April 2023

Tugela Ferry Church Nears Completion!

This month the focus has been plastering and installing lights. As Thandy says, "At night the church stands as a big building of hope with light all around it." You can't see it very well, but there is some scaffolding in front of the cross, which will be removed; then the cross will shine even brighter! Plastering is almost complete, both inside and out. The building (seen from the side in daylight below) measures about 12 x 30 x 4 meters (about 39 feet wide x 98 long x 13 high). We look forward to future pictures and testimonies about people using the building. We appreciate your support with this building project - we couldn't have done it without you!

Christian Life Orientation Teachers Trained to Teach R4L!

The Department of Education requested a training in Gcilima (group of villages in north Durban) for Life Orientation (LO) teachers. LO is a required life skills course in South African schools. Teachers came from 19 primary schools where the students' behavior has been a challenge. Thandy (seen with Pastor Emmanuel, 2nd and 3rd from left in front row) says, "We always make our stand clear as a Christian organization, that we work with committed believers to teach the program. One Christian teacher from each school was selected and trained, and the schools are already seeing a positive impact." That same weekend, training was done for 27 Peer Educators and 39 Foxes (students teaching fellow students). When a training is done anywhere, the opportunity is always taken to train others in the same location while they are there.

New Signage Makes R4L Office Easier to Find

As the ministry continues to grow, it became apparent that better signage was needed to make the Phakama (Reach4Life) office easier to find. Thandy says, "We appreciate the Prevention Time funding for new signage. Now we are visible and those that need us can find us easily." Below, you can see the new signs above the Reach4Life Skills Center, which houses prison and rehab after-care groups, skills training, and other groups (dads, grandmothers, teachers, etc.) The building is bigger than it looks from the front! Peer Educator Thenjiwe is the volunteer administrator of the Skills Center. She sits at the reception desk, handles walk-in and phone questions, and manages the schedule. The main office, two doors down, also got new signage. Thanks for your contributions, which allow us to meet these needs as they come up!

Not too Late to Help with Peer Educator Conference!

The Peer Educator Conference is July 4-7. About 750 Peer Educators will get together for training, worship, praise, and fellowship. They also share with others what is happening in their area and methods that are working well for them (see above). Prevention Time funds half of the expense and the Peer Educators are trying to raise the other half from schools and venues where they work. Unfortunately, work takes place in less advantaged townships and rural areas, which is why we have asked donors to help supplement their portion. We told them that many of you have contributed. Thandy says, "Thank you for helping with the camp! This news has travelled across all our R4L countries and has increased our excitement and joy!" To contribute, please go to our donate page. On the second page of the payment process, select "PE Conference" from the "projects" dropdown box. The cost is about $40 per Peer Educator. Thanks for your help!

Organizing Rehab Support Groups

There is a great need to provide follow-up support to those who took part in the R4L program in rehabs but have now gone home. A few rehabs have begun coordinating with the ministry regarding those who are leaving. They are grouped according to where they are in the community, and twice a week PE’s run support groups with them. Eleven of these support groups have been started this month. The Mpumalanga group is shown above.

Electrical Grid Failure is Worsening

The electrical grid is continuing to fail. According to the Centre for Risk Analysis, there has been only one 24-hour period without any loadshedding (power outages) this year. This is having an increasing impact on ministry. Communication is difficult when phones can’t be charged. Presentations must be done just by talking, without the help of PowerPoint. Dangerous places become even more unsafe when there is no street lighting. Traffic lights don’t work. (Interestingly, Thandy says many street people have started new careers as traffic directors. People throw coins at them as they go through the intersection. Some people have even provided reflective clothing for them.) Reading sometimes must be done by candlelight (see Getty image above). Winter is coming, and it does get cold in South Africa. The consensus is that there has been corruption and poor management within Eskom, the government-controlled energy provider. A BizNews article suggests more privatization would help. A Japan Times (Bloomberg) article talks about the difficulties in applying global funding for green energy in South Africa. The country's challenges extend beyond the energy crisis. Interest rates on loans (car loans, for example) fluctuate so you can't budget a certain amount per month. The price of food is "shocking." We're told that even potholes are a huge problem. The R4L family, and those they serve, are affected by these things every day. For example, NKandla (see rollouts article below) is only getting one hour of power every two days. Please pray for God to provide in spite of the challenges, and that the Peer Educators would be safe and find ways to work through these problems.  

Sunday Services Begin at Mafikeng Prison!

Peer Educator Nyembe (wearing glasses) is seen above with three other Peer Educators. All are ex-offenders who came to Christ through the Reach4Life program. They have jobs now but are able to serve on weekends. They have been doing R4L in this prison for six months. The response has been so good that the inmates requested a Sunday service with the R4L team, and the authorities granted it. On April 23, the first church service was held for inmates who had committed to Christ in the R4L program. They are allowed to bring friends, and we look forward to seeing how this new opportunity progresses.

Retired Teachers Recruited for Counseling, Use R4L

Dr. Buthelezi, the Department of Education supervisor in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), has asked retired teachers to return to the educational system as volunteers to be an emotional support to kids, teachers and parents. Reach4Life has been named as the official tool to be used during counseling sessions. These retired teachers will be working in eleven villages, each serving two schools. More retired teachers are being recruited and the R4L team is training them as long as this opportunity continues. They are also helping in other ways, even giving Peer Educators rides to the schools. We appreciate their willingness to help serve in their communities!


