By the time you receive this newsletter, I bet you will have plunged back into your normal routine of work, taking care of the children, paying the bills, etc., but allow me to linger on our holiday experiences for a minute or two, thereby helping you to recall your own sweet memories.
The Mission work and painting of our office kept us tied to our home till the beginning of January, but then I had a special experience. In our previous newsletter I told you that old age was now seriously affecting my cycling ability but on the 2nd of January I gave it another try and cycled to Trompsburg and back, leaving at 5 and returning by 10 am, a distance of 115km. I was tired but not completely exhausted. My average was only 22,35km/h but what matters is that I made it and have new hope for this year. Unfortunately I have not entered for the Argus (perhaps next year) but I have at least proved to myself that I can still do that distance.
Two days later we left for a visit to our two sons and their families. Frans and his family live at Dana Bay and Jaco and his dear ones were camping at Jongen’s Bay. We even had a wonderful day together with all our children and grand-children on the camping site with Frans and Jaco taking care of the “Braai” while our daughters-in-law prepared all the other goodies with Martie and I just sitting back and enjoying the fruits of our marriage.
Next we had a lovely time visiting my brother and his wife at Oudtshoorn, returning home on the 13th to Philippolis that had just experienced the miracle of having received 16mm of rain and our vegetable garden rendering an abundance of spinach, carrots and beetroot.
NEWS FROM MOZAMBIQUE
The Mission in Mozambique got off to a bit of a slow start in that the funds that were transferred to them, will only be released by the bank on 18 January, but they have already started in presenting the discipleship classes on the 4th and we are looking forward to a very blessed year and a huge crop of souls saved and others lifted to a higher level of spiritual maturity.
We are also still receiving news of God’s blessings experienced towards the end of last year and quote two of the testimonies received.
Our vice-director, brother Baloi, reported that at the “graduation” ceremony held at the Union Church on the 7th of November 2015, there was a real atmosphere of victory. Some five pastors attended to congratulate their church members on their achievements. Speaking on behalf of them, pastor Mtombene lifted up his hands in gratitude, saying: “This has never happened before in the history of this area. Except for funeral gatherings, we as churches have never formally gathered together in harmony to study the Word of God in this manner. I myself, as well as visiting missionaries, tried many times to unite the different churches to work together, but have always failed. The studying of the Word together in one class, broke down the barriers. We have been so much enriched and wish to convey our sincere gratitude to Rivoni for their ministry to us.”
Brother Albi, a disabled man, was among the first year students that completed the Rivoni Ministry OT course at Matuba and testified as follows: “I was an ever unhappy person because of my physical appearance and condition that made me to hate myself. I admired and loved all my brothers and sisters, but I never thought well or loved myself. As a result I suffered many diseases such as a heart attack, depressions and I was always stressed. Then I heard the teaching from God’s Word that I was made and created in the likeness and image of God. This was very helpful and helped and made me to discover myself. I have discovered that I am useful, and not useless, I have worth and am not worthless, I am somebody and not a nobody. Above all, I have discovered that in my inner being, I am NORMAL and not ABNORMAL. I thank God so very much. I am now free, free indeed,” concluded brother Ngovene tearfully.
(How it blesses my heart, as leader of the Mission, to know that, in setting up the infra structure for the presentation of this class at Matuba, I played a role in bringing such happiness to this unhappy man, and I am sure that you feel the same way, knowing that you too have a share in his happiness because of your donations and prayers!)
NEW WEBSITE FOR RIVONI
We have, after many years, compiled a new website for Rivoni and by doing it personally, saved the mission a few thousand rand. This website should be very helpful in doing deputation work on behalf of the Mission. It also contains a number of our study guides in Tsonga (Shangaan) and more will be added. We will endeavour to bring these to the attention of Tsonga speaking people, both in Mozambique and in South Africa. The website can also be accessed by means of a cell phone and we hope that the younger, more educated generation, like learners at school and students at tertiary institutions, will benefit thereby. If you are in contact with a Tsonga speaking person, why not print one of these study guides and give it to him/her to read? Just follow this link:
( http://www.rivoni.org/lectures/ku-tivisiwa-kakuvelekiwa-ka-yesu/ )
FRANCOIS DU PLESSIS TAKING OVER SOME RESPONSIBILITIES FROM BEN
We are so grateful that Francois will from now on be taking over more and more responsibilities as regards the management of the Mission as stated in a previous newsletter. Please do pray for him as he will be facing many challenges right from the outset, which, we are confident he will be able to overcome by the grace of Him Who calls us into His service.
In closing: thank you once more for your prayers and financial contributions. There are several supporters that contribute anonymously whom we are unable to thank personally, but God knows who you are and may He reward you abundantly. The following such donations were received: 2015-11-27, 5th of … payments; 2015-11-30, Vereffen Rivoni; 2015-12-09, Vereffen extra blessing; 2015-12-27, 6th of …. payments; 2015-12-29, Vereffen, Rivoni.
HAVE A 2016 OF UNPRECEDENTED VICTORY IN EVERY AREA OF YOUR LIFE!
IN THE LOVE OF CHRIST,
BEN AND MARTIE.