Incorporating: The Mustard Seed
Using Scripture Union materials and programmes
Registration Number: 137-284 NPO
Qwa Qwa Newsletter
When people hear that we live on a farm they ask us “What do you farm?” Well, we “farm” rocks and stones, sand and dust, snow and ice, dogs and cats, fruit trees and vegetables that the birds eat, plants that can survive on rain water only, and second hand clothes and shoes (some new ones). We also “farm” orphans and widows, young people and children (many at HBCs and schools) and food parcels. Also volunteers to help with all sorts of things including gardening (some expect to be paid), washing of car, fixing certain broken things and much “fixing” of broken and abused lives which is an ongoing activity Many interruptions which we need to view as opportunities or challenges to spread the Kingdom of God in our “farming” area in this much neglected part of Eastern Free State. There are beautiful mountains and streams (when it rains) but very poor and needy people – created in the image of God just as we all are. We have a large family of lovely people with different backgrounds and various colours. Love changes everything.
HOLIDAY BIBLE CLUB
Once again we ran an HBC on the open field in Mabolela during the school holidays using Scripture Union material. Some of the orphans said it was the best they had ever attended. We had a good team of leaders including 3 cooks so we were able to give the children a cooked meal. Some of our volunteer leaders did some of the shopping for us (we are gradually handing over more and more to them as they are so capable and loyal). We just had 1 hiccup – 4 Packets of Toilet Rolls instead of 4 single ones!!! Not serious as we can always take them over from HBC funds. Gave us all a good laugh anyway!
The Scripture Union material was so good and very extensive that we were only able to use a portion of it and will do follow up during Sunday School time. We can also use some of it at our next HBC. Thank you Di Evans and your team for excellent HBC material.
Thank you too to the group of Dutch students who were at Crossroads Adventure Academy for 3 months during which time they helped us with our Easter HBC and general help in the ministry. On leaving to go back to Holland they gave us R5000 for our July HBC so we were able to cook nutritious meals. Praise the Lord.
THE MUSTARD SEED
Our precious Jesus is refining His ministry at the Mustard Seed home. After much prayer, conversations with the South African police and Social Development, we have been led to open His home to only severely sexually abusedchildren under 14. The need is so immense. There is no other Child and Youth Care Centre that does this type of complex traumatised child exclusively. We will prepare children for their court cases, walk them through their J88s (medical exams after their physical trauma) then bring them home to heal amongst other children and trained workers, who understand their chaos. After our last intake of 4 severely abused children and seeing how alone they were as they faced a hard unfeeling system, I know this is all the working and leading of the Holy Spirit. We ourselves have experienced abuse in our past and been radically healed by a very understanding Christ. We understand the issues of lack of trust and the emptiness of soul that sexual abuse leaves in its wake. In a land that believes in sex with virgins as a cure for Hiv, there are many hurting little souls that represent the wounded Christ. The Mustared Seed will now network with therapists and be trained to be the hands and feet of Christ in this ministry. It is a slow healing often of 1 step forward and 2 steps back, but Christ in all His wisdom has trained us in healing, play therapy and structure. So pray for us. It is exciting yet humbling. A ministry that requires the Holy Spirit from beginning to end. With our current little abused victims we have often struggled and wrestled with behavioural problems or personality defects and next morning everything is fine, the child has seen the light and Holy Spirit healing has taken place. Allowing us to work on the next layer that perverse abuse has destroyed. In Qwa Qwa abuse cases are not held in camera and unfortunately the child is forced to confront his/her abuser in an open court room with a very bored judge and a fiery prosecutor. Thus the child experiences secondary abuse and walks away a total wreck. The Mustard Seed will make sure that all our children are interviewed in a private setting surrounded by toys and loving adults. We will speak up for the voiceless in court. No more will harassed medical personnel treat our children as damaged goods. God has said no more. Christ in heaven must weep far more than we do when He watches little trembling hearts being dropped off at midnight at the door of the Mustard Seed, little destroyed children who have lost all, including their dignity. And I am sure He shakes His head at the crassness of mankind as He observes the legal and medical system. We praise Him that we can be His wide arms to welcome these bleeding, wounded little people and be the vessel for Him to heal these Angels. And they will be living with other children who have been through the same. They understand each other. So here’s a big Hallelujah to our new season. And our new intakes Christ has for us.
We will be making up little gift packs of soap, deodorant, pretty panties/fun underpants, crayons and colouring books for each drop off. A special party pack will be given for days spent in counselling rooms at police stations, preparing for court. The same will be supplied for hospital visits. He makes a way in the desert for His beloved children. To God be the Glory for the things He will do. God bless us all. But tonight say a very special prayer for the sexually abused children of Qwa Qwa. What you do unto the least of these you do unto Me.
NEW AREA OF MINISTRY
Praise God for every opportunity to spread the Word of God. The last four days of the July school holidays were used to visit a community about four KM’s from where we live. It is a community where we have visited a month before where we had some very good opportunities for sharing the gospel. Many people showed a lot of interest and wanted us to start a church in the area. Unfortunately we could not find a venue to hold services. We settled for plan B. A period of four days for visiting and three days of evangelistic meetings was the outcome. A number of our young people were involved. While the technical guys set up the sound equipment the rest of us went out visiting the community to share and invite them to the meetings. Each day we had about 25 – 30 people attending. The music group sang very stirring songs and the gospel was preached. There were a number of people who responded to the gospel call. Praise the Lord.
The work at the school continues with great enthusiasm. The children really enjoy our time with them and are beginning to warm up toward us and the gospel is beginning to penetrate the hearts of some of the children. Most are attentive during the presentation of the teachings, whether Life Skills, Bible Stories or gospel presentations. Praise God for every opportunity. We would love to reach out into more schools but we do not have enough workers. Pray the Lord of the harvest to send labourers into the fields that are ripe for harvesting.
On a personal note
We still do not have running water in our taps or even in our garden. Just about the whole of Qwa Qwa has water except for a few villages around us. Some of these have water in their taps from 20-21H00 till 06-07H00.The electricity supply in our area has been bad. Almost every night the power fails between 18H00 to 19H00 and is off for one, two or three hours. Sometimes it can be off for hours on end. It also fails during the day when we need towork on the computer. What is annoying is when you are sitting in darkness, you look out across the valley and see the lights shining in other villages. It makes life that much more difficult.
Heather is not well. The MS has affected her eye sight so she battles to read. Her right arm is very weak and she in not able to hold anything, consequently she is not able to write. Her legs are very weak and she needs help to walk where ever she needs to go. It takes a lot of Cynthia’s time to help Heather. Please pray for her and for us. We need grace to cope, and definitely someone to help with Heather.
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.
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.