Latest SA Newsletter Oct-Nov 2013

The African Report Newsetter: Jerry V. Hogg, 462 Amanda Circle, Knoxville, TN 37922 * Email: October-November 2013 Sponsored by: Sunset Church of Christ, Sunset International Bible Institute, 3723 34th Street, Lubbock, TX 79410 THE WAY IT WAS! There’s absolutely "no place like HOME" unless you have TWO homes, as we do! On November 21, we left our "home" under the large, spreading Chestnut Tree (which, by the way, has filled out beautifully with tender green leaves) on the SABC campus to return to the States again and dwell in our "other" home–our condo in West Knoxville! Seventeen hours of flying w/one-stop from the airport in Johannesburg to Washington, DC, then on to Knoxville after a 6-hour wait, is quite tiring, to say the least. But, we are glad to be at home again! OTHER TRAVELERS After the annual SABC lectureship (Sept. 22-26) many were taken to the airport to return to the States. Others drove back to their home in Cape Town, Bloemfontein, East London, Venda, Lesotho, etc. So far as we know at this point, everyone made it home safely. The Lord was on watch! On 2 October, the Hornes came to our home for "tea" after Al had taught our Wed. Night Bible Class on "The Valley of the Kings" for the last time before departing on the 8th to travel home to Kerrville, TX. Knowing it was the last mid-week gathering with them for a long time, we wanted to treat them that night. Ann had made a ham-and-cheese quiche and a banana-cream pie to share with our tea. They enjoyed both very much. And... Of course we all joined in the fellowship and much laughter as we reviewed Lectureship week. There are times when we are together, we laugh so much as we revive old stories and incidents that we can hardly talk. You cannot help but enjoy Christian fellowship. The Hornes are both quick with quips! We also gave them the grand tour of our home, as it had been awhile since they had visited us here (we usually go to their house for tea). We recently had some workmen in to do some repairs and other chores. Ann had especially wanted Donna to see the new lacy curtains she had bought some time ago, but only the week before had gotten Shorty (of the SABC maintenance crew) in to install the long brass curtain rods in the back bathroom and in the scullery in order to hang the pretty curtains. The bathroom curtains have a pattern of leaping dolphins and the scullery has colorful cupcakes. Of course, the ladies oohed and aahed over these! We also had installed a new, taller sink unit in the bathroom awhile ago. Shorty had replaced a couple of boards in the front entry hall where the original wooden floor had deteriorated and a hole had broken through. This is an old house as we’ve told you before, and it needs a lot of work. We are doing it as we can, using our on-campus workers and buying the materials ourselves. All the furniture was donated to us by Benoni members. One piece that is so special is the round marble dining table with 6 chairs. A lady's mother had died sometime ago, and she gave this to us, along with a beige living room settee and two side chairs. Stuart & Cecilia Jones traveled to Cape Town the day after Lectureship for a two-and-a-half week visit with churches in that area and to renew friendships with folks they knew and worked with years ago when they did vocational-mission work there. On the 14th of October they returned for one night at the flat on campus, then we took them to the airport on the 15th to fly home to Texas. He is an elder at Sunset. They were absolutely the LAST of our lectureship guests to leave. It was so good having them for most of this time! On 1 November, SABC director, Fred Bergh, made that long trip to the States to visit SABC sponsoring church (Memorial in Houston) for a couple of weeks. His purpose was to speak at a number of pre-arranged functions to encourage others to support the Southern Africa Bible College that is sorely needed, always. MORE LECTURESHIP INFORMATION After the 2013 SABC Lectureship was finished, it was a major let-down (emotionally and physically) as we had all been on such a "high" that whole week. In our last newsletter we gave a brief description of some lessons (and speakers) who came to encourage us, educate us, and teach us more perfectly the Word of God. The speakers, the singing, the lessons, the fellowship were all so very special. However, this is one of those cases where you just, "...had to be there" to appreciate all that went on during that time. At the banquet on Thursday night, our student-body outdid themselves singing the South African national anthem (written in 3 languages) and other songs in various languages. They also marched into the hall carrying the 30 flags from the different countries represented at the Bible College. Seven (7) SABC students graduated that night. They had all completed their studies last year, some qualified for a BA in Theology, and some received a Diploma. A couple of ladies received a Certificate for their efforts. They don’t normally carry the full-load of classes, especially the Biblical languages that the men must take. One special presentation was when one couple from our overseas speakers' list (John & Marcia Tillman) gave each Graduate R1000! That surprised all of us, and I know the graduates were so grateful for the gift! We are hoping others will take note of this and, "go and do likewise" in