Incorporating The Mustard Seed
Using Scripture Union materials and programmes
Qwa Qwa Newsletter
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again; Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is at hand.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving,
Present your requests to God.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Easy to quote. Not always easy to do. Cynthia and I have been forced to rely more and more upon the grace of our Lord Jesus over these past months. Challenge has followed challenge. First it was the falling away of sponsorship for the work; then it was my eye infection, including the expense of the drops and ointment; a further falling away of sponsorship; now it is Cynthia’s health problems and stress, with more expenses; having to care for Heather, who has MS, and has good days and bad days, as well the day to day work of the ministry, and trying to meet the needs of the people, as they come for help of various sorts. But in all God has been our strength. His grace has carried us through. So we are learning more and more to rejoice more, to pray more, to give thanks more and to trust more. Through all this we have a growing confidence in our God, who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we can ask or think, by his power at work in us. At the same time we have peace in God, and know, that in spite of all, we are in the place where God wants us to be. There is still work for us here.
Praise God, Cynthia is out of hospital. She needs to take it easy for a while. She has been given a prescription for medication for her stress, and for the ulcers. She must not put herself under any sort of pressure, and should rest and get back into the work slowly. Please pray that she will overcome through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Her resistance is so low at present that she has picked up a chest infection. Pray too that she will not need to do so much for Heather, and that Heather will improve in her health to help Cynthia, or at least do more for herself. Thank you for praying for Cynthia.
Heather’s condition has stabilised. The MS has affected her walking, which is steady, but very slow. Her right hand is still a problem. She is not able to grip firmly with the hand and sometimes drops things. It’s not a problem if she drops a book, but when she drops a glass of water or a glass of milk, then it is a problem. Praise God she has been able to take herself out onto the front veranda and enjoy the fresh air. So there has been an improvement from last year, when she was really struggling to walk. We thank God for the improvement. When Heather was first diagnosed as having MS, the neurologist gave her five to ten years, but praise God we are now in the twelfth year. Pray that Heather will continue to improve in her health, and that the Lord will have the victory over this MS.
My eye infection has improved dramatically, but is not yet cured. I still have to have eye drops for the eye every evening and ointment every second night. A friend, who is a chemist, told me the vitamin A beta carotene will clear up the herpes infection. So I will try this along with much prayer, as these drops are quite expensive and the ointment is really expensive.
So praise God there is improvement all round. Thanks to all of you for praying for us over these difficult months. God is answering your and our prayers. Praise his glorious name.
The Witsieshoek Primary School Camp.
Two Kombi loads of excited children, plus 2 teachers, Martha SU Vaal and Cynthia, left the school on Friday morning 24th February, down the Oliviershoek Pass and on to Drakensville childrens’ hostel near Bergville. Lovely accommodation and meals were enjoyed by all during the weekend. Two guides were assigned to our group for the practical activities – fuffy slide, a short hike and “swimming” in heated pools and outside pools – while Martha took care of the spiritual activities. This camp was the high light of some of these children’s year. Praise the Lord.
The new school year started with a bang. Those who went on the camp roused others to come to the Wednesday SU meeting. A number are very keen, but some have come in the hope of joining in the next camp. Most are very enthusiastic during the games and the singing, while others prefer the singing and the Bible message. Reg has been drawing life lessons from the life of Elijah and also teaching the children very old songs but new to the children. Most of the children sing the new songs with great gusto, and listen intently to the Bible lessons. Pray that many of these children will come to the true saving knowledge of God in Christ through the working of the Holy Spirit.
The church in Lusaka continues to grow, even though some of the young people, as they finish school, either go to study or work in Gauteng or Natal. The pastor’s wife, Joyce Zwane, has been leading a Bible study on the Holy Spirit that has helped those attending, to get a better understanding of the Person, work, gifts and the fruit of the Holy Spirit. The Sunday services are well attended, where most of the preaching is done by Pastor Joseph Zwane. The youth group is also growing, as is the Sunday School. Praise God for this work.
