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Ministries of Knysna Hope and Garden Route Academy of Fine Arts in Knysna, South Africa
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Mellos4Knysna

February 2016

We are thrilled to update you all on how the Lord is continuing to provide for His call to our family to go to Knysna, South Africa! We have spent February entirely in the Southeast. So there was no snow, ice, or freezing temperatures like we experienced in the Northeast last month (good news for these Floridians)! In fact, we are very thankful that the weather has been beautiful! In our down time in between meetings, or just to break up long drives, we have spent many hours at playgrounds and malls letting the kids run around and releasing pent-up energy. We’ve discovered that a strategically-planned playground stop greatly increases the kids’ enjoyment of our meetings! Levi and Chloe are such wonderful kids, even without any semblance of a normal schedule and with many long hours in the car seat. We praise the Lord that He gives grace when needed!
 
God has been so good to our family. Throughout 2,500 more miles this month (now up to nearly 13,000 since November), there have been no mechanical or safety issues with Lupo, our trusty Jeep. We have made many new connections this month with individuals and churches, and reconnected with long-time friends. There are many proverbial “irons in the fire” that we pray will yield strong supporters in the coming weeks and months!
 
We have seen God’s hand move mightily, and usually from the most unexpected sources and in the most creative ways. We are so thankful that He has continued to increase our monthly support commitments, now at 26%!  At the same time that God is providing for our financial needs, He is also teaching us more and more about Himself. He has used individuals who have shared incredible stories of God’s power, corporate worship services that bring one to tears, and also through our own personal study of His word.
 
Over the last several days that personal study has been in the book of Job. Let’s be honest, Job is a tough book. Not only is it nearly all poetry, its confusing (seriously, what in the world does “Swift are they on the face of the waters” (24:18) actually mean?) and it can be downright depressing at times. Here’s Job, a man that is “blameless and upright” (Job 1:1), yet God allows great tribulation to come upon him. And then, after he loses everything, sitting in ashes and covered in sores, his three supposed “friends” come along and blame Job for it all! There were times when Job lamented his very existence, questioning why he was even born. But in the middle of his defense against the accusations of his friends, Job famously puts things into proper perspective: “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth” (Job 19:25). In the middle of it all, Job understands that in the grand scheme of things, the Redeemer has it all under control. What is truly incredible, however, is what Job says a couple chapters later:

But he knows the way that I take;
when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold.
My foot has held fast to his steps;
I have kept his way and have not turned aside.
I have not departed from the commandment of his lips;
I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my portion of food.
But he is unchangeable, and who can turn him back?
What he desires, that he does.
For he will complete what he appoints for me,
and many such things are in his mind.
Job 23:10-14
Job’s circumstances are not just a chance happening, not just bad luck in the cosmic shuffle of the grand scheme with no purpose. Rather, his situation was specifically appointed by God for Job’s good! Job is being refined, strengthened, and molded. When complete – and God always completes what He appoints – Job will be transformed into something immensely more valuable and someone more like the Redeemer.
 
Now, we are in no way comparing the details of our circumstances to Job’s. God has been immeasurably gracious to our family, both before and during our current support-raising venture. By working in the hearts of his children from various corners the US, he has miraculously provided for our every need and then some. It is both humbling and exciting to watch God work each and every month. However, we are as human as Job. Admittedly, there are times when we wonder why. Why has this process taken this form? Why is this taking such a long time (well, at least according to our limited definition of time)? Why can’t ten million bucks just appear in our bank account? Sometimes (ok, oftentimes) we need to step back and acknowledge that our Redeemer has it all under control. None of this is a surprise to Him. But even more, we must remember that this period has been ordained for God’s glory and for our good. He is refining, strengthening, and molding us into a family more like Him. He is teaching us to cast our burdens upon Him, to trust in Him alone for our provision. And as a dear friend on our prayer team reminded us, God is building a network of prayer warriors all across this country that go behind, beside, and before us in prayer at every stage of this journey.
 
So we continue on, making connections, and sharing the vision for Knysna Hope. We long to be in Knysna, to begin the work God has called us to. But for this temporary season (Ecc. 3:1), we rejoice in this process, knowing that it is for our good and for His glory. And God will always finish what He appoints. “He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it” (1 Thess. 5:24).
 
 
Below are some specific ways you can be praying for our family at this time. Be sure to check out our website (www.mellos4knysna.com) or our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/mellos4knysna) for details about the work the Lord has called us to and how you can get involved. We look forward to sharing in our next newsletter all that the Lord will do in the next month!
 
Please remember these specific requests:
  1.  A creative housing solution here in Tallahassee. Our apartment lease is over on March 31st and to reduce expenses we are intending to live on the road or in temporary “extended stay” locations. It would be good, however, to have a semi-permanent home for the kids’ sake here in Tallahassee.
  2. Continued increase in committed monthly financial partners – click the “support” button above to partner with us!
The Mello Family - Caleb, Terrah, Levi & Chloe
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Copyright © 2015 Mellos4Knysna, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
3909 Reserve Dr Apt 718
Tallahassee, FL 32311
www.mellos4knysna.com

ctmello523@gmail.com

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