Incorporating: The Mustard Seed
Using Scripture Union materials and programmes
Registration Number: 137-284 NPO
Qwa Qwa Newsletter
Time marches on and waits for no man. This letter should have been written much earlier. But I have been afflicted with a severe Eye infection for seven weeks, and it is only clearing up now, due to your prayers. Thank you. The infection caused severe pain and blurred vision. It was a difficult time, as I could only read with great difficulty. It also cost a lot in fuel and time, having to make four trips to Bethlehem and back, and the ointment, drops and antibiotics were not cheap. The result was that I was not able to spend time on the computer, except for short stints at a time, to reply to important e-mails etc. I have over three hundred unread e-mail’s. If I have not responded to some of the e-mails, please forgive me. It has been very difficult to read and I could have missed some. I am still on treatment for the eye.
“Water, water everywhere (in taps around Qwa Qwa) but not a drop to drink (for us and our area)”.
Our water situation is still critical. It is now nearly nine months that we have been without water in our taps. This afternoon we will have to go to Lusaka to collect water. This is costing us in fuel usage and time. But there seems to be some light at the end of the tunnel. The owner of the property has bought us a 2000 litre JoJo tank, and then we need to have it installed and connected to our water system. The hardware store, where the tank was purchased, do not sell the fittings for installing the connection to our water pipes. Now we need to find the correct fittings. Then hopefully we will have water in the taps from the tank.
The power supply here has been erratic. So when you need to work on the computer, the power goes down. In Single day the power went off four times: twice when I was working on the computer, with the subsequent loss of some work. We also had two days without power, when some “bright spark” cut down a tree and dropped it on the power lines close to our house. Praise God none of the food in the fridge and deep freeze went off. The erratic power supply is a real challenge.
Praise God Heather is able to walk a lot better than she could a while back. Thanks for your prayers. When she was struggling with her walking she fell against the toilet bowl. It took us close to an hour to get into the toilet and get her out. When we extricated her from behind the toilet door and onto her back, that was the best we could do, she had to slide on her back, using arms and legs, to her bed room, where we had to turn her around to get her on herknees, and then lift her onto the bed. That took another fifteen minutes. So Heather has been banned from the toilet. We have set up a commode in her bedroom. We were all totally exhausted after this, and Cynthia and I had to rush off to church leaving Heather in bed. Praise God for a big improvement. For those who don’t know Heather has MS. Please pray for total healing.
It seems that Satan is not happy with us being here. He is attacking on all fronts to discourage us, so that we cannot accomplish the work God has called us to, here in Qwa Qwa. He has attacked our finances through my eye infection and the travelling to and from Lusaka for water, and the visits to the eye specialist in Bethlehem, as well as the medicines we need for Heather. Some are covered by the medical aid but most are not. But God is for us, so who can be against us. We take strength and encouragement from fellowship with God in prayer and the Word. We know that our God works all things together for good to those who love him, who are called according to his purpose. He is our strength and rock. He is always with us and gives grace in our time of need. So praise God with us and pray for us. Both Cynthia and I were greatly encouraged at the annual church network retreat. Thanks.
A wonderful, profitable time was spent by us and our leaders at a guest house run by friends in van Reneen over the previous weekend. It rained, hailed or snowed most of the time physically and spiritually, as the Person and work of the Holy Spirit was presented and applied. Much was learnt and experienced by our leaders as we joined together with the pastors and leaders of our network churches. This last Sunday at our local service many testimonies were given –“thank the Lord I can speak in tongues”, “I felt the power of the Holy Spirit”, “I had a word of knowledge”, “I realise I have to change”, “we need to hunger and thirst after the presence of the Lord” , “we need to spread the Word of the Lord”, “it was a privilege to go there and share with other like-minded people”, “there are 9 gifts of the Holy Spirit and we can all use these gifts at different times to encourage others” and “we came empty, like a flat tyre, we put on a new tyre and were filled with strength to continue the journey of this Christian life”, “It was like being in the rain. When you come in from the rain, people can see you are wet. Now they see the effect of the rain of God in me.”
The Lord was also very present at our local church service where a few ladies and children met as usual and were encouraged by a message from the book of Hebrews, preached by one of our young leaders, who could not attend the retreat, because of extra lessons at school, in preparation for his final year exams. One mother testified that she had been reading Hebrews all week after that.
Young Adults Hike
The early morning air was very cold as a group of sixteen young people, and some not so young, boarded two vehicles and headed out to Witsieshoek Nature Reserve. The goal, to hike to the top of the Drakensberg Amphitheatre, to where the Tugela River tumbles over the rock face of the Drakensberg into KZN. It had been snowing a week or so before. However we were totally unprepared for what we were to encounter on the hike. In many places snow and ice covered the trail, making it quite hazardous. After, eventually reaching and climbing the two chain ladders, to reach the top of the berg, we stepped into a table cloth of snow; thick snow. As you walked to reach the goal, you sank to ankle deep, or knee deep and even thigh deep in the snow.
Apart from one older lady, who collapsed on a rock and Reg, all made it to the top of the Tugela falls. Reg stayed with the lady to make sure she was OK. The views on the trail and at the top are absolutely beautiful, even more so when they are enhanced by the blanket of snow. The remarks made told how certain people felt. “They didn’t tell us that we were walking by feet to Bethlehem.” When someone complained I said, “We told you that it was not going to be easy but difficult.” The replies came back, “Difficult! It is very challenging” , “Challenging! It’s just dangerous!!” In spite of the remarks, everybody made it safely up and down. When asked will you like to go again the replies came back, “Only in summer, when there is no snow” , “Yes, it was wonderful” , “Never again!!” These young people were stretched, some to the limit. But, they had been, to where they had never been before; they saw, what they had never seen before; they did, what they had never done before; they did, what they thought they could not do. All Safely back at the cars.
HOLIDAY BIBLE CLUB
We are looking forward to an exciting HBC starting next week with Leaders training on Mon. 3 rd October and children’s times from Tues to Fri. Martha from Scripture Union Vaal area will be joining us again this time and we rejoice in much fruit being produced by the dedication and enthusiasm of our very loyal leaders. Please pray for this activity and that we will be able to feed the children as usual. The kitty is very low at the present time!! Thank you so much for your generous response to our appeal for funds for the HBC. It went very well, and due to your generosity, the children did receive a wholesome meal each day. There will be more about the HBC in the October newsletter.
Praise God! He always meets our needs. Thank you all so much for praying for us. Without prayer this ministry will not accomplish any spiritual good. Thank you so much for praying for us during these difficult times.
Thank you too for your financial support for us. We appreciate every gift that we receive and appreciate you for giving toward our support. Thank you very much.
Thanks to the His Place church, in Hastings, England, for supporting our food project. Through your gifts we are able to help people in real need with some food every month. We try to help the most vulnerable, widows, orphans, child headed households and the very poor.
We will dedicate the next news letter to the Mustard Seed, as this newsletter is already too long.
Much love in Jesus,
Reg and Cynthia Schafer and Julia O Connell.