"I have but one passion - it is He, it is He alone. The world is the field and the field is the world; and henceforth that country shall be my home where I can most be used in winning souls for Christ."

Monday, October 28, 2013

October 2013 Newsletter

October 2013
"Ntate, the Bible says that God resists the proud. But I am so proud that you are here! Is God going to resist me?"
- Ntate Ntsimane to us during our first week in Mokhotlong
Our New Home
After many months of transition, we have finally settled into our new home in Mokhotlong, Lesotho! (pictured above) It is a beautiful little town high in the mountains (9, 842 ft. above sea level) overlooking the Senqu River, which is not very impressive at the moment. We have been without rain since April and the whole country has begun rationing water. One of our prayer requests in this letter is for rain - "Wots and Wots of Wain fow Wesootoo," as Kyle prays before every meal and bedtime.
In my recent seminary classes...
...I was studying hermeneutics and theology of global engagement. Interestingly, they happened to correspond very closely. A main focus of hermeneutics was to emphasize the importance of recognizing the preconceptions and preunderstandings we bring to the biblical text, lest they subtly color our interpretation. Global theology's main focus was to examine how one's culture shapes his worldview and affects what he sees even in his reading of the Scriptures. Our current lack of rain has allowed me to see a living example of this. Every Basotho pastor with whom I've spent any time has mentioned praying for "the latter rain," a phrase I usually brush right past. Even now I'm only vaguely familiar with it and think of it as just a downpour of refreshment.
For the First Time In My Life...
...I've really seen the necessity of rain and how dramatically it affects people's livelihood. Certainly our farmer friends in Illinois have had a greater appreciation for rain than I have had. Here in Lesotho, we live in a highly pastoral and agrarian society. This drought is far beyond our inconvenience of taking fewer showers or washing our clothes less; it causes the Basotho's livestock to starve and their crops to wither and die. People's whole livelihood here is tied to the land and the weather. Because of our differing cultures, then, the Basotho believers see God more fully as Provider, Sustainer, and Life-Giver than I do. Please join us in prayer to the Lord of the Harvest for "the latter rain."
Ntate Ntsimane Motsoang...
...and his family have become our adopted family. He is the pastor of Harvesters Bible Church here in Mokhotlong and has laid the groundwork for the TEE program. His wife 'Me Matsolo is the assistant principal at a local high school. They have several children and all have made us feel very welcome - even renting us their house for our time here. We don't know much about their children for, as is typical with Africans, "family" is much larger than "nuclear family." Some are theirs, others are of relatives who have died, and a few others they have taken in to feed and care for. We have already grown to love this family so much! They are our dearest friends here and I can't wait to get to know them better.
TEE is set to begin...
...the week of January 19-25. We will be having an official launch on January 11th, where Ntate Mpakanyane and the other TEE leaders will come to Mokhotlong for a weekend conference with our first students. I'm so excited about the potential for this program! Many of the leaders at Harvesters have been asking about the program and are eager to sign up. Please be praying that members of other churches in town will also join our studies. The need for theological education is enormous here and our desire is to train up leaders across denominations. Over the next months, I am visiting all of the different churches in town and looking for opportunities to share TEE with the pastors. My goal is to make TEE a deeply significant training program and trust that God will bring in the leaders that He wants.
Our family...
...is loving life in Africa. While I'm busy finishing my semesters of school, Abby is busy painting and setting up our new house. Kyle is busy playing around the house and yard, meeting the Basotho children, and chattering all day. Ellee is busy sleeping, eating, and rolling around. I'm amazed how Kyle picks up languages. He'll probably be speaking Sesotho better than we before long.
The Lord has also been providing for our support. Thank you all for your faithfulness in giving to and praying for our ministry here. Our support level had gone down a bit from people being out of work, but God has moved others to give - both in monthly support and one-time gifts - and they have more than made up for the difference! He is always faithful and we are grateful for His provision and your care. We are already looking forward to seeing many of you next March for missions conferences in SC and IL. Kyle is counting down the days until his birthday, when he can go on an airplane and see all his family again. We love you!
- Jonathan, Abby, Kyle & Ellee
jastclair@aimint.net

