Thursday, November 12, 2015

November 2015 edition

We hope you enjoy some individual people focus this issueJ

 Barb has finished the electron therapy part of her cancer treatment.  Now on a 2 week break … her first cycle of oral chemo starts Nov 23… 14 days of 6 pills a day followed by a week off.  Not sure what subsequent cycles will look like but treatment will continue for 6 months.  Have also discovered Barb has high blood pressure (unrelated to chemo etc) which PTL is responding quickly to meds.  Pray for His grace with side effects and that all nasty cells will be killed by the chemo.  Pray for our family as we go thru this for a 2nd time. 

Kara is back exercising (having stopped gym in June and dancing in Aug due to cartilage injuries in her hips). Increased demands is seeing some pain return L.  She is back at gym and dancing once again and working in her painfree zone.  We’re so proud of how she has grown during these past difficult 6 months.  She has also been volunteering one morning a week at a school for autistic children , this term, which she is loving.  She is also enjoying going to young adults bible study and would be lost without her phone… where she is mostly having multiple conversations at the same timeJ.  Pray for healing and wisdom.

J is now taller than his mom!  He has enjoyed his biweekly sat. art class at CFAD (Centre for Fine Art, Animation and Design) this term, where he hopes to study once he has finished school.  Its so exciting to see his confidence growing so much when it comes to the use of colorJ.  He continues to enjoy badminton, scouts and young adults bible study… and lets not forget listening to music, hanging with his friends  and gamingJ.  Pray for him as he works toward being ready to prepare to write the GED.  Once he’s passed that, he can start college.
Mark is being superman as usual between getting Barb to treatments, getting kids to where they need to go, grocery shopping and ministry.  He is running regularly and is so thankful for a super group of runners that he meets with weekly.  He is also doing weights with a chap from church which he is enjoying.  We’re so thankful to the folks who assist us from time to time with transport when Mark is unable or when scedules are challenging.  Pray for wisdom in the juggle especially as chemo starts and continues.

in the middle...
Pastor Anderson (Lesotho) is feeling challenged to start a ZEBS himself in Butta Butte.  Pray for him as he makes this decision and for the missionaries who will support him.  Mark and Eric (TEAM but working with ZEMA) share the traveling up there right now to do so… a family is coming from Canada to visit in Jan. on a scouting trip. 

Godfrey, Irene and , our godson, Waylin continue to live in Durban central.  They had rather a harrowing time during the xenophobia attacks earlier this year, tho no injuries.  Godfrey is planning to start studying law next year while he supports his family.  Pray for sponsors to assist with fees, for wisdom as they parent and for Irene to find employment.  Pray also for little Waylin as he grows up.  We see way too little of themL

Meltha is the ‘angel’ who comes and helps us keep our home clean and sorted.  She is Barbs eyes when it comes to corners, stains etc.  Her daughter has been very sick and is now coping with a pressure sore.  She is also concerned over neighbors who have had numerous deaths in the family and a young lady in her 20s is now caring for a number of children.  Pray their fostercare grants will come through quickly.  And, that they would turn to Jesus for ‘parenthood’ and protection too.
 Mark leads the young adults bible study group from our church weekly – this is the one J and K both enjoy attending.  A number of them will be leaving the area as their lives start new chapters.  Please pray they would find strong spiritual homes where they each go.  Pray too that those remaining will be inspired by the leadership they demonstrated. Marks LOVES this groups questions and the way they care for each otherJ
 Pst Ngcobo serves with Mark in Umlazi ZEBS and eZwelisha preZEBS.  He has so many responsibilities.  He and his wife have had some health issues these past months.  Please pray for them.
Joshua is a final year student at Durban Bible College (from the DRC) that Mark has enjoyed teaching over these past 3 years.  He has a huge heart for counseling.  Pray for Him as he prepares for the next step the Lord has for him (he graduates this year).
Tanya (grew up on the property where we stay, but now lives down the road) has had many challenges this her first year out of school.  We’re so proud of how she has persevered, learned to stand up for herself and demonstrated her trustworthiness as a Jesus-follower in her place of work.  She is also studying through UNISA.  Pray for her as she seeks His will in her life step by step.  We are often blessed to have her in our home. 

