The secret to successful ministry is to surround yourself with very competent Christian friends.
Praise the Lord for Erica and Olga, who are the experts running our Project Joseph vegetable production unit at Durbanville Community Church (DCC), near Cape Town, South Africa.
Erica is a dedicated home-school mom who often has her three strong sons helping her in our vegetable garden. Olga helps by leading and controlling the ‘gardening days’ of the young men we are discipling from the Stone Hill informal settlement.
Olga gives us some insight into just what a difference this practical Gospel project is making:
Siwaphiwe is one of the Soldiers for Christ young men being ministered to by Uncle Charl. (Note from Charl: In Africa, if you are considered old, you get called “uncle,” even if there is no family connection. So, there’s that!)
Siwaphiwe is 18 years old and is in 10th grade. And although we live in a society overrun by hopelessness and brokenness, Siwaphiwe is looking forward to completing his high school career and moving onto university or college.
He dreams of becoming an Electrical Engineer! I explained to him that it requires determination, commitment, hard work, perseverance, lots of money, and discipline to achieve such a high level of education.
Our “school in the box” educational ministry will be of help to him as well.
During the coronavirus outbreak, children couldn’t go to school for months, so they just aimlessly wondered around the informal settlement. But Siwaphiwe would help at our ministry soup kitchen, church, and preschool. Siwaphiwe and his best friend, 14-year-old Aubrey, are quite a team.
I’ve often caught them red-handed….reading their Bibles together and discussing passages of Scripture. Young boys reading is extremely uncommon in the area, let alone, a Bible!
Over the many years of our team teaching and relating the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, and serving our community, it is pleasing to see that some are no longer just recipients, but fellow workers in Christ’s Kingdom. Their love for their neighbors and their servant hearts are incredible to witness!
When our Project Joseph vegetable garden started to supply our soup kitchen with fresh, ‘homegrown’ vegetables, we decided to bring some young men from Stone Hill to come and learn, help, and earn.
Siwaphiwe immediately volunteered to help. Our young men have been volunteering a couple of days a month. We advised them to use their hard-earned stipends wisely, to tithe, and to also save.
Siwaphiwe learned well, saved his money in 2020, gave to the Lord’s work, and blessed himself with new clothes, including a new school uniform, for Christmas.
Our desire to continue helping those in need grows every day. Your prayers and financial support enable us to provide physical, mental, and spiritual help to the wounded, broken, hopeless, and the lost.
Siwaphiwe is now one of the most reliable young men at our ministry base in Stone Hill. He takes responsibility and follows instructions well. We are proud of the Christian young man he has become. We pray that the Lord will continue to use him for His purposes.
We have had our moments though, like when “Uncle Charl” was teaching one of the young men to weed the garden. The student weeder took all the loose weeds and threw them into the neighbor’s property! And then there was the time the young gardeners dug through the church’s underground fiber ‘Wi-Fi’ cables with their spades…twice!
And yet we carry on!
From time to time, we would like to take a moment to share these beautiful inspiring stories with you, our ministry partners.
Project Joseph is not just about feeding hungry people, who after being fed today, will be hungry again tomorrow. What we can accomplish on our own is hardly noteworthy; this is about showing that the Body of Christ is His minister of grace, teaching that we have been saved to do good works and most of all, it is about the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
Charl returns; A big thank you to all who contacted us regarding our boreholes and the quality of water produced. The underground water at DCC is beautifully clean and a great blessing to us.
The water from the Stone Hill borehole is unfortunately contaminated. Our initial quote to filter the water for kitchen use was around $14,000. We’ve considered various options; the Lord blessed us with a Christian brother, an expert in his field, who can help us filter the water for $2,950.
Unfortunately, we don’t have these funds available for an immediate filter installation. Our hope of using our water supply for the preschool latrines, the soup kitchen, and our dream laundromat, to create jobs, will be on hold for the time being.
Please pray with us and if you feel so called and can, please support this effort. Anything you can do is deeply appreciated. The Lord is changing hearts in this camp, drawing the lost and forgotten to Him, and your prayers and help play an invaluable role of blessing, in our Project Joseph.