Over the last several weeks it seems like we've been especially blessed by God. Here's a few things that we want to praise the Lord for:
Recently we've had to go to South Africa quite a bit. November and December are busy months at the border of Lesotho. It's not unusual for the lines to get your passport stamped to be an hour long this time of year. Several times recently when we had deadlines to meet, God providentially arranged for us to get through the border quickly.
One Friday afternoon when I was hurry to get back to Lesotho for the Bible School, there was a very long line. I took all our passports and was planning to call Steph and the girls when I got near the front of the line. I had only waited a few minutes when a police man came to the man about 5 people in front of me and told everyone from that man back to follow him in a line. He led us down to another office quite a ways from where we were parked. I knew Steph would not be able to find us there, but the immigration official kindly stamped all four passports saying she had seen us many times at the border. We got through the border in about 10 minutes instead of 60!
The first week of December we had a meeting in Ladybrand, doctors' appointments in Bloemfontein, then we took a little vacation. We were planning to be in South Africa nine days, but we can only get a 7 day visa for South Africa. On our way from Bloem to our vacation, we intended to go back into Lesotho and then stamp back into South Africa to get another seven days. That day I wasn't feeling well, and we completely forgot to stop by Lesotho on the way. I didn't think of it again until I was standing in the line to stamp out of South Africa having overstayed our visas by two days. As I stood in the line I prayed for God to work some kind of a miracle. Normally at best the police will open a file which takes a long time and often they fine people as much as $100 per day. There were two immigration officials on duty. I could see the first one and knew that I didn't want to go to her. I got in the line for the other window without knowing who was working there. Miraculously, it was one of the border post managers whose wife attends the church in Mauersnek and serves on the school board. He normally works in an office somewhere and almost never stamps passports. I doesn't attend church, but is very friendly and helpful to us missionaries. I told him what happened and he just said "No problem." It was clearly a miracle that he was stamping passports at the window I "happened" to choose!
Last Thursday when we were in Ladybrand we took some plates of Christmas goodies to a few friends there. I went to a place of business to arrange with one of the owners to visit her after work and give her the plate. When I walked in she greeted me and before I could arrange with her she said she was so glad were in town; she had something at her home she wanted to give us. I told her I had come because we also had something for her. In the evening we visited for a bit, gave her the plate of goodies, and she proceeded to fill our cool box with about 25 pounds of beef--steaks, ground beef, sausage, soup bones, etc. We are SO blessed!
So you can see that God is at work in our lives. We are humbled and very grateful for His providence, miracles, and blessings. We are experiencing the wonder of Immanuel!