Dear Faithful Supporters and Prayer Partners,
The city of George was in a frenzy this past Thursday. The roads were crowded with cars. The sidewalks were packed with people. The lines at the stores were inordinately long. There was a sense of urgency mixed with uncertainty in the air. The government-imposed COVID-19 lockdown was scheduled to begin at midnight, so people were scrambling in panicked preparation. It was the storm before the calm.
Friday morning brought eerie quietness. I walked out the front gate of my house—not a soul in sight and nothing more than the sound of a squawking bird. Even though we live on a relatively quiet street, we can normally hear the steady traffic from the busy road just down the street and there is usually a consistent stream of laborers coming in for their daily work. Amazing what a difference 24 hours makes!
Life will definitely be different in South Africa until April 16 when the lockdown is scheduled to end. Most of you reading this update are experiencing “different” right now, so you know firsthand what I mean! Lockdown here means we are asked to stay at home, on our property, with the exception of a weekly trip to the grocery store or a necessary visit to the doctor. No running, no walks, no driving around, no group meetings, etc. So, we will be home for the better part of three weeks.
Before COVID-19 hit, we had a lot going on. We had our first Sunday service at our new facility on Sunday, March 8! We are so thankful for the funds the Lord has provided and for the work He has allowed us to accomplish. There is still a lot of work to be done, but we are making progress (except for the remaining days of the lockdown). We are also thankful for our friends, Bill Hulshizer and John Yowell, and a small team from a church in Canada, who came earlier this month to help us on the building project. They were a great blessing, help, and encouragement. Praise the Lord Bill and John made it home on the last South African Airways flight before they stopped travel to the US! Lord willing, work will resume in the second half of April.
We certainly would appreciate your prayers as we seek to shepherd our growing church family during the lockdown. These are uncertain times for people throughout the world, and that is especially true here. The economy of South Africa was already struggling, so there is significant concern about the financial impact of the lockdown. Also of great concern is the impact of the lockdown on people in the vast poor communities, most of whom live literally day to day, and the potential health crisis should the virus reach these communities. We would also appreciate your prayers regarding our travel plans. We were planning to visit home beginning May 5, but all flights leaving South Africa have been suspended until at least May 31. Pray for grace to accept this change in plans and wisdom to know how to plan moving forward.
Through these uncertain times, we desire to live out the words of Habakkuk 3:17-18: “Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.”
Thank you for the encouragement of your faithful prayers and ongoing support!
We would love to hear from you
For the Sake of His Name,
Troy and Danielle
P.S. You can “like” us on Facebook at Life Fellowship Church @lifefellowshipgeorge.