2017 in Pictures

Activities Report for 2017

Help for the Needy

The trend of growth has continued throughout 2017. Our focus was not on starting new ventures this year but on increasing the impact in the communities Family Care Ministries volunteers have been working in. Our goal is to make projects as sustainable as possible.

Our food distribution has seen the most increase this last year. Family Care Ministries volunteers worked at making sure the 507 food parcels went to the most needy families and child-headed households. Elijah in Evaton West, Iris in Diepkloof, Soweto, and Mandla, Zanele, Eunice and Manja in Orange Farm spend time with families and in the households to see in which other ways they could better their personal situations. Some were helped with legal work, others were helped to get the medical attention they needed while others received assistance towards educational needs.

We continued to bring a wholesome hot meal to the 120 elderly in Brixton throughout the past year. The team of volunteers has grown and the new team members have added hot dogs, snacks and juice for the children to the meals distributed. The fruit and home baked cupcakes are an all-time favourite now. The encouraging words and time spent praying for needs make the visit a highlight of the month for many of the elderly. We are grateful for the many helping hands that join us in this effort.

Ouma Helen, now 86, amazes everyone by still venturing out to Industria every week. Despite her age, she tirelessly does all she can to assist the needy in this community. Despite existing on a small pension, struggling to move around and still looking after her great grandson, she keeps going and going. What an example!

Sister Glover, who we supported for many years with food donations for families in Noorgesig in Soweto, went to her heavenly reward at the age of 89. Family Care Ministries‘s help to the families still continues though as we now deliver the food items to a NPO that used to closely work with her.

On Heritage Day, the 24th of September, South Africans are encouraged to celebrate their culture and the diversity of their beliefs and traditions. A nation belongs to all its people.  Family Care Ministries volunteers used this opportunity to celebrate with the elderly in Orange Farm. Donations of meat, rice & vegetables where used by some of the women to cook a delicious local meal to share with a group of pensionists. No such event is complete without lots of speeches, dancing and some encouraging words from the word of God. The elderly were given over 50 food parcels to take home so their families can benefit as well. It was a joy-filled day spent in the local community together. A similar event was held a week later in Evaton West.

The following is a list of food items distributed by Family Care Ministries volunteers in 2017:

  • 507 food parcels
  • 892 crates of fresh fruits, vegetables, other assorted foods, canned or dry goods
  • 620 kg frozen potato chips
  • 300 kg frozen vegetables
  • 25 kg of a rice
  • 350 kg of meat
  • 8000 loaves of bread
  • 100 kg dried beans
  • 462 kg maize
  • 15 kg Maltabella
  • 20 kg of sugar
  • 750 Vienna sausages
  • 360 l of milk
  • 16,000 eggs

No Kids without School Shoes

Family Care Ministries started a campaign “No kids without school shoes”. Our volunteers who visit families regularly noted how some of the children were in great need of school shoes. Some didn’t have any, others had shoes that were too small or broken beyond repair. We identified over 100 children in Orange Farm & over 50 children in Evaton West that are in desperate need of school shoes and have managed to provide 21 pairs to some of the neediest in Orange Farm and Evaton West so far.

Family Care Ministries projects serve as a rallying point for like-minded people who would like to be a part of charitable endeavours.  A group of Christian business men, who call themselves a Band of Brothers, joined our volunteers in Orange Farm in visiting and ministering to people in the community. They sponsor 15 food parcels for disadvantaged families and orphan households in Orange Farm each month and then help in distributing them praying and encouraging people as they do. They do their best to help out in other ways.

A Mrs South Africa contender purchased 25 blankets and distributed them with us to families in Orange Farm and Evaton while a Christian school added another 50 helping with ministering to people as they did.

Other Donations

Other donated goods included items such as a guitar, a casestte player, a colour copier with 5 extra toner cartridges, briefcases, a bed, desk, chairs and office chairs. Kitchen equipment such as 2 stoves, 5 kettles, 5 irons, a blender, 2 toasters, pots, salad bowls, and a grill and braii set were distributed to those who needed or could use these items. Household goods consisted of 10 cushions, 20 pillows, a laundry basket, a large tub, an ironing board, 6 large bags of curtains, 4 boxes of household ware, 2 boxes with plates, cleaning supplies such as dish soap, Handy Andy, bleach, and toiletries such as shampoo, toilet paper, soap, toothpaste and toothbrushes and more. And let’s not forget the boxes and boxes of Christmas decorations Family Care Ministries was able to give away.

