|Hammond Family News - December 2016|
Life in the Hammond Family is inextricably linked to the life and ministry of Frontline Fellowship. 2016 was no exception to this and saw the new year ushered in with the Great Commission Course. Every Camp and Course we host has its own unique flair, coloured by the participants coming from all around the Globe. Our children have grown up in and amongst these Camps and have formed friendships that have spanned the years. For us as parents, it is thrilling to see our own children and our son-in-law taking on leadership roles now. This too is varied and involves everything from audio recordings, filming, lectures, devotions, workshops and early morning physical training. After the conclusion of the Camp, the Course transition seamlessly begins with a Lions Head hike and the participants fill every available space in the Mission House, and spilling on to the lawns in Tents. After 3 weeks of intense and multi-faceted training, the Course concludes with a 10 hour hike up, along and down Table Mountain, much of it in the dark.
What made Christmas 2015 and the GCC extra special for us HamFams was that Hunter, Andrea and Jeremy were a part of it all. What an absolute treat it is to have us all together, celebrating Christ’s Birth and then participating together as a family in Ministry. Sadly, these visits do come to an end and saw the Combs family departing again... this time hopefully for the last time, as we eagerly anticipate them moving to Cape Town in the course of 2017.
Hunter is due to graduate with a Masters in Divinity in May of 2017. Lord willing they will begin the Great Trek to Cape Town after that milestone has been reached. We parents are extremely proud of Hunter and Andrea and all they have accomplished as a family. It will be a privilege to have them form a vital part of our Mission and daily ministry.
For Daniela…2016 was the first year of working full-time within the Mission. She has brought a fresh new look to our publications, cover designs, adverts, posters, banners and websites. Her creativity and clean approach to design brings a revitalizing appearance which is much appreciated. Daniela took up water-colour lessons again and has greatly increased her portfolio, so much so, that she has also been doing Markets in November and December.
Much of Daniela’s time after the GCC involved preparations for hosting the first ever ‘Mother City Hop’ international Lindy Hop event. This was a well attended intercontinental event involving several international teachers. At the conclusion of the Cape Town event, many traveled to Mozambique for their Lindy Hop event. Daniela enjoyed being a part of this global scene spanning many cultures.
For Christopher... 2016 marked his second year working full-time with our IT department. His apprenticeship under our IT Manager Reinhard has been a stretching, challenging, but ultimately rewarding experience for him.
Christopher writes; “It has been a tough year with little staff in our ‘Comms’ office AKA IT Office, I have had to run and manage our AV (Audio Visual) Department as well as assisting in keeping our 17 websites and SermonAudio, Soundcloud and SlideShare sites up to date with such things like upcoming events, regular articles, audio and PowerPoint uploads, plug-ins, banners and things like that. I learn new things on the job quite often and am able to put them into practice immediately. Next year I hope to move more into the Filming and Post Production side and hand over the Technical IT work to one of our new recruits.
“That being said, much of my time this year was spent in preparation for my 3rd KSI Karate World Championship tournament, which happens every 2 years with over 21 countries who come to participate. This year it was held in Berlin. I was able to enter into four categories and in the end placed 4th place for Team Kata and Lightweight Kumite (Fighting).” Despite his disappointment, it was still an incredible achievement!
Having his busiest year in terms of competing he has now been invited to participate in the 2016 Black Belt Grading to grade for his 2nd Dan Black Belt on December 16. This requires an immense amount of commitment and a deeper understanding of the ‘Martial Arts Language.’ He spent many many hours preparing for this event.
Christopher works two extra part-time jobs as well, one of them with ‘SoundOut’ which entails the setting up of sound and light systems for any special event or concert. This too is an opportunity for on-the-job-training.
For Calvin…2016 concludes his grade 10 year. But mostly, his year involves sport, more sport and then some more sport! Calvin managed a silver finish in the World famous Two Oceans half-Marathon, which is notorious for its hills. It is one of the most challenging Half and Ultra Marathons and participants come from all over the World to run in this. His time was 86 minutes. Calvin continues to love hockey and water-polo as well and occasionally he makes time for his academics! He is so ready to be finished with High School, but alas has two more years. Frequently he longs for the days of home-schooling again.
