Incorporating: The Mustard Seed
Using Scripture Union materials and programmes
Registration Number: 137-284 NPO
Qwa Qwa Newsletter
December 2016 January 2017
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given.
And the government will be upon his shoulders. And he will be called, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of peace.
Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, Establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness, from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this. Isaiah 9:6 – 7 NIV.
Praise God for the gift of his Son. Praise God that Jesus is in control now. Praise God that Jesus is coming again to establish justice and righteousness. Because of these facts, we experience peace in the midst of the changing circumstances of this world. So, in Christ, we can confidently know that God is in control, and he is working, in all the varied circumstances of our lives, for our good.
(This was supposed to be a Christmas newsletter; then a new year’s newsletter; now it is just a newsletter!)
December is generally a hectic month. The first week was spent preparing for the Holiday Bible Club, as well as for an all day activity at the Witsieshoek Primary School, and our leaders “Thank You” lunch. We continued our normal meetings, Wednesday Bible Study & Friday evening Prayer Meeting, until the 10th .
Thursday 9th – 32, 12,5 KG bags of maize meal were purchased and distributed to needy families. A big thank you to the His Place Church in Hastings, England, for their continued support for this project. These funds as well as any other donation for this project, is used to help widows and orphans and the very poor with some food each month.
Saturday 10th – Witsieshoek Primary School. An all day activity of games, Life Skills teaching, and gospel presentation, for grade four and five pupils of the school. A nutritious lunch was prepared by three ladies from the church. Martha from SU Gauteng led the activities, ably assisted by four of MM’s leaders. Cynthia and I helped where we could and rushed off for last minute items needed by the cooks. The children had a wonderful day, and were encouraged by the Word of God.
Sunday 11th – Sunday Service at which Martha preached. Great service. Thank you Martha.Monday 12th – 16th – Open Field Lefika – Holiday Bible Club. Martha assisted by Dikaledi Moloi, the new SU worker in Qwa Qwa, led this activity. MM’s leaders were also very much involved. Cynthia assisted the cooks and I was on hand on the field as general supervisor and to keep discipline, and available to do any buying that was necessary.
The children had a good time and were challenged by the word of God each day, and enjoyed a good meal after each days activities.
In between all this, Cynthia was running the dogs of the church community to the government vet for treatment. At least ten dogs had to be treated or sterilised.
Friday 16th – Leaders “Thank You” Braai. We had a lovely afternoon together, braaing, sharing, joking and laughing.
Cynthia and I had the privilege of serving our leaders and the cooks who do such good work over the year. We appreciate our team of leaders very much. They help so much in different ways, and lead the Friday night service as well as the church service. There is so much potential in them and they are faithful in their service for God. They are maturing in the Lord and have a heart to serve.
Saturday 17th December – Hop on a bus in Harrismith for a quick trip to JHB.
Sunday 18th – Dedication service and lunch. Cynthia niece’s daughter had asked us to perform a dedication service for her daughter. Though the family do attend church, they wanted something special, for family and friends. The service went well and the word was preached. After the service we had lunch. It was a very special day. The whole event was held at an open air restaurant in Modderfontein.
While we were away in JHB, Pastor Joseph Zwane preached at the church for me. From what we hear it was a blessed service.
The next four days, in JHB, were spent sorting out a few things, collecting a new laptop, which pastor Claude Jaques had so generously donated to us. Thank you so much Claude. There were also clothes, books and toys to be collected, which were passed on to Dave and Liz Pass for distribution where they saw fit. Praise God they passed them on to us for giving out in Qwa Qwa. Thank you Dave and Liz. We were on the go all the time. It felt like we needed to go home for a rest, but that was not possible.
Thursday 22nd – Russell, our son, drove us back home to the Free State. The next few days were taken up sorting the clothes and the toys. Praise God for this donation. We were able to give some of the toys and books to a child headed home. They were so thrilled with the gift. They were also given some of the clothes. The rest of the toys and books and some of the clothes were given to the Mustard Seed. There were enough goodies for Julia to make up Christmas presents for all the children. Praise God. Our God is so good. He knew there would not be enough money at the Mustard Seed for presents, so he made a way.
