Incorporating: The Mustard Seed
Using Scripture Union materials and programmes
Registration Number: 137-284 NPO
Qwa Qwa Newsletter
While in Johannesburg last month for my brother’s 80th birthday party (staying at our son Russell’s flat) I (Cynthia) was amazed early one morning to look out of his upstairs window to see so many swallows circling and swooping up and down above the grass in front of the nearby block of flats. They were having a feast of flying ants as they rose up from holes in the lawn. No resting, just busy flying around and swooping up and down. Closely watching them were 2 hadidas perched on the railing of the top veranda of another flat. Peering down one said to the other “What are they doing?” “Catching and eating ants for breakfast”. “But that’s what we should be eating! I’m hungry”. “Wait our turn” said the older and wiser bird. “We don’t want to get mixed up with that lot right now”.
Unfortunately I couldn’t watch any longer as I needed to get ready for a surprise 75th birthday party for a very “old” friend (Yvonne Jaques) and needed to be there at a specific time. Our host, Sandy Carpenter, did a fantastic job of surprising Yvonne completely and arranging for us to enjoy a wonderful party in beautiful surroundings. But I could imagine the hadidas having a feast of left over flying ants crawling all over the grass and paving once the swallows had left!
Perfect timing in all things. That’s how our God is. He supplies all our needs as He knows best and we should take a lesson from nature and rest in Him and trust Him just as the birds do so naturally.
Holiday Bible Club
Over two hundred screaming and exited children running to and fro, playing soccer, skipping, playing other games, all having a wonderful time. Then imagine the leaders trying to keep control of these exuberant children. Well they did an excellent job of keeping control. No injuries, no nonsense, just fun. The few instances of bullying and unruly behaviour were dealt with quickly. Praise God for additional leaders from the Netherlands who introduced new games and for Trywell, one of the Ywamers who has returned to Qwa Qwa to help at Ed-U-College and with the church. The cooks provided good meals for all the children and the leaders. We praise God for the gospel message that was shared with the children, and their enthusiasm in learning the memory verses as well as for those who showed a desire to go on with the Lord. Praise God for a wonderful HBC. Thank you for praying. Thank you for giving. Our prayer is that the Lord, by the power of the Holy Spirit working through the Word, will wean these children, from the bondage of the dead traditions they have been brought up in, and introduce them to the true knowledge of the Living God in Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit.
The great challenge in all this was to get enough water to cook for 230 – 240 people each day and to wash all the dishes and pots etc. It took many trips to Lusaka village to meet this need. Added to this was the shopping for more children than expected. All the running to and fro was tiring in itself and then to control all this lot was quite exhausting. We are not as young as we used to be. After all that I had to do a water run on the Saturday, for our needs, and preach on the Sunday. Praise God that he gives us the strength to do his work, and all the incidentals that go with it, to accomplish the tasks he sets before us.
The Mustard Seed
When you work full time for Christ, when you live among the children you are ministering and praying for, you are daily confronted by the chaos and horrors that the unthinking actions of others have wrought on your little charges. I often wonder if these adults would repeat these selfish acts, if they saw how deep the wounds go. This is not band aid ministry, or positive thinking doctrines, where you confess and all things are magically changed. This is raw and reminds me of the deep, deep wounds Christ was subjected to on Calvary. Jesus is grieving as he looks down on the broken lives that inhabit the Mustard Seed. Of course Christ will heal, and little minds will be renewed, but it will take a very long journey. A journey that will take the most understanding Christ like therapists, hours of listening and talking, and anything else God will use to accomplish his will. We have to have patience, long suffering, and just continue to stand and love unconditionally. Just when you think you have seen and heard it all, you are jolted from your complacency by a telephone call from a shocked headmistress or a revelation that there is still a deep pit of maggots that still need to be dealt with. It is all so terribly raw and incredibly heartbreaking, what our children have been through. A nine year old girl, who is left with a life threatening disease, because she was expected to earn money for her family. A young teenage boy, who has lost brain cells due to sniffing glue as he lived and worked as a night walker, on the cold and perverse streets of Qwa Qwa. Two siblings, who are the product of incest and consequently suffer from chronic illnesses. These are some of the stories that emanate from the Mustard Seed home. And often you are left with so many questions that have no answers. You just have to continue to do the work, pray and cry silently at night, for the lost children that live with shameful memories. You know that God has a plan for each young life. That is your hope that you cling to. We need your fervent prayers for our children, so that one day they may rise up from their graves, to sit with Christ in heavenly places.
