He cares, even in this darkest moment

…has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom…” James 2:5

“Oh my! Ohh, Uncle Charl 😭😭😭

“I am out of words, oh my! I am so sorry for the emotions. Last night I was in prayer, seeing the devastation of our community.

“I do not know what to say; I am profoundly grateful from the bottom of my heart. I am in tears as I am writing this email. People will know that our God is alive, and He cares even in this darkest moment.”

These words were written by one of our feeding ministry managers.

I chatted to multiple African Christian leaders who expressed the pain and suffering their people were experiencing due to the Corona lockdown.

Literally hours after sending out our email newsletter “This is a massive endeavor”, Steve Evers, executive director of In Touch Mission International, reached me over a crackling phone line. “We have ministry partners phoning our office wanting to partner with you. They want to help feed their neighbors!”

Messages started flowing, including positive comments on social media and more encouraging details from Steve. Ministry friends felt like they wanted to—and now could—do more. I was overwhelmed by the love and concern shown by our ministry partners. Just like those at the introduction of this correspondence quoting our pastor friend above.

The response was incredible and sparked some profound introspection for me. Goodness gracious, I thought, our challenges are not their challenges. People have enough problems of their own; why would they choose to help our people in far-flung Africa?

Whoever has a bountiful eye will be blessed, for he shares his bread with the poor.” Proverbs 22:9

The way of Jesus Christ is a different way of seeing and interacting with the world. He puts compassion into the hearts of His people. Moreover, His people show empathy, an attribute almost unrecognizable in Africa.

The dynamic leaders of ITMI wasted no time. Just 24 hours after our email went out, ITMI wired us funds. Just 24 hours after, the wire cleared, and we could immediately relieve the suffering.

Soon thereafter we had paid for and we were awaiting the delivery of 13 metric tons of maize meal to feed around 5,000 struggling people.

Before Jesus fed the 5,000 who gathered to hear from Him, He first dismissed His disciples’ suggestions that He send them to the villages to buy food.

“But Jesus said, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”” (Matthew 14: 16) Then he took the five loaves and two fish, blessed them, and multiplied them so that there was more than enough left over.

Jesus fed these 5,000 through you when you heeded His call on your heart.

Rather than loaves and fishes, we witnessed local businessmen—all struggling under the same circumstances—help with key contacts, free transport, free storage and free manpower to make this massive endeavor a realty in the lives of people who reside in tin shacks, and feel forgotten by their government and world.

But they are not forgotten by the Lord of Lords.

Whoever gives to the poor will not want…” Proverbs 28:27

Those who have come to faith in Jesus Christ, over the many years of our team teaching and relating the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and serving their community, jumped into action. They are no longer just recipients, but fellow workers in Christ’s Kingdom. Their love for their neighbor and their servant hearts are something incredible to behold. How powerful is this Gospel? Powerful enough to change hard hearts of hatred, drunkenness and sordid deeds to love, service and joy in the Lord!

Our multiple projects are not just about feeding hungry people, who after being fed today, will be hungry again tomorrow. This is about showing that the Body of Christ is His minister of grace, teaching that we have been saved to do good works, that “people will know that our God is alive, and He cares even in this darkest moment.” Most of all, it is about the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

Our ministry feeding project managers are all well-established, Gospel-driven disciples of Jesus Christ.

Your Gospel impact, from your prayers and financial support, includes the following, reported by our ministry partners:

  • A newspaper article featured one partner, who now has starving people arriving at his home for food
  • Six people led to faith in Christ
  • Groups of 50 people at a time being fed outside a church
  • 5,000 people fed in one location
  • 10 families in one situation and five families being fed after their tin shack homes were decimated by fire
  • A pregnant mother with no food – blessed
  • Reading of Scripture to recipients of food
  • Leading family devotions in homes when delivering food parcels
  • Gospel tracts distributed
  • Public prayers by food managers and on and on!

We are all aware that this ministry project could not have taken place without every single one of you, our amazing partners.

Thank you for showing your love for Jesus Christ in this way!

The need is greater than ever, and you can make a life-changing difference for a struggling family with a monthly gift.

