Hi everyone! This is Kayla, and I’m so excited to share what happened today with you all!
Not everyone on our team slept well last night because it thunderstormed for most of the night. It was quite exciting for our Southern California team 🙂 The Macks again provided a wonderful breakfast before team devotions led by Bryan Bush, when our team was reminded of the importance of having both brotherly love for members of God’s family and hospitality for those who have not received the gospel.
After the encouragement from God’s Word, we packed up the vans and drove for about an hour to the home of Mike and Marie Brunk, who are a missionary couple serving the community of Katlahong. In twelve years, they have seen the church they planted grow from five attenders per week to over fifty, and they are using expository teaching, discipleship, Bible classes, counseling, and youth ministry to nurture the church body and serve the community. What an incredible couple! The Brunks are passionate for the local church and the people they serve. They desire for the church to become indigenous and be able to stand without outside intervention, though they also recognize that building bible based churches takes a lot of time because of ingrained cultural beliefs. Because of that, it is necessary to preach Christ alone rather than Christ plus (fill in the blank). Both Mike and Marie graciously set aside their day to take us to visit and encourage members of the congregation.
Pastor Mike Brunk sharing about their life and ministry
Though there is so much I could share about each person and their love for their family and Christ, I’ll just share a little bit about each person of family and some prayer requests that they shared. The first family we visited was Charlotte and her children (her husband was at work). She shared her testimony and how she is so enjoying The Lord and His Word. She asks for prayer to raise her children in The Lord.
Praying with Charlotte
Charlotte and her three month old baby
The second person we met was Martha, who tutors second grade. We had the privilege of taking her to work and chatting with her in the van on the way. She asks for prayer for her unsaved son and husband and that she can be a light to those she works with.
The third person we met was Sarah. Sarah is from Zimbabwe. She was so excited to open up her home, as small as it seemed to us, and to show us pictures of her family. Taylor was able to share the gospel with her and encourage her in Christ. She asks for prayer for a job for her husband and that her children would find time to go to church. She also asks for prayer for comfort for her and her sister Gladys, since they are without parents.
Sarah showing us her home
The fourth person we met was Mamaloy. She has known Mike for 12 years and has been attending the church for a long time. She asks for prayer for her husband (George), children, and grandchildren.
Mamaloy & Sarah
Steve Manthorne challenged his friend Uncle George to go to church on Sunday
The fifth person we met was Sergio. Sergio is from Mozambique and runs a barber shop to support his wife and children back in Mozambique. His wife, daughters, parents, brothers, and sisters are not saved, and he desires prayer for them. He also asks for prayer for strength in belief, spiritual growth, and the opportunity to go back home to Mozambique.
After talking to Sergio, we ate lunch in the vans before beginning a children’s program next to a school. At first, a small group of kids ran around kicking a soccer ball with some members of our team. Slowly, the small group turned into a massive crowd of children. Jim Hughes ran some AWANA games for the kids, but the crowd of kids became too large very quickly. The kids just enjoyed hanging out with members of our team, whether that involved tossing a frisbee or playing with the long hair of the girls on our team. I know I personally had a group of kids surrounding me to touch my hair and give me hugs. This was my favorite part of the day since we got to interact with some amazing kids. I wish I could have gotten to know the kids personally, but just being there for them and smiling at them was all we could do. And it broke my heart. I was able to read a flier with the gospel message on it to a small group of girls, but I wanted to sit down with each child and tell them how much God loves them. Eventually, we had the kids sit down and listen to a bible message given by Doug Roller. When he finished that, we wrapped everything up with the kids and headed off to our last stop.
Taylor playing soccer/keep away with a big group of kids
Sharing the story of David and Goliath with the children
The amazing thing about our time with these children is that it wasn’t planned. We had tried to make arrangements with a different school in the area, but we were denied. When we arrived at this big field next to a school, we were open to seeing what would happen, but we were definitely not expecting such an incredible turnout. It’s such a great reminder that even though things are not in our control, doesn’t mean they are out of control. God obviously orchestrated our entire day, especially the precious time we shared with these children.
The last family we met was the Tshabalala family. We were able to spend some time with the grandchildren and the women, who also blessed us with some gorgeous singing!
The siblings singing a Zulu song for us
After our final stop, we drove to a restaurant to spend some more time getting to know each other and enjoy a meal together. Though it was a long day, I know that all of us were blessed by each person, family, and child we came into contact with today.