Dawn speaks at St Nicholas church, Haxey in the morning service on Sunday. Pray for clarity and discernment.
NetACT are currently data-gathering on how to encourage partner colleges to use the Internet Portal more. Pray that accurate results would establish a clear course of action.
The best way may be for Fraser to make more site visits. If so, pray the logistics would work out (funding, visas etc).
Dawn’s flight back to South Africa leaves on January 19th. It’s been a valuable time of meeting family and friends to share some of the amazing things God does with those who are willing.
However, there might be a hitch. Dawn tested positive for Covid on January 1st; her fit to fly PCR test is January 17th. This second PCR could also be positive coming so soon after the infection. Please pray that whatever the result, she will be in the place God wants her to be.
Pray for strength in partings; having to leave family in the UK or Fraser having to cope longer on his own. Pray for James and Ruth beginning a new term in Oxford and Glasgow. Thank God for safety in travelling in past weeks and for what’s left to do.
Give thanks that Hylma could have a Christmas/end of year celebration in both Maximum and Medium A today. Pray for the effect on the men of the cake, squash, toothpaste and flannels that people outside have been willing to contribute, and that what they’ve learned over the year will draw them closer to Jesus. Thank God for Hylma, in her mid-70s, her love and enthusiasm for ministering to incarcerated men.
The presentation for Jurgens (NetACT founder) went well. Pray for Fraser as he takes time off from day-to-day work over December to get on with one or two projects.
Our church in South Africa has an Elders’ Meeting on Thursday about issues raised over the past month. Pray that those hurt by various issues can put that to one side.
Pray also that neither Dawn, nor Ruth nor anyone they meet will catch any variety of Covid in Scotland and England during the coming week.
Pray that Dawn clearly communicates the amazing things God does and can do with ordinary, willing lives – at the Inverness East church lunch time prayer meeting on Wednesday, Highland International Church on Sunday morning and Zoom meetings for Drumnadrochit at 19:30 on Thursday and Dingwall Castle Street on Sunday night.
On Monday she and Ruth return to Glasgow before heading back to Lincolnshire on Wednesday. Then we’ll have a break from sending out weekly prayer notes until January.
Pray for everyone in South Africa affected by the covid virus because of new travel restrictions, especially by divisions caused by strong feelings over whether the vaccinations are a good or an evil. Pray that people will still love whilst disagreeing over some things.
Pray for Fraser as he works on the presentation for Jurgens (the NetACT founder)’s farewell on Thursday. Videos and messages for the presentation are only now trickling in.
Continue to pray for Zebulun church in the drug-rife area of Wellington. Any materials for secondary school age work you don’t need could be very helpful if Dawn can take it back with her in January. Please get in touch if you have any.
James and Ruth are coming at the weekend for Dawn’s Mum’s 80th birthday. Pray for a good reunion and journeys.
Pray for Gareth in Medium A. The Head of Drakenstein Correctional Centre isn’t signing off on a well-arranged plan for a video call to his parents in England for the 2019 Restorative Justice course he participated in. Pray the problem will be revealed and overcome and that Gareth will honour God in his continued disappointment. Also for the Drakenstein inmates to live out Jesus’ love, whatever the circumstances.
Dawn speaks at Epworth Baptist Church on Sunday.
Pray for the men at Drakenstein. The questions Hylma dealt with on false beliefs about emotions provoked a lot of discussion. May the Holy Spirit keep the men individually turning to the Bible for help to cope with different emotions.
Pray for more funding and suitable volunteers for Hope Prison Ministry’s Restorative Justice courses. We haven’t been able to run as many as we would like.
Give thanks for the youngsters who gather at Zebulun church after school instead of getting involved with gangs.
NetACT have a new research project for 2022 – “What do NetACT member institutions have but still need in computer literacy?” which entails site visits to every partner for on-the-ground research. (Fraser will be doing some, but not all). Pray that partners will be open and honest. Pray for strength and peace for Fraser as he tries to finish up a few things for NetACT before the Christmas break.
Continue to pray for our church situation in Wellington – for wisdom, clarity, courage, demonstrable love and a time of peace-making which takes effort but has healthier and more lasting results, both for the individual and the congregation.
Give thanks that Dawn’s journey went smoothly and she’s now safely in England.
Student Finance have finally sorted out Ruth’s loan application and everything’s in order now.
With 20 minutes’ notice, Dawn was asked to start a teenager group at Zebulun church, in an area where you can see piles of stones which gangs throw at each other before shooting when they gather to fight. Some youngsters want to study the Bible so pray Dawn can pitch it at the right level.
Jessica, Dawn’s age, lives behind the church with a great heart for youth. Pray for her protection from outside threats.
A Muslim inmate recently saw the pastor in Medium A chapel. Two Bible study regulars prayed with him. He was led there by God, has renounced Islam and his intention to stab someone. He has given his heart to Jesus who alone can help him. He feels very different now he’s committed.
It was great to be in Maximum this morning and experience the wholehearted singing. God’s joy is not dependent on outward circumstances but is deep in the heart.
Fraser has been advising 2 South African non-NetACT Christian institutions on online library systems. Give thanks that the Stellenbosch University IT helpdesk was able to fix a major issue with his laptop remotely. He’s currently working on short videos about his work for Dawn to use in the UK – way outside his comfort zone! Pray that the films will give a feeling of the contribution he’s making.
Dawn will be in the Dingwall area from December 13-20 with still space for encounters. Let us know if you want one.
The men in Drakenstein Maximum and Medium A are engaging with classes on emotional and spiritual maturity. Pray it will lead to a marked growth in their maturity. The classes are having a thought-provoking effect.
