Incorporating: The Mustard Seed
Using Scripture Union materials and programmes
Registration Number: 137-284 NPO
Qwa Qwa Newsletter
DUST, DUST AND MORE DUST
We have had such dry and extremely windy weather for months now and everything gets covered in dust and bits of dry grass and we long for some rain from heaven to settle things. It will be lovely to breathe in clean, moist air for a change!! There was some rain and then more wind and dust in September. Through October there was more wind, dust, rain and SNOW, believe it or not!!! Snow in October. No pictures. Sorry – trying to figure out how to download pictures from my phone onto the computer.
August started off very well for us. We were feeling strong in the Lord; the ministry was going well; home visitation was going well; preparation of Bible studies was moving along very nicely; I was pushing to get the financials and all the reports required for the NPO off to Social development before the end of the month, and I was preparing everything to get the Lusaka Church and the Mabolela church registered with SARS. Sure we had our problems: the constant rumours about the Mustard Seed and Cynthia and I. By the Lords grace this was not going to hold us back. We were all set to take August by storm and get a lot done. Then boom; I was absolutely flattened by a severe chest infection. Cynthia also was stopped in her tracks by a heavy dose of flu. All I wanted to do was lie in bed and rest. That is also how Cynthia felt. But life must go on. When you really are down God gives you grace to go on. We had a number of meetings with people from social welfare, and one with social welfare and the sponsor of the Mustard Seed, at the Mustard Seed to fire the old workers and hire new workers. These meetings went on for ages but all I felt like doing was to crawl into a hole and go to sleep. Then there were other things like buying and distributing food to the needy; visiting the sick and the dying. We did have time to rest as well. Bible studies were cancelled for the rest of the month, as were the leadership meetings. It is amazing how God gives you the perseverance to push through the pain to accomplish what is needed to be done. I can say with Paul, His grace is sufficient for me. His strength is made perfect in weakness. Well, it has been a long hard road to recovery, but praise the Lord our Strength is restoring our strength. The Lord is our Healer. Praise God. This was supposed to be an Aug/Sept newsletter: it is now November. Reg is in JHB recovering from an overload to the body system.
The Mustard Seed
After all the problems caused by the old workers, who have been intent on destroying the good work of the Mustard seed we have now appointed new workers. It took a lot of discussions, and a number of meetings to finally say goodbye to the old bunch of workers, and appoint new ones. But it is done. Eight workers have been appointed, three of whom were appointed by social welfare. I, personally, was not happy with the social welfare appointees. They are not born again, and, I believe, they are put there to watch, and inform social welfare of all that is happening at the Mustard Seed. There are probably three too many workers. They are all on three month’s probation. This will give us an opportunity of seeing who is really willing to work, and who should be released at the end of theprobation period. Pray that Julia will have great wisdom in dealing with the workers, and will find good grounds for us to lay off three workers, or that the Lord will provide the funds to maintain this workforce. The hiring and firing now rests on the shoulders of the Mountain Ministries board, but as we are not present all the time we have to be led by Julia who sees each person’s performance. I must say that the house is much cleaner now since the new workers started. They seem more intent on working than on spreading rumours.
We are not sure how much longer the American sponsor of the Mustard Seed will continue to sponsor the shelter. So we are looking for new sponsors. Not an easy task! But the Lord will lead us to the right people and will provide. We have visited some businesses. S A Cloth paid for the water tanks at the Mustard Seed to be filled, and also
provided food when the situation was really desperate. Thank you so much VJ for your generosity. Bibi’s, a local supermarket, have delivered food on three separate occasions. Thank you, Tommy and Mamora for organising these food deliveries. Praise the Lord for his provision, but there is also a great need for cash, to pay the workers, to pay the rent , to buy electricity and for school fees and school uniforms.
The five Thebete children all ran back to their mother, who is a drunk, and uses her daughters 11 and 6 year olds as child prostitutes, to feed the family and support her habit. I just can’t understand why they would chose to go back to this type of life. Five older children, who were not brought in by welfare, have also been taken away from the Mustard. They were a bad example to the younger children, and two of them were involved with the old workers in spreading the rumours to the sponsors. Then another three were taken away by welfare. There are now seventeen children left at the Mustard Seed. After all this we now have too many workers, but I am sure welfare will soon be bringing in more children.
