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From Africa to the Alps & Wittenberg
The year of our Lord 2017 started out unlike any other for us. Especially for me. My dearly beloved father had gone to be with the Lord, just after his 89th birthday, a somewhat expected promotion, but never the less the hardest farewell I have ever said.
My sister Debbie was visiting here in Cape Town during December and it was very precious that she and I were able to Skype a number of times with Mom and Dad during his final days. My mother was a sterling stalwart and ably cared for Dad’s medical needs. She stood by his side every moment of the day and night and ministered to each and every request. Debbie and I were very grateful that Mom was skillfully assisted by our good friend Mary, a nearby neighbor.
Our Son in law Hunter very ably handled the internment service at the Arizona Veterans Memorial Cemetery which included military honors. A few of our very close friends were there to witness the event and we were grateful again, to good friends like Ron and Jan Gilbert who stood by Mom during this time and helped with so many arrangements. My Father leaves behind him a Legacy of Missions spanning several decades. This link will enable you to read more about my incredible father: www.frontlinemissionsa.org/in-memorium/tribute-to-rev-bill-bathman.
So I winged my way to Arizona to make arrangements for the memorial service in early January and I must say I was not prepared for the emotions that assailed me as I arrived at the home of my parents. I kept expecting my Dad to come around the corner any moment to give me a big Bear hug. My Mom was strong and helped me through the emotions I experienced. We got through each of the steps needed and again, with the help of Mary, the catering, décor and all practical aspects of the service were arranged. My sister Deborah arrived as we finalized things and Peter came in time to take the memorial service.
We celebrated Dad’s life and many people gave testimonies of how his life had touched and transformed them. We felt glad and content that we were able to know for sure that Dad had gone to meet his Saviour and that we will all meet him and spend eternity with him someday. During this time I was able to spend some wonderful time with Andrea, Hunter and Jeremy as well. I am so proud of this little family and am grateful that they will soon be joining us here in South Africa.
In April this year, Daniela and Christopher were able to head off to Europe to complete Spring Bible School at Tauernhof in Schladming, Austria. They will tell you all about that, but for me it was very special to be able to send the next generation to this very singular place. I am still in touch with many folk I was on staff with at the Tauernhof back in the 80’s.
In June I traveled up to visit family in Austria. It had been 9 years since I had been ‘home’. My sister Debbie and Hans made a journey down to Venice possible so that I could paddle the Vogalonga. This event takes place every year and all manner of vessels take part. I paddled with an Italian Breast Cancer Team, and the experience was all I expected it to be. What a treat it was to be a part of such an incredible event!
Following Venice, Debbie and I headed on a train to Vienna and I again had the chance to paddle with an Austrian Breast Cancer Survivor Team on the Danube River. We were a part of an annual Dragon-boating event, but it was the first time that pink teams had taken part. It was wonderful to mix with Austrian and Italian Breast Cancer Teams and to see this sport growing in Austria. Next followed a three day visit with my childhood friend Conny. This was an enjoyable trip down memory lane for us as we visited Primary School friends and places where we had grown up together. Both of us are Grandmothers now!
The highlight for me was being able to attend the graduation ceremony of Christopher and Daniela at Tauernhof. I was able to stay at Tauernhof for a few nights and re-visit my old stomping grounds. The Town has grown, but our memories are treasured.
I am forever grateful to the Lord for allowing me to be able to visit Austria again. So much of who I am is rooted in that place and I am privileged to have a sister and brother-in-law who welcome me and look after us so well when we visit. Truly, it was a blessing beyond measure.
Upon my return to Cape Town I launched into the renovation project of our little Cottage in the back Garden. This had been built for my late mother-in- law almost 20 years ago and we have now added another bedroom and expanded the living area and the kitchen. This will be a home for Hunter and Andrea to start their life Mission in Africa. We are grateful to the Lord for allowing the funds to be made available so that we could complete this project in good time. We know that this addition to our home will be of great use to our other children as well and for other Missionary couples needing a place to stay.
Most of my life I have enjoyed music and am thankful to be entering the second year as an alto with the Symphony Choir of Cape Town. Since being with them I have had the privilege of working on pieces such as Hayden’s The Creation; Stainer’s The Crucifixion; Mendelssohn’s Elijah and of course Handel’s Messiah. It is very fulfilling to be singing with such a caliber choir and in some magnificent venues such as St. Georges Cathedral. We will be performing an outdoor Christmas Carol Service in a beautiful Vineyard setting.
