Qwa Qwa Newsletter October 2016

Incorporating: The Mustard Seed

Using Scripture Union materials and programmes

Registration Number: 137-284 NPO

Qwa Qwa Newsletter

October 2016

Praise God for Julia who heads up the work of the Mustard Seed Children’s Centre. This newsletter is dedicated to the work that Julia does at the Mustard Seed, and the children who reside there under her care. This letter is about five children who were brought into the Mustard Seed and changed the direction of this ministry. In the next few newsletters we will try to introduce you to some of the other children who live at the Mustard Seed.

The Mustard Seed: Five children rescued from hell.

A very thin childish brown body lay on a sandy floor. Her legs pulled up close to her scarred body, with lymph nodes swollen, she waited anxiously whilst the woman who had carried her for nine months, haggled withhold drunken men for money. She was six years old and had been doing this since she was five. It made her mother happy, because her “job” provided her mother with money to buy alcohol. And if the business showed a profit, she just might be rewarded with a stick sweet. To a family of seven her job was vital. Her three brothers knew she did this, and often joked about the money they had made with that monstrously overweight old man, who paid twenty rand to participate in an act called, “The ham sandwich.” Their mother was so proud of them that night, and they were given cakes that had real jam inside.

img1
The children understood that their mom could not work, and accepted that their job was to help her. It usually fell on their sisters thin little shoulders to bring in the money. Their rotund mother drove a hard bargain though, she would fight and haggle until, the stinking, unwashed and usually diseased ridden old men, paid her the right price. In a land, where aids is rife and superstition abounds, their six year old sister, with the swollen glands, and who was covered in strange looking lesions, was busy. A man knew that sex with a virgin would remove AIDS from his body. Their mother was so smart, as she explained that “the girl” was a virgin. They paid double for that. As an agreed on price was settled on, “the girl”, closed her eyes, turned her small head to the side, and waited for the first man to do, what men seemed to love doing. “The girl” did not understand this fact, as she hated the feel of their sweating skin and their greedy groping paws. She had learnt now to blank her mind, and she could dispassionately, watch this whole scene from her own numbed out zone, and feel nothing. For you see “the girl” had lost herself worth, and her emotions, a long time ago. She always felt like a dead plastic, lifeless doll. Occasionally she would feel a terrible scream arising from her solar plexus, and threatening to come out.

img2
But she was disciplined to halt it. And at the age of six, she was a strong mannequin, lifeless, but strong. There was no escaping, it just seemed to be “the thing” that “kids” did. She knew nothing else. She knew she hated it, but sometimes, funny spasms, that were quite pleasurable, would grip her. It made a girl of six very muddled. But who cared anyway, she was just a filthy whore. Sometimes “the girl” wished she could die. She tried to hold her breath, and hoped she would just slip away, but she could not keep it up. She did nothing right, but then, she was just a useless whore, only created to satisfy the lusts of men.

This life carried on for three more agonising years. One day “the Girl” and her brothers saw, a funny looking young man. He looked funny for he was another colour. He came to Matshekeng Village, and he asked them if they were hungry. “The girl” got ready to do her thing for food. The young man just pushed her away and started feeding them. When he saw their shack with no roof, as the mother had sold the zinc to buy alcohol, and as he spoke to the other women in the village, he told them to get into a big van. He was going to take them to his mother’s house. Too surprised, and not understanding the funny language this pale young man spoke, and loving the taste of bread and polony, they all followed.

img3
“The girl”; her big brother of twelve, who lived on the streets, and had an acquired taste for benzene and glue; her eleven year old brother, who possessed remarkable intelligence, but had the urge to run away all the time. They were accompanied by a “munchkin” of a boy, aged seven, and an unruly baby girl. The little family that would change His ministry, from a ministry of feeding, giving out clothing, and a drop in centre, into a child and youth care centre, This was a step into many unknown areas. So there stood these five little scruffs, diseased, utterly broken, and a huge psychological mess. We had to physically force them to enter our door.

They had never seen a white woman before. With sunken cheeks, lice and CD4 counts of 12, they entered into their new home. We moved forward hanging onto Christ our strength and guide. Here we sat with five children, who unhealthily, pined for a mother, who was subsequently arrested. Children, who were half child and half beast.

