News and Prayer

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Womens' Conference: Warmquelle

12 & 13 August 2017

Erik en Hester attended the women’s conference at Warmquelle that was organized by Bettie Swanepoel. Between 120 and 150 people attended the conference. There were several speakers - Erik preached the Word of God twice. We were grateful to take along enough food for the conference due to generous donations. Headman Ripanga (Jan) Kasupi from Ganamub were there and on Sunday also visitors from Sesfontein. Bettie wants to make this an annual event. To God all the glory and honour. May every seed that was sown bear rich fruit!

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Sunday morning, the 9th of July, a day of jubilant joy! The Ova Himba Christians of Omuravarava worshipping the living God in their own church building! A dream came true, their own place of worship!

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Dancing, singing, preaching, baptism, Holy Communion and thankfulness gave meaning to this special day!

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The Dutch Reformed church of Omuravarava was officially inaugurated after the service, led by Pierre Vlok, leader of the outreach team. Hester revealed the cornerstone and Katika, Himba church leader, addressed us with heartfelt thanks. Vetumbuavi and Uanyanekua, church leaders and a married couple, started planning and praying three years ago. Tears of gratitude flowed from their cheeks!

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God’s grace and power enabled the Napier/Riviersonderend-outreach team to do the nearly impossible.

How did they do it? Sunday, 2nd July, the 4x4 truck broke 70km from Omuravarava. Dirk went trice with a bakkie and a trailer to fetch all the building equipment and tools from the truck. In the meanwhile Pierre and his team worked strenuously to keep up with their building schedule. With God’s grace, power, prayer, hard work and perseverance the team, together with local Ova Himba Christians, finished the task.

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Hester and I are grateful to the Lord that two of our children, Magdaleen and Frederick, could join us on this outreach. To God all the glory, honour and praise for the work this team accomplished.

Pray for the Christians of Omuravrava, that the Holy Spirit will build them up to maturity in Christ!

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Greetings in Christ - Erik van Zyl - Kunene for Christ

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In the early morning many prayers of gratitude & hope reached the throne of God (Revelation 5:8). The previous evening, on Good Friday (14 th of April), “The Passion of Christ”- movie focused many hearts on Jesus Christ, who was cursed and crucified for us. The Easter weekend is all about the crucified and risen Lord Jesus, the Way, the Truth, and the Life!

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Easter camp expectation fills the air! God is among us and He will speak to us! Many prayers, planning and hard work prepared the way for this Easter Camp. Seka made his farm at Okatumba available and supplied water and even showers. Uazamembo was the “chief in charge”. The preacher is Koos Greeff, well known to the people of Kunene for Christ. This is his 7 th Easter Camp as guest preacher.

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On Thursday we started pitching the tents. Friday people came from Stellenbosch, Windhoek, Okararara, Outjo, Sesfontein, Omarawarawa, Okaanga, Okangwati ... OvaHimbas, Zembas, Hereros, Damaras, Whites.... from different nations and languages, redeemed by the blood of Christ! The "personel" in the bush kitchen had to work very hard to fill 250 hungry stomachs! Hester was supervisor, Clementine the CHIEF COOK and Kakarandua second in charge - the kitchen ran on all cylinders! The well prepared meals were mouth-watering!

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A hunger for God, together with filled stomachs and refreshed bodies, prepared God’s people for the main dish, Koos Greeff’s messages from God’s Word! His theme, AD FONTES - Latin for “Back to the Fountain”. His sermons were evident of a deep knowledge of the Bible and a daily walk with God! The minor prophets Amos, Hosea, Zechariah ...... called us to repent! Back to the fountain of God’s Word with Jesus Christ as the centre!

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Maria and Winnie had the privilege of teaching and leading the small kids in worship through song & dance during the services. I got tired by just looking at them! Saturday afternoon Hester and Kakarandua led all the ladies, young and old, participating in making bible bookmarks. Kakarandua then led the ladies in a bible-study sharing God’s Word in practical matters.

