Zimbabwe Mission Trip

By Josef

In March 2014 Rafaela and I, members of Family Care Ministries, travelled to Zimbabwe for an exciting week of teaching young women and men in the word of God in Banket, a small  farming town about 95km north of Harare with a population of approximately 4000 people.  Last year one of our South African friends, who had participated in a church planning trip that his congregation had organised to this area, had given our contact details to the local pastor of this rural town.

P1010817-600Pastor Gabriel, desperate for teaching materials, contacted us not long after. He called and visited us in Johannesburg in February and invited us to please come and train the elders and pastors of his 14 small rural churches. He is a very sincere and earnest man desiring to be used of God and help the poor and downtrodden, the forgotten people on the farms.

Banket was once a thriving town with many large companies and commercial farms that have closed down a long time ago. The commercial farmers had been driven off the land which were then taken over by others who for the most part don’t know how to run these large farms or keep them profitable. The companies, unable to export their products, were forced to close down due to sanctions that were imposed on the country. This left the majority of the people unemployed trying to eke out a meager existence on the bit of food grown in their back yards and the occasional temp job. Today the little town center consists of 3 dilapidated petrol stations along the main road travelled by large cargo trucks going to Zambia & Congo.

P1010695-600The people who used to work on the big farms are only able to do some subsistence farming and so remain poor and struggle to earn their own support. Though Pastor Gabriel has a church in Banket town as well, the offerings and tithes barely cover the electricity and rental of the church. Other pastors are not too interested in ministering to people there; they prefer ministering in “greener pastures.” There are no tithes or offerings to be collected here. We admire Pastor Gabriel’s courage and determination to carry on despite the many challenges he faces including financial difficulties.

P1010640-600A bit expectantly, the meeting was attended by mostly young women and a few young men. But it was God’s set up. These young men and women had a real desire to learn and they took notes and eagerly listened to every word we shared. We had morning and afternoon classes for 4 days.  It was a joy to teach them and an encouragement to see their eagerness to learn.

Here are a couple of the responses we got:

  • Mildred: I learned about healing. And I learned about praying by myself and the 2 commandments: (1) Love your neighbor as you love yourself (2) Love your God. I learned about having faith and also about casting out demons. I learned that when my child is sick, I will pray for her. If you are sick, God is the medicine. And I learned about preaching the Gospel to the others. If you hear the Word you should tell others. Also I learned about how God loves the world that He gave us his only begotten son that whosoever believe in Him should not perish but have eternal life. Only Jesus died for our sins. If you have faith everything in your life would be ok. I learned about giving and about giving tithe.
  • Godknows: This was a joyful seminar. I have learned many things such as how I can be growing in faith. And I have also learned that to praise God all the time brings peace and joy in my life. I also know that God´s purpose with people is to have a better life, and to have dominion over the earth and the things which is around us such as vegetation and animals.

P1010802-600After the daily classes we went to visit the farming communities that Pastor Gabriel ministers to. On one of the evenings we held a service at the largest farming community which was attended by over 30 women, children and some youth. To reach the community we had to travel nearly 30km over dirt roads and a small flooded bridge but we made it safely there and back. You would not want to have a car break down as there is no one around to help you, especially at night. 

2014-03-19-327-600Pastor Gabriel had no money to buy food for the 4 day meeting for the 25 attendees so we had brought some non-perishable food and bought the rest at the meeting. We gave him a box of Gospels of John, training manuals and gospel literature for his members and outreach and left them with a gift to help with the many needs. It seems the Lord is leading us mostly to the poor servants of God who care for the poorest of the poor.

It takes a child

Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.—John 7:24

We were the only family with children in the restaurant. I sat Erik in a high chair and noticed everyone was quietly eating and talking. Suddenly, Erik squealed with glee and said, “Hi there.” He pounded his fat baby hands on the high-chair tray. His eyes were wide with excitement and his mouth was bared in a toothless grin. He then wriggled and giggled with merriment.

I looked around and saw the source of his merriment.