The children were thrilled to receive a total of 4 bags of toys, balls and a box with games. They were a little less excited about the 100 Ring binders, files and 4 boxes of stationary supplies we gave out but were grateful nonetheless as they needed them for school work. We received the floor paint, paint brushes and roller we needed to complete work at our centre in Evaton West. The 4 wheelchairs and adult diapers went to the handicapped in Orange Farm.

To top it off we distributed a total of 4 bakkie loads of clothes and shoes.

Early Childhood Development Workshops

Many of the problems experienced by educators teaching in South Africa’s primary and secondary schools can be traced back to the lack of input children receive in their early years when the foundation for future learning is laid.

It is often overlooked that the foundation for literacy is built long before a child begins Grade 1. It starts while children are still in nappies. Learning to talk, listen and understand are precursors to identifying letters and sounds, and later words and whole sentences. Playing with number toys, building blocks and shapes allows children to get an understanding of mathematical concepts while they play. Experiences of this nature at an early age are essential to future academic success.

Though more emphasis has been placed on ECD by government, we find that little direction or support filters down to caregivers at day care centres and preschools in township areas such as Orange Farm and others. Most of the resources developed by the department, don’t reach the areas where these materials are most desperately needed. Lack of access to the internet, training, and money make most of these resources inaccessible to the many caregivers in small preschools. This leaves centres in township areas under-resourced and staff untrained.

In 2017 Family Care Ministries’ focus shifted from offering training in Orange Farm alone to include other surrounding townships. We held workshops in Ennerdale, Eldorado Park, and Boksburg. 109 principals and caregivers were able to get some important input and training on the developmental needs of babies, toddlers and young children. The resources that have been created to go along with the programme are in big demand and we are looking for ways of raising sponsorship to donate sets of these teaching resources to the most needy preschools.

Here are some responses from the workshops.

  • For me this workshop has really taught me a lot. There’s some things I never really understood. – Alicia
  • I really enjoyed the workshop and I’ve learned more about children’s development. I’ve learned more about things I didn’t know about and I am going to implement what I’ve learned with my children/learners. – Sibongile
  • The facilitator was well prepared, the information valid and relevant. She didn’t try to be fancy or unfair. I enjoyed the level of respect and that she was on the same page as the rest of the teachers. She understood that all centres are different and was able to relate topics to everyday usage. – Vanessa
  • I enjoyed the course a lot. The facilitator did well so that I understood everything she shared with us. I was amazed to see the amount of learning materials we can make out of waste materials. I am truly impressed. Thank you. It is much appreciated. – Shireen

Prison Ministry

Family Care Ministries’ rehabilitation work at Kutama Correctional Center in Makhado continued throughout the year 2017. Bible Study classes were again held in each of the three prison sections. The facilitators who are inmates are overseen by the residing Chaplain. We offered three course which 237 inmates signed up to. 208 offenders graduated successfully by the end of the year. Though we are unable to visit very often due to the distance and security restrictions at the facility, we correspond regularly with inmates. We do our best to answer mail with requests and questions promptly.

We again received sponsorship in the form of Christian booklets on different themes. We were able to mail 136 of them to those participating in our advanced course. The course materials and booklets resonate with many inmates.  Here are some responses that we got:

  • The Word of God changed my life completely. Now I understand why a human being must suffer. I know the illustrations and parables of the word in the Bible will help me a lot. May the Lord God extend your life like the way you change my life. I love the word of God more than anything. – Solomon
  • I would like to thank you for showing me the importance of the word of God. May God richly bless you for the good work that you are doing for us while we are here in prison. God bless you. What I can say today to you is that I started to teach the words of God and minister them to others to help them understand how much God loves them. We are blessed by God now and happy to love God and to forgive other people who wronged us as the same we request the people we have wronged to forgive us. So thank you so much. Thanks to your hard work you are doing for Christ to us who are spiritually young. Thank you for taking such a good care for us. Why I say all this is because I can ask as many questions as I like but you keep on answering me and you make me to love God every day. – Siphiwe
  • Thank you so much for this lesson. I am so highly blessed by this teaching. Thank you so very much and may the Lord God and our Saviour Jesus Christ richly bless you. I am very grateful that I have known you, Josef and Talitha, and also Family Care Ministries. I pray for your strength and growth in this work of Christ. May you continue to bless many more other believers and those who do not have the knowledge of Christ. – David
  • This course taught me about all the possible things God can do in my life if only I believe in Him. It also taught me about personal responsibility and to respect the values and beliefs of others. – Charles

 Christmas Programmes and Events

Christmas is a time of giving. It is a special time to help the disadvantaged so that they, with the help of a food parcel, can also celebrate this holiday season to fill their hearts with hope and courage.

