Probably the most serious challenge that we are facing is our water situation. Onseepkans is next to an irrigation canal that is fed from the Orange River. Many families are dependent on the canal, not only for irrigating their crops but also for house water. For the first time in the history of Onseepkans the canal became in such a bad state that it actually ran dry. This means that some families do not have any water in their homes and many of the upcoming farmers from the community are losing their crops because they cannot irrigate. Our mission was also dependent on the canal for our household water and our vegetable garden. We quickly had to find a solution to the problem. Although a very expensive option, the only solution was to pump water directly from the river. Friday just before Christmas we bought 1 km of 50mm black pipe and laid it from the river to our existing pipeline from the canal. This was probably our biggest Christmas gift, that again we had running water in our home. Although the drought destroyed much of our vegetable garden, we could at least save and harvest some of the pumpkins and butternuts. We can now again continue with our vegetable garden, but it is very expensive to irrigate and this makes commercial farming with cash crops very difficult. The Lord was good to us on returning from the farmers co-op with the pipes, just before we entered the mission ground the wheel of the trailer gave way. If it happened further away we would have been stuck and not been able to still lay the pipe that same afternoon but because it was near the mission we could fix it. We would have been stuck without water for the whole of Christmas, had it not been for God’s grace.
Our mission bought four little goat lambs as a possible new project. When we collected these little lambs just after New Year, we had the wonderful experience of driving to one of the outposts of Onseepkans. These outposts are primitive huts in the surrounding countryside where shepherds attend to their herds of sheep or goats. I could not help but to think that it was probably to such people that the angel appeared to announce the birth of our Lord Jesus.
We thank the Lord for opening the door that we could conduct an outreach to the young children of Onseepkans, wandering around idly during the holiday season. One of the brethren of Moreson Mission felt on his heart to come and help and every afternoon just before sunset he did some activity with the children. On Christmas Sunday about 15 of these children attended the morning service and we could share the Gospel with them and give each on a little gift for Christmas.
As 2012 lies ahead with all its challenges please pray for us that we will continue to build relationship with the people of Onseepkans. We realize that only through this we will earn our place to share the Gospel. May God grant us much wisdom as we go forward.
We wish you all a very blessed 2012 and may it be a year in which we will draw even close to our Lord Jesus Christ.
Gerhard and Elmane Le Roux, Onseepkans Mission