This article was originally published in the November 2018 edition of ITMI Monthly.
Several of our partners’ kids are grown and choosing to become involved in ministries of their own. Others are choosing to minister alongside their parents! It’s exciting to see a new generation of national workers equipped and ready for ministry!
1: Jason van Wyk
Jason van Wyk ministering last summer.
Seventeen-year-old Jason van Wyk, the son of ITMI’s Charl van Wyk, had the opportunity to minister in Mexico this summer with YWAM. Jason had the opportunity to use his soccer skills to reach out to at-risk youth, homeless and refugee communities.
Sounding a lot like his father, Jason writes,
“One outreach stands out. We went into a ghetto and did a prayer walk; while we were walking we heard multiple gunshots and screams. This was certainly not the safest of neighborhoods – but then, my father’s friend always says that safety is overrated – certainly, when it comes to the Gospel, we must be prepared to give all to Christ, even our very lives.”
Jason was well prepared for the mission field. He and his brother, John Mark, have accompanied Charl on outreaches, popping up in photos with their dad in Stone Hill and at outreach camps for youth in Zimbabwe.
Charl with Jason and John Mark at a Gospel camp for young men in Zimbabwe.
2-6: Talitha, Jurie, Martie, Naomi and Duma le Roux
Naomi, Duma, Talitha, Martie and Jurie le Roux, South Africa.
In the Northern Cape area of South Africa, ITMI’s Gerhard le Roux says,
“For my wife and I it would have been impossible to do the work that we do at Onseepkans had it not been for our children helping us and in the process becoming future co-workers who can take forward the work of the Lord. Pray for them as they grow into the calling of serving our Lord Jesus as missionaries for His Kingdom.”
The le Roux family, South Africa.
With ten children and two parents, the le Rouxs have a lot of mouths to feed, but those mouths come with hands and as we know, “many hands make light work.” This principle comes to life at Onseepkans Mission, where the le Roux offspring wrangle goats, feed chickens, care for sick animals and tend the garden.
For these kids, their parents’ ministry at Onseepkans is their mission.
Their ownership shines through the words of Talitha, 18, who says, “We are building a mission in the Northern Cape in a small town called Onseepkans. I am much involved in the practical work to build up the mission and help my father with the management of the practical work.”
Their 14-year-old son, Jurie, says, “I love working on the mission, especially with the date trees and the seed production. While I work I have opportunity to talk to some of the people passing by, especially the teenager boys. I can see how they start to build up trust in me and I hope to share the Gospel with them.”
Martie, who is also 18, says, “For me it is a great privilege to grow up in a Christian missionary home.” Martie is in charge of the chickens on the farm. She enjoys sharing the fruits of the family’s labor with visitors and those in need in the community.
“It is my prayer,” she closes, “that the Lord’s work in Onseepkans may grow and that many may be helped to find life in our Lord Jesus.”
Naomi, 17, demonstrates humility and grace beyond her 17 years, “At the mission I help serve as Jesus would have served and for this I need to hold on to Him everyday.”
Duma, 16, provides a little glimpse into how he’s grown into his role at Onseepkans Mission,
“I never really understood what the word ‘missionary’ meant until God through His grace started using me. I can start a conversation with the local people and made friends with some of the local police men. I always feared them until I realized that they are normal human beings and also need to know the Savior. Many times when I see that they are tired and miserable I chat with them and sometimes even pray with them. I realized that a person does not need to have a degree or special qualification in order to spread the Gospel. All you need to know is the voice of the Holy Spirit and He will guide you what to do. I thank God for this great opportunity to serve Him.”
7-9: Fifi, Wyatt and Zoe Smith
Fifi Smith, South Africa
Wyatt Smith, South Africa
Zoe Smith, South Africa
In Zulu Natal, our partners Kelly and Cherise Smith just welcomed their daughter, Fifi to the 7 Rivers ministry team. Not long ago, Fifi became an official ITMI partner, too.
A Zulu who was raised in this community, Fifi is a powerful witness, allowing the people around to see that Jesus isn’t just for those with white skin.
His Good News is for the Zulu, too. Fifi visits the elderly, helps young women earn income through crafting jewelry and runs an after-school sports outreach for the children of the community with her brother, Wyatt.
Their youngest sibling, Zoe, 17, also helps with the ministry of Seven Rivers. Zoe assists with the various outreaches at 7 Rivers, making sure everyone is greeted with a smile at outreach events, chopping “considerable amounts of vegetables,” serving the meal and cleaning up at community events.
In Zoe’s words these events are, “a great time to get to know the community ladies and share about my faith.” Zoe also helps the local children with their schoolwork by teaching them English, which gives her the opportunity to share the Gospel.