We’re looking foreward to a lovely break as a family in Cape Town in Dec.  as we housesit for Marks aunt and uncle.  We’re thankful to be able to make the trip even tho Barb will be on chemo.  Sadly, we’ve had to postpone our furlough (previously planned to start in Feb next year) but will set it up as soon as we get an AOK from our oncologist.  Watch this space for details…

We pray you and your loved ones build some special Christmas memories this year.  We pray His presence, protection and encouragement are real as you/we celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.  It is He who humbled Himself to the body of a baby, who died for our benefit and who rose again to bring us hope and prepare a place for us. 
Oh Jesus, help us to grow humble hearts, to die to the things of this world and to take hold of the reality of heaven so that those we love, who don’t know you yet, might see that ‘it’ is true. 

Thanx to all you have prayed and given so sacrificially so that we can serve as we do.  We are blessed to do so and also to call you partners and friends. 

In Him and for His glory
Mark, Barb, JJ and Kara

Monday, August 10, 2015

August 2015 update

THESE TIMES Aug 2015 edition
News from the Hugo family…. Durban, South Africa

A link to an imovie we sent to our financial supporters in the first half of the year….

Its such a relief to remember that we can just REST in Him… in His direction, wait on His open doors… and know that when we ‘don’t understand’… He doesJ  And, yet in His amazing grace, He also allows us times when we have a clearer sense of what He’s doing, where we’re going and even feel Him using us in the lives of others.  What an AMAZING Father we haveJ.

ZEBS is one of those special places of service, where He is very obviously working in the hearts of those looking for Him. 

Umlazi ZEBS is busy with the HIV/AIDS module (which Mark is teaching), the  Romans module (which Pst Ngcobo is teaching) and the Bible Studay Methods  module (which Marius is teaching).  This school meets weekly (in Umlazi) on Monday evenings.   A huge encouragement was when one of the ZEBS students from this school went on a short term mission trip with Mark and Durban Bible College students to Lesotho.  We’re also looking foreward to the wedding of Marius and Nozipho this term. 
Mark and Pst Ngcobo on the left, Marius and Nozipho on the right
eZwelisha ‘ZEBS’ is getting off the ground!  This is a heartfelt praise, as there has been such warfare on that front.  The class has grown to 15 and is mostly young men.  We use italics as its in the preZEBS phase of going through the This We Believe material.  This school meets monthly (in eZwelisha) on the 2nd Saturday of each month.
Lesotho ‘ZEBS’ is also in this preZEBS phase and due to the distance, only happens a few times a year but for 2 full days each time.  Marks last trip there in June was cold but amazing.  You can read his report at this link…
 The Binions (with TEAM) are also involved, traveling up to Lesotho as time allows as they serve at Union Bible Institute in Pietermaritzburg.  The family considering fulltime ministry there, is coming (from Canada) to meet with the ZEMA missionaries and visit the area in Jan. 2016.  Please pray with us for His clear direction in that.

DURBAN BIBLE COLLEGE continues to be a biweekly place of service for Mark.  This term his topic is Missionary Life.  He loves this teaching platform as well. 

BUILDING + RENOVATIONS continues on our house.  But, a door has also opened for Mark to work alongside Sizwe (a young man from our church), one day a week, who does maintenance for a local property owner.  He is loving working with Sizwe, building into him and is marveling at the amazing ways He is opening opportnities to share with Sizwe’s boss. 

YOUNG ADULTS BIBLE STUDY group meets once a week (Sunday evenings) and is going through fundamentals of the faith.  This active, fun and rowdy group of young people bless us in how they care for each other.  J and K are now also attending this bible study which is an amazing encouragement to us.  They are safe, loved and accepted in this special group of people.

