Incorporating: The Mustard Seed
Using Scripture Union materials and programmes
Registration Number: 137-284 NPO
Qwa Qwa Newsletter
2 Corinthians 12:9 & end of 10
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.”
When I am weak, then I am strong.
These are Jesus’ words to Paul, and Pauls response.
When we are strong in our own strength, we accomplish very little spiritual good.
When we are spiritually weak and humble before the Lord, His power can work through us to accomplish much in the Spirit.
After our hectic December and a busy January, we felt washed out, burnt out and weak. Thank God that we were able to take two days off at the Sterkfontein Nature Reserve after the Phomolong HBC. It was a blessed time with God and nature. The break was badly needed and God knew we needed it, so he made the way. It also prepared us for what was to follow. On Friday 15 th a team from Youth With a Mission (YWAM), booked into The Crossroads Adventure Academy, about one hundred meters from our home. We were unaware of this until Saturday when we were asked to meet with them.
They were looking for opportunities to minister. A programme for the next week was prepared, bearing in mind that on the 19 th a team of pastors from Korea would be arriving and they also needed to becatered for. For four evenings (Wed 20th – Sat 23rd) we held open air evangelistic meetings, under the Apollo light, strategically placed near a busy tavern and where three roads join the main road through the village. The Friday evening after the open air we had a combined prayer service at our home, and Saturday we had a music practice before the open air, to prepare for the combined service at Lusaka the following day. After the combined service there were just the usually services on Wednesday, Bible Study; Friday, Prayer service; Saturday afternoon music practice, and the Sunday morning service. Between all this there is the going to and fro to Lusaka to collect water for our home, the Ywammer’s, and once for Julia, who
now gets regular supplies of water from various sources. Fitted into all these activities we had to buy the food for, and deliver the food parcels, a two day job, and buy food for the combined service at Lusaka. This week saw the start of our ministry at the Witsieshoek Primary School. This will continue until the end of term. In all this the grace of our Lord Jesus was sufficient to help us through. Thank you my Father, thank you Jesus, thank you precious Holy Spirit, the blessed Trinity.
The YWAM team will be here until 19 th Feb. They are based at the YWAM base close to Bethlehem. The team leader is Gershon from Ghana, but now based in Bethlehem. Doktor is a Sotho speaking guy permanently based at Bethlehem. With them are three trainees, Trywell an evangelist from Lusaka, Zambia, Renier an Afrikaner from Bethlehem, and Rose also a Sotho speaking lady from Bethlehem.
The Open Air Services
These services were evangelistic in nature and held in a strategic location. Unfortunately our sound system could not cope outdoors, and each evening we had rain, no good for the sound system. So, in spite of the obstacles, we sang praise to the Lord, learnt some Zambian action choruses, some of the children played the Korean instruments, and the Ywammer’s preached the Word.
The Koreans joined us on one occasion, played their instruments, did activities with the children, and shared a brief Word. These services were attended mainly by children, although there were some adults lurking around on the outskirts of the group, or passing by and stopped to look and listen. Importantly the guys in the tavern were in earshot. Many children showed an interest in giving their hearts to Jesus, but you do not know what effect the Word of God had on those lurking around, or those passing by, or those who looked and listened, or on those at the tavern.
The Combined Service at Lusaka Qwa Qwa
Sunday 24th January was a hectic day. I had to deliver the Korean’s instruments to the church in Lusaka. Then the mad scramble to get all the people to Lusaka. Two taxis were hired to help. But I still had to do three more trips to Lusaka, to get all the people and children there. The people from the Lusaka’s church outreach, near Harrismith were also invited, as well as some young people from a boarding school. The church was packed.
The Service was started with a very inspiring time of prayer, followed by a time of vibrant praise. The Holy Spirit was moving powerfully during this time. Then the Koreans played their instruments and did a few activities with the people. Very much enjoyed by all, as well as spiritually motivating. The YWAM team also shared in the service. God was moving in a mighty way. An inspired time of worship followed. Then Trywell, the evangelist from Lusaka Zambia, preached a powerful sermon on Noah’s Ark. Jesus being our ark and the door into the ark. The Spirit was moving mightily. Many people responded to various altar calls.
All the Korean pastors, and the YWAM team, as well as the local pastors spent a long time ministering to the many needs. The Holy Spirit did a deep work in a number of lives. Praise God.The service was followed by a good lunch which all the people enjoyed. The Lord stretched the food so that everybody had enough.
Two taxi loads, and three trips later we had all the people safely home. On Monday morning I went to collect the Korean instruments, as well as water for the YWAM team.
Teaching on Baptism
The leadership of Lusaka Christian Fellowship and Mountain Ministries, in spite of the water shortage, have been led to hold a baptism service on the 28 th February. We are trusting God to send the rain and fill up the dams. Thank God for the wonderful rains that fell on Saturday and Sunday 13 th and 14 th Jan. In preparation for the baptism service I was invited to teach on baptism on Sunday 7 th Jan at the Lusaka church. God prepared the people through an inspired time of praise and worship. The Holy Spirit gave real freedom in teaching. Many responded to an appeal to those who have been baptised, and have slipped back into old ways, to come and confess to God, and ask for God’s enabling power to get their lives back in line with God’s Word. Many more were prayed for, for various other needs.
While I was in Lusaka the YWAM team ran the service in Mabolela. The Holy Spirit moved and people responded to the call of God. On Sunday the 14 th Trywell, the evangelist spoke on Valentine, Jesus being our true Valentine. The people responded to the call of God to lay their burdens and troubles on Jesus.
