Qwa Qwa Newsletter March/April/May 2018

Incorporating: The Mustard Seed Using Scripture Union materials and programmes

Registration Number: 137-284 NPO

Qwa Qwa Newsletter

March/April/May 2018

Nature is so very beautiful and we miss so much unless we take time to stop and look around and praise the Lord for His wonderful creation as well as His amazing love for us all. How great is our God and how blessed are we all. From large wild animals to minute flying insects we see the hand of our God in all these things.

Health Issues.

Finally we are getting down to writing a newsletter. The past three months have been filled with a lot of activities and challenges. Reg has had a lot of trouble with dizziness and weakness. At times he is not able to stand or even sit but has to lie down. Yet by the grace of God he has managed to carry on with the work. There have been days when he has not been able to get up, but praise God these are few and far between. Not sure what causes this problem. Just lately he has suffered from a chest infection. Praise the Lord he is getting stronger by the day. Yet the work goes on by the grace of the Lord.

Water and electricity issues.

Over the past months there have been a lot of power outages and water cuts. One of their favoured times for cutting the power and the water seems to be the weekends and particularly Sunday mornings when people are getting ready for church. This has adversely affected attendances at churches as people have trouble getting enough water to wash and also not having the power to warm the water. Yet the services continue and are fairly well attended. The water problem has caused big problems at the Mustard Seed. The children and the workers have to take containers to a water point in a nearby village to collect water. This has to be done twice a day to ensure that there is water for drinking, cooking, washing bodies and clothes. It is quite an exercise. The Mustard Seed has an ongoing problem with water shortages. The pipes are corroded so there is no running water into the house. They rely on supply from the municipal water tankers. These now seem to be out of action, so the morning and evening trek to get water continues. Please pray that a better house in a good location can be obtained, where there is a continual supply of running water, and a constant supply of power. The power supply has been an issue for years in this area, but there is no reason for water cuts. The dams are full after the good summer rains. Some areas that have had a water supply in the past now have no water supply at all. It seems that the pipes that feed the villages, and water pipes in the villages are corroding and there are many leaks. Under The ANC council there has been no routine maintenance since 1994. Instead of repairing the damaged infrastructure they choose to shut the water supply off four or five days. Then turn it on again for a few days until the water starts running in the streets from the various leaks. Then it is switched off again. Lately we have not been able to do any work on the newsletter as they keep switching the power off during the day. Today it is nine o’clock in the morning and the power is still on. Praise the Lord. So for the first time in a week we are able to work on getting the newsletter done. That did not last for too long as they shut the power down again. After two and a half weeks of trying we have at last finished the newsletter working during the periods when the power is on.

Witsieshoek Primary School SU Camp. 20th – 23rd April.

At this camp Cynthia and Reg were invited to be the camp speakers. Not sure why as we work with the children every Wednesday at the school. Yet the children did receive the word with open hearts.

The venue for the camp was the Drakensville Holiday Resort. The school was assigned one of the resorts personnel. His duties were to manage the children at the foofie?!! slide, take them for a hike, play various games and do certain activities with them. Cynthia and I were to do the spiritual input.

We had a very energetic bunch of 31 young children who exhausted both us, their one teacher and the principal of the school!! But they had a really good time and learnt much from the Bible, including the books of the New Testament and where to find the various verses referred to. There was also opportunity to pray for many of the children individually. Many of these children are very keen to serve Jesus. We look forward to good results that are glorifying to the Lord through the lives of these precious children. As we continue sharing with them on Wednesday’s during school term there will be ample opportunity to build on the foundations laid previously and at the camp.

Mountain Ministries Church Youth Camp. 4th – 6th May.

We had been saving up money and recycling many empties, receiving a small amount each time compared to the price of the camp fees. We postponed for 1 year and eventually had just enough to run the camp – including transport fees and gifts to Pastor Sello and Martha for their ministry. We were at the Oban Guest Farm in van Reenen who gave us a special price.

The camp was a wonderful experience for 20 of our youth and they testified of how the Lord had touched them through the games, songs and talks. One of the highlights was the separated talks to the girls and the guys which we, of course, were not allowed to go to!! They spoke very freely to Martha and Sello and asked many questions. We trust this camp weekend will have many lasting results in the lives of our youth and it will be worth all the sacrifices made to make it happen.

Some were so moved upon by the Holy Spirit, they just can’t stop talking about what the Lord did for them at the camp. They can’t wait for the next camp and keep asking when it will be!! But this time, they say, it must not just be a week end but at least four or five days, and include other churches. Well, they will have to help us more this time and contribute at least some of the fees to make it happen and work hard at raising funds. But above all we will trust God to raise the funds.

Following up on the camp we have been studying the call of Paul the apostle in Acts 9; 22; 26, as well as the call of Jeremiah, Jeremiah chapter 1, challenging them to open their hearts to the call of God on their lives. Some have been worked upon by the Holy Spirit, and one young lady comes to church with a note pad and pen and takes notes of the teachings.

