"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."

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

November 2016 Newsletter

Back in Mokhotlong
Greetings from Lesotho once again. Our family has completed our home assignment and we are now settled back into life in Africa. We arrived back here at the beginning of September. It is really amazing to see how seamlessly the kids reentered their life in Mokhotlong and reconnected with our friends and neighbors here at home.

While We Were Gone
Mokhotlong is growing! We returned in September to find several new buildings, houses, and businesses being built in town. The kids’ favorite is the new Fish & Chips restaurant that serves a wide variety of menu items - including soft serve ice cream (sometimes). This is the first real restaurant to open in our town. It is run by a friendly Indian man named Jinnu, who quickly identified himself to us as a Christian. He often runs the store while wearing his “I Love Jesus” hat proudly. Even more exciting to Abby is the Shoprite grocery store that is supposed to be opening soon. She will be very pleased to be able to get more of our food here locally, instead of having to wait until we drive into South Africa again. I have been most encouraged by learning that the TEE program has gone on in our absence. Ntate Bongata has kept up his leadership of the work and is now teaching a new group of about 12 students. Some of them are leaders in the churches where our TEE graduates minister. Others are church planters from nearby villages. I also learned that one of our TEE graduates, who was not affiliated with any particular church, has moved into a village across the river to plant a new church. Throughout all of our time here, our goal has been to develop the ministry in such a way that it can be handed over to local leadership and continue on whenever the Lord takes us away from here. It is tremendously encouraging to see that happening even now. We give God all of the praise and glory for what He has done thus far and we are asking for His blessing and wisdom as we work for the next two years to spread the TEE ministry around the country. Our goal in this assignment is to make TEE more well known and more accessible to pastors throughout Lesotho by helping our TEE graduates and other qualified leaders to start and lead new study groups in other cities.

This past weekend…
…Bongata and I were invited to join the TEE group from Maseru for their quarterly conference.  The topic of study was to be evangelism and the leadership decided to make the conference an outreach event in a mountain village. They wanted to lecture on the principles of evangelism and then give the students practical, hands-on experience in doing evangelistic ministry. In addition, the TEE committee partnered with the Scripture Union of Maseru to present the Jesus film in the village and to introduce the TEE pastors to the idea of sports evangelism. So we took the beautiful 5-hour drive from Mokhotlong to the Thaba Tseka district to help lead this special event. I think it was probably the best conference we’ve ever done. One of the TEE students in the Maseru group is a pastor who has planted a church in that rural village. After presenting the film that evening, probably 80-100 people from the village stood up to receive Christ as their Savior. Ntate Joseph then introduced them to the pastor, so that he can begin to follow up on their decisions and seek to disciple these new converts.

To make wise use of our time...
…we have also undertaken another project. Bongata and I have begun writing a Sesotho Bible commentary that we intend to publish. We noticed last year that once our pastors finish the TEE course, there is really not much else available to help them in Bible study and interpretation, unless they can speak English well. So we thought it would be incredibly helpful if we were to create the first commentary/Bible survey available in Sesotho. It will take a tremendous amount of effort, but we have begun to work on it already. Our goal is to give a brief overview of each book of the Bible, explaining any background material that is necessary to understanding the book and offering help on many of the passages that are especially significant for Basotho pastors to grasp. Please pray for us, that we will be able to be efficient in this work and to complete the whole project within the next two years. I believe it is by the Lord’s leading and trust that He will bring it to completion.

We want to thank each of you…
…for making our time in America so joyful and refreshing. We loved being able to catch up with most of you and to just be a part of our home churches once again. The truth is that it is often very difficult to be so far away from our friends and families and life can get very lonely at times. But you all made us feel welcome and at home again, just as if we’d never left. We look forward to these next two years in Lesotho and will be continuing to ask God for direction on where He will want us to serve next. God bless you all!

- Jonathan, Abby, Kyle, Ellee, & Sadie Kate St.Clair