Dr David and Doreen Khoza celebrated fifty years of marriage on 2 September 2017. David serves as principal of World Outreach Bible College, Soweto, South Africa.
Rod and Lynley Talbot are celebrating thirty-five years on the field, an amazing achievement. Earlier this year, they welcomed their first grandchild, Tobias Kaleb Burton (born 25.03.17). Rod and Lynley serve as Regional Ministries Directors for Africa and the Middle East.
Peter and Jeannie Smith are celebrating forty years of marriage and twenty-five years on the field. Peter serves as Field Ministries Director and is based in Auckland, New Zealand.
Earlier this year, MC Coetzee stepped down as Country Director for South Africa after ten faithful years of service. A big thank you to MC and Lezelle for their tireless service.
Ivan Venter has been appointed the new Country Director. Ivan and his wife, Danelle, are based in Potchefstroom, South Africa.
Danny and Ruby Bayasen have returned home to the Philippines after serving in Burkina Faso for nineteen years. Danny has accepted the position of Philippines Director for the Asia Centre of Missions (ACM), which has a vision to train Filipinos to reach the least-reached peoples (LRPs).
Danny and Ruby were outstanding missionaries in Burkina Faso, reaching five LRPs (Fulanis, Dogosse, Boaba, Gourmanche, and Mossi) and establishing eleven churches among them. When they left in June, they set up a national council of leaders. We’re going to miss them, but they intend to keep a close relationship with WOI.
Rowena McKnight celebrated her seventieth birthday. Rowena and Barry served for many years in Cambodia and now work among migrants in Loughborough, England.
At the beginning of 2017 the Lord impressed on our hearts that in my (John) stepping down as International Director, we were not moving onto the next thing, rather onto a new thing in our relationship and service with Him. After living in Asia for the past thirty-six years, we knew we needed to allow time to adjust and make a (new) home for ourselves back in NZ. At the same time we both have an anticipation and excitement within for what the Lord has ahead.
From January to April we took our first ever sabbatical. Then in May we were back in action with World Outreach International, spending most of that month in SE Asia ministering and building on contacts we had established over the years in the region. In my new role as WOI President (Emeritus), one major focus is to come alongside church leaders, share how they and their churches can become engaged with least-reached peoples (LRPs), and journey with them in the process. From June to August we have spent most of our time in NZ and Australia attending church leadership gatherings, speaking in local churches and mission conferences, and meeting up with individuals who are keen to serve in missions. In September we were back in SE Asia, a region wherein we intend to invest some of our time annually, on behalf of WOI.
Wherever we have gone to-date, we always meet people who have a strong sense of God’s call on their lives for cross-cultural service, and who have endless questions on the topic. Two thousand years ago Jesus highlighted the shortage of labourers / workers for the harvest. The need remains the same today. We look forward to doing all we can to both encourage and guide potential harvesters onto pathways that WOI has in place to give such people every confidence in going forward in pursuit of the Lord’s plan for their lives.