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Resurrection Sunday was a fitting climax to the Easter camp! Jesus Christ is risen and He reigns as KING! We celebrated through song, worship and by listening to God’s Word and many choirs. After a delicious Sunday lunch, Koos concluded Easter Sunday with Ad Fontes! Until late Sunday evening different choirs still celebrated the Lord’s resurrection!

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At Monday morning’s prayer meeting we concluded with Isaiah 53, where the passion of Christ is portrayed as a prophecy 700 BC. We prayed that the crucified and risen Christ may be the heart and focus of our lives. After breakfast we packed up and many willing hands cleaned up the camping site within a few hours. Monday evening everyone was back home again.

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We honour and thank God for this Easter Camp. Our heartfelt thanks and gratitude to everyone who helped in whatever way. Pray for Seka who wants to develop his farm for kingdom purposes. Pray that God will provide for him. Pray that the Easter camp messages will bear abundant fruit in many lives to God’s honour.

Greetings in Christ - Erik van Zyl - Kunene for Christ

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In the early darkness of dawn the lights of the Cruiser “bakkie” lights up the OvaHimba kraal, home of Vetumbuavi where his wife Uanyanekwa and her children welcomed me and pastor Jason Ngambue. We invited them to the Easter-camp of Kunene for Christ the following weekend, 14-17 April. We camped nearby and the next morning Vetumbuavi and his children caught and castrated many of the billy goats! After this painful ordeal ended, we gathered with a group of OvaHimba Christians, 10 adults and 8 children, and shared God’s Word with them.

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The gospel is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes (Romans 1:16). Uakuyo, Katika’s daughter backslided, but after hearing God’s Word, she recommitted herself to the Lord Jesus. Pastor Ngambue and Uanyanekua prayed with her.

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The newly built home of Uapeontjunda and Tareree Tjambiru, the teachers-couple at Ondije, with borehole water from a tap right in front of their home is an answer to prayer. For years they had to walk 3-4 km up to the mountains to fetch water. Eventually we find them at a conservancy meeting at the river! Tareree said that her husband told her half an hour ago, “Pastor Erik will be here any minute”. His explanation, “I sensed in my spirit that you would come.” His explanation for his new house and water supply: “The Lord saw the tears of Pierre Vlok from Napier and answered his prayers!” We invited them to the Easter camp and drove on to Okaanga in search of Tjise Tjambiru.

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On our way to Okaanga, we find cattle grazing in lush pasture. We enjoyed the hospitality of Headman Tjavara of Okaanga, but he could not help us in our search for Tjise. “She is in the mountains and there is no drivable road to her temporary homestead.” I told Pastor Jason: “We must trust the Lord to find her” and left after 4.00 pm. Ten minutes later we drove past Tjise at Okaanga’s borehole, she came down from the mountains just for the day. She greeted me, “ Dominie waja rukuru!” – Pastor you were away for a long time! Tjise drove with us to the top of the mountain where we camped. Tjise promised, the next morning she, Mavehitimo and her baby boy will come to have fellowship with us! The Lord loves to be faithful!

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The next morning at 9h30 Tjise, her daughter Mavehitimo with her grandson Kuundjua and their cattle arrived at our camp. The last time I visited Tjise was in July 2016. We were grateful to have fellowship in the Lord! We were amazed on hearing Mavehitimo’s testimony on what the Lord told her. The previous day when Tjise was in Okaanga, Mavehitimo told Tezee, Tjise’s grandson, up in the mountains, “I saw in a vision from the Lord that Pastor Erik is at Okaanga.” Last night when Tjise was back at her temporary homestead in the mountains and after sharing that she met us, Tezee told his grandmother, “Truly, what Mavehitimo saw is really the truth! Pastor Erik is really here!” The Lord reveals himself to the humble and childlike (Matthew 11:25) and they have the privilege of seeing the invisible God (Hebrews 11:27)

The name Kuundjua means “Expectation of the Lord fulfilled!” As a young Himba girl Mavehitimo was mocked by her peers for not having a baby like all the other unmarried young girls, but she waited on the Lord for a Christian husband. The Lord fulfilled her expectation when she married Karupuka Kasaona on the 19th of May 2016 and when Kuundjua, her baby son, was born on the 7th of March 2017! What a testimony of God’s faithfulness within the OvaHimba culture!