Please pray for our brothers and sisters in Zimbabwe. The banking challenges of the country and lack of foreign exchange is making it exceedingly difficult for us to get funds into the hands of our ministry partners. Christian families living in rural areas are suffering most.

Just to give you an idea of how serious our ministry partners are – after 3 weeks of being unable to receive funds, my Zimbabwean colleague drove 270 miles, and slept in a bank queue overnight, so that he could draw funds with which to feed the suffering.

On behalf of our brothers and sisters in Zimbabwe—and the millions of suffering Christians struggling to survive during this crisis—I’d like to ask for your urgent help.

Would you consider giving monthly and joining our ministry partner community?

GIVE MONTHLY

When you join the program, your support will meet urgent needs like emergency relief and food parcel relief kits—and beyond that, your monthly gift will help provide long-term ministry support, Biblical discipleship, Gospel outreaches, so the body of Christ doesn’t just survive, but thrives.

We anticipate this crisis will not be over soon. And your Christian family needs your help.

I already know you have a heart for your suffering family, in Christ—that’s why I’m asking.

Will you take a leap onto the frontlines of suffering Christians to let our brothers and sisters know we’re standing with them during this unprecedented time of need?

Thank you and God bless you.

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This is a massive endeavor

I want to say a quick thank you for your prayers and your giving to help our ministry partners suffering through this crisis. In return, I want to offer a message of hope during this exceptional time.

Today, there’s so much confusion in Africa due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But there’s also Christian hope—especially when the body of Christ works together to come to the aid of those in desperate need.

Your intercession, fellowship and zeal for your suffering friends and family are such a blessing right now that I can’t thank you enough!

There’s no doubt this is a crucial time in history.

This is our chance to show those who we long to reach with the message of the transformational power of the Gospel that we are indeed followers of the resurrected Jesus Christ.

As Christ-followers, we want to bring encouragement amid this chaos.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
2 Corinthians 1: 3-4

We aim, Lord willing, to supplement the food needs of 1,200 families in Stone Hill over the next month.

This is a massive endeavor. Blessing 1,200 families sheltering in shacks with a 10kg bag each of maize meal, prayer and Gospel literature commands dedicated volunteers (which thankfully, we have in spades), logistical coordination (which we’re refining) and resources well beyond our traditional meals. Thankfully, we can rely on a Mighty God, and the family of believers who share our mandate to disciple the nations.

Our immediate food need is USD5,940.00 (1,200 bags at $4.95 each)

We are not only hopeful that God will hear our prayers and bless our efforts—we anticipate it!

In the likely event that we’re blessed with more than our immediate financial requirements call for, our friends in other parts of South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Congo are all in desperate need!

You can read about all our ministry projects on my blog.

Besides this project, Sonja and I are personally financially supporting 50 children in Khayelitsha and 10 families (40 persons) in Gugulethu, with food over the next 2 weeks.

Will you please urgently consider partnering with us?

Giving is easy. Simply choose the process for a safe, secure and private donation.

Financial support can be made by:

1. Phone – Credit card – call US number: +1-480-968-4100
2. Online at – ITMI Donations
3. Checks – may be posted to:
In Touch Mission International, PO Box 7575, Tempe, AZ 85281
(Please designate your gift: Charl feeding scheme)

Thank you!

Posted in Ministry newsletters, Mission Project | 1 Comment

You and I also know something else

If you follow the news (or frankly, even if you don’t) you’re acutely aware of the global economic challenges. People are scared about the future. Few are immune, including many of our ministry partners whom we’re praying for because they’ve contacted us with concerns due to losing their jobs.

The economic upheaval is just as real to our African brothers and sisters—and dims their hope.

But as fellow believers in Christ Jesus, you and I also follow the Good News! And we know this time is alive with an amazing hope, as it marks the greatest gift this world has ever known—the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

It is, in fact, the point of our entire purpose. As I Timothy 4:10 states, “For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.”

We have a great opportunity in spreading the message of Christ’s sacrifice, salvation and promise of eternal life to people around the world, as the Lord calls each of us to do.

