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.

THANKS

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.

THANKS

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.
Thanks

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

Qwa Qwa Newsletter June/July 2018

Mountain Ministries
Incorporating: The Mustard Seed
Using Scripture Union materials and programmes
Registration Number: 137-284 NPO
Qwa Qwa Newsletter
June/July 2018

Our God is great. Our God controls the planets in their orbits; Our God and Father controls the destiny of men and of nations. He works all things together for good to those who love him, who are called according to his purpose. He also works out all things according to the counsel of his will. Therefore we can rest in his love at all times; because not only is he our Great God he is also our loving Father and our faithful God. He is God in all circumstances.

The Mustard Seed.
Praise God for his faithfulness. He has blessed the Mustard Seed with the continued support from the USA, thank you Scott Johnston and all the faithful donors. He has also blessed all the children with warm sleeping bags for the cold winter’s nights. Thank you Wendell from Circle of Faith for the sleeping bags, but also the clothes and shoes delivered to the orphanage. The children are very thankful for the sleeping bags that keep them warm in bed. Thank you too, to the teachers and pupils of Ed-U-College, for the food and clothing etc delivered to the Mustard Seed.

Praise God for his faithfulness.
During the school holidays we got together with the children of the Mustard Seed, over two days before the HBC, for games and activities and sharing the Word of God. The children enjoyed the different games and a number listened intently to the Bible teachings. On the last day they asked, “Are you coming again tomorrow?” Unfortunately we could not, as the next day had been set aside for the buying and distribution of food for the poor. They were so disappointed, but they had the HBC to look forward to.

In the March, April, May newsletter we explained about how workers, who were dismissed for spreading lies to our donors and Social Services, laid a complaint with the CCMA for unfair dismissal. The next hearing is on the 30th July.

Please pray that they will not succeed in their bid to be reinstated, or for compensation. They are claiming R5000 each. Neither the Mustard Seed nor Mountain Ministries have the funds to pay them. One plus is that Social Services will be attending the hearing and will explain why the workers were dismissed.

Health Issues
Thank you so much for your prayers concerning our health. Cynthia is much better. Reg has not had a chest infection since May, in spite of a some very cold weather during July. I have not had a severe dizzy spell since early May and the constant dizziness has eased considerably. Praise the Lord for answers to prayer.

Heather is still battling with the MS. The winter has not helped her very much. Thank you for you prayers.

Holiday Bible Club
The HBC went very well with between 180 to 220 children present during each day of the HBC. We split the children into two groups: toddlers grade three’s and grade four’s and above. Each group had about five to six leaders leading in various activities and games. The games were followed by learning the memory verse for the day and a Bible teaching each day. The theme for the teachings were the miracles of Jesus. The children had a great time playing soccer and traditional games, and enjoyed the other games. Many children listened intently to the Bible teachings, unfortunately we had a few distractions from the older boys. But the Word did go forth and will bear fruit in the lives of these children. They also learnt the memory verses with great enthusiasm. On the last day about eleven children could recite all the verses learnt over the week, while others could remember one, two or three.

Thank you to our faithful leaders who always work so hard to make each HBC special for the children. Thank you to those who contribute toward the costs of the HBC. Unfortunately we were not able to provide a meal for the children after each days activities, never the less they still came out to enjoy the games and teachings. They received sweets as prizes and snacks as they left to go home each day. Praise God for the privilege to share with the children.

The church
Since the camp in May the young people have been very enthusiastic. They are much more regular in their church attendance, and their attendance at the Bible studies, the Friday night meetings and the music practice. As the worship group grows the praise and worship in the church is becoming much more enthusiastic and meaningful.

Some of this enthusiasm is beginning to rub off onto other members of the congregation. Praise God.

There is a desire to have another camp early next year. Please pray that the young people will work hard at raising funds, and that sponsors will be found to give something toward the camp. It took two years of hard work to raise the funds for the camp in May this year.

Food Project
Praise God for the His Place Church in Hastings, England, who give toward this project that supplies food to many very poor families. The number of mainly women and children has grown to well over a hundred and more people look for help with food every month. Please pray that we will receive enough funds to cover the increasing demand for food aid. Most people who receive food help are very grateful and some cannot express their gratitude adequately.

Thanks
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 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 January February 2018

Incorporating: The Mustard Seed

Using Scripture Union materials and programmes

Registration Number: 137-284 NPO

Qwa Qwa Newsletter

January/February 2018

WOW!!! Extreme heat, then extreme cold (for 2 days), then heat again with rain in between! The weather is always changing and bringing with it a variety of problems (or rather challenges) for us to deal with – dry vegetable patches, drooping plants, dry streams then flooded streams carrying all sorts of rubbish down to the main river through Qwa Qwa. You cannot believe what these people throw into their water supply and all over the roads and pavements!! We try to teach the children a better way but until their parents set a good example, we cannot win. The changes also bring a variety of diseases, including a water-borne germ causing diarrhoea, vomiting and fever.

