Family News December 2019
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Dearest Friends and Family!
“‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,’ says the LORD.” — Isaiah 55:8
Isaiah summed up the year 2019 quite accurately for me! I certainly had no idea what a tumultuous year was ahead. Knowing, Loving and Serving God makes the paths we navigate daily so much more secure. Understanding that His purposes and plans are not always ours is not something to fear but to actually look forward to.
In March I was in Arizona with my mother and between my sister Debbie from Austria and I, we were able to arrange for her home to be sold in record time and to move Mom to an independent living facility. She had her own apartment there and in a sense felt she was given a new lease on life.
Upon my return home in April we were given the news that my cancer has spread into my bones. My hip was treated with radiation. As I am Stage Four now, I am considered incurable. But again I am reminded of the God we serve.
I had planned to return to Arizona for a visit with Mom in September, but was urgently called there earlier as Mom was hospitalized. By the time I arrived towards the end of July she was in the Cardiac Unit and I then facilitated the move to a Skilled Nursing Facility. Mom did well with the rehab, but at the same time she felt incapable of facing life on her own in her apartment again. Dad was a ‘larger than life’ kind of person and the gap he left just seemed too large to fill. Mom was always encouraged by Psalm 91: “He will cover you with His feathers and under His wings you will find refuge.” She referred to this verse as ‘God’s Featherbed promise’. So at this point she decided she was ready to begin her heavenly journey home. Debbie joined us and helped with the task of taking care of the administrative aspects.
Mom and I shared very sweet times of fellowship together in her last two months. We spent each day reading together, or listening to uplifting music. She was content and very much at peace. Debbie rejoined me after Mom had peacefully passed away and we laid her to rest right next to Daddy on September 23rd at the Military Cemetery. Mom was given a Nurses Honor Guard, which gives tribute to the service Nurses offer. So while this was one of the hardest things I have ever done, I was also filled with a sense of harmony that she was with her Heavenly Father and joined again with Daddy.
Debbie and I tied up all the loose ends and closed a 43-year chapter of Mom and Dad’s lives based in Arizona. I myself had lived there for 12 years and there was a real sense of finality for me. We still have really cherished friendships in Arizona and without them I would never have coped. So many aspects of support were shared with Debbie and I and we are grateful God allowed them to minister to us during this difficult time. From transportation to housing and hospitality, we were showered with love and support. I was also blessed with being able to join a Dragon Boat Team for their practices at Tempe Town Lake several times a week. This helped me immensely during this difficult time in Arizona.
Upon my return home to Cape Town, after a 9-week absence, I sadly received further news of my cancer metastasizing. New lesions have been found on my skull and spine and treatment will include radiation to my spine and a course of oral chemo therapy.
But in the midst of loss and sadness, God has blessed us with having our family here with us. Having our son in law Hunter and daughter Andrea, with Grandsons Jeremy and Joshua living in Cape Town, and having all our adult children still around is such a comfort. So very many of our South African peers have adult children now living in all corners of the Globe. They hardly ever see their children
and grandchildren any more.
Thank you for your generous friendship, love and support. I am grateful to each and everyone one of you who take the time to pray for us and to write notes of encouragement. Despite the weariness of this year, I look forward with hope and anticipation at all God will choose to use us for in His Service.
May the peace only Christ can offer be yours as you celebrate His Incarnation.
— Lenora Hammond
It was 40 years ago that I stood up in 6 South African Infantry (6SAI) base and declared “I love the Lord Jesus Christ with all my heart. I want to honour and serve Him during my next two years here. If anyone else would like to join me for Bible study and prayer each night, please see me afterwards.” That stand led to the birth of Frontline Fellowship. Since then I have smuggled and distributed over a milion Bibles and books in over 100 languages into Communist and Muslim countries throughout Africa.
This year, Lenora and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary. Shortly after that we were ministering behind the Iron Curtain with Lenora’s parents into Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Hungary and Romania. Later that momentous year we saw the Fall of the Berlin Wall, the Collapse of the Iron Curtain and the toppling of communist dictators like Ceasescue in Romania.
10 years ago Lenora donated her kidney to our son, Christopher, who achieved his Black Belt in Karate shortly afterwards and has represented South Africa at four international events, including in America, Germany and Switzerland, where he earned two bronze medals – all on his mother’s kidney.
It is a joy to have all our four children and two grandchildren at home and involved in our Mission, camps, courses, outreaches and projects. Daniela, Christopher and Calvin were group leaders and PT instructors at our BWS Camp. Daniela joined me on the South Africa Mission, which included school assembly presentations and outreaches while I was speaking at the Minister’s Conference and Back to the Bible Conference. Christopher is a tremendous help with filming, editing and IT / COMS work. There have been times that he single handedly handled our complex network even in times of crisis with our websites and systems under attack. Christopher stayed at the Coms office late into the night until our system was restored.
