Jaco and Charmaine, December 2013

Dear friends

It has been a while ago since we have written to you.

On the 5th of December Nelson Mandela died. We lost a great South African who helped in the reconciliation between whites and non-whites.
Under apartheid we could not get married or even live together in South-Africa. Charmaine would not be able to vote and was not allowed to live in the area we live now, so we are thankful that apartheid was abolished (by Mr. F.W. De Klerk). South-Africa is still a fantastic place to live.

Thanks to a friend from Australia we could buy bibles for the prisoners. I am still distributing them to guys I meet and are hungry for them. I have a bible study every Friday with men who are still awaiting their trial. Out of those men I can do personal counselling on Monday and Tuesday. Most of them were on drugs and most of them want to change.
They are broken people and many of them cry when they are confronted with love. Emotionally these men are immature teenagers lost in this world. Most of them confess to me they are guilty. The litmus test if they really want to change is to ask if they speak the truth in court. If they stick to lies I explain they are still following the father of lies.
The guys who speak the truth and have remorse normally get a very lenient sentence. Normally judges will know when people are genuine. A lot of time they get away with lies because lack of proof, people withdrawing the complaint or witnesses not coming to court.

Charmaine is still working part time at the shelter for homeless people. This time of the year is quite challenging because the residents are in a festive mood and a more prone to use drugs and to get drunk.
Some residents were asked to leave because of their behaviour.
She is also teaching Afrikaans to a friend who works as a missionary in an Afrikaans speaking township.

Our main focus at Youth with a Mission was to get to know the staff. We have invited quite a few for a meal at our home. We feel very much at home in the YwaM family and look forward to be more involved in care for the staff (member care).

Thanks to gifts from Holland our financial situation has improved. At the moment I have no income generating activities. I was working at the Dutch school one afternoon a week. I have resigned from the Dutch school because of the unbearable situation in the school.

Prayer requests:

  • Opportunities for ministry for Charmaine at the shelter
  • Possibilities to go into prison. There is a shortage of wardens.
  • Openings for member care at Youth with a Mission
  • Finances to continue our work.

We will go on a short holiday to the Garden Route/Eastern Cape after Christmas We all wish you a merry Christmas and a blessed 2014.

Jaco and Charmaine