Children, who were mostly uneducated, and lived by wits and guile. They destroyed everything, sniffed, and ate all they could lay their hands on, sometimes with horrifying results. Boys, who would mention such subjects of pure degradation and debauchery, you blushed. “The girl” who would proposition any male for five bob. She soon had a company of paedophiles accompanying her to the shops. She quickly acquired a healthy bank balance for a child of 9. There are a lot of sick men in this world. The temptress had a concave chest, was covered in sores and boils, and was beginning ARV’s, and so suffered with vomiting and diarrhoea.

These children were also very brave, totally endearing, and often, very funny. I enjoyed their street wisdom, and their strange brand of honesty. “The girl” became my girl, as her humanity and vulnerability crept through. I would findcards made for me filled with such love. We grew so close as we struggled to treat huge sores and boils on her head.

img4

She held me tight as she vomited up her strong dose of ARV’s. As we picked out hats, to cover her shame, we became the very best of friends. One Saturday morning I heard peals of laughter emanating from her bedroom, I walked in to find her playing dolls with another resident. Just a normal nine year old child.

God has brought her far. She has no more flash backs, and spends most of the day playing soccer or dolls. She is now very healthy, and can discuss her past without tension. But I know we have only peeled away the top layer of her trauma. We have had to place her in a room with older girls, as she has pull towards little girls sexually. She hates her compulsion, can discuss it, and recognises the strength of it. Through Christ, my girl is learning how her actions affect others, and how to restrain herself. She acknowledges now that she is a precious, very precious child of the King. She is doing well at school and is becoming breathtakingly beautiful. We have a long road to travel, but there is hope, and an assurance of complete healing. In God we trust as his light shines into her broken life.

Much love in Jesus,

Reg and Cynthia Schafer and Julia O Connell.

Qwa Qwa Newsletter January February 2016

Incorporating: The Mustard Seed
Using Scripture Union materials and programmes
Registration Number: 137-284 NPO
Qwa Qwa Newsletter
January/February 2016

2 Corinthians 12:9 & end of 10
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.”
When I am weak, then I am strong.

These are Jesus’ words to Paul, and Pauls response.

When we are strong in our own strength, we accomplish very little spiritual good.
When we are spiritually weak and humble before the Lord, His power can work through us to accomplish much in the Spirit.

2016-2-1After our hectic December and a busy January, we felt washed out, burnt out and weak. Thank God that we were able to take two days off at the Sterkfontein Nature Reserve after the Phomolong HBC. It was a blessed time with God and nature. The break was badly needed and God knew we needed it, so he made the way. It also prepared us for what was to follow. On Friday 15 th a team from Youth With a Mission (YWAM), booked into The Crossroads Adventure Academy, about one hundred meters from our home. We were unaware of this until Saturday when we were asked to meet with them.

They were looking for opportunities to minister. A programme for the next week was prepared, bearing in mind that on the 19 th a team of pastors from Korea would be arriving and they also needed to becatered for. For four evenings (Wed 20th – Sat 23rd) we held open air evangelistic meetings, under the Apollo light, strategically placed near a busy tavern and where three roads join the main road through the village. The Friday evening after the open air we had a combined prayer service at our home, and Saturday we had a music practice before the open air, to prepare for the combined service at Lusaka the following day. After the combined service there were just the usually services on Wednesday, Bible Study; Friday, Prayer service; Saturday afternoon music practice, and the Sunday morning service. Between all this there is the going to and fro to Lusaka to collect water for our home, the Ywammer’s, and once for Julia, who
now gets regular supplies of water from various sources. Fitted into all these activities we had to buy the food for, and deliver the food parcels, a two day job, and buy food for the combined service at Lusaka. This week saw the start of our ministry at the Witsieshoek Primary School. This will continue until the end of term. In all this the grace of our Lord Jesus was sufficient to help us through. Thank you my Father, thank you Jesus, thank you precious Holy Spirit, the blessed Trinity.

