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A MACK FAMILY UPDATE

Something Exciting...

Our first official ABTC graduation

I think it was about six years ago now that we started meeting in an apartment in downtown Pretoria with five or six men as we worked our way through a survey of the Bible. Then, we took it to the next level, and spent three years developing a syllabus as we studied the Old and New Testament with a group from our church in a wooden shed in the back of someone’s house. And this year, we were amazed by God’s goodness, as we opened up the course to our church and community, and God brought students from all over to study biblical and systematic theology with us.

These are the students from all over South Africa who completed all the homework and passed the exam in the biblical theology class.

Would you pray with us as we look forward to next year’s class? It looks like we are approaching thirty new students in our biblical theology class and already have over thirty in our systematic course.

SOMETHING AMAZING...

Nine years ago Marda and I were driving home from Steve Biko hospital when we saw a friend and stopped to say hello. After we had said goodbye, we were on our way back to our car when we met a sweet young lady from Zimbabwe who began a conversation with Marda. A friendship began! She and her husband began attending the church. He was teachable, faithful and willing to serve. It became evident in time that we should help Nickson get more training. He went to Christ Seminary in Polokwane. We gave him opportunities to minister in the church. He’s done basically everything from stacking chairs, to greeting new visitors, to counseling, to preaching. Our church eventually recognized him as an elder. He then went on and did graduate study in theology and biblical counseling. And now, it’s time to send him out! We wanted this day to come, and yet, we didn’t want this day to come. He and Esther are going to leave a huge hole. But, it was exciting for our church to be able to commission him to go back to his hometown of Harare, Zimbabwe as a church planter. This is one of the reasons our church exists. We want to identify, mentor and send godly African leaders out to plant biblical churches. And then, we want to do what we can to help them thrive in the years ahead. But, you have to realize how impossible this seemed. With Nickson, we thought it would be impossible to raise the funds to provide for him and his family. But nothing is too hard for God! And, we are looking forward to giving more and more reports of the ways God is using Nickson and Esther in Zimbabwe in the future!

SOMETHING SCARY!

God loves us. One way He proves His love is by bringing trials into our lives. At about this time last year, He used cancer to help us draw closer to Him. It looks like this year, He might use taxes! We’ve obviously been paying taxes on the money we are given to the United States, but, this year, the South African government has informed us, they think as missionaries, we need to start paying taxes on the same money, here as well. This is significant! We pay a very low percentage of income tax in the United States, but, we will pay around 40 percent in South Africa. Honestly, I was surprised as I had been told by others, this wouldn’t be an issue. And, I was pretty scared. It was easy for my mind to go to worst case scenarios. What if? What about? But, fortunately God allowed this trial to come, right as I was preaching a series on fear! Amazing. Where do I really put my trust? There’s only One who deserves it. Will you pray with us? I’ve been working with an accountant who is a little confused by SARS ruling as well. It took her a little by surprise. She’s still doing research. But, it’s not looking very positive. In one way or another, God will deliver. We are asking that God will strengthen me in particular to honor Him as we seek to do what is right and smart and best in these taxing situations. And, we will let you know more as we know more, specifics.

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