A group of Korean pastors will be visiting shortly. We have asked them to help the Mustard Seed financially. They are coming out to visit and assess to what extent they will be able to get involved. Please pray that they will be able to support the work. This will take a considerable weight off our shoulders. Then we won’t have to stress over food and water for the children, and have to travel around to source these commodities from the local businesses. This takes a lot of time and effort.
In between sorting out the Mustard seed, and frequent trips to Social Services, we are also, still involved in other ministries. The Lusaka church continues to go forward in the Lord, ably led by Pastor and Mama Zwane. The Sunday School is growing and very well led by one of the young men. Praise God for that. In Mabolela we are hampered by meeting in the school class room. We need a building of our own. Please pray with us for the finance to buy land and build a meeting hall. In September we started a series on John 1:1 – 18. Jesus as the “Word”; life; light. The Sunday School is going well. It is also run by a group of three young people, who attend the Bible Studies and the Friday night prayer and fellowship meetings. A number of children at Witsieshoek Primary School look forward to Wednesdays SU group where there is singing, Bible stories, life skill training and games. We have a core group of young men and women who come most Wednesday’s for the Bible Studies. Thursday afternoons are quite busy. At four in the afternoon we are working through a series of teachings for the children at the Mustard Seed. The Holy Spirit is slowly beginning to get the message of the gospel through to the children. This is followed by our leadership training, either in the form of a study on some aspect of leadership or home visitation. Friday evenings are given over to the youth for prayer and fellowship, or a Christian movie, or discussion etc.
A 3 day retreat was really enjoyed by 31 pastors and leaders from our network Acts 2:42 churches. It was a special time of fellowship, praise and worship, teaching and enjoying good meals and very comfortable accommodation. We can’t wait for the next one which should also be for 3 days as there will be another long weekend in September next year. Two days does not really give us enough time for what we need. This year we were able to have a lot of discussion after various teachings which were very profitable.
Our leaders testified the following week about the blessing it had been for them and thanked the Lord for the privilege they had to attend the retreat.
Trip to Johannesburg
Cynthia and Heather spent almost 3 weeks in JHB. visiting doctors, dentists and hospitals. Heather was supposed to have her yearly cortisone course but ended up having many different medical tests and undergoing an operation. She is still very sore in various places but has improved somewhat.
Cynthia enjoyed her 74 th birthday very much – having lunch with her sister and dinner with her brother and being blessed by them and the Friday Bible study group with cake etc. and gifts. She thanks the Lord for the opportunity of being in JHB, for her birthday even though the rest of the time was very difficult and tiring.
Reg, who had been quite busy while Cynthia was away, found that his body was just not able to keep up with all the activity, was forced to take a break. So a short while after Cynthia returned he took time off to rest up in JHB. In the time he has been in JHB he has hardly left the upstairs apartment where his son lives. Been to church on Sunday at
Claude and Yvonne, followed by a good lunch and fellowship; to the dentist on the Monday. Thanks Claude for the lift; and to a gathering of pastors in the Fourways area, with Dave and Liz Pass, followed by a lovely breakfast and a lot of catching up. Thanks Dave and Liz. Claude has come over twice during the week where we two have been able to share. At the end of the pastors gathering, one of the pastors gave me a very encouraging word. Three things really struck home:
- Cynthia and I were entering into a new season, where we will experience new things;
- That in spite of the negative things spoken against us we will overcome and enter into the blessing of the Lord;
- Our financial position will improve. Praise God he is so faithful. Through the Holy Spirit he spoke into the three areas where we have been really struggling.
Now we need to get back to the task of getting back on track and completing the tasks started in August. Not an easy task when you are not 100% at your best.
I want to thank God for his faithfulness. In all the ups and downs of life he has never failed us or forsaken us, and even though we have gone through some tough times, he has sustained us, upheld us and provided for us, and we are confident that we will see his love, grace and provision come through for us. Thank you for your prayers, they
mean so much to us. Thank you for your financial support. Thank you for your encouragement.
Love in the Lord,
Cynthia, Julia and Reg