Monthly Archives: December 2018

Shine as Lights in the World

What do we like to complain about most?

If you live in South Africa, the answer is load shedding. You can complain with everyone and anyone about load shedding and they will happily join in bashing the company who provides electricity to all of South Africa.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with load shedding, it is when the power company turns off your power for a couple hours during the day on a rotating schedule so that the system doesn’t crash. However, even though the company puts out a schedule for when the power outage will happen in your area, they do not follow the schedule that they put out. You never know when your power will go out and for how long it will last. Fortunately, it usually only lasts a couple of hours.

A week ago while I was reading my Bible, I came across Philippians 2:14 ” Do all things without gru´┐╝mbling or complaining” The Holy Spirit brought to my attention that when I speak to people, whether I know them or not, it is easier to complain about load shedding, the weather, the government ect. Yes, those things frustrate me. But instead of always dwelling on them and complaining how hard it makes my life, maybe I should be thankful that I do have electricity most of the time. I should be thankful that I can store a month’s worth of meat in my freezer because I have electricity. I can have a fan running in my kids’ rooms because I have electricity. I have the money to go out for dinner on those rare occasions when we don’t have power and I can’t cook a hot supper. I have a place to charge my phone so I can communicate with people especially my family across the world. I never think to thank God for electricity when it is always on but now that it turns on and off, I am more conscious of the blessing I have.

Instead of complaining, I choose to be thankful and satisfied with what I have. I am also starting to be prepared for when I don’t have it. The power going out in the morning is exciting to the kids now because it means we are taking a walk to the playground with a snack. I now make sure I have a meal on hand that can be made without cooking until we can get a portable gas stove. We have a lantern and candles if the power goes off at night. The power going out is also a blessing because it forces us to be creative and spend time together and with others around us.

Also speaking positively about these kinds of difficulites to others makes you different. You are not joining the crowd in complaining. It is just one of the ways you can ,”be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,” which is Phillipains 2:15.

In a time when we celebrate the Light of the World coming to us. Let’s share some of that light. Let’s show people the joy in our lives in spite of troubles because we have Jesus in our lives. One small way to do that for me is not starting a conversation with complaints but with goodness and the blessing in the weather and load shedding.

Merry Christmas from the summer in South Africa. We love you all. I hope you experience the blessing of the season where we celebrate God’s greatest gift to us: Jesus.

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December 2018 Newsletter

Merry Christmas from South Africa where we are dreaming of a white sand Christmas.

Ryan is preparing to publish a version of the project he has been working on all year. Though the project has taken significantly longer than expected, there is still a lot of excitement within TWR. LinguaDMS is over 10 years old now and really needs some updating. This project is one of the first steps to modernize and simplify LinguaDMS. Other than that Ryan has been maintaining our TWR Africa mobile app and helping manage files and data within LinguaDMS. The year is almost done, but there are a lot of little things to be done before we relax a little during our summer break. Please keep Ryan and his various projects in your prayers as we wrap up 2018.

Since Elyse finished her writing for Hope for our Children, she has not done any other writing. She spends all her time with Ary and Owen. God also brought a family into our lives that Elyse helps out a lot. This family is a single mom with five kids, one of whom was born in September. Elyse and the other Mom have become good friends. She also has a little girl about Ary’s age. She and Ary have become best buds.

Thanksgiving dinner with our South African church

We had a Thanksgiving meal with our church. Elyse gave out some recipes on some of the more traditional Thanksgiving dishes. The food was fantastic. The company of 50 other people coming together to give thanks, enjoy each other’s company, and eat a lot made it a perfect evening.

Ary and Owen’s Corner

Fun at the playground

Ary is becoming more independent and some times strong willed. Her favorite things to do right now are reading, playing at the playground around the block, and singing nonsense songs no one but she can understand. She has developed a love for The Chronicles of Narnia because we listen to it in the car. Puddleglum is her favorite. Owen still is not talking but he will do animal sounds and repeats things we say. He is a real boy who loves jumping, climbing, playing with cars, and getting dirty. His favorite books are the big Jesus books that Grandma and Grandpa gave him. Elyse has been doing a sort of homeschool with the kids as they are eager to learn. Ary wants to learn to read.

Listener Story

I listened to TWR’s programme, The Way of Righteousness, and heard the preacher say we should love our enemies. My heart was full of hatred. Thanks again for this program. My heart has changed and I ask God to give me the strength to forgive others as his son has forgiven me….

A listener in West Africa

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