And yes, we’re aware of the economic environment. At times—especially when viewed through the world’s lens—the situation looks hopelessly impossible. Even still, as fellow members of Christ’s family, you and I also know something else—something that exceeds the knowledge of all the world’s leaders, commentators and credentialed experts. We know Jesus’ words:

“…with God all things are possible.”

We’ve personally witnessed the miraculously multiplying power of God’s blessings in our lives. We’ve witnessed His hand on our ministry. Truly, as you no doubt have in your own life.

God granted us our very lives and He pours out the bounty of blessings we enjoy each moment. Through His Holy Word, He guides our hearts and minds to remind us to serve as good stewards of those blessings.

Deuteronomy 24:19 reminds us that, “When you reap your harvest in your field and forget a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it. It shall be for the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow, that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.”

Lwazikazi and Olga before lockdown

Thank you for helping our people. Our national lockdown has been extended from three weeks to five. And Olga and Lwazikazi are running our feeding effort in Stone Hill seven days a week and providing around 160 meals a day.

As I John 5:3-4 says, “And His commandments are not burdensome. For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.”

The victory is assured—for it belongs to Him.

We go into this challenging season grateful for all the opportunity it holds and excited about the unending possibilities the Lord has in store—not only for our efforts, but yours as well.

Thanks again and a happy Easter celebration to you and yours.

Amid all the news, remember the Good News—He is Risen!

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Thanks, from a locked down squatter camp

Like many countries around the world, South Africa is in lockdown!

Violence by police against some of our poorest people has been reported, with accounts of authorities spraying water cannons and even rubber bullets at those living in the slums.

But, in a small tin shack in Stone Hill, Olga, one of our ministry leaders whom you’ve previously met, is sitting quietly contemplating and thanking the Lord for all the blessings He has bestowed upon her, through you, our ministry partners.

Enter Olga:

“What a sad time it is; the whole world is going through a difficult time because of this coronavirus pandemic. My thoughts and prayers are with my brothers and sisters all around the world, many of whom search for relief in the next official announcement or latest news report but whose only real Hope is in Jesus Christ.

“Life gets even more difficult when you are supposed to go on lockdown or practice social distancing in a squatter camp! We ask ourselves how this is remotely possible when we practically live on top of each other? When there’s five of us crammed together in one small shack! How do we stay in “quarantine” when we share a public water tap with 10 other families? When we all share an outdoor long-drop toilet? Even something as simple as brushing your teeth forces you to step outside the shack.

“Please don’t get me wrong, we are glad to have toilets; we are happy to have a tap with running water…. what I’m trying to say is that it is difficult to stay isolated when you constantly must go outside for daily necessities.

“We have brothers and sisters suffering from chronic disease like tuberculosis (TB) and other respiratory diseases, which makes life on them and the rest of us even more difficult during this time. We pray that God watches over us all. We keep reminding ourselves that God is in control and we lean not on our own understanding in this chaos.

“God has blessed us with people who’ve educated us on basic hygiene and how we can still play our part in keeping ourselves and others from getting infected by the coronavirus. He sent His wonderful people to hand out educational leaflets and put up posters raising awareness about preventing contracting COVID -19. They further handed out bars of soap to encourage the community of Stone Hill to wash their hands and try to stay germ-free.

Communal eating before the lockdown!

“These very same people help us with daily food, creating a soup kitchen that’s up and running from Monday to Friday and open to every child and elderly person in the community.

“How great is our God?!! God takes care of His people! Always!

“It is hard for me to understand why bad and sad things happen. But when they do, I pray and ask God to help me continue trusting Him and believe that in the end, He will make things work out for the good of those who love Him.

“When bad things happen, always remind yourself that God cares. He is the one that counts every sparrow and feeds every tiny bird, and you are so much more important to Him than any bird.

“Life in an informal settlement can get rough! Leaking roofs, no water, hunger etc., then out of nowhere, someone comes and saves the day. That someone is called a redeemer! Jesus Christ, our Lord, is our redeemer. Just like what God did for Ruth and Naomi, God did it for us here in Stone Hill. He did this through His faithful servants; He sent His people to help us with shelter, fix our leaking roofs, fight for us to get water and electricity, provide medical assistance and to bless us with food.

