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.

 

Newsletter: Scripture Union Holiday Bible Club

“Cock..a..doo.a.doo” was faintly heard from our Sir Charlie (young rooster) early one morning over the Easter weekend. His hen (Lady Grey) (both new additions to our family!!) must have given him a look as if to say “That was a weak attempt at a crow! Try again.” But that put him off and he didn’t. He’s still young and will “get there”. Just like the children who came to our Holiday Bible Clubs the week before Easter – young and tender to receive God’s Word and His love. They will “get there”- growing up to become young people and men and women of God, leaders in the community in different areas of Qwa Qwa. As we see them slowly maturing it is well worth the sacrifices we make to run these clubs – prayers at 6.30a.m., preparation from 8 – 9.30 with our loyal volunteers, ably led by Mpule (Martha) from Scripture Union in the Vaal, walk to open field in the village below our house, where we had an average of 200 children per day. Then a quick sandwich for lunch and travel to Pereng (96 children) or Lusaka (106 average) for the afternoon clubs. We thank the Lord for Mutale (“nurse” as Ouma calls her) for her help with Ouma, housework and cooking supper. We praise the Lord for all the children reached during the week. Our final day ended with a thank you meal for our loyal and faithful volunteers who gave up their whole school holiday to serve the Lord, running 2 Holiday Bible Clubs each day.

We went straight into the Easter weekend being up at 5.30 a.m. on Good Friday to wave goodbye to Mpule as she left by taxi for Thaba Nchu to minister to more children from her church while the adults met together for a conference with a sister church. Back home I was surprised to find a young bull in our garden enjoying some juicy green grass before the harsh winter weather turns everything brown and dry. It was quite a sight to see Reg waving a long piece of bluegum bark as he guided our “intruder” away from our newly shooting pea plants, through the sloping front garden and out of our open gate!! It was open to welcome 31 of our church folk who joined us for a communion service at our house as we remembered the death of our Lord Jesus for us on this Good Friday, 2012. (We can only use the school on Sundays).

On Saturday Reg conducted the funeral for a mother of a contact of our church, followed by a special worship service at Lusaka, and 2 services on Sunday, one being the highlight of the weekend – a sunrise service on a koppie part of the way up the Qwa Qwa mountain behind our house. We shared this service with a group of Dutch young adults, who are here for a 3 month course at the Crossroads Adventure Academy, and their leaders. They had all helped us with the morning H.B.C. in groups of 5 a day, organising a game, a skit or a drama. We praise the Lord and give Him thanks for all these things and for all those who supported us and enabled us to run these H.B.C.s.

May the Lord bless you richly.

Love in Jesus,
Cynthia

Newsletter February 2012

MOUNTAIN MINISTRIES

QWA QWA NEWSLETTER

February 2012.

Psalm 145:1 – 3

I will exalt you my God and King; I will praise your name forever and ever.

Every day I will praise you and extol your name forever and ever.

Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom.

First and foremost I praise God for saving me, healing me, and his restoring power at work in my body. God does what man cannot do. And he does it in response to believing prayer. Thank you all for praying for me during my recent illness.

Praise God for all that he has accomplished in 2011.

Over the year approximately one thousand children have heard the gospel message, in the different venues, where we have held Children’s Holiday Bible Clubs and Saturday Bible Clubs. Many of these children have responded positively to the gospel and some attend the church services regularly. We thank God for the team of young people and young adults who help us run the HBC’s. They do the games the memory verse and the gospel talk. They also prepare the food that we give to the children.

Last year we ran the Scripture Union Life Skills course in two high schools. At Rantsane we worked with grade nines, about two hundred teenagers attended regularly. The staff told us that a number of these young people changed. Let me give you one example. One young man who started out as a rebel after three weeks was answering questions, asking questions and getting involved in the activities. At Thahametso we had to teach grades ten and eleven about, three hundred and fifty young people. At first things went well. Then the principal started cancelling the sessions. As a result we only managed ten of the twenty seven lessons. In spite of this God did touch a few lives.

During 2011 we have visited hundreds of homes and handed out over two thousand five hundred tracts. We have shared the gospel in very many homes. We have carried out prayer walks in different areas and have walked the dusty streets of Mabolela and the surrounding villages praying as we go and sharing the gospel. We have visited taverns and witnessed to those drinking beer and spirits.

At the Wednesday evening Bible study we are busy doing a foundation course. In 2011 we had between ten and twenty attending, mostly teenagers and a few young adults. Praise God that the word of God is changing the lives of some of these young people. The Bible studies will commence in March as I still need a bit more time to recover.

Last year between one hundred and sixty to one hundred and seventy people attended the church. A number were one time visitors, some attended a few services, and about thirty were regular. At present we have fifteen to twenty who attend regularly. A number of these are truly committed and have a sincere desire to serve the Lord. Many have made commitments to follow Jesus, unfortunately a number of them left the church, when Bongani our keyboard player left the church and took his keyboard with him. Eighteen believers were baptised during the year. About four key members have gone to other centres to serve God there.