Family Care Ministries uses Christmas as an opportunity to bless the less fortunate in Evaton West and Orange Farm. It is always a joyful event to celebrate with the elderly and children by hosting Christmas parties for them.

In Evaton the party is held at the local community hall and is attend by over 200 children. We provided the jumping castle, organised games, and served snacks and a hot dog lunch. Before children return home they receive a stationary gift pack with a colouring and story book and some snacks. This provides them with some fun activities to do over the Christmas holidays. The basic stationary set offers something to start school with when it opens again.

The local councillor is thrilled that we have chosen her community to work with the youth and elderly and needy families. Being aware of the desperate needs in some of the households, she is grateful for the regular food items and food parcels we distribute and other activities for the youth Family Care Ministries offers.

In Orange Farm the party is held at the local Itemoheng Primary school and is attended by over 400 children. It is more challenging to keep them all entertained but seeing children’s big smiles always makes it worth the effort.

Family Care Ministries assisted Ouma Helen who organised a party for the children at one of the housing complexes in Fleurhof she regularly visits. Many hands made the work feel light and the children enjoyed themselves and the jumping castle to the max.

 The elderly in Orange Farm and Evaton West were treated by Family Care Ministries with a get together, a meal and a food parcel to take home as well.

Outreach

We used up 31 boxes of paper in the time period this report covers to print numerous gospel tracts, Bible Verse booklets, Bible study course materials and other pamphlets in three languages. It is Family Care Ministries’ members passion to spread hope, cheer and comfort to all they meet. Aside from what we print, we also distributed 500 Christian magazines, 12 Bibles, 20 New Testaments, 177 other booklets and more. One-on-one conversations are best but volunteers also use social media such as email, Facebook, SMS or Whatsapp to spread the message and to counsel and encourage others to find faith in Jesus.

Malawi Work

Family Care Ministries has had a presence in Malawi for the past 7 years now. The focus of our work is on training laymen, students and pastors from different churches. The work has been supported financially and by way of gospel pamphlets, Bibles, New Testaments, and Bible verse booklets. All our members are volunteers dedicated to serving God as the love of Jesus compels them to share the Good News with their people.  To help the work to become sustainable and help members generate income for their families and cover travel expenses, Family Care Ministries has helped them start a farming project and trading post.

Many Thanks

This year we receive sponsorship in the form of a booklet called “Freedom Within.” It is specifically written for inmates, those who have chosen to become Christians. The booklet centers on themes such as forgiving yourself and others, coping with fear and rejection, your relationship with the Lord and others, and much more.

Many of our course participants are looking for answers, are troubled by their past and desperate for forgiveness. Most struggle to come to terms with the sins of their past and are trying to cope with the difficulties of life in prison. The words in the booklet have resonated with the ones we were able to donate a copy of it to.

Here are some responses that we got:

