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Dearest Friends and Family!
“Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His Name.”
— Psalm 100:4
There is no doubt in anyone’s mind about what a crazy year 2020 has been! Ours started off well with our Biblical Worldview Summit, attended by a lovely crowd. The ensuing Great Commission Course was, as always, a challenging time of inputting to the next generation of young people considering Missions, or at least learning how to be effective witnesses.
Two days after the three-week Course finished, we celebrated Peter’s 60th Birthday. His actual Birthday fell on the last full day of the Course, which is when we climb Table Mountain. It is about a 9-hour hike across the full length and breadth of our beautiful Table Mountain, and could not have fallen on a better date! Peter loves hiking and it was a blessing to be able to celebrate his special day this way.
The evening celebration took place out on a beautiful farm in Wellington. We have known the Sandri family for many years now and they graciously hosted this event. It was attended by many friends and it was a blessing to celebrate Peter’s life and his ministry. Peter’s sister Vanessa flew down from Johannesburg for this special event and it was delightful to host her here for several days.
That particular week in January was also when I started my first cycle of oral chemo. This was the beginning of a six-cycle intake of chemo (3 weeks on, one week off is one cycle). I cannot say that I enjoyed this chapter in my cancer journey. To say that Chemotherapy is unpleasant is an understatement. But some people do seem to slide through the treatment without much ado. I don’t. But I reckoned that I owed myself one more attempt. I soldiered on and managed to get through all six cycles.
Dragon Boating is my sport of choice because I am able to be seated. My hip is the least affected this way and we had some thrilling races at the Century City Sports Festival towards the end of February. I love to sing and was grateful again to be a part of the Symphony Choir of Cape Town. We were able to sing Mozart’s Requiem, interestingly enough, in the oldest Protestant Congregation in Cape Town. (Catholic Mass sung in a Protestant Church!)
For the first time together, the girls and I participated in a 15km walk. Cape Town really has beautiful forests and meandering neighbourhoods and it was a joy to experience this together. Little did we know at that time that this would be the last organized event we would be allowed to do for a long time. We celebrated Calvin’s 21st birthday in the nick of time before the world-wide lunacy of the Lockdown began. I was grateful for the chance to enjoy a memorable outing as a family as we celebrated this milestone with our youngest.
Lockdown was brutal here in South Africa. For the first three weeks no one really minded that much. We thought we were doing the right thing and that protecting one another was necessary. As a family, we enjoyed daily Phys ed sessions, more meals together (all 9 of us), more time to catch up on things needing to be seen to, more writing projects, sewing projects and other creative things one normally does not have time for. It was a time for reflection and enjoying one another’s company. But as time went on, and as the Lockdown rules and regulations became more stringent, contradictory, inconsistent and non-sensical, most folk tired of this and we could see the serious impact this was having on small businesses here in South Africa. The WHO offers quite a large lump sum of money to the governments of countries participating in the lockdown strategy, and of course our government looted this fund and very little of this ever reached the folk who needed it the most. As things began to ease in to Level 4, and educational organizations were allowed to be open again, we were able to resume most of our work at the Mission. Peter will say more about this, but we were grateful to be able to carry on with the bulk of our Mission Projects during this time. Our Bookshop has been busier than ever as more and more families are considering and committing to home education.
In the meantime, I had a PET scan as well as an MRI recently, and sadly the results have not been good. My cancer has spread covering the whole of my right hip now and is working its way up my spine all the way from L5 to T3. My much loved, daily 3km walks with Daniela sadly have come to an end and I am on crutches now. On December 4th, I underwent a Complex Hip Replacement. The head of the femur was replaced, I had a stem in the proximal femur and a reconstruction of the acetabulum. The surgeon is an orthopaedic Oncological surgeon and is very experienced in dealing with cancer on the bone. I am confident I am in very good hands but did not relish such a lengthy hospital stay, and the upcoming 6-week recovery on crutches. Anyone who knows me knows this is very difficult for me. I trust the Lord to care for me during this time, but I would also covet your prayers that our family will manage and adjust to the new situation we will find ourselves in at home. I will be under the care of a very good Physio Team for the foreseeable future.
The silver lining in all of this was a most welcomed announcement by our son-in-law and daughter of a new little one on the way. Another Combs son is expected to join us in May of 2021. We rejoice in the new life God grants in the midst of illness and uncertainty. God is good indeed.
