my life, my passion, my joy

News – Sept 2012

NEWS – September 2012

Dearest family and friends,

“What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed as the Lord assigned each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth…He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor” (1 Cor. 3:5-8).

Cath’s future plans

Likewise, I together with the late Martin Bezold was a servant through whom many came to believe in Jesus Christ, and God in His graciousness has grown the seedlings that we planted in South Sudan. I felt called to serve Jesus in South Sudan indefinitely because I knew that I was called to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ amongst unreached peoples. However, I also felt that I was never meant to serve as a single missionary for the rest of my life. Since I was a little girl I have had dreams and hoped to be married and have a family. I never doubted God’s plan and I have always trusted that He will guide me as I picked up my cross and followed Him. I also know that God’s timing is not mine and He brought Martin into my life when he did for a season and for a reason, and then God took him home. I can truly say that my God gives and takes away but my heart will still say, even in times of heartache and disappointment, “my Lord blessed be your name!” It has been three and a half years since Martin passed away and I know he is with our Lord. I believe that I have faithfully continued the work that Martin started in South Sudan.

I had planned to lead a TIMO team to help grow and establish the church that we started here. In the midst of my plans God brought Robert Falconer, a Christian man into my life. We have developed a very close friendship but more than that we are very much in love and have prayed and feel called to be together. Over the past months we have prayed together with family, friends, and mission leaders and feel that I need to take a year sabbatical in South Africa. This will enable Robert and I to spend more time building our relationship and living lives in the same area rather than over email and Skype.

The Community

My father wrote a culturally appropriate letter telling them truthfully about what happened with Martin and his death and that a new man, Robert had approached him and that my father is requesting me to come home for family negotiations. I enquired from a number of people in the Lopit communities what was appropriate, and they suggested I have the letter read by a representative having it translated with me being present. This was done two weeks ago and the community were sad but gave me their blessing as they said it was good for me to go home and get married.

TIMO (Training in Ministry Outreach) team.

Thank goodness this is not my work but God’s and He has a plan. After my DIGUNA mission leaders informed TIMO and AIM (African Inland Mission) about my change situation, you could understand that they were happy for me but they were also concerned and so they started praying that God would provide other leaders. AIM approached Joshua and Justina Musuva who were very close friends of Martin’s as well as myself from the start of our ministry to the people of South Sudan. Below is an excerpt from Brian and Kathy De Smidt’s (AIM central region coordinators) newsletter confirming the good news that the Musuva’s together with AIM and their mission organization (AICMB) have agreed to take over my position in leading the TIMO team here in this part of South Sudan:

“We are thrilled that Joshua and Justina Musuva, who have been missionaries from Kenya to South Sudan for 6 years, have agreed to lead a TIMO team among the Lopit people. We spent good time talking about future possibilities and practical implications of this with them, their mission leaders and TIMO personnel. Pray for them and their 4 children as they prepare for the team to arrive in September 2013. In our books, they should get a gold medal.”

The money that was given for TIMO

Any sponsors that specifically sent money for the TIMO project and the building of the houses, has been kept by DIGUNA and will be allocated to TIMO and the Musuva’s when they start building and preparing for the team.

The container house

The container house, solar system, water tank and the communication system will all remain here for Daniel, Clayton, the Musuva’s and the TIMO team and any other missionaries that want to serve in this area. I pray that it will continue to be a light on the hill for the glory of God!

Pastor Mark

I know I will miss him a great deal, he is a good friend. One of my main aims was to help him and his wife get established here. The good news is that the cow and goat negotiations for the bride price were successfully completed two weeks ago. Thank you to all who contributed and prayed with us. The other good news is that Mark’s house is almost complete and the builders are completing the windows soon and will be finishing of the walls by applying mud to the ‘wattle and daub’. So the house will soon be ready for him and his family.

The church

Last December a team of visitors helped to roof the church and in the last months we have completed finishes to the walls, floor and pulpit. So the church is completed and the young disciples in the church are growing under Pastor Mark’s leadership. Daniel will return for a time and will be a great support to Mark, as will Clayton when he returns.

The Lopit Alphabet books

This project has been very rewarding as members of the community and Peter from DIGUNA in Germany helped me put it together and my friend Ute brought it to South Sudan. In the past weeks we have been successful in having it stamped by the local Department of Education. Together with us they have distributed these books and have held training sessions in all the local Lopit schools. This has been a four year project and it has been wonderful to see it successfully received.

The school

This is one project I will not be able to complete before I leave, but I am trusting God to complete this work according to His will. The funds I received up until today have enabled me to successfully complete up to ring-beam level. I will continue to save the profits I make from the sales of my “TORIANA” books and I will allocate it towards the school and / or Joshua and Justina as they continue the ministry here.

“Toriana” in German

The translation is complete, but the design work and putting it all together into a book with pictures takes time. I will inform you as soon as it goes to the printing press in Germany.

The Cars

My Toyota Land cruiser which people contributed towards has been given to Maggi and Willi who are with DIGUNA and are serving in this part of South Sudan. They have a vision to reach other villages with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They have had it for 2 months and it has brought me much joy to see how much they have used the vehicle to reach other villages for Jesus Christ. The other vehicle DIGUNA is allocating to another project that needs it.

One month’s notice

Some of my mission sending cell representatives alerted me to the fact that I have been serving under the spiritual leadership of my church as a missionary for over 10 years without taking a sabbatical year. They together with my church elders and DIGUNA mission leaders have agreed that it is good for me to now take a year’s sabbatical, starting from the 1 November 2012. I will still remain as a full time missionary with DIGUNA, but my season in South Sudan I believe is coming to a close. To all my sponsors and supporters I feel it is only right to inform you and give you a month’s notice of my intentions about leaving South Sudan. Thank you for your incredible support, encouragement and prayers in all these years in South Sudan. I am forever thankful!

Robert and I will be using this year to build our relationship and vision for our future in missions/ministry wherever that may be. Missions and reaching the unreached with the Gospel of Jesus Christ is very much part of our vision but we need time to pray and to seek God for this vision together. The elders in my church in South Africa and Germany still see me very much as their missionary and will still continue to support me during this sabbatical year. But some of you may feel that you specifically wanted to support the work in South Sudan, and so I understand if you decide to stop financial support.

Please feel free to email me at cath.bezold@diguna.de should you have any questions.

Thank you for your prayers, love and support.

May God bless you!

Cath