  • I would like to thank you very much for sending me this important book  “Freedom Within – From Jesus with Love.” It is really full of words of comfort and guidance. This book has inspired me to forgive my mother who abandoned me when I was a child. Jesus said to forgive those who have wronged you. If you don’t forgive them He can’t forgive you the wrongs you have done. – Mpho
  • It was really good reading the book that you had sent to me. It was like you knew what was happening in my life. After reading this book many things started to change in my life. I’m a different person now. The part “Let go” really touched me. I was a person who likes holding grudges. But I have learned from the book to let go and forgive those who wronged me. In short, I can say this book taught me many things, how to love, forgive, praise, understand and care and to count on Jesus, and much more. – David
  • Everything inside the book “Freedom Within” speaks to me. I lost hope in friends and people around me. They do not trust me because of my previous life even if I tell them I am no longer that person. I learn a lot of things from this book, from articles like “A Brighter Tomorrow.” It motivates me to make changes about my life. Topics like “You Can Never Be Too Bad for Jesus” open my eyes. I used to judge myself according to the things that I had done. I did not know that there is Someone who loves me. Thank you again for blessing me with this book. – Siyabonga
  • Let me take this opportunity to say thank you so much for sending the book entitled “Freedom Within.” I went through it. It is very rich. Reading this book is like I am hearing directly from the Lord Jesus talking to me. This book is able to address my situation, it has taught me so much: 1. How to accept and how to love even those who throw me in prison. 2. The book further revealed how much Jesus suffered on earth. How He responded towards the opposition. Again the book is very easy to read. I don’t even know which words to use, because the book taught me so much. I am looking forward to receiving another book. – Thabiso
  • I appreciate your love, sympathy and the source of true love to my faith. I thank you for all the books and manuals because they changed my life. The program is perfect and increases the love to God and helps me read the Bible to get more wisdom from the word of God. I can now share the word of God with my family, friends and my fellow inmates. I wish to continue with the program to change other people’s lives like mine and be near God all the time through prayers. – Obabeng
  • Truly the book “Freedom Within” has been a blessing to me. Believe me when I say to you that in this book I found a treasure. I would certainly sell all I have, I mean all my possessions in this prison, for this book. I felt like Jesus indeed was or is talking to me when reading on topics and the pages that I flip to. The introduction made an everlasting mark and that could only be Jesus himself. Thank you, thank you, thank you. May God bless the person who compiled and produced this book. – David
  • Keep on doing the great work of spreading the word of God to those who need it most like us here in prison where most of our brothers, especially those who are still unbelievers, don’t have hope, and feel rejected by their loved ones and family and friends. I want to thank you a million times for the spiritual book you send for us. You just reminded me that I chose the right path to walk with a friend (Jesus) through this time, Someone I can depend on. – Gcina
  • I am very grateful for all the teachings and encouragements I receive from you. I had many questions like why am I facing all this misery of being in jail. But within the pages of the book “Freedom Within” I managed to get the answers. There is nothing that can separate me from the love of God which is mine through Christ Jesus my Lord and Friend. Even though I am in prison I know that Jesus Christ will never leave me nor forsake me. This gives me peace and assurance that God loves me. I am very grateful for all your support to help me grow spiritually. May God richly bless you as you touch and lead many souls to Christ through your ministry. – Ndonyane
  • I would like to thank you for the book “Freedom Within”. I thank you for taking good care of the lost sheep of God. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord. Your labour in the Lord is not in vain. (1. Cor. 15:58) Thank you for showing interest in me. It helps me to understand my potential and realizing that my potential was not given to me to deposit in the grave. The greatest tragedy in life is not death but a life that never realized its full potential. Today I decided not to rob the world of the rich, valuable, potent, untapped resources locked away within me. Thank you for the booklet of inspiration that gives me hope and light in the dark days of my life. Thank you so much. May God richly bless all my Christian family.  – Jacob

 

Activities Report for 2016

2016 has been a year of progress and growth on all fronts.

Several times it looked like Family Care Ministries would have to scale back its food programmes as due to various circumstances a business and a supermarket had to discontinue assisting us with food items. But in each instance another door opened. Now, looking back over the year we were able to distribute more food than in the previous year.

Girls smiling1So Family Care Ministries volunteers hardly missed a beat in picking up and delivered food items to needy families and child-headed households. Elijah in Evaton West, Iris in Diepkloof, Soweto, and Mandla, Zanele, Eunice and Manja in Orange Farm did their best to make the bread, eggs and other food items go as far as they could to meet the many needs in these township areas.

We were able to continue to assist Sister Glover (87) in Noordgesig and Ouma Helen (82) who faithfully ventures out to Industria. They are a shining example to everyone around. Despite their age, they tirelessly do all they can to assist the needy in communities. Having little themselves as they themselves eke out an existence on their small pensions, they prove God’s promise true: “Give and it shall be given unto you.”

With the help of some very dedicated volunteers, we continued to bring a wholesome hot meal to 120 elderly in Brixton. This year fruit and lovingly home baked cupcake became a regular addition rather than a once in a great while treat.

As our team of volunteers grew, so did the amount of time we were able to spend with the elderly increase. Many enjoyed the attention as we had more time to share encouraging words and a personal prayer.  You would think that team members would be feeling tired after going on this monthly venture on their off days, but everyone testified of how rejuvenated they felt after giving to others.

Evanton center 21Thanks to a generous donation we were able to put up a solid temporary structure at the back of one of our volunteer’s small RDP house in Evaton West. We are able to distribute the food donations so much more efficiently as the 9m x 5m room we built helps us organize the food items. It allows us to meet and spend time with the recipients of the donated goods and serves as a place for Elijah to meet with the youth on a daily basis.

