Qwa Qwa Youth Camp Appeal Letter

Dear Family and Friends
Last year the Lord provided for us to hold a camp for the young people of Mountain Ministries. Twenty young people, two camp speakers, Cynthia and I set off to Oban Guest Farm, where we had good spiritual input, some fun activities and good food. This camp had a tremendous spiritual impact on the lives of most of the campers. The majority of those who attended are now active in the church, the music group and the youth group. Through their influence the youth group has grown to over thirty, with many involved in the music group. We praise God for this, because only He provides spiritual growth.
This year there are thirty eight young people who want to attend the camp, plus the two speakers and Cynthia and I. The young people have been collecting money as best they can. Some are in school and do not have much money, others are at university, the rest are out of school and are unemployed. Many are not able to pay anything. There have also been many trips to the recycling depot, where we sell recycling material. Cynthia and I have also put much into the fund. We have also had donations coming in, but in spite of our best efforts we have come up short on our funding.
If you are able to donate toward this camp, or if you may know of anyone who will be able to help, it would be greatly appreciated. If the spiritual impact at this camp, is anything like the previous camp, many of these lives will be changed, and who knows where this can go. A number of those who want to attend are relatively new in the church, and are not yet born again. Christian camps have changed the lives of many young people. These young people have very little to look forward to in life, and this camp could be the beginning of new life in Christ for some.
This is also an appeal for you to pray with us that the funding will come through so that the obligations for the camp will be met.
Yours in Christ
Reg and Cynthia Schafer
If you are able to donate please deposit into the following account:
Name of Account: Youth Fund. Bank: Capitec, Acc No 1428522466, Branch code: 470010
For overseas donors please Nedbank Current Account as in newletter.

Qwa Qwa Newsletter October/November 2018

Incorporating: The Mustard Seed

Using Scripture Union materials and programmes

Registration Number: 137-284 NPO

Qwa Qwa Newsletter

October/November 2018

Here in Qwa Qwa the temperature has soared into the mid and higher 30’s. The heat is stifling; the grass is drying out, the lawns are scorched, the ground is hard and lifeless, the streams have dried up, because there has been so little rain. The heavens are like brass, the dogs lie around panting, the cats seek shady cool places to lie and only venture out at night. The heat is stifling, it drains the energy levels. But we have a God in heaven. The Bible tells us that it is God who with holds the rain. In 1 Kings 8:35 Solomon prays, “When the heavens are shut up and there is no rain, because your people have sinned against you…” in 2 Chronicles 7:13 – 14 God gives Solomon and Israel a promise, “When I shut up the heavens and there is no rain,… if my people who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and heal their land.” We the people of God need to look at our own lives, repent and seek the face of God. Then we need to stand in the gap for our nation, and repent on behalf of our nation and pray for God’s forgiveness, mercy and grace upon the nation, so that God in His grace will have mercy upon our nation, and send the rain from heaven, so that there will be food and water in our land. O Lord God Almighty, in your mercy and grace, forgive our sin and send the rain from heaven on Southern Africa.

Between starting and completing this letter, the Lord blessed us with a wonderful shower. But since then we have gone back to long hot and dry days. The stream after reviving after the rain is almost dry again. O Lord of the universe, giver and with holder of the rain, be merciful and send the rain upon our nation and Southern Africa.

Witsieshoek Primary School.

It was our privilege and pleasure to be able to minister to the children over the past term. The S U Bible club was generally well attended and the children enjoyed the Bible teachings as well as the games. They get so excited when they see us coming, knowing that we are going to have some fun together. Sometimes they get over excited and become unruly, but by the grace of God we are always able to gain control. In some there is a real desire to know Jesus better. We thank the Lord for the opportunities we have to minister to the children, We are looking forward to next year’s camp, when we will have more time to share with the children.

Holiday Bible Club

Still on the subject of children, the Holiday Bible Club will run from 18th – 21st December. Praise the Lord for the generosity of ITC in the Netherlands; we will be able to provide a meal for the children after each days’ activities. Please pray that we will be able to find the right people to do the cooking for the HBC. One of our loyal cooks over many years is now working at the Mustard Seed. Pray too for cool weather. It would not be good for the children to come out in the extreme heat we have been experiencing. Today has been not so hot, We pray that cooler weather will continue.