The Mustard Seed. An urgent need for prayer.

Some of the workers who were dismissed, after the shocking lies they spread on social media about the supposed sexual activities going on at the Mustard Seed, and by way of letters, containing lies about the rape of children that went on at the Mustard Seed, sent to the sponsors and Social Welfare, have gone to the CCMA, asking their reinstatement or compensation. At the hearing the commissioner would not accept that their lies were a serious enough offence to dismiss the workers, even though it had caused the loss of a significant amount of sponsorship money. There is going to be another hearing at which Social Welfare, Julia, Reg and some members of the board of Mountain Ministries must appear and state our case. If the decision goes against us CCMA will demand that these workers are compensated for unfair dismissal. The problem is that if these three workers succeed in winning the case, all the dismissed workers will want compensation. Neither the Mustard Seed, nor Mountain Ministries have the funds to pay the five thousand rand each they are asking. Please pray that the commissioner will see the validity of the reasons for the dismissal of these workers.

The supply of food to the poor.

Praise God for the donations from His Place Church, Hastings, in England, who so faithfully support this project. Through these donations thirty four families receive some food aid every month. This does not include a number of others who come to the gate looking for Maize Meal. Praise the Lord, we have not had to turn anyone away. There are about one hundred people who benefit from this project. Most of these are widows, a number of orphans, child headed families and single ladies and their children, some of them have six or seven children.

Thanks

Thank you so much for your prayer and financial support for us and the work here. This work depends so much on your support. We appreciate each one of you for holding us up before the Lord. Like Moses our arms get tired and we need the prayers and the encouragement of our family in Christ. Thank you all so much for all that you do for us.

Love in the Lord

Cynthia, Julia and Reg

Qwa Qwa Newsletter November December 2017

Incorporating: The Mustard Seed

Using Scripture Union materials and programmes

Registration Number: 137-284 NPO

Qwa Qwa Newsletter

November December 2017

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be upon his shoulders;
And his name shall be called
Wonderful Councillor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end.
Isaiah 9:6 – 7a.