2016-2-2The YWAM team will be here until 19 th Feb. They are based at the YWAM base close to Bethlehem. The team leader is Gershon from Ghana, but now based in Bethlehem. Doktor is a Sotho speaking guy permanently based at Bethlehem. With them are three trainees, Trywell an evangelist from Lusaka, Zambia, Renier an Afrikaner from Bethlehem, and Rose also a Sotho speaking lady from Bethlehem.

The Open Air Services

These services were evangelistic in nature and held in a strategic location. Unfortunately our sound system could not cope outdoors, and each evening we had rain, no good for the sound system. So, in spite of the obstacles, we sang praise to the Lord, learnt some Zambian action choruses, some of the children played the Korean instruments, and the Ywammer’s preached the Word.

The Koreans joined us on one occasion, played their instruments, did activities with the children, and shared a brief Word. These services were attended mainly by children, although there were some adults lurking around on the outskirts of the group, or passing by and stopped to look and listen. Importantly the guys in the tavern were in earshot. Many children showed an interest in giving their hearts to Jesus, but you do not know what effect the Word of God had on those lurking around, or those passing by, or those who looked and listened, or on those at the tavern.

The Combined Service at Lusaka Qwa Qwa

Sunday 24th January was a hectic day. I had to deliver the Korean’s instruments to the church in Lusaka. Then the mad scramble to get all the people to Lusaka. Two taxis were hired to help. But I still had to do three more trips to Lusaka, to get all the people and children there. The people from the Lusaka’s church outreach, near Harrismith were also invited, as well as some young people from a boarding school. The church was packed.

The Service was started with a very inspiring time of prayer, followed by a time of vibrant praise. The Holy Spirit was moving powerfully during this time. Then the Koreans played their instruments and did a few activities with the people. Very much enjoyed by all, as well as spiritually motivating. The YWAM team also shared in the service. God was moving in a mighty way. An inspired time of worship followed. Then Trywell, the evangelist from Lusaka Zambia, preached a powerful sermon on Noah’s Ark. Jesus being our ark and the door into the ark. The Spirit was moving mightily. Many people responded to various altar calls.

All the Korean pastors, and the YWAM team, as well as the local pastors spent a long time ministering to the many needs. The Holy Spirit did a deep work in a number of lives. Praise God.The service was followed by a good lunch which all the people enjoyed. The Lord stretched the food so that everybody had enough.

Two taxi loads, and three trips later we had all the people safely home. On Monday morning I went to collect the Korean instruments, as well as water for the YWAM team.

Teaching on Baptism

The leadership of Lusaka Christian Fellowship and Mountain Ministries, in spite of the water shortage, have been led to hold a baptism service on the 28 th February. We are trusting God to send the rain and fill up the dams. Thank God for the wonderful rains that fell on Saturday and Sunday 13 th and 14 th Jan. In preparation for the baptism service I was invited to teach on baptism on Sunday 7 th Jan at the Lusaka church. God prepared the people through an inspired time of praise and worship. The Holy Spirit gave real freedom in teaching. Many responded to an appeal to those who have been baptised, and have slipped back into old ways, to come and confess to God, and ask for God’s enabling power to get their lives back in line with God’s Word. Many more were prayed for, for various other needs.

While I was in Lusaka the YWAM team ran the service in Mabolela. The Holy Spirit moved and people responded to the call of God. On Sunday the 14 th Trywell, the evangelist spoke on Valentine, Jesus being our true Valentine. The people responded to the call of God to lay their burdens and troubles on Jesus.

On Sunday 21 st , the Lord willing, I will be teaching on baptism at Mabolela.

The Food Project

The number of people requiring food aid, went up quite a lot from 37 to 45, and there are more people asking for food aid, and people still come to the gate for food. This month we had to cut back on the number of grocery items we supply as the funds were low. Pray that new sponsors will be willing to help toward the supply of food for the poor. And ,Yes, we still have children coming to the house for food.

Sunday After Service Lunch

These continue to be a blessing to many.

