Full S.T.E.M. Ahead South Africa
Last Words (isiXhosa: Amazwi Okugqibela)
Colossian 11:26 NLT – For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the Lord’s death until he comes again.
Mark 16:19 NLT – When Jesus had finished talking with them, He was taken up into heaven and sat down in the place of honor at God’s right hand.
Dear Family, Friends, and Ministry Partners,
Happy Easter/Resurrection Sunday to all of you. I hope you are enjoying the Holy Week remembering Christ’s sacrifice that brought us into a right relationship with God the Father. Thank you always for the many caring responses to the last newsletter. Thank you for your prayers and continued financial support.
Last year in April 2021, my isiXhosa teacher, Shirley Zantsi, taught me the “Seven Last Words of Christ“ in isiXhosa. In my home church, Trinity Baptist Church of Los Angeles, Pastor Tunstill invites ministers to preach on the “Seven Last Words of Christ.” Reflecting now on Christ’s caring and forgiving last words on the cross both in Xhosa and English has given me a new perspective on just how important there is a need for caring and forgiving words.
Daily working with my learners, I always need to review some already taught information. There never seems to be enough time for instructions. At the end of the sessions, are my words caring? Am I leaving the learners with the sense that God who created them loves them so much that He died on the cross to save them? I pray and ask God daily to help my words to be caring and show each one of my learners that Jesus loves each one of them. I pray also that I show a caring attitude to my colleagues and the staff at Teleios Christian School.
I must confess and repent that I tell God, “I am not a Special Needs Teacher.” God lets me know that He has created each one of these children and He knows exactly how their brain works. Then He helps me connect with educators, principals, and psychologist to get their input. When I look at it from God’s big picture, I remember that He has and is equipping me to do all the work He has called me to do. God has forgiven us, and we just must forgive ourselves.
Christ’s last words should always give us comfort. We who are bought with a price should also see that our last words at any given moment are caring and forgiving. We also need to practice caring for and forgiving ourselves.
In March 2022, Karen Smith, the Area Director for Africa, came to visit me and our partners at Bethany Emmanuel Baptist Church. She visited the students at Teleios Christian School. One of the teaching staff gave Karen a traditional Xhosa necklace.
I witnessed a baptism at Pastor Ihlenfeldt’s House. Due to Covid-19 restrictions three young people of a Zion Church could not get baptize in the public pool. Pastor Ihlenfeldt and Patricia offered the use of the parsonage’s pool.
I visited two coastal cities south of Qonce. The cities were Qgeberha (Port Elizabeth) and Port Alfred. I am also learning like in most places there are the tourist, the upper class, the working-class neighborhoods and then the townships. It is a reality of people living in deep poverty while there is a very wealthy class of people living right next to them a few miles away. My host and friends showed me the tourist sites and we did the tourist things, Addo Elephant National Park, and Kragga Kamma Game Park. Both parks are preservation land for the natural wildlife of South Africa. I also visited the beaches in both Qgeberha and Port Alfred. I did pass through some surrounding townships, and I will be going back to visit some of the surrounding townships.
“Enkosi kakhulu, ndiyabulela.” (Thank you very much, I am grateful)
God bless and keep you all,
Qonce, South Africa
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