Darren & Andrea van Rensburg are missionaries in Ecuador, and they have been blessed with the arrival of Caleb Timothy. Praise the Lord for all those whom He has entrusted to them to influence this year, as well as God’s felt presence and love with them.
If you would like to support them financially, the account information is:
Account holder: OM South Africa
Account number: 331947331
Bank: Standard Bank, Hatfield branch
Branch code: 051001
Reference: Darren and Andrea van Rensburg (if this is excluded, the finances will go to OM’s general account)
6 MAY 2016
The Lord bless you all! Sleepless nights and 2 hour feedings are to blame (mostly) for the delay in this newsletter! But here we go …
«But now, O LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.» Isaiah 64 8
It has been a month and a half since our little bit of heaven came into our lives. With him, many things have changed for us, and now we are learning to juggle a hectic but beautiful life. We are living in a new season, where nappies, bottles, and tiny socks are the order of the day.
I had no idea that one could experience so many different emotions in the same day, from euphoria to sadness, making a stop at frustation, just to find yourself totally in awe while watching your baby and realizing that this small and sweet person is a part of you, and forever will be.
I can tell now, that being parents involves courage, determination, perseverance, patience, and most of all, love. During this month I have learned to deny to myself big time (!), and honestly, it has not always been easy. I also have learned that I have no idea of how to be a mom, and that I need to depend on God every day, all the time, so I can be a proper mom to my baby. And once again I have been reminded to let go and rest in the perfect care and love of my Heavenly Father, who happens to be the perfect Father, the one who loves me more than I love my own son.
Pray for God’s strength and wisdom in order to survi… I mean thrive in early parenthood!
Unexpected Blessing Enables Visit to South Africa
«But I have received everything in full and more; I am amply supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent me. They are the fragrant aroma of an offering, an acceptable sacrifice which God welcomes and in which He delights. 19 And my God will liberally supply (fill until full) your every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”» (AMP)
We had discarded the idea. We have a new baby. Ticket prices are through the roof. I guessed we’d have to wait for some other year. But then, the Lord’s provision! Generous gifts have enabled the three of us to visit South Africa from the 30th of June through to the 27th of September. We are thrilled! We will be able to share in churches, spend some time away from the field, and most of all spend time with family and show off our son! Pray for a fruitful time in South Africa!
Draft Schedule (to be confirmed)
- 3 July: Pretoria Central Baptist (both campuses)
- 10 July pm: Constantia Park Baptist
- 17 July: Chartwell (Jhb)
- 31 July: Glenvista Baptist (Jhb)
- 7 August: Word of Life Baptist (Vereeniging)
- 14 Aug: Mooiriver Baptist
- 21 Aug: Living Hope Baptist (Pietermaritzburg)
- 4 Sep pm: Glenhaven
- 11 Sep: Jeffrey’s Bay Baptist Church
- 18 Sep: Jeffrey’s Bay Bible Church
Earthquake in Ecuador
The 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit Ecuador recently was a scary experience for us, with the ground shaking and the walls of the house swaying from side to side! Andrea had grabbed the baby to get out the house, but beyond a fright, it didn’t affect us physically here in the South, as it did those in the coast. OM Ecuador has been doing various outreach efforts to the affected area, bringing hope, help, food, and water. We could not be involved this time around, due to the demands of having a new born baby, but OM will continue to help out here, since even though international attention always fades after a while, the situation remains terrible for months. Pray for lives to be rebuilt, but most of all, that people would build their lives and find their hope in the only True Source of life – Jesus! Though this has been a true disaster, many realize that little in this world is permanent, and could turn to Him in this time.