Hunter has been a tremendous blessing to the Mission and is a vital part of our leadership team. Andrea joined me in presenting lectures on Classical English Literature for Home education. Calvin did well in his debut interviewing me for our From the Frontline radio podcast. The whole family is involved in our Marches for Life, Life Chains, Missions in the Malls, Literature4Africa off-loading and sorting of tonnes of Bibles and books and so many other activities, projects and outreaches. Please visit www.FrontlineMissionSA.org to view our new video Missions to the Nuba Mountains of Sudan to see just one of the projects Hunter and Christopher were involved in.
Bad times are good for spiritual work. We are surrounded by crime, violence, riots, threats and danger, along with tremendous needs and opportunities to reach and teach, evangelise and disciple. It is in dark times that God’s light shines brightest. We have urgent invitations for ministry throughout Africa. Please join with us in prayer for the resources to respond effectively to these opportunities to serve persecuted Christians, Evangelise in conflict areas, train leaders, work for Reformation and pray for Revival.
Africa for Christ!
DESIGNING, DANCING & ICE SKATING with DANIELA
A very Merry Christmas and many blessings for the New Year to you all! May we never take for-granted all that God has given us.
2019 has been one of the best years of my life so far. It started in the right way, setting the tone for the year. We had friends visiting from Mozambique and America before the end of 2018 so we celebrated New Years Eve together. Just before midnight, we went outside to watch the fireworks that we could see coming from the Waterfront. We then prayed for the upcoming year and for Cape Town. The very next day we hiked up Table Mountain! This was a first time for our visitors and I was the one leading – which was a bit daunting. We only made one small wrong turn and made it to the top victoriously! It became very cold and rained a bit
so we took the cable car down which was an experience in itself.
A few days later the Biblical Worldview Summit commenced. I have done these camps for as long as I have been alive and they are always my highlight of the year! Each camp is different and improves every year. I am looking forward to this coming BWS 2020 where I will be helping with small group leadership and PT. In March I joined my Dad’s team for the South Africa Mission. I helped with presenting Africa Christian Action presentations at schools and conferences and handling book tables. It was so good to be apart of a superb team, serving others and learning.
This year I taught my first Beginner Watercolour Workshop! Having been taught watercolour from a young age, I am enjoying being able to use it in my career!
I enjoyed hosting and taking around Cape Town some out of town friends from Germany, Mozambique, America & South Africa. In my church, I felt a call to help with Sunday School, which has been so rewarding! You learn so much from preparing the lessons and I have enjoyed getting to know the children.
It is also a joy to have two nephews close by! God has blessed me with wonderful Christian friends. I also
had the opportunity to go to Europe for a two week adventure. I met up with friends from the UK in Amsterdam for a dance exchange and then went over to England to visit friends and do another dance exchange event in Edinburgh. I loved exploring the castles and learning about various cultures and traditions!
I am very grateful for all the opportunities and lessons I experienced this year. Thank you all so much for all your much needed love, prayers, & support. May God bless you richly! Lots of love, Daniela
FILM MAKING with CHRISTOPHER
2019 has marked the half way point of my 4-year BA undergraduate program in Motion Picture Medium. This year has definitely tested my faith as I am surrounded by secularism and liberalism on a daily basis. Controversial discussions about History and Art take place in lectures and debates. Most of the groups I have worked in chose to deal with the darker side of morality. Please join me in prayer that I will continue to walk my faith and witness faithfully for the Lord. I would really like to be able to make films that honour God. With that being said I have learnt so much and am grateful for the practical experience I am gaining. In 2019 alone, I have completed eight discipline subjects including, Directing, Screen-writing, Editing, Visual Effects, Sound Design, Music Media Production, Cinematography and Data-Management.
This time last year I was busy with a 2-week shoot, assisting in the lighting department for a new South African Afrikaans series ‘Alles Malan’. This was hugely demanding physically as the days were very busy and long! Call time (the time when people are expected to start work on a film set) would normally be between 04:30 to 06:00am and wrap time would often be after 20:00 hours! This was a huge opportunity for me and I am really grateful for the exposure and lessons learned.
During Term breaks, I volunteer at the Mission in our IT / AV department. I enjoy helping wherever I am needed, particularly in creating content for our AV or film department. We are praying for the Lord to see fit to send us more volunteers and Missionaries with IT skills to help our ever growing Media department at Frontline Fellowship.
The second part of the year saw Frontline Fellowship produce a short documentary on the latest Missions to the Nuba Mountains of Sudan. This was a long and challenging process, but at the same time a fun project which I was blessed to be a part of. I enjoy working on tasks such as these and I pray the Lord will equip me with the skills and knowledge to complete future film projects of this nature.
Wishing you a blessed Christmas and a joyous New Year
COACHING with CALVIN
This past year has been a blessed and busy year. I have learned that having constant jobs, projects, goals, challenges and commitments is something we should consider a blessing rather than a hindrance.
We often see it as a negative part of life but it is actually something we must cherish and learn to thrive in, not only in our physical activities, but in our day to day conversations and social events.
They should emanate a sense of hard work and passion for even
the little things.
I was blessed this year to be a coach at 3 different schools as well start my own running academy and hockey academy. Each school required me to be in charge of a different sporting code which included athletics, cross country, hockey, swimming and water-polo.