“This is not the time for us to complain about anything. Instead of focusing on what we do not have, we must put our trust in that which we have, His Word.

“As the lockdown separates us from our family and friends, we know that we are never alone. For God says, ‘For the Lord will not forsake His people…’ 1 Samuel 12:22

“Our hope is in Jesus Christ!

“Thank you so much for your love and kindness towards us. Thank you for your love and support during this difficult time, that we can still eat and have medical assistance during the lockdown.

“We are praying for all of you. God bless you all!”

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Christ’s Kingdom, Cleanliness and Corona

The Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) national epidemic in South Africa is not just a call to ‘not catching’ the virus, but an opportunity to teach our people about God’s perfect Word and the freedom that comes through obedience to it.


Olga, putting up posters.

God’s Word teaches us how to deal with communicable diseases through quarantine, cleanliness through bathing and clothes washing, how to deal with human waste and community sanitation, healthy eating and personal hygiene.

12,000 South Africans die every year from seasonal influenza. Further, South Africa has a huge number of people who are living with HIV and are immune-compromised – we also have one of the highest burdens of Tuberculosis in the world.

Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones.” Proverbs 3:7–8

Through our ministry we are taking this opportunity to teach our friends in the Stone Hill informal settlement, how to live God’s way.

Dr Brad, founder of our medical ministry in Stone Hill.

Our ministry chairman, Dr Bradley Kuhn, spoke to the youth at our Sunday evening service about hygiene and health practices. I did the same with our Soldiers for Christ ministry.

We’ve put up posters, distributed leaflets and 2,000 bars of soap that will help with education and basic hygiene. Unfortunately, multiple city taps in the shanty town are not delivering water at this critical time.

But the real reason we are helping with education, running a medical clinic, distributing health leaflets and posters and holding public meetings, is to serve our neighbors and further the Gospel of the Kingdom. In times like these people are willing to listen – they are concerned about the elderly – the most vulnerable, to all germs. Africans respect their elders! What a great opportunity to serve!

Charl demonstrates wearing a mask, while teaching the Soldiers for Christ about potentially life-saving personal hygiene.

In such a close living, poor community, with little to no etiquette, it is very difficult and even impossible for anyone to not be breathed, coughed or sneezed upon – nobody ever stands 3 feet apart from another when communicating – the most mundane ideas to slow down infection by communicable diseases has to be taught and so we are doing our part.

We will pray for and serve our neighbors – our medical clinic remains open and feeding the hungry children will continue.

Please pray for, and partner with us! Please note with your financial support: ‘Stone Hill medical’

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Mobilizing during Coronavirus scare

Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” Psalm 46:10

God’s light in us can often shine the brightest during times of hardship. Many of our brothers and sisters in Christ in Africa have suffered greatly and yet, they have taught us how to shine.

Those who have suffered have taught us to pray – and so we remember you in prayer. We understand you—our ministry partners—represent many families, businesses, local congregations and ministries that will bring the hope of Jesus Christ to your communities during this crisis.

We are also praying over our already suffering Christian friends, whose situation will most likely worsen during this pandemic. In 2016 alone over 1.3 million Africans died from respiratory tract infections and Tuberculosis. Viral and bacterial infections are extremely common in our ministry environments. Every winter in Stone Hill, locals who suffer with TB frequently endure near fatal flareups.

And while we are always careful as far as diseases are concerned, we are—at great expense—building a large security wall at our home to avoid becoming part of the crime statistics in South Africa!

Limits on gatherings and changes to transportation networks are affecting our ministry, as with our outreaches among the children in the Stone Hill informal settlement during the forced extended winter vacation. Games and physical contact, which so many so desperately seek, will need to change.

While authorities are still assessing the full impact, which will vary in different countries, we know that supply shortages and economic crunches will surely complicate life for some believers in Africa’s most difficult places.

These believers already face a myriad difficulties and dangers from militias, political or religious opponents, or hostile state apparatus.

In some African countries, with significant viral outbreaks, they have little or no access to basic provisions like medical supplies, and they will receive no emergency aid or medical services.