This wonderful promise is fulfilled in Jesus the Son of God. He has brought a remarkable peace. It’s a peace this world cannot give. It’s a peace this world, and those in this world, cannot know. Not the cessation of human conflict.
But the cessation of the conflict between God and man, through the reconciling work of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary. It is the peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to the peace of God ruling in our hearts and minds. This is one of the wonderful blessings that flows from the birth of Jesus. In the midst of all the hustle and bustle of the world, we who are in Christ can know the peace of God. Wonderful news, in a world of contrary noises.
As we enjoy the peace of God we are not alarmed by the restless beating of the drums from the initiation schools in the mountains around us. These sinister drum beats announce the confusion and the restlessness of the world system that brings no peace. It is a peace that passes all human understanding. In spite of all that goes on around us and all the slander directed toward us, we do know and cherish the peace of God that came through Jesus Christ the Lord, and was announced by the angels at his birth.
Praise God for his protection. On Friday, Cynthia took one of the young women to the doctor, MD. Not long after dropping off the young lady at her house, as Cynthia was travelling home with one the leaders from the church, (whom she found walking along the road), the left front wheel came off, with a loud noise and got jammed. The noise was the breaking of one of the wheel bolts. All six wheel nuts had come off. A mechanic from close by came and took some of the wheel nuts off the other wheels and secured the wheel. On Monday we took the car to a motor mac in Harrismith. After checking the wheel, he said that it looks as if someone had loosened the nuts. Praise God that Cynthia was travelling on a bad road at a very low speed, or who knows what could have happened. Praise God he kept Cynthia safe. We are not sure if someone tried to harm us or, just tried to steal the wheel. On Thursday the car has to go back to the motor mac, when he will take off the hub and replace the bolt that was severed.
Praise God for his provision. When we were really down and out financially, we were blessed with some unexpected and very welcome gifts. Thanks to all who sent us those very welcome and desperately needed gifts. Praise God he has truly blessed us over this Christmas period. Because of these wonderful gifts we will be able to pay for the repairs to the vehicle, and we have paid our rent and have set aside for January’s rent. Our God is so faithful in supplying our needs. Thanks to all the wonderful people who so faithfully support us month by month. We praise God for every good and perfect gift he so graciously supplies through the loving gifts his faithful people give. Without your support we would not be able to continue in the work. Thank you all so much. Praise God too, for the His place Church, who so faithfully give toward the feeding of the poor. Praise God too for all those who support the efforts to feed the children and the poor families in the area.
Holiday Bible Club
Praise God that a Holiday Bible Club took place this holiday. The first day was leaders training and practising carols for our Christmas service and for carolling at the local hospital. The first day for the children was virtually rained out, but all the leaders and some children braved the cold and the rain and just came to our house where we spent time playing games with them and sharing part of the Christmas narrative. It went off very well. The children had a great
time and listened intently to the Bible lesson. Wednesday, we woke to a flat tyre, but made it to the tyre fitment
centre to have it fixed. The vehicle has to carry all the equipment to the ground for the HBC. There were about one hundred and forty children present at the HBC on the open field, in spite of the fact that we could not feed the children due to lack of funds. Again it went very well, with children having a lot of fun, studiously reciting the memory verse, and listening intently to the Bible story of the day. We continued giving out Sniggles (a reasonably good snack) and a “stock sweet” (a sweet on a stick) at the end of each morning. The weather held out most of the time which made it easier to use the open field below the house. Thursday there was a turnout of 160 children. The children enjoyed different games and activities. They learned the memory verse with vigour, and listened attentively to the narrative of the angels message to the shepherds and the shepherds going off to see Jesus. Rain washed out play on Friday, but all the leaders and some brave souls came to the house where we shared the visit of the wise men and taught the memory verse. Three, of the thirteen children, who were present, were able to repeat all four memory verses.
Leaders Braai
On Friday afternoon there was a braai lunch to thank all our leaders for their help with the HBC and especially those leaders who have been helping us throughout the year with preparing the classroom and chairs for the Sunday services, playing instruments and singing in the music group, driving us around when necessary, leading the services, sharing the Word, leading the Sunday School, and many other practical duties. They are normally so willing to help with whatever is needed to be done and we are like a “big family” and they deserve to have a treat once a year.
Visit to the Local hospital.
Christmas 2016 we arranged with the hospital staff to go carol singing and praying for the patients and the staff. It must have gone down well, as this year we were invited to come again and sing to, and pray with the patients and staff. On Christmas eve 15 of our young leaders joined Cynthia and I as we went carolling at the hospital. We sang and prayed in every ward. The patients and the staff on duty expressed their gratitude, many were blessed and one young man said, “Come again tomorrow”. Praise God that these young people were willing to give up their Christmas eve to go and bless others.
Christmas Service
This service was led by the young people. This was a proper Christmas service with many readings and carols. The young people sang many of the carols we sang at the hospital. There were duets and solo’s. There was a very short message toward the end. The people so enjoyed the service, they insisted on the youth repeating the last carol.
Later on Christmas day we were blessed to be able to take presents from the Samaritans Purse (a group in America who fill shoe boxes with toys etc and send them to churches in different nations), with some goodies, to the orphans at the Mustard Seed. The children had a wonderful time opening their boxes and discovering their hidden treasures, eating their goodies and playing. Praise God for his goodness in providing for these children.
Food Deliveries
On, Friday 29th Dec, two of our young men went to buy and distribute the monthly gifts of food to widows, orphans, very poor families, and single mothers with children who are unemployed. Normally Reg would do this but he had had a fall in the mountains on Thursday. Russell and Reg were coming down a steep part of the Qwa Qwa Mountain in heavy rain. This made the paths very slippery. Reg slipped on the steep path and slid flat on his back for about five to food aid, plus a number of people and children who come to our house for help. The majority oIncorporating: The Mustard Seed
Using Scripture Union materials and programmes
Registration Number: 137-284 NPO
Qwa Qwa Newsletter
November December 2017
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be upon his shoulders;
And his name shall be called
Wonderful Councillor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end.
Isaiah 9:6 – 7a.
This wonderful promise is fulfilled in Jesus the Son of God. He has brought a remarkable peace. It’s a peace this world cannot give. It’s a peace this world, and those in this world, cannot know. Not the cessation of human conflict.
But the cessation of the conflict between God and man, through the reconciling work of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary. It is the peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to the peace of God ruling in our hearts and minds. This is one of the wonderful blessings that flows from the birth of Jesus. In the midst of all the hustle and bustle of the world, we who are in Christ can know the peace of God. Wonderful news, in a world of contrary noises.
As we enjoy the peace of God we are not alarmed by the restless beating of the drums from the initiation schools in the mountains around us. These sinister drum beats announce the confusion and the restlessness of the world system that brings no peace. It is a peace that passes all human understanding. In spite of all that goes on around us and all the slander directed toward us, we do know and cherish the peace of God that came through Jesus Christ the Lord, and was announced by the angels at his birth.
Praise God for his protection. On Friday, Cynthia took one of the young women to the doctor, MD. Not long after dropping off the young lady at her house, as Cynthia was travelling home with one the leaders from the church, (whom she found walking along the road), the left front wheel came off, with a loud noise and got jammed. The noise was the breaking of one of the wheel bolts. All six wheel nuts had come off. A mechanic from close by came and took some of the wheel nuts off the other wheels and secured the wheel. On Monday we took the car to a motor mac in Harrismith. After checking the wheel, he said that it looks as if someone had loosened the nuts. Praise God that Cynthia was travelling on a bad road at a very low speed, or who knows what could have happened. Praise God he kept Cynthia safe. We are not sure if someone tried to harm us or, just tried to steal the wheel. On Thursday the car has to go back to the motor mac, when he will take off the hub and replace the bolt that was severed.
Praise God for his provision. When we were really down and out financially, we were blessed with some unexpected and very welcome gifts. Thanks to all who sent us those very welcome and desperately needed gifts. Praise God he has truly blessed us over this Christmas period. Because of these wonderful gifts we will be able to pay for the repairs to the vehicle, and we have paid our rent and have set aside for January’s rent. Our God is so faithful in supplying our needs. Thanks to all the wonderful people who so faithfully support us month by month. We praise God for every good and perfect gift he so graciously supplies through the loving gifts his faithful people give. Without your support we would not be able to continue in the work. Thank you all so much. Praise God too, for the His place Church, who so faithfully give toward the feeding of the poor. Praise God too for all those who support the efforts to feed the children and the poor families in the area.