Pray for the OvaHimba Christians of Omarawarawa, Ondije and Okaanga to stay faithful to the Lord Jesus! Pray for Mavehitimo, that she will increase in her knowledge of and love for the Lord Jesus!

Greetings in Christ - Erik van Zyl - Kunene for Christ

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Friendly greetings from these zebra. There are growth and life everywhere on the way to Otjikondavirongo. Erik, rev Dries Burger, Willie Viljoen from the Pioneerspark Congregation of the Dutch Reformed Church and Jan Kasupi, headman at Ganamub visited the most remote school in south west Kaokoland.

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They were warmly received by mr Vincent Mulisa, the principal of the school. There was a newly built dining room, but they still had two meals a day cooked outside in big black pots, eating maize porridge from shared containers. They were delighted when Dries started handing out 30 new tin plates to those who didn’t have plates. After dinner 346 children watched the Jesus film in their own language. The Lord treated us with showers of blessings. Our team was allowed to sleep in the dining room. The children slept in the classrooms. The new hostel building will be in use shortly.

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Tuesday morning, 7 March, Erik shared the gospel message at the assembly using the “Living Ball”. Afterwards they handed out 10 “Living Ball” soccer balls, as well as two cricket bats and real cricket balls.

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Dries and Willie showed the boys how to play cricket and saw great talent in one boy who hit the ball quite high. David and Daniel are two outstanding Christian leaders and were handed two Mega-voice players (solar powered mp3 players) with 232 short OT and NT stories. Sonja Kapuenene, the pre-primary teacher, also received one. Dries also handed her 18 kg vitamin enriched maize meal for the little ones.

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On our way back we stopped at a dwelling and Dries and Willie could share the gospel with the people living there. At sesfontein Dries pruned Jan’s vineyard and showed Jan how to do it. He could also hand Jan some pesticide for his garden. At Warmquelle they gave Jan and Bettie some literature, donated by the Pioneerspark congregation. Cornelia shared the sweetest watermelons we had ever tasted.

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They stayed overnight at the “Zebra Rest Camp” at Sesfontein. The owner is a friendly Damara man, Limbie Awarab. Dries also handed him a “Mega-voice” player with stories in the Damara language. On Wednesday morning they left the dry Sesfontein area (they heard afterwards that the rain came there as well). Jan Kasupi joined them, because he had a court case to attend in Opuwo. On the way they drove through the rain on the mud roads and Dries started worrying about his Hilux and tried to scrape the mud off.

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They picked Uazamembo (church leader) from Upowo and drove to Okatumba, 28 km outside Opuwo, where the easter camp 2017 will be held. They tried to reach the area, but they drove through such a downpour, that all the roads became like rivers. They had to turn back to Opuwo.

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Thank the Lord for the rain in Kaokoland, but please pray that more rain would fall in Damaraland, where it is still dry.
Pray that God would use the 2017 Easter camp to expand his Kingdom.
Pray for the practical preparations and the logistics like tents, food and more that have to be transported there.
Pray for the Lord’s anointing of Koos Greeff by the Holy Spirit and that God will use him to his glory!

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The good Samaritan

NEW YEAR'S MESSAGE ON BEHALF OF KUNENE FOR CHRIST
'THE GOOD SAMARITAN'

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Last week I met up with some of the Angolan Christians who are our co-workers and whom we also assist with drought relief.

