March was a hectic month.
We had the annual Ministers’ Week at the beginning of the month. It was held in East London which is about a 10 hour drive from here so we decided to travel by bus. The journey was fine except they didn’t have any meal stops so we quickly bought snacks whenever we could. When we got to East London we waited for one of the ministers to come and take us to the campsite. Unfortunately the organizers had under-estimated the number of people who would be there so they were short on housing. We stayed one night and then moved to a B&B where two of the other ministers were staying. That gave us more privacy and we could travel back and forth with them. It was a really good week of worship, fellowship and teaching. The plan was to do a handover of the mission finances at that meeting, but the new treasurer and the signatories were not present so that was not done.
March was busy with funerals as well. Doreen Madlala, a member of the Umzumbe church and a foundation member of Magog Senior Citizens’ Club, passed away at the age of 88. The huge funeral was held in a tent at Umzumbe Bible Institute. The next week we attended the funeral of Mrs. Jethro Zobolo. Her husband, who was a minister, passed away in January. Her funeral was held on the Saturday of Easter weekend. During that week another member of the Magog Senior Citizens’ Club passed away. I think she might have been the youngest member of the club. She was an amputee and had attended a meeting quite recently and we did not know she was ill. We did not attend her funeral because of other commitments we had.
The Easter weekend services were held at a school near Gcilima Church. There was a big crowd. The large tent was too small to hold the entire congregation, but when the rain started to fall people moved closer together and most of the people were able to get under shelter. People commented that the rain was a sign of God’s blessing on the meeting so no one complained.
The first week of April we traveled to Kimberley with our pickup loaded with old financial records and stationery for the new treasurer. There were still some things that we could not complete because the new executive committee did not have all of the papers they needed to change the signatories on the bank account. However we were able to hand over all the records and stationery to the new treasurer. Michael still has the check book and will have to issue checks until they get the necessary papers and change the signatories at the bank.
Our exciting news is that Baby Evans has arrived. Michael and I are staying at John and Diane’s for a few days to help with transporting Matthew to school and preparing meals for John and Matthew. We are proud to announce that Michael Roger Evans (named after his grandpas) arrived on 19 April at 8:09 a.m. and weighed 3.53 kilograms (7 pounds 12 ounces.) Matthew is so proud and everyone is doing fine.
EMANUEL MEXICO MISSION NEWS
Not too many people from the south head north for the winter. That's what Sheri did from January 27 - March 27. She experienced the Ohio snowfalls and cold temperatures. She had a good reason for heading north though. She got to spend 2 full months with our grandson, Jackson, now 10 months old. He is a bundle of pure joy.
We live in the south, so when we mean going south it is to visit the mission work we have in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. 10 hours south of us is the Ontañon Church of Christ, the inner city church we began in 1992. The Ontañon church is enjoying a season of growth; so much so that it is growing out of the building. Attendance is now over 50, in a seating capacity of 50! There are no plans to build more space, the plan is right on schedule for the Balcones church, who meets with us, to relocate to a new site that they will entirely be responsible for. That will leave our building almost empty once again (2nd time in 4 years) to grow another church plant. Jose will graduate in May and head south to Ontañon and take over the ministry for us. He is ready, willing and able to work and serve!
LIVING IN THE MIDDLE:
Living here at the border town of Piedras Negras, Mexico, we have seen the season of spring come early this year. The creek in front of my office window is flowing full once again. Trees are now providing their full summer shade and flowers are in full bloom. The old farmer on the other side of the creek has tilled his ground with the help of his horse and then the old gentleman stooped down to plant each kernel of corn. The day after he got his crop in, God provided a beautiful rain for him and all of us here living in the middle. It is interesting to watch how someone still lives the simple life. But life in general is simple. Lay down the cell phone, turn off the T.V., internet and listen to God's voice. He's calling us each and every day. His answers are simple; work hard (2 Timothy 1:6), pray often (1 Thesalonians 5:17) and exercise daily by walking in the Word (Psalms 119:105).
This winter was family in the north, experiencing mission growth in the south, and in the middle (Bible College) helping the students work hard, pray often and exercise daily by walking in the Word. We trust in God to watch over our families and have obeyed His command to go North, South and in the Middle.
TRUST AND OBEY FOR THERE IS NO OTHER WAY.
DAVID AND SHERI DEBOLT