Holiday Bible Club

Praise God that a Holiday Bible Club took place this holiday. The first day was leaders training and practising carols for our Christmas service and for carolling at the local hospital. The first day for the children was virtually rained out, but all the leaders and some children braved the cold and the rain and just came to our house where we spent time playing games with them and sharing part of the Christmas narrative. It went off very well. The children had a great time and listened intently to the Bible lesson. Wednesday, we woke to a flat tyre, but made it to the tyre fitment
centre to have it fixed. The vehicle has to carry all the equipment to the ground for the HBC. There were about one hundred and forty children present at the HBC on the open field, in spite of the fact that we could not feed the children due to lack of funds. Again it went very well, with children having a lot of fun, studiously reciting the memory verse, and listening intently to the Bible story of the day. We continued giving out Sniggles (a reasonably good snack) and a “stock sweet” (a sweet on a stick) at the end of each morning. The weather held out most of the time which made it easier to use the open field below the house. Thursday there was a turnout of 160 children. The children enjoyed different games and activities. They learned the memory verse with vigour, and listened attentively to the narrative of the angels message to the shepherds and the shepherds going off to see Jesus. Rain washed out play on Friday, but all the leaders and some brave souls came to the house where we shared the visit of the wise men and taught the memory verse. Three, of the thirteen children, who were present, were able to repeat all four memory verses.

Leaders Braai

On Friday afternoon there was a braai lunch to thank all our leaders for their help with the HBC and especially those leaders who have been helping us throughout the year with preparing the classroom and chairs for the Sunday services, playing instruments and singing in the music group, driving us around when necessary, leading the services, sharing the Word, leading the Sunday School, and many other practical duties. They are normally so willing to help with whatever is needed to be done and we are like a “big family” and they deserve to have a treat once a year.
Visit to the Local hospital.
Christmas 2016 we arranged with the hospital staff to go carol singing and praying for the patients and the staff. It must have gone down well, as this year we were invited to come again and sing to, and pray with the patients and staff. On Christmas eve 15 of our young leaders joined Cynthia and I as we went carolling at the hospital. We sang and prayed in every ward. The patients and the staff on duty expressed their gratitude, many were blessed and one young man said, “Come again tomorrow”. Praise God that these young people were willing to give up their Christmas eve to go and bless others.

Christmas Service

This service was led by the young people. This was a proper Christmas service with many readings and carols. The young people sang many of the carols we sang at the hospital. There were duets and solo’s. There was a very short message toward the end. The people so enjoyed the service, they insisted on the youth repeating the last carol.
Later on Christmas day we were blessed to be able to take presents from the Samaritans Purse (a group in America who fill shoe boxes with toys etc and send them to churches in different nations), with some goodies, to the orphans at the Mustard Seed. The children had a wonderful time opening their boxes and discovering their hidden treasures, eating their goodies and playing. Praise God for his goodness in providing for these children.

Food Deliveries

On, Friday 29th Dec, two of our young men went to buy and distribute the monthly gifts of food to widows, orphans, very poor families, and single mothers with children who are unemployed. Normally Reg would do this but he had had a fall in the mountains on Thursday. Russell and Reg were coming down a steep part of the Qwa Qwa Mountain in heavy rain. This made the paths very slippery. Reg slipped on the steep path and slid flat on his back for about five to food aid, plus a number of people and children who come to our house for help. The majority of the people who receive food aid are children. Praise God for all those who give toward this part of the ministry.

Thanks and Greetings.