Monday, September 9, 2013

September 2013 Newsletter

September 2013
"I am fired up about TEE."
"I am very happy for the questions designed to help my old mind."
"I am very much blessed to be in this TEE program. A lot of us have learned what is the will of God and what salvation really means."
"I appreciate the community of love that is shared among us."
"I am thankful for the people who had the vision to start this program."
- TEE Student Feedback
We're moving!
After months of transition since arriving in Africa, we are so excited to be almost settled into our permanent home. Our prayers were answered with a rental home available in Mokhotlong and we hope to move in the coming week.
Due to housing needs...
...we moved out of the house we have been living in here in Maseru to make space for an incoming family. Although we were not quite ready to make the big move to Mokhotlong, we were blessed with friends who have a small guest apartment we which could use for the interim. We have a moving truck coordinated to help us get all our possessions up the steep mountain roads as soon as we are able to make the move. Currently, we are waiting for two last pieces of furniture to be delivered as well as finalization of Kyle's and Ellee's volunteer visas here in Lesotho. We expect those things to be ready this week but because this is Africa, well, we won’t be sure until it happens! We were so thankful that Ellee’s passport arrived very quickly after we were able to apply for it despite warnings of a lengthy wait for her Report of Birth Abroad papers. From start to finish, it only took about one month to receive all her necessary documents and we are thankful for the freedom to cross the border into South Africa again whenever necessary.
TEE Program Work
Late last month Jonathan and the Maseru TEE committee held one of their quarterly seminars for the enrolled students. They had ten of the students present to listen to lectures, write their exams, fellowship together and work towards completing their TEE course. Praise the Lord, each of the ten students passed their exams this time! Jonathan was able to help write and format the exams and is making great progress in his learning of the local language.
Also last month...
...Jonathan began his third semester with Liberty Online. His classes take a lot of time and energy but he is thoroughly enjoying all he is researching and learning this year. He is taking three classes during this eight week mini-mester and will have a week-long break before beginning his next two classes for the following eight weeks. During that week, we hope to take a small family vacation to catch our breath before he starts again!
We were so blessed...
...to be invited to mission conferences at both our supporting churches during the spring of next year! The timing couldn’t have been more perfect. With one conference in late February/early March and the other in late March, we will also be able to visit our families in the middle. We expect those weeks to be a bit hectic, traveling to visit family in SC, FL and MO and also to IL for one of the conferences, but we are thankful for the opportunity to reconnect with so many of our beloved family and friends back home. March 2nd will be Kyle’s 3rd birthday and we are very much looking forward to celebrating together with his cousins!
Speaking of the children...
...Kyle is growing and changing right before our eyes and is still such a blessing to our hearts. He thoroughly enjoys playing with his toys and friends and he brings such a sweet and excited spirit into our days. His loving and protective heart towards his sister is also a blessing to witness. Ellee is still doing great and is developing a little personality of her own. She makes us laugh when she smiles and coos and kicks her feet incessantly with excitement! She is about three and a half months old now and I can barely believe how fast time is flying!
Once we arrive in Mokhotlong...
...we will have a few house repairs to do and Jonathan will be forced to try his hand at plumbing. We’ve been told a water pipe has burst, so we'll repair them as soon as possible. Until then, we do have a water source in the yard which apparently isn’t frozen. During our months in Mexico and Africa, we’ve become pretty accustomed to hauling buckets of water into the house for daily use so this won’t be anything terribly new. But, of course, I hope the problem is solved quickly so that I don’t have to wash laundry by hand for too long! I was so blessed to have a washing machine installed last month that I’m afraid I’ve become a bit spoiled by it.
We do request prayer...
...as we begin settling in Mokhotlong. We know hardly anyone there and are praying we will be able to make some lasting friendships to enjoy as we work in the mountains. We also expect our support to drop by about $300/month next year. We are so thankful for each and every one of our prayer and financial supporters and we trust the Lord to provide for our needs.
May our Lord bless and keep you!
- Jonathan, Abby & Kyle St.Clair
jastclair@aimint.net

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

June 2013 Newsletter

"Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain . . . Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward."
- Psalm 127:1a,3 (ESV)

Our Little Blessing...
...Ellee Renée St.Clair was born on May 24, 2013. She weighed 6 lbs. 7 oz. and was 19.5 inches long. So this family of three is now a family of four and it's wonderful to be able to speak of "our kids" now instead of only "our boy." They make our lives so much happier.