Mark and J went on a men's retreat with the men from our church
BJKs School is now well into term 3.  J attended a 2 week art course at the art centre he’s looking at attending once he finishes his GED.  ‘Loved it’ does not do the time justice!  He is very interested in animation, tho is also starting to think about sound as a career option.  This term we have started using internet video classes for math and biology (Khan Academy is FREE… I know amazing in this day and age).  Its encouraging to see J and K grow in confidence and independence in directing their learning to some extent.  Mom remains the structurer and task master!  It is taking a lot of the demand off of her reading and eye strain is so much lessJ 
J with some of the other artists at the art school course
K with some of her gym friends

Of course one of the most AMAZING things since we last wrote… is that that in His great mercy, the Lord has seen fit to allow us to reach the milestone of a 4th cancer free PETscan!  Humbled, grateful and hopeful…  it is impossible to put into words the feelings that flow.  He is in control and in His plan we trust… no matter what the course it takes.  Tho we’d be so very happy it remain cancerfreeJ.

Then, many have been praying for Kara as she’s struggled these last months with a hip injury causing much pain…  bringing a temporty stop to her normal gym training… tho she was, thankfully, able to continue with her weekly hiphop dance class (she was included in 2 dances for the Natal Dance Festival…  their contempory dance got 2nd and their hiphop group dance got 1st).  She’s seen a top hip orthopeadic surgeon in Durban, had an MRI, was so brave through a cortizone shot into her left hip….  which sadly did not relieve her symptoms.  At this point… we’re waiting to talk with the doc about the next step.  Please continue to prayJ.

The 50 year olds
So that’s pretty much what our lives have looked like these past few months… peppered with gardening, braai’s, exercise, electronic games, movies, 50th birthday celebrations, sleepovers and normal things like housework and stuffJ  We appreciate being able to keep up with many of you and love to pray for needs and praises we hear about.  We’re also starting to think about our upcoming furlough (delayed slightly due to the family coming to see Lesotho in Jan), Lordwilling starting in Feb 2016.  We’ll be in touch soon in that regardJ.  Feel free to contact us with any of your idea’s or thoughts…

We pray His amazing encouragement is real to you day by day as you face life’s joys, curveballs and challenges. ..  knowing He is faithful, and more than able to take the steering wheel from us.  We love you and are so thankful to have you in our livesJ  Till next time….

Together in Him
Mark, Barb, JJ and Kara

With SIM... seconded to ZEMA

Thursday, June 18, 2015


Please find our updates etc on facebook at Hugo's Highlights.  Its much quicker for us to post there using dropbox for updates.  If that doesn't work for you, please let us know at Thanx and be encouraged in His faithfulness not matter the circumstance:)

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


Godfrey and Irene asked us to be godparents to their son, Waylin.  What a blessing:)

2015 has begun in the best of ways of us:)  Barbs' 6 monthly bloodtests came back cancerpfree:)  PTL!!!!  We're so thankful to the Lord for this and that we can plan our next 6 months.  July will be the annual PETscan.  And, Lordwilling, if it is clear, we have reached the 5 year mark.  Dr Pillay was so pleased when we saw her and she alluded to not thinking we would get this far!  PTL for His amazing grace.  We're in His hands and want to learn each step, how to bring Him glory in who we are in Him.  
We had an amazing ZEMA annual conference the 2nd week of the year.  And, we've also been blessed to have the ZEMA board chairman and his wife stay with us for a couple of days:)  (Lew and Cheryl).  Always so encouraging when folks come to see our life and ministry.  
We had a full house on Christmas day.  Were also blessed to have m=Barbs brother and family join us from Gauteng.  Sadly mom couldn't come due to health issues.  Super fellowship despite the weather, which was insanely HOT.
Mark started ZEBS last night (a very small turnout), Kara has started gym training, Barb, J and K start schooling tomorrow and Durban Bible College starts the beginning of Feb.  It seems like the potential new ZEBS in Verulum is gaining momentum as well.  Mark is hoping to see that new school start this year.  So Mark is preparing lessons inbetween finishing some work on the kitchen renovation.  

