I Will Trust
After a late night/early 1:30 a.m. work session, I woke up yesterday overwhelmed and exhausted. Tears flowed for what seemed no reason other than I was beyond tired and missed Rebecca. She was such a ministry partner and friend that I continue to have bursts of grieving. Even now I am tearful. We also heard from Anna that her visa was again denied. So, I have waves of being personally at a loss with how God would have the ministry to move forward. Spiritually my heart cries out, “Lord, what are you doing? How is this to be? My human mind doesn’t grasp what you are doing. There is so much to do now.”
In my time with the Lord this morning I noticed, “So he enrolled them in the wilderness of Sinai.” - Leviticus 1:19. God encamped the Israelites for one year in the wilderness. The purpose was to prepare them spiritually for the next phase of their journey prior to moving into the promised land. God knew what they would face. Even though this verse refers to Moses taking a census of the people, as an educator, my mind immediately went to being enrolled in a program…the wilderness program.
Personally, I feel as if I am enrolled in the wilderness of Sinai. It is a desert place! There are times I feel dry, discouraged, at a loss, out of place, and desiring to be somewhere else. However, I have never lost the belief that this is a place where survival is dependent on me taking nourishment from the Spring of Living Water. The song "Trust in You," performed by Lauren Daigle, encapsulates all that I am experiencing during this season. Again, I am confident that this is the place God desires for us to be and that He has a purpose beyond our comprehension.
You can join the battle with us by praying for Abba’s Pride. It is during this season that Abba’s Pride especially needs your prayers. Will you pray for us as a ministry?
- That people will see Jesus through Abba’s Pride. That all we do and say will point the lost to Christ and the joy He brings to our lives.
- Ask that God will give renewed vision and allow us to focus on the future He has for His ministry, Abba’s Pride, and wisdom as new opportunities arise.
- That the Lord’s will for Anna will not be stopped by evil opposition. We will all be open to God’s next steps for Anna. Peace for her during this journey.
- Provide financial resources and safe travel for Jimmy (arriving this month).
- Go before Stephanie’s visa application. That it will be favorably approved.
- Lonnie and Debbie’s visa renewal application will be approved within the next few weeks.
- Safety for our team members that are on the road daily. We have had a few scary incidents around food delivery.
- Provide financial support for the team members and the ministries.
- Give thanks to God for all He has done and will continue to do through Abba’s Pride.
- Debbie Warren
Last year we were blessed with donations that will make it possible to construct a new Early Childhood Center for Pastor Silas and Maria in Mmolta, Northwest. Pastor George’s team started making the blocks last September as we waited for their building plans to be submitted and approved. They suffered a small hiccup in December when the plans were “misplaced” by the local municipality. After the resubmission, approval was granted and we broke ground on January 10th.
The new kitchen, which will serve as the temporary secure store room, has been completed. The original metal shed has been removed and relocated. The foundation and floor for the rest of the building have been completed. We are projecting that the roof will be installed the first week in March. Maria and the children could not wait to check out their new classroom.
Our thanks to all who are making this project possible.
Abba's Pride Feeding Program
Abba's Pride is extremely blessed to receive weekly food donations from local businesses and grocery stores throughout Pretoria. Julian is the main point person for these partnerships. Here's what he had to say about how the year has started:
"Our year started off extremely well as Abba’s Pride was gifted a new slot for picking up food from Hazeldean Pick n' Pay [local grocery store]. We now have 3 slots a week from the FoodForward Foodbank. We are also still receiving food from two Spar food outlets [local grocery store]: 1 four times a week and the other once a week.
As you all know, we were also receiving 23 Bags of JAM (Joint Aid Mission) porridge per month which was providing the children with roughly 8000 meals/month. We have Great News! JAM porridge has been fully funded for 2018! Coastal Community Church has donated an amount which covers the cost and we are extremely grateful!
We Praise Our God for His constant provision to our mission. Amen!!
A Time of Transition
"Let the transitioning begin! Since leaving South Africa on January 26th, we have gone through a lot of big changes! We have all adjusted to the time change and are now trying to figure out this new normal. For the time being we are staying with my parents in Pennsylvania, as we make plans and prepare to have our own place to live here in the States. Becca is teaching and is loving the flexibility that her new job brings for our family. I am currently home with the kids and plan to start work toward the end of February. We are still adjusting to the cold and to the fact that this country is our home for the foreseeable future. We are thankful that God has blessed us with great family and friends both here and in South Africa! We are looking forward to seeing many of you in the coming months and are so grateful for all of your prayers as we make this transition. Thank you for all of your prayers, encouragement, and support through this major transition season!"
- Josiah for the Jones family
Our Team is Growing!
Steph served with us for a few months near the end of 2017. Here's a little bit about her journey:
"I am so excited to be joining Abba's Pride full-time. I first visited South Africa in 2008 and fell in love with the country. In 2010, I spent a year there working with a children's home and counseling children in local schools. The experience changed my life forever.
I felt called to return to the U.S. to pursue a PhD in International Psychology. I conducted my dissertation research in South African children’s homes in the Johannesburg area, focusing on the mental health and social support of orphaned and abandoned children. During this time, I was also able to visit Abba’s Pride and see firsthand the impact they were making on children’s lives.
I came to serve with Abba's Pride from October to December of 2017, expectant that God would make clear His next steps for me. I loved my time there, amazed at all Abba's Pride was already doing. Over those few months I felt God tugging on my heart, leading me towards missions full time with Abba's Pride. I am excited to say "yes" to His call and can't wait to get back to South Africa to work alongside Abba's Pride.
I am currently in the United States support raising and in the process of applying for a 3-year visa. I am hoping to get back to South Africa in April/May."
We are so thankful and joyful that Jimmy Newton will be joining us in February for 3 months. The timing of his arrival is perfect. He will be assisting Julian with the challenge of feeding hungry children. We can't wait to see how God uses Jimmy to serve the people of South Africa!
Recent Events and End of 2017 Blessings
You and Me Forever: Marriage in Light of Eternity
Ten pastoral couples and church leadership couples attended a marriage retreat hosted by Abba’s Pride and sponsored by Eastside Community Church and Eastside donors. It was a marvelous getaway for the couples and a time to refocus on marriage from an eternal impact. Thanks to Eastside for providing such an amazing opportunity for these couples who are committed to taking the love of Jesus to their communities.
Early Childhood Teachers’ Guild Graduation
The Early Childhood Teachers’ Guild celebrated the completion of a great year of professional growth. It was also a time for the teachers to appreciate Rebecca and pray for her as she prepared to transition back to the states. We were blessed to be able to give each center a book of Bible stories in their home language to share with their students. We can't wait to see how God uses these Bible stories to change the lives of little boys and girls all over South Africa!
Family to Family
Thanks to donors all over the world, during the month of November, 350 families in our partnering early childhood centers received a food parcel. These parcels helped bridge the gap over the Christmas holidays so that no child would have to go hungry. Each family received a parcel that fed a family of four one meal a day for 10 days. Thank you to Eastside Community Church and all the online donors that made this possible!