We’re the Maziks, and we’re a family of five. My name is Terri, and I’m married to Pastor Jeff. We have three beautiful daughters. Our two oldest daughters, Mariah (20) and Jessica (18) live in Canada. They chose not to come with us to the mission field. Samara is eight years old, and she made the journey with us to our new home in White River, South Africa. In February 2015, the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada International Mission’s Department appointed us as global worker candidates to Emmanuel Press. It took us a year to raise all of the funds we needed to move to South Africa. We left Canada at the end of December and arrived at our new home in White River, South Africa on January 2, 2016. We are very new missionaries and in many ways, we are still settling into our new home and our ministry roles.
White River is a relatively small city, with a population of about 20,000. It is in a province called Mpumalanga (which means “the place of the rising sun”). Located in a breathtaking place known as the “Lowveld Legogote Region,” which is home to Kruger National Park, it is one of the largest game parks in Africa. It has caves, waterfalls, rainforests, and views that are almost unimaginable.
This was a big move for Samara. She had to say good-bye to her sisters, relatives and friends. She had to enroll in a new school in a new place with a different culture. She was both a little sad and a bit nervous, and that was okay because it’s perfectly normal to feel that way. We took her to visit her new school before she started so she could see it and meet her teacher. Samara loves her new home and school. We are very thankful for that. She is learning Afrikaans and Zulu at school. All her other subjects are taught in English and everyone speaks English so that’s made it easier for her to adjust. Samara has made some friends already and loves climbing trees with them at school. The trees here are big with lots of limbs making them perfect for climbing. She will tell you herself she is very happy we moved to Africa.
Two men, Charles Austin Chawner, and Hubert Phillips started Emmanuel Press a little over 80 years ago. They wanted to share the Gospel of Jesus with people who hadn’t heard of Jesus. With a small hand printing press, they began to print “tracts” to explain the Gospel message. All these years later Emmanuel Press continues to help people “Press into Emmanuel (God) through the written Word”. Emmanuel Press isn’t a printing press anymore, but it still sends tracts throughout Africa, in twelve different languages. It also has six Bible courses in many different languages. People all across Africa sign up to take Emmanuel Press Bible courses. They receive their lessons in the mail and write a short exam after each lesson then send it back for marking. If they pass, they receive the next lesson. Once they complete all the lessons of a course they receive a certificate of completion. Having a certificate is a pretty big deal here! People don’t always have access to education like Canadians. In many cases, they don’t have computers either. The mail is vital to the people we are reaching and to us. Our mail system is very slow and unreliable, but it is the only way for us to disciple (teach and train) people with the word of God.
(Emmanuel Press in South Africa)
Some very special people help us do our work; they are called coordinators. They provide our Bible courses to groups of people. We have hundreds of coordinators across Africa. We even have one in Brazil. Sometimes we have the great privilege of holding a graduation for groups who have completed a course. It is an exciting event where we get to thank our coordinators for their hard work and congratulate the people who have completed the course with a certificate.
We have an amazing man who works at Emmanuel Press. His name is Dumisane. Dumisane was in jail for armed robbery. He did not know Jesus. A man he was in prison with talked to him about Jesus and told him about our Bible courses. Dumisane received Jesus as his Saviour and began working on the Bible courses. His life changed completely, and he began helping other prisoners with the Bible courses. Upon his release from prison, he went to Emmanuel Press and asked for a job. They agreed to hire him and for the past six years he has not stopped going to various prisons to bring freedom through God’s love and God’s word to the prisoners. Dumisane is now a pastor and is doing God’s work full-time, leading a congregation and visiting prisons and schools on behalf of Emmanuel Press.
Dumisane is now a pastor and is doing God’s work full-time, leading a congregation and visiting prisons and schools
Looking to the future, Emmanuel Press is excited to give additional opportunities to reach even more people through digital technology with our new on-line E-Learning Program. PAOC International Missions is campaigning with us to help raise the needed funds to support this project. We pray that this new initiative will transform many lives!
There are many physical needs in our province. There are vast and impoverished communities Life is very hard for many. Most have small houses; some are like tiny shacks. Running water and electricity is not guaranteed. Many do not have work and those that do often do not make that much money. Children in the communities often live on one meal a day; a meal they receive at school. Though we are here to meet the spiritual needs of people throughout Africa, we cannot ignore the physical needs those around us. We are open to the Lord leading us in ways we can make a positive difference in Africa and right here in White River.
Please pray for:
- Our two older daughters who are in Canada and who we miss.
- Our adjustment, and for us to handle all the culture shock with patience and understanding.
- God to direct our steps, give us wisdom, discernment, and courage to do what He asks of us.
- For the Mail System in South Africa to be better managed and for it to become reliable.
- For God’s protection over our family and entire Emmanuel Press team.