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South AFrica Prayers Answered

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  • Jerome Chandler
    This is from my heterodox missionary friend.  Your prayers have not gone unheeded.  Thanks to all for praying with us.   our focus should be on Union with
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 3, 2008
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      This is from my heterodox missionary friend.  Your prayers have not gone unheeded.  Thanks to all for praying with us.
      "our focus should be on Union with God, not on what is to be gained from that union."

      Subject: South AFrica Prayers Answered

      Greetings in the name of Jesus! 
      We are grateful for your prayers on behalf of the country of South Africa .  Things have cooled down considerably.  There is still something in the “air’, but overall things have been put to rest.  The government called in the army to help the police to put down the protest  and killings. We are now dealing with the refugees who are huddling at the police station in tents.   Throughout the country in the last few weeks the news reports that over 25,000 people have been made homeless because of the xenophobic attacks!  We have been ministering at the police station nearest our church seeking to serve those that have been displaced. 
      It seemed unreal to me that over a thousand people were at the Rabie Ridge Police station just 5 minutes drive from our church.  I asked for volunteers to go with me on Monday morning to minister.  We went with 30 brand new blankets and some clothes for people to have.  As we arrived I wondered if it were an exaggeration that so many people were at the police station.  As we pulled up we saw signs of people living there.  There were clothes hanging all around the fences drying from being washed.  As we entered the station we were introduced to the officer in charge.  A short female officer with a no nonsense look did not hesitate, but ushered us into an area that was previously off-limits to civilians.  There were 5 of us from the church, as we walked in to her office it was littered with bags, 50kg bags of mealie meal (grits) and other things.  She was the community officer and told us how she has been working from 7am to midnight daily as they were dealing with the crisis.  She told us that they had plenty of mealie meal to feed people with, but there was no nourishing food such as veggies and meat.  She asked me if the church could help.  I promised to bring veggies, but could not promise meat.  We then told her that we had blankets.  She seemed nervous and  said that they should be for women with small children.  However she did not want us to leave them because there were so few and she did not want people to think that she had misappropriated them. 
      We then walked out and saw five tents.  Each tent was designated women or men tents.  We went to the women’s tent and it was filled with people almost on top of one another.   People who had homes, jobs and their own things were now huddled in tents sleeping on the grass with a few things that they could run away with.  We were literally mobbed as we sought to give to those most in need.  There was an argument from the women about who was most at need.  The women and the officer asked us could we come back and have a service there with them.   As we left the men began asking what did we bring for to help them because they were in need.  It was  drizzling and men were showing us where they slept outside.  One man asked us for vitamin C to help him as  he showed us the burns on his legs.  His shack was set on fire and he barely escaped with his life.  The situation was indescribable and I fought back the tears. 
      We retuned at 6pm for a service.  It was already dark because it is winter.  At first there were just children gathering as we began singing.  Then women arrived.  We then went around as some were singing calling the people to the service.  The man in charge that night told me that the “beds” were coming so it would be a tough time!  Many men and women came to the service.  We had sister Ntombi give a testimony, and Brother Andrew preached as Sipo translated.  Andrew spoke in Zulu, which is close to Ndebele and Sipo translated in Shangani.  These two languages were to accommodate the  people from Zimbabwe and Mozambique .   The Lord moved and over 50 people made a decision for Christ.  We were disturbed as they began bringing in the “beds” which were ¼ inch pieces of plywood.  Everyone had the plywood because the ground was wet and water was running through even the tents.  We continue to go and pray with the people and take food to help.  We need your prayers.  Even though it seems that the worst of the violence is behind us please pray for those that we are now serving that are homeless.  Also, there is  a spirit of uneasiness  that touches our family and the entire area. 

      ...If God is for us, who can be against us?  Romans 8:31
      Pastor Vincent & Sharon Mathews
      P.O. Box 1287.
      Halfway House, Republic of South Africa 1685 Cell Phone Home Phone

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