On Sunday 21 st , the Lord willing, I will be teaching on baptism at Mabolela.
The Food Project
The number of people requiring food aid, went up quite a lot from 37 to 45, and there are more people asking for food aid, and people still come to the gate for food. This month we had to cut back on the number of grocery items we supply as the funds were low. Pray that new sponsors will be willing to help toward the supply of food for the poor. And ,Yes, we still have children coming to the house for food.
Sunday After Service Lunch
These continue to be a blessing to many.
The Mustard Seed
Everyday with Jesus is sweeter than the day before. The Mustard Seed does not consist of little children that resemble the angelic Von Trappe family, singing do re me. No, we are a family of broken little beingsall in various stages of healing, shouting down hallways as we draw on walls. So you sit with your fist sucking 14 year old boy who sniffed too much glue on the streets, or your 10 year old Sesotho boy who grew up in a cave in the mountains with a very toxic father and who understands very little about the norms of society, or your darling little girl who asks men for 5 bob as she lifts up her dress, exposing sticklike mottled legs. These are the little humans that fill your life, challenge and teach you all about love and show you who the real Jesus is. Our darling little souls that have experienced too much because of the perversions and sins of others. But still they laugh and love and forgive. God’s gift to us.
We received 2 new children this month. Orange haired, protein starved children of the living God who are numb, in shock and searching. They, like our others, will live with us for as long as Christ decides. We are discovering we can only train up children under 13. Beyond that age personalities have been firmly entrenched and their behaviour negatively impacts on our younger children.
We faced a horrible heart wrenching decision to return a 14 year old boy to his extended family. After shoplifting, drug taking and bullying we called it quits. We cannot walk any further with N. But through it all we are learning, adapting and working as hard as we can to raise up children of excellence for our King. We live in this big house nestled amongst beautiful, majestic mountains, with these noisy, muddled children and we feel as if we live in another world. We don’t have time to follow the news, go out for a break; we are kept busy feeding, sewing, doing homework, pouring boiling water into buckets for baths and looking for lost socks. At night when we close our doors we turn to Jesus and pray. Then it starts all over again. The whole scenario takes on a surreal haze. How can the world turn when there is so much horror and cruelty in it. But of course it does. Yes we realise how blessed we are and feel humbled to share our lives with the very best God has to offer. Pray for us. God knows our needs. He will listen. It is only Him who can make sense from senseless actions. All we can do is cling fervently to Him and pray messes turn into blessings. He has a plan.
A funeral and a baptism service.
Sunday 28th February began very early. At 06H15 a gas bottle had to be delivered to Lusaka. It was needed for cooking the lunch that was to follow the baptism service. Then a quick dash to the village of Mahangkeng for funeral at 07H30. An eleven year old boy had been run over by a big water tanker on the Monday evening. We spent quite awhile on, that Monday evening in the village, praying for the various family members gathered at the scene and then in the home of the mother. We also visited and prayed with the family on numerous occasions leading up to the funeral. After the service we walked some distance to the cemetery, in the scorching heat as the fire ball in the heaven burnt down on us. After committing the body to the ground I left, as we had to get all the people from the church to Lusaka for the baptism service. In all we baptised about seventy people from both churches. There was a wonderful spirit throughout the service. Everybody enjoyed a good lunch. Then started the trek back to Mabolela. After three trips and two taxi loads everybody was safe and in their homes. I eventually arrived home at 18H45 with a bad dose of heat stroke from the funeral which laid me down for a few days. Praise the Lord for a busy but fruitful day.
Urgent Prayer Items.
Rain: Rain: Rain!!! Praise God for rain. The Lord has blessed us with some wonderful showers of rain. Pray that the rains will continue and fill the streams, rivers and dams. We have also been collecting rain water from the roof for washing dishes, clothes and for flushing the toilet. When we are able we take water to the two cows locked in the school yard near us. This water shortage is very hard on the poor people. They have to walk quite long distances to collect the water and then have to carry these heavy buckets of water home.
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. This means it needs to have enough room for up to three hundred children to play games in it. The ultimate aim is to build a Christian Centre for the glory of God, where we can run programmes suitable for all the people of the surrounding villages. Pray that the Lord will release finance to fulfil the vision. From the human standpoint, this is mission impossible; BUT OUR GOD IS ABLE. We have identified a piece of land and we need to claim it. But the owners will not talk to us, or give us a price. Pray that the situation will change.
Workers. We are trusting God for a Sotho speaking couple to run the church, at first under our supervision, and then to take over completely. They will need to be people with a heart for God and for the poor, who will take time to visit the people and encourage them. I find I have so very little time for getting into the homes of the people. This will release me to concentrate on the study of the Word, for the preparation of Bible studies.
Pray also that God will raise up younger people with servant hearts and the call of God in their hearts, who can work with us and eventually take over the ministry. They will also need to learn how to handle the admin and the finance.
Cynthia and Julia join me in saying thank you to all of you for praying for us and for giving toward our support, and the projects run by the ministry. We appreciate all of you, and are well aware that without your prayers and funding, we would not be able to accomplish much here in Qwa Qwa. Thank you so much for all you do for us. May the Lord give you the desires of your heart as you trust him in all your ways.
Much love in Jesus,
Reg and Cynthia Schafer and Julia O Connell.