For me…. 2016 included a visit from my sister Debbie in March. It is such a joy to be able to spend such quality amounts of time together. Considering we live on different Continents and the challenges and costs of travel, Debbie’s visits are refreshing and encouraging to say the least.
Travel for me included a visit to Arizona to bask in the company of my parents and the Combs family. They live approximately an hour away from one another, so I commuted back and forth for a few days each time. It was a joyous and meaningful time with Mom and Dad especially and one I will cherish. My Father’s health has taken a down turn this year, involving congestive heart failure as well as prostate cancer. My stalwart nursing Mother takes good care of Dad and they have soldiered through all of the ups and downs. God is good and His timing is perfect. I am so grateful I could enjoy those wonderful few weeks with them. We thank our Heavenly Father for all His provisions and for His care for my parents. It grieves me that I am not able to be there to help them and I pray for continual guidance as to when to visit next.
My own cancer journey is monitored carefully and while a bone scan gave us a scare, a subsequent nuclear scan gave me the all clear. I have been very unhappy on the hormonal treatment, so am exploring alternate options for this at the moment. We continue to juice on a daily basis and are supported with wonderful supplements by Dr. and Mrs. John Hart. I am at peace knowing God is in control of my health. He has numbered my days and I rejoice that I am still able to be a part of this family and its journey.
For Peter… 2016 as always began with the GCC. Final editing and publishing of ‘Going On’ by my Father Bill Bathman, Biblical Faith & Modern Counterfeits, Sketches from South African History as well as the Old Testament Survey. These were the completion of projects that have been worked on for years. He also completely revised and expanded The Greatest Century of Missions and Putting Feet to Your Faith. Peter takes part in weekly sessions of HEMA (Historic European Martial Arts) and has become very adept at winning bouts in tournaments. It is an intense workout, wielding a variety of very large swords! He sometimes comes home with impressive multi coloured bruises.
Travel for ministry included the KwaSizaBantu Youth Conference, a Mission to Kenya, two Ministry tours of the US and an overland South Africa Mission. Peter’s speaking engagements are tightly packed into short periods so as to maximize his use of time. We are grateful that despite the many many miles travelled, the amount of flight delays or cancellations and the unfriendly airports, he has not lost luggage or missed appointments. Transporting multiple Kg’s of Books and Literature is demanding physically and each trans-Atlantic flight takes its toll. We are grateful for God’s blessing and protection on these sojourns.
Our highlight this October was hosting the EuroChor in Cape Town. Peter arranged a wonderful itinerary which included performances at the Waterfront Amphitheater, the oldest Lutheran Church in South Africa as well as a concert in the beautiful Dutch Reformed Church in Franshhoek. It was indeed a blessing to host such a talented international Choir to celebrate Reformation Day and the launch of the Reformation 500 year.
Thank you for being a part of our family through prayer and friendship. We cherish your support and encouragement.
A very Merry Christmas and many blessings for the New Year to you all.
May we never take for-granted all that God has given us.
This year has been a very colourful one, from working in the ministry, a little bit of traveling, building my design brand and dancing a bit too. I entered into my second year of being in the working industry. This year I started work full-time at Frontline Fellowship as Graphic Designer. I am really blessed to work with like-minded people and to do work that aims to further God’s Kingdom. I have enjoyed going on spontaneous outreaches and also had the privilege of joining my Dad at the Youth Conference of KwaSizabantu Mission in July this year. I hadn’t been to the mission in many years, so it was really wonderful to be inspired and to reconnect with old friends and meet new ones.
In March, after Mother City Hop, (the lindy hop festival in Cape Town), I went with some friends in the organising team to Mozambique for another swing dance workshop week. It was culturally educating and opened my eyes to the many kinds of people in the world. The local people in Maputo were very friendly and extremely thankful and needy for the Gospel. I was loaded up by Literature4Africa with literature in their language, (Portuguese) for this trip.
In August, I joined an ‘Adult Watercolour’ painting class. It has been so wonderful painting again with other fellow artists, giving feedback and inspiring each other with everyone’s unique styles and methods of creating art. This has become my ‘happy place’. This class has helped me increase my painting portfolio, which has led to participating in markets, where I have sold greeting cards, art prints, postcards and gift tags under my design brand ‘DH Art’.
In October, my friend Tanya visited me during the EuroChor’s ministry and Reformation Celebration events. We had not seen each other since the GCC in 2010, and had such a wonderful time together taking pictures and catching up.
