“And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.” Colossians 3:15
We wish you a very happy and blessed Thanksgiving! We rejoice with you in the Lord’s wonderful gift of faith and the blessing of hope this Thanksgiving Day!
Thanksgiving is an American tradition that I believe the whole world could benefit from emulating.
Seeing American friends gather on this day to express gratitude for what you have, for the family you love, the friends you cherish, and for the blessings that have and still will come, is an amazing godly encouragement.
So in this spirit, Happy Thanksgiving from the Van Wyks!
We praise and thank the Lord for bringing you—our American ministry partners—into our lives. This partnership is extremely important to us and we do not take your sacrifice in prayer and financial support lightly.
After all the fake news and bad news of the past year, isn’t it wonderful to be a fellow Believer in Christ Jesus? You and I also follow the Good News, and we know this season is alive with an amazing hope, as it marks the beginning of the giving of the greatest gift this world has ever known—the birth of our Lord and Savior. It is, in fact, the point of our entire purpose. As I Timothy 4:10 states, “That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe.”
So yes, our ministry is not unlike other ministries this time of year. And any financial support you choose to give—no matter its size—is welcomed and will be applied to spreading the message of Christ’s sacrifice, redemption, salvation and promise of eternal life to nations around Africa.
How about a mill for Thanksgiving?
Our Zimbabwean brothers and sisters are suffering! For months Zimbabwe has been struggling with its worst outbreak of cholera in a decade; many have died. Before the outbreak they struggled with avian flu, which took its toll on the chicken population—a most desired food for the poor.
Throughout 2016 we asked our ministry partners to help us purchase a maize mill. We were blown away when the Lord laid the project on the hearts of partners who generously covered the cost of the whole project.
Your kindness encompassed every detail, from purchasing the mill, to having it transported hundreds of miles, to hiring an engineer to set it up and train our staff, to the construction of a building around the mill. Yes, that’s right. A building is built around and over the mill so that it cannot be stolen through the door. The thief would have to break down the walls to steal the machine.
This project not only creates employment, but also encourages subsistence farmers to plant more maize to sell on the free market. The milling of the maize makes it last longer and the longevity is what brings greater value, as it can be sold after everyone has depleted their crops.
The extra cash generated by this project is making a huge difference in sustaining the local church ministry. The benevolent fund for the milling process, made up of maize meal as payment instead of cash, has changed the lives of many widows and orphans as Cozmore stores the maize for later relief when locals run out of food.
Maize milling is most welcome for these families struggling with extreme scarcity, but we know what they really hunger for is the nourishment of the Gospel.
So far, we are averaging over 30 people a day, in season, coming to use the machine. We would love to expand this community outreach by building another mill in a town called Gwayi River. This will be 150km away from the present mill, near Victoria Falls.
Cozmore expressed his excitement about this project in this way: “Being on the field I see His hand, even though sometimes people test our belief. For I know my God is real – God keeps proving that He is real to them.”
How right Cozmore is; the Lord is literally raining blessings down on this community. When I last went to check on the project, it was pouring rain. After a three-year drought, nobody was complaining.
The mill is servicing locals in a 20km radius of the mission base. To encourage locals to have their corn/maize milled by us, we are operating at half the cost of mills farther afield. Payment for the service is made in cash or in maize.
We already have $450 set aside towards the second mill and look forward to making a difference in the lives of our suffering brothers and sisters.
The difference partners like you make is immeasurable because God is multiplying your support by pouring out blessings on our ministry, and those we minister to and with, that exceed any earthly value.
Transport for truth
Cozmore and I, with other Godly individuals, are formalizing our ministry in Zimbabwe with the help of ITMI.
The legal entity will help with the ownership of land and other assets needed to establish ourselves firmly in the Gwayi River community as well as invite friends like you over to come and minister alongside us for a short period of time.
Cozmore has spent hours standing waiting along the Zimbabwean roads for a taxi to take him to his place of ministry. After waiting for hours, a taxi might arrive and then leave without passengers because there weren’t enough to make the trip to the village financially viable.
We’d like to purchase a vehicle to help make our ministry a thousand times more productive than having our missionary stand for hours on the side of a lonely road and then not catch a taxi. Every time I visit to minister, Cozmore borrows cars to help us drive to our outreaches.
Used cars, in good condition, can be purchased in Zimbabwe from $6,000.00, of which we already have designated $1,500.00.
If the Lord puts it on your heart to join us in blessing our friends in Zimbabwe this Thanksgiving and Christmas, please join us in prayer and financial support:
– Transport for our newly formalized ministry – we still need $4,500.00
– A maize mill to help and support the ministry – we still need $3,550.00
Please remember to state how you’d like to partner in these ministry opportunities.
Charl van Wyk
P.S.: Even after the rush, rest and respite of Christmas, as word of African market conditions, global events, wars and rumors of war no doubt return to spread unease, do not succumb to discouragement. Be of good cheer, love the Lord and keep His commands. As I John 5:3-5 says, “His commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world.” The victory is assured—for it belongs to Him. Amen!