Most of you will remember that I lost my dear Mother just over one year ago. I must say I am so grateful that she was able to join my Father in Heaven before the lockdown absurdities began. It would have made my nine weeks in the US almost unbearable as I would not have been able to visit her or care for her. My parents left me the money that came from the sale of their home and this has gone straight in to enlarging our Mission House here in Cape Town. We have been able to go up and build into our roof attic space to add a large, multipurpose meeting hall, equipped with glass shelving for our Missions Museum, four bedrooms, a recording studio, a kitchenette and two bathrooms. The main kitchen was also quite outdated and much of the equipment did not work anymore, so I am particularly happy we are able to update this. We are naming it
THE UPPER ROOM – Bathman Memorial Hall. We were able to host our first Thanksgiving Dinner in our new hall this year and it was indeed a joyous time of thanking the Lord for the multiple blessings He has bestowed upon us as a Mission and as a Family.
We look forward to having a proper Dedication Service for our beautiful new additions once my sister Debbie can travel down to celebrate with us.
As this tumultuous year comes to an end, we want to express our thanks for your friendship over these many years. We are grateful for your support, encouragement and prayers. Thank you for being an extension of our ministry and for rejoicing with us in all He has seen fit to accomplish.
Wishing you a blessed Advent Season as we celebrate His Incarnation and the inexpressible joy and hope this gives us as Christians.
— Lenora Hammond
Bad Times are Good for Spiritual Work
Despite the Lockdown lunacy and unprecedented travel restrictions of 2020, we managed to adapt, persevere and remain productive. Responding to the Revolutionary agenda advanced in the name of combatting a virus, I received many radio and TV interview opportunities through an array of online platforms, including Skype, Zoom, We-Transfer, Podbean and Audacity.
We greatly increased our online ministry, making available hundreds of tracts, articles and other evangelistic and discipleship resources digitally. Twenty-nine of my books are now available as E-books. Numerous of our Manuals and Handbooks are now available as free PDF’s online. We completed a Visual Tour of our Christian Liberty Bookshop, to mark 25 years of providing resources for Reformation and Revival and Textbooks for Home Educators. Our Mission is maintaining 19 active websites with over 300,000 articles and links.
Christopher produced a fast-moving Literature4Africa video, documenting the offloading of two containers on the same day, during level 4 of the lockdown. Volunteer from KwaZulu, Ndumiso, produced Bibles for Africa; Life Chain 2020 and Home Education video documentaries, which involve numerous interviews and provide visual insights and inspiration for these ministries. We uploaded another 113 additional videos onto our Vimeo Channel this year, most of those being lectures of mine from our Biblical Worldview Summit, Great Commission Course, Home Education events and weekly Reformation Society lectures.
We also uploaded another 104 sermons and lectures onto our SermonAudio page (which now has 919 messages available online). Most of these would be Reformation Society lectures and Livingstone Fellowship sermons of mine. We now have over 202,000 listeners on our SermonAudio channel.
This year, we uploaded another 32 of my PowerPoints onto SlideShare, making a total of 272 presentations available. Total views and downloads were 109,000 this year.
Alongside my responsibilities running Frontline Fellowship, I am also the Director of Africa Christian Action and this involved organising the National Day of Repentance march to Parliament, the Life Chain in October, the Women’s Day Missions in the Mall Outreaches in August, regular Salt and Light Radio programmes and the Christian Action magazine.
Reformation to Restricted Access Areas
As Principal of the William Carey Bible Institute, I have continued to add lecture notes, manuals, textbooks and audio visual resources onto our WilliamCareyBI.com website, which is freely available online for Restricted Access Areas and Home Educators worldwide.
As Chairman for the Flame Lily Foundation – Cape Peninsula (FLF-CP), I serve as Chaplain for the Rhodesia Remembrance Services, Editor of The Fish Eagle and now contributing Editor to the Rhosarian Magazine. We have regular monthly meetings in Fish Hoek and were heavily involved in the battle over Rhodes Memorial, which was vandalised. Through the efforts of Friends of Rhodes Memorial, which we helped start, the memorial was fully restored in time for Heritage Day. FLF-CP is also involved in helping Rhodesian pensioners and preserving the heritage of Rhodesia. To this end, we have begun a Rhodesia Heritage Library at Livingstone House. We also contribute regularly to the Rhodesians Worldwide magazine and Reclaiming Rhodesia.
This year marked my 60th birthday, 40 years since the Grahamstown Evangelistic Mission and 20 years since the great Penguin Rescue of 2000. Articles, videos and PowerPoints have been presented on these events.
