Some people ask the question “What does a missionary do? Or what does a missionary look like?” I have no idea the answers to those questions really. We could all list things that we think based off of people we know or what God’s word calls us all to do. But really what does it look like? Wade and I are less concerned about what a missionary looks like and what God wants our lives to look like. So we thought we would update you on some of the ministries we are involved in so you can see what life is like here and some ways you can pray for us.
Lately the weeks feel like they are flying by! We are already nearly half way through this 4th pregnancy and each week it’s hard to believe how fast it’s going. Things that the week includes are some of the following.
Team- We are a part of two teams here. One being our larger ABWE team. This involves all the ABWE missionaries here in our area. Each person on the team takes different roles and Wade and I have come into that. We have had fun helping create updated orientation programs for new families coming to Cape Town and working with different short term visitors. We have also been a part of planning for our next regional conference for all of the ABWE missionaries in South Africa for next year. The other team we are a part of is the Mountain View team. Our church plant in Hermanus is an extension of the church in Somerset West and we work very closely with each other. Wade has taken on doing some of the graphic design and social media for both churches. I always told Wade this is what he should have gone to college for and its fun to see him be able to use his skills in this area. I have been helping to create a child protection policy that our church can implement but also for any of the ABWE ministries in South Africa.
Overstated Bible Center- Wade is a part of the Overstrand Bible Center here. It is a theological training program for lay pastors and people in various roles in ministry. Some who are training to be in full time ministry and others who have been in a ministry position for a long time but have never been able to have theological education. This includes pastors, pastor’s wives, Sunday school directors, and anyone who wants to study the Bible. Wade has the opportunity to teach on Tuesday nights in Zwlehile. He loves it! It is so fun to watch him come in late and be so excited about what he is teaching and his students. If you know Wade you know that school is not his thing but God has given him a love for teaching these students. It has been a pleasure for us to invest in their lives in the classroom and outside of it. Right now his class has 13 students and 6 of those are finishing up to graduate. Some are South African, others are from Zimbabwe, and Malawi.
Yomelelani Pre Primary School- Aislinn and I have been going to the school since June. Aislinn is in the 3-4 year old class and I help out with various things that they need. Mostly an extra set of hands! There are about 150 kids in the school ranging from 3 months to 5 years old. On days that I go I know I will come home tired but I look forward to them so much! When I first started going I was just “umlungu” to the kids meaning “white person”. A distant, uninvolved person who comes sometimes. But now they know my name and get greeted with lots of hugs and belly rubs. This also includes language tutoring in Xhosa for me. Wade and I had planned to do this together but with his responsibilities at church and other things we can’t find the time to do it together. I have a wonderful friend from school who is teaching me, slowly. It is so fun but I find myself being impatient to learn knowing all the things I could be doing if I were more fluent. Outside of the home I feel this is one of my most important ministries. Everyday I am there I am very aware of my lack of knowledge, my pale skin, and my need to be a constant learner of this culture. The Gospel must be shared in relationships that are strong and this takes time. So we are gladly making the time.
Ladies Bible Study- Bible study is now hosted by a woman from our church. We just finished doing “Stuck” by Jennie Allen. It has impacted me in so many profound ways. It could be a whole blog post on its own! I am the youngster of the group and love it. These ladies have taught me a lot and I value their ministry in our community and church so much.
Mountain View Hermanus- As of August our little church plant has been having services for a year now. It seems a big milestone in the life of a new church. How do you even describe a church planter?! I have no idea. But I do know that what you do outside of Sunday Services is as important as preaching a sermon. So our weeks are filled with being all about the people who live in our city. It’s not just the big things but also the small things of joining the running club, going out to eat and becoming regulars at different coffee shops or pizza places. Although I think we might be eating too much pizza. We usually go when its half price pizza days and now they don’t even take our order and usually the manager will come and sit with us while we eat. But I’m telling you guys its such a good deal and hard to pass up on a busy day of the week when cooking and cleaning up is not happening! Our church also has an office space right in the hub of town. Its right next to the tattoo parlor so if you are interested in visiting our church AND getting a tattoo Wade can hook you up.
