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.

 

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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