Incorporating: The Mustard Seed
Using Scripture Union materials and programmes
Registration Number: 137-284 NPO
Qwa Qwa Newsletter
December 2015/January 2016
If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray, seek my face, turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, forgive their sin and heal their land. 1 Chronicles 7:14
Praise God! He has heard our prayers. Here and elsewhere we have had some good rains and the oppressive heat has been replaced with warm but milder weather. However the drought has not been broken. In many places in the Free State, dams are critically low or empty. In Qwa Qwa water to households has been turned off. Trucks carrying water go to the villages and people have to line up with their water containers to collect water. There are also water points in different areas where you can go to collect water. One of those water points is at the ‘Rainbow House’ next to the church in Lusaka. We go there at least once a week to collect water. Life becomes very difficult without water on tap. You cannot run a bath or take a shower. You wash in a basin. You flush the toilet every now and then (with rain water collected from the roof, when, and if it rains) or you use the long drop in the back garden. So we continue to pray and call upon God to send more rain to fill the dams and to water the crops. Our God who controls the weather patterns will, in his mercy, continue to send the rain.
Some personal news
December was a hectic month. A four day Holiday Bible Club, Organising a Sunday School party, an all night prayer meeting in Lusaka with the Lusaka Christian fellowship, buying and delivering food parcels, a quick up and down trip to Durban to conduct a funeral service (my sister in law Veronica passed on to be with the Lord), three services over the Christmas week end. Between the rush to Durban and back and the Christmas day service, I went down with heat stroke and a tummy bug. Praise God I did not end up in hospital as I did some years back. Then on Sunday evening 28 th December, Rusty one of our dogs that we share with John, was mauled by a pack of seven vicious dogs. In spite of three trips of 160 KM’s to the vet in Bethlehem and back, he passed away on the Wednesday evening in the vets rooms. In spite of feeling awful, I praise the Lord that he gave me the strength to handle the three services and the three trips to Bethlehem, and go hiking in the mountains with Russell who had come to spend some time with us. Then Russell and I did a few more hikes in the mountains. Then there were the New Year services.
On the 2nd January, on a hike in the mountains we were caught in a severe thunder storm as we were coming downfrom the top of the mountain. Ducking low and hiding behind rocks we were able to avoid the lightning that was striking around us. We were soaked to the skin. With the deluge of water, praise God for the rain, the steep slope, and very slippery conditions, I lost my footing and had quite a bad fall. I twisted my left knee. It was very sore, but we had to get home and out of the storm. My knee is still quite painful. Please pray for healing. The pain sometimes wakes me up at night. Yes we had an action pact December. Praise the Lord that he enables us. In January, a good friend sent us some money and Cynthia and I took two days off. We spent the time at the Sterkfontein Dam Nature Reserve. We still feel like we need some time to recover. But ministry goes on and God gives grace.
Holiday Bible Clubs
This time the weather was pretty good to us and although it was very hot we were able to use our whole programme by just shortening some of the games. Clouds helped us as well on some days. The children really enjoyed the fun time, the Bible stories and verses, the singing and the lunch. Thank you to those who contributed financially and in prayer. Our volunteers did a sturdy job and we thank them for all their help and sacrifices.
The Saturday after the Mabolela HBC we held a thank you braai for all the leaders who had helped us with the HBCs during the year every school holiday. This was hard work but enjoyed and appreciated by all.
In January we held a 2 day HBC at Phomolong – also on an open field – and over 200 children enjoyed the programme and learnt more about Jesus as Saviour, Friend, and Comforter as well as the obedience of all those involved with Jesus’ life on earth. Thanks to our faithful volunteers everything went off well.
The Food Project
In December we distributed 37 food parcels. These FP help to feed 37 families, about 138 people. Then we still have others coming to the gate for food. Thanks to the gifts of our partners and the goodness of the Lord we are able to help the very poor. Some of these families are child headed households, others are widows and grand children, there are also singlemothers and their children, some have up to six or seven children. Each month there are more people needing food help.
We are trying to raise additional funding for the increasing number of people needing help. Please pray that God will give us favour with General Motors Child Line and TFS Wholesalers.
Some of the food parcels for distribution in Lusaka.
Sunday After Service Lunch
This is still being enjoyed by all who attend the services in the school class room, especially the children. In December our numbers increased greatly especially the children. Thank you again to our Korean friends who provide the money for the bread, marg., polony and juice.
The Mustard Seed
The deer, cow, sheep and all the little humans of Qwa Qwa are panting for water. It is a very worrying and difficult situation to be in. Our shelter uses 2000 litres of water a day. Having immune compromised children living in our extended family, they need to drink good, clean water. And it just is not naturally available. Julia spent one restless Sunday night worrying and fretting about where we were going to land up. It is a very frightening thought to realise that you are responsible to see that water is available for 14 orphaned and vulnerable children. So Julia contacted Operation Hydrate and we were blessed with 2400 litres of bottled water. Then we prayed daily for God to keep H20 flowing freely in His home. And the greatest Friend of widows and orphans has graciously continued to provide for The Mustard Seed Shelter.
Our children have all been signed into their new schools and by God’s tremendous grace we have managed to provide each child with stationery and brand new school uniforms. A new, stiff uniform with brand new leather shoes, help our children realise their worth and raises their self esteem. No more are they raggedy little orphans eating out of dustbins. They are important enough to warrant the very best. Our Jehovah Jireh blesses us in spite of our mustard seed faith. God bless you all.
Urgent Prayer Items
This item will not change. The needs are urgent, and God is Able.
Rain: Rain: Rain!!! God Is Able to change weather patterns. We need much rain in the catchment areas for the 2 dams that feed Qwa Qwa so that we will be able to have running water again in our taps and toilet. The people are struggling with long queues waiting for water tankers to come and fill their containers which they then struggle to carry or push home on old wheelbarrows. As for the animals – enough said. So sad. We even carried buckets of water and pushed them through a fence where 2 cows were by a dry stream!
Suitable land for suitable buildings. Please pray with us that the Lord will give us a suitable stand on which to build a community centre. The UGENT NEED is for a large hall with a kitchen, three storerooms, and an office. The hall needs to be large enough to run the Holiday Bible Club, in cases of severe heat or rain. The kitchen is so that we can cook for the HBC and other church functions on the premises. The three secure, and equipped storerooms are: for the food for distribution, clothes that we are sent for distribution and allthe HBC and church equipment. I am finding the delivering of the food parcels very tiring. But it is better than having three, four or five people at your gate on a regular basis asking for food. The plan is to have someone in the office on set days during the month to distribute the food and clothes. The vision is to have a centre where we can have an orphanage; a home for the elderly, especially widows; recreational facilities for the children and the young people of the surrounding villages. The aim being to keep them from the taverns and all the evils associated with these. Pray that the Lord will release finance to fulfil the vision. From the human standpoint, this is mission impossible; BUT OUR GOD IS ABLE.
Workers. We are still praying for a younger couple or younger persons to help in the ministry, and then to take over the ministry. We will remain and work with them. Please pray with us that they will have a real calling to mission work.
Thank you all very much for reading our newsletter. Thank you too for praying for us and the ministry challenges. Thank you also for giving to us and to the work, so that we may continue, by God’s grace, to serve and help the community here in Qwa Qwa. We appreciate you all very much. Thank you.
Much love in Jesus,
Reg and Cynthia Schafer and Julia O Connell.