“I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” Acts 20:35
Chicken for Christmas in Zimbabwe
December and January have been busy months—with much to be thankful for to our Lord.
In November, I told you about a rabbit-and-chicken farming project we launched. My colleague, Cozmore, worked hard to build the enclosures in Gwayi River, Zimbabwe.
Our goal was to financially support my friend, Ps Penny Munenge, former soldier, but now, pastor and overseer of eight bush churches, for which he earns less than $5 per week.
During December, temperatures in Gwayi River climbed to a suffocating 118.4°F (48°C). This atmospheric inferno killed three rabbits and four chicks—one week before the chickens could reach full slaughter age/weight. This setback drove Mrs. Munenge to tears.
Our new farm owners, however, refused to accept defeat. Rather than letting the remainder go to waste, they slaughtered and cleaned all their chickens, refrigerating the carcasses until just before Christmas, and then sold them at top dollar.
Now, Pastor and Mrs. Munenege are not only supporting their own family with the finances, but also brought into their home a destitute child from the community. They further support an elderly grandmother, who I mentioned to you in September 2014.
You might recall, she’d lost every one of her four children to AIDS. No one remained alive to care for her 18—18!—grandchildren. Thanks to your support, we were able to help clothe her grandchildren, who had little more than tattered rags to shield them from the brutal African climate. Even today, seven grandchildren are still living with her.
Praise the Lord for His hand over this project!
Stone Hill love boxes and mattresses
Thank you, ministry partners, for being such a great blessing to so many at-risk children. The Christmas love box distribution was a huge gift for which we are all very thankful.
Our Stone Hill children were blessed even more when beautiful mattresses were distributed. Truly, this is a luxury item few of these precious children could imagine.
One girl, Siyamthanda, which means “We Love You,” told us how she typically made her bed each night: She folded a blanket on the hard ground of her tin shanty home—no mattress, no pillow—and slept.
Tefo, a young orphan boy, lived with his sister and her boyfriend. The boyfriend kicked him out of their tin shanty home. He now sleeps on the ground—wherever he can beg for a roof over his head. Tefo received a mattress. More importantly, he found true “rest” in Christ Jesus—as this month at our Stone Hill boy’s camp he made a commitment to follow the Lord.
It is pretty common to find two to three people sharing a single bed mattress in a tin shack. These children can now, with their new mattress gifts, get a good night’s sleep.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
Stone Hill boys’ camp
We were thrilled to host the Rev. Ron Kronz of Bishop of Souls, USA, as our first-ever boys camp guest speaker.
Twenty young men were taken to a church-owned camping facility. The excitement was almost too much for them. Imagine your home being a tin shack with no indoor plumbing and your daily meal amounting to little more than bare sustenance. And then you attend a camp, being blessed with two nights away, three meals a day, two tea times, toilets and showers in your dormitory, your own bed and mattress, and electricity in your brick built room.
Ron explained the Gospel in the simplest way and also challenged those who are of faith to not live defeated lives, but rather lives of victory in Jesus Christ. He further explained how we can do this through our speech and practical witness.
It is a privilege for us to be on the cutting edge of Gospel work in Africa; but most of all, we thank you for your prayer and financial partnership in the work of Jesus Christ.
Bibles for war torn Burundi
My colleagues, Pastor Oscar and Ron, reached out to war-torn Burundi during December. We sent funds for Bibles with them.
On arrival they found that their host had fled the country due to the war. Ron gives some insight in a quick email before they arrived to minister with us in Cape Town:
“Things are great here…everything is unnecessarily difficult; … we have no water in our (hotel) rooms; my bathroom is flooded… my laundry situation is a disaster (by American standards); our transportation is famously unpredictable; a hippo came up to us while I was baptizing in Burundi; our driver drove the car into a ditch; there is a bullet hole in our restaurant window…
“Nevertheless, God is still demonstrating His authority over the kingdom of darkness; we are visiting the afflicted, and proclaiming the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We praise God for such an opportunity. Thanks a lot for the Bibles. We have blessed the suffering in Burundi with the Word of God in their Burundian mother tongue. It was really wonderful. What a simple and beautiful ministry, Charl.”
Just another day in the missionary’s life in Africa!
Charl van Wyk