I love to thank you for the food supply that you give to me. It is really helpful. I pray that God may keep you so that you can continue to be a blessing not only to me but also to others. – Mushudu

I would like to say thank you for the provision that you give us. Me and my family are very grateful because now there is no single day we go to bed without eating. The words can’t express our gratitude but only to say thank you. – Pamela & family

Greetings! My family and I would like to thank you for all that you are doing for us and other families. We really appreciate your kindness in our lives and we thank the Lord for your life because if He didn’t create someone like you, we really don’t know how we would survive. Love with all of our hearts. – Rikotso & family

 

The following is a list of food items distributed by Family Care Ministries volunteers in 2016:

  • 909 crates of fresh fruits, vegetables and other assorted foods, or canned and dry goods
  • 13,584 sachets of milk or chocolate milk drinks
  • 205 kg cookies
  • 180 kg chips
  • 50 kg of a rice
  • 160 kg brown flour
  • 300 kg of chicken and other meat
  • 700 loaves of bread
  • 253 kg pizza pies
  • 1,000 snack packs
  • 22 crates of cucumbers
  • 20 kg instant pudding
  • 30 kg gelatin
  • 20 kg instant potatoes
  • 585 kg maize
  • 100 l of oil
  • 150 kg of sugar
  • 750 Vienna sausages
  • 300 l of milk
  • 16,000 eggs

Training

2016-07-30 13.30.42 1A training venture we had long hoped to be able to invest time and money in took place in July 2016. We hosted a two day training workshop for 12 of our volunteers just outside Hekport at a Christian conference venue.

It is so easy to get wrapped up in the day to day work dealing with all the needs at hand. It is easy to loose focus in the process. Everyone found being able to step back and spending time with like-minded folks with similar goals and visions rejuvenating and strengthening. Family Care Ministries volunteers rallied around leadership topics of visions and goals. To practice and improve practical skills a talk was given on report writing. Valuable information on how to formulate letters to raise support and on writing project updates for interested individuals in the community will help projects become self-sustaining.

Early Childhood Development Workshops

2016 saw a tremendous increase not only of the number of workshops presented but also in the number of workshop attendees. After meeting the social worker in charge for ECD in the Orange 2016-08-13 09.35.46Farm district, she invited Talitha, one of our volunteers, to briefly explain about the early childhood development workshops while in a forum meeting. The principals of all the ECD centers and preschools in the area usually attend. Getting the contact numbers of the nearly one hundred attendees made it so much easier to send invitations to the workshops. As a result we have had 40-50 attendees at each of the 3 day workshops. This year alone 139 caregivers were able to complete the 3 day training and got important input and training on the developmental needs of babies, toddlers and young children.

The resources that have been created to go along with the programme are in big demand but funding is still very limited. We are looking for ways of raising sponsorship to donate sets of these teaching resources to the most needy preschools in the future.

  • I enjoyed this training very much because it gives me more information. I say as from today I want to improve my centre and kids because this opportunity is not just for fun. It is a serious responsibility. – Noxolo
  • I got knowledge important for a teacher to learn. I was encouraged and got information on how to keep a child busy. I saw the importance for a child to read books and to see things and to make time to help children to get ready for writing. – Agnes
  • I learned a lot about how to give children the opportunity to succeed in the future and how to teach the child. I think one day my dreams will be achieved. I like the way you teach us. You give me a lot of knowledge.  – Marcurina
  • I think this workshop helped me a lot because I have learned so many things that I didn’t know. I think this helps many people because it teaches us a lot about teaching and developing many kids out there. There are a lot of things I didn’t know about or understand. Now I know how to deal with things that I come across. Yes, it is a very big challenge for everyone who is teaching the children. Yes, I think it made me open my eyes that children are very important. – Portia

Prison Ministry

In 2016, Family Care Ministries celebrated the 10th year of offering Bible study courses to the inmates of the Kutama Correctional Center in Makhado. Of the 229 inmates that signed up most graduated successfully. Thirty-five of these were inmates enrolled in the advanced course. Running the course translates into printing and mailing thousands of copies of Bible study materials. In addition to the photocopied class sheets we mailed 193 booklets as supplementary course material.

This year we receive sponsorship in form of a booklet called “Freedom Within.” It is specifically written for inmates, those joywho have chosen to become Christians. The booklet centers on themes such as forgiving yourself and others, coping with fear and rejection, on your relationship with the Lord and others, and much more.