Cape Independence Movement
I was also asked to start the Cape Independence Forum. I regularly chair meetings by Zoom with different role players working for self-determination, secession and independence for a Free and Independent Cape of Good Hope. To this end, I have produced a number of articles and presentations, including: A Case for Cape Independence; Successful Secession in the Bible and History; and Eyewitness to Successful Secession Movements. The Cape Independence Handbook is now freely available online. We have seen tremendous growth in the Cape Independence movement in 2020, including CapeXit growing from 10,000 members to over 600,000 by the end of this year. I have conducted meetings to USAF at Dalbarton in Zuidland, spoken at the CapeXit Conference and AGM as well as a number of Cape Independence events. The recent Stellenbosch March for Independence was very successful with a variety of movements and groups cooperating effectively together. I have had numerous radio and TV Interviews internationally.
I have also made much progress with my book: Frontline – Behind Enemy Lines for Christ. During Lockdown, I introduced Sword P.T. and Rifle P.T. at home and am now training young home educators in sword fighting skills.
We are looking forward to the new year with many new possibilities and projects in the field, large quantities of Bibles and books are prepositioned for distribution in Sudan, the Livingstone House building extensions are progressing and the Biblical Worldview Summit at the beginning of January.
Thank you so very much for all your love, prayers, encouragement and support. May God continue to be your joy and strength.
Africa for Christ!
Designing with DANIELA
Warm greetings to all and blessed wishes for the Christmas season! I’m sure we can all agree that it has been a year unlike any other. It started out very well with the Biblical Worldview Summit followed by the Great Commission Course which is always the best way to start the year! I especially enjoy exploring my city with friends, learning more about God, going on outreaches and hiking.
The year was going very well until the unexpected happened! We heard about the virus spreading overseas, but we didn’t think it would come and affect us in Cape Town, at least not so quickly and drastically. Art and design jobs were suddenly getting cancelled, events that I was adverting, doing art for and marketing were cancelled. Coaching at the ice rink was put on hold. I lost my part-time job. Freelance work was cancelled. Things weren’t looking so good. The future seemed uncertain. I was discouraged.
Knowing pretty much everyone in the world was experiencing a similar kind of Lockdown made it a bit easier, because we were all in this together. It was a really good time to slow down and catch up on all those things you never take the time for. It also brought my family closer together. We were able to slow down and enjoy each other’s company. We created some new traditions and learnt some new skills. It helped me remember what’s important and to be more grateful for all of our freedoms. It created a whole new respect for those who fought for our freedoms and to never take those freedoms forgranted.
When things started to open up again, I got more and more freelance design work coming my way – more than I had had before! A great blessing this year was applying for and being chosen for a full-time position from the UK that I can do from home! It really was a gift from God. It is wonderful to be able to still design and create art as well as be close to my family and have the flexibility to still be involved at the Mission. I am also a part of a wonderful Marketing team for the upcoming Biblical Worldview Summit.
In asmuch as it was a year of unfortunate, unexpected events, it was also a year of great change for the better! I greatly look forward to next year and all we must do to fight the good fight of Faith. May God bless you all richly. Thank you so much for your prayers and continued support to our family!
FILM MAKING with CHRISTOPHER
Twenty twenty. Wow. This is not a year I want to repeat in the near future. I think it’s pretty safe to say it has been a year full of surprises. I also think it’s fair to say that everyone’s ambitions and plans for this year have been turned upside down!
Like most people, I have fallen victim as an online student for the year. I have had to swiftly adapt to online studies for the majority of this year. This has been hard grunt work as 75% of the studies I am exploring are practical based. One can imagine how frustrating and mind-numbing this can be. On the other hand, it has given me flexibility to campaign out into the freelancing community. I’m still settling into this role and it has been a great opportunity for self growth.
As hard as lockdown was, I couldn’t have asked for a better family and support group to get me through it. I am beyond grateful for parents who support and love me and for siblings who also have my back. God is good and I am trusting him for a more productive and fruitful year ahead.
For all of your prayers, we appreciate it so much and we say thank you! I humbly ask for your continued prayers as I tackle my final year of studies next year in the creative field where far left and progressive liberal way of thinking is shoved down our throats! God is good and faithful to those who are rooted in His Word.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and He will make straight your paths” — Proverbs: 3:5-6
Wishing you a blessed Christmas and a joyous New Year.
COACHING with CALVIN
I think we can all agree that the plans and aspirations we prepared for 2020 did not come about in a way that we expected. The words “perspective” and “gratefulness”, and the deep meaning behind them are what I am taking from this year.
As humans, we often need extreme circumstances or events to initiate a wake-up call or realization of what we need to fix in ourselves. We often fail to take notice of our little character traits or habits that can be negative for the people around us.
I am grateful for having a family that loves, supports and challenges me everyday to be better and to be grateful. This year has given me perspective on what is actually important and what is not. I often find myself dwelling over things that do not deserve such attention. Keeping God first, and family close, was the key to surviving and making the most of this year.