That's when they told me this story:
On my previous visit I mentioned the good Samaritan and how we can find clues to caring for others in his example. Just after my visit to Angola during which we distributed drought relief food, a non-Christian woman, whose children hadn't eaten for two days, arrived to ask for food from the Christians. Unfortunately all the food had been distributed already. So one of the Christians said to her that he still has a kid goat that she can take and try to exchange for mealie meal or other food. She then went to someone else, who didn't want to help her, because the animal was too small to exchange for mealie meal. Again she went to Christians who were willing to exchange her goat for a bigger goat, which she could then use to get mealie meal to feed her children.

The Christians had remembered the good Samaritan and felt they needed to help. From this I have once again learnt how easily we give when it doesn't hurt our pockets, but these people, just like the good Samaritan, gave while actually causing themselves damage. Maybe we must remember, when we aren't sure whether to give or to keep, that Jesus gave EVERYTHING, his status, his place of safety with the Father, even his own life... to bring us rescue and hope.

May we also in 2016 grab every opportunity to be "good Samaritans", not for our sakes, but for Christ's sake. Acts 20:35 "It's more blessed to give than to receive."

Dear friends,

Jacob has been to Swartbooisdrift Horeb again and six other leaders came with their motorcycles from Okayo, Angola and transported food across the border per boat. Jacob also did leadership training.

The Morvite is a real mainstay for the people. The adults realised they could get away with eating once in three days, so their children could rather have a meal every day. Jacob will be traveling there in two weeks' time again for the next gathering. He'll go to Opuwo for a week of prayer from 7-14 February.

Regarding the children we sent to school unfortunately things didn't go well. They have returned to Outjo. PRAY with us for ideas so we can help them feel safe.

Regards from the Kunene team

January 2016

A little group of children agreed to try and return to school with our cooperation and support. They persevered during the holidays and reported for their dry food rations. From Monday we'll prepare everything they need for school and boarding. They were admitted to the school where Chris and Jessie van Rooyen help out, on the resettlement farm, Queen Sophia.

Let us continue to PRAY that they'll PERSEVERE at school and that we'll receive wisdom to perceive their needs and provide the necessary support.

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It was a fulfilling month of December with all the opportunities that came across our paths. After we returned from the Cape to a wonderful training meeting in the north of Angola, Koos van Zyl and his team of men (first photo) paid a visit from 11 to 21 December. They went to distribute food in the north of Kaokoland and also visited Katetete to repair the solar panel for the Grunfoss water pump that the tree rats destroyed.

Jacob, Rev Jason and Bede went over to Angola to Alfeus at Okayo. The dead donkey tells a story of the drought... Jacob and his team could minister to the people and they normally sing together until late at night. They have such a hunger and thirst for the Word.

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On the 14th of January, Jacob and his team will travel to Swartbooisdrift again with a whole lot of food... Jacob quotes Jan Hus (1360-1415) for 2016 and this also speaks to my heart!

"Seek the TRUTH
Listen to the TRUTH
Teach the TRUTH
Abide in the TRUTH
and DEFEND the TRUTH unto death"

May we and our co-workers, partners, outreach teams, friends and prayer intercessors hold up the TRUTH in our relationship with the Lord and stand up for it.
May we carry out his plans SENSIBLY and may we be trustworthy workers in His service.
May we HOLD our heads above water in 2016 because the Lord through His Spirit holds them up. May His peace be a part of our walk every day.
Thank you that we can ALSO depend on your intercession for 2016.

Regards from the Kunene team

Suiderhof celebrates a birthday

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The Dutch Reformed Church in Opuwo's choir came to join in the celebrations of Suiderhof's 50th anniversary in Windhoek. Suiderhof's hospitality with regards to accommodation, food and participation in the service, touched the choir's and our hearts. The Opuwo Windhoek church members also joined us! Suiderhof's standing ovation after the choir's performance was moving.