Baptismal Service at Lusaka

Sunday 18th stared off hot, good weather for a baptism. Praise the Lord it was not a sizzling hot day. At eight thirty the mustard seed children were transported to Lusaka, followed by a trip back to Mabolela to meet the two taxis we hired, and take another load back to Lusaka. In all we filled two taxis, the Golf and the Frontier overloaded twice. Eventually we got everybody to Lusaka for the service. There was a wonderful Spirit filled atmosphere, expressed in jubilant praise, and deep worship, followed by a challenge to greater submission to God. This was followed by a time of prayer for the nation and for rain. Two babies and a child were dedicated to the Lord, followed by a short demonstration of baptism and its meaning. Then it was time to baptise those who had come for baptism. There were about thirty people who were baptised. Among those, from Mountain Ministries, who were baptised were some from the Mustard seed, some new converts from the youth camp, held in May this year, other new folk and an old gogo who has been attending church for the past number of years. There were also a number of young people from Lusaka and older church members who were baptised. About thirty in all. Praise God for all these people who expressed their desire to carry on following and serving Jesus. After the service we had lunch together. It was good to see the Lusaka and Mabolela people talking together. There was a real spirit of unity between the two groups.

The only drawback was that the other church from Pabalo pulled out at the 11th hour. We missed them, but maybe next time they will join us.

There will be a combined prayer meeting when the three churches will get together on the 1st December.


Thank you so very much for praying for us in this ministry. We are very dependent on the prayers of God’s people. Thank you too for your financial support for us and the work. Thank you too for your wonderful response when we were in deep financial trouble. Your response in prayer and giving was overwhelming. Thank you. Without you, our faithful prayers and givers, we would not be able to accomplish anything. We appreciate each one of you who bear us up in prayer and for our very faithful donors. Thank you so much.

Much love in Jesus,

Reg and Cynthia Schafer and Julia O Connell.


Qwa Qwa Newsletter September/October 2018

Incorporating: The Mustard Seed

Using Scripture Union materials and programmes

Registration Number: 137-284 NPO

Qwa Qwa Newsletter

September/October 2018

Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided.
Great is Thy faithfulness Lord unto me!

This chorus from T O Chisholm inspiring hymn, based on Lamentations 3:22 – 23, has proved to be so true over many years. Our God is faithful. He never fails us, nor forsakes us. God has shown Himself faithful over the years we have been here in Qwa Qwa. Whenever we have been confronted by challenges, whether health, spiritual, emotional, financial, etc, God has always come through for us. He has always comforted, upheld, strengthened and provided for us, so that we could carry on with the work here. He has been our strong tower, our refuge, our strength and our provider. He again proved that He is a faithful God in our financial crisis over these past few months. All praise to our God and Father; our faithful God. Thank you to each one of you for praying, and for giving so generously, you were the instruments our God used to meet our needs. Thank you, may our God bless you with His abundance and continue to empower you to serve Him in all things in Christ Jesus.

Holiday Bible Club

The theme for the Holiday Bible Club was the uniqueness of each individual person. The aim was to emphasise that each child is a unique creation of God; each child is special; not one child is a mistake; God has a unique plan for each child, and in Christ we are recreated in the image of God to be like Jesus. The children listened intently to the messages and learnt the Bible verses with gusto. The talks were all based on Psalm 139:13 – 16. These same verses made up the memory verses. On the last day a number of children could recite all the verses off by heart. We trust the Holy Spirit to burn these Scriptures into their hearts, so that they will grow up knowing that they have a future and a hope in Christ in God.

About 120 children attended the first day and this number grew to 180 – 190 on the final day. The children do so enjoy the games and the activities. It keeps them off the streets during the holidays, and gives them something to do that is constructive. Praise God for our faithful leaders who run the games and the activities, who teach the memory verses and share the gospel talks. We could never do this without their help. Thank you to our hard working leaders.

Our next HBC will be in December, and thanks to ITC Christian Fellowship in the Netherlands we will be able to provide food after each day’s activities. Praise God!!

The Food Project

Praise God to the His Place Church from Hastings, England, who send money each month, for the feeding of the poor, the widows, the orphans, single mothers and their children. The people who receive help with food are very appreciative of the help they get. They send their thanks to the church. Thank you for your generous gifts toward this project. There are thirty eight families that receive food aid.

The Mustard Seed

Some of the children are slowly beginning to grasp some of the things we are trying to teach them. They are beginning to understand aspects of God and His character; Jesus and His life and ministry; as well as some lessons from the Old Testament. Some are asking questions about the afterlife and Jesus second coming. Some of them enjoy answering questions about the previous weeks Bible message. Yet they still have difficulty in breaking with the traditions and superstitions of their elders, e.g. putting salt in the cupboards to keep the demons out, or cutting the neck of a new born baby to get the evil out of the child. Slowly but surely they are beginning to see the light. They love to watch the Jesus movie, and some listen intently to the Bible message we give each Thursday afternoon. The children have been taught about the miracles of Jesus, but lately we have been teaching them about Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Currently we are looking at the life of Joseph.

