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Dearest Friends and Family!
What a privilege it is to look back at the year and review all the many blessings that God has showered upon us again. We have been blessed with many opportunities, additions to our family, some heart aches, some travel and the expansion of our family life here on East Way.
January starts off with a bang every year as we host the Biblical Worldview Summit and the Great Commission Course. This year was no exception and we found ourselves scrambling to accommodate the over 130 participants. We had a lively and varied bunch of Teens and young adults and were grateful for the many opportunities this afforded. Tragically, during our Great Commission Course portion, during free time, one of our Course participants heartbreakingly lost his life during a swimming accident. This caused the group to bond in a way few things can.
We were blessed being able to witness the group’s caliber in character and testimony. The young man’s family were very gracious and we had the memorial service and funeral here in Cape Town.
The third week of January saw me winging my way to Arizona to visit my mother and to be able to help with the final packing up of Andrea and Hunter’s Arizona home. This was quite a busy time as the home needed to be show ready daily, but we were also needing to sort through many things and make decisions on what to bring to Cape Town. My Mom, sister Debbie and I also needed to make many decisions regarding family mementos and ministry paraphernalia to pack in to the Shipping Container headed for Cape Town. There was much rejoicing and celebrating when the Container Company arrived to pack up these earthly possessions.
On Valentine’s day the Combs family arrived to their new home on our property in Cape Town. What a joyous day this was. Mixed emotions ran high as they were leaving family, friends, their home Church and all things familiar behind to begin their ministry with Frontline Fellowship. For Peter and I this was one of the highlights of the year, because few things are more precious to parents than when your children join you in Ministry. Andrea and Hunter are living in a 2-bedroom Cottage on our property and it is wonderful having them so close by.
This year has seen an increase in involvement on my part with a group called Reach for Recovery. This is a Breast Cancer support group which reaches out to women who have undergone mastectomies and visits them in the Hospital. It is a wonderful opportunity to share with them your own experiences and to answer as many questions as they may have. It is good for these women to interact with women who have managed to build their lives up again after such radical surgery.
Around Easter time, we were surprised with the news of another Combs baby due in November. This was the first time we were able to be a part of the process of a grandchild being welcomed into our family and was extraordinary for me. Joshua Ellis Combs was delivered in the same Hospital Peter was born in, in 1960. What a blessing to have History repeated in such a wonderful way!
November 7th ushered in the arrival of Joshua Ellis Combs! We are thrilled to be blessed with our second grandchild and are grateful for good health for mom and baby. Three-year-old Jeremy is adjusting well and life on East Way has become even busier.
My sister Debbie arrived for a visit in May and, as always, she is such a support to me on so many levels. Nothing like an older sister to help you see all sorts of things from a different perspective. We had many moments of fellowship around the table and it was the first time she had visited with the Combs family also living here. Our household is a busy one!
One of the things Andrea and I both enjoy is quilting. She joined me for the first time this year on a quilting weekend away. It is a wonderful time of being able to focus on new projects or on finishing up old ones you keep meaning to. What a joy it is for me to be able to share this with Andrea.
My involvement with the Dragon boating Fraternity continues and the middle of the year saw me traveling to Italy to be a part of the International Breast Cancer Participatory Dragon Boat Festival. This is an event that takes place every four years and involves Breast Cancer Dragon Boating Teams from all corners of the Globe. I was the helm / steer person for an Austrian Composite Team, and together we represented 10 Nations. It was a first for me to helm at an international event and needless to say I was quite nervous! But our Team won every single heat we were in, and out of 130 Teams we came 37th. Not bad for a Team who had only paddled together twice before the event. As always, I was showered with blessings as I had the opportunity to visit my nephew and his wife after the event and spent 3 glorious days with my sister Debbie and Hans touring the beautiful Italian speaking part of Switzerland. God is gracious and I was humbled at being able to enjoy such splendor.
My involvement with the Symphony Choir of Cape Town is a musical treat for me, and this year alone we have performed more Concerts than any other year. From Mahler, to Mozart to Handel’s Messiah, the repertoire keeps us on our toes. I am grateful for this creative outlet.
Peter and I are very grateful to see the next generation of Frontline Fellowship Missionary families bringing in their own creative energy. We are blessed with three young families and we love seeing how God is using each of them in their own way.
