|Mission Report - January 2012|
Greetings in the wonderful Name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
“The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. "The LORD is my portion," says my soul, "therefore I will hope in him." Lamentations 3:22 -24
Due to unforeseen problems with the house we were renting in Potgietersrus, our family had to pray about relocating. Moving house is not one of our favourite pastimes, but it can be a useful time to clear away the clutter and keep only the absolute necessities and true treasures. Our family seems to get an opportunity to sort through the ‘stuff’ on a regular basis. During praying and thinking about this big decision, God graciously provided a very suitable and affordable house on a farm. Although settling into the new lifestyle and community has taken quite a while, living on this farm has proven to be an exciting adventure.
Berdine and Michelle write: Our family relocated to a beautiful (and windy!) farm situated 15 km from the city of Pietersburg. This is a dream come true and an answer to prayer. We (Berdine and Michelle) have, to our utmost delight and excitement, permission to ride the horses on the farm and we enjoy this immensely! We now see the Lord’s hand in providing riding lessons, at the expense of generous friends while in Potgietersrus. Our family has the privilege of jogging and cycling and we enjoy the peaceful quietness and large open spaces in general. There is a large variety of birds on the farm including guinea fowl, hadedas, owls and the occasional Kingfisher. There are also jackals, hares, and duikers, which we see periodically, living in the vast expanse of bush. We even had our own resident chameleon living in the Feverfew, feasting on the unsuspecting insects attracted by the joyfully flowering Cinnamon Basil planted next to it. Unfortunately there are also the less likeable creatures such as mice, snakes, scorpions, and spiders of which we (and our cats) have found quite a few. Across the road from us, in the distance, is a train track, and David, Douglas and the twins greatly enjoy the trains that frequently pass-they never miss one!
During the holiday our family spent many hours establishing a prolific vegetable garden on a plot of land next to our house. The owners of the farm very kindly supply the water, and in return we provide them with fresh home-grown veggies. Having to maintain our large garden amidst a busy school, work and ministry schedule, weeding and compost-making have become common ‘sunrise practices’. We enjoy reaping and eating the rewards of our labour and love blessing many others with the Frews’ Farm Fresh Produce.
“And God said, "Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food.” Genesis 1:29
Thoughts from the FruGirls on some of the highlights of 2011:
The Great Commission Course
I had the immense blessing of attending Frontline Fellowship’s Great Commission Course-a dream come true for me! I had been dreaming of attending it with my Dad for about 4 years-since he attended his first course in 2006. It was an experience like none other-three weeks packed with hands-on training to go into the mission field.
The Great Commission Course started in Rocklands, a campsite with the most amazing view of the sea and gorgeous mountains, with the Biblical Worldview Summit for a week. The BWS was attended by people from all over Africa and the USA and was a great time of learning about different worldviews, especially the Humanistic worldview with which we are bombarded every day in so many different ways. I was struck, as I always am, by the intense passion the Frontline staff have for missions, especially Frontline’s director Dr. Peter Hammond, who gave many testimonies of his past mission trips and the experiences he has had in the war-torn countries where he served the suffering. I was moved and challenged.
The next two-week phase of the course started with a late afternoon/night hike up the awe-inspiring Lion’s Head which was fun to do with my Dad who has hiked Lion’s Head 3 times- I really enjoyed the time chatting with him and learning from him. Every morning of the GCC started with PT (except for Sundays) and really helped to get me going for the day.
The outreach that had the greatest impact on me was the Life Chain and Prayer Vigil outside the Marie Stopes abortion clinic in Cape Town. What a sickening, heart-rending place to be! I had the grave opportunity to gently counsel a young woman who admitted to coming for an abortion that morning. I understandingly listened as she explained that there was no other way for her, and that this was her only choice. The fear and uncertainty in her eyes told me that this was not her first choice and after telling her about the loving alternative to abortion-adoption-I handed her an anti-abortion pamphlet and watched her enter the cold, heartless clinic. I don’t know what she decided to do, but I hope and pray that the seed that was sown had an impact. My heart aches when I think about the young woman and the thousands who find themselves in the same situation.
Another great and memorable part of the course was the celebration of the birth of Africa’s newest country-South Sudan. Dr. Hammond led the celebration by recounting his long-standing work with the steadfast Christians in this war-ridden country. I was gripped and moved as he spoke-the birth of South Sudan has been the answer to the prayers of the Christians of this war-weary nation and they need more help now than ever to rebuild this new country on a solid, Biblical foundation. This is what Frontline Fellowship endeavored to do when a team was sent into South Sudan for two months at the end of 2011.