Read More»

Teacher Workshops

Filling the Needs

Pardon granted

Thoughts on Easter

Because Jesus was not claimed by death, not left in hell, we also can escape the agony of death, and the awful feeling that we’ve done too many bad things, that there’s no way things can now turn out good for us. In a word, Easter gives us hope.

We can fly like a beautiful eagle or a peaceful dove, arching high over the confines of life and our own selves. We can leave behind the torture of our own failures, our own inadequacies, all that’s within us that holds us back. We can soar into the dreams of our hearts, making reality out of what some call illusion. We can aim for heaven’s goals and, with God’s help, make it to heights unknown.

Read More»

An Easter prayer

Jesus, how I love You! How You’ve proved to me over and over again what great love You have for me. I was nothing, yet You came and died for me so that You might always have me with You. You reached down to the depths for me, and I took hold of Your hand. You pulled me up into a glorious place, and You continue to show me wonders of Your love day after day.

How wonderful, how marvelous, is Your love, Jesus! To think that You were willing to go through so much for me! As I think of the seemingly terrible defeat that You suffered and how it resulted in such a tremendous victory, it fills me with wonder and gives me such hope and peace. Surely You and Your love will see me through whatever troubles may come my way, from now till eternity!

2013 in Pictures

Some of the Team

Activities Report for 2013

Bible Studies:

100_5527 - Copy-600Bible studies continued in the townships and throughout Johannesburg. Each group is initiated and led by Family Care Ministries members who continue to share what they have learned through the 12 Foundation Stones Course and other training they have received. Throughout classes attendees are encouraged to actively participate in mission work and look for ways to meet the needs of others or their community. They often find that as they do God looks after their own needs. Teaching others to teach others empowers.

Outreach:
Regular outreach and visitation continues throughout Johannesburg, Evaton West, Orange Farm, Diepsloot, and the Vaal Triangle. Prayer, godly counsel and a word of encouragement go a long way.

100_5585-600Nduduzu and Ndivhuwo in Soweto, Elijah in Evaton West, and Abram in Diepsloot continued to spearhead our work amongst the youth. As Albert Schweitzer so wisely said: “In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out.  It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being.  We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.” At this point in time the most important thing one can do for youth is to encourage them never to give up.

Training:
Aside from the oversight and counsel our project managers received on a weekly basis throughout the year, Family Care Ministries held bi-monthly meetings to further train, inspire, and strengthen staff and volunteers. We need everyone’s input and ideas to achieve our objectives and therefore encourage discussion and the exchange ideas.

Workshops for Educators
Primary School Educator WorkshopIn coordination with Change the World Trust we held 3 workshops for 7 primary schools from Tembisa. In total 144 educators benefitted. They were presented with envisioning thoughts and material gleaned from many educational and other websites to help them effectively deal with classroom management issues. Everyone had a clearer picture of what can and needs to be done about disruptive behaviour in the classroom and gained behaviour management skills through the strategies discusses and practiced.
Here are just a couple or the responses we got:

The workshop was great and relevant especially at this point in time when most educators are frustrated by ill-disciplined learners. What we have learnt today will help to ease the pressure and challenges which educators are faced with.  – Moses Khoele (Principal)

Definitely the workshop is so developing. I used to blame the learners forgetting that I may be part of the problem. From now on I will do self- inspection before blaming the learners. – Makwena (Educator)

I’ve learnt a lot from the workshop. I’m going to try and implement some of the ideas I got from this workshop and from my colleagues. I’m also going to share this information with others at my school. – Emily (Educator)

Early Learning Workshops

Children are the hope of the future, the future of South Africa will one day lie in their hands. They are entitled to receive a good education that lays the foundation for competence and that empowers them to realize their full potential. Each child no matter what their race or background is should have an equal chance to succeed in life. The Early Learning Workshop was put together with these goals in mind.
It’s now an accepted fact that a child learns more than half of all that he will learn in his lifetime by the time he’s five years old. Therefore Family Care Ministries offers skills development to practitioners and caregivers of babies, toddlers and preschoolers in Orange Farm. We held 5 workshops throughout 2013 and will continue to offer further training in 2014.

