Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Off to Africa!!!

I'm off to South Africa tomorrow morning! I'm hoping to blog from there!!! We appreciate your thoughts and prayers!

South Africa Missions Trip
December 2008
Overlake Christian Church
Team Members: Jodie Howerton, Lisa Diederchs, Natalie Teabo, Tami Duryee, Jonathan and Kelly McPherson, Kinsey Piscitelli

Thank you for your love and support. One of the MOST important things our team needs during our trip is your PRAYERS. Thank you for devoting time to pray for this trip to Durban, South Africa. Through being a PARTNER IN PRAYER, you can walk beside our team to bless us and lift us up as we encounter people who need compassion and care. The purpose of this trip is to provide assistance and support to the ministries of Ithemba Lethu, as well as serve the needs of community members impacted by the heartache and destruction of HIV/AIDS. To learn more about the organization we’ll be serving alongside, visit http://www.ithembalethu.org.za.

(1) PRAY FOR EACH TEAM MEMBER to be touched and moved and selflessly serve as God desires. May our hearts be broken in the ways God’s heart aches for the hurting. May we be compelled to act on behalf of those in need. May each team member return home forever changed and passionate about continuing to serve as God leads.

“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives… to comfort all who mourn, and to provide for those who grieve… to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of despair…” Isaiah 61:1-3

(2) PRAY FOR OUR TEAM’S UNITY that together we might strengthen and support one another. May relationship come easy and unity be boldly experienced together as a team. May we break through the challenges of traveling with others to find the sweetness and honor of sacrificial service.

“Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive…as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts…Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom” Col. 3:12-16

(3) PRAY FOR SAFETY AND PROTECTION as we travel abroad and through Durban, South Africa. May we be kept free from danger and challenges that might distract from being most effective for the work God has provided for us to carry out during this time.

“Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you. For surely, O Lord, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield.” Psalm 5:11-12 / “Come and see what God has done, how awesome his works in man’s behalf! Praise our God, O peoples, let the sound of his praise be heard; he has preserved our lives, and kept our feet from slipping.” Psalm 66:5, 8-9

Below you will find a detailed list of specific prayer requests for each day we are in Durban, South Africa. A great way to remember to pray is to put this note on your refrigerator or somewhere where you will see it daily.

December 3rd – 4th
• Pray for safe travel. We are flying half way around the world today! Pray that we are able to get some sleep on the plane and for peace instead of anxiety during the flight.
• Pray for refreshing sleep on the 4th. Pray against exhaustion.
• Pray for our families at home

December 5th, 6th, 7th

• We begin ministry immediately on the 5th. Pray for energy, protection, and good connection with the 5th and 6th grade students we are mentoring.
• Pray for the program we are in charge of. Music, message, discussion groups, crafts……Pray that we adequately communicate how VALUABLE the children are to God.

December 8th
• Today we are taking the 12 babies from Ithemba Lethu’s transition home on 2 field trips. First to the beach, then to some botanical gardens. Pray that the regular house mothers are able to enjoy their day off and REST.
• Pray that our team is able to connect to the babies and communicate Jesus’ unconditional love to them.

December 9th, 10th, 11th,
• For these three days, our team is teaching a “Holiday Club” program for students in the township of Cato Manor, an impoverished “shantytown” community where HIV/AIDS infects upwards of 60% of the population.
• Pray for our safety protection and health as a team
• Pray that our teaching, singing, etc effectively communicate God’s love.
• Pray for connection with the students.
• Pray against exhaustion and illness.
• Pray that the students are able to encounter Jesus in a life changing way.
• Pray for our organization, that the program runs smoothly.
• Pray for good communication between our team members.

December 12th
• Today is a rest and debrief day. Pray that we are rejuvenated and refreshed!

December 13th
• Today, we spend at Ithemba Lethu’s transition home, helping out with various service projects. Pray that our efforts help aid the ministry of Ithemba Lethu!

December 14th
• Two members of our team head home today. Pray for their safe travel!
• The rest of the team will drive to a game park to view some wild animals. Pray for safety and rejuvenation.

December 15th, 16th
• Team heads for home. Pray for safe travels.


  1. Your team is in my prayers.
    For some reason as I left school today I kind of got a lump in my throat - for Tami...I'm so excited for her and you guys. I know she's going to miss her family - heaven knows I would too! You guys are amazing for doing this - and doing it during a month where any sort of free time is treasured.
    Make sure Tami takes that Xanax! :)
    I look forward to hearing how God uses all of you!

  2. Praying for you daily! I am looking forward to hearing how God will use you and your team!

  3. Jodie- I love you so much! Our family will be praying for you every day and for the work you are doing there. Be safe and have an amazing time!!!

  4. in spirit, i'm with you on this adventure!


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