As most of you probably know, Moreson Children Haven as a project forms part of the broader work of Moreson Mission. While at the moment things are standing still regarding the reconstruction of our children home after the fire, we experience that 2010 started at a very fast pace at Moreson Mission. Regarding the reconstruction we have done all the preparation work and still wait for approval from the engineers. Recently they informed us that they were not completely happy with the plans, and want to make changes to the layout. Once finalized with the engineers, we then can obtain approval from the local municipality and then go ahead with construction, as the Lord provides.
HAPPENINGS AT MORESON MISSION
During October 2009 Rev. Theunis de Wet and his wife (co-workers at Moreson Mission) left to join another sister mission in Virginia, Free State. Rev. De Wet and his wife used to manage a lot of the administrative duties of Moreson Mission. After they left I had to take over their administrative duties, which increased the work load considerably. The mission has never been as full as it is at the moment, with literally a waiting list of people who want to come for help for whom we do not have enough accommodation.
We conduct two services on a daily basis, morning and evening, and would appreciate your continued prayer for those who are in need of spiritual help. Those for help come from diverse backgrounds, some from drug or alcohol abuse, others with spiritual confusion from involvement in different religions and others from a fallen back condition in their Christian life. Some come from a background of prostitution and Moreson Mission over the years tried to make a difference in many of these women’s lives by leading them to Christ. Over the years we at Moreson accommodated these women on the farm and provided them with Christian counseling. This is an ongoing ministry, especially with the growing need as increasing numbers of women get drawn into this spiral of destruction. Unfortunately accommodation is a continuous problem. Please pray with us that we will find ways of accommodating more of these women.
INCOME GENERATING PROJECTS
Some income generating projects on the mission have grown over the years. Some of these include our farming with cattle, butchery and our new pottery project.
We nearly completed the renovations of the mission’s butchery, which will grant us legal status from the local municipality. On completion we will again be able to produce meat products, including sausage, patties, mince, “droëwors” (dried sausage which is very popular in South Africa!) and “biltong” (dried meat). In the past we used to run the butchery without legal status from local authorities, but our marketing increased to such a stage that the local municipality required registration. The butchery has the potential to generate a good regular monthly income and we are looking forward to get everything in place. We have finished painting the interior with a gray epoxy paint that is very strong and washable. Currently we are busy installing the sewerage, and hope to be in operation within the next month or two.
There is much excitement on the mission about our new pottery project. Most of the grounds on the mission are of extreme clay content, something that we only really found out after the fire happened on 18 March 2009. When we did the excavations for the new house after the fire, we had to excavate some big clay deposits. One of the people at the mission, James, is an experienced potter by trade with many years of experience in pottery. He started experimenting with some of the clay and came to the conclusion that our clay could be quite good for pottery. After some tests, we came up with our first results that we baked in a studio of a nearby potter. We have now obtained three potter wheels and two ovens and trust that we will be in production within the next few months. This in itself was a miracle in the way that the Lord provided all the equipment at even less than the cost of one new pottery wheel!
The pottery will serve a twofold purpose; firstly it could be a means of income for the mission and secondly it could serve as skills training for some of the ex-prostitutes and drug addicts that we help at the mission. The big advantage of course is that we do not have to buy our clay, but can dig it out on our grounds.
Numerous spiritual lessons can be learned from the pottery. I have already preached quite a few sermons in which I used examples from the pottery trade. To me the most profound lesson is the changes that the clay undergoes when it goes into the oven. Until that point it still stays clay, whether in dry or wet form. Once that clay goes into the oven and are subjected to extreme heat, the physical characteristics of the clay changes and it can never become clay again. If a pot should brake after it went through the fire, it is impossible to use it again as clay. It is only good to throw away. I thought of how we as Christians go through numerous trials to strengthen and perfect our faith, but when the ultimate test come and we go through God’s fire, that are when lasting changes occur in our Christian character. May we stand that day when God put us through His fire.
“Behold, I send My messenger, And he will prepare the way before Me.
And the Lord, whom you seek, Will suddenly come to His temple, Even the
messenger of the covenant, In whom you delight. Behold, He is coming,” Says the
LORD of hosts. “But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand
when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire And like launderers’ soap. He will sit
as a refiner and a purifier of silver; He will purify the sons of Levi, And purge them as gold and silver, That they may offer to the LORD An offering in righteousness.
