One of the things we absolutely love about our “Forever Family” at Mountain View is the diversity of cultures represented. I remember when we had our Standing on the Word God Sunday. Just before we laid the carpet in the new worship centre, each person was given a big black marker to write their favorite Scripture on the cement floor. When we finished there were at least eight different languages written on the floor. It continues to be a wonderful reminder of the centrality of The Word in our ministry and in our lives as each week we are there, standing on God’s Word.
Combining different cultures, even beyond Africa, does present its unique challenges but it also comes with great rewards. One culture in our church is represented by six families from South Korea; pastors and their families who came to Cape Town to learn English and study Theology. These men study at Stellenbosch University and the children go to the local schools, usually leaving the wives at home all day. Isolated and alone, because their own language training is limited, they are inhibited and unable to function comfortably in their new setting, i.e., make friends, and go to the grocery or dentist. They usually only have other South Korean women as friends and sometimes experience the racial persecution present in the South African culture. Let’s just say, there aren’t people in line waiting and willing to help them.
This situation was originally brought to our attention by Pastor Kim and his wife, Sunah, when they first moved to South Africa and joined our church. Even then, Sunah encouraged Nancy to study and help other women from South Korea who struggled as she did. Pastor Kim and his family eventually learned English, finished their studies and decided to stay in South Africa as missionaries to homeless and unprivileged Afrikaans-speaking South Africans. That’s right – in addition to English, they are also learning Afrikaans! Mountain View now supports their ministry as part of our missions program.
After much prayer as well as research into the options available to us for this type of training, Nancy has enrolled at Stellenbosch University to study for a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) Certificate. Her goal is to primarily minister to the women in our church as well as others she meets at the University. In addition, we were recently asked by the International School next to the church to tutor a new student in English. What a great opportunity to get into the school, the lives of these students, and their families.
South Africa has 11 national languages. Many children here do not even begin to learn English until they start school, and then struggle because English is not spoken in their home. We see the opportunities to use this education and training in ministry as endless and exciting. And, we are asking you to be involved. How?
One way is to pray. We have selected a condensed course for Nancy that puts a full year of learning into just a few weeks. That’s 5-6 days a week of class time from 8 am – 5 pm with homework and practical training to be done every evening. That means we need prayer!
Often people will inquire about how they can help the ministry financially with one-time gifts. We would like to ask anyone who is willing to contribute a one-time gift toward the course fees and start up costs of this ministry, purchasing curriculum, etc., to prayerfully consider making a donation to our account at ABWE specifically for TEFL Training. See the financial support tab on our ONERWE blog or go to www.abwe.org/give/online for giving details. We anticipate the total cost will be in the range of $800 – $1,000.
The Prayer Request tab has been updated to further inform you of our current ministries and how you can better pray for us. We have also updated the photo gallery tab with pictures of our recent travels in South Africa and a short vacation Nancy and I took during the Easter holiday. CAUTION: Look at these pictures at your own risk – you may love what you see so much, you’ll want to visit us!
Warm regards and God’s best, Tom and Nancy