Medical care in Africa...
...was a bit of a concern for us, before we moved here. We came having no idea, really, about the availability of hospitals, the quality of medical care, or the number of trained physicians we might find. As always, God has answered our prayers and we have been very pleased with the medical facilities and care we have received in neighboring South Africa. Our main prayer requests were that Abby would have a safe delivery and that Ellee would be born healthy. Now, Abby has recovered very well and baby Ellee is just fine, too.

God's Perfect Timing
As we began planning for the birth, we had decided to drive to Bloemfontein a few weeks before the due date to ensure that we would be near the hospital and not need an emergency delivery in Lesotho. Abby would tell you that she really had no specific reason for choosing May 22nd as the day for us to go. But God had His plan and His timing set perfectly. We had arranged to stay at a guest house in Bloem for about four weeks in total. We arrived the evening of the 22nd and that night Abby started feeling contractions. On the morning of the 23rd, we went to the hospital to visit some of our teammates who had been in a bad car accident and were being treated. Just as we were leaving the hospital, the contractions increased and by suppertime, it was clear that we needed to get back to the hospital and await the delivery. By early morning, two weeks ahead of her due date. little Ellee was born. It was neat to then be able to call our families in the States to give them the news! We are so grateful to God for His leading and for working things out according to His perfect timing. Again and again, He shows us that He is in control and will take care of our lives as we seek to serve Him here.

Meanwhile in Lesotho...
...we have felt some significant opposition from the enemy against our team of AIM missionaries. It seems that Satan is attacking our team through medical emergencies and physical suffering. In an earlier prayer letter, we told you of the death of one of our team leaders from an undiagnosed condition. Since that time, nearly everyone on our team has been to see a doctor for various reasons. One team member was treated for an unknown viral infection. Another had an operation done. I've been to see a doctor twice with a painful, swollen abscess on my nose. Our unit leader injured his hand in a biking accident. The couple I mentioned above was going to Namibia to celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary, when they had a scary accident that rolled their Land Rover and put them both in the hospital. The husband has a few cracked ribs and various minor cuts, while the wife received a severe laceration on her head and some damage to her arm, requiring a skin graft and other care. In fact, Abby's hospital trip was the only planned and normal visit of us all! Please join us in thanking God for His protection, which we never want to take for granted!

Shortly after Ellee's birth...
...some of our friends who are missionaries with OM drove down from Pretoria to visit and took some new family pictures for us. As you can see, they did an amazing job! It was great to spend time with them, as God has brought us on very similar journeys.

Our plans...
...have been to move to Mokhotlong in August. We are waiting still on our housing to be settled there and hope to know soon when we can move. Please pray with us that all of the details will come together so that we can finally settle in for the next few years. I'm able to be involved with the TEE program while here in Maseru, but most of my TEE work will start after we move up to the mountains.

Thank you to all...
...who are keeping up with us on Facebook, bringing our prayer requests before the Lord, and giving to our financial needs. It is a blessing to have so many brothers and sisters supporting us in this work. Please continue to pray for our language learning. We are certainly making progress, but we both find the language much more difficult than Spanish was for us. It will certainly take a lot of work and the gifting of the Holy Spirit to master Sesotho. May the Lord bless and keep you all! We love you all!

- Jonathan, Abby, Kyle & Ellee St.Clair
jastclair@aimint.net


Friday, April 26, 2013

April 2013 Newsletter

April 2013
"No task is more important in the first years of ministry in a new culture than the building of trusting relationships with the people. Without these, the people will not listen to the gospel, nor will we ever be accepted into their lives and communities."
- Paul Hiebert

Learning to Live in Lesotho...
...is our full-time job during our first six months here in Africa. As simple as this may seem, it really is a full-time job! Only we don't get to work 9-5. When the work day is over, we're still here and still learning. In this letter, we'd like to share some of the everyday elements of living in this new culture.

Clarifying Terms
In referring to the country, the language, and the people of Lesotho (pronounced Le-soo-too), it can be easy to confuse terminology. The language of the people is called Sesotho (Se-soo-too), or also Southern Sotho or just Sotho. The people are called Basotho (Ba-soo-too) if referring to more than one person, or Mosotho (Mo-soo-too) if speaking of only one person. Throughout our letters, then, you will hear of the Basotho culture, a Mosotho pastor, or a Sesotho-speaking church. All are terms referring to the native people of Lesotho.

