Phelps News - Dec 2012

Phelps News – December 2012

2012 is history and a new year beckons. Before looking forward to the opportunities and challenges of 2013 it seems appropriate to reflect back on the year that was.

My focus for 2012 was laying foundations for building training infrastructure in the OM Africa region. The area’s vision is to see 350 least-reached communities in Africa transformed between now and 2025. Training of new recruits, OM personnel and church leaders is a key part of our strategy in each of the countries we’re working in. (See
www.omafrica.org for all the countries.)

In March my colleague, Paul Guinness and I travelled to Madagascar where we trained a group of pastors in developing leadership material for their churches. We also ministered to the OM team. Later that month I travelled to Germany for OM international training and leadership development consultations. I really appreciated the interaction and opportunity to influence the organization at an international level. I was back in Germany in July for a small group consultation relating to international leadership preparation.

April saw a group of us head to Siabuwa in Northern Zimbabwe to see the LIFE Direction process move to the next generation as those we had been training for the past three years trained another group of their peers. It was amazing to be a part of. The group also took responsibility for translating a basic introduction to theology.

The highlight of the highlights of the year was probably the four week, 6000 kilometer road trip we did as a family through Zimbabwe and Zambia. A missions conference in SIabuwa, crossing Kariba dam wall, Griejtie training entrepreneurial skills in Mpulungu, swimming in Lake Tanganyika, training upcoming leaders, Love Africa conference, area leaders meetings, and the Victoria falls were some of the features of a significant ministry trip and a great family experience.

September saw Grietjie and I join 10 other trainers in presenting a two week Leadership Matters course in Pretoria. One of the international trainers commented on the quality of the participants that we had assembled from our fields.

November saw me return to Ghana after an absence of over two years. I spent my week there with the 8 missions trainees from Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Liberia, the Scripture Union regional staff and the OM Ghana team. Africans are taking responsibility for reaching the lost and it is a privilege to be a part of it. It was humbling to hear different people say that my ministry in Ghana over the past eight years has had significant impact.

As a family we had a challenging year but a good one. We have seen the hand of God in our lives and can testify to His goodness. Both Grietjie and I had surgical procedures that went well and accomplished there objectives. We saw God bless us with the bakkie that took us to Zimbabwe and Zambia, on the other hand faced one of our toughest years financially we’ve had in ministry. We had to move house again and are grateful to God for the provision of the house we’re living in now. We’re still praying for an opportunity to purchase a house here in Pretoria but currently we wait for His perfect timing.

Grietjie did a number of entrepreneurial training sessions we are anticipating this becoming a greater part of our joint ministry.

Both Caroline and Colson have matured both physically and emotionally this year. Colson is now taller than Caroline and both are taller than Grietjie. Homeschooling has gone well and we’re excited about the coming year.

This newsletter is already too long and doesn’t do justice to all that happened this year. The other thing it fails to do is include all the people who have partnered with us to make these things happen. Thank you seems too small a response. Your prayers and financial giving has impacted people throughout Africa and further afield.

Look out for our 2013 look ahead newsletter in the next few weeks.

May God bless you as you move into 2013

Colin for the family.