the future! We were sad to say good-bye to all our guests, but knew we couldn’t keep them forever! OCTOBER HAPPENINGS Besides running back and forth to the airport taking guests, the Hornes, then the Joneses, Ann drove me out the end of October to catch a flight heading for Malawi. On Friday, 1st November, I represented Sunset and presented the main speech of the day at a school in Mzimba which Chris Swinford, SIBI Vice-President of Institute Advancement, had setup about 3 or 4 years ago. This was followed by me handing out Diplomas to 18 graduates for 2011 and 2013. Sunset personnel had sent these to me, along with some Papyrus Solar Players as gifts for the graduates. As I have mentioned before, these solar players have all 40 courses that Sunset teaches in their regular 2-year classes. And... they are powered by the sun, which we have plenty of in Africa. So, our workers in remote places do not require electricity to be right-in-touch with all of the Sunset courses. We have given many of these players to preachers in various countries this past year. I have listened to some of the lessons. They are quality materials for any preacher to have for his own study and to share with others. Later, on 7 November, I flew to Harare, Zimbabwe to represent Sunset again in reviewing documents with the Mutare School of Preaching (MSOP) to become a Branch school for Sunset. This means that those students who satisfactorily complete the courses there can receive a BA degree from Sunset. SIBI teachers and other personnel will make periodic visits to assist in teaching, and to encourage the workers in Mutare. Bill Elliott and I met with members of the Board of MSOP to discuss the signing requirememts on Saturday, 9 November. Bill had spent a week teaching in Mutare, while I was still presenting Biblical Archaeology at the Southern Africa Bible College (SABC) and preparing materials for classes. BEHIND THE SCENES After Al Horne left Benoni, the elders asked me to teach the Wednesday night Bible Study on the subject of Biblical Archaeology. Two of the four elders are graduates of the school and one teaches full-time at SABC. Eddie Baartman especially requested I present lessons on this subject for the Wed. class. He said it was one of his favorites back in the ‘70's when I taught him in the SABC class. I have tried to make it interesting, not just facts and figures, but developing a lot of PowerPoint slides of various archaeological sites, maps and excavations done by those who have located and dug at these places. My goal has been to show absolute "proof" relating to biblical/historical events, some of which the sceptics of the Bible say didn’t happen. As avid students of both Old and New Testament history, we have learned many new ‘Truths’ to support our belief in the Holy Word of God. Recent archaeological "digs" in 2013 have given the world new information about the Ancient city of Ur, original home of Abraham. We look for more to come as discoveries are made. Fascinating! Of course, I have also preached at Benoni, Pretoria and at other places when opportunities are presented. As I’ve always said, "I never turn down a chance to preach when an invitation comes my way!" Traveling to different places, preaching and teaching classes entails a lot of work to make it all happen, and... at my age, I tire easily. In addition, at home Ann has edited my notes, and helped me put together a 107-page Outline and Study-Guide on Biblical Archaeology for each of the students in my SABC class. It was to be used in preparing them for the Final Exam in November, just a few days before our departure to the States. Many of the pages in this bound book has color-scenes of different kinds to make the book more vivid than just typed material. We hope it gives a detailed picture of what life might have been like so long ago, in the days of Abraham and other biblical characters. INTERESTING SABC NEWS..... As the school year ends, we are all ready for a break. Exam-week begins 18 November. First on that list is my exam on Biblical Archaeology for the First-Years. In October, just after Lectureship, one of our third-year students, Bruce Mundell, went with his sister, Bronwyn Mundell Johnson (also a former SABC student, as was their father, Evelyn Mundell, whom I taught in the '70's.) and a couple of friends, to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in Kenya! He is back now to complete his class assignments and take his Final Exams. His sister’s graduation gift to him was this expedition up the tallest mountain in Africa! He said they all MADE IT to the top and enjoyed it very much – a very exhilarating climb, I’m sure. One of our SABC teachers, Roy Lothian, was hospitalized a few days earlier with a heart problem, but has recovered and is now back in the classroom. RETURN TO THE STATES After almost 8-1/2 months in South Africa, it is time now to pack up and head back to Tennessee. We both have enjoyed our time here, except for the extremely "COLD" temperatures we had in July and part of August. We ENDURE those times! Spring is better. ********** This will be our last Newsletter from Africa for this year. If Larry York has not contacted you yet, he will. My friend and fellow-traveler does a good job in keeping me on track. Perhaps we’ll see you somewhere along the way in the USA. Prayers and support are always welcomed. – Jerry & Ann Hogg