The Western Cape is experiencing a very serious drought at the moment and we are very limited as to the amount of water we are allowed to use daily. Once we have reached our limit the water switches off until 4 am the next morning. This system is not without its problems and we have had
many times of no water at all. We have many tanks around the property collecting rain water and no one dreams of showering without a bucket in order to catch water to then flush with. I often feel like I am camping in our own home! We are entering our dry season now as summer approaches so even harsher measures will be upon us.
Finally, I would like to say a very big Thank You to our friend Joyce Hart, who keeps us in good health with supplements and good oils. I add these to our daily juicing regime and thank the Lord daily that we are healthy and well.
A very Merry Christmas to you all & a blessed New Year!
2017 has been a fantastic year! It started off right with the Great Commission Course. I have always attended the Camps, but this year was the first time I participated in the whole Course. It was a challenging, rewarding experience! I learned so much from the lectures, my own message preparations, tough outreaches and wonderful participants.
This year also marked my 2nd year working full-time at Frontline. The many aspects of the ministry keep me on my toes! It is exciting to work along-side fantastic Missionaries, seeing the development of mission trips to Africa and beyond.
My brother and I were also blessed with the opportunity to attend Spring Bible School at Tauernhof, an Englishspeaking school in Schladming, Austria. My Mom had worked here when she was about my age, so participating in this was a long-time dream. The course was a great balance of both educational and physical activities. We had the joy of hiking in the stunning Alps (on our doorstep) at least twice a week. We were with 70 other students from all corners of the globe and it was encouraging for me to interact with dedicated Christians from other parts of the world. My roommates were both from Germany, so I got to exercise my 2nd language! I had never before been away from home for more than two months, so it was an adjustment! I have definitely grown in appreciation for family and strength in independence. I also learned the importance of getting to know people beyond first impressions. Every person has their own story to tell.
Everyone had an opportunity to give their testimony. It was a great privilege to share mine at a Sunday evening service with many visitors from the local town! The arts and culture of Europe inspire me greatly. We also had a marvelous time with family in Salzburg, meeting secondcousins
for the first time! I also managed to visit friends in Vienna, Prague and the UK!
Back in Cape Town, I have carried on with work as a Graphic Designer, participated in local markets selling my ‘DH Art’ stationary, been an ‘extra’ on local film sets, coach at Junior Blades ice-skating club, volunteered as an Illustrator for Book Dash, as well as painting and dance classes when I have time!
Thank you for your consistent love & prayers. It means the world to our family. May God bless you abundantly!
Lots of love, Daniela
This time last year I had my intense Black Belt grading I had been preparing for the previous 3 years. I was invited to grade for my 2nd Dan Black Belt which is the equivalent of a second degree added to your black belt. This grading lasted 6 ½ hours where they tested us physically and mentally. It was the true test of mind, body and spirit. After 13 years of committed training and competing on an international level, I have decided that it is time to close this chapter and venture on to new activities.
The highlight of 2017 was attending Spring Bible School in Austria! This 8-week Bible course took place in a picturesque alpine town, Schladming, which is well known for beautiful surrounding mountains. Schladming was the host of the 2013 World Cup Skiing Championships. It was invaluable to meet like-minded people from all over the world.
I also managed to join the Church Council with my father in historic Wittenberg for the Reformation 500 Celebrations to do some filming. This was a very special time as I enjoy filming.
Next year I endeavor to start out my further studies. I will be studying ‘Film Television & Entertainment Production’. I look forward to the direction and challenges God has in store for me.
I can safely say that 2017 has been filled with big decisions and milestones that have altered the course of my near future. Some that are worth mentioning would be that I am pursuing my running career as well as the sport of Biathle (running and swimming). As a family, we have also prayerfully decided to drop out of the schooling system and finish my education with a GED/SAT. This is going to allow me to pursue my passion in running and swimming, as well as enable me to pursue God’s work and serve at Frontline Fellowship. I also hope to be able to work as a coach and referee in water polo, hockey and athletics/cross country. I look forward to finishing my high school without being indoctrinated by a politically correct system. I am grateful for the trust my parents have placed in me to have the discipline to finish high school at home. (I hope to be finished by July 2018)
A big highpoint of the year would definitely be when I crossed the Old Mutual Two Oceans Half Marathon finish line in 83 minutes and 34 seconds. The grueling 21.1km (13.1 mile) course filled with massive hills and climbs pushed me beyond my limit and reminded me of what you can accomplish; when you put your mind to the challenge ahead and when the goal of your focus is glorifying God, that my running honours Him. Looking back on this year I have grown more and more aware of how much I have taken for granted in my day to day life. The amount of love and
support that I am given daily by God, parents, coaches and friends is constant and is one of the biggest factors in getting me where I am and where I want to be in life as an athlete and soldier for Christ.