Wanted: Workers for the Harvest Field
«May the favour of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us— yes, establish the work of our hands.» Psalm 90:17
The Lord has answered our prayers in a wonderful way. During the past months a girl from a community nearby Oñakapak has been volunteering with us to help in the kids program. We have witnessed her enthusiasm, true love for the Lord and her genuine commitment and dependability, a refreshing blessing for us in an area where progress has been slow historically. Last week we bid her farewell, as she has decided to be trained in the OM Mission school in Guayaquil, which we are thrilled about. Andrea has formed a good friendship with her and has had the opportunity to input much in this girl’s life.
On the other hand, we are now without enough workers to keep the large program! Pray for workers! Darren has continued with the small discipleship group, and is awed by how these kids are beginning to seek God on a daily basis in the Word and prayer! Pray for this small group of kids to become true followers of Christ, who in turn would lead the way for the future transformation of the entire community and beyond!
Pray for …
- Pray for God’s strength and wisdom in order to survi… thrive in early parenthood!
- Pray for a fruitful time in South Africa.
- Pray for lives to be rebuilt after the earthquake, rebuilt on the only True Source of life – Jesus!
- Pray for workers for Saraguro and Oñakapak!
- Pray for the small discipleship group in Oñakapak to become true followers of Christ, who in turn would lead the way for the future transformation of the entire community and beyond!
26 FEBRUARY 2016
Hi friends. Really sorry for the long gap between EcuaWindows these days. Let’s get right to it …
Father Christmas Comes to Oñakapak in February
«At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”» Matthew 18 1-3
A couple of weeks ago, a team of 21 young people and young-at-hearts made the 12-hour bus journey from Quito to Saraguro to spend just one afternoon with our Oñakapak kids! They came from Andrea’s church, and they came laden with love and gifts! Well over a hundred kids received a personalized gift from another child or adult who has been praying for them!
We have come to believe that children will be the key to reach the whole Saraguro area, not just because they have shown high receptivity and enthusiasm until now, but also because this is the sense that God is putting on our hearts and is being confirmed by other people. So let’s stand in the gap, and intercede for these precious lives! We continue to get well over a hundred on a weekly basis, and 239 different kids have come to our program over the last year! God is up to something in this little neighbourhood and our hearts are committed to being His faithful and passionate instruments!
Part of this vision has begun through a small group with some of the most committed kids, seeking to disciple them and train them both in serving within the ministry, and in becoming leaders. The Vélez kids (name altered) you see in the photo to the right have a special place in our hearts. The 3 girls are showing not only commitment but a real desire to help in whatever they can and have such gentle and loving natures! Pray that they, and others like them, may be raised up as servants and leaders for the extension of His Kingdom!
«Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.» Proverbs 31 30
What does real beauty look like? For our young people here, this is still being defined, hence a small group of girls my wife started this year that meets once a week in our house. The purpose of this ministry is to show them how God sees real beauty, and how He is the only one who can satisfy their need for love, not the Prince Charming who comes offering to fulfil a need that only God can fulfil. One of these girls recently broke off a relationship with an unbeliever she really liked, hopefully indicating a desire to pursue God’s will for her life, which of course in the long run, will bring them so much good, instead of the misery brought by being unequally yoked! Pray that these young ladies would become the women God made them to be.
Nicole from South Africa spent a few weeks with us in January and was truly a blessing, not only to us, but to these girls, to the kids, and to the OM Ecuador team. She made a great connection with the girls and no doubt made a great impression on them of a girl who’s going after God’s heart first!
Just one month to go!
«For this child I prayed; and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to him.» 1 Samuel 1 27
Caleb Timothy is expected to make his great entrance into the world on the 3rd of April, though we’ve heard boys often jump out a week early. God has been amazing! We have been given literally everything he is going to need in the first few months of his life! We are also on target for the actual cost of the birth itself, so again, why do we ever doubt His provision? Please pray that Andrea and I would be ready and rested for parenthood, that the actual birth would go well and without complications, and that Caleb Timothy would become everything God has destined for him to be!
Praise God …
- For His provision for all our needs (the 3 of us)!
- For God’s direction with the Oñakapak kids!