I am looking forward the upcoming GCC where I will be assisting with leadership again and taking part in the full Great Commission Course for the first time. May God bring many people to be equipped to live out the Great Commission.
Thank you ever so much for all your continuous love, prayers, and support. May God be with you everyday of your life.
Lots of love, Daniela
THE COMBS CORNER
It’s true what they say: children change everything. Our sweet Jeremy has added more love, joy and adventure to our lives and the year 2016. I don’t really know how I thought our lives were interesting before, because by comparison, it was pretty lackluster. Our 14-month-old toddler (no, I’m still not used to calling him that) has changed our entire world and has added more colour and vibrancy to it.
The year 2016 has been packed with more travel than previous years for us. Twenty-fifteen ended with us celebrating the Christmas season with our Hammond Family in Cape Town and started with us participating in Frontline’sGCC and then flying back to the States. After another busy semester for Hunter, we flew to Virginia to witness the wedding of one of Hunter’s childhood friends. Hunter had the honour of being one of the groomsman, and it was a really beautiful time of celebration. We spent the following week there with some of our family and enjoyed some respite, and we also had the opportunity to wander around Washington D.C. as a family of three.
As June drew to a close, we drove up to Denver, Colorado, to attend the ISI National Conference. It was an educational experience driving such a long distance with a nine-month-old, but it was definitely worth the trip. Jeremy did really well sitting in his car seat for such long stretches each day and we were very thankful for his patient disposition. We had a great time connecting with old and new faces and were uplifted, encouraged and inspired to continue
our work with international students. Hunter especially came away with a renewed passion and desire to pour out his life into the students God had prepared for us to reach.
In August, thanks to my parents, I was incredibly blessed with the opportunity to fly home with Jeremy to surprise Christopher for his 21st birthday! We pulled off the surprise seamlessly (quite a feat for Hammonds who don’t tend to keep secrets all too well within the family)! Birthdays have always been treated with a touch of special exclusivity in the HamFam household and since moving to Phoenix in 2009, I’ve missed my fair share of them. It meant more than I can express to physically attend my not-so-baby brother’s birthday party. Although the visit was less than a month long, our time spent together, as always, was priceless.
Traveling solo with an almost one-year-old was also, shall we say, an enlightening experience. Yet, I must say my faith in humankind was restored after dozens of strangers and flight attendants offered to help me in every stage of our trek to and from Cape Town. I discovered our world isn’t quite as empty of selflessness and chivalry as I had previously thought.
For this last part of the year, Hunter and I have had the honor of hosting several Friday night dinners and Bible studies in our home with the international students we have been getting to know. Hunter helps host the weekly Friday night Bible study at our friends Holly and Travis’ house. They have been walking the students through the story of Redemption. These studies give the students an opportunity to read the Bible on their own and discover for themselves who God is and why He created us. It’s so fun learning more about their unique cultures and traditions and having them point out aspects of American culture we hadn’t really thought as interesting or unusual before.
Mid-November, Hunter, Jeremy and I were joined with three students to see the Phoenix Zoo’s famed Zoo Lights. In honour of the holidays, much of the zoo is enlightened with millions of beautiful lights in a stunning display. It was so fun to see the look of awe and wonder on our friends’ faces! We also had the joy of celebrating Thanksgiving with 12 international students who, for many, were observing the holiday for the very first time!
Now that the Christmas season is finally here, it has a way of getting us to think about the reason Christ came to this Earth in the first place: to free us from our sins. Since becoming parents, we see everything through a different lens. I genuinely believe parenthood has given us a better insight to the beauty of God’s character. Certainly, knowing that He chose to sacrifice His one and only Son on the Cross for us, to rescue and redeem us, suddenly became exceptionally more powerful after we began to understand the kind of love a parent has for their child. The cost became that much more precious… Our God truly is an AWESOME God!
We pray as you enter this festive season that you would reflect on all the wonderful ways our Lord Jesus has touched your lives and how empty Christmas would be without Him in it.
May 2017 hold many blessings for you and your family!
With love in Christ,
Hunter, Andrea & Jeremy
Frontline Fellowship P. O. Box 74 Newlands 7725 Cape Town South Africa
Web: www.frontline.org.za www.ReformationSA.org