Thanksgiving – Through Crocs And Camps

“Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise! Give thanks to Him; bless His name!”Psalm 100:4

Pastor Joel Saint and I landed safely in Cape Town after a blessed time of ministry in Zimbabwe.

The very next day, I received a note from our host saying we “left at a good time.” Major political tension was unfolding.

After an issuing of a national call-up to all army veterans and active soldiers, civilians were advised to remain indoors. The vice-president was promptly fired. Meanwhile, a fired army general refused to leave his office.

My friend ended his note with: ‘There is hot stuff!’

It is quite unbelievable how volatile Africa is!

I’ve been ministering in Zimbabwe with my colleague Cozmore for many years, mostly with the youth.

This was our first outreach to the parents in the community – a Gospel weekend retreat.

By worldly standards, they are extremely poor and could never afford such a weekend at Hwange Main Camp. We were blessed to have two tribal leaders, a school headmaster, and a village councilor along with local church leaders among the attendees.

Joel’s focus was the application of God’s Word to every area of life. The parents were enthralled as he explained the different forms of government given to us by our Lord: Self-government, family, church and state—and all must submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. He alone is King!

One of the reports that really caught my attention was that of Mpume’s mother. She was thrilled to be at camp. This was after the family had suffered the trauma of Mpume having his leg amputated, below the knee, due to a crocodile attack.

“We feel like we are boyfriend and girlfriend again,” she said, referencing to her relationship with her husband. Joel had called the men to love their wives like Christ loved the church.

“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her.” Ephesians 5:25

Speaking of Mpume – he is doing very well. He had a slight setback after a small part of his leg got infected after the operation. It was found to be caused by stitches that had not been removed. Once this was fixed, his leg healed immediately.

Mpume is now walking with his prosthetic limb. He is to return to the hospital for a final check-up. Get this: He is going to meet with the Sports Board for the Disabled to see if they will allow him to take part in the running trials for his province! We serve a mighty God indeed!

Joel and I managed to spend time with his parents at the retreat. We counselled them and prayed together.

It is because of the prayers and financial support from you, our ministry partners, that Mpume can enjoy a new life with his rotten leg removed and a new leg to walk with.

Thank you for the love you have shown in support of our joint ministry in Africa. The parents’ retreat and Mpume’s operation was made possible by friends like you. We are all very grateful.

Dream girls

Sonja has been very involved with taking the Gospel of the Kingdom to the girls in our local informal settlement, Stone Hill.

This is a challenging ministry. I would like to tell you that the girls are coming to faith in Christ in droves, that they are well discipled and living by faith – but that wouldn’t be true.

Some will swear in your face, disrupt classes, destroy classroom contents, scratch in your handbag to steal from you, pilfer items from your home when they visit, flaunt themselves at the boys and dress like prostitutes.

This reminds us of the devastating emptiness of living without Jesus Christ – and why this ministry is so crucial in this community.

This is true Gospel work – reaching out to the unlikable with the love of Jesus Christ.

So often we want to see immediate results from our short-term evangelistic outreaches. We like to do instant-gratification, fast-food ministry. Few prefer to struggle over years and years, giving of their resources, lives and time only to witness scant evidence of godly results. Yet our Dream Girls team pushes on!

“She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy.” Proverbs 31:20

A BIG thank you! Friends like you have made a difference—and can still make a difference.

Truth be told, your financial support won’t change the living conditions of these girls, but it will change the way they see themselves – and show them that they are loved, cared for and created for a purpose.

When my friend Mabuti was called upon by his family to worship the ancestors, he refused. His mother, a witchdoctor, told the family that he had been looked after and provided for by the Christians, so obviously he will now worship their God!

Sonja and the gang of ministry leaders will have a Christmas outreach. The girls will sing and dance and make memories together, like all children should.

Just as importantly, you’ll be there too, in spirit, walking beside us as you have many times in the past, and we will be pointing the girls to Jesus Christ – He who loves them!

Please pray for us all; and Happy Thanksgiving!

Charl van Wyk

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