At the church in Mabolela, Reg has been preaching on the greatness of God. We have discussed the greatness of God in creation. Then we considered that this creation will be renewed through the cataclysmic events that will take place when Jesus returns, to be glorified in his saints and to judge the world. Then we have also considered that our great God is the only God, the incomparable God and the living God. There are many more things to consider about our great God and Father. Through these teachings, some people are beginning to realise, that compared to the Great God of the Bible, their belief systems are found to offer no real hope. A number have renounced their belief in the witch doctors, and the veneration of the ancestors. Praise God. Others are still sitting on the fence. But others, not able to handle the truth of the Word of God, have left the church. Pray for the fence sitters, that they will see the truth as it is in Jesus. In our mid week Bible study we are working through the ACTS 2:42 Network’s statement of faith. (Acts 2:42 Network, is a network of churches that have been planted in various areas by teams from the Family Church in Randburg.) Teaching through a statement of faith causes you to teach on a wide variety of doctrines. It is a challenge, but it is producing fruit. People are learning things that they would normally not be taught. Even at our Friday night prayer and fellowship meetings, Reg has been working very slowly through 1 John. We teach the Word in the certain belief, that only the Word of God taught under the anointing of the Holy Spirit can change the darkened, dead hearts of people.
The Mustard Seed
The Mustard Seed is carrying on. We are now blessed with 3 toddlers, 2 babies and 20 something children who scrape newly painted walls or cut up mattresses! But it is part of being a dysfunctional little child. And it won’t last long. They have all been through that stage. From cutting into their already bruised flesh to writing the word SEX all over the walls. They all follow the same pattern. We have been blessed with 2 groups of volunteers this year all from the USA. It has been fun and has taught us a tremendous amount. Put together it awakens you to how much you do not know, how fallible you are and how much you need His precious Holy Spirit. I am forever grateful for my salvation and my daily sanctification. Without Christ I could never be the mother or counsellor I am today. It is a daily dying to self and searching fervently into His Word. You lie in bed at night and listen to the still small voice of the Holy Spirit and gradually He works things out. We have a new baby. His mother who is very ill left him with a man who is addicted to a pineapple and yeast toxic brew. The police found him being fondled by this red lipped dozy old man. I must admit he is a true heart breaker. He will only sleep on the floor and will not drink milk. He just plays and laughs for hours on end. God has sent us an Angel for 2017. The world continues to expand and travail outside but inside His place of Refuge there are teething babies, lost school socks and projects that require materials Qwa Qwa does not possess. The police continue to drop off God’s greatest and Social Services continue to stand firmly behind us. Qwa Qwa still has no electricity at times and no water, arvs are hard to get and we have no psychiatrist or psychologist ready to help us with complex trauma cases. But we have Jesus, each other and our very good friends. So we are all OK. God bless us all as we continue to work for Him. Julia and His angels.
Land and Buildings
The Mustard Seed has out grown its present accommodation. The church has outgrown the school classroom where we meet. Pray with us for a release of funds to buy a large piece of land, where we can build suitable accommodation for the Mustard Seed and the various needs of the ministry.
There is land available in Pereng, a village eight kilometres from here and about three or four kilometres from the Lusaka church. But we would prefer to buy land much nearer where we are. Please pray that land and finance will become available to buy and build here in this area. This need is urgent, and our God is able.
Praise God, that through the monthly donations from the His Place Church in Sussex, England, the widows and the orphans, as well as very poor families, are at least being given some food, to help them. Through these donations thirty four families are being helped with food every month, while others from villages far and near pitch up at the front gate asking for help. If we have we give in the name of Jesus, and encourage them to come to church. We try to share the gospel with those who come to the gate, but they do not understand English. That is why we encourage them to come to the church. There they will hear the Word of God in their mother tongue.
Praise God for your constant prayer support. We need the strength of the Lord to carry on with the work. We appreciate you taking the time to pray for us.
Praise God, for your faithful giving. Your gifts bless us and we bless God for you.
Much love in Jesus,
Reg and Cynthia Schafer and Julia O Connell.