Thank you for all your prayer support, and financial support during 2017. We appreciate each one of you. Thank you for standing with us through the year. We thank our Father in heaven for you. You are very precious. God bless you all.
We trust you all had a wonderful and blessed Christmas. May The Father of mercies and the God of all comfort give you strength in your inner being as you face the challenges of 2018; may you experience his abundance in all things and in every area of your lives, may he sustain, uphold and provide for you in every way and may his grace prove to be sufficient for you in every circumstance you may face in the new year.
Love in the Lord
Cynthia, Julia and Reg

Qwa Qwa Newsletter August/September/October 2017

Incorporating: The Mustard Seed
Using Scripture Union materials and programmes
Registration Number: 137-284 NPO
Qwa Qwa Newsletter
August/September/October 2017

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.

Other Ministry

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.

Network Retreat

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:

  1. Cynthia and I were entering into a new season, where we will experience new things;
  2. That in spite of the negative things spoken against us we will overcome and enter into the blessing of the Lord;
  3. 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.

Thanks

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

HBC Appeal October 2016

Incorporating “The Mustard Seed”

 Little Palesa lives in abject poverty in the drought striken, overcrowded village of Mabolela. Her unemployed, single mother, Tryphina, blurs her personal suffering by sitting in a nearby drinking establishment daily and consuming a fermented pineapple toxic brew. It is cheap and potent. Tryphina does not know it but her liver is failing her body. It won’t be long now till Tryphina succumbs to liver failure. Her daughter, Palesa, 2016-9will be left at the age of 9, to organise and support her younger siblings. It is something she is prepared for. For little Palesa life has always been a scrabble existence. She rarely smiles, is used to the gnawing pain of extreme hunger and has taught herself to expect nothing from her grey life. As Palesa sighs and bend her weary little, emaciated body over the bucket filled with dirty diapers, part of her wishes her life was over. Palesa heard about heaven from Pastor Reg and Ma Cynthia on Sunday. It looked like a very warm place filled with fruit trees and God’s love. She has never seen nor experienced love or having as much fruit as she can eat. The closest she has ever come to having fun, security and a full belly is during the holidays when her Pastor Reg held a Holiday Bible Club in her village Mabolela. As she scrubs the old, yellowed nappies she thinks about the previous HBC when she was given sweets and as many plates of meat and vegetables as she could eat. She remembers how she surreptitiously took a plastic bag and filled it with extra food for her Mom. It messed up her pockets but she did not care as she knows her mother is ill. Her mother was so proud of her. Palesa’s face is slowly relaxing as she remembers that emotion of pleasing her mother. Maybe, just maybe, there is heaven on earth as well.

Dear Reader, this is a factual story that is repeated approximately 221 every holiday season here in Mabolela. And Mountain Ministries is more than happy to be the hands and feet of Christ to God’s special little souls. We know that what we do unto the very least of these we do unto our beloved Christ. And the only true religion is seen in our ability to serve His orphans and marginalised. How can we, at Mountain Ministries preach, about God’s love every Sunday, and not give to children like Palesa!!? At this moment Mountain Ministries is going through a season of lack of finance. Our HBC fund is empty. This is ministry, and Christ walks us through seasons to grow and sanctify us. We must push through regardless. We are humbly requesting any type of gift, in order that we may purchase food supplies, for our upcoming Holiday Bible Club, to feed the children of Mabolela. No donation is too small. Every bit helps. We cannot actually imagine telling two hundred expectant faces, that this time around, no food can be served. Usually, we pray and wait, but this is a different season, and we asking for your kindness. God bless you all. Please continue to pray for us. Remember it takes a village of Christ followers, to keep these children fed and loved. Thank you for being part of that village for Christ Jesus.

Qwa Qwa Newsletter March April 2016

Incorporating: The Mustard Seed

Using Scripture Union materials and programmes

Registration Number: 137-284 NPO

Qwa Qwa Newsletter

March/April 2016

While in Johannesburg last month for my brother’s 80th birthday party (staying at our son Russell’s flat) I (Cynthia) was amazed early one morning to look out of his upstairs window to see so many swallows circling and swooping up and down above the grass in front of the nearby block of flats. They were having a feast of flying ants as they rose up from holes in the lawn. No resting, just busy flying around and swooping up and down. Closely watching them were 2 hadidas perched on the railing of the top veranda of another flat. Peering down one said to the other “What are they doing?” “Catching and eating ants for breakfast”. “But that’s what we should be eating! I’m hungry”. “Wait our turn” said the older and wiser bird. “We don’t want to get mixed up with that lot right now”.

Unfortunately I couldn’t watch any longer as I needed to get ready for a surprise 75th birthday party for a very “old” friend (Yvonne Jaques) and needed to be there at a specific time. Our host, Sandy Carpenter, did a fantastic job of surprising Yvonne completely and arranging for us to enjoy a wonderful party in beautiful surroundings. But I could imagine the hadidas having a feast of left over flying ants crawling all over the grass and paving once the swallows had left!

Perfect timing in all things. That’s how our God is. He supplies all our needs as He knows best and we should take a lesson from nature and rest in Him and trust Him just as the birds do so naturally.