I have been blessed with the opportunity to visit Andrea’s family in Arizona as well as my Grandma whom I have not seen since I was nine years old. It will be my first Christmas in the Northern Hemisphere and it will be my first and last chance to visit Andrea and family while they are still living Stateside.
Keeping Up With The Combs
This past year the Lord has taken us on a particularly moving journey with international students. At the start of the school year, our ministry team launched a welcome party for students and we had nearly a hundred students attend. There were icebreakers, food, games, Texas line dancing and raffle prizes for the students to win. It was a special opportunity to bless the students and learn how we could best serve them in their time in the States. That evening we offered students Bibles to take home with them and Sarah was the only one out of fifteen students to take us up on the offer. She clung on to the Bible as holding on to a newfound treasure. Over the next year Sarah faithfully attended our Bible studies and was always eager to study God’s Word. Despite coming from a Hindu background, she decided to become a follower of Jesus! A couple months later, on Palm Sunday, she was baptized as a further step of obedience to Christ.
In February, our family of three took a trip to the Grand Canyon with Sarah and her friend Chad (also from India). Chad comes from a Hindu family but through his studies has become an atheist. During the long drive to one of the World’s Seven Natural Wonders, he struck up a conversation with Hunter about how evil disproves God and they had a fascinating conversation about the existence of God and evil. Hunter was able to use this opportunity to share God’s solution to evil: the Cross of Christ and the promise of New Creation.
This year has marked an exceptionally remarkable milestone in our lives: Hunter’s graduation from Phoenix Seminary with his Master’s of Divinity! To say it has been a long journey, would be a serious understatement. After four and a half years as a full time student (five years overall), this chapter has been one filled with mostly highs and an unbelievable amount of growth both on an
educational level as well as a spiritual one. We know this will always be a chapter reflected on with much joy and gratitude. The relationships Hunter has been able to build both with classmates and professors is another invaluable outcome of his experience at Seminary.
You’ve heard the rumors. You’ve heard the tales. Not only are they true: It’s official… We’re moving to Cape Town, South Africa!! Our visa applications are finally in, so the ball is rolling, and we are starting to gain momentum!
In our blog, we will share prayer requests, current updates on our progress, and plans for our future in Cape Town! We will also share our blog posts on our new Facebook group that shares the same name.
You’re our family, our friends, our community and we want YOU to be a part of this journey every step of the way! We love you and are blessed to know you. We couldn’t be more excited to invite you to take part in this idiosyncratic journey…
We pray as you enter this festive season that you would reflect on all the wonderful ways our Lord Jesus has touched your lives and how empty Christmas would be without Him in it. May 2018 hold many blessings for you and your family!
With love in Christ,
Hunter, Andrea & Jeremy
Reformation to Remotest Regions
The vision of marking the 500th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther nailing The 95 Theses to the door of the Schlosskirche in Wittenberg as a monumentally important historic milestone for Evangelism, Education and Emphasising the life transforming doctrines of the Reformation, grew out of my Mission to Europe in 2005. For over 12 years our Thursday night Reformation Society meetings have been exploring the personalities, issues, doctrines and events which God used to launch the greatest Revival of Faith and freedom in history. Out of this has come books, websites and audio visual materials to lay solid foundations for Reformation and Revival in our personal lives, congregations, communities, countries and continents.
This year we mobilised Africa Reformation Overland Missions and the Reformation 500 Mission to Europe which culminated in the Church Council in Wittenberg. Christopher was able to join me in Germany in historic Wittenberg. I was invited to conduct Reformation 500 Conferences in Zambia, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Tennessee, California, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany.
On 30 October, we hosted the Reformation 500 Back to the Bible Conference in Franschhoek and on 31 October, celebrated 500 years of the Reformation at the Huguenot Monument.
This year we completed The Greatest Century of Reformation book, much expanded and completely revised. With Daniela’s art designs all of our publications this year have been better than ever before. We reprinted books of Martin Luther, including in Afrikaans, Die Weerklank van Martin Luther and the Reformation 500 Hymn Book. Christopher put together the Reformation 500 audio, data and DVD four-disc Boxset. With 14 films, 23 audio MP3’s and 13 PowerPoint presentations on the Reformation, this is the most comprehensive curriculum available in one boxset to promote Reformation doctrines and history for home educators and Bible schools. With 2017 marking the 100th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution and the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, I have had many opportunities on radio, TV and at public meetings and conferences, to present the clear challenge before us today: Reformation or Revolution!
PO Box 74