In spite of the Covid Lockdown regulations, I was able to finish my first year towards a Diploma in Sports Management and I am looking forward to another year of studies in Sports Science, as well as continuing to chase my ambitious goals in the sports of running and swimming.
When the schools allow, I will be able to continue coaching in water polo, cross country and hockey. I have also started a fitness program for the missions interns and any willing staff at our Mission. I am, as always, looking forward to our Biblical Worldview Summit in January and the interesting people I meet.
Thank you for your friendship and the support you extend to our family
The COMBS CORNER
A lot of reflection has taken place this year. Everyone has been forced to reevaluate their lives, their priorities, and how they use their time. I’m encouraged by this quote by C.S. Lewis, “When we lose one blessing, another is often most unexpectedly given in its place.”
We’ve all lost something too - some far more than others. Whether it be our jobs, loved ones, security, a sense of routine or familiarity, 2020 has taken from each of us in unique ways. It has also, however, given many of us something precious: perspective.
There’s joy amidst the sorrow and contentment despite cancellations. As a family, we are so grateful for the (imposed) slower pace. We needed it far more than we cared to admit, and I believe much of the world did too. While postponed plans left us frustrated, the mandated time of “quarantine” simultaneously left us rested.
As a family, we grew closer and became far more aware of how quickly our boys are growing up (and out of all their clothes)! Hunter and I also grew in our love and appreciation for one another. (After all, if we can make it through Level 5 Lockdown restrictions with two busy boys, we can make it through anything!) Our desire to be more intentional with the way we spend our days has carried us through this year. We realized how little we truly needed and were reminded how much God had blessed us with.
Hitting the Ground Running
Our annual Biblical Worldview Seminar (BWS) began in January, days after arriving in Cape Town from our two-month stay in Arizona! The two-week long Great Commission Course (GCC) followed, with an intensive schedule focusing on putting feet to your faith in outreaches and practical sessions. This action-packed, practical, mind-stretching course is a highlight of each year. Hunter was essential in the running of both and thoroughly enjoyed meeting and ministering with many young and eager believers.
Don’t Panic: It’s a Pandemic
It wouldn’t be an accurate recap of 2020 if we didn’t mention the infamous pandemic that has plagued our globe this year. Although our occupation as missionaries was greatly impacted by the national Lockdown we endured, there was a serious shift in focus that may have never come to be had we not taken the time to reevaluate our focus here in Cape Town.
Once our lockdown restrictions were loosened, Hunter began to minister more intentionally in the unreached community where he had been building relationships for the previous two years. Although modern technology allows for communication from afar, nothing quite beats having tea or coffee in someone’s living room while discussing Jesus and Scripture.
The Lockdown unleashed a vision and a fire within Hunter that has spurred on countless conversations and fruitful friendships, in a part of town where very few have dared to go. Hunter also forged an alliance with other Believers and laborers who have been called to work in the same neighborhood. Together, they have been able to be more effective in their ministry there, and we are excited to see what the future holds!
Only 0.5% (half of one percent) of the people group that he is working among have been reached with the Gospel. Although many of these people have grown up knowing Christians, they are deeply entrenched in their culture and religion. It is very hard soil, but it is the Lord who nurtures growth. They are planting and watering but trusting that, in the Lord’s timing, we will see a great harvest for the glory of Christ.
It’s been a blessing to see how enthused Jeremy gets on the days he is able to join Hunter and the team on their outreaches. As a young, gregarious boy, he has been able to open literal doors that would have otherwise been closed to them. We are certain these are memories Jeremy will cherish as he grows up, just as Hunter cherishes training Jeremy up in the “family business.”
Our oldest has grown dramatically this year! Lockdowns and limited movement haven’t stopped Jeremy from outgrowing all of his clothes or his beloved balance bike. He has developed and learned so much, gaining more independence and responsibility around the house, confidence in his ability to lead as a big brother, graduating to a pedal bike (“without training wheels”), and learning how to read. He continues to be our inquisitive, intellectual, loquacious, social, hyper organized, gentle, cautious, imaginative child – with some mildly OCD tendencies.
Jeremy’s extra-curricular activity of choice is being a “ninja” at his Ninja classes where he learns a mixture of gymnastics, martial arts, obstacle course training, and freestyle movement. This has been a special activity he gets to enjoy with his Noni each week.
Josh is firmly planted in his role as our wild, free-spirited child. Not only does he keep up with his older brother, he often spurs Jeremy on with his energetic nature! Despite being a serious mama’s boy, Josh thrives when exploring new places with Jeremy by his side.