Holiday Bible Club

Over two hundred screaming and exited children running to and fro, playing soccer, skipping, playing other games, all having a wonderful time. Then imagine the leaders trying to keep control of these exuberant children. Well they did an excellent job of keeping control. No injuries, no nonsense, just fun. The few instances of bullying and unruly behaviour were dealt with quickly. Praise God for additional leaders from the Netherlands who introduced new games and for Trywell, one of the Ywamers who has returned to Qwa Qwa to help at Ed-U-College and with the church. The cooks provided good meals for all the children and the leaders. We praise God for the gospel message that was shared with the children, and their enthusiasm in learning the memory verses as well as for those who showed a desire to go on with the Lord. Praise God for a wonderful HBC. Thank you for praying. Thank you for giving. Our prayer is that the Lord, by the power of the Holy Spirit working through the Word, will wean these children, from the bondage of the dead traditions they have been brought up in, and introduce them to the true knowledge of the Living God in Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit.

The great challenge in all this was to get enough water to cook for 230 – 240 people each day and to wash all the dishes and pots etc. It took many trips to Lusaka village to meet this need. Added to this was the shopping for more children than expected. All the running to and fro was tiring in itself and then to control all this lot was quite exhausting. We are not as young as we used to be. After all that I had to do a water run on the Saturday, for our needs, and preach on the Sunday. Praise God that he gives us the strength to do his work, and all the incidentals that go with it, to accomplish the tasks he sets before us.

The Mustard Seed

When you work full time for Christ, when you live among the children you are ministering and praying for, you are daily confronted by the chaos and horrors that the unthinking actions of others have wrought on your little charges. I often wonder if these adults would repeat these selfish acts, if they saw how deep the wounds go. This is not band aid ministry, or positive thinking doctrines, where you confess and all things are magically changed. This is raw and reminds me of the deep, deep wounds Christ was subjected to on Calvary. Jesus is grieving as he looks down on the broken lives that inhabit the Mustard Seed. Of course Christ will heal, and little minds will be renewed, but it will take a very long journey. A journey that will take the most understanding Christ like therapists, hours of listening and talking, and anything else God will use to accomplish his will. We have to have patience, long suffering, and just continue to stand and love unconditionally. Just when you think you have seen and heard it all, you are jolted from your complacency by a telephone call from a shocked headmistress or a revelation that there is still a deep pit of maggots that still need to be dealt with. It is all so terribly raw and incredibly heartbreaking, what our children have been through. A nine year old girl, who is left with a life threatening disease, because she was expected to earn money for her family. A young teenage boy, who has lost brain cells due to sniffing glue as he lived and worked as a night walker, on the cold and perverse streets of Qwa Qwa. Two siblings, who are the product of incest and consequently suffer from chronic illnesses. These are some of the stories that emanate from the Mustard Seed home. And often you are left with so many questions that have no answers. You just have to continue to do the work, pray and cry silently at night, for the lost children that live with shameful memories. You know that God has a plan for each young life. That is your hope that you cling to. We need your fervent prayers for our children, so that one day they may rise up from their graves, to sit with Christ in heavenly places.

School Activities

Bible Club continues to be enjoyed by many of the Witsieshoek Primary school children. Trywell has joined the team and has been a great blessing. We are, together with the principal and Christian teachers, planning a camp in KZN at the end of September for all those who attend the weekly Bible Club who can afford to pay. It will cost approx. R750 for the whole weekend + meals, activities, swimming in a warmed pool (only for the adults – it is just too risky to let the children swim in this very deep pool. They will all say they can swim, jump in and sink to the bottom!!! Oh no, no way can we allow that. We have space for 60 children but not all those will be able to pay. We would love to fill all the beds as it is such a wonderful opportunity to make closer relationships to get to know them better and urn the right to share the Gospel meaningfully. If any of you would like to contribute towards the costs we would be very grateful indeed. We have 4 month ends before the camp and are encouraging the parents/guardians to save as much as possible towards the fees. But we will still need much money to cover everything. The camp leaders (10) are free if we have 60 campers.

We have begun to take Assemblies in some of the primary schools and hope to do the same in the high schools in our area. Trywell has had quite a bit of experience in this field while training with YWAM in Bethlehem before joining us here in Qwa Qwa. He plans to be here till at least the end of the year. It would be wonderful to be able to pay him a salary during this time.

Thanks

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.

Both Reg and I have been suffering recently with our health and are under the care of a new and very thorough doctor here in Qwa Qwa. He has wisely warned us to take care of ourselves or else the work will not be able to be continued. While Reg was away in Jhb for 2 weeks, I tested the loyalty of many of our leaders and found them 100% faithful. They rallied around and did all sorts of jobs that needed doing and did them voluntarily. Some worked for a place for the Retreat in September.