Pray for …
- For the precious lives of the kids in Oñakapak – salvation, discipleship, loving God and others!
- Pray that kids like the Vélez girls, can be raised up as servants and leaders for the extension of His Kingdom!
- Pray that the “Real Beauty” girls would become the women God made them to be.
- Please pray that Andrea and I would be ready and rested for parenthood, that the actual birth would go well and without complications, and that Caleb Timothy would become everything God has destined for him to be!
4 NOVEMBER 2015
Under New Leadership
«And I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.» Jeremiah 3 15
The Lord answered our prayer for a new pastor. He has now been with the church for three weeks, and is full of life and passion, something greatly needed here. He is also bringing the changes thick and fast! One of these was an insistence to take over the youth. We have had them for a year and a half and are thankful for the opportunity to input into their lives, but we both felt that our time overseeing them was coming to a close. Of course we are still open to them visiting us, and will continue mentoring them towards future leadership, but we are happy to release them to the pastor, praying that he will be able to influence them in ways we never could.
This also releases us to look at new ministry opportunities. Our vision to see this part of the world transformed by the power of the gospel remains clear and strong. But we ask you to pray for His clear direction for us in how He wants us to extend His kingdom here.
«I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.» Ps 119:11
Bible verse memorization in Oñakapak continues with fervency. Our desire is that the Word of God will become part of who they are. There are, however, recitations that speak of rather questionable doctrine …
- Jesus said to them, “I am the reincarnation and the life”
- Jesus said to them, “I am the resolution of life”
- Jesus said to them, “I am the uh… re…srrn and the life” (too hard to pronounce!)
- Jesus said to Joseph, “Take off your flipflops; you are standing in holy water.” (Exodus 3:5) (that’s pretty wild!)
- Psalm 119:11, “I have hidden your bugs in my heart” (bugs = “bichos”, Word = “dichos”)
- At the wedding at Cana: “Mary said to those who were serving, ‘Do whatever you like.’”
- “Mary said to those who were serving, ‘Whatever you do, do it as unto the Lord, not for men, for your reward comes from Him.” (mixing it up!)
- “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old woman is gone, all things are made new.”
- Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galapagos, Ephesians … (The Galapagos islands belong to Ecuador)
On a more serious, yet wonderful, note, last week one of the parents said to Andrea: “First of all, I’m not very religious. But my son is coming here (oh, boy!). He likes it and is learning a lot. When he gets home he tells us everything he is learning. He would like to be baptised. We as parents are willing to support him in his decision.”
This is entirely from the child’s initiative! Pray that we may help him (Andres) understand what baptism is and be able to do it. Pray that he, along with many others, would become a strong disciples of Christ!
Praise God …
- For Caleb Timothy!
- For the continued enthusiasm of the kids in Oñakapak!
Pray for …
- clear direction for us in how He wants us to extend His kingdom here.
- that we may help him (Andres) understand what baptism is and be able to do it.
- that he, along with many others, would become a strong disciple of Christ!
- revival in the church in Saraguro.
- the cell-group. Pray that these couples would be stirred for Christ!
4 JULY 2015
In their EcuaWindow report of 4 July they shared the following:
“We went up to the (freezing cold) province of Chimborazo and found a people warm towards God! We attended people in 3 communities (one of which was at 4000 metres!) as well as an old age home. More important than the many people (about 1000) who were attended to medically, people came face to face with God’s love and were moved to seek and know Him! This year the prayer rooms had unusual action. Despite having 3 or 4 prayer teams praying (leader and translator) at all times, they were full from morning to evening each day!”
They praise God for the salvation, healing and restoration in Chimborazo, and for the kids in Oñakapak heading for an encounter with Christ!
Please pray for the following:
- That those who met the Lord in Chimborazo would live for Him!
- The salvation of the kids in Oñakapak,! And then the parents!
- Revival amongst the youth and the churches in Saraguro!