The Mustard Seed

2016-2-6Everyday with Jesus is sweeter than the day before. The Mustard Seed does not consist of little children that resemble the angelic Von Trappe family, singing do re me. No, we are a family of broken little beingsall in various stages of healing, shouting down hallways as we draw on walls. So you sit with your fist sucking 14 year old boy who sniffed too much glue on the streets, or your 10 year old Sesotho boy who grew up in a cave in the mountains with a very toxic father and who understands very little about the norms of society, or your darling little girl who asks men for 5 bob as she lifts up her dress, exposing sticklike mottled legs. These are the little humans that fill your life, challenge and teach you all about love and show you who the real Jesus is. Our darling little souls that have experienced too much because of the perversions and sins of others. But still they laugh and love and forgive. God’s gift to us.

2016-2-7We received 2 new children this month. Orange haired, protein starved children of the living God who are numb, in shock and searching. They, like our others, will live with us for as long as Christ decides. We are discovering we can only train up children under 13. Beyond that age personalities have been firmly entrenched and their behaviour negatively impacts on our younger children.

2016-2-8We faced a horrible heart wrenching decision to return a 14 year old boy to his extended family. After shoplifting, drug taking and bullying we called it quits. We cannot walk any further with N. But through it all we are learning, adapting and working as hard as we can to raise up children of excellence for our King. We live in this big house nestled amongst beautiful, majestic mountains, with these noisy, muddled children and we feel as if we live in another world. We don’t have time to follow the news, go out for a break; we are kept busy feeding, sewing, doing homework, pouring boiling water into buckets for baths and looking for lost socks. At night when we close our doors we turn to Jesus and pray. Then it starts all over again. The whole scenario takes on a surreal haze. How can the world turn when there is so much horror and cruelty in it. But of course it does. Yes we realise how blessed we are and feel humbled to share our lives with the very best God has to offer. Pray for us. God knows our needs. He will listen. It is only Him who can make sense from senseless actions. All we can do is cling fervently to Him and pray messes turn into blessings. He has a plan.

A funeral and a baptism service.

Sunday 28th February began very early. At 06H15 a gas bottle had to be delivered to Lusaka. It was needed for cooking the lunch that was to follow the baptism service. Then a quick dash to the village of Mahangkeng for funeral at 07H30. An eleven year old boy had been run over by a big water tanker on the Monday evening. We spent quite awhile on, that Monday evening in the village, praying for the various family members gathered at the scene and then in the home of the mother. We also visited and prayed with the family on numerous occasions leading up to the funeral. After the service we walked some distance to the cemetery, in the scorching heat as the fire ball in the heaven burnt down on us. After committing the body to the ground I left, as we had to get all the people from the church to Lusaka for the baptism service. In all we baptised about seventy people from both churches. There was a wonderful spirit throughout the service. Everybody enjoyed a good lunch. Then started the trek back to Mabolela. After three trips and two taxi loads everybody was safe and in their homes. I eventually arrived home at 18H45 with a bad dose of heat stroke from the funeral which laid me down for a few days. Praise the Lord for a busy but fruitful day.

Urgent Prayer Items.

Rain: Rain: Rain!!! Praise God for rain. The Lord has blessed us with some wonderful showers of rain. Pray that the rains will continue and fill the streams, rivers and dams. We have also been collecting rain water from the roof for washing dishes, clothes and for flushing the toilet. When we are able we take water to the two cows locked in the school yard near us. This water shortage is very hard on the poor people. They have to walk quite long distances to collect the water and then have to carry these heavy buckets of water home.

Suitable land for suitable buildings. 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 Club, in cases of severe heat or rain. This means it needs to have enough room for up to three hundred children to play games in it. The ultimate aim is to build a Christian Centre for the glory of God, where we can run programmes suitable for all the people of the surrounding villages. Pray that the Lord will release finance to fulfil the vision. From the human standpoint, this is mission impossible; BUT OUR GOD IS ABLE. We have identified a piece of land and we need to claim it. But the owners will not talk to us, or give us a price. Pray that the situation will change.

Workers. We are trusting God for a Sotho speaking couple to run the church, at first under our supervision, and then to take over completely. They will need to be people with a heart for God and for the poor, who will take time to visit the people and encourage them. I find I have so very little time for getting into the homes of the people. This will release me to concentrate on the study of the Word, for the preparation of Bible studies.