Thanx to those who have been praying about our support.  Gifts have come in that seem to cover the need for this next year, tho we haven't yet seen it in our January living allowance.  Mark will be speaking with the finance department to figure that out.  Will keep you informed.  We are so thankful to those who have given financially in our support.  

So we're poised together at the start of a new year.  He knows exactly where all our journeys will meander:)  What peace we have in that reality.  We're so thankful for our friendship with each of you and look foreward to hear how we can be praying and rejoicing with you in the months ahead.  

Will talk again soon. 

Monday, September 22, 2014


Mark, Barb, JJ and Kara Hugo are South African citizens serving in fulltime cross cultural ministry with SIM ( and ZEMA ( in South Africa.


Mark grew up in Cape Town and studied Construction Management at Univeristy of Cape Town.  He worked a number of years in Cape Town as a site agent before heading to USA where he did his Masters in Pastoral Studies (at Multnomah Biblical Seminary in Portland, Oregon).  He came to a saving knowledge of Jesus as his personal Savior while first in the USA. 
Barb grew up in East London, South Africa and studied occupational therapy at University of Cape Town.  This is where they metJ.  She worked with various physical disabilities in SA and the USA.  While in the USA, she also enjoyed volunteering as a peer counselor at a Portland Metro Crisis Pregnancy centre.  Jesus gently became a permanent part of her life in her middle 20’s.


The Hugo’s became appointee’s with SIM in 1996.  Their fulltime service began in 1998 in the NW Province of South Africa in a small town of Mogwase.  Here they lived and worked in this predominatly Tswana area doing church work and later setting up a crisis counseling centre that did peer counseling, training and HIV testing and counseling. 

After 10 years in Mogwase, they moved to Sunbury Christian Camp in KwaZulu-Natal to learn the ministry of ZEMA amongst the Zionists.  While doing this, they also oversaw maintenance and housekeeping at the conference centre.  Mark also started teaching in the Zion Bible School run from Sunbury and Barb did some peer counselor training there.  They served there just over 4 years. 

(ZEMA provides bible teachers for Zion Bible Schools or ZEBS.  The Zionists organize themselves a group in their community that wants bible teaching.  ZEMA responsds by providing a teacher.  The teacher goes to the community rather than the students coming to a bible school.  This makes it much more affordable for the students.  Presently ZEMA has over 70 bible schools, around 40 teachers and more than 2200 students registered in Southern Africa.)

During this period living and serving at Sunbury, the Hugo’s dealt with a cancer diagnosis and treatment, when Barb was diagnoses with breast cancer.  Three years ago then moved to Durban so Mark could do fulltime Zion Bible School teaching.  The Lord, in His grace, has allowed 3 cancer free years since that initial treatment. 


Mark teaches Zionists at the ZEBS in Umlazi and is part of a team of 4 ZEMA missionaries who teach and support each other in KZN.  He is looking at other opportunities to open other ZEBS in the area with local pastor support.

Mark teaches twice a week at Durban Bible College which is a small evangelical bible school started by TEAM.  He has opportunity here to feed into leaders of the present and future but also has opporutnies to share about ministry amongst the amaZioni.

Mark runs the young adults bible study at the church we attend which has young people from South Africa, Angola and Zimbabwe.

Mark is also available to preach, teach and encourage in local churches.

Barb homeschools their 2 children.  Her low vision means her mobility is restricted but she enjoys hospitality and also assists with teaching counseling skills with the Zionists. 


Marks passion is to see the light go on in the hearts and minds of fellow Africans when presented with the Truth of God’s Word.
Barbs passion is to see the Body of Christ equipped in how to listen and disciple to form healthy relationships and to be Jesus’ hands in our hurting world.
JJ’s passion is art and music.  His desire is to study animation.
Kara’s passion is rhythmic gymnastics, ballet and writing in that order.  She is not yet sure what she wants to study when finished school.


PRAYER…  If you do not receive regular communication from us, please let us know so we can add you to our mailing lists.  We communicate via email, facebook and blog.
Barbara Hugo or Hugo’s Highlights on fb

As missionaries, we raise our own support.  Meaning we rely on the regular financial donations of friends, churches and groups for our monthly salary.  SIM coordinates all these donations on our behalf.