Near the end of each year, Zoe goes to town with her mom on a massive shopping trip for the Christmas parties the Smiths put on for local school children as a part of Project Christmas Blessing.
For many of these impoverished kids, this is the only Christmas celebration they will have. She helps pick out gifts the school children will love, pushes loaded shopping carts and sorts piles of gifts.
“It’s such a joy to see the kids faces upon receiving a gift as well as the gospel being shared in the kids' own language,” Zoe shares.
A young Zulu boy enjoys the new soccer ball he received at the Project Christmas Blessing event at his school.
10: Ben Parris
Ben Parris, the son of ITMI partners Mark and Cindy Parris of Durbanville, South Africa had the opportunity to spend a month of his Christmas break teaching English to students in Korea.
After being stranded with 5 other minors in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for two days without luggage, the Lord provided a local missionary couple who cared for him and got him on to Seoul.
This experience built Ben’s confidence in the Lord as he ventured out to follow Him.
11: Adelyne Nungesser
This summer, the whole Nungesser family served at a camp for at-risk children in Kalisz, Poland.
Richard and Brooke’s daughter, Adelyne, 12, and a Polish friend worked tirelessly for days to present a song for the families of the children at the end of camp. She also translated stories and skits from English to Polish.
According to Brooke, Adelyne has previously shied away from translation, but Brooke notes, “God is building her brave and strong and we could not be more grateful.”
Not long ago, Adelyne asked Richard if she could be in charge of Bread of Life.
“She is only 12, so who knows what her future holds,” Brooke comments, “but the very fact that she loves and participates in the work of Bread of Life as much as we do is a beautiful gift from God alone!”
12-13: Luke Wakula and Paulina Wakula
Luke, 29, the son of Leszek and Anna Wakula, has led a men’s discipleship group for over three years, which involves both believers and non-believers. This yields him the opportunity to both share the Gospel and teach the Bible.
He is attending European Leadership Forum, where he learns and grows in Apologetics. Luke was an initiator of the 5th Gospel Worship Gatherings for young people from different churches in his city, Lodz, Poland, (the 3rd largest city in Poland) an event that encourages young evangelicals to live out the Gospel.
He provides IT support for “Refresh” a youth event attended by 500-700 young people from all over Poland. His sister, Paulina, 31, a young wife and mother, is active in discipleship relationships through her local church.
14-16: Paul and Molly’s Girls: Sarah Grace, Karis and Sonya
Sarah Grace, Karis and Sonya with Nagarani.
Nagarani was once the prophet for the village where Paul and Molly’s girls’ home is. Now she works with her husband, a shepherd. Families that live and work as shepherds are marginalized in India.
During the no- moon night ritual, village families would fast and gather all night at the temple for a prophetic word from Nagarani. The moment she stepped onto Paul and Molly’s land, Nagarani said “her god left her.” She said she began to cry out to Paul and Molly’s God.
Paul and Molly’s girls live in a large home outside a rural village about an hour and a half from where Paul and Molly planted their church. The village is the “hub” village for many surrounding villages.
Paul and Molly intentionally hired Nagarani’s husband to shepherd the animals they raise on the land.
Molly and three of her daughters, Sarah Grace, Karis and Sonya, were walking out to the farm animals when they ran into Nagarani.
Paul’s aunt gave Nagarani a Tamil Bible and she reads it every day. When the girls are not in school, she often runs up to them, asking questions about what she has read.
This time, Molly was with the girls and she was able to share with Nagarani about her relationship with Jesus, the three girls translating and even jumping in to add their own knowledge of the Gospel!
“I enjoyed so much sharing about Jesus and His love for her, sharing about grace and how He's paid the way for her salvation.....as my GIRLS translated for me. Such a joy!!
The villagers and old friends continue to call Nagarani for prophecies. She tells them, “I have a new God, the One True God, Jesus,” and that she cannot return to pagan worship.
Paul and Molly are raising 23 children. Their youngest, Belle, will be 2 this month. Their six oldest girls are 14.
Paul, Molly and their 23 children!
Molly and the children have been shocking the believers of Harvest Bible Chapel, the church Paul and Molly planted, by cleaning the church facility once a month. The pastor’s family caring for the building is something you would never see in India.
“It makes me proud of them - they want to get their hands dirty and take care of God's special place,” Molly says.
Paul and Molly’s girls are truly blossoming into beautiful young ladies - inside and out.
About the Authors
Steve Evers has advocated for and served the ITMI partners as ITMI Director since 2001. Approximately once a year, Steve visits with ITMI partners in their countries and brings stories back to encourage supporters. Steve enjoys photography and mechanics, (both hobbies that have greatly benefited ITMI partners!) Prior to becoming ITMI's Director, Steve served on the Board of Directors for 4 years. Steve lives in Arizona with his wife, Darlene.