December 2014 – Jaco and Charmaine

Dear Friends and Family

“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call Him Immanuel”

Isa. 7:14

As we come to the end of 2014 our hearts are filled with gratitude to God for His faithfulness. It has not always been easy, but there has been a great focus on God’s Presence. For Charmaine especially the past few months have been quite difficult trying to cope at work.

I (Jaco) have been busy in Pollsmoor prison with the unsentenced men and it has been amazing. I could counsel about 30 men per month and do 2 bible studies per week – one male group and one female group. For next year I feel my primary focus would be the men so I won’t do a women’s group anymore.

God is moving in the prison where I work. In this prison are about 4000 men.
Some examples:

  • A guy who is from a Muslim background and wants to become a Christian. He heard about the gospel many times in the past through a neighbour and he knows that it is the way to go. I mentioned to him that his family probably will reject him and his response was that he was aware of this and is willing to pay the price.
  • Another guy has watched a video at my bible study group about Inuit (Eskimo’s) with alcohol problems. When I spoke to him he told me that he was an alcoholic but had hope after seeing how God helped them. He wanted to commit suicide in the police cells but another person talked him out of it.

Charmaine is still working with homeless adults, and now serves 2 shelters. It is quite to see some clients be reunited with their families. One lady  has been in the shelter for almost 10 years and would like to go back to her family when she leaves the shelter, but she did not have contact with them for +/- 25 years and did not know if they are still alive. Her family lives near Port Elizabeth, and she did not have any contact details. Another old man was also reunited with his family in Port Elizabeth, and was taken there as he was too frail to travel on his own. The lady then accompanied the staff on this trip and was able to locate her family and will move there next year. It was quite an emotional reunion for them, and the relationships have been restored.

Charmaine would however like to get more involved with YWAM on a fulltime basis. During August/September she did a school of worship with YWAM – Sound of the Nations. It has been very uplifting spiritually, and also gave her an opportunity to become more connected within YWAM Muizenberg.

Our work in YWAM involves taking care of staff members. At this stage we normally invite people to our home for a meal, and this gives us some time to connect with people and to get to know them better.

It is now summer holidays in South Africa, so we are taking a break and also have some time to rest and recharge. We will be in Namibia with Christmas and meet our friend Sjaak van Seters there.

We wish you all a blessed Christmas and may you experience God as Immanuel during this season.

Prayer requests

  • Charmaine’s next step
  • Jaco’s work in the prison
  • Our work within YWAM Muizenberg