So much has happened during the past six months that has resulted in tremendous successes for the mission and it’s outreach programs. I believe that this is the culmination of many years of hard work with various groups and the enthusiasm by Christians who have stepped up to the plate to serve Christ.

Cape Bible Seminary

The courses and classes continue as usual. Usually every night of the week, a group is taught somewhere in Cape Town and surrounds. Thompson Ntobie has classes in the African townships, which he continues as best he can, depending upon transport and his health. In addition, on Saturdays, there are small groups meeting in his office at his home. One of these groups is a team of young Christian men from Queenstown who form the E-Team (Evangelism Team). They all have jobs and work but that doesn’t stop them from the classes and outreach.

Bro Kiku, who leads a group of Congolese refugees, has asked me conduct regular CBS classes on Tuesday evenings in place of the regular worship service. (Many members work on Sunday and are unable to attend.) At first, it was a bit slow but then, upwards of 40 or more began to attend the classes. The first course was “Harmony of the Gospels”, which had a tremendous response. So many questions were asked and discussed that an additional hour had to be set-aside for this.

As always, the objective of the CBS has been to teach, train and equip Christians for practical ministries. This has continued to be a success and many churches have matured, many people have come to Christ because of their efforts and pastors, elders and leaders have been appointed by their congregations.

Ingwe Care

As a result of problems at Bavumeleni, a small team of co-workers decided to form a Section #21 Company with a much broader scope than just one ministry project. Lorna and Reinaldo Rutter (SA and Brazil), Marty Wallace (Colorado), Rachel (SA) and Steve Zimmerman applied for and received a company status as a non-profit organization with tax exemptions and ability to conduct commerce.

Sana Zimmerman designed and finalized the colorful logo, which kids could readily identify. Legal papers were drawn and Ingwe Care is now an official company. This has resulted in new donations and help from a shipping company and an insurer. They recognize that Ingwe Care personally visits and identifies kids in need whether it is an AIDS orphanage, small home day care or community center. Donations of office furniture, funds targeted for specific projects and food were donated within a short space of time!

This has benefited many children in many different disadvantaged communities. The AIDS orphanage alone (called Barcelona) has received shoes, clothing, stationary, books, food and other supplies, which they desperately needed. Lorna and Marty also teach at the home day cares and the kids love the books, crayons and stuffed animals, which come from the container.

The objective of Ingwe Care is to teach Christ to children in need. If we can reach kids, we can reach the parents and homes. If we can reach the parents, we can reach communities. In a few short months, this work has become a major outreach. Ingwe Care teams up with workers already involved with kids and assist to train helpers better serve Christ.

McLaughlin New Life Center

This major ministry could not have been possible without the generosity and help of so many. The McLaughlins in particular took this project under their wing and together with co-workers in America and Africa, made it possible to store, sort and distribute thousands of Bibles and books to those who thirsted after the Word.

It is impossible to define how many Christians and communities have been blessed with Bibles and teaching materials. Each group must write a letter or e-mail, describing their needs before anything is given. I keep a file on each donation so that I know who gets what and can follow up. Bibles and New Testament are always the first to go. The hunger for the Word is enormous!

Five Christian libraries have been set up to date and two more are in the planning stages. One of them was established late last year at Boy’s Town, a charity organization for juvenile delinquents. Two men took a pick-up load of New Testaments, schoolbooks, Sunday School materials and Christian books. The feedback from this group has been wonderful – all the boys who use the library have made marked improvements in their attitudes and schoolwork.

One lady from Atlantis (30 miles north of Cape Town) took several boxes of children’s books. Her ministry is to read these books on the radio, which has a listenership of 15,000 homes. A school principal took two pick-up loads of schoolbooks, VBS materials and New Testaments for an elementary school. Bro Donovon has scheduled me to speak at assemblies during 2012.

There has already been a promise for funds to send the next container! Bob Snyder says that we need another few hundred boxes and it will be ready to ship. He scours Michigan and surrounds, traveling far and wide to collect books and Bibles, then sorts and packs these items personally. If we really make a concerted effort, I believe we can send the next container within 3 months.

One Sources Ministries

In May, Aubrey and Mike came to the McLaughlin New Life Center to collect Bibles. They, like many, were simply overwhelmed with the amount and choices they could make. These two faithful men had formed One Source Ministries, a community-based project to meet the needs of one of the poorest colored townships, with the highest unemployment. Their vision was ambitious but they stepped out in faith. A Christian man has loaned them a building until they can raise funds to purchase it ($120,00).

The ministries, which are being implemented, are a 24-hour prayer room, a counseling center, a Christian library, a small coffee shop where the Word is taught and a chef’s school. (Mike is a retired merchant marine chef and wants to train unemployed young men and women so that can apply for jobs in the surrounding farm restaurants.) They have some resources and have painted and repaired the rooms, doing most of the work themselves.

In August, together with the Ingwe Care team, they hosted a community program to distribute blankets, food, walkers and crutches. They had compiled a list of the homes around the center, found out the needs and targeted those homes to help. The local newspaper unexpectedly gave them coverage and hundreds turned up to hear the Word.

I believe that this will be another major project, which will save many as well as give encouragement, teaching and training to those who have the least access to it.

Thought for the Day

This has been interrupted due to computer problems. Many of the churches Sana and I have visited, have asked about it being re-introduced. I was surprised to see how many actually read and missed the daily posts. Somehow, the problem will have to be solved.

Furlough

This is never the R&R it is supposed to be. Yet every church and every group has been enthusiastic and welcoming. To date, here are the churches that have been visited: First Christian Church (Aurora, IL); Northview Christian Church (Coldwater, MI); Stroh Church of Christ (Stroh, IN); Fayette St Church of Christ (Hillsdale, MI); Lake Area Christian Church (Fremont, IN); Hartford Christian Church (Hartford, KY); Angola Christian Church (Angola, IN); Central Christian Church (Battlecreek, MI). In addition, Bob and Roberta Snyder hosted a turkey dinner in their home where I was able to speak.

Five new contacts and speaking dates have been scheduled: a group of former South Africans in Cincinnati, OH; a group in Branford, CN; Bronson Church of Christ (MI); Kentwood Christian Church (MI)and a group in a Northside church in Florida.

I hope that new interests will be generated in missions this way. We need the resources to send to South Africa, not only funding, but also Bibles and Christian literature.

Personal

So much has happened on the personal front, too. The inflation rate in South Africa has risen despite the government’s insistence that it hasn’t. Gasoline was raised again, this time to $6.30/gal. This is our largest expense. We are maintaining our programs, having cut down as much as we can.

This year, another grandson was born in South Carolina – Brice and Louise had Rexford Dean. This brings the total to four. All my sons are working hard and providing their own way.

Sana has proved to be such a blessing. She likes to stay in the background but is such a hard worker with me. Together, we inspect each box sent in every container and then stack it on the correct pallet. Sometimes, she works a lot harder than I do!

Our thanks must go to each and everyone on the Board who has helped with prayers and support. We truly could not accomplish what has been done so efficiently and correctly without the Board. A special mention must be made of Mark and Lynn, who have been so supportive; Shirley Neuenschwander, who does so much for the mission and us personally; Mattie McLaughlin, who has provided the means to keep the Bibles and books flowing; Steve and Pam Hamilton, who do so much behind the scenes.

But our praise and thanks always goes to our Father in Heaven for His wisdom, mercy and grace. We can only use the opportunities He puts in our path in order to serve His Son.

Steve Zimmerman

S.A. Christian Mission, Cape Town