Praise God for His wonderful goodness in providing for the needs of the Mustard Seed. Students from The University of the Free State, Qwa Qwa Campus, delivered food and children’s clothes to the home. Thank you for your kindness.

Church Services.

The services have been going well with varying numbers depending on the availability of water and electricity!! They really love singing the songs – mostly Sotho songs – and our music team do a very good job of leading the congregation. Lately Reg has been teaching on the five witnesses concerning Jesus as the Son of God found in John 5:31 – 47. Jesus cites the testimonies of John the Baptist, His miracles, the witness of the Father, the Scriptures and Moses. These witnesses leave no doubt that Jesus is who he claimed to be, the Son of God.

In October we had another combined prayer meeting at the Lusaka church. Prayer was concentrated on the country and its leadership. Then the Holy Spirit moved us to pray for revival and rain. There was also prayer for the leadership of the three churches.

Urgent Prayer Items.

Rain: Rain: Rain!!! God is Able to change weather patterns. None of the vegetables that we have planted have come up yet. The weather is too dry. We had one period of good rain a few weeks back, but it is not enough. We need regular showers of rain. Our God is Able.

Suitable land for a suitable building. Please pray with us that the Lord will give us a suitable stand on which to build a community centre. The UGENT NEED is for a large hall with a kitchen, three storerooms, and an office. The hall needs to be large enough to run the Holiday Bible Clubs in, in cases of severe heat or rain. The kitchen is needed so that we can cook for the HBC and other church functions on the premises. The three secure and equipped storerooms are: for the food for distribution, clothes that we are sent for distribution, all the HBC and church equipment. Recently we have been blessed with a large quantity of clothes, mainly for teenagers and women. Thank you Gisele, Farell, Connie and Grace. They occupy a large area of the office. We need a place where they can be packed out neatly and people can come and see what fits them. I am finding the delivering of the food parcels very tiring. But it is better than having three, four or five people at your gate on a regular basis asking for food. The plan is to have someone in the office on set days during the month to distribute the food and clothes. The vision is to have a centre where we can have an orphanage; a home for the elderly, especially widows; recreational facilities for the children and the young people of the surrounding villages. The aim being to keep them from the taverns and all the evils associated with these. Pray that the Lord will release finance to fulfil the vision. From the human standpoint, this is mission impossible; BUT OUR GOD is able.

Workers. As Cynthia and I are both in our seventies, we need younger people to come into the ministry to learn and to be introduced to our contacts, in order for them to take over the work from us. Please pray that the Lord will give grace to the young men and women we are training up, that they will grow up in Christ and will be able to carry on with the work when we are no longer able to.

Acts 2: 42 Network Retreat

Praise God for an inspiring and challenging time away with the leaders of the other Acts 2 42 Network churches. Topics which were dealt with were “The Five-Fold Ministry”, followed by a question and answer session, “Growing and expanding the Local Church” followed by an open discussion, when many shared their thoughts on growing the church. Through a SWOT analysis we considered the strengths and weaknesses of the church and how to strengthen the weaknesses in the church without weakening its strengths. There was a session where ladies and men met separately, the ladies looking into the role of women in the church and the men considering the role of the pastors. This was mainly a brief teaching and a discussion. Then there was a session on “Family Values”. This did not get very far as there were many points of discussion concerning the role of husbands and wives. This showed up the cultural differences between how some people saw these roles and how others saw them. The discussion then, somehow moved onto dress code. In spite of differences of opinion this was a bonding experience in which we could get some understanding of each others’ opinions. The evening meetings were straight forward preaching sessions where those preaching could chose their own subject and preach their hearts out. The final meeting on the Monday was a communion service and the theme was “Holiness.” Praise God for a very instructive time together. Due to circumstances beyond anybodies control our network leaders, Claude and Yvonne Jaques were not able to attend the retreat. We missed you so much, and Jeanie who was helping Yvonne was also missed. We also missed Dave and Liz Pass who had returned from a mission trip to Brazil not long before the retreat. Also sorry that Sam was not able to attend.


Thank you so very much for praying for us in this ministry. We are very dependent on the prayers of God’s people. Thank you too for your financial support for us and the work. Without you, our faithful prayers and givers, we will not be able to accomplish anything. We appreciate each one of you who bear us up in prayer and for our very faithful donors. Thank you so much.