Blaauwbosch Primary school (above) received 910 Bibles for grades 5 through 7. The principal of this school has given the Reach4Life program two hours each day. Teachers sit in and the area Peer Educators take over the school, teaching the Bible for two hours! Other Bible distributions included:

Ladysmith Region – 3,538

Durban Region – 4,431

Johannesburg Region – 5,211

Inkandla Region (pictured below)- 1,752

Pretoria – 653

Mpumalanga -1,003

Lesotho – 872

Zimbabwe – 429

Swaziland North - 2,190 Bibles

Mozambique Rollouts!

In Mozambique, Matola area, Santo Antonio Secondary School (left), received 410 books and Nampula area, Muthemba High School (right), received 290 Reach4Life Bibles. Please pray that Biblica will be able to print more Portuguese Bibles for Mozambique! Also, please continue to pray for more English R4L Bibles in South Africa and the other countries. The need for more Bibles is huge! The electrical grid is failing so the internet R4L app doesn't work here and physical Bibles are needed. Headmasters request English language Bibles in schools where English is spoken due to the mix of languages in a classroom. (There are 11 official languages in South Africa - nine tribal languages, Afrikaans, and English.) Please pray that Biblica will be able to print both more English and Portuguese Bibles.


"It's the Relationship"

“My name is Ntethelelo Mdukwane, I am 12 yrs old. I attend school at Khuse Primary school, grade 7, Cape Town. I started Reach4Life last year in Grade 6. The book has taught me to choose good friends, to focus on my schoolwork and to stay far away from sex till I am married. In our group we sing, pray and then do our lesson of the day. We are taught that one must have a personal relationship with Christ, not just going to church makes you a child of God but it’s the relationship one must have with Christ our Lord. I love Reach4Life.”  

"I Have a Friend in Mind"

My name is Zaria, from Polana High school in Maputo, Mozambique. The reason why I have two R4L books is that I have attended all 20 lessons out of 40 without missing a session. Our Peer educator has given me an extra copy to go share with someone who doesn’t know Christ, I will disciple them and help them to grow as I am growing too. I have a friend in mind in another school. I have so much joy since I came to the Lord. I am no longer fearful of the future because Christ is my all in all. Reach4Life is helping us see the light.”   

Mozambique Prison Ministry is Growing

The Mozambique team is launching R4L in their second prison. They are already getting calls from other prison authorities to come to their prisons as well. Merson Tete (right) says, “When I joined R4L few years ago, I didn’t know that God was going to move like this in my country. At first schools didn’t want us. We started groups in street corners as kids walked by, slowly the news of this powerful program got to school leaders and we were requested to come and present it. Today the light of Christ shines the brightest in many areas of Mozambique. The subsidy and books make our job easier. We appreciate every support we are getting from all those that are involved in this life changing ministry.”  

"I Feel Sorry for You"

Mr Ndlovu (above), Principal at Gcilima Primary school, Port Edward, reports, “No degree can prepare one for what is happening in our school community. Parents are just dumping kids to us. Few care. The family backgrounds of the kids we teach are beyond broken. Every school needs God’s help. If you are Headmaster and you don’t want the gospel in your school, I feel sorry for you. Because what we face now is not just life problems but dark forces operating in our communities. Only the Light of Christ can help us to push back this darkness. In my school I can see the impact of the Reach4Life Program. Our school is a top achiever in our region because our kids love education now due to motivation by the R4L Program. We salute this Program - may it reach many schools across the world."    

"I Can See the Difference"

Mrs Cotze, principal of Harrismith Christian Academy (left) with Coordinator Cleo Gaduzi (right), shares, “This tool is an answer to prayer for many of us who work with kids in schools. Oh, the challenges these kids face at home and society are beyond what one can even imagine. As a teacher sometimes you feel powerless to help. Since accepting the R4L program into my school, I can see the difference, the teachers are seeing the difference, even parents are seeing the change in behaviour by the kids. This ministry is a light to many schools in Africa, the strategy to use Peer educators and Foxes to teach the Program is excellent. Kids are challenged in a different way when they see their Peers as role models. Keep up the good work, Reach4Life team!”  

"Kids Were Just Killing Themselves"

Mr Mundzebele, Principal at Phocweni Primary school, Swaziland, Matsapa village. says, “Assemblies used to be chaos in my school. Kids did not want to pray as most come from ancestral backgrounds who are not allowed to pray using Jesus’s name. There was a high number of suicides in our school. Though we are a primary school, our kids were just killing themselves. A Headmaster from a neighbouring school told me about a Ministry in his school called R4L and how it has helped their kids. I requested the team to come do the Program. It’s been two years, no suicides, and assemblies are like a revival service. These Peer Educators teach professionally with fun skills that get the kids super interested. Today I look forward to our assemblies and I now wear my R4L T-shirt in Principal's meetings. I am now the ambassador that promotes Reach4Life wherever I go."  

The current Rand exchange rate is very good at 18.38 Rand per dollar!

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