good shape, having manages to find one filling station that had gas!
There are so many generous Christians to thank for their help and hospitality from New Mexico to Florida, Michigan to Illinois. I wasn’t happy spending time away from my wife and sister but the Christian family of believers made it a lot easier!
Due to an accident in our area, our landline, DSL, wi-fi and internet have been inoperative for the past two months with to repair date in sight despite my complains and badgering. Telkom is the government owned phone company and they appear to be in no hurry to fix it. I can still receive e-mails via my wife’s data on her cell and I pray this situation is resolved quickly so the work can move forward. [Note: since this writing the problem has finally been fixed]
Thank you, one and all, God’s blessings.
Heather (Springfield OH) and Sydney (Fremont, IN) arrived in Cape Town on Cot 12th 2017. I met Sydney while she worked at the Lake James Christian camp where I was based on furlough for the summer.
She immediately responded to the invitation to come to South Africa. I also met Heather there during the Mission’s week at the end of July. She was already planning to do mission work in Africa and I asked her to come to Cape Town to gain experience and see where the might fit in. Both women did such wonderful work and made good contacts with TLC/Ingwe Care, the various children’s ministries, as well as local churches. Both taught classes in the Cape Bible Seminary sessions and also spoke to the youth and on Sunday worship services.
Heather is gathering support to return full time as an African missionary.