Many course participants are looking for answers, are troubled by their past and desperate for forgiveness. Most struggle to come to terms with the sins of their past and are trying to cope with the difficulties of life in prison. The words in the booklet have resonated with the ones we were able to donate a copy of it to.  Here are some responses that we got:

  • I would like to thank you very much for sending me this important book of Freedom Within – From Jesus with Love. It is really full of words of comfort and guidance. This book has inspired me to forgive my mother who abandoned me when I was a child. Jesus said to forgive those who have wronged you. If you don’t forgive them, He can’t forgive you the wrongs you have done. – Mpho
  • It was really good reading the book that you had sent to me. It was like you knew what was happening in my life. After reading this book many things started to change in my life. I’m a different person now. The part “Let go” really touched me. I was a person who likes holding grudges. But I have learned from the book to let go and forgive those who wronged me. In short, I can say this book taught me many things, how to love, forgive, praise, understand and care and to count on Jesus, and much more. – David
  • Everything inside the book “Freedom Within” speaks to me. I lost hope in friends and people around me. They do not trust me because of my previous life even if I tell them I am no longer that person.
  • I learn a lot of things from this book, from articles like “A Brighter Tomorrow.” It motivates me to make changes about my life. Topics like “You Can Never Be Too Bad for Jesus” open my eyes. I used to judge myself according to the things that I had done. I did not know that there is Someone who loves me. Thank you again for blessing me with this book. – Siyabonga

Christmas Programs and Events

Evaton - Sack race with JosefFamily Care Ministries’ Christmas programs and events have benefited 800 children this year. Four Christmas events were organized for the children in Diepkloof, Soweto, Orange Farm and Evaton West. The children enjoyed the tug of war, sack races and other activities to the max. Of course the jumping castles were again a big hit. Family Care Ministries provided a lunch, juice and snacks for each child and a gift parcel containing some stationary items and a colouring and story book to take home.

Outreach

The most effect way to share the Gospel is on a day to day basis with those who one comes into contact with. Family Care Ministries volunteer’s passion for 2016 was to explain to as many as possible all Jesus has to offer and what we owe Him our gratitude for. So Bibles and New Testaments, Bible course material, Scripture verse booklets, and tracts were printed and distributed. In addition, volunteers used social media such as email, Facebook, SMS or Whatsapp to spread the message and counsel and encourage others to find faith in Jesus.

Malawi Work

Throughout all of 2016 Family Care Ministries supported the work in Malawi both by giving monetarily and by printing and shipping local language tracts and booklets to coworkers in Malawi to help them in their outreach and teaching. This has resulted in more leaders being raised to carry the message even further. Vegetable gardens are being planted and other small business ventures are started to meet the desperate needs for a source of income for workers as well as to share the produce with the people they minister to. Two bicycles were sponsored to allow teachers to cast a wider net and start Bible study groups in outlying areas without having to deplete their very limited resources available.

 

New year, fresh start

Each new year brings with it many things. It’s full of freshness, growth, and new experiences. It’s full of second chances, forgiveness, and opportunities to try again. It’s also full of tests, new challenges, and its share of difficulties and problems.

The most important thing in each new year is your relationship with Jesus. Because with Him at your side, you’re guaranteed to make it through whatever this new year may hold.

It’s been wisely said that life on earth is a testing ground and a learning experience, and with Jesus as your Guide and Coach, you’re sure to be successful. Your success may not look like success as it is popularly perceived, but you will be successful in the things that last beyond this life and into eternity.

Enter this new year with Jesus, holding His hand, and letting Him lead and guide you. Although He can’t promise that the paths you will walk this year will be easy or problem-free, He can promise you that His strength will always be sufficient for you, and that you will not face a challenge too big or too difficult for you and Him to handle together. If you can believe this and commit to trusting in Him no matter what comes your way, you’ll find that nothing will surprise you so greatly as to undermine your confidence and trust in Him.

When difficulties and challenges arise, remember His promise to help you through. Remember that when you are weak, He is strong. This will fill you with peace and confidence for your year ahead—the confidence of knowing that He, the Maker of heaven and earth, is with you.

As you walk through this year together with Jesus, the challenges you face can become opportunities for you to experience His unfailing power and strength. The choices that you face will be easier to make with His counsel to direct you. The connections and relationships you have this year will be sweeter and deeper as more of Jesus shines through you. At the close of this new year you’ll be able to look back and see the progress you’ve made and look forward to another year with Him.

A motto to live by

By J. R. Miller

The very heart of true Christian friendship is helpfulness. We begin to be like Christ only when we begin to desire to do others good. The world’s ideal is, “Every man for himself,” but Christ set a new standard for His followers. We are to look upon every one we meet with the question in our hearts, “What can I do for this man? How can I serve him? In what way can I do him good, help him, comfort him, and strengthen him?” We are always to hold ourselves ready to show the kindness of love to every human being that crosses our path. He may not need us—but then he may—and if he does, we must not fail to give him the help he needs.