Our keyboard player, Mokhele, has his drivers licence now (able to carry passengers) and is driving so well you would think he has been on the road for years. He has been doing the food parcels with Reg for a long time now and last month had to take over all the deliveries as Reg almost collapsed after carrying some of the 12,5 kg bags of mieliemeal!! He has taken over the water collections from Lusaka for us and quite a few other members of our church as the water trucks have not been coming around for quite a while. He has driven me around all over the place doing ministry in schools, prayer meetings, shopping for church and home and even to the Fika Pitso dam in the Drakensberg which supplies 90% of Qwa Qwa’s water. It is only 27% full. Trywell, Mokhele and myself had the privilege of being allowed to climb the wall of the dam and pray over it to be filled up in the Name of Jesus. It has been raining over the dam area quite a bit now but the dam is still 27%. We continue to trust the Lord for more heavy rain in the quite small catchment area. The huge pumps in the pumphouse were silent as was the water cleaning plant on the hill. So sad as water is so vital for life for all creatures and we are all feeling the strain of carrying buckets of rain water etc., filling bottles to be used for cooking and drinking, for washing and brushing of teeth. Oh for the water to flow through the taps again!!!

Now back to Mokhele. We would like to employ him in some sort of capacity as driver for us and the church and to help us in other practical ways but would need a sponsor/s to be able to pay him a salary of perhaps R2000 a month. Please pray for provision for this need.

We also need some sort of fulltime worker in the home and to help me with Heather at times. Mutale, who helped us with Ouma for almost a year, is like part of our family (even the dogs accept her fully) and is without work at this time. She is prepared to live in at times when we need her to do that. So we would also need a sponsor/s to pay her R2000 a month. Please pray about this as well. Thank you so much.

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.

QWA QWA NEWSLETTER APRIL AND MAY

APRIL – May 2013.

SCRIPTURE UNION

All Praise and Glory to our Father God, to Jesus our Elder Brother, Friend and victorious Lord and the Holy Spirit our Guide, Comforter and Teacher. The Triune Godhead, full of love, grace, mercy and justice. We have proved Him over and over again in all areas of our lives. Praise His Name.

Settling Julia.

“Hard work never killed anyone.” In fact it strengthens your muscles and keeps you fit! Wow our faithful young guys have been very busy again – apart from digging 2 very large holes in preparation for Julias’s toilet and bathroom – they carried all her furniture up the mountain to this 6 roomed house in Mabolela which she is renting at a reasonable price. It’s quite a mission as our cars can only go to the road at the bottom of the mountain. Thank you so much, guys. A big thank you too, to Save the Children, who lent us a bakkie and a driver, to help bring her possessions from Lusaka area to our side of town.

The children in our area are flocking to Julia for homework classes, Bible stories, fun and games and love, love, lots of love. They come and go all day – some cold and wet needing clothes and shoes. What a privilege to be able to help and serve these little ones (and older ones) is some way to meet, at least, some of their needs.

Julia’s Bathroom

Work on Julia’s bathroom and toilet is now complete, apart from the dry wall separating the toilet and Bathroom, and the bathroom and toilet from the rest of the room in which the bathroom was installed. The irony of the situation is that just before the electrician was able to complete the electrical work for the geyser, the water failed due to a burst pipe. So he was not able to check to see if everything is working properly. And Julia has been without water since 25th until now, and we have been without water for two days now. They say we will have water by the morning 2nd June. Sometimes we get a bit impatient because things take a while, but we need to lay solid foundations in practical things, in life and in the lives of our children and young people. All takes patience, hard work and devotion to the Lord’s service.

Midweek Meetings

The weekly Bible Studies and Youth meetings are now divided into 2 – primary school children going to Julia, high school and beyond people coming to us as before at Keta house on the farm. Julia had 50 children at her first meeting and 60 at the second!!

By the way, our Scripture Union training with Sello and Elia was brilliant and the SU Holiday Bible Club that followed with Martha was proof of what our guys learnt at the training. The only problem this time was the weather! Rain made the time with the children very difficult at times. Oh for any kind of covered “house” or building in which to hold our weekly activities, come rain or shine. It will come in God’s perfect time.

Food Parcels

These continue to go out month by month to the orphans and widows and are gratefully received. Thank you once again to our friends at His Place church in Hastings, England, for their faithful giving. May the Lord bless you and give you the desires of your hearts.

Thanks so much too for all the clothes and shoes collected for the orphans from our friends in Centurion, Pretoria, and others in Johannesburg and for the lovely Mothers Day gifts for Julia and Cynthia. Such practical products and some special “spoiling” ones as well. God is good and we praise Him for His faithfulness in providing for our needs so that we can share and help the needy with their needs.