My health has gone from strength to strength. As a family we juice daily, and are grateful for our daily supplements made possible by Joyce and John Hart. In an attempt to keep my bone density strong, I continue to run, joining the occasional 10 – 16km races. My hormonal treatments are not pleasant, but are keeping the cancer at bay.
We are so grateful to the Lord for His many provisions through your support both prayerfully and practically. Thank you for your consistent friendship over the years. May His blessings be yours in abundance as you celebrate His Incarnation and usher in a new year.
With love and a grateful heart,
A very Merry Christmas to you all & blessings for the New Year!
2018 has been an interesting year! It seems every year gets faster the older you get.
It began with the Biblical Worldview Summit course, which we hadn’t hosted in awhile. It was also at a new venue in Hermanus. We had a great camp with a record-breaking attendance. I thoroughly enjoyed fellowshipping with lovely people from around South Africa and all over the world and getting involved in the Great Commission Course where I could. Through the devastating incident that my Mom mentioned we all bonded very closely and have made what I believe will be life-lasting friendships. We learned how to have an eternal perspective on life. This earth is not our home and every day counts. I don’t think our lives will ever be the same.
Since Christopher and my visit to Europe last year for Bible School, we have made good friendships and have had four friends from Germany visit us in Cape Town! Because we are so fortunate to live in a beautiful country, the world often comes to us. Cape Town never gets old and there is so much yet to see and explore.
In February, my beloved Sister, Andrea, returned with her sweet family! It has been so wonderful having our family back together, and having not just one, but two Nephews to love, care for and play with.
In June, I was able to visit my dear friend Tanya in Alexandria, Eastern Cape. We had a fantastic time catching up, seeing her little town, going to the Grahamstown Festival for some concerts, and visiting their family restaurant ‘The Lunchbox’ on the R72. The Frontline Mission team happened to be passing through Alexandria during the time I was there so we all got to reunite for breakfast. God’s timing is perfect.
One of my goals for my art / design brand was to get my stationary / artprints sold in stores. Early this year my work was accepted into several stores around Cape Town! I am very excited to grow my design brand. Some of the new skills I have learnt this year though my work has included basic animation, chalkboard lettering and event planning.
I will be joining a sign-writing company soon.
This last month I had the privilege to be able to join my church for a short mission trip to Botshabelo, near Bloemfontein. During our 5 day outreach, we gave devotions at the Nurse’s clinic, ran seminar Bible studies with the church and had a children’s program in the afternoon. It was a humbling experience living and experiencing life in another culture. It was also my first time speaking with a translator (their language is Sesotho).
Thank you for your consistent love & prayers for our family and the Mission. May God bless and keep you.
Lots of love, Daniela
Sound ready, speeding.
Roll camera, set. And Action!
A merry Christmas to all our friends and supporters. I wish you all a very happy new year. This year has gone by in such a flash and it has been a year that has opened up many new doors for me. As always, we started our year with the Biblical Worldview Summit followed by our Great Commission Course which was a great time of fellowship and outreach with brothers and sisters in Christ.
Shortly after the BWS and GCC I started my studies in ‘Film, Television and Entertainment Production’, a 1-year higher certificate course. This short and compact course was a real eye-opener into the whole entertainment industry which led to an internship, 6 film shoots and counting! I mainly assisted in the lighting department and as a production assistant on commercial shoots.
This year I have also taken up a new challenge and started with boxing. I find boxing very satisfying as it keeps my fighting base alive while I further my studies.
Furthermore, I am still deciding if I am going to continue with my studies and start an undergraduate BA in Motion Picture medium from February next year or venture out into the film industry and find internships. Please keep me in your prayers as I am still contemplating which path God is leading me to.
From Cape to Cairo
This year proved to be an amazing and eventful one as I returned to homeschooling for my matric year. This gave me the freedom to begin coaching hockey, water polo and athletics at a local primary school and also partake in many sporting events around the Country and ultimately the Continent.
With my sporting focus this year being on swimming and running, I was able to be selected for the provincial team for athletics and biathlon and the national team for Biathle (a run/swim/run event) which included the World Championships in Hurghada, Egypt.