We do not know how many of those whom we meet any day do need us. There are hearts that are discouraged, needing cheer that they faint not. There are people who are tempted, wavering, and ready to fall. There are those who are carrying a burden of sorrow, crying out for comfort. There are those who are hungry for love.

There are always opportunities for helping, and the world needs nothing more than men and women who are ready to respond to each call for love’s gentle ministry. We should not forget that if we are Christians, we represent Christ in this world. He would reach other lives through us. What are you going to be as a friend to the one who looks to you for strength, for encouragement, for inspiration, for help? What have you to give that will make life the richer?

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.—1 Thessalonians 5:11

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.—Proverbs 17:17

Finding serenity

A compilation
Have you prayed and prayed and waited and waited, and still there is no manifestation? Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him. (Psalm 37:7)

Are you tired of seeing nothing move? Are you just at the point of giving it all up? Perhaps you have not waited in the right way. “With patience wait.” (Romans 8:25) Patience takes away worry.

He said He would come, and

Read More»

Lives are changing

God’s unconditional love for you!

As part of Bible study class we shared the following text with inmates at Kutama Sinthumule Correctional Centre in Makhado, Limpopo. Knowing how much God values us as believers helps us realize how indebted we are to Him to live a life dedicated to Him.

Jesus’ love is reaching out to you right now. His love, His forgiveness and His mercy are all right there, just for you, if you will only receive them. Jesus is not stacking up all your faults and failures and mistakes to hold against you. When He looks at you He sees possibilities that others do not see. He sees your every tear. He hears your every cry. He feels your every frustration, your every worry, your every burden, your every desire. He knows everything about you. He sees straight through to your heart of hearts and all that is in it, and He deeply loves you. He is right there by your side, and He will never ever forsake you.  He loves you and He patiently waits for you!

Here are some of the responses we got from inmates that participate in our Bible study course:

I feel like Jesus has forgiven me all my sins. He has accepted me into His Kingdom. He is embracing me. He is completely protecting me. He loves me and wants me to live a clean life. – Frans

Reading these words give me hope that Jesus loves me just the way I am. If I ask Him for forgiveness He will give it. He can even

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Partnering with the like-minded

Sister Glover

Sister Glover web

Sister Glover, who runs the Emmanuel Feeding Scheme in  Noordgesig, has been dedicated to helping the poor for many, many years. She is 85 years old and still goes out daily to a large vegetable garden to water and look after the plants. Every month she holds a meeting with about 300 pensioners and single mothers to share God’s word with them. Using her meager pension, she buys bread and peanut butter to provide them with a breakfast. Women in the neighbourhood help to cook a lunch to serve to everyone as well. After the meeting all line up to receive packages of fat & bones and any other food items donated for the purpose. A butchery regularly gives her bones and fat for her project. Again, she has to use her pension to fetch the donation. Family Care Ministries has recently supported her with chicken & rice for the meal & has been providing her with various food items whenever possible.

Ouma Helen

Ouma Helen web

Ouma Helen is well in her eighties and has been using a walker for many years. She used to receive some monies and help from her small congregation to buy food parcels for about 20 needy families in an informal settlement. Several years ago she was told that the church cannot afford to support her ministry anymore. A friend of ours contacted us for help and Family Care Ministries has been supporting her efforts for the past several years. We now provide her with donated foods to share with the poor on a weekly basis.

Last year Ouma Helen had a fall and broke her pelvis bone. She had to lay for weeks on her back to help the bones to heal as she told that she was too old to have the needed operation. She healed miraculously in a much shorter time than expected. As soon as she could, she picked up right where she left off. Though she is now in a wheelchair, she continues to sort, pack and distribute to the needy with the help of her grandchildren. For Christmas Family Care Ministries was able to provide her with some food items for her food parcels and accompany her to the informal settlement spreading a message of love and hope as we went.

Zakariyya Park

Fikile and Team Web

Fikile has gathered a group of friends around her who are just as determined as she is to see what can be done to help children who are suffering in one way or another in her community in Zakariyya Park. Family Care Ministries has provided her and her team with regular donations of bread, eggs and other foods such as cereals as often as we get them. The caring hearts of these young ladies help many children find the emotional and social support they need.  They try their best to offer some homework support and encourage children to excel in their studies. Family Care Ministries members encourage the team to share the Gospel and gospel material with the children which they gladly do.