Praise God that, through the generous donations of His Place Church, we were able to continue distributing food parcels, on a monthly basis, to fifty seven orphans and four widows.

Toward the end of 2011 we were led by the Spirit to have combined monthly prayer meetings with the Lusaka church. These meetings have been a great blessing.

At the end of October a team from Farming God’s Way did a training course and set out and planted two gardens using this method. We had a good crop of beans, beetroot and spinach. The mielies are still growing. With this crop we have distributed to some orphans and a widow and have also benefited from it.

An Issue for which we need prayer.

The Holy Spirit has shown us to take an uncompromising stand against ancestral worship with its attendant evils, witchcraft and the consulting of Spirit mediums. Praise God that most of those who attend the church in Mabolela have renounced these evil practices. God has also shown us to speak out against this evil, and the very cruel practice, of slaughtering cattle and sheep at funerals. They will have a spirit medium doing some incantation to the ancestors, then, they will cut the throat of the animal, often with a blunt knife. This causes a tremendous amount pain and stress to the poor animal. Because of this stand we have lost members, but God does not desire mixed worship, he requires pure worship from his people. This is what the Holy Spirit desires us to strive for. Praise God that most of those in the church are taking a stand with us. We have set before them alternatives. If you need to prepare food for those attending the funeral, buy meat from a butcher, or shoot the animal. In place of a spirit medium doing his incantation, have a short communion service, celebrating our Lord’s sacrifice for us and his resurrection from the dead. Pray for breakthrough in this issue.

Saturday Bible Club (SBC).

One hundred and two children attended the SBC. The children really enjoyed themselves. They thrive on the attention they get at these meetings. Most of them were very attentive during the memory verse. God is beginning to change some of these children.

Future events for prayer.

In March the Sunday school will be starting up. Pray that the school will allow us to have an extra class room for the Sunday school.

From March we will be meeting with the leaders of Lusaka Christian Fellowship for prayer and fellowship. So we will be meeting with them twice a month. The one prayer meeting will be open to the whole church, the other only for the leadership.

In March a team from Farming God’s Way will again visit to see how the project is progressing. Some of our young people have prepared small gardens at their homes. When we are able to get the training manual and the DVD’s we will train other people in this way of planting gardens.

The next Children’s Bible Holiday Club will take place from 2nd to 5th April. We would love to have an SU team come over that period to give our team more training. Please pray that people will be released to come and help. Donations are needed to cover the expenses of the HBC. If you are able to donate you will find the relevant bank details at the end of this letter.

Thank You.

I apologise that I have not been able to send out individual thank you letters to all those who have given us gifts toward our support during December January. I just did not have the strength to do it. Therefore we want to thank you all for your gifts toward our support. We appreciate each one of you and thank God for you. We also appreciate your ongoing support, and your continued prayer for us. Thank you very much.

God bless you all.

Love in Jesus

Reg & Cynthia Schafer and John King.

SCRIPTURE UNION HOLIDAY BIBLE CLUB REPORT AND NEWSLETTER

Monday 12th December 2011 – many hands at work preparing packets for each child attending our H.B.C. for each day. Packets containing biscuits, nutritious corn chips, sweets and a lolly. Also a day of preparation for games, Bible stories, memory verses and dramas. Also preparation for a special Christmas play for the final day. Much fun and learning was had by all including our volunteer leaders during the week.

The memory verse prize (a Reach 4 Life Bible) was won by one of the girls who repeated all the verses without 1 mistake. The Christmas play on the final day depicted the birth of Jesus. It was a really unusual sight to see these young people clad in white flowing garments in the middle of the day on the open field! But it had the desired results – many children accepted Jesus as their Saviour. Praise the Lord. The number of children attending ranged from 194 to 214. Praise the Lord for the good attendance.

The Lord has impressed upon us to work especially with the children to try to establish an aids free generation.

The Wednesday before Christmas a group of us (about 12) went carol singing at the local hospital and prayed for the patients in each ward. This was gratefully accepted by both patients and nursing staff.

Reg is recovering slowly from suspected sunstroke, tick bite fever and a gall bladder operation. It will be quite a while before he will be fully active in the work again. We thank the Lord for saving him from near death by friends getting him to hospital just in time to be put on a drip for dehydration etc. Cynthia also had a very high temperature due to a kidney and bladder infection. Heather is also battling with various health problems and is often in a lot of pain and fatigue. We must be doing something right for the Lord because satan is not leaving us alone right now as we plan to go into the new year with some new ideas for the church work – which is going well – and the childrens work. Our next H.B.C. will run during the first week of April – just before Easter – and we are praying for someone to come and direct it in the S.U. way and help train our very enthusiastic volunteers correctly. Any offers? We also need some finance to be able to feed the children every day and give the volunteers lunch after each session. Fortunately we don’t need transport money (except for petrol to buy the food) as we walk the distance necessary.

Thanks to all those who have supported us in various ways during the last few months. We really appreciate all you do for us as we strive to serve the Lord in this very needy area of Qwa Qwa, Eastern Free State.

Much love in Jesus from us all, Cynthia, Reg and John