Dear friend and supporters,
Summer is here and we are seeing new growth and an abundance of flowers. We are also seeing transformations and looking forward to taking new territory, after a long, difficult winter.
Been There, Done That
Firstly, Marco and Rens Ruiters have finished their six month Training School. Marco used to be a leading gangster in the notorious JCY gang which has terrorised Worcester for years. Marco’s father was also a gangster and addict, with whom he had no relationship as he was in prison. When he was 7, he tried to get to know his father, who gave him a knife and orders to stab another child, which he did. By age 16 Marco was in prison on a murder charge. He became a hitman, organising hits outside, from behind prison walls. He changed his ways in a tent campaign after 2 of his friends were shot dead.
Marco has a real heart to reach gangsters, and to stop teenagers joining the gangs. Rens was an abused woman, and wants to help other women find the healing she has experienced. Many thanks to those who have sent donations, which have put them through their course, and as they go into ministry, will bring deliverance and healing to many others in Avian Park. They still need a little help so I will be counseling them on anger issues triggered by insecurities and deep wounds caused during their childhood.
Passing on What you Learn
Raymond and Astred have experienced great difficulties in their marriage, and in Raymond’s becoming step-father to Astred’s two boys. Like many coloured women, Astred has never had a consistent male figure in her family, and had great difficulty in relating to Raymond as husband and father. The sudden death of Raymond’s mother at age 48 was a deep blow to him. As a consequence, they have been greatly in need of counselling themselves, and we got them into an individual program at Beulah Retreat in Wellington, about 50 km away. The program ran for 21 days of teaching, discussion, journal writing and habit-forming discipline. Then they returned to Avian Park for one week, to put into practice what they had learned and spend time with their boys. This sequence continued for 3 months.
They returned at the end of September, and are now sharing what they have learned. My Father’s House is employing both couples. We want particularly to look at the abilities and strengths of each of our workers, to make sure we are developing and using these in reaching out into our community. Astred and Rens are setting out to reach young women who have been in abusive relationships and addiction as they were, to bring them healing and restore families. They are planning to organize an Effective Parenting course in the new year.
Micro-Business – Micro-Beginnings
In April/May, I completed training to teach the Micro-Business Startup Programme, and I’ve been teaching this in Avian Park since 20th September. We’ve been really blessed by being allowed to use the newly completed library’s lecture hall free. It is equipped with a projector to display the comprehensive powerpoint presentation from which I teach. I have 4 students. Raymond and Marco are doing it, and have established businesses to help support themselves. Ultimately Raymond will be trained to teach the course, and use it to reach out to the unemployed and gangsters who want to leave their lifestyle of crime. We are starting a revolving, interest-free fund to enable them to buy tools and equipment. Funds will be repaid from their earnings, and loaned to future students.
Managers are Human too!
All of the team being away doing training has meant that we had to shut down the children’s ministry for some time. We started again during September. I’ve also had time to enjoy the visit of my daughter Lexi, who lives in Chicago and whom I haven’t seen for 5 years. She and Joy just love each other, and enjoyed their time together tremendously. Lexi was also busy writing the dissertation for her PhD in Political Science.
Keeping on Keeping on
We value your support (moral and financial) for our ministry, particularly as we reach out to gangsters and addicts and demonstrate through our team how their lives can be changed. My visa is due for renewal on 31st December. Some foreigners have experienced visa rejections and have had to leave the country. I trust that my request will be seen in a favourable light. There would be a major problem for Joy if I was forced to leave. I’ve also been asked to teach another Micro-Business Startup course in January. We are setting up an orientation group for people who have responded at a series of tent meetings just finishing now. Those coming out of addictions and gangs need help from above to allow their mindset and attitudes to be transformed. We appreciate your continued financial support, which has trained 4 staff members this year, and now pays 4 local staff members so we can develop the work.
If you would like to assist us to see these needy lives transformed, just click on the EziDebit button below and follow instructions as they appear.
(Project Manager – My Father’s House in South Africa)