The competition was extremely tough and with this being my first experience in international racing, I learnt many tough lessons and finished in 8th place on the world stage for the junior men’s biathle race which includes a 1,600m run, followed by a 200m open water swim in the Red Sea and then another 1,600m run. I am eternally grateful for the part my Grandma played in helping me to raise the funds necessary for this once in a life time experience.
I have too often taken for granted that we are blessed with amazing abilities by God and that we are called to use them for His honor and glory. I would like to consider a possible Sports Ministry and as the new year fast approaches, I am making preparations to study at a local Bible Institute in Cape Town. I am still seeking the Lord’s guidance for direction and feel this year will give me more grounding needed to make decisions for the future.
In my spare time, I plan to compete on the athletics track to try improve my 800m and 1,500m times, as well as going for a sub 82 - minute half marathon at the very hilly Two Oceans Ultramarathon event. I will continue with multisport events and also do a few long distance open water swimming races. I would like to get involved in either Life Saving or Sea Rescue as an opportunity to volunteer on those fronts.
May God bless you all this Christmas Season and in the New Year. Thank You for your prayers, friendship and blessings,
The Combs Corner
This year has come and gone like a flash of lightning. Just a year ago we were still in our townhouse in Glendale, Arizona, with boxes piling high in every room as we prepared to move, and now we are well settled in our South African home 9,627 miles (15,493 km) across the globe. It’s hard to believe we have been living and breathing in the South African culture for most of 2018…
Four days after ringing in the New Year, our house went on the market! Within weeks, our home was under contract and on the 3rd of February a 20-foot shipping container rolled away with our belongings. Ten days later, after many tearful farewells, our little family boarded the plane that took us to Seattle, then Amsterdam, and finally Cape Town. When we finally reached our destination on Valentine’s Day (February 14th), we were greeted with the happy hellos and excited embraces of the Hammond family! Fatigued and weary, we fell into our beds in disbelief that we had finally finished the long journey we had spent nearly a year preparing for.
Within three weeks of landing on African soil, we discovered we were expecting another baby! It was an absolutely joyful and welcomed surprise. In the midst of adjusting to this big life change, knowing we would be adding a precious baby to our family made this chapter that much more special! It took a while for the three of us to readjust to the South African culture and fall into a rhythm and routine, but after a couple of months, it became more natural to call our new home, Home.
We hadn’t been here for a month before Hunter was invited to join Ben, Abrie, and John on their mission to the Nuba Mountains. It was sooner than we’d planned for Hunter to go on a cross border mission, but we knew this was an amazing opportunity he needed to take. He left on May 1st – just one day before our container was set to arrive on our doorstep. Their 23-day long mission was eventful, productive and at times frustratingly slow. It was, however, an immense blessing to be a part of this mission. They travelled through unstable military areas and, at one point, were escorted by nearly a hundred military personnel. By way of container, they were collectively able to distribute 34,000 Bibles, 50,000 Story of Jesus picture books and share the Gospel with tens of thousands of Nuban children in 130 local schools. Please keep the Nubans in prayer as we receive reports that the Sudanese Armed Forces are currently mobilizing troops to launch an attack on the Nuban people.
Containers Can’t Contain Emotions
It was an emotional experience for me to see our boxes and the few pieces of furniture we kept being delivered to the very street where I grew up. It was unbelievably surreal to know just how far it all had to travel to get here. Three months had passed since we loaded up the container and sent it on its way. I’d shed a few tears seeing our empty home in Arizona and I got fairly misty-eyed seeing it all delivered to our new home. God was so good to have orchestrated every last detail in the way He did. We are so grateful for the support and prayers that made the container a reality.
Cross Country Family Mission
Hunter was given an amazing opportunity to teach at Back to the Bible Mission (BBM) in Barberton, South Africa, at the end of August. He spent a full week teaching the students there on Biblical Ethics. The student body is mostly made up of pastors and leaders who come from all over the continent of Africa. Hunter was also invited to minister to Adullam Mission in Secunda on the way up to BBM. He was so grateful for the opportunity to share some of what he gleaned throughout his years at ACU and Phoenix Seminary.