Things may change but our God is Bigger than these things. “Greater is He who is in me than he that is in the world”. Amen and praise the Lord. Our health is improving, most of our vegetables are recovering slowly with a bit of tender, loving care and we can still live off the garden to a certain extent.

RIOTS, DEMONSTRATIONS AND MARCHES

In February many hundreds of people downed tools and took to the streets of Qwa Qwa for five days. Tuesday to Monday. All schools and businesses were closed. There were no bread or milk deliveries. In fact nothing was delivered to any shops. All the main roads were blocked with burning tyres, burning branches and grass, big rocks, metal barricades and stones. These were all manned by thugs, who saw an opportunity to capitalise on the situation. “Pay R 200, and you can pass.” On the first day of the protests, many shops in the main shopping centre were vandalised and looted. It was supposed to be a peaceful demonstration, but unfortunately the thug element always comes to the fore. It was so bad that the army had to be called in to keep a semblance of order. But they concentrated on the central shopping areas. The children of the Mustard Seed Children’s shelter, not knowing what was happening, went to school only to be attacked by these thugs. Most escaped, a few were caught, beaten and had their clothes torn. On the Wednesday a young lad at the Mustard Seed became quite ill. He had to get to a hospital. The Lord was with us. He protected us and took us safely there and back with very little incident. On the way back Reg had to get out of the vehicle to clear stones and rocks out of the road. The Lord protected us as none of the guys manning the road block tried to stop him. A few kilometres further along the main road, a group of thugs tried to block our way by rolling a big rock in our way. By the grace of God we managed to go around it and get safely home. David wrote, “O Sovereign Lord, my strong deliverer, you shield my head in the day of battle.” Our faithful God did shield us as we travelled. Praise the Lord.

SCHOOLS CHRISTIAN GROUP

The Bible Club continued during January but February was interrupted by the protests against the mayor and the extra after-school classes that were held to catch up the missed work. However the scholars are looking forward to the camp in April and we are opening it up to the whole school to those who can pay the fees as places are still available. On Monday we went to the school bright and early to advertise the camp and speak at the Parade (Assembly). We also shared the Gospel with the children and spoke to the teachers and prayed with them. We trust all will go well and we will be able to fill the camp hostel at Drakensville.

YOUTH CAMP

Our church youth are really looking forward to their camp in May. We have all been collecting and recycling all sorts and colours of bottles, tins and plastics to raise some of the money to cover the cost of this camp which was postponed from last year May. We will be at the Orban Guest Farm in Van Reenen, who are giving us a special price due to the fact that we are from a rural area with many orphans and widows. Pastor Sello will be coming down from Soweto to be our guest speaker. As he knows many of our young people he is very suited to share with them on their level.

We are still quite a bit short of the fees for the camp as well as travelling costs for Pastor S and all the youth campers. Any contributions will be very much appreciated, whether large or small.

CHURCH

The church in Lusaka is growing in spite of the fact that when the young people finish their schooling, they move on to the cities to find work, and certain of the older people also move to other churches. The Sunday School at Lusaka is also thriving, as is the youth work. The Lusaka church, unlike the church in Mabolela, is blessed with many talented singers who lead the worship in the church. The music group have the ability to involve the people in rousing praise and deep worship. The times of praise and worship are truly moving experiences. Praise God that a number of these young people are truly committed to the Lord Jesus. A group of young men also go to an outreach work between Kestel and Harrismith, each Saturday and Sunday, to visit and then run the service on the Sunday. Pray that this work will be established in the Lord. Pray for Joseph and Joyce Zwane who head up this work. Pray that the Lord will give them wisdom and strength in the work. Pray for their finances, that the Lord will provide for their needs. Joseph needs a new vehicle to carry on with his work of transporting children to school. Our God is a God of miracles, so pray with us for a new vehicle for him. This is his bread and butter.

The church in Mabolela has out grown the class room where we meet. Soon we will need a bigger place to meet. Pray that the Lord will provide. Our sound system has collapsed, but we still praise the Lord with passion and verve. Teaching has been centred on the life of Jesus. On Thursdays we teach the children at the Mustard Seed. Slowly the message is getting through to these abused, neglected and orphan children. Then a team goes out visiting to pray with and encourage people. In this way we are reaching shut-ins, children and widows. Our young leaders are maturing and growing in Jesus. Pray that the Lord will grow them up more and more in Jesus, that they will be able to take on more responsibility. Pray that the Lord will send a young couple to help in the work here, who can help with the training of the young leaders.

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