Charl’s Mission News
“Blessed be the LORD, For He has shown me His marvelous kindness in a strong city!”
Strange, but wonderful! The last year has been a wonderful and fascinating study and now that my family and I believe we’ve finallysucceeded in understanding the American people, we have to go home to South Africa.
Allow me to share some of my family’s cultural observations: The Americans use really strange words and sayings such as “gas” for petrol, “trash can” for dirt bin, “Scotch tape” for sellotape, “trunk” for the boot of a car, “hood” for the bonnet, “barbeque” for braai (br-eye) and “see ya” for good-bye!
Americans also still give tips even when service is bad; now that is strange!
And to be fair, our mannerisms baffled plenty of Americans. Our South African accent has often been an issue, with some Americans struggling to understand us. I’ve had to explain—on several occasions—the reasons behind this: We also had a war with Britain; big difference though, we lost!
Yet in all my life, I don’t think I have ever come across such a virtuous, helpful and giving people, from the “face-studded” neighbor to the “family in Christ” we came to know at the many churches I have visited over the past year.
We had a wonderful year and feel overwhelmingly blessed to have met and made so many new friends.
My first visit to Oregon was exceptional; ministry opportunities included a home meeting, mens meeting, addressing a Sunday School class at Greater Portland Bible Church and meeting the founder of the Oregon Firearms Federation.
My hosts blessed me with some wonderful site-seeing opportunities, taking in beautiful waterfalls and rivers, remarkable rugged woodlands and lush terrain.
My visit to Oklahoma proved fruitful. My hosts, the Heartland Church, prepared many ministry opportunities, including nine meetings, two radio interviews and a pro-life outreach outside an abortion clinic in Tulsa, during which we got drenched with rain. I’m sure our standing in the stormy weather must have made an impression on the clinic’s patients, staff, onlookers and passersby.
We all need to remember in prayer those who have suffered loss of life and property due to the adverse weather conditions in Oklahoma, Texas and Missouri. We’re also praying for the Lord to supply them with overflowing restoration and renewal, physically and spiritually. Indeed, the Lord is speaking and now is the time for His followers to heed His call and find ways to help the multitude in such need.
Many friends have asked me about my friend David Warren. I requested prayer for David in my October 2010 newsletter.
David was an ordained elder and home-schooling father. We met when he visited South Africa on a ministry trip many years ago and he and his wonderful family have also kindly hosted me and my family in the United States.
David and four other police officers were charged with crimes, committed during Katrina.
He is currently serving a 25-year-, 9-month imprisonment after a jury verdict of manslaughter. His appeal is underway.
Interestingly, the main source of information regarding this trial was disseminated by the local media. Yet, they were also involved in this case from the outset, playing a significant role in bringing the case to trial. Due to some strange happenings in this case, a mutual friend told me, “this is a purely political prosecution.”
One of David’s attorneys released information to the public and was met with threats of a gag order by the judge. David’s attorneys are renewing their efforts to get the correct information to the public. They have developed a website: supportdavidwarren.com to help accomplish this task.
David’s wife Kathy explained: “I have never known such sorrow and loss in all of my life, but also have never had so great an opportunity for God to prove Himself so faithful.”
Please visit the site and learn more about what happened. And please pray with me for the Warren family.
Families at the homeschooling co-op, which we were blessed to attend over the past year, spoiled us with a wonderful day at Six Flags theme park in Maryland. The park features world-class roller coasters and hundreds of rides, games and attractions. We loved every minute of our experience.
Our family has been helped by friends with so many various issues, including dental and medical treatment and educational programs. We have been housed, loaned cars and blessed with household goods far beyond what we could have ever imagined. Friends provided food, petrol (gas), winter clothing, firewood (as we were totally unprepared for U.S. winters), organized itineraries and speaking engagements. I could go on and on in describing the abundance and provision these fellow believers in Christ poured out upon us. Our cup truly runneth over.
Often we have felt like Ruth speaking to Boaz: “Why have I found favor in your eyes, that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?”
All the Christian families we have met, at the many churches we have attended and visited, have all been warm and inviting, and made our family feel most welcome. The expression of Christ’s love we have experienced through all those we met over the past year has made our time in America a most memorable experience for us.
From our hearts, thank you!
Yours in the service of King Jesus.
Charl van Wyk
PS. Thank you for your prayers; we have safely arrived home in Cape Town, South Africa.