For those who have noticed and care, we haven't put anything new on our blog site for a few days. The reasons being that Josh has been in Kentucky at Southern Seminary taking his last course in the academic part of his doctoral program and I have been involved in getting settled in Little Rock, Arkansas for a brief teaching stint at a biblical counseling training school at The Bible Church of Little Rock as well as several other places in the USA. We'll return to South Africa in the fall of this year to continue teaching at Grace School of Ministry located in Pretoria.
Since our arrival in Little Rock, we've started teaching counseling classes on Tuesdays and Thursday evenings and Sunday mornings. They are going well with with sizable groups of people eager to learn in all of the classes. The people are reading and doing the homework outside of classes which means they are going to get more out of the course than they would if they just took the class. Some have expressed their excitement about what they are learning. Some were only going to take one of the courses, but have told us that after being in that one course they received so much benefit that they decided to take all the courses. That's great and very encouraging in that each course requires a considerable amount of work. The elders at this church are really serious about developing a counseling ministry and about training their people to minister more effectively to one another. One of the pastors has been commissioned to focus a major portion of his time and attention on administrating and facilitating and developing the counseling ministry in the church and through the church. Several of the men in the church were former students of mine in the Master of Arts in Biblical Counseling Program at The Master's College. The interest of and commitment to Biblical Counseling of this church is also evidenced by the fact that Lance Quinn, the senior pastor of the church, is president of the National Association of Nouthetic Counselors and by the fact that he will actually be teaching for one week during the Summer Institute program in Biblical Counseling at The Master's College.
We are living in a nice apartment the church has arranged for us out in the mountains close to Little Rock. The people who own it live on the second floor and we are on the first floor. They are long time members of The Bible Church who recently built their home with an apartment in it so that they could provide lodging for missionaries. We are the first to use it and they are very kind and gracious. .
As a whole I am very encouraged by the biblical commitment of the church and its people. The people and pastors here are very warm and caring. They are also very serious about missions with numerous teams going out to different mission fields to assist. Right now, there is a group of about twenty in South Africa helping Grace Christian Church. Last night we had dinner with a couple who had been on the mission field in Tanzania. He's one of the elders in the church. They had also invited another family that had just returned from a mission trip to help with a mission to the Indians in that area. They said that two bus loads of people had gone with them on that mission. Other groups will be going out from this church to other places during the summer.
Josh, the other blog guy for this site, will be going to RSA shortly for most of the month of July to lay the ground work for going there on a permanent basis (during the next year) to help pastor a church and to develop a mercy ministry to orphans. While in RSA during July of this year, he will be meeting with Hanrais Brink (a South African brother who will devote much time and expertise to helping Josh to establish orphanages for housing and training a future generation to make an impact for Christ in RSA) and John Mixon (director of a very effective Bethesda orphanage in South africa) about the orphanages Josh hopes to develop. He's also anticipating a good meeting with the elders of Grace Fellowship Church in Pretoria to discuss the church's involvement in this orphanage effort. We believe that raising up a generation of children in the context of godly homes and a good church is an important strategy for impacting the 80% black population in South Africa.
And, incidentally, I was recently told by a man who is involved in the orphan emphasis of Family Life radio ministry that there are more orphans in Africa than in all of the rest of the world. So the problem of orphans is humungous and the opportunity to reach into the black community through orphans who are godly and well trained is great. This is the burden and vision of Josh, myself, Hanrais and others at Grace Fellowship Church of Pretoria. We are convicned that we must train black people to reach black people and that there is no better way of doing this than to put them in homes where godly people will raise them from the time they are children. We don't simply want to house and feed them. We want to train them. So we ask you to add these concerns to your prayer times. We need your prayers. The church in Africa needs your prayers. Please join with us!
Additional personal prayer requests for Carol and me would be: pray for the stabilization of my blood sugar level in that it has been running high ever since I had a recent bout with bronchitis. If it doesn't improve soon, I may have to go on insulin. We'll know in a couple of weeks. Also it appears that Carol who broke her wrist in South Africa a couple of months ago is going to have to have an operation on her hand. There is a tumor on her hand that needs to be removed. The doctor who saw her thinks it is benign, but will continue to grow until she has it removed.
We continue to rejoice in Christ and His goodness to us. God is very good and we praise Him for His greatness and goodness.
Greetings to all and keep on keeping on.
Because of Him, warmly in Christ,
Wayne and Carol Mack
Romans 14:7, 8