All of my previous newsletters started with my countdown to Cape Town, so I figured why stop now. I realize that this being my August newsletter, it is quite overdue, but I was holding off so that I could write it on my way to Cape Town. However, as many of you may already know, I did not get my VISA. Therefore, I have not yet departed for South Africa. I have applied for the one-year volunteer VISA that was supposed to take 7-10 days to process. I hand delivered the application to the South African Consulate in Chicago on Friday, June 1st. Yes, that was 11.5 weeks ago. I had sent emails and left several very kind and patient voicemails with no response.
Costs will be rising in South Africa over the next year. With the drought and fuel costs, it will restrict the travel plans and outreach. Already, the Gospel 101 Team is feeling the pinch even though I help them with transport. I believe we need a re-think to ensure the successes that have been made, to continue.
At the moment, Oksana is in Russia. She has been increasingly dissatisfied with living in relative comfort in South Africa, while her son, Jeka, is struggling with various problems in Russia. For the moment, she feels she needs to care for him. I ask for your prayers for them both.
Lately, I have been concentrating on teaching practical Christian ministries with a view to involve every individual in the class (sample attached with this article). Within ten days, the youth at the Congolese church in Riverview organized their own youth workshop last weekend! This was spontaneous and well done on such a short notice. They didn’t involve me or the Gospel 101 Team, concentrating on their friends and neighbors to come along. I had to postpone a meeting on Saturday afternoon after being asked to speak at the opening session.