Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Hello Again!

Hello again to all of you! Sorry it has been so long since my last
update, but after four months of living at the J-Life campsite, my
training is finally over! I know you are all asking the same question,
"What's next?" Well… I'll tell you...

Remember late last year when I spent about 6 weeks living in
Vereeniging and working with the youth at Acts Family Church? Well
they ended up asking me to come back and spend the rest of this year
working with the youth again, so I'm back in Vereeniging (don't worry,
I can't pronounce it either… most English people call it 'V-Town').
One thing has changed since my stint here last year… my Dad and Liz
moved into town. They were living at a campsite outside of Heidelberg,
but in February of this year they decided to move into town to be
closer to church, and civilization. Living here also provides Matthew
and Grace, my little brother and sister, the opportunity to go to
school instead of having to home school. They are excited. Again, I
know you are all asking the same question, "What does this change for
you?" Well… I'll tell you. I get to move home instead of living with
the pastor for the rest of the year, but other than that it really
doesn't change anything… thank you for asking though.

So as of now I'm trying to figure out what a full time youth worker
does during the day while all of the youth are in school. So far
(after almost a week) my days have consisted of moving into the
apartment behind my Dad and Liz's house and planning youth lessons for
Wednesday and Friday nights. I'm hoping to also get involved in one of
the local high schools and do ministry there, which should keep me
plenty busy. Things with the church and the youth group are going
well, and I'll fill you in more on that once I have a better idea of
what's going on here (again, it's been only a week).

Thank you all for your continued prayers and support, I wouldn't be
here without your help! Be well and God bless!

Andrew Even

Oh, I almost forgot… I'm coming home for a two-week visit in July.
Hope to see all of you then!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Cheers from SA!

I can hardly believe it's been almost 2 months since training started…
what an experience!! Training started with three days in what they
call "Bush Camp", where we were divided into teams and given limited
supplies. We were then sent into the 'bush' to build shelters that we
would live in for the next three days. It was rough at times but
overall it was a great experience and a fun way to get to know some of
the other guys. Since bush camp we've been through countless lectures,
most of which have been enlightening, as well as several practical
learning activities. One of the other team building experiences we've
had was called the "2AM Challenge". We were all woken up at 2AM and
then taken via tractor trailer to somewhere in the middle of the 4,000
acre farm where we were put into teams and given a map. We then
proceeded to race against the other teams in a variety of tasks that
took 10+ hours in total… it was a lot like the amazing race, only we
didn't win any money.

I've been growing a lot spiritually and I've been able to build
relationships with some great people. There are 39 team members this
year from 9 different countries: South Africa, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Congo
Brazzaville, Malawi, Swaziland, Namibia, Zambia and America. Needless
to say, it's been a bit of a struggle with so many people from
different cultures learning to live together, but it's been a lot of
fun as well.

Things are going really well and I'm enjoying myself. I'm going to
have a couple of weeks of in July and I'm really hoping to get to come
home, but for now I'm just praying about it and hoping that the Lord
will provide. Thank you all for your continued prayers and support, I
hope to see you all very soon!

In Christ,


PS – Below is a prayer request for South Africa from one of the J-Life
directors, John Abrahamse. Please remember this country in your
prayers especially in the coming months as we approach elections.

Dear Friends of South Africa

I have never encouraged or desired forward messages BUT for the first
time have really felt lead to do one.

May I ask you to pray with me for my nation. I believe we are at a
cross roads and unless God intervenes we are destined for hard times
as a nation. There are those in influential political positions that
do not seem to see peace or justice and this threatens the future
stability of South Africa.

In 1994, Christians joined together across the world in united pray
for the peace of South Africa. It was amazing to see God intervened
as He brought peace and a leader that fought for truth and justice.
Please PRAY for our nation again – PRAY for peace, truth and justice
to prevail. Pray that those who seek the things of Satan without even
knowing it will no longer have a voice in the future of South Africa.
Pray that South Africa will continue being a voice to the world of
true reconciliation and unity. Pray that those who lead will continue
fighting for this.

South Africa will be having it's elections in April 2009 – please
commit to pray at 5pm every day for at least 5 minutes for the nation
of South Africa.

Thank you for praying

Please pass this on to anyone that has a heart for prayer.


Saturday, January 10, 2009

And so it begins...

Happy New Year everyone, I'm off to the J-Life Campsite for training!
Today at 2pm I will be reporting to J-Life for FOUR MONTHS of ministry
training. This year there are about 40 trainees, and for the next four
months we'll all be living there at the training facility in
bunks….yippee. All kidding aside though, I'm really looking forward to
the change of pace and everything that I'm going to learn. I'm also
looking forward to April, when I will be leaving with a team of 3 or 4
of the trainees to work in a church somewhere in South Africa, where
we will be until December.

So for the next four months my internet access will be limited, to say
the least. They have internet at the campsite but I have no idea
whether I'll be able to use it. I will do my best, however, to
continue to send update emails to let you all know how things are

Thank you all for your continued prayers and support, and I wish you
all the very best for 2009!!