Truly: JESUS CHRIST, OUR ROCK AND CORNERSTONE. May this become part and parcel of our hearts in the future and may our lives not be conformed to this world, but to Christ's character.

The leaders of Kaokoland have determined that the leaders' camp will be held the weekend of 20 November. Erik and Jacob have to speak about the doctrines of the church and other important issues are also on the agenda. The camp will take place about 30 km before Opuwo.

News from the Centre

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We are presenting another trauma healing workshop to the community from Monday to Thursday from 2 pm. We have an inter-church women's group year end function Saturday morning at the Centre.

The photo shows a fun moment where Helena puts on one of the flower wreaths she made for each woman. Jeanette Lubbe will expound on the GREEN colour of the trauma healing workshop. We'll also have an activity.

The street children agreed to attending school. We'll meet with their guardians on Monday morning. Oh dear, we can't find a school for them. We left it a little too late and so far all the schools where we inquired are full. PRAY with us for a spot for them.

We have started to present Choose to Wait to them and Iris continues to teach them to read and write. On the photo Christofine is serving up their daily dish. When they find a school, we would like to support them with school uniforms and toiletries for the next year.

We REST in the knowledge that God provides in everything when he instructs you to do something for him.

Ecumenical moment

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The Lutheran church in Outjo celebrated their 110th anniversary this weekend. They started early Saturday morning by conducting a service in their old church building. The initial six o'clock time became nine o'clock, but I had a great time with the Ditsa women.

All the women dressed in green and white and today, Sunday, they would dress in red and white. Anita Retief gave me a red handbag for me to give to someone and it lay on my heart to give it to a woman from the Lutheran church. Her excitement was great, as it went with Sunday's red theme!

The Lutheran church is busy preparing for the 500th anniversary of the denomination...we bought tickets for the fundraising!! It was a lovely relationship-building opportunity. May the Lord bless THEIR CHURCH ALSO.

Regards from the Kunene team

Annual camp at Fonteine.

Chris and Emmie, who belong to the Kamanjab congregation but live in Khorixas, have their annual camp at Fonteine. We, Maria from the team and Danie from the Vaalpark congregation, go to attend.

Here you can see photos of the desert camp!! When Rev Jan van Zyl opens and lets us listen with bowed heads to Psalm 23, our hearts are gripped. The contrast between the unbelievable horizon filled with mountains and the crystalline fountain surrounded by reeds helps you to come into contact with the Lord's green pastures and the fact that he brings you (out of the desert) to the still waters (fountain). By the way...the horizon is SO striking that a camera cannot capture it!

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Jan's theme is SIGNS. Young and old take part in his practical presentation of the Living Water and we are touched by the "desert" communion.

Once during presentations we see a herd of springbuck grazing on the plains and another time kudus pass by on their way to drink from the fountain. At night we hear many zebras...heard that there are no elephants and lions around and we sleep like we're among the ROSES in the desert. The youth's hearty songs of praise touch our hearts.

Well then...may the Lord bless Chris and Emmie's inputs in Damaraland richly. Emmie is also involved with an orphanage in Khorixas.

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We, together with the Kaokoland leaders and the members resident in Windhoek, gather together in the city. The reason for the gathering is to find a place where the church members can worship TOGETHER.

Rhingo and Uazamembo facilitate the meeting in an excellent manner and the Windhoek members are unanimous in their decision to join the English-speaking ward of the Dutch Reformed "Moedergemeente". We also attended the service there on Sunday morning and Rhingo and Sara (elected leaders) made the arrangements with Rev Thijs van der Merwe.

This weekend the Opuwo choir will be on the road to Windhoek with us. We will visit Suiderhof congregation, who is celebrating its 50th anniversary. We are excited about all the opportunities to do something together. We PRAY for a blessed time.

This morning the street children had a dispute and threw stones...will you please pray with us for their hearts that feel so broken. We want to try and put them in school next year and care for them a little bit after school. Will you please pray with us for the arrangements involved.

