As we had mentioned in our last blog, we were having trouble finding a physician to perform the required physicals for our visa. We are excited to say that God provided a physician, and our physicals are now complete!
It appears that our next hurdle to overcome is the TB chest x-ray. While what we have read and heard indicates that a negative skin test should mean that we are TB-free, the South African Consulate requires the chest x-ray. Not too many clinics in our area do the x-rays for TB. One place said that they could do the exam for us, but when we went in, they noted that the form must be signed by a radiologist, and not a technician. We will keep looking. God provided for the physicals, and He will provide for this too!
What's been happening in our lives
We had originally hoped to be back in South Africa sometime in September. As you know from our previous blogs, that did not happen. A couple of good things occurred in September that we would have missed had we been in South Africa.
Friends of ours who are missionaries in Nicaragua came to the United States for a few weeks. We had not seen them in over 4 years. We had spoken over Skype, but really cherished the opportunity to spend time with them in person.
Todd recently reconnected with someone he ministered with at a local juvenile hall about 17 years ago. The person is still actively involved in ministering at the juvenile hall. Since Todd's fingerprints were still on file, he was permitted to join the team. Approximately 10 teenagers (a mixture of boys and girls) attended the meeting. The meeting started with a couple worship songs, followed by a main speaker, which in this case was the team leader. At the conclusion of the main message, each of the team members were invited to share a few thoughts. Two of the young men surrendered their lives to Jesus, while the others were given plenty to think about. Todd thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to join the ministry team and pour into the hearts and lives of those who attended. He hopes to join the team again before our return to South Africa.
What God Has Been Teaching Us
There are many things that God has been teaching us. All of these things are to help us grow up into the fullness of the stature of Christ. One big area is in the area of forgiveness. After Joseph was elevated to the second highest ranking official in Egypt, his wife bore Manasseh. He was named Manasseh because God had caused Joseph to forget the pain and affliction he had suffered at the hands of his brothers, Potiphar's wife, and Pharaoh's cup bearer. Joseph's brothers sold him into slavery. Potiphar's wife accused Joseph of trying to have relations with her, which resulted in his imprisonment. When Pharaoh's cup bearer was imprisoned he had received a favorable dream interpretation from Joseph. But when he was restored to his position, he forgot about Joseph, leaving Joseph in prison. Joseph had plenty of opportunity to harbor unforgiveness, and even take revenge when he was promoted. But he did not. He recognized that all he went through was not about him, but was ultimately for the salvation of Israel.
Joseph's second son was named Ephraim because God had caused him to be fruitful and prosper in the land in which he had once been a slave and prisoner. Manasseh (making to forget) must come before Ephraim (being fruitful). Sometimes the very thing keeping us from being fruitful is the unforgivenss and bitterness we have towards people and situations in our past. We remain bound to the past and are unable to move forward. Forgiving those who have hurt us does not necessarily mean being reconciled to them. Sometimes people are unwilling to acknowledge the sins they are walking in and the hurts that they are causing. This prohibits reconciliation. But, we can still forgive them and allow God to make us forget the hurts of our past so that we can move on to a fruitful future.
Did You Know?
We have added teachings to our website. The audio versions are in mp3 format so you can download them for free and listen to them on your phone. Check them out!
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