In Christ,


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Merry Christmas!!

I hope you are all having a very happy holiday season! Things are
going very well over here! We got back from vacation in Cape Town
earlier this week, and it was amazing! On December 2nd my mom and her
mom (my Nana) flew into Johannesburg where we spent a couple of days.
Then we headed to Cape Town with the rest of the family. The drive was
a bit of a beating, but we were able to stop and see a couple of cool
things along the way, like an elephant park and Cape Agulhas, the most
southern tip of the continent of Africa where the Indian and Atlantic
oceans meet. On clear days you can supposedly see a line between the
oceans, but it was too windy while we were there to make out anything
but waves. Cape Town was great, we all got to relax and go to the
beach and spend time with Bethany Anderson, another missionary from
FBC McKinney. One of the friends she had made happened to be a surf
instructor so one day we went to the beach and got free lessons! Let
me tell you… surfing is much harder than it looks.

Being back in Heidelberg has been nice, too. Right now almost everyone
that works with J-Life is leaving for holiday so I've just been
getting ready for next year. Training starts January 10 and lasts 4
months. After that I'll be sent with a team to a church somewhere in
South Africa for the rest of the year.

These past 5 months have really flown by. I'm looking forward to
getting involved next year but I'm sure that time will fly by as well
and I'll be back in the states before I know it. I just pray that the
Lord is able to use me over the next year to impact this great country
in whatever ways possible. Thank you all for the prayers and support
you've given me, it is greatly appreciated… I wouldn't be able to do
any of this without you.

I hope you all have a very merry Christmas!

In Christ,

Andrew Even

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hello all, and happy Thanksgiving!! I hope you are all doing much
better than I am…. We tried to put together a big Thanksgiving feast
for all of the South Africans with J-Life but the power company had
other plans. Everything was going fine until about 3pm when we went to
put the turkeys in the oven and the power wouldn't work... since then
we've been trying to cook everything in a gas powered oven with two
gas powered burners. It has not been a success. Oh well, there's
always next year.

Other than this afternoon's disappointment everything has been going
well! I spent the last month with the J-Life team in Vereeniging
working with the youth group, which has been great, and my mom and
grandma are coming next week. They arrive on the 2nd and after a
couple days in Johannesburg we're heading to Cape Town… I can't wait.

That's about it for now. I hope you're all well and having a better
Thanksgiving than I am!!


Monday, October 20, 2008

Good Evening!!

I would like to begin by thanking you all for your prayers over the past month as I did a bit of traveling. If you remember from my last email I had the opportunity to go on a couple of mission trips this month, to Eden Park and East London… I'd like to take a moment to tell you about each of them.


Eden Park – I went with the youth group from my church and we met up with another youth group from a church in Sassolberg. We spent the week at a hospice that cares for terminally ill Aids victims and their children; the people involved in that ministry are amazing. Not only is it a hospice, but a sort of makeshift orphanage as well. Once a patient dies the hospice normally assumes responsibility for their children, unless there is a relative willing to take them in. There are currently four orphans that live at the hospice. The mission trip itself was great as well. We ran a 'Holiday Bible Club' (VBS) during the day for neighborhood kids and held open-air services each night with singing, dancing, drama and testimonies. I feel like we made a real impact on the community, and I hope that I will have the opportunity to go back to Eden Park on another mission someday.


East London – It was great to spend time with familiar faces from home! I knew about half of the group from FBC McKinney that went to East London and made quick friends with the other half. We spent our mornings in EL painting and serving in other areas at First City Baptist Church. First City has several amazing ministries they are involved in. There is a free daycare they run for underprivileged children who are too young to go to kindergarten, a hospice called the Dignity House where they care for people who are dying from Aids, and they run a job creation program for men and women in the area who are without work. We spent the afternoons in an elementary school. Part of the school's curriculum is 'Life Skills' and they allowed us to come in for the last hour of each day that week to teach the classes (7 in all). We shared different bible stories about intellectual, physical, social and physical health, and even presented the gospel to the kids!


The one day I had off between these trips I spent running in a 15km mountain race called The Harrismith. For those who wish to know, I actually finished the race! (I was surprised too.) My time was just over 2 hours, not as good as I'd like but I learned a lot about the course and hope to compete again next year.


It's good to be home, but just as things were getting back to normal I found out that I'm going to be leaving again. One of the J-Life team members who are working with the church we attend has to go home for a couple of weeks. That person happens to be the only one on the team with a driver's license… so I'm going to be staying in Vereeniging for a couple weeks working with the team so that their ministry will not be hampered by not being able to get around. BUT the good news is that the family I'm going to be staying with for those two weeks has satellite, which means I'll be able to watch the World Series!! So I've got that going for me… but I will have to wake up at 2am to catch the games.


I don't know what internet access will be like while I'm gone, but I'll definitely send another update out when I get home. Hope you are all doing well, and thank you again for your prayers and support!!