There was a plan in Maximum to stab a warder in a gang initiation. A fellow inmate was stabbed instead. Pray that the cult of the prison gang will be defeated and that the light of Christ will shine brightly in that dark place.
Ebrahim, the musician in Medium A, is worried about his wife’s spiritual and physical health.
The latest issue of the NetACT journal was published last week. Pray for wisdom in choosing a replacement for the editor who retires before the next issue, preferably somebody a native English-speaker. Pray for NetACT as they negotiate with various institutes to make their resources freely available online to benefit the students in Africa and widen their access to first class material.
South Africa is off the UK red list and its vaccination programme has been validated, making it easier for Dawn’s UK trip in November.
Zebulun church is being threatened for non-payment of rent by the owner’s younger brother. The building had been neglected for years when they took it over. They agreed to repair it and then negotiate a minimal rent with the owner. With the building now in a much better state, the younger brother sees an opportunity.
They have little money to pay a commercial rent, regardless of the ethics of the younger brother’s intervention.
A younger retired minister, Hannes Theron, has taken over the responsibility for running the NetACT office and developing relationships with the colleges across Africa. The Theology Faculty at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, one of the larger universities in South Africa, is interested in joining NetACT.
Fraser is struggling with the latest issue of the NetACT journal. The ‘copy-edited’ files he has been sent are a mass of inconsistencies, requiring a complete re-working to make them ready for publication.
Only 10 men are allowed to attend prison Bible study. One man says he would follow Jesus up to a certain point, fearing that, if he showed weakness, he would be trampled on and humiliated by other prisoners. Pray he would follow Jesus completely, not just up to a point. He was, however, glad for a long sentence as he met Jesus in prison whereas he’d not known him outside.
Fahiem, the Muslim background man was the first to arrive at the Bible study this time, clutching his new Bible protectively, eager to make right choices and change his life, and appreciative that he be included in these prayer notes. In 2021, 4 close family members have died so he wants to live a changed life and show them a better way – amazing that people in another continent can have a prayerful impact on those so far away. Dawn was able to go into Maximum and Medium A at Drakenstein today to lead classes on emotional and spiritual maturity over the next 2 weeks. She has started a discipleship group at Zebulun.
Edward the ex-prisoner, now working with the young men at Beth Uriel house in Cape Town, is still faithfully following Jesus in the way that he lives and is a great encouragement to the parole officers who see so many men return to prison. Pray he would obtain the wood and other resources to renovate the hut he want to live in on the Beth Uriel grounds.
Dawn was allowed back into prison today for a Bible study in Maximum. We hope to include Medium A soon. Ebrahim in Maximum writes and plays songs to encourage the other believers. A Muslim inmate was felt drawn to join us to learn more about God and has said he’ll return next week. He’s asked for a Bible.
There’s a great problem with violence in South Africa. Many inmates come from families where beating a child unconscious or hitting him with a brick is an acceptable form of discipline. Some people working in prison ministry or church circles say beating is what they need, it’s what they understand. What we understand can be changed.
Pray for a revolution in thinking that all who follow Jesus trust him enough to turn the world’s thinking upside down.
Pray for smooth arrangements for us to visit the UK in November! Ruth had a positive phone call with someone from Student Finance but the information she sent in hasn’t solved the problem.
A meeting last week discussed how Hugenote College can create online biblical languages courses and make them available to other colleges in the NetACT network throughout Africa. Everyone involved was very positive and determined to move ahead. Pray for the next issue of the NetACT journal which is due out soon.
Dawn’s Mum has a significant birthday in November. We haven’t seen James and Ruth for a long time so hope to go to the UK in November for two months. If anyone would like to meet up whilst we’re there, let us know.
An outbreak of rabies has reached a township on our side of Cape Town (about an hour’s drive away). Pray that the disease would be contained.
Please pray for South Africa’s prisons. A 60% increase in crime will worsen the already severe overcrowding, violence and societal breakdown.
Gangs in Drakenstein Maximum are demanding the blood of a warder to keep peace inside the prison. A Christian inmate has been stabbed and is in hospital but his blood is not enough to satisfy the gang leaders.
A major cause of crime and deprivation is the breakdown of family life with many children growing up without fathers or in uncaring homes. Dawn has offered to run “The Marriage Course” at Zebulun church to strengthen marriages and family ties and educate married couples in ways to show love, communicate, forgive and learn to grow together.
Fraser was finally able to successfully update the software he was struggling with. Issues impacting Fraser’s work are the next issue of the NetACT journal, new NetACT email addresses, racial/cultural bias (conscious or not) and the extent to which NetACT should involve itself with continent-wide issues in its overall focus as an organisation.
The leadership of our church in Wellington have some big decisions to make about the church property and the future direction of the church.
Half of the Drakenstein inmates have been vaccinated against covid, the others have refused. Thank God that there haven’t been the major outbreaks we feared. Pray that the “spiritual workers” will be allowed back in.
The Wellington area is now a covid hotspot with many cases and deaths. Pray for those who sleep on the streets.
Prisons might not reopen to spiritual workers until level 1 (level 3 at the moment). A prison officer was murdered at a Johannesburg prison this week. Pray for the safety of officers, and for Christian officers and inmates to be encouraged and distinctive in behaviour and attitude.
Dawn’s friend Beauty lives with her 2-year-old daughter as a single parent in a township on the edge of Cape Town. Abused and exploited by co-workers and others, she is still trying to live all out for Jesus, holding down a job selling clothes at a stall, attending work-based training, running a Bible study group, the music team at church, the youth group, attending the weekly prayer meeting and discipling individuals without much practical support from church leadership who just seem glad she’s taken on most of the work. Pray for love and pastoral concern.
Covid is still rife in the Western Cape. Pray that people will take sensible precautions.