Abram

Abram Web

Abram is a creche owner in Diepsloot. He provides not only a safe environment for some of the children in his community, but has also dedicated his life to sharing the word of God with as many as he can. He tries to do what he can do to ease the dire physical or spiritual needs the children, teenagers, parents or others around may have. He is always available for prayer and counsel and has become a well respected and sought out member in his community. Family Care Ministries shares donations of bread with him biweekly and provides him with other food items when possible.

The Boy’s Brigade of SA

The Boys Brigade of SA is a N.P.O. operating in Noordgesig. They offer activities to get the children in their neighbourhood off the streets to prevent them falling into a life of crime. They assist children by sharing food and clothing donations with those that need it. Winnie and Donovan have gathered some brass and percussion instruments which the children use to learn on and practice with. The number of children participating is much greater than the number of instruments they have so they have to take turn using them. Participating in the band draws their interest, gives them a challenge and something to do other than aimlessly wandering the streets and ending up falling in with the wrong crowd in this drug ridden community.  Family Care Ministries assists with regular food donations.

Engaging the Youth web Engaging the Youth Web 1

Spreading the Gospel in Malawi

by Gracious

I have been so busy giving leadership Bible study classes. I feel like I am working double shifts. I teach during the day for 4hrs and on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays I also start from 5:30pm to 8pm. I have two groups, one has 6 full time students and pastors and the other one has 4. They are becoming well trained and I have seen much change in them. They now go from household to household using tracts and the Key Bible Verse booklets to reach out and minister to others. They are already becoming good teachers themselves since I always send them interested people to be taught so they can practice all that they learn in my classes.

IMG-20151003-WA0000Gracious-Zomba1

 

 

 

 

 

I have a good time sharing the word of God and explaining about the classes going from business to business. People and many church leaders find this so inspiring. Their comment is that if other Christians and churches would be actively teaching others as Family Care Ministries does, many people would have more faith in and get a greater understanding of God’s word. We are indeed unique in all what we do here.

I also go with students door to door and many people get prayed for in the parks of Zomba. We have been witnessing in different areas meeting people and sharing with them the word of God. Our theme has always been the same: LOVE. The booklet with Bible verses has become a good tool in helping them know the truth about salvation and other topics. We have been going into Muslim communities without fear knowing that the love of God is for all of us. Their joy after receiving the word of God increases our faith daily. We are motivated by the love of God to do good and preach His gospel to all. The Lord leads us to those He wants us to meet and talk to.

Ruth also teaches lots of others around Zomba. She has formed about 4 groups which have more than 10 people who gather on the days of classes. She has trained other women how to witness. Testimonies are endless with these women groups. They’re out three times a week and are winning many souls. The women group is engaged in family counseling and families are no longer the same in most Zomba areas. They help each other to overcome family problems. They are also visiting inmates and are going to hospitals to pray and share the message of salvation with the sick and the staff at the hospital.

Zomba team

Some of the women in this group put their money together to travel to a rural area. Her report from this trip showed that 30 people received the word of salvation and were prayed for. They taught them some parts of our Bible study course as well.

Our main challenge now is training manuals. Many of our dedicated members can’t understand English well and therefore it isn’t easy for them to use the English ones. Finding the money for transport for visitation remains a problem too during this time as things are getting worse and worse economically and Malawi is experiencing a hunger crisis. The government has reached a point of even passing a law that no one should be employed until  further notice. So a major challenge we face is lack of employment. Many can’t provide for their families.

One of our members, who just graduated from our course on the 17th October 2015, got sick and within two days peacefully passed away. Before passing on in the hospital, he praised the Lord in tongues and loudly said these words:”I have carried my torch; carry yours also.”  We testified of this to all the 500 people who attended the funeral and many were touched since this brother was known for being a nonbeliever before. As a result many people inquired about Family Care Ministries and who this man was working with. Soon after the event many showed great interest to join the course immediately. Our brother Henderson was a very dedicated person who joined our team as a student in October 2014. Despite death being a blow to many who have little faith, his death has acted as fuel to our growing ministry.

The new graduates never have time to rest but are already busy out there winning souls and training others. It’s my hope that, as we focus on educating them, they will do even greater things with what we have given them. As the Bible says in 2 Timothy chapter 2: “And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit the same to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”

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Family Care Ministries is registered as a Non-profit Organization in terms of the Non-profit Organization Act, 1998     Number: 007-316