Politics and the Basotho
One of our first tasks in beginning to integrate into our new Basotho culture is to try to understand the history of this nation. Unfortunately, the political past of Africa has been so turbulent and emotional that its effects can still be felt today. Colonization, apartheid, and tribal boundary disputes have created a tension between races that we often feel even walking through town or the grocery store. Before coming, we always heard how friendly and welcoming the Africans were to foreigners. In some cases that is very true. Among other Christians, especially in Kenya, we've experienced that heartfelt hospitality and warmth from the people. Others, however treat us as outsiders, intruders. We are assumed to be Afrikaners and, therefore, the people who took their land away. Every Mosotho I have spent any time discussing history with has been sure to inform me that their land actually reaches into Bloemfontein, South Africa. This is the stigma that we face living here on a daily basis and it is only through developing relationships, showing kindness, and speaking of the ministry we came here to do that the Basotho will accept us as friends.

"Lumela, Ntate." (Du-me-la, n-ta-te)
This common greeting is one of the first Sesotho phrases we've learned and use every day. The language seems very difficult to us, but people say we're picking it up quickly. We often hesitate to use our Sesotho because people will then chatter away and we'll have no idea what they've said. Living in Mexico, however, has helped us to get past that fear quickly and start making our mistakes and learning from them. It is also interesting to see the people's demeanor change once we use their language. Right now we are in Maseru, the capital, and most people speak English before Sesotho - especially white people. The cold shoulder we usually receive at the grocer often melts into a smile with a kind "Lumela" from the white people.

Upon arriving in Maseru...
...we were introduced to a Mosotho pastor whose Sesotho-speaking church we will be attending during our time here in Maseru. It is a church called "Salt and Light" and their slightly-too-emotional worship services are actually a welcome change from the stiff and formal LEC churches we've been to thus far. I've also made my initial connections with the TEE ministry I've come to coordinate. I'm now part of the official TEE committee and have spent time with "my boss," the man who requested that I come to serve here, Ntate Joseph Mpakanyane. It was such a blessing to hear him explain that they've been praying for years for us to come. Thus far, the TEE ministry here has consisted of translating TEE materials from English (developed in Kenya). Since the late 1990's Ntate Joseph has been praying for someone to come and help coordinate this ministry. The committee has translated 14 of 21 books into Sesotho and now that the Lord has brought us, the ministry of Theological Education by Extension has officially begun. Ntate Joseph is beginning the first TEE classes with a small group of students here in Maseru, while I will begin with a group in Mokhotlong once we move in August. Praise God for His plans!

Also this month...
...the Lord provided a vehicle for us! We had people looking for a particular type of vehicle since we arrived in February and that waiting has paid off. Our unit leader found a 2007 Land Rover Defender at a dealer in South Africa. It is in excellent condition and had less than 70,000 km on the clock. Because of the generous gifts of all of you who gave, we were able to purchase this sturdy mountain vehicle. Thank you to all for giving as the Lord led you. He is indeed providing for all of our needs. Our biggest prayer requests now are for our language learning to continue and for a healthy delivery of Baby Ellee in six more weeks. May the Lord bless you and keep you!

- Jonathan, Abby & Kyle St.Clair
jastclair@aimint.net


Friday, March 15, 2013

March 2013 Newsletter

"My prayer is that you will also see CHRIST high and lifted up, glorified, sovereign, and GOOD as you have walked this journey with us. Your prayers that Chris would be healed completely for wholeness and fullness of life have been answered."
- Michelle Gennaro, on the passing of her husband