An awesome grand finale to the course was the hike up Table Mountain; despite stupidly wandering off the path and getting lost with two other hikers from our group, it was still a very special experience-one I won’t soon forget! Once again the greatest part of it was completing it with my Dad who climbed courageously despite his very sore knee which gave him a lot of trouble especially on the steep climb down, but he persevered!
I thank God for the tremendous blessing of being able to go on this challenging, thought-provoking, God-centered course, and I pray that He will continue to use what I learned to make and mould me more and more into His image.~Berdine Frew
All Africa Student Convention
I had the opportunity to participate in the Accelerated Christian Education’s All Africa Student Convention held in Bloemfontein. 1,800 senior students from 11 countries in Africa took part in this convention. Participants compete in athletics, archery, art, photography, sewing, wood and metal work, chess, checkers, poetry recitations, social studies and science exhibits, dances, dramas, instrumentals, physical fitness, solos, choirs and lots more. I made a power point about adoption, memorized the book of John, and did a sewing project. I had the great privilege of having my dad accompany me and was grateful for the time we could spend together. We enjoyed watching several dances, dramas, choirs, sport events, and admiring all the interesting exhibits. I received, to my great surprise, a silver medal for my skirt and blouse, a good score for my power point, and for memorizing the book of John a gold medal and a nomination for the International Student Convention in the US. It was also a good time to see old friends and to make new ones. I praise God who gives talents and abilities, and who enables us to use it for His glory. ~Michelle Frew
“And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20
The Kairos Course
I attended the Kairos Course which is a mission course that addresses the question: Why should any person or church be involved in missions? It challenges the modern church mindset of comfort, self-preservation, laziness and blatant disregard for the Lord Jesus Christ’s Great Commission.
Through an in-depth look at God’s covenant with Abraham and His people, it is revealed that God intended that His Glory should be spread among all nations. “In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice." Genesis 22:18.
Seeing that God’s purpose to glorify Himself among every nation has not changed, the Church does have a responsibility to engage in missions as this is the reason for the existence of the Church. We explored different mission strategies employed by historic missionaries through the Church’s history. The remaining mission task facing us at this stage is daunting, but also serves as a wake-up call to the church to use its God-given resources to reach out to a significant part of the world’s population who have not yet heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ. ~David Frew
David has been spending a considerable amount of time doing mechanical and electrical work to provide for our family. Ministry opportunities and invitations abound -both in the local rural community and internationally- but a decline in our family’s financial support is motivating him to view every job opportunity as a God-given solution to an energy-draining problem.
Frews’ book of the month:TheRare Jewel of Christian Contentment by Jeremiah Burroughs
“There was never any man or woman so contented as a self-denying man or woman. No one ever denied himself as much as Jesus Christ did: He gave His cheeks to the smiters, He opened not His mouth, He was a lamb when he was led to the slaughter, He made no noise in the street. He was willing to empty Himself… and the nearer we come to learning to deny ourselves as Christ did, the more contented shall we be, and by knowing much of our own vileness we shall learn to justify God.”
Health Tip: “ A healthy diet will regulate chemical levels in your brain so you can fall asleep faster and rest more fully throughout the night. When you wake up in the morning you feel rested.” The Hallelujah Diet by Rev. George Malkmus
Your sleep will be sweet if you watch what you eat,
On a lighter note: Q:What’s another name for a rooster?
A: A farm alarm. (David says our alarm is malfunctioning and cannot be set). J
Please pray with us for:
· David’s upcoming mission outreach to Zimbabwe. He has an open invitation to work closely with a respectable church group’s mission board.
· the establishment of a Christian Action group in Pietersburg, we have made contact with interested Christians and had a successful pro-life outreach
· our family’s involvement in our new local church- Berdine and Michelle in music ministry and David in men's ministry and Sunday School
· part time job opportunities for David, to aid the shortfall in our income
· personal needs not in the budget- we celebrated 20 years of marriage at the end of 2011, and it seems that some essentials household items need to be replaced after 20 years of faithful service.
We praise God for supplying finances to buy curriculum for this year’s home schooling.
Thank you very much to our friends who support us so faithfully. May God bless and reward you. We appreciate your prayers and gifts!
David & Tessa, Berdine, Michelle, David, Douglas, David & Elisa Frew
PS. Missionary families like ours have to raise our own support. If you are interested in serving in this way, please contact us.