A ministry colleague contacted me and asked: “If you were to have funds available, would it be a beneficial Gospel outreach tool for you, or your project leaders, to be able to purchase blankets and bless a few people who are in need?
“And how would you use the provision of a blanket for Kingdom building purposes?”
It might sound like an oddly specific question, but it couldn’t be more perfectly timed.
To get straight to the point (and knowing western media sources seldom prioritize accurate international reporting), South Africa is burning! We are currently enduring riots, arsons, and multiple deaths; also, gunfire and warfare tactics waged from taxi minivans.
Shopping centers, motorcar showrooms, retail stores, and factories are being burnt to the ground. Numerous people are losing their livelihoods because of a group of gangsters perpetrating violence due to their leader being incarcerated. Others are shooting and killing each other over the fierceness of competition for taxi passengers and lucrative taxi routes.
For communists, social regeneration takes place through violence and anarchy. Close observers of history know this is always shrewdly orchestrated but manipulated to appear spontaneous. The resulting carnage and confusion are blamed on capitalism, the greed of the wealthy, western imperialism, racism, etc.
Moreover, media outlets serve as handmaidens for these merchants of destruction. They dutifully churn out misinformation and disinformation, further frustrating a fearful public and priming them to embrace the “solution,” which is always more state control.
While the Christians are building up, the communists are tearing down!
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10
Several photographs and videos on social media show armed citizens fighting back at looters. (My books ‘Shooting Back‘ and ‘Reloaded’ deal with such issues!) Private businesses have apparently stepped in to donate ammunition to the police and private security companies.
My western friends readily associate Africa with civil unrest, but rarely do they realize how cold it can get here. Right now, we’re contending with a wet, frigid winter.
Olga explains what winter is like in a shack in an informal settlement:
“The freezing cold air seeps into the shack homes through many small gaps and holes making sleep exceedingly difficult. Some residents rely on paraffin heaters—which caused me to get seriously ill. Family members stretch out their hands over small stoves to get some heat.
“I know people who have been in the informal shack houses for longer than 15 years, but still aren’t used to the cold. Every winter feels colder than the previous.
“On occasion, floods from the rain cause shacks to be soaked from the ground up. Residents have lost blankets, furniture, appliances, and, most importantly, documents such as birth certificates and ID books. After the flood, some of us must put our blankets and mattresses out to dry in the sun.
“During rainy season water and mud are everywhere. It gets so cold you can feel it in your bones!”
We’ve already performed ministry outreaches with blankets, sleeping bags, and mattresses in Stone Hill. They were gratefully received and extremely beneficial, both to the recipients and our ministry.
Giving a gift blanket in winter establishes rapport with the community, showing them that we really care.
“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”
We’d like to do more and help further afield!
We want to also help those suffering in the “hottest” areas of civil unrest. Winter can be extremely uncomfortable for those living on the streets or in shacks. It’s even more agonizing when the last warmth you felt was the fire from your place of business burning to the ground.
Delivery of blankets will take place in homes, where the Gospel is presented at the delivery. Or if on a large scale, through doing research and finding the neediest in an area and ministering to them at their point of need. Bibles or Gospel tracts will accompany the blankets and specific needs prayed for.
A Bible costs $12, a blanket $13.50, and a Space Blanket – a lightweight and compact first aid thermal blanket, $2.50.
Our Project Joseph is again our point of support for our suffering friends. Please join us in prayer and should you like to make a financial contribution, please click here.
So far, where we live, besides gunshots ringing out we have experienced none of the present violence; we do however sleep with one eye open and firearms at the ready!
Please keep our country and continent in your prayers. And search out reliable news sources on our story. Sadly, what’s happened here for many years is now starting to more noticeably unfold across the West. That is why so many Christian brothers and sisters in South Africa and elsewhere are praying so fervently for America.