Friday 23rd – A group of young people, Cynthia and I, went to the local hospital, where we sang carols and prayed for the patients in all the wards. It took a while to cover all the wards. Two of the young people, not used to seeing so many sick people felt a bit queasy, and did not go into the last few wards. Many of the patients, and even some of
the nursing staff, were blessed and expressed their appreciation.
Sunday 25th the Christmas service was held at the school where we have our usual services. It was a special service and many were inspired by the inexpressible gift God our Father has given us, Jesus Christ our Lord.
The next few days were given to spend time with the family and doing a few hikes with Russell in the mountains around us. As we had done the distribution of the maize meal early in the month, some families were in need of more, so we did do another purchase for them, but this time round they had to collect at the house.
Russell and I managed one long hike in the Drakensberg. The hike takes you form the Witsieshoek Mountain Resort, past the Mahai falls along narrow mountain trails, along, but often high above the Mahai river, past many gorgeous wild flowers, across the Mahai river, past more flowers, across the Goodoo river, not sure of the spelling, then steeply up the George to the base of the Goodoo falls. What a wonderful view, the water streaming over the rocks high above us. Most of the hike was in mist and rain, most of the time the magnificent peaks were shrouded in mist or rain clouds. We decided to take a short cut back to the car park, through another gorge, called the Cut. It is a very steep walk come climb. Because it was so wet and the rocks very slippery, we decided that it was too dangerous.
After making it two thirds of the way up, we turned around and went back down and out of the gorge, onto the path we had come on, and started the long, long trek back over the river, past the falls, and back to the car park. We saw none of the beautiful flowers as it was getting dark. Soon the darkness of night-fall closed in on us. So we stumbled and stuttered our way along the mountain path, triping over stones, hidden rocks and obstacles in the path, with, at times a looming drop down to our right. My small old Nokia phone gave us enough light to guide us back to the car park and safety. Praise God for his protection and for bringing us home safely. I learnt some very valuable spiritual lessons from this exercise. No matter how dark and how tough things may be, by the grace of God, we have to persevere to the end. It is only God who is able to keep us from falling. The light of God’s Word, no matter how brightly or dimly it may shine in the darkness will lead us through the dark and rough ways home to glory in Jesus.
January was not that busy, but there was a lot of rain in that first week, that washed out all thought of another hike.
Russell left for Gauteng that week as well. Then it was back to the normal routine of ministry, not that this ministry is routine in any way. Things happen that are very unexpected. Then too, there are people coming to our door for some sort of help. The routine stuff is the weekly meetings and services.
We were blessed to get some cash together to take Joseph and Joyce Zwane to Salt Rock on the north coast for five days. It was a restful time. It was good for the Zwane’s to get away from Qwa Qwa for awhile. For two days we managed to get to the beach, where we swam in the tidal pools. On one of these occasions Joseph and I did go into the sea. Joseph had a great time in the waves. We had a wonderful time together, and five star accommodation and food. The bonus was that we did not have to pay for the accommodation or the food. Thank you so much to Corne, Heidi and family for your wonderful hospitality.
On the Friday we arrived home, I had to change hastily and rush off to hold a service at a home where one on our members had passed away. In the mean time, while we were away, the mother of one of our leaders had also passed away, so on the way to the service we stopped off to pray for the family. On the Saturday morning we were up early to conduct the funeral service of the first lady who had died. After service on Sunday we went to pray again at the house of our leader, whose mother had passed away. We were involved in her memorial service on the Thursday, at the school where she taught, almost a whole day affair. Then on the Friday before the burial, we were involved in the pre burial service, as well as at the burial service on the Saturday. This also took almost a whole day.
Please pray for finances to run our various projects and for us personally.
Please pray that God will release funds for us to buy land and build buildings.
Please pray for workers to help in the work.
Please pray for Cynthia, she is not well.
Thank you all for praying for us. We appreciate your prayers so much. Without you we cannot do what we do.
Thank you for participating in this ministry through your financial gifts to us and for the ministry projects.
Thank you for your loving concern for us.
Much love in Jesus,
Reg and Cynthia Schafer and Julia O Connell.