As a coach I think I learned more than my athletes did during training as I was exposed to the various qualities needed, from patience for dramatic 13 year old girls on the hockey field, to understanding and discipline needed for naughty 7 year old boys in the pool.
I am starting to build up an army of athletes and training groups in my area and I can see this as good preparation for potential sports ministry/mission work in the future.
This next year is going to be a new adventure for me as I continue with my coaching work while adding in studies and volunteer work. I look forward to the challenge and I pray I use my time more efficiently.
The COMBS CORNER
This year started out far differently than the last. Rather than packing up our home in Phoenix and promptly putting it on the market, we rang
in this New Year firmly planted in Cape Town.
Twenty-nineteen began with us at our annual Biblical Worldview Summit camp from the 4th - 9th of January, as the first part of the three-week Great Commission Course. Our newly minted family of four joined in on the presentations, activities, food and fellowship. Hunter had the privilege of being a part of the leadership team that ran the course. It was the first time we had been able to stay for the full three weeks, as studies Stateside had always dictated an earlier departure before. Being able to speak on various topics (Justification, Biblical Interpretation, Muslim Evangelism, Nuba Mountain Report Back, Biblical Preaching Workshop, The Gospel of Honour and Shame and The Trinity) and lead the eager attendants in Devotions several times (The Rescue Mission of God: John 6:44, My Soul Thirsts for You: Psalm 63, and How Will You Respond to Jesus? John 7:40-51) were absolute highlights for Hunter! I was even given the opportunity to share a little on Hospitality with my Mom as well. After our intensive three-week-long missionary training, three brave souls made a commitment to stay on with us at Frontline for further ministry training. It was a blessing to have them a part of the work for the expansion of God’s Kingdom this year!
Hunter Turns 30
On February 8th, we celebrated a pretty big milestone for Hunter: the end of his third decade here on this earth! I collected birthday notes from a few friends and family around the world to make the distance feel a little less vast for him. We had a fiesta themed party in our back garden, in honour of his Arizonan heritage. My parents answered a huge prayer for our family by gifting Hunter my Mom’s car!
Transitioning to Two
Life with two little boys is not what we expected it to be. While our hearts have certainly grown and our level of patience for and understanding of our children’s personalities has steadily increased, the adjustment to two has been far more challenging than we anticipated. Having one child lulled us into a false sense of security, leading us to think we knew what we were doing in the parenthood department (ha!). That being said, learning how to balance our time, affection, discipleship, discipline and education on how to share has been far more rewarding than we could have ever imagined! If given the choice, we would never opt for easier if that meant life without our precious rascals.
Two Months in Arizona
After months of planning, preparation and prayer, we made the trek to Arizona for ministry and fellowship with our American family and friends for the last two months of 2019! Since being in the States, we have been able to meet together with friends, family, pastors, churches and supporters. Hunter has also had the opportunity to share with classes at Phoenix Seminary and Arizona Christian University. In the lead up to Thanksgiving, he also had the privilege of preaching on a Life of Thankfulness from Ephesians 1:15-16. This was a major highlight of our visit and an immense blessing for our family!
Josh Turns One
Since arriving in Phoenix, our sweet Joshie Bear celebrated his First Birthday! Reflecting on the 365 days that led up to this special celebration, we are so grateful God chose to bless us with this particularly joyful little boy! We had his lumberjack themed birthday party in a nearby park and celebrated with close family and friends. It was very meaningful for us to share this memorable event with people we love very dearly. We are grateful to be able to celebrate the Christmas season with Hunter’s family and look forward to our return to Cape Town by New Year’s Eve! We’ll begin 2020 with our annual BWS course and we couldn’t be more excited!
FROM HUNTER’S DESK: Muslim Evangelism and Campus Ministry
This year has been a year of growth in ministry. We have been able to continue the work of Evangelism and discipleship to university students on the UCT campus, as well as our door-to-door Evangelism amongst least reached peoples in Cape Town (please feel free to ask us more about this at Hunter.Combs89@gmail.com). It has been a blessing to be able to regularly share the Gospel in over 40 homes in this community and we trust the Lord to continue opening hearts and homes to the Gospel.
Teaching New Testament Greek
In June, I was invited again to travel to Mpumalanga to teach at Back to the Bible Mission on New Testament Greek. I had 111 students from 19 different African countries and one student from Brazil. By the end of my week with the students, it was so rewarding to see their growth and their newfound love for the Greek language. I look forward to returning again in 2020 to continue teaching them Greek.
With Grateful Hearts
Thank you for all the love, support and prayers you’ve poured into our family this past year. We pray that God would fill your hearts and homes with His joy and peace this Christmas season and as we enter the New Year in 2020!
With love in Christ — Hunter, Andrea, Jeremy & Joshua
Frontline Fellowship PO Box 74 Newlands 7725 Cape Town South Africa
Email: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
Websites: www.FrontlineMissionSA.org www.ReformationSA.org
It is so good to read your news and updates, thank you for sharing,
What a lovely family!! And thank you for all your news which I loved reading about. May you all keep growing in grace whilst you serve our Saviour within us. Blessings in Him.
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