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

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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

NEWSLETTER OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2011

MOUNTAIN MINISTRIES

QWA QWA NEWSLETTER

October/November 2011.

Hebrews 9:26b – 28a “But now he (Jesus) has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgement, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people”

Hebrews 10:10 -12 “And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest (Jesus) had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God.”

Of late the devil has raised his ugly head in opposing our work here in the form of ancestral worship and its attendant evils, animal sacrifice, witchcraft and consulting spirit mediums. At least two of these evil practices take place at nearly every funeral in Qwa Qwa, even in so called “Christian” homes. What is worse, in most cases the pastors and the churches condone these practices. When the body of the deceased person is delivered to the home where the service is to be held, the men all gather in the room with the coffin and a, I presume, spirit medium or witch doctor will mumble some incantation. Then the men go outside where a hole is dug. Into this hole they drain the blood of the animal to be slaughtered, in sacrifice to the ancestors. What they do with the blood, I am not sure. We have never been present, or ever want to be present, at this cruel slaughter. This is all done, even in “Christian” homes, under the guise, “It’s our custom.” It is a very cruel custom. What they do not realise, is that they are sacrificing to demonic spirits, and that Jesus once for all sacrifice, on the cross is the only sacrifice for sins. Most churches are totally compromised on this issue. Some churches even practice it openly. Very few churches speak out against it, for fear of losing people. There is a lot of mixed worship in the local churches. We have opposed these practices, by speaking out against them in the church and in the village, hence the opposition from the devil. We are confident that in Christ we have the victory, and that, “Greater is he who is in us than he who is in the world.” Pray that the Lord by the power of the Holy Spirit working through the Word will expose this evil practice and set the people free from this superstition that has held them in bondage for all these years. Many of the people who attend our church in Mabolela have renounced the evil of ancestral worship openly and to their parents. Pray that all who attend the church in Mabolela will openly renounce everything to do with ancestral worship. Thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph through our Lord Jesus Christ. The battle is not ours but the Lord’s. Thank you Jesus, you give us the victory!

This is the reason, I believe, the Lord showed us to put a lot of effort into children’s work. The adults are so steeped in it, that it will take a miracle of God’s mighty power to free them from it. (All things are possible with God. He is a God of miracles. Pray that this miracle will take place. In God we have the victory.) Pray that God will breakthrough into the lives of the children through these HBC’s and the love we show them, so that they will be set free from this curse and it’s bondage.

Praise God for the eighteen people, mostly young adults and teenagers who were baptised recently. Two of the young adults have subsequently back slidden. They have withdrawn from the Life Skills course, no longer attend the church meetings, and have got involved with some young men who will use them, abuse them and throw them away. Please pray for Matshiu and Totila. Pray that God will rescue them from the hand of the enemy before they become pregnant and are discarded and hurt by these guys. Pray that God will guard and keep the others who were baptised, that they may grow up to full maturity in the Lord.

Praise God for a wonderful Children’s holiday Bible Club in October. Attendances were good and a number received Jesus for the first time. Praise God for the team he has raised up. They ran the activities, they led the singing, they organised the drama’s and they did the Bible memory verse and gave the talk or Bible story. God gave us the grace to train these young people, now they run the show and we observe and advise. Pray that more will be added to the team and that they will grow in confidence in the Lord and will overcome the strong pull of this world, and be a strong witness in the area.

Praise God for the Wednesday evening Bible study group. This is the group the Lord has shown us to concentrate on. At present we are doing foundational studies with them. Then, as the Holy Spirit enables, we will teach the important concepts of our faith. This group is beginning to grow. Praise God for the growth and pray that they will apply themselves to the study of God’s word. Pray that from this group God will raise up strong and committed, future leaders for the local church, as well as evangelists, pastors and teachers who will go out and start new churches.

Praise God for the men’s meeting every Sunday at 15H30. There is a core group of six to seven young guys who attend. The aim is to teach men responsible Christian living in all areas of life and how to relate to women, as well as good Biblical, family values. It is also a platform to train future leaders. Pray that more men will attend and, that those who attend will be built up in their faith.

