HIS IN SOUTH AFRICA
1st Quarter 2021
Dear Friends in Christ,
“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen” (Ephesians 3:20-21).
We want to begin by thanking you for your faithful prayers for us. As we settle in here in South Africa, we are in awe of all God has done and how He has answered prayer. Although the wait seemed long and the hurdles sometimes seemed impossible, we praise the Lord that “with God all things are possible” (Mark 10:27).
As we reflect on all the Lord has done, we thought it would be good to share a few things to reveal how His hand moved through some overwhelming obstacles. All along the way, God orchestrated everything, manifesting His omniscience and omnipotence to us firsthand. My shoulder surgery was not supposed to take place before our departure. The doctors agreed the surgery needed to be done but because of the COVID backlog, it would not be scheduled for three or four months. In the interim, I was given a cortisone shot, which the doctors believed would alleviate the problem. As some of you know, the shot only helped for a short period of time and then the pain resumed. I saw the doctor again, and he agreed that the need for surgery was imminent, but still insisted there would be a long wait. I went home thinking I could return to the States in a few months, have the surgery and see our new grandson all at the same time. However, a few days later, surgery was scheduled for the 23rd of February, less than 3 weeks before we were scheduled to leave for South Africa. The surgery consisted of removing the arthritis in my shoulder and grinding back the clavicle bone. Not only were there no complications, but the surgeon was able to reduce the recovery time in half by omitting exploratory surgery, since they already knew where the problem was. We praise the Lord for my partial recovery before our flight and that the shoulder pain has been relieved.
How many of you have ever served on jury duty before? Well, another situation we faced was when Tina was summoned to jury duty the week of our departure. It was one of those trials that you can only look back on and laugh. As she sat at the courthouse for a day and a half, all she could think of was the packing and last-minute things that needed to be done at home. There was always the possibility she would have had to serve a week or more on a jury, but praise the Lord, it was a slow week, and she was released from duty. It was a good exercise in purposing ourselves to rest in the Lord knowing He is in control.
A final situation we would like to share concerns the required COVID test for travel abroad. According to KLM airlines, we had to have a specific COVID test done within 12 hours of boarding our plane, along with an accompanying certificate stating it was negative. Not many places offer all of that, but the Lord directed us to a lab that provides the results in 15 minutes. This particular lab has a protocol in place in which a person normally has to call the lab at midnight to try to schedule an appointment for the following day. If your call gets through before other patients, an appointment is given for the next day. If not, you can take your chances as a walk-in patient, hoping there is enough time to do the test. We needed ours done on Saturday morning since we were leaving Saturday afternoon. Tina called the lab a couple days ahead of time to find out the requirements and to make sure this was the right test. It just “so happened” (not really) that there were no patients in the clinic and the receptionist was not busy. She was happy to help us schedule appointments for Saturday morning, even though it was days ahead of time. The Lord helped alleviate any added pressure or uncertainties of this appointment. Saturday morning, the whole process went quite smoothly as the test was done and both results came back negative. Although the flight to South Africa was long, the medical certificates helped make our travels smoother. We had to show the documents three times along the way, but we did not have any problems getting in to South Africa.
We have many things to praise the Lord for. We are thankful for the safety throughout our trip, for all six pieces of luggage arriving with us, for reuniting with the Grahams and for all they have done to help us transition, for settling into our new home and the preparations our landlord made for our arrival, for provision of a vehicle, for being able to worship with the believers here, for an opportunity to fellowship with other missionaries nearby and for being able to start diving into the ministry a little. God has truly done exceeding abundantly above anything we could ask or think.
We are also grateful for the technology that enables us to keep up with our family back in the States. Last night, through Facetime, Leah helped us attend the church baby shower for Jonathon and Johanna’s baby. It was very sweet. Today, we were able to chat with Rebekah as she drove from North Carolina to Tennessee. God is so good to give us these blessings, also.
Living in different countries has given us an appreciation for the uniqueness of each place and for the special people who live there. We are truly grateful we can communicate in English here and do not need to learn another language. At the same time, while some aspects may seem familiar, many things are "strange" or new and can quickly grab our attention. For example, in South Africa, we see some of the common fast-food restaurants that are found in America like McDonalds, KFC and Burger King, but there are others also such as, Hungry Lion and Sir Lion Steak House (fits South Africa, wouldn’t you say). The one that I found to be the most hilarious was Wimpy Hamburgers (though it really originated in Bloomington, IN). Not really a place that makes you want to go there to eat. A place that our daughter, Leah, found amusing was a grocery store. In Wisconsin, there is Pick n Save, but in South Africa, we have a Pick n Pay. Although the paying is important, Leah, like most women, would prefer to focus on the savings part more than on the paying part. Finally, in America, there is Amazon, but in South Africa, we have Takealot. While these conveniences are very nice, the spiritual needs here are great, and we ask that you continue to pray for hearts to be tender and open to the Gospel truth.
As we close, we would like to wish you a very happy and blessed Easter! May the Lord give us many opportunities to share the resurrection truth with those who need Christ. Please also notice our new mailing address and phone numbers on the left side of page one.
Serving the Saviour,
Ron & Tina Fruin
Ron and Tina Fruin are missionaries in South Africa. Their current and previous ministries include church planting, Bible Institutes, and colleges.
Ron & Tina Fruin
PO Box 332
Republic of South Africa
Phone: (+27) 78.725.6680
Falls Baptist Church
N69W12703 Appleton Avenue
Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin 53051
Phone: (262) 251-7051
Baptist World Mission
PO Box 2149
Decatur AL 35602-2149
Phone: (256) 353-2221
FAX: (256) 353-2266