This is the time of year that I like to reflect on all of the things that I am most thankful for. I am most thankful for my friendship with Christ. He gives me a sense of joy and purpose for my life. I am also thankful that I have been able to live 74 years and stay in good health. I am blessed with a wonderful wife, children and grandchildren. I feel especially blessed with the ministry that God has given me. We just had our annual appreciation event at Terrace Hill, which reminds me of all of the wonderful friends who support the work we are doing in South Africa.
It has been another good year for us in South Africa. We had 127 short term missionaries come and serve with us for two weeks. We also had several interns come and serve with us for a few weeks or even months. Our two churches remain strong as well as our feeding program. Our partnership with HyVee continues to bless thousands of children with safe clean drinking water and safe clean toilets. Our nutritional program with Meals from the Heartland and Convoy of Hope is providing food for approximately 20,000 children each week.
This coming year we hope to expand our program providing education and feminine hygiene products to impoverished young ladies. This same program will also provide training and jobs to many young ladies and even a few men. This is being done through a grant with Rotary International. This program will provide for 10,000 washable reusable feminine hygiene kits. We will also be expanding our sports programs by starting sports leagues with 8 churches. We just planted the grass for a new soccer field with this program. When funds become available, we will be building a sports stadium at our Del Cramer Campus.
Our newest program will be a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program that we will be doing in one of the high schools where Pastor Jonathan has been preaching each week at their school assemblies. Once this program is up and running well, I also hope to start a similar rehab program in the provincial men and women’s prison in Polokwane.
We have several strong teams building to come and serve with us in South Africa next year. Some of them are already getting full so if you are serious about coming next year you will be wise to get your name on the list for one of our teams. Lord willing, Beth and I are planning on returning to South Africa January 10th.