March 2013 Update
Rene & Sonia Einfeldt (1979)
Dear Faithful Pray-ers,
Rule # 1: Never start out a letter with an apology.
Rule Broken: We are looooooong overdue with a letter! We HAVE managed to get out a couple of short SOS e-mails to supporters or particular pray-ers, during this busy time, but no general prayer letter, since December 2012. This is inexcusable, as our unwritten Rule #2 has always been to keep everyone well informed with a letter AT LEAST every other month, so that you can be praying specifically – obviously another Rule Broken. THANKS SO MUCH to those of you who do pray for us on a regular basis, with or without details!
So, to catch you up a bit… in brief:
1) We did NOT go away for summer holidays (December and first half of January) since we knew we would be gone a lot during 2013. During that time we kept up our ministry with the Teen Bible Studies and Youth Group meetings, the same as we do all during the school year. (PHOTOS BELOW)
2) We arranged the schedules for the new school year and worked on finding small-group leaders to help us with discussion times in two schools. The school year began for our classes a few days after the school year opened, on 22 January.
3) Also in January, close to the beginning of the school year, René had minor surgery here in Kimberley. All went well, praise the Lord, and he came home the next day.
4) We have also become students again, after many years of only being in classrooms as teachers. This year we’ve added to our schedule a course in Biblical Counselling at the Grace School of Ministry in Pretoria. It consists of 5 very intense weeks of training – we’ve completed two of them, the first week in February and the first week in March. We have assignments between sessions including the reading of 16 books on various aspects of Biblical counselling, written papers due, and some other homework. The last 3 weeks of the course will be the first week in October, the first week in February 2014, and the first week in March 2014. PRAY FOR US with this added responsibility please! As an extra note on this subject, the pastor of our home church in Randolph, NY, is a certified NANC Biblical counsellor and so while they are busy starting a Biblical counselling ministry in our church in NY state, we are taking the same type of training here, to be able to use with the young people to whom we minister. We have made many friends with others in the class who are also in Christian ministry in various parts of South Africa, and discovered another option for a good, doctrinally-sound Bible college that we would be able to recommend to any young person from Kimberley who wishes to train to serve God. (One who is strongly interested is in Grade 11 this year. Pray for “Jo”.)
Rule #3: Never procrastinate on assignments.
Rule Broken: Well, we really didn’t THINK we were procrastinating – we would take books assigned for our first two weeks of the counselling course with us in the car, reading them whenever we were headed across town, we would read them as part of our devotions, and we would assign ourselves chapters to read separately when either of us had time to read and the other didn’t. We THOUGHT we were starting our papers to be written in a timely manner. But with our other responsibilities, we only finished them a couple of days before the start of Week 2! And we were still reading the last book as we were driving to the course in Pretoria!
Rule #4: Never assign students something that you don’t have time to read and mark!
Rule Broken: Immediately on our return from Week 1 of our course, when we were the busiest, getting ready for Week 2, we collected major assignments from one class of 80 students – which meant we had to spend some serious time during those 3 weeks between classes reading and giving marks for them all! Poor planning! (Note to self: NEXT YEAR assign that project at a different time of the year!)
Rule #5: Don’t forget that this is GOD’s work, and He doesn’t need us to be completely polished and perfect before He works in the lives of teens.
Rule Broken: Having come back from the second week of the counselling course, we had thought we would have a bit easier schedule because no assignments were looming over our heads that had to be done within a few weeks. However, we did have lessons and other work that had piled up while we were so busy between Week 1 and Week 2 of our course, all waiting when we returned! I (Sonia) was feeling particularly overwhelmed one day before youth group – so much to do to get ready and up till the last minute I did not really feel as prepared as I like to for their coming. And that was the night that God worked in lives of the young people through the devotional time which talked about exactly what Christ had done, voluntarily, on our behalf, when He gave His life to be crucified. (Thousands were forced to be crucified under the Roman Empire; only ONE ever gave His life.) This touched the young people in a way that we have been praying for. Several spent serious time in prayer and reflection afterward and I was able to counsel with one girl that night. Please keep PRAYING for our youth, that God will touch them deeply through His Word and they will get to know Him more and more.
Rule #6: Don’t be one of those “doting grandmas” who has to show photos of her grandkids to everyone.
Rule broken: Oh, it’s WAY too late for this rule. Ouma Einfeldt will show Andrew’s pictures to anyone who even hints at an interest! His photos are also the screensaver on both Oupa’s and Ouma’s laptops. (For those of you who don’t know, “Oupa and Ouma” are Afrikaans words for “Grandpa and Grandma” and will be Andrew’s names for us!) We are getting VERY excited about going to meet him (and see other relatives as well) for a short time while our students are writing exams for other classes and then having winter holiday (June and part of July). We decided to make other arrangements for our classes for a couple of weeks so that we could go in time for Andrew’s birthday. (He will, after all, only have ONE “1st Birthday”!!) We are NOT planning to have a presentation ready nor report officially to churches during that time, since we were just there in 2011. We may see some of you in our travels, but there will be a lot of travelling just to see our close relatives, as they all insist on living so far apart! J This is the first time ever we plan to go to the U.S. for mostly personal reasons (but we must also renew our passports while we are there).
As we commemorate our Lord’s death, burial, and resurrection at this time of year, remember, HE “broke the rules” set by the Pharisees for how to be right with God. (Matthew 15) HE “broke the rules” of how many times we are to forgive others. (Matthew 18:22) HE “broke the rules” of what LOVE means by demonstrating that love for us on an instrument of torturous execution. (Romans 5:7-8) And He “broke the rules” of a dead person staying dead! (Romans 1:4-5) He is indeed worthy of our praise and honour! HE IS RISEN!!!
THANK YOU to those of you who have prayed for Central African Republic and Mali where we used to work. In C.A.R. – A rebel group has been going from town to town, including Bangassou where we lived, destroying cell towers, killing, and terrorising. We ARE thankful for troops from other countries who have helped the Malian army push the terrorists back. The devastation in the country is appalling.
Thank you so much for your faithful support and prayers for us and our ministry here! May God grant you a wonderful Resurrection celebration!
Because of His sacrifice,
René and Sonia Einfeldt
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