March 2023


Mission Trip 2023!

We usually go on a mission trip to Africa about every two years. We were planning to go in 2020, but Covid stopped us. Now we're planning a trip for Sept 1-15. We will be going into schools, churches, and communities in South Africa, working with Thandy and Pastor Emmanuel, and the facilitators and local Peer Educators. If you are interested, there will be an informational meeting at the home of the Packard's this Saturday, April 1, at 6:30 p.m. The address is 30020 2nd Ct. S., Federal Way.

Peer Educator Conference 2023!

Every year the Peer Educators try to get together for an annual conference. There are now around 750 Peer Educators, so they are looking for sponsors here and in Africa to help with the cost of the conference, which will be held near Dundee, South Africa, on July 4-7. The cost for the 3-day event will be about $40 per person. That includes a room and food for the three days. During the conference, they receive training, study the Word, and fill the place with worship and praise - and believe us, they can sing! (See 2019 group above.) There's also some time to relax and get to know others from other areas and countries in their big Reach4Life family. If you would like to invest in the lives of these dedicated young people by sponsoring one or more Peer Educators, please donate online. Select "PE Conference" from the "Projects" drop-down tab on the second page of the payment process. Thanks to those who have already donated for the conference!

Swaziland Reach4Life Training

Four new regions in Swaziland were trained with the help of Mozambique Coordinators Merson and Phillipe. (Above, Thandy is at left and Merson at right.) These new Regions will be reaching 47 new schools in different villages. 

Swaziland Foxes Trained

The Swaziland training included training for Foxes (students teaching students). The Reach4Life program begins developing leadership skills even while students are still in school. Those who are spiritually mature enough to lead fellow students are given the tools to do so, with great results! Coordinators and adult Peer Educators help oversee their lesson planning.

Connection with Prison Warden Leads to R4L Training

A pastor in KwaNdebele works as a prison warden in one of the prisons where R4L is taking place. He saw the program and loved it! He went to his community and mobilized other local churches who would want to minister in schools and prisons, and that resulted in this training. Three prisons and 26 schools have accepted the program there. This newly trained team has been deployed and are already doing a great job!

Greytown Municipality Requests Training

This training was done at the request of the Municipality of Greytown, who is dealing with gang issues, teen pregnancies, and much drug use in their schools. Young Christian adults, pastors, Sunday school teachers, and school teachers were invited. There are 47 schools waiting to receive books and start the program in this area. Above are (left to right in the top picture) Rev DZ Zuma, chairperson Umzinyathi District churches (Northern KZN); Mr Sikhakhane, Msinga City Mayor; Thandy; Mr Sithole, Msinga Municipal Manager; and Pastor Emmanuel. The mayor even participated in the training, using toothpaste as an object lesson. Everyone was happy to see such a highly respected man showing off his R4L skills!

Rollouts!

The two pictures above represent the rollouts this month. On the left is Cabangokuhle High School in Tugela Ferry (764 Bibles) and at right is Lawley High in South Johannesburg (1,030). In addition to these, Tintwa (see article below) received 230, Velangaye High received 899 Bibles for grades 9-11, and Kwanzimakwa Primary in Port Edward received 642 Bibles.

"No Pastor or Bible has Ever Made its Way to our School"

Mr Mbasha, Thintwa Secondary School (shown above with coordinator Cleo Gudazi), says, “I have been a Principal in this school for 18 years and no Pastor or Bible has ever made its way to our rural school or area for that matter. We are geographically off from a lot of things, we have no proper roads that lead to our village, no electricity or running water. I was very surprised when a group of happy young people showed up at my school to tell me about the Reach4Life Program. I said yes but knew they wont come back….but its been three months and faithfully this group of Peer educators are in our school teaching. They are very well mannered and amazing teachers. Our school is now vibrant and full of hope, our pass mark is going up and the kids are motivated like never before. This is not just an outreach program, but God’s hand is this Ministry. I have told 4 more principals to take the program and they have agreed. We are a village that has been introduced to Christ and there is light in our schools.” Below are some of the students with their Reach4Life Bibles.

Tugela Ferry Church Almost Complete!

Here's the latest picture of the Tugela Ferry church construction. The electrical wiring needs to be installed and then the plastering of the walls can be done, along with some other final projects. Thanks to all who supported this effort - people will now be able to worship God in a building because of your help!

Swaziland Pastor Training!

Pastor Emmanuel (above) did a pastor training in Swaziland the same weekend the Reach4L training was being done. Thandy reports, "No matter how many times we have done the pastoral leadership training, we are always humbled by the appreciation of these precious servants serving in very difficult environments and conditions where God has called them." (See the testimonies below.)