There are 2 ways to support financially…
1.     Monthly support.  These gifts are pooled together and cover our monthly living allowance, medical pool, travel fund for furlough, retirement, admin costs and housing.  The mission works out the minimum monthly cost per country where a missionary serves. 
2.     Ministry support.  This pools in our ‘ministry account’ to assist with ministry costs like transport (petrol is expensive in SA) and other ministry expenses. 
3.     One time gifts.  If you’re unable to give on a monthly basis, one time gifts are pooled together in our ‘ministry account’ and we’re able to draw from here as needed.

If you choose to join our support team, you would need to specify which of these 2 accounts you want your support to go to.  SIM will assist you in how best to make your contributions.
Contact people are…
South Africa:  John Berry or Gerhardt Venter (021)  715 3200

Friday, September 5, 2014

Sept 2014 edition  News from the Hugo’s South Africa

Term 3, 2014, feels like its almost done.  Its not, I know, but our lives have entered ‘go to gym-nationals’ prep mode, with nationals just 4 weeks away for Kara… so this is us being foreword thinkingJ 

ZEBS TEACHERS TRAINING at Sunbury this month was a huge encouragement.  It was organized by fellow ZEMA missionary, Andy Sullivan.  Missionaries and national teachers (already teaching ZEBS) attended from South Africa, Mozambique, Swaziland, Lesotho and Zimbabwe.  This was the 3rd such event which was started as a way to get all the teachers together - to share, pool ideas, discuss differing cultural perspectives and to encourage one other.  Mark was pleased to meet Pst Mpande who is teaching the ZEBS in Cape Town.  (By way of explanation… ZEBS stands for Zion Evangelical Bible School.  The teachers travel to a group of students making it easier for the students.  This means there are numerous ZEBS around the country. )  There are now close to 40 ZEBS teachers, over 70 schools and around 2244 students at this present time!

Pst Mpande is sitting first on left
ZEBS UMLAZI continues on in strength. The students are always bringing up topical issues to discuss and ponder.  Great stuffJ  Mark is gearing up for graduation in Nov (the KZN graduation is a combined celebration when all the KZN schools get together at Sunbury).  It’s looking like 6 Umlazi students will graduate this year. 

NEW ZEBS. Mark will be supporting Pst Ngcobo (who teaches with him at the Umlazi ZEBS) in responding to calls for a ZEBS to start in the Veralum area (KZN north coast). 

DURBAN BIBLE COLLEGE has had Mark teaching A Biblical Perspective on Missions this term.  Fellow SIM’er, Eugene Chuang (Taiwan) has been assisting him this term.  Next term they will co-teach; Unreached Peoples.

PREACHING at different churches has been another joy for Mark this term.  The highlight was being invited to preach at 3 different Zion churches (1 in Umlazi and 2 in KwaMashu).  Its been a privilege to assist others too. 
The young adults group from church
Mark took over leading the young adults group, at the church we attend in April.  This awesome group of young people meet on Sunday evenings.  South Africa. Zimbabwe and Angola are representedJ They’ve been discussing relationships.

We’ve been praising the Lord for Barbs clear PET-scan in July.  A number of people have asked about her vision…  It has kind of taken a backseat amidst the turmoil of cancer…J  The 2nd course of chemo caused hazy vision which was expected to resolve.  The right eye unfortunately. did not.  She now sees only blurs on that side.  Her field of vision is less than 20% now.  This does make reading a challenge at times.  We are having to simplify activities and on the whole are managing fine (tho life is certainly not without its times of frustration).  Thanx for your prayers and concern.  We do have much to count our blessings about.

Homeschool and extra activities continue as usual.  We have been working on being healthy and exercising regularly.  Kara and Mark, of course, are extremists in the exercise department.  J and Barb are minimalists.  We head to Cape Town the first 2 weeks of October.  Kara represents our province, KwaZulu-Natal, at the national rhythmic gymnastics games are there.  This year she’s doing level 7 under 13.  After that we’ll be spending a week resting at the coast thanx to friends generously allowing us to use their holiday house.  We’re looking forward to seeing friends and family while there. 
J was able to visit a Fine Art and Animation college in July (some may know of his desire to study animation when he finishes school).  He’s planning on joining their 2 week course for school level learners next July. 