Here are some of the responses to the workshops:

I so liked everything about the workshop. It was very interesting and I learned more and more about early learning, especially with what to teach babies, toddlers, and pre-schoolers. My suggestion is if it is possible the workshop must continue because it is good for us.

I enjoyed the lesson. You have opened my mind.

You really made my day today. You make me love children so deeply again. I am going to do my job with love and care for the children. Thanks.

This workshop was very good for me. It makes me feel good and proud of what I am doing. Sometimes you feel that you are not doing right. But if you attend this workshop you feel motivated. You make us feel proud of what we are doing.

I’m glad I learned that we must give a child a good foundation for tomorrow so that they can have a better education.

Helping those in need:
Food donations of approximately 1,000 litres of milk, 3600 loaves of bread, 600 kg of potatoes, pasteries, 60 trays of eggs, 600 kg of meat, 600+ crates of assorted foods, fruits and vegetables went to the needy, elderly and unemployed. We were able to donate or distribute a computer and printer, several boxes of new pregnancy, newborn and children’s clothes and 20 bags of used clothes, pillow, blankets and shoes. We received one bakkie load of curtain material and cut offs which we were able to pass to a skills building centre which will use them with their trainees.

Help for the Elderly
DSCF0002-600

Each month of 2013 we served a wholesome meal to 120 elderly in Brixton, who are housed in complexes provided for them. Our visits are a highlight for them as we make a point of spending some time chatting with them and visiting those who for health reasons cannot leave their quarters. Many appreciate the prayer and care they have received over the years.

 

Prison Ministry:
Kutama Sinthumule Correctional Centre (Maximum Security Prison in Makhado, Limpopo):
In December 2013 we concluded our 8th year of ministering to inmates in this facility. We had a total of 117 inmates who regularly attended the two courses we offered. Throughout the year we mailed 1,190 class sheets as well as 57 booklets for the ten unit course  to inmates throughout the year. The material left a visible impact on lives as was evident from the tests and letters we received.

In early January 2014 we were able to award 80 students with certificates.

Here are some reactions from inmates:

Mishack:  I am satisfied with the way you help us to understand how to make a relationship with the Lord in Jesus Christ. Thank God. God bless you for giving me this opportunity.

Justice: I ask you to continue to give other inmates a chance to learn this Bible study course of Family Care Ministries because they will know the challenges of Christian living and also help them to build their faith like us as you taught us this important course. They will know that God is love and that he loves us to love one another. Thank you and God bless you.

Tumelo: Thank you for the help. I will stick to Jesus Christ because He is a Saviour.

Leeuwkop Correctional Centre
Jeff and Linda White continued their visitation at Leeuwkop Correctional Centre to hold classes with small groups of inmates. The time they share with inmates is impacting lives as they counsel those they minister to. They have been able, in some cases, to offer assistance to family members of inmates. This is much appreciated by those unable to care for their families.

Christmas events:
Parties for children
Family Care Ministries organized again Christmas parties for children in Orange Farm and in Evaton West. Word is going around about the events and the number of children attending has increased every year. This year we were able to organise a magic show for one event and a puppet show for the other. The children were fascinated. It was a real treat for them as they had never seen the like before.  The games and activities were a hit again. People from the community came forward to help prepare and serve the hot dogs, drinks and snacks we had bought. Everyone pitched in to help pack and distribute the gifts to the children: pencils, colour pencils, stationary sets, colouring books, masks, cereal, snack packs and more. A company provided about 120 toys which included dolls and animal sets, Lego sets, cuddly toys, soccer balls, water guns and more. We were able to pass these to orphaned children and those from the most needy households. What a joy it was to see the smiles on the children’s faces.

Party for the elderly
Our event for the elderly coincided with the memorial service that was held in honour of Nelson Mandela. The elderly had to brave the cool and wet weather to join in the fellowship. Though the atmosphere was more sober than in previous years, everyone enjoyed the food, the raffle and sharing what Mr. Mandela means to them. The hall was beautifully decorated by volunteers and everyone went out of their way to make each person feel welcomed and loved. Each attendee received a gift bag with a pamphlet with an encouraging Christmas message, a booklet, some cookies and a coffee mug.