Ministry in the Cape
In Cape Town, Hunter and the team of Frontline apprentices focused their evangelistic efforts on evangelizing a least reached people group and university students with the Gospel. They spent many afternoons on the University of Cape Town (UCT) campus sharing the Gospel with students from a wide variety of religious backgrounds. Hunter, Emma, and Alpha (two of the missionary interns) helped run a Discovery Bible Study over the course of two semesters with students they met while evangelizing on campus. In addition to the student ministry, they also focused their efforts on witnessing to a least reached people group in South Africa. The team conducted roughly 55 outreaches this year in Cape Town and were blessed to see the hand of the Lord at work.
Welcome, Baby Blue Eyes
We’re thrilled to present to you, Joshua Ellis! He was born at 9:36AM on November 7 in Cape Town, South Africa, via C-section. His birth weight was 3.86kg (8 1/2 lbs) and 53cm (20.9 inches) long. We are so thankful to God for bringing this sweet little man into our lives and for using an amazing medical team to safely do so. We are entirely smitten with him and Jeremy has adapted wonderfully to his new role as big brother! Our hearts have grown immensely!
We chose to name him “Joshua” after his Daddy’s middle name as well as the Biblical character, and “Ellis” after my Grandpa’s (Bill Bathman’s) middle name. Ellis is also a family name that goes back several generations on my Mom’s side. We wanted to honour his memory in this special way. He was a major influence in both of our lives and we are so grateful for all the love and wisdom he and my Grandma have poured into us both over the years.
Frontline and Family
It has been an immense blessing for us to be a part of Frontline Fellowship and the vast opportunities to invest our time in the Kingdom of God. We love living so close to the Hammond family for the first time since being married. It’s been a joy seeing Jeremy enjoy his Noni, Oupa, uncles and auntie. We praise God for His faithfulness in bringing our little family all the way around the world to serve Him in South Africa.
Thank you for your love, support, and prayers. As we celebrate the birth of Christ, we pray that He would fill your hearts with His love and joy. May the Lord be your strength and peace in 2019!
With love in Christ,
Hunter, Andrea, Jeremy, & Joshua
Peter has added more hours to each day somehow and has once again been blessed with the strength and endurance to accomplish much. His year included 9 Missions, conducting conferences and services from as far afield as Australia to America. This year has seen the conclusion of a 6-year study and preaching project going through every Book of the Bible. The Old Testament Survey was published in 2016 and the New Testament Survey is on track to be published in the New Year. Just in time for the 500th Anniversary of the Swiss Reformer Ulrich Zwingli’s launch of Biblical Exposition in 1519. Hunter and other next generation Missionaries completed the Biblical Preaching Handbook which forms a vital part of this Back to the Bible Movement, which our Teams are emphasizing on Missions throughout Africa. In July 2019 Peter plans to be a part of the Reformation 500 Global Church Council in Zürich, Switzerland.
Inspired by the return to Cape Town of our favorite journalist, Andrea, Peter launched a new initiative; the Henry Morton Stanley School of Christian Journalism with weekly meetings on uncensored news behind the news. You can view some of his articles and presentations on video on our new www.HMSSchoolofChristianJournalism.org website.
This year Peter was honored by the Western Cape Armed Forces Veterans for his years of service. He now serves as one of their Chaplains. He has also continued to be the Chaplain for the Rhodesia Association’s Annual Remembrance Services. This year was particularly significant as the 100th Anniversary of the Armistice
which ended the First World War.
Earlier this year during the record breaking Bibles to the Nuba Mountains Mission, Peter felt the burden of four of our best young Missionaries, in a dangerous field, all at one time, all are married, three of them with young children at home and with three of the wives expecting, including our own daughter Andrea. Although Peter routinely took similar risks when our children were just as young, it is obviously harder to trust God for other people’s safety. However, there was much joy and pride in the accomplishments of Hunter and the rest of the Team for successfully distributing over 34,000 Bibles to 130 Schools in the remote Nuba Mountains of Sudan.
For Peter’s Annual Mission Report visit www.FrontlineMissionSA.org. His weekly radio podcast From the Frontline is also accessible from our website.
PO Box 74 Newlands 7725 Cape Town South Africa
Web: www.FrontlineMissionSA.org www.ReformationSA.org