Our winter gardens are doing reasonably well but the extreme cold in winter cause growth to be very slow. O for a “green house” to help our poor vegetables! And to save them from the Mouse Birds. They ate just about our whole summer crop; all the spinach, all the cabbages, all the beetroot, and a lot of our beans.

Accommodation.

We are still needing accommodation in the Durban area for an important wedding on the last weekend of September. It will be for 3 of us. As long as we have beds to sleep in that’s all we need! A thought – maybe we should pitch our elder son’s (Russell) tents on Durban beach and enjoy the sea air both day and night! We all have sleeping bags which would help!

On another personal note – please come and join the “circus” we have here at home. We have 10 “grandchildren”, 10 animals who give us much pleasure and also some anxious moments! 7 dogs and 3 cats of all ages, sizes and colours really enjoy walks on the dusty/muddy roads or partly up the mountain behind our house. They are all needed for forewarning of “visitors” or the catching of unwanted rodents! But seriously, you are welcome anytime for anything you may need! It would be lovely to see you and you can enjoy our beautiful surroundings without having to face any of the challenges that come OUR way. If quietness is what you need, we have a lovely B & B about 5 minutes walk from our house on the same farm with very economical prices. The Drakensberg amphitheatre is about 25 KMs from us and one of the Lesotho border posts is only 23 KMs down the road. We are only 50 KMs from Harrismith, passing the Sterkfontein Dam, on a very good road. See you soon, we hope.

Future Activities

Please pray for our next Holiday Bible Club (1st – 5th July). Pray for good weather and finance to be able to feed the children who attend and give our volunteers lunch every day.

We are looking forward to a visit from the team from Turn2God Prayer Ministries quite soon. Their last visit was very encouraging and uplifting.

God bless you all. Love in Jesus

Reg & Cynthia Schafer, and John King.

Cynthia’s Newsletter March 2013

SCRIPTURE UNION

Have you ever prayed for a sick cat or an injured chicken? Well, our God is an awesome God and a prayer answering God.

“Our God is an awesome God; He reigns from heaven above,

With wisdom, power and love,

Our God is an awesome God – indeed He is!!

On the “farm” with free-range chickens there are indeed dangers! Spiritually as well we have unseen dangers and need to be on our guard daily clothing ourselves with the armour of God (Ephesians 6:11 – 17). Be good soldiers (warriors) for the Lord, marching against the enemy (seen or unseen). We are seated in heavenly places and can look down on our circumstances and be victorious over them. Set our minds on things above, eternal things, and the earthly things will fall into line.

Back to prayer (communicating or talking) to our Heavenly Father as our Friend and as we keep a close relationship with Him we may ask Him to meet our needs, to protect us and to be with us at all times. Our needs at this time are for finances for our HOLIDAY BIBLE CLUB at the end of the month. We would like to feed the children with one nutritious meal each day and sandwiches for lunch for our volunteer leaders. We also give our leaders a thank you lunch on the last day of the club and try to include ice cream as a treat because they have given at least part of their holiday to serve the Lord and the children of the community.

Ever been to a funeral where your feet and shoes get stuck in the mud!? Quite challenging! It had rained “cats and dogs” the day and night before and even the ground under the tent was sticky mud. The Golf got stuck in the “road” and had to be “towed out” by muscle power! It was a funeral for a young man of 23 from our sister church in Lusaka (Qwa Qwa) whose family had moved to our side of town. He had epilepsy, but was doing so well and had grown so much as a Christian since coming to know Jesus as his Saviour. We celebrated his life and his promotion to heaven.

Our days are very full with various activities. One highlight recently was a weekend thoroughly enjoying Sandra, Michele and Nicky, from Hartebeespoort (the Word Wise Church) sharing with our church folk in dance and music, with prophetic worship, prophetic prayer, testimony and very powerful Intercession. It was wonderful, awesome and we really saw the glory of the Lord (Revelation 1,4 and 5) and felt His tangible presence in the hall we met in – the Tribal Trust Hall – on Friday eve., Saturday all day (meals included thanks to our great team of ladies) and Sunday morning. A big thank you to Sandra and her team. May the Lord truly bless you and continue to use you as you serve Him in this very creative way.

We are looking forward to 21st and 22nd March when Thabu and his team from Scripture Union will be training about 30 of our volunteers for various activities with children and young people. The S.U. training is so good it is life changing and helps to equip trainees for not only current events but life in general and future jobs etc. Please pray that our higher grade high school learners will not be required to attend extra classes over that time! The following week we will be holding our Holiday Bible Club for the children of our community on the open piece of ground below our house. We trust we will one day have a building in which to hold the clubs, church services, Bible studies and prayer and youth meetings so that whatever the weather, we can continue with our activities.

Until next time please keep praying for us and giving as you are able to the work here in this very needy part of the Free State, South Africa. QWA QWA FOR JESUS – Amen. Thank you for all your support in so many ways.

Love in Jesus, Cynthia and team.