Pray also that God will raise up younger people with servant hearts and the call of God in their hearts, who can work with us and eventually take over the ministry. They will also need to learn how to handle the admin and the finance.

THANKS

Cynthia and Julia join me in saying thank you to all of you for praying for us and for giving toward our support, and the projects run by the ministry. We appreciate all of you, and are well aware that without your prayers and funding, we would not be able to accomplish much here in Qwa Qwa. Thank you so much for all you do for us. May the Lord give you the desires of your heart as you trust him in all your ways.

Much love in Jesus,

Reg and Cynthia Schafer and Julia O Connell.

Qwa Qwa Newsletter November 2015

Incorporating: The Mustard Seed
Using Scripture Union materials and programmes
Registration Number: 137-284 NPO
Qwa Qwa Newsletter
November 2015

If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray, seek my face, turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, forgive their sin and heal their land. 1 Chronicles 7:14

As a ministry, and as individuals, we continue to humble ourselves before our Almighty God, who is the Great King over all the earth, and continue to pray for rain. Our great and mighty God who is enthroned in the heavens, controls the weather patterns. Even when the experts say there will be no rain, our God is able to cause it to rain. Though our sins, and the sins of our nation reach to the heavens, he is merciful and gracious, and will hear our prayers as we stand in the gap for our nation.

This same Scripture applies also to the nations of Europe who are facing huge problems of the migrant crisis, as people flee wars in the Middle East and Africa, as well as internal threats of terror attacks. As people of prayer let us stand in the gap for the nations of Europe as they grapple with these problems. But let as also pray that the wars in the Middle East and Africa will be resolved and terrorist groups will be defeated. Pray too that the nations of Europe will come to the realisation that the gospel of Jesus Christ is
the only solution to the problems they are facing. Pray too that there will be a humbling of lives and a turning back to God in this time of crisis. Our Great God who inhabits eternity IS ABLE to do far more than we can think or even imagine.

Holiday Bible Club

2015-11-1The Lord willing, these December holidays there will be three HBC’s. The first, starting on 14 th December, in Mabolela on an open field. The other two will be held in January 2016, to coincide with a visit from the pastors from Korea. One in Phomolong village, on an open ground, the other at Lusaka, where we will use the church. These dates have not been set yet, as we are waiting for dates from Korea. Please pray that the heat will not be a major factor, as it was in October, when we had to cut short some of the activities because of theexcessive heat. We are appealing for funds to feed the children after each day of the HBC. Thank you for praying and for giving toward the HBC’s.

The Food Project

2015-11-2In spite of the fact that we have removed six families from the list of those receiving food parcels, as they have disappeared from the radar, 37 food parcels were delivered in November. On top of this a number of children from a very poor area not far from here have been coming to us for food. This week a group from the ministry will visit these homes and make an assessment of the actual need. We are battling to feed the existing beneficiaries, now more urgent needs are arising. But we know that the Lord will provide. If he sends people to us he will also provide the funding to provide food for them. This past week we had to deliver food to a few desperate families in Chris Hani Park village. It was very difficult to find these homes. Some of these homes were situated on very bad, steep and even hazardous roads. We made it without any damage to the vehicle. Praise the Lord for the vehicle he has provided. We discovered safer and “better” roads to get out. We will use these “better” roads for future deliveries. Even though we deliver food to the houses we still have desperately hungry people and children coming to our home for food. If we have we always give. But we do encourage them to come on Sundays to the service and collect after service. A very big thank you, to all those who give toward this project. Pray that The Lord will provide for this project, and that we will be able to provide food for all the really needy people who come to us.

Sunday After Service Lunch

2015-11-3This past Sunday 90 children attended as well as 25 – 30 adults. This created a big logistical problem. In the end most of the children had to sit 3 to 2 chairs. Not very
comfortable. The need for larger premises is now becoming very urgent.

Sunday School Presentation

The children who have attended Sunday School regularly and done the Greatest Journey course were presented with certificates, the Greatest Journey book and a New Testament Bible. Others were given the course books (large or small) depending on their ages.

