Nov 2011 - Jan 2012 African Newsletter

The African Report Newsletter: Jerry V. Hogg, 462 Amanda Circle, Knoxville, TN 37922 Email: November 2011-January 2012 Sponsored by: Sunset Church of Christ, Sunset International Bible Institute, 3723 34th Street, Lubbock, TX 79410 FACING THE FACTS! Sometimes, one must face reality, especially when the body tells us that we’re not as young as we used to be. I am grateful for days when I do feel good and have no health issues. While in Africa from August 30th to late October, I still struggled with knee pain, but this time it was the right knee acting up. The medical folks had told me it would take up to a year to completely recover from the surgery of my left knee, and they were right. My right knee has been put on hold for the moment, until I completely recover from the first surgery, plus it gives time to do a few more things in South Africa. Then, my heart began to act up and required a trip to see a specialist. He said it was Atrial Fibrillation (heart out of rhythm). Having my heart "shocked" into proper rhythm a few days before I left in August helped some, but I still battled with this problem while I was in Africa in August thru October. MAKING THE ROUNDS Coming home from Africa in late October, my first speaking appointments were in Kentucky that Sunday, October 27th. Since then, I have been on the road constantly giving reports to our supporting churches, and some new ones where Larry York has set up for me to speak. Also, there have been numerous doctor appointments during the week for checkups and to bring the doctors up-to-date on my health condition. A pacemaker was installed December 21st that had been anticipated for sometime. This also required the addition of a new medicine to help keep my heart in rhythm. I spent 3 days in the hospital, so the heart specialists could monitor the medication and see if the pacemaker was doing its job and to check if there were any further problems. Getting home on December 24th, I was just in time for holiday activities, and to speak twice at the West End church on Christmas Day. I was a bit slow climbing those 4 or 5 steps up to the pulpit, but I was determined to fulfill this assigned speaking engagement. Since then, I have preached several times at West End. THE SEARCH IS OVER The West End church began looking for a new minister to replace Russell Cook after a tumor was removed from his brain in October 2010. Several have "tried-out" since Russell submitted his official letter of resignation in October 2011. His memory and other skills have not improved to the point that he can perform the duties of a minister yet. He needs our ongoing prayers that he will return to good health once again, and be able to preach one day soon. In the meantime, the West End church, when not having preachers who applied for the position, has relied upon many speakers during this interim, some from the congregation. I have preached several times when I’m not traveling to other places. It was announced the end of January that Wayne Miller will be the new minister. He will be coming in April. EVENTS IN AFRICA The Benoni church has had an unusual number of members to die this year. One was a young man about 23 who was killed in a single auto accident the 10th of December, Landre' Gerber. He was in a coma several days before his death. We know the family well, Louis and Linda, and feel their loss. They have been most hospitable to us over the years and we’ve been in their home many times. Linda is one of the great cooks at Benoni. Landre' was a shining example to all the other youth, was most faithful to the church, leading singing for the children, teaching, and serving as a youth leader. He will be greatly missed at Benoni. Louis is the prison minister at Benoni, and preaches often during Al’s absence. Among many others who have departed this past year was Peggy Myburgh, who was in her 80's ( I’m not sure exactly). Ann, Rick and I spent our first Christmas in Africa with the Myburgh family. Being new on the mission field and facing not being with our own family at that special time, Auntie Peggy invited us to spend Christmas with them. We had such a lovely time and will never forget the great hospitality they offered to three strangers from a foreign land. We will miss Auntie Peggy when we return to Benoni. SABC LECTURESHIP 2012 Though several months away, this annual event is always on my mind. I have not yet issued invitations for speakers, but have topics for the program laid out. Sifting through the list of potential speakers, I have begun to think of WHO would fit WHICH topic, time slots and so forth. I begin thinking of capable speakers months in advance so that plans can be made, travel arrangements organized, etc. Of course, I don’t do this alone, once the program is laid out, we have many faculty meetings at SABC (once I get there) to decide upon those we invite, local and from the USA. The SABC lectureship is always a much anticipated event, and folks must have adequate lead time to make plans, as it falls on a South African school holiday for all provinces. Who would like to be the very FIRST one for SABC to invite? Let us know your availability. We don’t know, for example, those from the States who would have time-off to make the trip, or would be able to raise their own travel funds, as we cannot offer anyone payments for their travel or services. We do offer accommodation for local as well as foreign speakers. If anyone is interested, let SABC know whom to invite. In addition to overseas guests, we will be using local speakers who always do an outstanding job. We will start the invitation process very soon. The theme for the Lectureship will be "The Book of Psalms," The Majesty of the Lord. Dates: Sept. 30-Oct. 4, 2012. Spread the Word! OUR DEPARTURE This has been a little "ifffffy"– setting a definite date to leave the USA this year. We have now settled upon the 27th of February to depart the States, and stay in South Africa until mid-October. I have been invited to speak at the Easter weekend lectureship, so I know I must be there in time for this annual event. Wouldn’t want to miss this exciting weekend designed and organized by our African brethren. It has been ongoing since the ‘70's and draws the largest crowd each year from many places. This year, Ann is planning to accompany me to Africa, as well as our grandson, Joey. It will be his first trip and we’re making preparations for his schooling and care at home. It will be great having family there with me. I do get lonely when I’m there by myself. Pray that everything works out for us as we desire to serve the Lord in Africa at this time. Al and Donna Horne also plan to arrive in Benoni the end of February. We work together very well and have lots of laughs when we visit with each other. Al serves as one of the elders at the Benoni church, and is their pulpit minister, in addition to his work at SABC as its President and one of the teachers. AT THE BIBLE COLLEGE For one thing, I know I have been assigned to teach the book of Jeremiah once I get there this year. For now, Eddie Nkosi has been teaching in my place, and I thank him for doing this, among all the other activities that he is involved in. Eddie serves as Dean of Students at the Bible College, and does a lot of counselling. He also preaches for Daveyton. FAMILY DOINGS Our son, Rick, was in California with his big truck, awaiting a load on Christmas Day, and did not get to be with the family for the Holidays. We spent Christmas Eve with others in his family. Our daughter, Rhonda, came the day after Christmas. It is hard getting everyone together due to other obligations: jobs, in-laws, children & grandchildren. APOLOGIES We realize this report covers 3 months. It has been difficult finding the time to get a newsletter completed at this time of the year, with all the speaking engagements, traveling in the States, and the holiday festivities. Please accept our apologies. ****************** We appreciate everyone that sent support last year. It really is wonderful to know so many are mission-minded. Those who contribute funds for us in Africa are faithful to the Lord’s work there. God bless all of you who help us continue the mission in Africa. We are definitely going to need your prayers this year. It will be a challenge. – Jerry & Ann Hogg