Newsletter and Updates, Nov. 2017

The Lord‘s Faithfulness Endures Forever

Praise the Lord, all nations!
    Extol him, all peoples!
For great is his steadfast love toward us,
    and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.
Praise the Lord! Psalms 117

IMG_9012
On a hike up Stellenbosch Mountain

We are two months in! On one hand it feels like forever ago that we left home but on the other hand time has flown by. Life is good for the Rousehouse here in South Africa. That’s not to say that we haven’t had our days of frustration, missing “home” and all of you, learning how to navigate cultural differences, and the never-ending task figuring out day-to-day life. Just this morning as I was walking to the bank to, finally pick up our cheque card after 6 weeks, I thought to myself, “I am fully expecting this to take way longer than normal and not going to be surprised if things aren’t ready this time.” To my amazement it only took 35 minutes and I left with a bank card! One of the biggest lessons we have and are learning is that we have to constantly be patient and be ready for our plans to be messed up.

IMG_9268
First visit to the beach near our house

That is actually one of the things the Lord has been speaking to us about. We like to have a plan. We like to check off the tasks on our list. We like to be productive. Simply put, we like to get stuff done. Well, the Lord has been whispering things in our hearts like, be available, don’t miss this opportunity, be present with people, don’t let the interruption aggregate you but, welcome it. Being intentional about living like this way messes up the plans and schedules that we put together. I mean, we are here to make a difference and get stuff done, right? …I think?…maybe?…maybe i am not so sure?…

IMG_5345
Our first African party in a township. Elly and Lara sat there and held babies most of the time.

God has wonderfully created Lara, our kids, and myself to be people who love people. We enjoy investing in others. We are filled up by serving people in need. And we really want to help others know Jesus and his great plan for their lives. Therefore, we have to be present and available. This means we have to keep margin in our daily schedules and hold our plans loosely so that we can welcome the interruptions. In Africa, we are finding that task list and productive days of getting 10 things done are replaced with impromptu moments of coffee, last-minute calls for a ride somewhere, a 5 hour-long braai for dinner and endless conversations of listening to people’s stories and hearing their hearts.

What does the Lord require of you? We are learning it is to let go of our time and listen, care for, love on, and encourage people for His glory in their lives.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Here are a few updates from our past few weeks:

We are still in a very serious water crisis here in the Western Cape of South Africa. There are talks of the water running out in the next few months. After we let you know about this and you began to pray we saw days and days of rain, so PLEASE don’t stop praying! Some of our South African friends have even mentioned to us that they have never seen it rain during this time of the year. God is using this for His purpose.

  • Ministry

The question, “how is ministry going?” is a difficult question for Lara and I to answer right now. We are spending these first 3 months going through a valuable cultural adaptation period with some of our seasoned leaders here at East Mountain. We believe that this is a time that will prepare us and equip us for healthy, thriving ministry and life. With out this intentionality we would likely hit the ground running…running over people and running our selves into the ground! We are spending time with local ministry partners to hear about their vision and their needs, meeting other ministry leaders and missionaries in the area to learn how the Lord is using them here, building good relationships with our team, and having a lot of fun with our resident interns. The residents are teaching us a ton about language, culture, family and life from all over Africa and they are a lot of fun! Lara and I are also spending a good bit of time thinking, talking and dreaming of what the Lord wants to have us dive deep into and the people He wants to invest in. Things are about to get exciting as we are looking toward the new year!!!

  • Kids

They are doing great! We regularly thank the Lord for His grace over them. They have quickly gained some good friends, connected well with our neighbors, and are enjoying all of the adventures. These kids are awesome and you can see God all over them! (If you have any specific questions please message us so we can share stories with you, spanky.rouse@gmail.com)

It is crazy how much time and effort it takes to do the regular things in a day compared to what we are use to in the US. We feel like we are beginning to get the hang of it though! Just a few things that feel more normal now are… buying electricity (you buy electricity at the grocery store or petrol station), continuing to try to get internet (7 weeks, 20 emails, and 5 phone conversations and we still don’t have internet in our home), grocery shopping (learning what stores we like to get specific items), taking 2 minute showers, learning how to collect all of our gray water, driving on the left side of the road, visiting churches, homeschooling, and learning celsius and kilometers. Slowly these things are feeling more natural and are taking less thought. Thank goodness!!! (if there are any specific question you have please let us know so we can try to answer them for everyone)

 

I am still waiting to see if I have won the GOAT! Be praying that I get it!!! (read our last blog to learn more about the goat)

Prayer needs for November:

  • Vision for the specific ministry areas the Lord wants us to invest in deeply 
  • God’s grace, strength, peace, joy, protection and constant wisdom for everyday situations
  • Homeschool: Mom, dad, and kids
  • Year end giving and continued strong financial support
  • Water Crisis!
  • Sensitivity to the opportunities where we can be present and available to those that need us
  • God’s favor and favor with others (neighbors, community, team, partners, etc)
Vergoenoed Lara and Spanky
Lara and Spanky enjoying the South African wildlife at a local Saturday market

If you would like to join our financial or prayer team you can check out how to partner with us by clicking here Partnering with us….  It is coming close to that time of the year when many are thinking about those charitable donations. Would you consider a special gift to our family and the ministry projects we are planning for 2018. If you would like more info please email me at spanky.rouse@gmail.com. Thank you!

Lastly, we regularly post pictures and stories on our Instagram and Facebook accounts. This is a great way to stay connected and up to date!

https://www.instagram.com/spankyrouse/

https://www.instagram.com/lararouse/

https://www.facebook.com/spanky.rouse

https://www.facebook.com/lara.rouse.7

https://www.instagram.com/causing_wonder/ – Mac’s Instagram

 

 

One thought on “Newsletter and Updates, Nov. 2017

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s