My eldest daughter Martie gave me the following story about pottery:
The Tea Cup and the Potter
One day, a lady saw a beautiful teacup in the antique shop. She liked it very much and asked: “May I see that? I’ve never seen one quite so beautiful.” When the lady had the cup in her hand, suddenly the tea cup spoke. “You don’t understand,” it said. “I haven’t always been a teacup. There was a time when I was red and was clay. My Master took me and rolled me and patted me over and over and I yelled out, “let me alone”, but He only smiled. “Not yet.”
“Then I was placed on a spinning wheel,” the teacup said, “and suddenly I was spun around and around and around. Stop it! I’m getting dizzy! I screamed. But the Master only nodded and said, ‘Not yet.’
Then He put me in the oven. I never felt such heat. I wondered why He wanted to burn me and I yelled and knocked at the door. I could see Him through the opening and I could read His lips as He shook His head, ‘Not yet.’
Finally the door opened, He put me on the shelf, and I began to cool. ‘There, that’s better,’ I said. And He brushed and painted me all over. The fumes were horrible. I thought I would gag. ‘Stop it, stop it!’ I cried. He only nodded, ‘Not yet.’
Then suddenly He put me back into the oven, not like the first one. This was twice as hot and I knew I would suffocate. I begged. I pleaded. I screamed. I cried. All the time I could see Him through the opening nodding His head saying, ‘Not yet.’
Then I knew there was not any hope. I would never make it. I was ready to give up. But the door opened and He took me out and placed me on the shelf. One hour later He handed me a mirror and said, ‘Look at yourself.’ And I did. I said, ‘That is not me; that cannot be me. It is beautiful. I am beautiful.’
‘I want you to remember then,’ He said, ‘I know it hurt to be rolled over and patted, but if I had to let you alone, you’d have dried up. I know it made you dizzy to spin around on the wheel, but if I had stopped, you would have crumbled. I knew it hurt and was hot and disagreeable in the oven, but if I hadn’t put you there, you would have cracked. I know the fumes were bad when I brushed and painted you all over, but if I had not done that, you never would have hardened; you would not have any color in your life. And if I had not put you back in that second oven, you wouldn’t survive for very long because the hardness would not have held. Now you are a finished product. You are what I had in mind when I first began with you.
MISSION RELATED PROJECTS
Our leader at Moreson Mission, George Ochse, has just returned from a Doctors For Life medical outreach in Harare, Zimbabwe. He formed part of a team who helped to logistically assist some eye surgeons who performed over 200 cataract operations on those in need. They also had numerous opportunities to present the Gospel to people waiting to be helped. We rejoice not only for those that were physically helped, but also spiritual.
Apart from the work of the mission, I am also involved with an international organization called Christians for Truth (CFT). I am the vice-chairman of the Western Cape branch. One issue that occupies a lot of our attention is the whole prostitution debate. There is a renewed interest in the whole legalization of prostitution debate, especially with 2010 World Cup around the corner. Especially in the Western Cape there is much involvement from Government side in clamping down on the sex industry trade, with churches and non-profit organizations working together with government to provide exit programs for the prostitutes. One of our co-workers, Abraham Warren, is representing Doctors for Life on the task team who are advising the churches how to put these exit programs in place. CFT Western Cape are involved in two ways: We give training to key persons and churches how to warn young people against the dangers of human trafficking, and secondly we go to schools and youth groups and warn the young people about the dangers of human trafficking. Many young girls are “recruited” by organized crime to be used as prostitutes for the 2010 World Cup tourists. In November 2009 we had our first training session and a team from Moreson Mission just completed a weeklong outreach to schools, churches and youth groups in the southern Cape area at Oudshoorn. In total they have addressed over 3,000 young people on the danger of human trafficking. Currently we are addressing schools in the Western Cape as the opportunity arises.
We would like to thank everyone for your prayer and support. Let 2010 be a year that we will commit more of ourselves to our Lord Jesus, Who had given nothing less than Himself for us. Our Lord was willing to become the servant of all for us so that we could be saved, how much more should we not be willing to become servants of all to one another. This truth confronted and challenged us deeply at Moreson Mission the past few months. Are we really willing to become the servants of all, not to the world out there, but to one another? Dear friends, if only we could grasp this truth, then so much would change.
John 13:14 – 16
“If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also
ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do
as I have done to you. Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his
master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him.”
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness
of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only
for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Let this mind be in you
which was also in Christ Jesus.
God’s richest blessings.
Gerhard le Roux