"Lumelang" from Lesotho!
The picture above was taken from our front porch last week. This is the view from the Growing Nations base here in Maphutseng. A number of our AIM team members work in this agricultural ministry and we are spending a couple of weeks at a guest house here before settling down. This is a great time to update all of you on our past month in the mountain kingdom of Lesotho.
A Sad Time of Rejoicing
In some ways, we have arrived in Lesotho during a very difficult time. In our last letter we wrote asking prayer for our team leader Chris, who was in critical condition in the hospital. One week after arriving in Lesotho, we received word that Chris had been ushered into heaven amidst the songs and prayers of his family and our teammates. The following week we attended a memorial service for him in South Africa. Several Basotho to whom Chris had ministered also attended and shared testimony of the impact Chris and his family had made in their village.
The service was the type that only a fellow Christian could understand. There was certainly the sadness of people who have lost a loved one and children who will grow up without their father, but it was tempered, even overruled, by the understanding that Chris is now whole - fully and perfectly healthy - and in the presence of the Lord he served with his whole life. Even though I never met Chris personally, I feel greatly impacted by the example of a fellow Christian who was willing to take his wife and six children to an unknown country, entrusting his and their health and protection to God. The testimony of Michelle and the family has also been something that only Christians can grasp - a peace that passes understanding. Michelle wrote an email sharing her heart on Chris's passing that has now been read in many countries and at least two languages. It is clear that the Lord's name will be magnified in Chris's death as much as in his life.
Our Family...
...meanwhile, spent our first three weeks in Lesotho living with a local pastor and his family at their home in Quthing. This was a time designed to give us a first-hand look at how the Basotho people live. Ntate Ramonotsi is the pastor of a Lesotho Evangelical Church (LEC) and speaks English well enough to help us get started in learning Sesotho. Our time was certainly difficult for it was very different than the way we're used to living. Our meals were very basic, but tasty. We typically ate "papa," a thick corn meal paste, with some type of chicken or sausage or potatoes and a red sauce poured over the top. Kyle had four companions to play with and that was also a challenge at times. He quickly tired of being touched, carried, grabbed, and knocked around, but he's learning to play well and stand up for himself when needed.

Our Home Stay...
...also stretched us in ways we haven't been stretched since being in Mexico. We had no bathroom in the house and would have to walk to the outhouse when needed. There was also no hot water, so we would boil water on the stove each night and take baths sitting in a small bucket. Laundry was all done by hand and left to dry on the line outside. We spent several afternoons walking to nearby villages, visiting an orphanage, climbing the mountains behind the house, and visiting with local people. Kyle also loved being surrounded by animals all the time! He is just like his mama in that way.

At the beginning of this month...
...we celebrated our sweet son's second birthday! This time was especially bittersweet as we reflected on how quickly he's grown and how fun his little personality has become, while having no family around to celebrate this special day for him. He was quite happy with his new Cars lunch box and water bottle as well as all the balloons to play with around the house. Being away from our families is probably the hardest thing about being a missionary. Thankfully, we should be able to see a couple of family members here in a few months when little Ellee is born!

We Pray for You All...
...and would love to know how we may pray specifically. If you have any special needs in your life that we may lift up before the Lord, please write us at the email address below and we will pray for your needs as a family. God bless you all and thank you for your investment in us. Please pray for us in our language learning and understanding.

- Jonathan, Abby & Kyle St.Clair
jastclair@aimint.net

Saturday, March 9, 2013

January 2013 Newsletter

"What is it about our worldview that does not value anything and does not think about tomorrow? How do we produce true discipleship and bring the Bible to bear on life?"
- Duncan Olumbe"
January 2013Jambo" from Kenya!
By the grace of God, we made it. What a privilege it is to write this update from the continent the Lord has brought us to serve! For nearly a month now, we have been in Machakos, Kenya going through our Africa Based Orientation (ABO) from AIM. It is a time devoted to training and adjustment to life in Africa. We have learned much and realized how much more we have to learn!
Our Time of Training
The past three weeks have been a challenge. Each day, we held a morning devotion session before spending about 6 hours in lecture and discussion on different aspects of African ministry and culture. This time was split up by lunch and tea breaks (thank God for chai!). Our topics of discussion included African culture and values, development work, security training, children's matters, HIV/AIDS and health, spiritual warfare, Islam, ethnomusicology, and cross-cultural communication. The food we were served seemed also designed to quickly adapt us to African meals - little variety, staple items (rice, noodles, or a cornmeal called "ugali"), simple meats, a few vegetables. Though hard for us all, the food was particularly unkind to Abby with her pregnancy tastes. The setting of our training was Scott Christian University, where we were able to interact with students from all across Africa and begin to observe church ministry in this context.
An African Worldview
Maybe the most fascinating and mind-boggling aspect of our training was a study of the African worldview. Our instructor was a Kenyan pastor who has studied in the UK and led orientation courses for missionaries of several different organizations. Every session raised more questions in our minds and provided answers we would have spent years trying to understand. The gap between our western mindset and theirs is truly immense, not to mention the Christian/pagan differential! The challenges presented in this training made us (and every other missionary we asked) feel very inadequate to the task. The work that must be done to produce true disciples will be something that only God could do through us. We are now more than ever reliant upon Him!Our Family...
...has been adjusting well to our new life here in Africa. There are certainly challenges we are facing in this culture. The length of church services and the lack of children's ministry or nursery makes it hard for Kyle to sit through Sundays. We try to bring coloring books, cars, toy animals, or the iPod to keep him occupied. But these things only keep him for a time, because the other children often take them away. Possessions here are seen largely as communal and meant to be shared. Personal space is not recognized at all and Kyle eventually gets tired of being crowded, carried, and touched. The food, as mentioned, is hard on Abby and has messed up Kyle's stomach a few times. I (Jonathan) had an especially hard time leaving the other missionaries at the end of ABO. But all in all, I feel we are adapting well. Our spirits are high and we were surprised at the ability we've had to keep in contact with our families back home during this time. The internet is unreliable here and very slow, but most days at Scott we've been able to post on Facebook and use Skype to contact home. We've been encouraged by all of you who have followed us on Facebook and kept up with our journey here. We are happy to be able to share it!

