The Lakeside Team has arrived. And with their arrival we've been able to complete an outreach ministry that has been on our hearts for a couple weeks now.
Through our church plant we've become acquainted with a man named Zachariah. I have been doing a discipleship Bible study with him and several others for quite a few months. His testimony is often challenging to us. His family of six is struggling financially due to his unemployment. Several times we have been able to provide food, both through our ministry funds and through the provisions sent over by some generous donors.
He was led by the Spirit one day to another family. This family is headed by a 72 year old granny who cares for 8 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren. This family group has numerous needs including health, financial, and security. The overwhelming need however is spiritual, namely that they come to know Jesus Christ as Savior and experience His forgiveness of their sins.
Through Zachariah's deacon-like ministry we've become involved with this family as well. He has faithfully been bringing them to church, although a couple of them have resisted. One challenge last week was that two of the children didn't want to come because they have no shoes. Zachariah called me 15 minutes before we had to leave for church to tell me this. Obviously Amber didn't have time to go out and find shoes, not even considering the fact that we didn't know the sizes. I told him to encourage them to come anyway and surprisingly they did.
I've been in their house, which is probably 20x15 (remember that there are 12 people living there). There is nothing at all in the house. Nothing. As in, not even food. Several times we have been able to provide food for them, but that isn't a long-term solution.
With the team here, we had a great chance to take a couple hours, a roto-tiller, shovels, rakes and seeds and prepare gardens for these two families. This helps us fulfill James 2:15, as well as evaluate how willing these families are to help themselves. Zachariah has committed to oversight of the new family's garden, ensuring that the grandchildren water and weed it. And while we have shared the gospel with them both at their home and in church, it is a chance to show that we care about them - that we truly care about them enough to do something for them. And in this culture, for white people to go out to the township and actually work for a black family is unheard of. Several times we actually had an audience, and with my rudimentary understanding of Sesotho, I could hear the people asking what these crazy white people where doing.
You can see in these photos that it was very moving, especially to the grandmother. Now it's your turn. Pray that the seeds in these gardens will grow to produce bountiful fruit for these families in need. And pray that the spiritual seeds we have been planting will grow into spiritual fruit in the souls of those who hear.
Next week we have scheduled for a children's outreach and some street preaching in Thabong. Zachariah will take Day 1, then the Lakeside team members and I will split the other days. We trust the Lord will provide fantastic fruit through these ministries.
|The finished product. Well, hopefully not finished. We'd like to see a harvest at some point.|
|Pictured here: Butternut Squash. Also planted: Tomatos, Onions, Sweetcorn, Cucumbers, Cabbage, Swisschard, Green Beans and probably a few other things as well.|
|Grant's philosophy is "The more, the merrier". He likes to drop a couple dozen seeds in each hole, just to make sure.|
|Two of the grandchildren.|
|The granny was moved to tears by this relatively minor display of love.|
|The Lakeside Team with Granny and several of her grandchildren. Zachariah is the man in green/white stripes on the left.|