The Board of Directors of the South African Christian Mission, Inc. met at Stroh Church of Christ in Stroh, Indiana at 11:00 EDT on October 14, 2006. The directors and guests present were: Steve Hamilton, Aaron McCombs, Boyd McKey, David and Mattie McLaughlin, Don and Ann Neuenschwander, Jim and Shirley Neuenschwander, Joanne White, Ruth Todd, and Mark Vernik
The meeting was opened with devotion on The Word of God. “The power of God is in the word of God. The function of the word of God is to convey the will of God. The word of God has been given to us through Scripture and through His Son. The word of God makes known the will of God. We are to convey God’s word so His will is conveyed and can be obeyed. Mark Vernik gave the opening prayer.”
The minutes of the meeting of April 29, 2006 were accepted as previously provided.
The treasurer, Shirley Neuenschwander, gave the financial report. The report for September was reviewed and there were no questions. Then the third quarter financial report was reviewed. It was noted that we were able to send extra income to Steve for an average of $2000 per month for the first 9 months of 2006. There was a question as to what Mission expense included. It includes anything connected with the mission, for example, travel expense, vehicle repairs, rental of a trailer when needed, materials, etc.
It was noted that sometimes the donations to the fuel fund are not enough to cover Steve’s needs. The board decided that enough money could be added to the donations to the fuel fund so that we can send at least $300 each month to Steve for fuel. Steve Hamilton said that the Stroh Church of Christ was taking up a collection at the end of this month for fuel.
The trip expense item was explained as the expense for David and now Lydia to take mission trips to South Africa. They both raised their own money but had it come through the SACM treasury. There were no further questions concerning the financial reports, so they stand approved.
The field report was then discussed. Some highlights were: (1) South Africa has 40% unemployment rate and may get worse as refugees continue coming from other countries (2) Steve pays $3.30 per gallon of gasoline. (3) The exchange rate continues to be against them. It is now 7 Rands per dollar, but varies as low as R6.
The Cape Bible Seminary was “taken over” by other missionaries, who want to give out diplomas. The government taxes these diplomas at about R200. People who want diplomas go to other missionaries. Many of the people can not pay that much for a diploma. Steve gives certificates of completion for each course and the people are happy with these.
Graham Malgas is heading up the library project. The first library/reading room was opened in Belhar on May 27, 2006. The second will open soon in Hout Bay. The goal is to establish 12 libraries. Some will be in schools which means there will be Christian literature in their public schools. Some of the Congolese refuges help Steve with the books. Even though the refuges include lawyers and school teachers, they can only find work as unskilled laborers.
The biggest problem with the container/ library project is the lack of a warehouse. Warehouse space was donated for the books that arrived on the containers last March. Then, in June, the warehouse space was needed by the owner and all the books had to be moved. Presently, the Elsies River church building is being offered to the church by the owner for $45,000. Part of this building is currently being used for storage of the SACM material. Steve, Sam Jacobs and Graham Malgas are talking with the owners about this.
The Jenison (MI) Mission team is currently working on the Elsies River church building. They also helped with several Cape Bible Seminary classes. They have impressed the people with their “wanting to make a difference” attitude.
Under evangelism, it was noted that churches are being started by the former CBS students. The Queenstown church continues to grow and baptize people and they have plenty of building space for what they need and for the future.
The Bavumeleni Children’s Centre (BCC) ministers to street kids. Primrose is still trying to acquire the land across the street from her home. As soon as this happens the group from Colorado will raise the funds needed and build the building. The latest emailed report from the BCC was passed around.
Pat’s mother had a heart attach during the summer. Pat returned to the states to be with her. After Pat had returned to SA her mom passed away and Pat is now in the US until the end of October and will spend some time with their sons. The Whites were thanked for picking up Pat at the Chicago airport and taking her to Lincoln, Illinois.
Steve went to the doctor recently, and after a thorough check up was put on blood pressure medicine.
A few approximate prices for food in SA were given for comparison with what we pay: milk is about 68 cents per quart, potatoes are 57 cents per pound and bread is 72 cents per loaf.
Jim Neuenschwander reported that Steve has been asked to go with a mission team to Nagaland, which is part of India. Steve was asked because of his ability to present the gospel to other cultures and because he has the material from the CBS courses which may be of great use to the people in Nagaland. The official language of that country is English so the material that Steve has would not have to be translated. It was a consensus of the board that if Steve wanted to go he could go and use mission funds if necessary for the trip.
The next business was election of officers. It was discussed that the office of Secretary/ Treasurer could be divided into two offices if we can find someone willing to be secretary. A motion was made and past to reelect the officers to their present positions. Therefore David McLaughlin will be president, Mark Vernik will be vice president and Shirley Neuenschwander will be Secretary/Treasurer until a new Secretary can be recruited and confirmed.
Mark said we are getting 3 to 5 hits on the website and there is increased activity each time the newsletter comes out.
David and Mattie will be making a presentation to the Arthur Center Church of God, Clare County, MI, on Sunday, October 15. This church has been donating material for SACM.
We were reminded that we do not want to collect and send to Steve the following: King James Bibles, novels, storybooks, readers digest books, and magazines. We do want to collect and send the following: all Bibles besides King James, Sunday school and VBS material, every kind of Bible helps especially Halley’s Handbooks, recent text books, dictionaries, encyclopedias, and other reference books.
The next meeting is tentatively scheduled for April 14, 2007 at 11:00 am EDT at the Stroh Church of Christ in Stroh, Indiana.
The meeting was adjourned.
Secretary of SACM
Additional notes and remarks:
A big thanks to Roberta Snyder for acting as treasurer while the Neuenschwanders went to Alaska during June and July. She did an excellent job!
Pam Hamilton (wife of Steve) has been recruited and has accepted the offer to become the SACM Secretary and a corporate director. She will fill these functions on a provisional basis until the next meeting of the Board of Directors at which time she can be confirmed.