Hello everyone! We have been through quite a year in 2022. Last year at this time, we were in our South African Christmas quarantine. It actually turned out to be a blessing and a rest that we needed before becoming caregivers. We hope that 2022 was a good year for you.
Tony and I wish you all the very best, for the Christmas season and into the brand new year, 2023. I’ve been reading various prophetic words from many well known voices, and many are saying that the new year will bring a season of favour, grace and blessing. There will be more opportunity for the gospel, more people reached, and that predicted revival is that much closer. Some have seen the starting fires of it in small towns. It’s a time of all hands on deck, for ALL of us are required, not just the “brand names” of those in the know. All of us are needed to “gossip the gospel” as a very dear charismatic Anglican bishop used to tell me (his name was Malcolm Harding, and what a blessing he was).
Tony and I became ill this month with an RSV like virus, and my dad was also affected. I did not have energy or stamina to write, but now that I’m beginning to feel better, I’m somewhat behind. However, I can say that there will be a brand new Ways to Grow in God article in January – on a topic you don’t always hear about – widows and orphans. Both these demographics are very important to the Lord, as is the refugee and the “stranger/soujourner/foreigner.” Tony and I were given an assignment with widows and orphans in South Africa (2017-2022), and we befriended a widow in Mozambique in 2016. Although we are no longer in South Africa as currently active Iris missionaries, we are full time live-in caregivers for my 93-year old dad. We still ‘foster-sponsor’ a grown orphan that we unofficially adopted while in South Africa. We continue to help towards her university (room and board, and a stipend towards her family’s food in her absence. This is so they don’t pull her out of school to work low-paid manual jobs to make ends meet for them. She’s on a scholarship at CPUT. We also have a widow who is dear to our hearts. a dear friend lost her husband last January to stage 4 colin cancer (after being treated for separate lung cancer). We reach out to her often, and love her fiercely. It only recently occured to me that while I consider her my life-long friend, she also is assigned to us. And why not? It’s a biblical thing that family cares for their own. She’s not family biologically, but she’s practically closer than that. She’s not a project and while we aren’t in the same country, I will never leave her.
This is commitment to widows and orphans. This is what they need, so they aren’t forgotten and invisible. God sees them. And while I can’t help them all, we can love and help two. More to come on this special topic.
Meanwhile, we bless you and pray that 2023 will be a kind year to you. If it is not, then turn to the God of all comfort, Jesus Christ. He not only loves you with an everlasting love, but he gives you grace, and kindnesses that you don’t expect. Look for them. He sees you. He remembers you. Happy new year, my friends.
Medical Updates: For those looking for news, Tony continues his immunotherapy infusions at Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto. He had a CT scan earlier in December, and it showed that the tumour has slowed its growth in one area and shrunk in another. Although this has been a slow process, we believe that it is better to continue on immunotherapy rather than switch to chemotherapy. Otherwise, Tony gets very tired after climbing steps, and has to rest often. This affects how we caregive L-A’s dad.
L-A had another breast ultrasound, and the lump she has in her right breast has not grown. The surgeon was satisfied,but the oncologist remains concerned. L-A next meets with her for a phone appointment in January. L-A is also in the middle of receiving dental treatment for crowns. Two have been done so far. L-A gifted her dentist with a USB full of colouring sheets as a thank you. He gave her 15% off the price of the treatment, since we have no dental insurance. Kindness begets kindness.
If you feel led to contribute towards medications and hospital parking expenses, and perhaps lymphedema treatments for L-A, this would be most welcome. Not everything is covered under Tony’s senior drug plan and OHIP, but don’t feel obligated. But meanwhile, all my teachings are online for free to bless you. Here is our Paypal for any of you who feel led to contribute: https://www.paypal.me/WaystogrowinGod
Laurie-Ann’s Colouring Books: If you are in South Africa, and would like to purchase one of L-A’s colouring books, some are available at LeRoux and Fourie wine shop on R60 beside Cape Lime. This is west of Robertson in Western Cape. Or you can have your own copies printed for you through Print on Demand through Takealot.com.
Link for Colouring with Jesus 1: https://www.takealot.com/colouring-with-jesus/PLID68586424
Link for Colouring with Jesus 2: https://www.takealot.com/colouring-with-jesus-2/PLID72991486
We plan to republish the updated books in North American format (and in English only) in the future (after taking care of family).
L-A is beginning to imagine writing other books, so watch this blog for more info when it comes.
Colouring sheets are available to children’s ministries for free; please just let us know. Bless you, and thank you for your support!