The Mustard Seed

Ever since Julia and the Mustard Seed family moved into the new premises they have had a very big problem with their electricity. This in spite of the assurances of the owners that there was no problems with the electricity or the geysers. The geysers did not work. So, most of the time you had to boil water on the gas stove for a bath, or have a cold bath. All the clothes for eighteen people had to be washed by hand. The plugs were not working so the fridge and freezer did not work. The lights were extremely dim. Therefore all cooking, eating, homework, bathing etc had to be done before it got dark. Well praise the Lord, the owner has now fixed the electricity, and has put in a new modern electricity box. God is good.

Urgent Prayer Items

Rain: Rain: Rain!!! God Is Able to change weather patterns.

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 Club, in cases of severe heat or rain. The kitchen is 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 and all the HBC and church equipment. 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. We are still praying for a younger couple or younger persons to help in the ministry. Please pray with us that they will have a real calling to mission work.

Extra funding for the December food parcels. In December we like to add a few extra goodies.

Funding for the two additional Holiday Bible Clubs.

THANKS

Our sincere thanks go to those of you who have supported us throughout the year (or even once off) with prayer and financial help. We really appreciate your faithfulness and trust the Lord will bless you during this festive season and throughout 2016. May His favour be upon your lives.

Much love in Jesus,

Reg and Cynthia Schafer and Julia O Connell.

Qwa Qwa Newsletter December 2013 – January 2014

Incorporating “THE MUSTARD SEED”

Using SRRIPTURE UNION materials and programmes

QWA QWA NEWSLETTER

December 2013/January 2014

Christmas is usually family time but here in Qwa Qwa we have family plus many Church and children’s activities.

December 2013 Holiday Bible Club

2014_1

Rain washed out play. Instead of cancelling we went in doors. The large lounge at Keta House.

A study of the different age groups at an HBC. Toddlers to high school children.

2014_2

The HBC was well attended by both children and leaders and we thank the Lord that the Good News went out into the community. 91 children either committed or recommitted their lives to the Lord. His Kingdom is truly growing to the praise of His Name. Life Skills values were shared with the children as well and our grateful thanks go to Scripture Union for raising funds to help us feed the children every day.

Out doors at last.

Group games under the overshadowing mountains. The older children enjoying a game. The younger children have their own group games.

2014_3

The Blessing of God

The Mustard Seed was really blessed with 60 pairs of school shoes and 60 packs of stationery for the orphans just before Christmas. A very big thank you to Ronnie Human who organised all this through Bata and Spar.

Julia writes: “As 2014 commences, we at the Mustard Seed, reflect on 2013. We did well and served the Lord with verve and passion. We held 800 Bible studies and Scripture Union classes. The Jesus movie was shown to quite a few young men. 65 children received blankets in April. 90 children received school shoes and 60 children received stationery for the 2014 school year. Lives were touched and seeds were planted. In 2014, under the leading of the Holy Spirit we desire to impact human lives for King Jesus in introducing them to the Living, simplified Lord Jesus. The suffering of Mabolela will be visited, counselled and led to the Friend that sticks closer than a brother. Orphaned and vulnerable children will be loved, hugged and taught about King Jesus. Our first narrative, about the working and effect of the Jesus movie, has been accepted by the distributors of this gospel aid. We are driven and determined that the love Christ has bestowed upon us, will be shared with his people. This will be the year of communicating Christ’s good news.

Special Meetings

We hired a tent, pitched it in a garden in the village for 3 days of special impact meetings over the Christmas period, ending with a morning Christmas Day service. These were really enjoyed by the church and the community and we used the same tent again for the Sunday service on 29th December and an all night prayer time on New Year’s eve.

As a church we are overflowing in the school classroom on Sundays and really need a bigger venue for both church and Sunday school.

One Day Bible Club – January 2014

Dawn Presenting a Jungle Doctor Story

2014_4

Reg

2014_5

In early January we had a few days visit from “old” friends from our Bible College days who took part in this one day HBC on the open field near the village. The weather was kind to us. Reg taught the group a new game that had the children running all across the open field. Dawn shared the Good News concerning Jesus, through a few Jungle Doctor stories. Thank you, Reg and Dawn Friend, for your encouraging visit and for sharing in our labour for the Lord here in Qwa Qwa.