No matter how difficult or complicated this scenario becomes, though—through your gifts—we will carry on discipling the nations and furthering the Gospel of the Kingdom. We are committed—no matter what—to continue taking Bibles, discipleship training, emergency relief, medical assistance and clothing to suffering Christians during the coronavirus pandemic.

Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to Me.” Matt 25:40

Please join us as we stand with the “least of these” during this hour of great need. Not just ensuring that we and our neighbors have a reasonable stock of medicines or hand sanitizers in our homes, but to ensure those who are vulnerable, struggling and financially crippled, in the Body of Christ, have what they also need to survive and to experience the tender mercy and saving grace of Jesus Christ.

If God lays it on your heart, we invite you to join us now in obeying Christ’s call to care for the poor and vulnerable. To pray for those who face more severe need and few resources. And to believe together that when we bless others, the Lord uses our support in far greater ways than we can ever imagine.

For the immediate future I’m postponing my international ministry travels. John-Marc (17) and I have postponed ministry in Zimbabwe, where borders are being closed; we will still work on setting up structures to build a permanent ministry base, so that we can have a much more effective Gospel outreach platform to disciple the nation.

Christ’s work must go on!

We will also be praying that God gives your family all you need to be well and at rest.

Yours in the service of King Jesus!

Building our immunity with the sunshine vitamin, a while back!

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Empowering young women, through the Gospel

Started 10 years ago, our Dream Girls ministry reaches out to girls ages 11-18—sharing the Gospel with them and discipling them in the Lord. Truly, He has multiplied our efforts.

The girls live in an informal settlement Stone Hill, near Cape Town, South Africa. Each Friday afternoon we meet. Mentorship is of primary importance with an emphasis on encouraging the development of spiritual discernment to guide them in making wise decisions as they navigate their way through our broken world. And the world in which they live, is more broken than most westerners can fathom.

Team projects are prepared at the beginning of every year, including sewing, knitting, crocheting, card-making, painting techniques and other creative crafts.

The girls are taught marketable skills that will stand them in good stead and give them an invaluable advantage in earning an independent living in the future.

Working with these girls, using the simplest, most basic teaching techniques of how to cut patterns with scissors, use glue on paper without making a mess everywhere, and working neatly and to the glory of God was initially entirely foreign to them.

On the surface, the act of knitting an 8-inch square block might appear rather mundane. But a deeper understanding reveals that it teaches perseverance, patience, fine-motor skills, planning, teamwork, kindness and sharing—and results in a simple-yet-priceless blessing to others.

One of our projects included knitting squares, adding finally to the making of a large blanket. An elderly grandmother, living in a shack, was blessed with this gift.

This might sound strange, but we are thrilled to see the Fruits of the Spirit alive and displayed in lives through such a seemingly insignificant undertaking. These tasks encapsulate love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and lots of self-control.

Over the past two years we’ve focused on making Christmas cards and gift tags. The girls were thrilled to learn that their hard work has been rewarded through sales by friends and family of the leaders.

With their earnings the girls can purchase toiletries, healthcare products, body lotions, soap, deodorant or snacks. Believe it or not, these simple items are not always available to struggling peoples living in dire circumstances.

The highlight of last year was our Christmas Party. A professional dance/gym instructor taught different dance routines as the girls danced, laughed, had loads of fun and made memories together.

We set up a jewelry table where each girl could choose a necklace or armband. A photo-booth provided ample fun with dressing-up and special poses.

Food, cake and cold-drinks made the event, even more memorable!

A BIG thank you to each ministry partner who helped bless each girl with a gift as we celebrated God’s greatest gift, His Son!

Our small gift pack of a face cloth, soap, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, skin lotion, etc., was a great surprise.

Beautiful pencil cases were also provided, with stationery for the beginning of the new school year. (South Africa’s educational year starts in January.)

Without your financial support and provisions this would not have been possible. With your continued contributions, we can continue helping lead these girls to a better life—in the here and now and for all eternity.

A very BIG thank you for your love, support and interest in the lives of these precious girls.

Sonja van Wyk

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