It’s rare to see our Joshie Bear without a smile on his face. His joyful personality is infectious, bringing a lively energy to our home. His vocabulary is growing daily as he attempts to join more of our family discussions… even though he’ll never outtalk his brother. Josh has also proven to be just as strong-willed as Jeremy (if not more so), loves playing with all wheeled vehicles and soccer balls, and delights when any living creature crosses his path (especially cats and dogs)!
With his physical strength, agility, grit, and independence, it’s hard to believe Josh is only two years old. He began his own venture of “Baby Ninja” classes a few months ago. The “Mom and Tots” setting encourages their burgeoning gymnastics skills! As expected, Josh absolutely thrives in this physically challenging environment with his toddler peers.
In August, our family was gifted with the opportunity to stay in a remote holiday home by the beach in Wilderness. Since there weren’t enough beds to house nine of us, my parents and siblings took the first week in the house and our little family took the second. It was an unexpected and extraordinary chance to reset from our daily routine! Just five hours away from Cape Town, and yet Wilderness is a far cry from city life. Nestled atop the dunes directly above the ocean, it was a glorious place to stay! We would never tire of hearing the waves crashing on the shore outside our bedroom window.
Every sunny day was another occasion to walk down to the rock pools so our boys could play, protected by the tide. On the cooler, rainier days, we explored nearby towns and visited the Wolf Sanctuary and Knysna Elephant Park. Jeremy and Josh absolutely relished their new surroundings and adventures to new places. We were all spoiled by the unobstructed ocean views and could have easily gotten used to the slower pace. We all agree it was a big highlight of 2020, and we could not be more grateful for this generous gift of family time away. Hunter also had the encouraging experience of sharing a message on Abraham and the sacrifice of Isaac (Genesis 22) at Wilderness Christian Fellowship. It was an absolute blessing to have been welcomed into this community of Believers.
From Four to FIVE
The myriad of unexpected surprises continues to be the theme of 2020. God has seen fit to bless our family with a THIRD baby boy (due May, 2020). Although the timing was not our own, once the shock wore off we were thrilled at the thought of welcoming another sweet baby into our family. Before we knew whether we were expecting a son or a daughter, Jeremy would pray a heartfelt prayer each night asking God to give him another baby brother. His excitement when we learned his prayer was answered in his favor was absolutely priceless! In the midst of my Mom’s ongoing battle with cancer, this was a welcome, joyful surprise!
Teaching Biblical Interpretation
In September, Hunter began teaching a three-part Biblical interpretation class. He had a keen group of participants who were eager and ready to learn. He assigned six homework assignments for them to help lead them through the interpretive process. Although it was a challenge to mark assignments, Hunter said, he’s genuinely missed being in a classroom setting, studying God’s Word together with other believers.
Searching for a Home to Call our Own
We still are praying and trusting the Lord for a house our family can purchase. It has been a real blessing living rent free for the past two (plus) years in Cape Town, but we are at a stage where it will be essential for us to have our own house. Andrea and I have wanted to buy a house for our family to use as a ministry base for community, fellowship, outreach, and missions training.
We would love to have a model of a small house church that meets in our home and reaches out on a weekly basis to the lost. This model would make it much easier to invite those seeking answers about Jesus into a Christian community where they can experience what it means to be a part of the body of Christ. This would be a model for those going into unreached countries and communities to be able to start a Christian fellowship where they would reduplicate this home church model.
However, since we don’t get monthly “paychecks” in South Africa, it makes it difficult to meet the numerous qualifications for bank loans. This means one of our best options for financing a house would be through private loan/s and/or donations OR raising our monthly income enough to accommodate making monthly house payments. At this point, we still need to raise roughly $2,500-$3,000 additional monthly support in order to cover the monthly costs of owning a home. We ask that you would join us in prayer and for the Lord’s hand of guidance as we continue to step out in faith.
We currently have our eye on a couple of homes in our suburb that would be ideal for our ministry and for our growing family. As we are about to welcome our third boy into the family, it is becoming even more critical that we find a place we can grow into. Thank you for your continued prayers and support!
Peace on Earth
Our prayer for these upcoming days, weeks, and months is that you would find peace and rest in this season of separation from society – a pause from the incessant “play, play, play” of life. May God continue to be your joy and strength as many of us struggle with sickness and fear. We serve a God whose voice calms the raging seas of this world. A viral outbreak is not outside the realm of His control.
“Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” — Luke 2:10-11
Wishing you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas season and a joyous New Year! May 2021 be filled with God’s blessings for you and yours. Thank you for your faithful love, friendship, and support. Without you, we could not do the work God has called us to. We thank God for you!
With much love in Christ — Hunter, Andrea, Jeremy, Joshua and baby #3