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what we leave behind

BIMI World 1 14 Proof McCrumA big thanks to BIMI for publishing an article I wrote last summer. Click the image to read, or access the online magazine here.

“John, Jacob and Katherine were born in Emalahleni, South Africa. To my little South Africans, America is a foreign country. While traveling the furlough miles, our beloved America continually fascinates us. Taco Bell and Pizza Hut delight our simple tastes. Warm, soft doughnuts are just marvelous. But for the missionary living in two worlds, the culture shock of returning to America involves more than relishing forgotten foods…”

let the children come

2014-01-21_PrayerLetter“Children are many times a nuisance. They are in the way. They make messes. They make noise. They demand our time, our money, our energy, our sleep. Yet, while many just want them to go away, Jesus says, “Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.” Children are God’s heritage for our families and our churches…”

November 28

prlet_2013-08This November 28th we return to South Africa. The 28th is also Thanksgiving Day, and Katherine’s second birthday! But Julie’s family is able to celebrate Thanksgiving the weekend before, and Katherine will surely have two parties, one on each side of the ocean. We look forward to reuniting with our South African church family before they all scatter for their summer holidays (December is summer in the Southern hemisphere). Then we’ll take a deep breath, celebrate the Lord’s birth, and jump into a new year of ministry in the place He’s called us to.

the pursuit of happiness

IMG_1625Our world has a funny sense of happiness. McDonalds says you can find “happiness in a box.” My children agree (Thanks, Pastor Arp, for the gift cards!).

Last week Julie and I saw a shirt that read, “If you want to be happy for a day, drink a beer. If you want to be happy for a year, get a wife. If you want to be happy for life, ride a BMW.” It seems the elusive box of happiness gets more expensive.

Half-way through our 38 scheduled meetings, we have been continually surprised by individual kindness and God’s provision. We have travelled 16,966 miles and eaten almost as many hamburgers! And we are still happy. We are happy to serve the Lord. We are happy to encourage so many who have supported our family. We are happy to return to our home in Emalahleni, South Africa this November 28.

Hoping you are happy too,
The McCrum Family
Psalm 32:10-11

ignorant. arrogant. wise.

I used to be both brilliant and humble. While some prize ignorance and others worship knowledge, wisdom regularly walks alone.

Sometimes knowledge does nothing more then fill a head with hot air. First Corinthians 8:1 observes, “Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.” The words “puffeth up” vividly explain the meaning of “blowing, to inflate.” Nobody wants that for themselves, and yet I am trying to gain more knowledge. In January I began a second masters degree through Virginia Baptist College (which I am thoroughly enjoying).

Please pray two things for me. First, that I would love God and people. Knowledge alone does puff up, but love builds people. Secondly, that I would use this education to influence others for Jesus Christ. If the proof is in the pudding, then the value of knowledge is known only by its application.

Ignorance is not bliss. Arrogance is foolish. Please pray that I will be wise.

Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you?
let him shew out of a good conversation his works
with meekness of wisdom.
James 3:13

great gladness

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It was with great gladness that yesterday we witnessed the baptism of our oldest child, John McCrum. He was so excited!

Last November John believed on the Lord Jesus Christ and was saved. He is still very much a boy, but it has been so reassuring to see the fruits of eternal life in his young life.

Before his baptism yesterday, John informed Pastor Baughman (pictured) that he had been practicing in the bathtub. No fear here. He was just so glad. And I thought of Acts 2:41: “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized.”

Thank you for your prayers not only for our ministry, but also for the spiritual well-being of our family.

radio reapings


David has continued to record weekly radio messages while we’ve been in the States. He posts these to the SA church’s website (, and the radio station plays it from there. Recently a new couple, Binnie and Maryanne, began attending the church after hearing the broadcast, and David’s father was able to lead Maryanne to Christ! We make new contacts almost weekly because of the radio ministry. Please pray with us that the Lord would keep on giving fruit from this outreach opportunity…

We are so thankful for the use of our home church’s (Stanley Heights Baptist Church/ “Bethany House” missions apartment for the rest of our furlough. After living out of suitcases for over three months, it is a great blessing to have some personal space! Routine and “sameness” really helps us to function better as a family…

prayer card

MCCRUM_PrayerCardSome have asked for our prayer card and/or birthday and anniversary dates. You may click the image to view, print or download the PDF file to access the information.

2013 Presentation

new life and a bigger tent

PrLet_2012_TEMPLATEIt has been an exciting year with several developments. The past few months we have been initiating a broader vision for Faith Baptist Church, Witbank. Last months we proposed a plan for more pastoral training through the ministry of FBC. Implementation has begun and we are making preparations for greater opportunities in Southern Africa.

And our eldest child, John, was saved last month! We have been thrilled to watch the seed of spiritual life begin to grow.

Thanks for your continued prayers and interest. We fly to the USA this week, and are looking forward to seeing you!


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