Greetings Friends,
I hope you had a wonderful Christmas, celebrating Jesus’ coming into our world, so that we can reconnect with God and have lives of purpose and value. There is much sadness and strife in our world, and at times in our homes. But Jesus gives us inspiration and a loftier vision in it all – praise Him.

My jaunting across Australia is over, and I am back in Africa. Many, many thanks to friends in Perth, Canberra, Sydney, Jervis Bay, Bundaberg, Maitland, Lake Cathie, Brisbane and, especially, home-base in Wamuran. You have all shared your lives with me lately, as well as beds and great meals, and I am very blessed for it all. I would not survive in ministry without you all.

Sorry to those I didn’t manage to meet up with this trip. I didn’t even get to the western side of Brisbane. My Oz visit was shorter this year than last, but I also made sure I arrived in a bit better shape than a year earlier – the ending to 2010 was just TOO frantic. I did 2011 more smoothly.

BACK IN MY AFRICA HOME
I arrived in Windhoek on 5th January. Phill and Adam were at the
airport to greet me. And my car too, after a month in the workshop.
But the speedo still tells me I do 260km/h in town, or 25, or anything. The tacho died 3 years ago, and the central display is fading. I’m told it needs a new instrument panel – ouch! But otherwise, it is cruising happily again. I will probably string it along for the year.

I had a few days to greet the upstairs Aussies, and restock the kitchen, then 10th January everyone was on deck at Scripture Union, ready to begin another challenging year of ministry.

SCRIPTURE UNION MINISTRY resumed 10th January.
There is plenty to keep us all well-occupied. My “to-do” list rapidly filled with meetings and stuff to do.
Late in the week I can sometimes feel bogged down, but I remind myself it’s part of the path to build sustainable ministry, so kid’s keep on hearing the Gospel. Now the overiding difference is to gradually introduce Elmo to what’s involved with being National Director. Thankfully we have all year to do it.
Not all things go according to plan (that’s Africa!) Our TRENDSETTERS Children and Youth Ministry Course is not starting yet, as hoped. No-one applied! Can’t run a class without students.
We have postponed it for 6 or 12 months, which will make us better prepared anyway. Meanwhile the Trendsetter Coordinator, Moses, will do some of the subjects at the Bible College which he was to do with the students. So he will be more prepared. This will start him on the one-year Certificate in Christian Ministry, which I hope he can complete over 2 years part-time.
We are still seeking info on the HIV/AIDS programme we have been asked to join. Plus talking with Bible Society on what we can do together in 2012. No shortage of ministry opportunities, that’s for sure.

COMING UP For your prayer:

  • Very soon – That the Jeep would sell – it’s running okay. But it’s now out-of-rego and will need some matters fixed to pass it again. Pray it gives us enough profit for a deposit on a new utility for Shalom Camp Centre.
  • FEB 3-5 – Volunteers Training Weekend – pray for more new volunteers.
  • FEB 11 – “True Love Waits” march through Windhoek by SU secondary groups and church youth groups, to proclaim God’s way of loving before Valentine’s Day.
  • FEB 12-18 – Elmo in south to grow ministry.
  • FEB 26 – I preach and take service at my church, Central Methodist.
  • MARCH 4-14 – Elmo & Boniface on coast to visit SU Groups and grow ministry.
  • MARCH 16-22 – Elmo and I attend a Bible Engagement Writers workshop near Cape Town, and I introduce Elmo to SU South Africa. I might stay on for a tourist weekend.
  • MARCH 24 – Teachers Breakfast
  • MARCH 30 – APRIL 1 – High School Camp at Shalom Camp Centre
  • APRIL 1-7 – Elmo in more southern areas.

HOME LIFE
I pray on that I do not have floods in my flat this year, after 2 years of it. The City Council replaced lots of pipes over the back fence last year, so I pray that’s the end of it– it really is gross. So far we have had only a few strong downpours to test it, and so far, so good.
Flatmate Phill has gone north to his village for a few weeks, to help run the family tractor and plough, which they rent out at this time. He still awaits for the elusive IT tutor to restart his course.
Church is growing after the annual Christmas exodus from Windhoek. It is good to be back there, and also in the small mid-week communion and coffee at St George’s Cathedral mid-week, at 7am.
I managed to see the 2nd Sherlock Holmes movie at our local cinema. So cool I think I’ll go again, which I hardly ever do. And I’ve watched the whole Downton Abbey series 1 on DVD – which leaves us agonisingly seeking Series 2. Honestly, when will I get that here ??

CHRISTMAS GIFTS Many thanks to all who sent a gift. Elmo’s last term fees for his theological degree were paid, then salaries and bills in December were helped, and also will help ensure everyone gets paid in January, including Elmo.

Many thanks for your care and prayer, Graeme

For a full picture-rich copy of Graeme’s newsletter see below.