Andrew Even

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


I hope all of you are well! I wanted to write a quick email to let you all know what I'll be up to for the next couple of weeks. I'm leaving today on a mission trip with the J-Life team at the church I attend, they're taking some of the youth to Joburg for 4 days. We will be running vacation bible schools and doing service projects in the city, it's sure to be a great time. Hopefully we will be able to show Christ to those in the inner-city.
I will get back Friday night and am leaving Saturday morning for Harrismith to run in the annual Harrismith Mountain Race. It is a 15Km race up and down the mountain... it is rated as the most difficult race of it's kind and class on the entire continent. (Some say it is the hardest in the world.... I obviously don't know what I'm getting into.)
I will be back here after the race for one night and then leave Sunday morning for East London! A group from FBC McKinney is coming for a mission trip and Liz and I are joining them next week.. I'm particularly excited to see the coast, East London is supposed to have beautiful beaches... however they also have the most shark attacks of anywhere in the world... so I think I'll stay out of the water.
Anyways, I've got some busy times ahead of me and could use all of your prayers for both the mission trips and travel safety. Also, please pray that I don't die durring that race on Saturday!
Andrew Even

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Hello All!

So we made it back from Zimbabwe this week, what an amazing experience! The country is beautiful and the people are great; as a whole, I would have to say that Zimbabweans are the nicest people I've ever met. The trip went well. We arrived in Harare at about 9 pm Thursday Aug 28th and started training on one of the J-Life modules the next morning. Monday and Tuesday of the next week we had a couple of meetings with local pastors and had some time to explore downtown. The whole time we were in Harare we stayed at a pastor's house in town, and even though it is the capital city, water and electricity were still very hit-and-miss. We were in a house with a kitchen and a hotplate, so when there was electricity we could cook. But probably about half of the days we were there, the power would go off in the afternoon and didn't come on until the morning.... we ate a lot of peanut butter sandwiches. Wednesday morning we left for Bulawayo, about a six hour drive, where we met up with another group from J-Life. We did another training module on Friday and Saturday and had more meetings with pastors and then came home Monday the 10th. Other than spending every night on the floor, I enjoyed myself thoroughly. I don't know how many of you keep up with the world news, but the economic state of Zimbabwe is extremely shocking. The country is in a state of hyper inflation and it has gotten to the point that they had to start printing more currency every month with higher and higher denominations… in August they actually had 50 and 100 Billion Dollar notes. Even with denominations this high it would take a stack to buy anything at all. Inflation is so bad that exchange rates change almost every day… when we arrived in Harare, one Rand (SA Currency) was worth 250 Billion $Z, and when we left 5 days later that same Rand was worth 290 Billion ($1 US = 7.5 R). It amazed me how joyous and hopeful everyone seemed to be even in the face of such diversity.


After getting home earlier this week I've just been helping around the campsite here, making preparations for a camp this weekend, and I got to spend my 23rd birthday putting out fires! It hasn't rained here since early this year so everything is incredibly dry, making fires a huge problem, especially for farmers. The fire started in a field Thursday night when a tree knocked down power lines… it took about 5 hours to get it under control but it started back up 3 times yesterday, all in different places. Other than that, everything has been going well.


Thank you all for the prayers, God bless!


Andrew Even


P.S. – Please pray for Zimbabwe!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Hello All!

Just wanted to let you all know that I am definitely headed for Zimbabwe later this week along with my Dad and three other J-Life staff members. We leave Thursday, Aug 28th at 4 am and will be there until Sept 8th. Even though the nation of Zimbabwe is unstable, the trip itself will be pretty safe, just pray that they don't think we're journalists from the U.S.!! Below is some information on online giving that has just recently been set up by FBC McKinney, thank you all again for everything and I hope you're all doing well.
Andrew Even
Folks can now give on-line to TYW01 and TYW02 through the FBC website by clicking on the "Access Acs" box….   <>                   
You can give by credit card or check---- and choose which fund to contribute to (TYW01) via a drop down box.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

One Month In...



Well it's been exactly one month since I landed in Johannesburg, but it feels like I've been here much longer. I've managed to stay pretty busy, especially given the fact that I don't really have a specific role or title with J-Life; since I'm not starting training with them until January. I've been doing some work for them in Access building a contact management database, and I've been asked to create a template in MS Publisher so they can start doing monthly newsletters... after that I'm supposed to start work on a marketing plan.. anyone have Dr. Cox's email address? Ha. Other than J-Life I've been busy helping my Dad fix stuff up around the house and as of last week I'm an assistant soccer coach with Upward (yeah, soccer) and it's all been great.


As I said previously, the country and weather have been beautiful. It gets down to around 35 or 40 at night and up to 70 - 80 during the day, and over the last month I haven't seen a single cloud. Pictures to come, promise.


I had a dozen other things I wanted to write about but I've forgotten them all, sorry.


And for those of you who have asked, the mailing address is:


Postnet Suite 507

Private Bag H607

Heidelberg 1438

South Africa


Oh, and I learned this week that I may get to go to Zimbabawe later this month for about 10 days. I'll keep you posted as things develop.


Thank you for your prayers!