We are so grateful to be adopted children of the King.  We’re so amazed by what God’s doing amongst the ama-Zioni and we’re challenged to have our lives and ministry be focused on relationships as the priority.  We have much to learn J 

Thank you for your prayers and support that allow us to remain serving in this way.  Please let us know if your church or a group of friends, might be interested in getting together to hear more about the ama-Zioni and God’s call to reach out whoever and wherever we are.   We’d love to encourage and answer any questions next time we’re in your ‘neck of the woods’. 

For His glory
Mark, Barb, JJ and Kara Hugo

Contact us at…
49 Hibernia Rd, Bellair, Durban, 4094, South Africa
(031) 459 1229 or cell 078 708 1413
facebook;  Barbara Hugo and Hugo’s Highlights

You will notice that we fly under the banners of 2 mission organizations… SIM and ZEMA.  SIM handles all our support etc.  ZEMA is who we are seconded under when 

Sunday, June 29, 2014


Most recent pic of us taken in the Drakensburg in May
Half way thru 2014!  So thankful that Jesus is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.  Especially as the days fly by and we grapple to stay on top of everything. 

Some of the things that have been the ‘same’ this term…

Monday night ZEBS in Umlazi
Teusday and Wednesday teaching during term at Durban Bible College.
Mark teaching some of his students at Durban Bible College this past term
Homeschool Monday thru Friday.
Scouts and art on Friday and Saturday.
Gym teusday thru Friday.
Weekly marking of papers.
Sunday nights with young adults from church.

Some of the ‘unexpecteds this past term…

Barbs mom’s visit turns into a family gettogether to say goodbye to her sister who passed away suddenly.
Barb and her brother, Kevin, with mom in April
Robs and Greta visit for a week from Cape Town.
Meet Robs and Greta.  These 3 have grown up together, be it from a distance.  
A very sick kitty who got completely betterJ.
A student and a friend in crisis.
Godfrey coming to live with us for a while.
Marks mom and Dad coming to visit and a quick trip to Drakensburg with them.
Mark and Dad visiting Lesotho Zionists together.
Eric, coworker from TEAM, also involved with scouting in Lesotho...  The Lesotho Zionists are ready for a ZEBS.  Please pray for a fulltime missionary for them.
Marks folks visited us in May... this was taken in the Drakensburg
Luke and Lucy visiting for a few days.
Extra gym for a gymstrada trial (with the big girls for the first time).
K in a clubs group routine for nationals (her very first time).
Preparing for a change in homeschool curriculum.
Lounge finished (walls and floors - ¾ of the inside of the house now complete).
Oppotunties to fill different pulpits some Sundays.
Counseling training for Umlazi ZEBS students.
Mark preaching at our Easter service this year.  Yup, that is the Indian Ocean behind him:)

Some of the anticipated unusuals that will be added to the usuals next term…  those we know about anywayJ

SIMs annual conference.
Barbs annual PETscan (no. 3).
Holiday training and a training camp for K.
Babysitting fellow SIMers kids for 3 days so they can focus on a shortterm team visiting from Taiwan.
Ancient and medieval history.
Regionals and nationals for K.
A trip to Cape Town.
Looking into a formal art class for J.
Computer tutor search.

The mixture of life and ministry continue and amazingly it feels in control most of the time.  And, it feels more so, when we rest in Him and trust that He is fully in control of EVERYTHING. 

Thanx for your friendship, prayers and support this year.  We’re so thankful for our lives and our relationships.  Pray we’d keep our eye’s on His face, situation to situation.  Thank you for walking life alongside usJ.

In and for Him 
Mark, Barb, JJ and Kara
PS  look for us on facebook (Barbara Hugo and Hugo's Highlights ... and we're now also set up with Skype)