Our Plans...
...have been changing quite often concerning our next few months, because our team leader, Chris, has had some significant health problems in the past weeks. Please pray for his strength and recovery and for his wife and six children as they hope to see him well again soon. Doctors are still unsure about exactly what has happened. Our plans, then are to move to Lesotho on February 11th, where we will immediately do a 3-week village stay with a Basuto family, a pastor who lives in Maphutseng, to immerse us in the language and culture we will be learning. After that time, we will live in Maseru, the capital city, until Baby Ellee is born. Abby plans to deliver at a hospital in Bloemfontein, South Africa, possibly. Sometime around late June we would then move east to Mokhotlong and settle down to minister there for the next few years.

Thank You All...
...for the sacrifices you've made to get us here. We realize more and more what an amazing team of support the Lord has put together for us. You encourage us by your words and your prayers. We love you and pray for you individually. Now it's on to South Africa!
- Jonathan, Abby & Kyle St.Clair
jastclair@aimint.net

December 2012 Newsletter

December 2012
Schedule:
Jan. 8 - Peachtree City, GA (sendoff)
Jan.10 - Fly to Kenya (3-week orientation)
~ Feb.1 - Move to Maseru, Lesotho (6 months of language/culture acquisition)
~ Aug.1 - Move to Mokhotlong, Lesotho (3 year T.E.E. assignment)
2016 - Return to USA (8 month home assignment to visit our churches, families, and supporters)

We are thrilled...
...to update you all on the exciting events which have taken place over the past two months! When we wrote our last update letter, we were awaiting several hundred dollars in monthly support as well as about $17,000 in outgoing expenses. As of today we have over 100% of our outgoing expenses and we are only short $115 in monthly support. We have been cleared by AIM to leave for Africa on January 10th.... a mere 38 days away!
It has been very humbling...
...to watch the Lord use so many of our friends and family to provide for our needs. We appreciate the sacrifices so many have made for the sake of spreading the Gospel in Lesotho. Literally thousands of dollars were given over the course of about two weeks in mid October which sent us from wondering where the funds were going to come from to celebrating the miraculous way the Lord had provided! It has been such a confirmation that this is exactly what our Lord wants us doing and that this is the time for us to go..
One Busy Month
This month promises to be an extremely busy one as we prepare to leave after the New Year. We are busy packing up the apartment and are scheduled to move out this weekend. Jonathan has two more weeks of his semester with Liberty online and he is covered up writing three research papers this week. We will be staying with my parents' during the time we are in Aiken this month, which won't be very often. On December 14th we leave for Illinois for a week. We will return to Aiken for about a week before turning around and heading to enjoy some family time with the St.Clairs in late December/early January. When we return from that, we'll only have a couple days before heading to AIM headquarters and flying out!
On January 8...
...we will drive to Peachtree City, Georgia, where we will spend all day in preparation sessions on Wednesday. Thursday, Africa Inland Mission is hosting a farewell luncheon and from there we will depart for the airport. Upon arrival in Kenya we will spend a few nights in a guest house trying to get over jet-lag before heading to our three week orientation in Machakos (about an hour south of Nairobi). After orientation we'll be on our way to Lesotho! As I type this I can barely believe that this is really happening. We are so excited!
While things are so busy and exciting...
...we covet your prayers as we prepare to leave our beloved friends and family. It is very difficult to think of leaving them all, especially as Kyle is still growing and changing so rapidly. I find myself fighting tears in even the little things like parting with many of his baby items as well as some of the toys he enjoys but we can't take with us. I am still very ill with “morning sickness” that lasts all day every day. There is so much to be done and I am finding it difficult to muster the energy to do it all. I know God is in control and I trust Him for strength and endurance. We appreciate your prayers for us as we walk through these busy and difficult days.
Our family prayer cards...
...are in and we'll be mailing them out shortly. If we don't have a mailing address for you and you would like one of our cards, please send us a quick email and we'll be sure to get one into your hands. We have enjoyed the opportunities in these past months to share our ministry plans with all of you and now anticipate keeping you informed of what the Lord is doing in Africa. Remember that you can follow us more closely through our blog sites and by "friending" us on Facebook.
Thank you all for your support! We look forward to updating everyone next from Africa!
- Jonathan, Abby, Kyle & "Baby Saint"
(803) 645-0822
jastclair@aimint.net