Thank you very much praying co-workers!!

Regards from the Kunene team

CHALLENGES

The street children's club has now been established: Club 60/12, and they would like to learn to read and write. I am hence looking for someone willing to spend an hour a day, or at least three times a week, teaching the children to read and write. PRAY with us for that someone.

Today two children had a terrible fight...they hate each other!! This then is the challenge. When they identify their emotions, they identify them as ANGER and sadness. Let's pray that the Lord will fill them with his presence.

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Then it is time for the selected group of people from Warmquelle and Sesfontein to go for their lens replacements in Windhoek, but the vehicles are broken and finances are tight. Always a challenge to manage responsibility!! PRAY also with us that this will become a reality.

Another challenge is Jacob who needs to take it easy...after his two hernia repairs.

At Khorixas, Emmie and Chris are making arrangements for their annual Damaraland camp...It's a challenge and always looks like the Great Trek with everything that needs to be transported to host the camp.

We received a Morvite donation from SWAM Ministries/Jaco Jacobs for distribution in the north, southern Angola and where needed during this time of drought. We thank the Lord for this deliverance...the challenge is to distribute it effectively.

MAY fountains of blessings flow from all these challenges, since we have, ALONGSIDE the challenge, also the Lord with us!

Make a difference...

Each one of us can make a difference to those around us by carrying out one particular activity. Lovely, simple ways to invest in people's lives. Actually, we need to be aware that ALL we do exert an influence...either positive or negative

This was from a Character Transformation workshop I could attend, as Jacob had to be in Windhoek for two hernia repair operations. I return with a dream of getting a few groups of people to do the course. It's a year-long program where you spend six weeks on one character trait, depicting it according to a specific colour and imprinting it on your mind. During that time, the character trait will examine your heart and show with great precision what you need to work on in your life.

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We had an enjoyable children's club. We depicted character in relationship in the form of a circle (from Choose to Wait). We spoke about making the right choices because God has said so! The children could also take home food parcels, donated by Namib Mills. Susan also has packets of sandwiches ready for them on Mondays. Even the adults look forward to what's hidden inside those. It's like a lucky packet and it does the children's hearts good!

Jacob is still recovering after his two hernia repairs. When he lifts a heavy chest, he suddenly remembers he's not meant to...but he's making good progress.

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Ditsa women's group...We had such awesome fellowship around the Word of the Lord on Namatubis, painted our nails according to the trauma colours, made cake plates as well as bracelets...even the kids made one for themselves. LORD: bless these women and their homes!

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Jessie van Rooyen pitched the Character Transformation workshop to everyone who has activities at the centre on Friday afternoon at 12. Everyone seems positive and we trust that we'll be able to present the workshop so it can become part of the programme by January.

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Jacob had the privilege to preach in Angola at four occasions. Pastor Malungu Pedro is on the photo, standing next to Jacob.

Please pray for the work in the Kunene region, as well as in northern Angola at Kikuni.

Outreaches..

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Windhoek's Suiderhof congregation returned from their outreach at Warmquelle. They enjoyed it very much and it was good that they could meet with friends and equip them with the Gospel. Maria presented Choose to Wait to the children (photo).

Petrus and Hermien (photo) of Heidelberg went back to wander down memory lane in Kaokoland, where they visited friends made on outreaches long gone. It was GOOD for them and for the friends!

Something happened where I could learn from cross-cultural interactions: church members from Kaokoland made a special effort to hitchhike so they could come and see with their own eyes that I am okay after my heart operation. Now that is a beautiful gesture. I am expecting another one of them today and yesterday a female friend from Kaokoland came to visit especially. Christ's family! We can really learn so much from one another.

LIKEWISE from the Lord...all-encompassing!

Jacob and co are now at Luanda. He had to conduct the service there.

Warm regards from Kunene for Christ