General

Our poor Golf has had to have another sump replacement due to these bad roads around here and we are looking to the Lord for a 4 x 4 vehicle or at least one that is higher off the ground to use here. Please pray with us along these lines. Thank you.

God bless you all. Love in Jesus

Reg & Cynthia Schafer, and Julia O’Connell.

PRAISE THE LORD: A TESTIMONY

PSALM 18: 1 – 6 & 16 – 17.

I love you, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
My God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation,
my stronghold. I call to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies.
The cords of death entangled me; the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.
The cords of the grave coiled around me: the snares of death confronted me.
In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help;
From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears….
He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters.
He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me.

This Psalm has become very real to me over the past few weeks. I came very close to death, but, in his great grace and mercy, the Lord saved me. He lifted me from the jaws of death. Praise his glorious name.

As I lay in Manapo hospital in Phuthaditjhaba, I was made very aware that I was in a conflict for my life, through hallucinations? Visions? Dreams? Who knows what? In my weakened state I kept having these, lets call them, visions, flash through my mind. There were visions of great conflict, in which a voice cried out, “Cut off his head!” Then I was playing tennis, but did not have enough strength to hit the ball back over the net. Then I was playing cricket. I was batting, but really battling to survive at the crease. All these different visions told me I was losing the fight. These visions kept recurring in flashes no longer than a few seconds, but just went on and on. At this point I was very weak, my temp was fluctuating between 38.9 and 37.5, my head was bursting with pain and I was dehydrated. At this point I found it very difficult to pray. All I could say was, “I am healed by the stripes of Jesus. I’m restored by the blood of the Lamb. ” And, “I am the Lord that healeth thee, I am the Lord your healer.” I was also resting on the prayers of the people of God as I was too weak to pray. The flashes of conflict and struggle continued, but after a long battle, an old hymn of triumph and victory burst upon my mind, “For all the saints who from their labours rest, who thee by faith before the world confessed, thy name O Jesus be forever blest. Hallelujah! Hallelujah!” Then I found myself walking through a lush green meadow. This cycle of conflict and struggle followed by a hymn of triumph, “A safe stronghold our God is still,” another hymn that flashed through my mind, carried on through that night and most of the next day, and on and off over the next few days, until the only vision I had was walking through green meadows. God answered the prayers of his people and my weak confession, and saved me from death, as he still has work for me to do in Qwa Qwa. I praise my God who heard our prayers and saved me. He is the True and only Living God. He is the Lord my Healer. “Thanks be to God who, in Christ, always leads us in triumph.” This, time out, has given me the opportunity to sit and valuate what is of most importance in our lives and the ministry. It will be a while before I will be back to full strength, but God will continue to strengthen me.

God used various people to bring about this miracle. Thank you Heather for nursing me when I was so ill at home and mom was in JHB. Thank you Peet for taking me to the Manapo hospital, where they put me on a drip. That drip was the first step toward my restoration. Thanks to the doctors and nursing staff of the Manapo hospital for the kindness they showed me. Thank you Joseph and Joyce and the young folk from the Mabolela church for your visit and your prayers. Thanks too to Johan and Wilna and Bart for all that you did for me and allowing Bart to drive me to the hospital in Bethlehem, and for praying for me. Thanks too for watching over me that one night between hospitals and feeding me with hydrate drinks. Thanks too to Dr Johan Coetzee for his dedicated work that led to one of the big problems, my diseased gall bladder, and for acting so quickly to have it removed, you saved my life. Thanks to the doctor who did the op. You did a good job. Thank you to the nursing staff of the Hoogland Mediclinic who were so good to me. Thank you Peet and Esme for visiting me in the hospital in Bethlehem, and for praying for me. Thanks to Cynthia and Heather and John who visited me in Bethlehem and prayed for me. Thank you Gary for fetching me from hospital and driving me to Port Edward. Thank you all for praying for my full recovery. The prayers of God’s people won the day over the forces of death and destruction. Praise the Lord.

Thank you Brian and Biff for allowing me to recuperate here in your cottage in Port Edward.

God bless you all

Love in Jesus

Reg Schafer