Seth sent this prayer letter out today.

Rivers, rain, and water are prominent pictures in Scripture demonstrating intense feeling and the powerful working of God’s Spirit. But yesterday’s experience was not a metaphor.

Yesterday was Elim Baptist Church’s fifth anniversary Sunday. Today is the 8th day of rain. It poured yesterday the entire day. Rivers of water were running by the crèche where our church meets. The women were cooking for 60, but only 20 showed up. The gullies—in some places—were taller than Colin. Saturday morning it stopped, and we thought the rain was over, so we went to work cleaning the crèche, cutting steps into the dirt pathway, and removing unsightly weeds and grass from the entry pathway. Then from a clear sky the rains returned again in the afternoon and went right through Sunday night.

Before the service started my suit jacket was dropped in the river of water at the building’s entrance, and the current started carrying it away. I could wring out my tie. The passenger’s window on our bakkie slipped out of its bracket and irretrievably down inside the door itself. Amy’s shoes were swallowed up by the mud only a few steps from entering the building, and a number of people worshipped barefoot that day.

Seth finally returned after 4 PM, soaked completely.

Seth finally returned after 4 PM, soaked completely.

However, in spite of those factors the testimonies from church members were encouraging. Murun’wa (mother of three whose believing husband passed away in 2010) praised God for her salvation and grace to keep loving Christ. Akani (19 years old) thanked God for another church member who was instrumental in his conversion 3 years earlier. Tiyani made a slide show of our church’s first 5 years. Amy and Tiyani sang a special song. My message focused on the Thessalonian church reaching independence after only three weeks of teaching from Paul. (Acts 17:1-4)

Positively, one of our two men, Rudzani Rambau, has been working in Joburg for several years. He surprised us all by returning from the city for a brief three-day visit. (Friday to Sunday only, his first visit to the village in more than a year) During that brief stay, he evidenced his commitment to the church by working with us Friday and Saturday and then worshipping with us on Sunday. Privately, he told me that there are very few churches like ours where he works that can really help people stay away from sin.

Rudzani cleaning the grounds Saturday, making steps. The steps were all washed away by Sunday.

Rudzani cleaning the grounds Saturday, making steps. The steps were all washed away by Sunday.

Our Bible institute and our church are the same age. February 11 we will begin our sixth year of training men to be pastors or church leaders. So far, 6 men have committed to studying theology this year—all of them in the first year, and 5 of them having wives and children. Three of them are already pastors, and the others aspire to that office. Please pray that we can work out housing and be filled with the Spirit as we both lecture and model a Christian worldview to these men. Also pray that each man will have a teachable spirit especially when it comes to opposing the prosperity gospel and the other doctrinal fungi that grow in its shadows.

While our weekend was busy with preparations for the Lord’s Day, last Friday was also the anniversary of my wife’s birth. She entered her fourth decade festively by homeschooling the kids in the morning, practicing music for the church service in the afternoon, and preparing food for the church until around 10 pm Friday night. King Lemuel says that a woman like her is difficult to find, and once procured she should be valued above a cache of jewels. When I married Amy, the worth of my portfolio increased exponentially.

Washing plates.

Washing plates.

For the Founder and Finisher of our faith,

Seth and Amy


About Amy

I'm Amy, a missionary wife and homeschooling mother of five children, blogging about our lives and perspectives on culture in South Africa.
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4 Responses to Anniversaries

  1. Ann Bedford says:

    What a wonderful report. Remind me not to complain when I plan a picnic and it rains. Do not have the problems to contend with that you do. And, Seth I agree that your worth increased very much when you married Amy (but I am a little prejudiced since I watched her grow spiritually as well as in years). God bless you both.

  2. Nicole Shipe says:

    Thank you Amy. I love your blog! I read it all the time, and I find much similarties in our lives. Praying for you.

  3. zebranay says:

    I love you guys so much! Your spirits are so encouraging to me when I see what you face on a day by day basis. Yet you have such positive attitudes in all you do. You are a real blessing to me and many others I imagine!

  4. zebranay says:

    And yes Seth, you definitely married up!

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