Mission to America
Harriett Bathman: 1931 - 2019
My dearest Grandma went home to be with the Lord on Saturday, the 14th of September. It has been really hard to wrap our minds around the idea that she isn’t here anymore. She and my Granddad were a major influence for me in deciding to go into missions when I grew up - long before I met the man I'd marry who also wanted to be a missionary.
Hunter was quickly adopted into our family as if he were their own flesh and blood. They loved him dearly, and that meant the world to me! Their stories about their experience on the mission field will always be kept safe in our hearts. It's one of the things we'll miss the most about having them gone...
Of all their grandchildren, I was blessed to be the one who lived the closest to them in my adult years. The heartache of living across the ocean from family and friends has been a part of my family’s reality for generations, and yet missions and ministry is rarely separated from the sorrow of being away from loved ones at one time or another. So the years I was able to spend close to my Grandparents is not something I take for granted. I'll always treasure the hours of precious conversations we shared together over a meal, then coffee and dessert… They loved their coffee…
Our hearts ache to say goodbye, closing a massive chapter in our lives, but we also rejoice knowing she is made whole again, united with Christ and reunited with her husband (Bill Bathman) of over 65 years. My Grandma and Grandpa left such an amazing legacy that we hope we'll be able to pass on to our children someday! Until we see them on the other side of eternity, they'll be dearly missed...
Jeremy Turns Four
On the 17th of September, Jeremy celebrated his FOURTH birthday!! Since he loves all forms of transportation, we packed in as much variety as we could! We enjoyed a tour of our city in a double decker bus in the morning (sitting in the upper deck, of course), and a sunset boat ride with most of my family (my Mom and sister were overseas at the time)! Jeremy LOVED these first experiences and was actually given a chance to DRIVE the boat - steering for real! He said that was the best part of his day! It was so fun to see the excitement in his face as he relished being celebrated all day long.
This past year, Jeremy became a big brother and has really embraced that role in an amazing way! Watching him grow into a more confident version of himself has been incredible. While still cautious by nature, Jeremy has learned to take more risks and been far more willing to try new things this year. He loves nothing more than being around others and going on adventures - preferably with a Hot Wheel car in each hand!
Riding his balance bike, spinning on roundabouts, going down slides, racing his toy cars, making friends, playing any instrument he can get his hands on, listening and singing along to music, meeting animals of all kinds, and climbing into any car, bus, tractor, or train he can find are among his favourite activities! His bedtime routine hasn't changed a bit, but we're okay with that. We'll sing "Soft Kitty" and read the same books for as long as he asks us to.
Jeremy is a gentle, thoughtful, strong-willed, loving and generous boy and we're exhilarated to see the man God is shaping and molding him to be someday. Being his mom is my absolute favourite, and we'll never stop being thankful for having him in our lives in an irreplaceable kind of way...
FROM HUNTER’S DESK…
The Final Preaching Workshop
Our mission hosted our fourth and final Biblical Preaching Workshop (BPW) for the year. The theme was Preaching from the Gospels, particularly Mark. In our previous workshops, we have focused on Genesis, Judges and Psalms. Mark was the first Gospel written, the shortest Gospel, and the most action-packed Gospel.
Many of the participants had been to several of the former workshops, and one had been to all three previous workshops. As always, we had a very positive response from the believers who attended. It is exciting to see people hungry for a deeper understanding of the Word of God. I look forward to what God has in store for the preaching workshops in 2020.
The Hellos and Goodbyes of Missions One of the hardest parts about being in missions are the hellos and goodbyes. This last preaching workshop also marked John Clifford’s final workshop with Frontline. He is heading to the States in November to continue his Theological training at Reformed Theological Seminary. We are sad to say goodbye, but excited for what the Lord has in store for him and his family. He has been a great brother in the Lord to me, and he’s been an invaluable part of our ministry here at Frontline.
John and I have been in each other’s weddings, led five preaching workshops together, started a podcast together, been to the Nuba Mountains together, taught at the BWS and GCC together, and he is always someone I can bounce ideas off of and expect a thoughtful and Biblical response from. He will be dearly missed, but we know that God has great plans in store for the Clifford clan.
Speaking of America… We are just 10 DAYS away from our own departure to the States! After countless trips to the Cape Town International Airport to pick people up and drop them off, Jeremy is ecstatic at the opportunity to fly on a “big blue airplane” himself! His parents are far more excited to see loved ones in Arizona... We covet your prayers as we take care of the many final details in preparation for the two-month adventure abroad.
We are so thankful for your continued prayers, love, and support! May the Lord continue to be your strength and joy!
With love in Christ, Hunter, Andrea, Jeremy, and Joshua