"Excuse Me for Crying"

Pastor Bert Ngcongo of Faith Heals Church shared, "Excuse me for crying like small baby throughout the morning. You have no idea how everything has been shared was just hitting every area of my struggles with the ministry and I was crying because I felt the love of God all over again after a very long time. I felt assurance that I must not give up, God has truly called me and I must press on. The workshop has healed me and restored my trust to God and my love for God’s work. Thank you so much for coming so far from your country (South Africa) and train us to lead God’s way. As you can see a lot of us are lost but this workshop has opened our eyes.”

"I am Going to Correct My Mistakes"

Pastor Hleta, Full Gospel Church, shared, “We village Pastors are in big trouble. After the lesson on the difference in building God’s church and our church, I am deeply troubled; it looks like we got it wrong. We thought we were building God’s church but looking at the manual, we have been building our own little empires. I feel so ashamed of the twisted teaching I too have taught in my church sometimes without knowing. If I knew the things I heard in these two days I would have done much better. I thank God for not giving up on us, this training is an answer to prayer. I am going to correct all my mistakes and the wrong teachings. I am going to love God’s flock and care for it rightfully.”

Pastors Share Impact of Training

Pastor Zondi (left, with wife Khululiw, Thandy, and Pastor Emmanuel) from Mountain of Prayer church, says: “We are going back to our village as changed leaders, we are encouraged beyond words. I need to go and prepare my sermons correctly not this shady business I have been doing. Oh, truth was spoken here unapologetically. We leaders are very hurt people and I guess after a while you just survive your calling. But in this training, we were reminded of how much of a serious task it is to be called by God. We were taught sensitive subjects like financial accountability as church leaders, the room went cold! But by the end we could see our mistakes. We are encouraged as a couple to help each other and to support each other. May this training continue to shine all over Africa.”


Pastor Malaza (with wife Lucy, above right), shares, “...we have learned so much, these guys shared some painful truths that I haven’t heard in a long time. The manual is very rich with great teachings. The importance of children and youth ministry really touched my heart. Due to lack of manpower or knowledge these two ministries are very neglected here in Swaziland. The damage is big but with such trainings I believe the church is going to move to the right direction.”

Testimonies!

"It's Like Someone Went Into my Mind"

Siyabonga Langa, Harrismith Christian Academy High School, Grade 10, says, “I will cherish my Reach4Life Bible, its my very first Bible to own. It has exciting topics and great answers from God. The Bible really speaks, some of these topics its like someone went into my mind and designed this book to help me with all the struggles I have been having. My life has changed since I got my Bible, I read it every day.” 

"Today Marks a New Beginning!"

“My name is Lesego Sebogodi, I am 26 years old. Today marks a great beginning in my life serving the Lord. So much information, so many challenges our youth is facing that I was ignorant to. I am equipped and my heart is made up to serve as a Peer Educator. There’s so much that goes into preparing a lesson and the kind of a person you need to be when serving the Lord. We learned a lot. My Bible knowledge and understanding is much better and I am ready to grow as a PE.”  

"It Looked Like I was an Expert"

“I am Lucas Mfici and I am a Peer educator from KaLaMgabhi Region. My home village is very rural, we live by ploughing and selling live stock. The Reach4Life program came at the right time in my life where I was feeling down because I was not doing anything with purpose with my life. Today we went for practicals, to teach the program at a nearby Primary school, the kids loved us! I taught so well I was surprised because I am not the best speaker, but because of the training and fun tricks I learned when teaching it looked like I was an expert in teaching. May God continue to use this program to bring hope to many youths in Africa.” 

"I Have Learned so Much in this Training"

“I am Mrs Khanyile, I am a retired teacher. I get invited to speak in schools with problems, this has resulted in me recruiting other church members in our community to do school ministry. The R4L Program shapes what we do, the lessons are relevant, and kids love them. I have learned so much in this training like how to communicate effectively the gospel to the youth. This program is to spread to nations, our youth is in trouble and only God’s Word is the solution.”  

"I am a Living Testimony"

Lungile Gudazi shares, “Five times a week I am teaching the R4L Program in 3 schools in my community. I have been a Peer Educator for 5 years and I am now a trainer. This Ministry has shaped the young woman that I am. Growing up without parents, a teenage mom of two boys by age 19, I thought my life was over. But today I have found my identity in Christ and purpose. I got married to one of the Coordinators three years ago and I can not tell you how my life has changed just by being part of the Reach4Life Peer educator. I am a living testimony that the R4L program is a life changing ministry to many African young people like me.”  

"I Never Knew that Teaching the Bible Can Be this Fun!"

“My name is Langelihle Mavimba, I am a new Peer Educator from Matsapa Region. I heard about R4L in a church I recently visited, the Pastor there was talking about this amazing program that is bringing young people to church from schools and that there was going to be a training. The two days I have been here at the workshop I have been blown away. I never knew that teaching the Bible can be this fun, these guys are creative with games, drama and using objects when teaching. I am excited to be part of the program.”  


The current Rand exchange rate is very good at 17.8 Rand per dollar!

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