Fun- This might not seem like its as important as the others but for us it is. Wade and I are so committed to our ministers as parents and as husband and wife. We never want to loose sight of why we are here and our love for Jesus. We never want to wake up and look over at person that we no longer know or really care about. And we don’t want to loose our kids in the business of “ministry”. Those things are too too valuable. So we try to have a lot of fun. And we are fortunate enough to live in one of the most beautiful and coolest places on earth. I don’t think we have ever sat there and thought “huh, there’s nothing to do”. Whether is hiking, days at the beach, whale watching, driving to a new spot and exploring we want our kids to love the place God has called us to as much we we do. How can you love a place and its people if you don’t know it?
Still in our first year we are still trying to figure out what things are priorities and what we should be involved in. Its a work in progress, but I am guessing it will always be like that. When I open my eyes every morning its this feeling of “I have no idea what today will bring”. And I have to say I love it!
Here are some ways you can pray for Team McComas:
1. Praying for a healthy pregnancy and baby. Things are going smoothly so far and feeling great. One prayer request in relation to this is that when the time comes for baby we will have to drive an hour to the hospital. It sounds very “African” but we literally have to drive an hour over a mountain to get to the hospital. Both of our girls were delivered in two hours start to finish. So we are praying that we make to the hospital since it would be very unsafe to have to stop or heaven forbid have Wade deliver the baby on the way.
2. Housing is a prayer request. Our area has a major shortage of rental properties and they are becoming increasingly more expensive. We anticipate having to move right after the baby comes since our lease will be up and are praying about where God has us next. To be honest the thought of moving AGAIN is very unappealing but God has been working on my heart. “Have you thought about buying?” Good question. It is very difficult for foreigners to buy and you can only get a home loan for 50% for the price of the house. So this is not a door that the Lord has opened up. But we are confident that God’s plans are bigger than our and we will see what happens. But please pray for us as we try to sort this all out.
3. Surprise, Surprise, we have maxed out our car. I know its not shocking at all. We got a seven passenger car when we arrived. It has been a wonderful car and we really love it! It fits all of us plus some. But with the anticipation of another baby and fostering we are pretty much maxed out of it. Here is what I mean. The other day at Aislinn’s swim lessons a new lady came with her two little girls. She and her husband are from Zimbabwe but have lived here for several years. As we started chatting we realized that we have almost the exact same due date with our new ones. Talking was easy and the Lord opened the door for me to share the gospel and to invite her and her family to church. As we packed up I asked if they were taking a taxi home. “No, we will walk” she answered. Well this is a short drive from her house but a LONG walk. Especially being pregnant with two little kids. Immediately I said no way, come with us. So I was able to put her girls in the back seat and my new friend in the front. What was a quick and easy drive for us to drop her off would have taken her forever to walk. I was able to invite her to church but also follow it up with an easy way to say “you are valuable and loved. I want to be your friend”. So all that to say we are trading in for a bigger van. I love being able to make room for whoever the Lord brings our way. We have been saving but if you feel led to help us in this way please let us know.
4. In two weeks our church will be moving to a new location. Wade and I recorded a podcast talking more in depth about this that will go out later this week. So be looking for that! We need your prayers as we move forward with excitement for what the Lord has for this church.
5. We will be going through our home study this week or next for foster care. This has been a process that is honestly so long you would not want to read all of it. But we have waded through the bureaucracy of it all. This has taken me many phone calls, emails, and literally going and waiting at the social work office until someone could help us. The system is overloaded. One caseworker can have over 200 open cases at a time. But it looks like we will be welcoming someone into our home in the next couple of months. We are praying for these kids, their families, and our family as we transition into a family of six, seven, or….just kidding. Wade says thats all for now!!
If you have made it to the end of this thanks for taking the time to read and pray for our family. We cannot do this alone and value your involvement in our ministry. We are partners in this together!
Tara for the Team