Malawi Work:
StuartThough most of our efforts are concentrated on the local work, in the past year members of Family Care Ministries went on two mission trips to various cities in Malawi to encourage, train and direct the work taking place in this needy country. They were inspired to see the work progressing with local youth starting various projects to meet various needs in their communities. We continued our support by providing them with gospel literatures for their outreaches as well as some financial support to help struggling workers who minister under difficult circumstances in impoverished communities. We continually strive to empower and encourage self-sufficiency.

Compassion in Action

 

January 3rd  with the festive season still in full swing we are called upon to serve:  It is JOHANNESBURG BY NIGHT! By 9.30pm Josef the chairman of Family Care Ministries finished a tour of Johannesburg  with Soweto, Roodeport and Florida, places you wouldn’t want to have a car break down, especially at night, dropping of 31 crates of food to needy families. Their eyes were almost as big as the crates of fresh fruit, vegetables, pastries, snacks, sweets and some meat. Their  grateful hugs warmed my heart. We had a large pick up and our one household refrigerator is way too small, so it had to go. God’s gift is God’s work.

Man shall not live by bread alone: Well, bread is important and the HIV positive folks we serve need it to take it with their medication and the school holidays makes no different to the kids that are hungry, they’re even more hungry since they have no school lunch. Josef traveled over 300km and delivered 160 loaves of bread to @ 50 families in 3 townships. He fixed a computer, prayed for people, helped with transport money for job interview. He always make it a point to leave them with some gospel pamphlets and many are asking for extras to share with their friends. We need food for the soul as well. Bread feeds the stomach but the word of God feeds souls and spirit. Family Care Ministries is here to help.

Call for help on Saturday:   RRRRRing! “Please come and collect 800kg of potatoes, they’re in a 1000kg bag loose & you have to shovel them out.”  Josef the chairman is the only driver and off he goes with crates and trailer. After 8 hours of delivering potatoes in 3 township to needy families, 3 feeding programs & 1 old age complex he finally finished at 8pm. On the way he prayed with the recipients, passed out gospel tracts and shared some hugs. We’ve read that 8 hugs a day keeps the blues away. Well, we like to contribute to the well being of our recipients and feed their souls as well as body.

Abram volunteer and Creche owner in Diepsloot:  All is well and allow me to inform you that it feels so good every time people leave my centre with plastics full of food which you provide from Woolworths on fortnight basis.  I enjoy so much to pack their carry bags with delicious healthy food. Over 10 families are benefiting from the Woolworths supply. Thanks to you and the Great Lord who planted generous love into your heart.
It doesn’t end there, the supply of breads from Albany which I also collect on fortnight basis helps 9 ECD’s including mine where each ECD get up to 15 loaves of breads. On top of that there are 15 families benefiting from the supply of breads. Where each family gets from 2-3 loaves of breads.
Thank God some poor families in Diepsloot manage to put food on the table due to your love and great efforts.
Just today, the staff members at my school are all dressed in new T shirts that looks the same. Thanks to the provision of clothes and toys for the kids. We are overwhelmed by your undying love.
Keep on making changes in people’s lives especially the poor in the poverty stricken township of Diesplsoot.    Kind regards,  Abram Kgari

We’re encouraged to find in the midst of darkness, poverty and violence little lights shining for Jesus. One such little light is Grandma Helen (76), she can hardly see and uses crutches to walk but she glows with the light of Jesus and brings it to her neighbors and regularly feeds the poor with the food and gospel pamphlets we provide.

Our oldest recipient is Sister Glover who is 86 and still going strong working in the garden and serving the community with prayer and food. It is a privilege to serve them and the many lights in the townships who do what they can to bring the light and love of Jesus to the physically and often spiritually impoverished. In the midst of darkness those lights shine even brighter.

Page 5 of 11First...34567...10...Last
Family Care Ministries is registered as a Non-profit Organization in terms of the Non-profit Organization Act, 1998     Number: 007-316