Pray that God will give Cynthia the grace, wisdom and time to start a meeting for ladies. Cynthia is very much tied up with helping ouma (my mom) and Heather and Heather’s dogs. If Heather will get up and help take care of ouma, and look after her own dogs, this will give Cynthia more time in the ministry. Please pray that Heather will become more independent and will get more involved in the home and the work. Pray for spiritual breakthrough in Heather’s life, and that she may have victory over her problems, real or otherwise.

Praise God for the faithful group who attend the Sunday morning service. The numbers took a knock from the time we took a stand against ancestral worship. Praise God that numbers are increasing again, and over the past few weeks some people have made commitments to follow Jesus. Pray that all who attend will denounce, and renounce all ties with ancestral worship and live for Jesus alone. Pray too that we will continue to declare the whole truth of the gospel without compromise.

Praise God for the Lusaka church. It continues to grow. We held a combined baptismal service, at which eighteen new converts from Lusaka, as well as the ones form Mabolela, were baptised. Praise God. Pray that the church will take an uncompromising stand against the evils of ancestral worship and sexual immorality in the church. Pray that they will take an uncompromising stand on the word of God, and will expose these twin evils.

Future events to praise God for, and to pray for.

  • December 3rd – A lunch as a reward for the volunteers and the church.
  • December 10th – Combined prayer meeting at our home with the Lusaka group
  • December Children’s Holiday Bible Club: 13th – 16th. Pray for funds. Funds permitting, we will run two in our area. If you are able to give toward the Holiday Club, your gifts will be greatly appreciated. Bank details below.
  • December 21st – Carol services to be held in various wards of the local hospital. Pray that the superintendent will show us favour and give us his blessing to bless the patients.
  • December 25th Christmas day service
  • December 31st All night prayer vigil and new year service.
  • January. The launch of our Sunday School. At present Sunday School and church are combined. Cynthia will head up the Sunday School. And train teachers.
  • January. The Life Skills course starts.

Praise God for the continued support of the His Place Church that enables us to supply food parcels to a growing number of widows, orphans and very poor people. The number has risen to close on sixty.

Praise God for the Farming God’s Way team who taught us a new and more effective way of growing maize and vegetables. The produce will be used to supply vegetables for those who receive the food parcels. The plan is to teach all those who depend on the food parcels to grow their own vegetables. This will not only supply vegetables for them but will give them a surplus they could sell or trade. Pray that the people will catch the vision and begin to become self-reliant and not dependant on others.

We praise God for all of you who care to read this newsletter. We thank our Father for all your prayers for us and the work. We thank God for all the gifts you send us, for the work and for our personal support.
Thank you for praying.
Thank you for giving.

God bless you all.
Love in Jesus.

Reg & Cynthia Schafer and John King
For Mountain Ministries

Contact Details

If you would like to support any of our activities, or any one of us personally, our bank details are as follows.

Please specify the project you wish to sponsor.

For HBC’s, Orphan support:
The Family Church – Qwa Qwa Account. (Current Account).
First National Bank: Cresta Branch.
Account number: 62101490217.
Branch code: 254905.

Farming God’s Way (FGW) project:
R P Schafer – Missions Account. (Savings Account).
Nedbank: Greenside Branch.
Account number: 2975060955.
Branch code: 197505.

Reg and Cynthia Schafer personal support.
R P Schafer. (Current Account).
Nedbank: Greenside Branch.
Account number: 1975006763.
Branch code: 197505.

John King personal support.
J B King. (Savings Account).
ABSA Bank.
Account number 9076089015.
Universal branch code: 632005.

Praise God and thank you.
You made it to the end. Well done.

