We have officially been in South Africa for several weeks, and it has been a busy time. We spent some time with my sister, Nicole, in Limpopo, a province about three hours away from our home base. It was wonderful for us to see family who we have not seen since they made their move to South Africa. Our kiddos were eager to see their cousins, relax, and unwind after the 19-hour trip overseas. Our first Sunday there, we attended the church my sister has been going to since they entered the country. This church is located on one of the many game farms in the area. It turns out the church has quite a history, having been in use since the late 1800s. We also had the opportunity to participate in a Bible study that Nicole has been hosting at her house with three Zimbabweans and one American missionary. We cherish opportunities to study God's word, especially with new converts.
Once we arrived back in Krugersdorp, we had to begin the adjustment of living in the city. Africa's time is not like America's time, and things tend to take much longer to accomplish. Strangely, the driving here is anything but slow. We spent most of our second day in Krugersdorp establishing bank accounts, obtaining cell phone airtime and data, and making a trip to the uniform shop for our kids' school attire. Our first journey to the grocery store yielded a lot of learning. If any of you have children, you already know what it is like to take them all to the grocery store with you. Pair that with a super busy store, a new currency where I have to convert each item, new product names and labels, and three hungry kids. Whew! We survived our first trip and made a new friend who worked at the bank that we would be visiting the next day.
The kids have transitioned fairly well into a new country and a new school. They are the only Americans in the school, so they get asked many questions about what it is like to live in the U.S. My biggest task has been learning to drive here. Here, traffic drives on the left side of the road, on the right side of the car, and shift with the left hand. Might I add that I have never owned a manual vehicle, so learning here is a bit intimidating. We are excited to finally be here, to learn the culture, and to seek every opportunity we can to share about Him.
David and I had the opportunity to minister at Bishop Joel Dibetsoe’s church, Spooner Memorial Phokeng, in Rustenburg. Bishop Dibetsoe is the presiding bishop over the entire country of South Africa. The church was started by an American missionary. We love ministering and praying for people, and are networking with the local Pentecostal Holiness Church Conferences here in South Africa to see how we can serve them. Meanwhile, we are exploring new outreach opportunities in South Africa and surrounding countries. We are so thankful to be working with Joe and Maggie Delport, regional directors of Southern Africa. Having them here to help us has been such a blessing. David will have the opportunity to travel with Joe Delport to countries surrounding South Africa in the future. Currently, all travel is on hold because of the Coronavirus. We know the Lord will open the doors for where He wants us. We have open hands and open hearts that desire to be used fully, and we look for opportunities to minister and love on people in our day to day activities. The fact that we moved here is shocking to most people. They often ask why we would leave America. This presents a great opportunity to talk about the Lord.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
• Pray for continued provision for our budget. We are still in need of monthly donors.
• Pray that we will transition smoothly through many life changes over these next few months.
• Pray for the love of Christ to heal the wounds of apartheid. It is still so evident among the different people here.
• We would love to invite you into a conversation with the Lord, asking if He is guiding you to shepherd the resources He has entrusted you with, to further the kingdom here in Africa.
• Praise the Lord for the smooth flight we had to South Africa and for arriving before the Coronavirus shut
• Praise the Lord for only minor stomach issues in the family, which quickly resolved.
• Share with us praises in your lives so that we can praise God with you.
BRADYN'S CORNER: I am happy that I am already making friends, but, at the same time, it feels a bit different. I will always stand out since I am from America. I said the word “ya’ll,” and some of the kids said, “Oh my gosh, he said ya’ll. Say it again.” It is so funny! The peanut butter here is not quite as good. I am missing playing on the keyboard and hope that we can purchase one soon. Learning here is a bit intimidating. We are excited to finally be here, to learn the culture, and to seek every opportunity we can to share about Him.
CALLIE'S CORNER: I started school at Alma Mater, and I have made at least six friends. My favorite class so far is Afrikaans. I really like the palm trees here. The people here talk with an accent, and yet they think I have a big accent. One person even said that I sound like the people in the movies. What I miss most that South Africa does not have is Braum’s and Chick-fil-a.
BRITTYN'S CORNER: I made four friends at school. I really like all my teachers. I have learned how to play netball, which is like basketball without the backboard, and you cannot dribble. You can only take three steps when you have the ball, and then you have to pass. I like trying the new food here, and they have a lot of pomegranates, which I like.
David & Michelle, Bradyn, Callie, and Brittyn Riley