January News

Greetings from the Kemp’s in South Africa, 

As we look back on 2015 . . .

20 Things We Learned Living Among the Zulu’s in 2015

  1. Half of my neighbors have HIV/Aids.

  2. I spend an average monthly salary for the Zulu every two trips to the gas station.

  3. A child calls nearly all adult ladies “mama.” They don’t know what it is to have a “mama” in any western minded sense. “It takes a village” is the mindset.

  4. The goats we pass on the road are all for sacrifice in ancestor worship, and we pass a lot of goats!

  5. Shoes are a luxury item.

  6. The bride price for a virgin is 11 cows, 8 cows for a girl with one baby. The more children the less the bride price. This incentivises having babies before marriage.

  7. When I see a man on the road in our area, I am almost always looking at a man in some state of inebriation.

  8. My normal response to most any situation is completely opposite from the normal response of my Zulu neighbor. Our cultures are extremely different. (But the same unchanging gospel speaks into both cultures).

  9. A tire on the roof of a rondavel (round house) is thought to protect from evil spirits.

  10. The reason for building a round house is to avoid corners where a certain evil spirit named Togolosh (Toe-go-low-sh) is believed to hide. He won’t come to round houses.

  11. Thunder is thought to be caused by witch doctors.

  12. Theft is only seen as theft if the item stolen was being used for a perceived noble cause. Taking fruit from a tree is not seen as theft. Stripping a vacant building is not seen as theft. Taking a car parked on the road for a week is not seen as theft.

  13. The non-venomous “Green Bushsnake” in a house is thought to be a sacred animal because it is believed to be an ancestor coming to visit.

  14. Cow dung walls and floors are commonplace, and most young people know how to mix up a batch with ease.

  15. A venomous snake bite is believed to be healed by a second bite. The first puts venom in and the second takes it out. This explains the high number of fatalities from snakes.

  16. In order for our poor Zulu neighbors, (or anyone poor),  to get medical treatment from a hospital, they must go to a regional clinic first. That clinic is 4 miles away at the top of a steep dirt road. If the patient doesn’t arrive early in the morning, they will likely not be seen all day. The moral is: don’t get sick.

  17. Our used food containers are valuable to the impoverished. As in, our empty sour cream container becomes their permanent tupperware.

  18. A staple Zulu food in our area is Indian style curry.

  19. Most Zulu families keep chickens, however they rarely eat the eggs or birds. The chickens are allowed to range free all day. Predators pick them off seasonally and they barely have time to replenish their numbers. Having chickens is a pest control measure. “Zulu” chickens are a recognized breed known for foraging for bugs, reproducing prolifically, and producing poor meat.

  20. The giving of Christmas gifts is not in Zulu culture. Many will buy themselves a set of “new to them” clothing for Christmas day. Clothing is marked up in Zulu areas in December to maximize profits.
We recently had 5 Congolese men drop in and spend the night with us. Our friend from Johannesburg, Donat, is on the far right in the white shirt. You may remember that we studied the scriptures together for several months when we were in Joburg. He brought these guys over to meet us two weeks ago. It is a 5 hour drive. The man in the middle is a Congolese pastor and ministers to the Pigmy tribe of the Democratic Republic of Congo. We spent a few hours talking about the gospel, and expository preaching. Donat translated for me. As my relationship develops with Donat, his potential to be a pastor to the many French speaking refugees is cemented in my mind. For anyone interested, about $500.00 a month (my rough estimate) would get him the needed finances to go to seminary for adequate Bible training. He lives in the midst of well over 10,000 Congolese refugees in downtown Johannesburg. For that matter, we have a very large population of Congolese refugees here in Durban as well. Along with Zulu, we get to polish our French greetings every time we go into town. The need for a French speaking church there is overwhelming.  In all my inquiries, I have not yet found anyone who knows of a faithful ministry in French in Joburg or Durban.Let me know if someone wants to fund this need. There could be huge eternal dividends with this opportunity.

Mthoko pronounced “Em-toh-kho” 
Mthoko is a young believer at our church plant. He just graduated high school and is looking for a permanent job. For the moment, we have hired him to work on the farm. He is a faithful young man. We are getting to spend a full hour a day studying together. We have been studying from the beginning of December through Bible Study Methods. His enthusiasm for God’s word and life change is really encouraging. Please pray for him. Like most Zulu young men, he has no father in his life. He lives with his mother, 5 year old sister and 2 male cousins. He is 18 years old, and the most mature christian man in the congregation outside of the pastor.

Mlungisi pronounced “Maloon-gees-ee”
Pastor Mlungisi and I are meeting weekly for an hour. He is a young pastor, (mid 20’s), living on the farm with us. He is our church planting pastor at the local Zulu church. He has 3 years of Bible training. His fluency in English and Zulu make him critical to our team. My time together with him is intended to help further ground and direct him toward a lifetime of faithful ministry. My hope is to direct him in the areas of preaching and practical ministry. This is a challenge because, while he is fluent in English, Zulu is clearly his stronger language. Nearly all Zulu Bible resources are charismatic. Please pray that he will not give into the temptation to listen to charismatic resources. Pray that we can find and/or develop faithful Zulu resources. We are in contact with a variety of groups for this very reason, to get good materials. There is no Zulu systematic theology. . . this is a big need. He is hoping to get married in the next year and this will be a significant transition. Pray for our unity and friendship to last for decades. 

One final note, as we look back over our financial support for the last year, we find ourselves supported at about 80%. We are told that it is normal for 1st term support to work itself down and not up. But for those who are praying for us, that leaves us about $13,000 short for 2015. The reason I am approximating and not giving an exact figure is that our final numbers for 2015 will not be fully known until the end of January, so the amounts could change. We don’t expect a big change. The good news is that we have no debt and have lived completely within our means; so we are in no immediate trouble. However, our ability to respond to ministry opportunities is directly impacted by this shortfall. Please pray for this need. 
1% of our support is $67 per month. 
For His Glorious Gospel, 
Scott and Erin

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