Much love in Jesus,
Reg and Cynthia Schafer and Julia O Connell.

Qwa Qwa Newsletter August and September 2018

Incorporating: The Mustard Seed

Using Scripture Union materials and programmes

Registration Number: 137-284 NPO

Qwa Qwa Newsletter

August/September 2018

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
Though its waters roar and foam, and the mountains quake with their surging.

These are the opening verses of Psalm 46. This has always been one of my favourite Psalms. It has encouraged me in very difficult circumstances and will continue to do so. We as a family, and as a ministry, have been stretched financially these last few weeks, so much so that we are in a very difficult financial situation. Among other things, Heather’s meds for one, we had two ‘punctures’ in quick succession. Before we had the money and time to fix the first ’puncture’, we had another. Two punctures, one spare wheel; a problem. So the poor Isuzu Frontier had to spend a while on the jack. When money came in I had to go to and fro in the golf taking one tyre at a time. The first trip – tyre not repairable. Second trip – same result. We needed the Isuzu, so we had to buy two new tyres, which we could not afford. A Month earlier we had to replace a tyre, because of a split in the wall. It has flattened us financially for the rest of the month. On top of the financial situation, I have not been feeling well for a while now. But, praise God for the “But”, we have a God who is a very present help in trouble; one who is always there for us, so when the waves of the sea threaten to overwhelm us, He is our refuge and strength. Whatever happens he will help us, strengthen us, and uphold us in his Almighty arms. Praise the Lord. Please pray with us through this difficult time.

The Mustard Seed

The CCMA hearing went against us. So we had to pay each of the three workers R 3500 for their August 2017 salary. They had changed their complaint from unfair dismissal, as they seemed to have been advised that this claim was not valid because of the lies they had spread, and were now only claiming their August 2017 salaries. Julia had paid them all for August 2017, but on the day of the hearing she was not able to produce the proof of payment. A while after the hearing she found the proof of payment vouchers, but the CCMA refused to reverse their decision. The fact that this money had to be paid worried Julia so much that she took a loan from her father, who is quite well off, but not forthcoming with money to help Julia. He would only agree to a loan that has to be paid off in twelve months. So the problem is solved. Mean while life at the Mustard seed goes on as normal.

At the time of writing, Julia is in JHB. Her father suffers from dementia. He has lucid moments, but most of the time he does not know what is going on. She went to try to get him into a home as he is not capable of looking after himself in his big house. But he absolutely refuses to move. It is so sad. We prayed so hard that he would be willing to go into a home, but he will not budge. Julia will return next week and Jessica, Julia’s daughter, who lives close by, will check on him every day. Julia will go to visit every three months. In the mean time I have been visiting the Mustard Seed two to three times a day. The children are all well and can’t wait for Mama Julia to come home. In all these ups and downs the Lord continues to be an ever-present help, who continues to lift us up in his everlasting arms.

August – Womens’ Month

On the 9th August a large crowd of ladies met at Keta House to sing praises to the Lord and hear an inspiring message from a gifted speaker. Old, middle-aged and young really enjoyed themselves and feasted on sandwiches and coffee at the end. Two of our guys braved the day to play 2 keyboards that the ladies really enjoyed and the ladies danced a while after the meeting!! Nobody was in a hurry to go home!
The following Sunday many of the ladies spoke and testified in the service with great enthusiasm and some had to wait for the following Sunday to share with the congregation. Reg was in Johannesburg for a special meeting so the ladies really took over the whole service for 2 weeks!!

Praise the Lord for these gifted and enthusiastic ladies.

Lusaka Church

The church in Lusaka continues to grow under the leadership of pastor Joseph and Joyce Zwane. They have some talented, gifted and really enthusiastic twenty something leaders. Unfortunately due to lack of funds they will not be able to attend the Network retreat from the 21st – 24th September. These young leaders, some of who are also gifted singers, also lead in the worship team. Others are involved in an outreach work between Harrismith and Kestel. They would take a taxi on a Saturday morning, then spend the afternoon visiting the homes in the afternoon. Sometimes have a service for the people in the evening and then lead the service on the Sunday morning, before travelling back to Lusaka. Some of these young leaders are also involved in teaching in the Sunday school. They are a great blessing to the church.

One of the highlights of the month of September so far was the combined prayer meeting held at Lusaka on the 1st. Two car loads of mostly young folk from the church in Mabolela travelled through to Lusaka for the prayer meeting. The main topic for prayer was for our leaders of the nation, and for spiritual renewal in the church and the nation. It was a time of intensive prayer lasting two hours. Then we had to do the two trips back to Mabolela to get all the people home.