HOLIDAY BIBLE CLUB REPORT – OCTOBER 2011

SCRIPTURE UNION
QWA QWA HOLIDAY BIBLE CLUB REPORT
OCTOBER 2011

Hi from Qwa Qwa, Eastern Free State,
PRAISE – Tired but fulfilled and excited for the future. The Good News has gone out through the SCRIPTURE UNION Holiday Bible Club in Mabolela during this past week. The village below the farm where we live is very pretty at night with all the lights (when we have electricity), but during the day you see the poverty, the shacks, the women collecting sticks for fuel, the taverns where the males spend much time and then go home and give wives and children a hard time!! Yet there are “treasures” in the village. Many innocent children, teenagers and young adults who need love and guidance and good examples to follow, and most important they need Jesus to save their souls and give them hope for the future.

Over the last 12 months some have emerged from the village and surrounding areas as leaders with real potential. One young guy was very sceptical at first – What are these white people doing here? He was very quiet, bowed over, frowning and a little miserable. You should see him now – straight up, full of confidence, smiling, full of fun, joy and hope in Jesus. Someone took the trouble to show him love and attention and teach him about God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Others, similar to him, have been helping with the Holiday Bible Club – 5 guys and 4 ladies – committed, faithful, coming on time for preparation, full of enthusiasm and excited to share Jesus with the children (113 on 1st day, 233 on last day – average 178) who came every day this past week to the open field (the only area large enough) come rain or shine, wind and dust, heat or cold! (We had them all.) We all worked together as a wonderful team and God’s Kingdom was extended.

Thank you to all those who helped us with your prayers and finance. We were able to give the children something to eat every day and on the final day we were able to give the leaders a special lunch as a thank you for all their hard and dedicated work. They really appreciate all we do for them. Now our Holiday Club coffers are empty and we look to the Lord to supply for our December Clubs (12th – 16th Dec.) Any volunteers to help lead the team? They still need guidance and training by experienced S.U. or other folk. At least the weather should be warm and more settled then. It is a sacrifice (as we have proved this past week) but so rewarding when you see the response of the children, and know that the Lord’s heart is pleased.

Much can be accomplished by being practical and thrifty eg.

  • Transport – mainly on foot (except for buying food)
  • Materials – mainly natural things from the surrounding areas eg. Stones, sticks, squashed cans, and string, rope, buckets and basins for games
  • Food – mainly bought from wholesalers and street corners (vegetables etc.)
  • Water – many large empty milk containers filled with tap water and old yoghurt tubs to drink from.
  • Paper – recycled sheets of paper for registers etc. and some games.

PRAYER ITEMS:

  • Finance for December Holiday Clubs.
  • More leaders to enable us to run 2 morning Clubs in our area of Phuthaditjhaba.
  • A very large stainless steel cooking pot to prevent burning when cooking large quantities

May the Lord bless you as you partner with us in spreading the Gospel.

Much love in Jesus,
Cynthia (Schafer).

QWA QWA HOLIDAY BIBLE CLUBS

S.O.S. from JESUS –

Children of Qwa Qwa are crying out for hope and purpose in life. Many have never even heard the name of Jesus. Some cry out for more of Jesus. Who will help us to tell them about Him? Some volunteers are willing to come and help us run Scripture Union Holiday Bible Clubs in the March/April holidays but need finance for one special week of ministry to the children of Qwa Qwa. They are the future church and hope for the nation. Can anyone help? “Let us store up treasure in heaven where rust and moth cannot destroy.”

The volunteers will need transport money from and back to Johannesburg and food for a week for about 9 or 10 people. (A 4 x 4 vehicle with raised body would be most useful to cope with the roads around here.) We would also like to give the children something to eat at the end of the club each day. Would you be able to have a share in winning souls for the Kingdom of God especially while they are still young?

Much love in Jesus,

Cynthia Schafer,
For Scripture Union and Mountain Ministries.
Bank Details:
Account name: Family Church – Qwa Qwa Account.
Bank name: First National Bank – Cresta Branch
Account number: 62101490217
Branch code: 254905

OR

R P Schafer
Nedbank – Greenside Branch
1975006763
197505