stclairsinmissions.blogspot.com;
jonathandstclair.blogspot.com;
abbymtstclair.blogspot.com

October 2012 Newsletter

"The Great Commission is to make disciples. There are a lot of missionaries who do good. There are not many who make disciples." - Pastor Martin Lemus, Iglesia Bautista Cristo Te Ama, Cancún, México
October 2012
Going and Growing...
...is a good way to describe our exciting and eventful past couple of months! We have seen God's people responding to our support needs and are asking Him for provision for our remaining finances.
The Lord provided for us...
...the opportunity to return to Mexico, where we lived in 2010. We have wanted to go back ever since Kyle was born and the Lord began to direct us towards Africa. The believers there had encouraged us so much in our desire to follow God's calling on our lives, we wanted to be able to share with them all that God is doing now! We were able to spend two nights on the hotel zone for a small family vacation before we went to stay with our friends. During our week we visited a small village called Victoria where we used to minister every week. Jonathan was given the opportunity to sing Steve Green's “Yo Iré” (“I Will Go”) in the evening service at our church as well as to share our Africa ministry plans at the men's Monday night Bible study. We spent many meals visiting with our friends and enjoying speaking Spanish again.
A Time of Encouragement
One of the most encouraging times in our trip was a conversation Abby and I had with Pastor Martin and his wife. In discussing the needs on the mission field today, Pastor encouraged us with his missional vision for his church in reaching their own people and even what role they could play in reaching Hispanics in the U.S. He is a godly, mature leader whom God will use greatly. He is the type of leader that I hope to help train up in Africa. The men's Bible study was also very encouraging as several of the church deacons and others expressed their appreciation for our ministry in Mexico and blessings on our plans for Africa. We pray for the Lord to bless this church and hope to keep contact with them in future ministry.
We have been busy...

... getting things together for leaving in January. This month we've been getting physical examinations, vaccines, blood tests, and prescriptions. Soon we'll begin sorting clothes, packing suitcases, and preparing to move. Each month we are praying that our support will be raised in time. Our monthly support is now around 88%, with a few more pending commitments, and our outgoing expenses are at 54%. We are now mainly in need of one-time donations to provide the big, upfront costs of moving to Lesotho.
Four days ago...
...while Abby was running errands, I got Kyle up from his nap and found him wearing a baby shirt that said "Big Brother"! I called Abby and learned that we are expecting our next child! Kyle has been such a blessing to us that we can't imagine how much joy will be brought by another little one. God is so good to us. With the new family member our monthly budget has been raised slightly, but it remains almost 90% pledged. In fact we need only $574 per month more to meet our budget. Our plan to leave in January remains the same. We know that the Lord is in control of our lives and circumstances; it was His desire to bring us this new child at this stage of our lives. We know He will care for both Abby and the baby as we leave for our new home in another land.
Please be praying...
...for the following needs in our lives:
Health for Abby and the new baby
Provision for the last of our support needs
Diligence during my seminary classes
Wisdom as we prepare to move overseas
Emotional strength for leaving home

Thank you for your involvement...
...in our lives. We are constantly reminded of our need of each other and are grateful for all of you who follow us, pray for us, and give to support our ministry. We want to be involved in each of your lives. Please contact us at the information below if we may minister to you in any way. We have just ordered our family prayer cards and will send those out shortly upon arrival. You may also follow us more closely and informally on Facebook and through our blog sites. May the Lord bless and keep you all!
- Jonathan, Abby, Kyle & "Baby Saint"
(803) 645-0822

jastclair@aimint.net
stclairsinmissions.blogspot.com; jonathandstclair.blogspot.com; abbymtstclair.blogspot.com