Greetings to one and all from sunny South Africa! It is hard to believe but it is a New Year already. Someone must’ve had their thumb on the Fast Forward button.
Cape Bible Seminary
This month, the new roster is formulated and classes begin in different areas. Already, the Monday night class and the Tuesday evening classes are up and running, even though many are not yet back from the summer break. Bro Andre has sold his home where the Monday classes are conducted and by April, we’ll have to find another venue.
The main problem will be to find the time to accommodate the groups that wish to have regular teaching. At the end of 2005, four churches made it known that they want the Cape Bible Seminary to train and equip their members. One group, Swahili-speakers from central Africa, are so keen because at this moment, there isn’t anyone teaching them at all. They hunger and thirst after the Word. (Swahili isn’t spoken in South Africa – it is the lingua franca of Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, parts of the Congo, Ruwanda, Burundi, etc.) Through Bro Samuel Jacobs, I am working out a schedule for them. Already, they’re banging at the gates for Bibles and Christian books coming in the Container.
The 20’ Container left Michigan last month and will be transshipped via Haifa (Israel) before arriving in February 2006. Bob and Roberta Snyder and the team from Northview Christian Church (Coldwater, MI) packed all the boxes of books and Christian literature securely. Bob spent many hours sorting hundreds of boxes to ensure that the correct types of books are packed and sent.
In addition, there is another Container dispatched from Colorado, which is loaded with school text books, donated by the state. It isn’t a full container load but has approx a hundred boxes of brand new books. (The other part of the load is to be forwarded to another mission in the Congo, not associated with our work.)
The need for good study Bibles and Christian teaching materials is great. Churches, groups and individuals are eager and keen to have good resources to teach children and the youth. Congregations I have never heard of before are calling to ask for materials. In January alone, I distributed eighty boxes to various groups. (This was the last of the Container sent in 2004.)
All of our sons are now living and working in the United States. Although they were all born in Cape Town, they are American citizens and have American passports. There is an aggressive affirmative action policy in South Africa and none of them could find employment within their fields of study. Kent (33) and Kyle (25) are in South Carolina (Hilton Head Island) and Kelly (23) and his new wife, Louise, are in West Palm Beach (FL). Pat and I truly have an empty nest. For birthdays, Christmas and other special occasions, it is rather lonely around the dining room table.
We want to thank everyone who helped with the Containers. Your labors and efforts will ensure that many Africans will have their own Bibles. The Sunday School teachers will have good teaching materials to present to the kids. And many will hear the name of Jesus because of this.
Steve and Pat Zimmerman
S.A. Christian Mission, Cape Town