Praise God that these monthly combined prayer meetings are back on track. Praise God too that so many young people from both churches were willing to give up their Saturday afternoon to come out and pray. This will now be a monthly occurrence.

Food project

Praise God, that in spite of the decreasing funds available for the feeding project, we are still able to help a number of families in Lusaka and Mabolela with food. We are truly grateful to the His Place Church, in Sussex, England, for their ongoing support of this project. Those who receive help are the poorest in the churches, made up mostly of widows, orphans, single mothers and their children. The recipients are always truly grateful for the food supplied.

Holiday Bible Club

Praise God for the July Holiday Bible Club. It went very well and many children were blessed. Praise God too for our dedicated, enthusiastic and committed leaders who so willingly give their time to bless the children. Praise God we have also received a wonderful sponsorship for the December Holiday Bible Club. Thank God for the board of the ITC Christian Fellowship, in the Netherlands, for their generous gift. This gift will not only enable us to run the HBC in December, but will also enable us to give the children a good meal after each day’s activities. Praise the Lord for his abundant goodness.

We praise God for your faithful prayers for us and for your encouragement in the work. Sometimes things become very difficult, but your prayers sustain us. Thank you. Praise God too for your generous donations for us personally and for the ministry. We thank God for each one of you, and appreciate you.

Love in the Lord
Cynthia, Julia and Reg

Qwa Qwa Newsletter July 2018

Incorporating: The Mustard Seed

Using Scripture Union materials and programmes

Registration Number: 137-284 NPO

Qwa Qwa Newsletter

July 2018

Result of the CCMA Hearing.

Praise God. He is good and his mercies endure forever. If we did not have the sure Word of God to encourage us we would have been in despair. But we know that God works all things together for good to those who love him and are called according to his purpose.

The verdict went against us at the CCMA hearing yesterday. The Mustard Seed has to pay three of the old workers, who were dismissed for bringing the ministry into disrepute through allegations of sexual abuse etc, R 3500 each. Praise God it is not R 15000 or even R 5000 each, that they were claiming. But yet, R 10500, is still beyond our means. Each worker has to be paid R 583.33 per month for six months i.e. R1750 per month. Julia’s sponsor has been asked but is not willing to pay anything toward this. The Mustard Seed and Mountain Ministries have no spare cash to meet this expense, we always are scraping the bottom of the barrel each month end. If the Mustard Seed had not lost sponsors through the lies of these workers, these payments would be no problem.

Please pray with us that we will be able to raise the required amount needed for the full payment or that we will be able to meet the monthly amount required. If we fail to meet the payments, the CCMA has said they will have to close the centre and confiscate furniture to the value of the amount owing. We are not sure if they can actually do this, or if it is just a threat. Not good news, but we know that God is in control, and his will, will be done.

If anyone is able to help in any way to meet these payments please deposit money into Julia’s FNB account, listed below, and send me a mail saying how much you have deposited so that I am able to keep a record of all that comes in toward meeting these payments. Tag each deposit with your name and CCMA, so that Julia can differentiate what is for the home and what is for the CCMA.

Please keep this in your prayers. And pray that the other dismissed workers will not also climb on the band wagon and make claims through the CCMA. All is in the hands of the Lord. We trust him in all things.

The social worker who came to support us, and spoke up on our behalf, felt that the commissioner was a bit biased because we were white and trying to exploit poor black people.

What is so hard to understand is that in spite of Julia having been very kind to these people in many ways, even taking the one ladies grandson into the home, feeding him and buying his school uniform every year as well as buying him shoes and clothes when needed, these workers showed no appreciation and then turned on Julia. Nor did they have any sympathy or feeling for the children who may suffer shortages arising from their actions. The heart of man is truly deceitful, and cares only for self.

This result has hit Julia very hard. She needs your encouragement. It has also knocked me and annoyed me. But God gives grace to forgive.

What is worse is that workers we were planning to dismiss at the end of their contract period, end August, are not allowed to be dismissed, as they have worked more than three months and are now, so called, permanent. These workers have caused a lot of trouble between Julia and the children, but now they have to stay on. Please pray that they will leave of their own accord, sooner rather than later. This has also hit Julia very hard. The labour laws in this country favour the workers, so it is so difficult to dismiss workers. This has also annoyed me. But I must forgive.

Thank you so much for praying. He who accomplishes all things according to the counsel of his will, will work all of these setbacks for good.

Love in the Lord

Cynthia, Julia and Reg