"Mild He lays His glory by,
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth." (Wesley)
Dear Family and Friends
The dawning of a new year is "just around the corner." It seems as yesterday that many feared that a lot of technical "things" would go bang with the new century, that's now 12 years ago? In these years there has been unbelievable advances in all the areas of technology, but the question to be faced is, "Have we as individuals advanced in our walk with God?" This is of course the most vital aspect of our lives - have our relationships with God and men taken a leap forward? This is what the season is all about - yet sin and backsliding are the facts of the day. A holy walk with God by faith seems to be slowly petering out. Are we ready for our Lord's return? For that is a real surety. Signs abound on every hand, read again the end chapters of the Gospels. Listen to the news. The conclusion is that iniquity abounds on all sides and in nearly every country prisons are past their holding limit!
One thinks of what is said in the Scriptures, "When He comes will He find the faith on the earth?" Are you among the watching and waiting or part of those who, because of not having repented before God, are among the eternally lost? "Now is the time, now is the day of salvation (forgiveness)." To all of us the past year has held its varied experiences, both good and bad, (Bad in our eyes, yet is that so from God's angle?)
Let's move to some family news
Christmas end of 2011 was very special to our immediate family as Ivor and Madeleine headed the arranging of a very wonderful family weekend at Prince Albert, also celebrating Phyllis's 80th birthday. It was a time we will never forget - thank you, Family.
In August of this year Phyllis's health declined rather drastically which led to her having an angiogram at the Life Bayview Hospital, Mossel Bay. This clearly showed the immediate need for a bypass operation, performed 6 days later by a first class cardio-thoracic surgeon with excellent results. A few weeks later he put her back into hospital at Mossel Bay to draw the liquid off of the left lung. The morning of the planned discharge, she fell in the bathroom at the hospital and fractured the top of the right arm. The orthopaedic surgeon operated at his first opportunity some 14 hours later and thereafter admitted her to the high care section of the ICU. Another 12 days in hospital before we could bring her home, with the need to have everything done for her. Our daughter-in-law from Bloemfontein came down and nursed mom throughout the first week. We have managed - and still are managing - I think, fairly well thanks to our local church ladies and our sons and their wives, and others who have been a wonderful help - even arranging and delivering meals each day. God bless them. Good friends, Raymond and Martie, at Hartenbos gladly accommodated Glynnis and Selwyn.
Oupa + Oumagrootjie Yes, our age is showing up. One of Colin and Beaty's daughters, Barbara, married to Philip, had a bonny son! (Have about 50 photos to prove it!) The next addition, a girl, is due beginning of March to our grandson David and his wife Liezel. Two unmarried granddaughters are at present completing their training as teachers in Bloemfontein. Who knows what next year may bring?
Ivor and Madeleine's son, Nathan, is in a good job while studying at UCT. Yes, we have a wonderful family, thanks to our Heavenly Father. Ivor is still in the transport industry - Intercape. Madeleine also assists the company. She needs prayer for various ailments. (It is not really old age as with us.)
Ministry in God's Kingdom is the most important.
God keeps us as His witnesses (recognised or not!) The Prayer Room and Prison Ministry have continued - except for the 3 months to take care of Mom. Am very grateful for a "Jack of all trades", by the name of Koos Steyl, who has assisted with the Prayer Room Mininstry, plus a lot of photocopying of Bible studies used in the prison. God sent him at just the right time.
I have returned to the prison with a very unexpected all round welcome. Have 2 Bible studies "tied up" and with all the personnel interviews will leave it there for the balance of this year. Regarding the prison situation: it is overwhelming to see the number of men, especially those awaiting trial. We aim to reach each in one way or another with the Gospel, e.g. have copied more than 700 calendars for 2013, each with Scripture printed on the back, many Bibles and hundreds of tracts are also distributed.
Recently we arranged a distribution of Bibles, (many are very reasonably priced, in paperback), asking the congregation to ensure that those who work for them have a copy of God's Word. The response was good. We still are involved in the ministry of the Church, together with other aspects of Kingdom Ministry.
This has been a long epistle. God bless you and your family wherever you may be over this coming season. We rejoice that the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, is focused upon; remembering that He came, He gave, He died that we may be forever with Him in His eternal Kingdom; unworthy as we are, we are grateful that He first loved us.
We too thank God for His daily provision for us and our daughter, Glynnis, here in the Little Karoo.
God keep you each one in His tender love and care.
"God's timeless message of hope is waiting to be received."
Selwyn and Phyllis Kettles
Selwyn and Phyllis left East London in 1956 and after studying were married in 1958 and then joined the AEB for 30 years. They then served the Protestant Association for 8 years. During this time they joined CBC. They then moved to Oudtshoorn and started the Prayer and Evangelistic Centre. From here they have developed a community prayer and counseling centre and an exciting outreach into the local prison where many have found a new life through Christ. They are also involved with the Industrial Ministry, taking the gospel to the work place. They are now 78 and 80 respectively and they can say "relying on the faithfulness of God and the ministry of the Holy Spirit we are able to keep on serving Him."