Bible Club continues to be enjoyed by many of the Witsieshoek Primary school children. Trywell has joined the team and has been a great blessing. We are, together with the principal and Christian teachers, planning a camp in KZN at the end of September for all those who attend the weekly Bible Club who can afford to pay. It will cost approx. R750 for the whole weekend + meals, activities, swimming in a warmed pool (only for the adults – it is just too risky to let the children swim in this very deep pool. They will all say they can swim, jump in and sink to the bottom!!! Oh no, no way can we allow that. We have space for 60 children but not all those will be able to pay. We would love to fill all the beds as it is such a wonderful opportunity to make closer relationships to get to know them better and urn the right to share the Gospel meaningfully. If any of you would like to contribute towards the costs we would be very grateful indeed. We have 4 month ends before the camp and are encouraging the parents/guardians to save as much as possible towards the fees. But we will still need much money to cover everything. The camp leaders (10) are free if we have 60 campers.
We have begun to take Assemblies in some of the primary schools and hope to do the same in the high schools in our area. Trywell has had quite a bit of experience in this field while training with YWAM in Bethlehem before joining us here in Qwa Qwa. He plans to be here till at least the end of the year. It would be wonderful to be able to pay him a salary during this time.
Thank you so much for your prayers for us and the ministry here in Qwa Qwa. Thank you too for your financial support. We appreciate each one of you for helping us in this ministry. Thank you.
Both Reg and I have been suffering recently with our health and are under the care of a new and very thorough doctor here in Qwa Qwa. He has wisely warned us to take care of ourselves or else the work will not be able to be continued. While Reg was away in Jhb for 2 weeks, I tested the loyalty of many of our leaders and found them 100% faithful. They rallied around and did all sorts of jobs that needed doing and did them voluntarily. Some worked for a place for the Retreat in September.
Our keyboard player, Mokhele, has his drivers licence now (able to carry passengers) and is driving so well you would think he has been on the road for years. He has been doing the food parcels with Reg for a long time now and last month had to take over all the deliveries as Reg almost collapsed after carrying some of the 12,5 kg bags of mieliemeal!! He has taken over the water collections from Lusaka for us and quite a few other members of our church as the water trucks have not been coming around for quite a while. He has driven me around all over the place doing ministry in schools, prayer meetings, shopping for church and home and even to the Fika Pitso dam in the Drakensberg which supplies 90% of Qwa Qwa’s water. It is only 27% full. Trywell, Mokhele and myself had the privilege of being allowed to climb the wall of the dam and pray over it to be filled up in the Name of Jesus. It has been raining over the dam area quite a bit now but the dam is still 27%. We continue to trust the Lord for more heavy rain in the quite small catchment area. The huge pumps in the pumphouse were silent as was the water cleaning plant on the hill. So sad as water is so vital for life for all creatures and we are all feeling the strain of carrying buckets of rain water etc., filling bottles to be used for cooking and drinking, for washing and brushing of teeth. Oh for the water to flow through the taps again!!!
Now back to Mokhele. We would like to employ him in some sort of capacity as driver for us and the church and to help us in other practical ways but would need a sponsor/s to be able to pay him a salary of perhaps R2000 a month. Please pray for provision for this need.
We also need some sort of fulltime worker in the home and to help me with Heather at times. Mutale, who helped us with Ouma for almost a year, is like part of our family (even the dogs accept her fully) and is without work at this time. She is prepared to live in at times when we need her to do that. So we would also need a sponsor/s to pay her R2000 a month. Please pray about this as well. Thank you so much.
We are looking forward to the time when we can be a bit freer to do the ministry without so much pressure and just oversee certain area of the work that others will be doing.
Much love in Jesus,
Reg and Cynthia Schafer and Julia O Connell.