They established Onseepkans Mission to meet the spiritual and practical needs of the people of the small but unique settlement on the banks of the Orange River in the Northern Cape Province.
Most of the once productive farmland plots of Onseepkans are now abandoned and being overgrown with invasive plant species. In the early years, these irrigation plots sustained a vibrant and prosperous community, but the area is now struggling with a high percentage of unemployment and poverty.
Apart from agricultural activity, Onseepkans has little economical opportunity, and a large percentage of the population depends on social grants from the government to survive.
The town of Onseepkans.
The Orange River
The le Roux family is incredibly faithful to continually knock on doors, hoping God will open them. Here are some of the doors God has currently opened!
Gerhard seized a spur-of-the-moment opportunity to oversea the restitution of some local young vandals at Onseepkans Mission. What was a first disciplinary action turned into something the kids were begging to return for! Additional kids came voluntarily, and the weekly gathering turned into the Onseepkans Kids' Club.
Each week the le Roux family pours into the kids of the community, providing them lots of attention, academic tutoring, activities and life learning opportunities.
The le Roux's eldest daughter with Kids' Club kids.
One of the Onseepkans girls shares what she's learning at Kids' Club.
Access to Water for Profitable Farming
Farming had all but come to a stop due to the disrepair of the key canal. Gerhard was also instrumental in helping a collaboration that succeeded in restoring the local canal, which allowed this once - ex-farming community to be a farming community once again.
Healthy Goat Herds for Future Security
Goats are also another source of industry in the area. Goats are basically the retirement security of the people of Onseepkans. Gerhard has applied himself to learning how to care for goats and keep them healthy so that he can help goat-herders become more profitable.
Losing a goat to disease is devastating to a herder, and often preventable.
Gerhard assesses the situation distressing a local goat-herder.
The locals struggle to pay for a whole bottle of vaccine, but Gerhard fronts the cost and lets them purchase just the dosage they need from him.
Gerhard serves as the pastor of a local church, shepherding and preparing each week for the Sunday gathering. Each Sunday includes an opportunity for the kids of Onseepkans to attend Sunday School.
He's also reached out to churches in nearby settlements, offering partnership and discipleship for local leaders.
Gerhard with Manie, the elder of the church in a neighboring town.
This busy family trusts the Lord for future opportunities to serve the community, for example elderly homes, youth center for locals and youth camps, self-sustaining income opportunities, a feeding and hospitality ministry, and a lot more.
They work and trust for a thriving community that knows they are valued Image Bearers of God. A peaceful, happy community that loves, serves and helps one another in Jesus' name.
The le Roux family is demonstrating and declaring that Jesus is Lord and offers restoration and relationship with Him. They have a fabulous opportunity to change a community forever.
Check the Onseepkans Blog for updates from Onseepkans Mission.
Years ago, the le Rouxs opened their home to abused children which the local officials would leave in their care. They added three children to their biological original five and became a family of ten.
They lived on Moreson Farm with a community of co-laborers while building up the farm to become self-sufficient and support the ministry of the Farm.
The Farm's ministries included a church gathering location, a ministry to individuals suffering from substance addictions and some youth ministry opportunities in the nearby community.
With the help of ITMI, they were able to add a room or two to their home, creating better space for homeschooling, and a bigger space for the church to meet in.
Gerhard le Roux's heart has long been soft for the plight of those living in the Northern Cape area. In 2010, he went along with a team of people from the Farm on a short-term mission trip to the Northern Cape area, where they served the local schools and churches.
Some months later, a couple from the area near Moreson Farm approached them. The couple owned some property in Onseepkans, Northern Cape. The couple offered to lend it to the le Rouxs if they would move there and work for the good of the town.
This led to the family responding to God's calling them to uproot from Moreson Farm and move to Onseepkans, where they currently live and minister.
- Declare and demonstrate the gospel to and for the benefit of the people of Onseepkans.
- Raise their children according to Biblical principles, in the fear and love of the Lord.
- Provide wise Biblical solutions to the overwhelming social issues of their community.
- Prayer for open doors for deeper and wider impact in Onseepkans.
- Funds to provide for the needs of the children and the mission, which includes continual maintenance of the property and facilities there.
- Funds for ministry programs and projects.
“We spent this past weekend officiating a funeral, which is normal for our ministry team to do once – sometimes twice each month. It has even happened, a few times, where there’s two in one weekend.”
The Community Police Forum (CPF) and police are meeting with the principal of the local school to discuss some issues regarding transport of the schoolchildren, but soon the meeting changed to a familiar tone I have heard so many times. “What are there for these children to do? They are idle! There are no activities to keep them busy! Nobody is making any extra effort to help these children! If I were in their shoes, I would also do the wrong things that they are doing!”
As Christmas is approaching, I am reminded of a story about a young girl who grew up in a very influential family, but at a young age decided to dedicate her life to Christ. This decision unfortunately for her meant choosing Christ above her family. She left home and went to the mission station through whom she met Christ. Her elder brother came looking for her and found her working in the cowshed. He was very upset and scolded her: “How can you work in a place like this? You put your family to shame!” She responded…
Gerhard and Elmane le Roux have 10 children in their care. You read that right. 10. They have as many adopted and fostered children as biological children. Most recently, they added an orphaned set of twins – a boy and a girl – to their brood of 8. Being joyfully willing to accept responsibility for a life is always an extension of God’s love and provision, and an exercise of faith.
It wasn’t your typical team of short-term missionaries. This team of young men…
It was 6am on a Saturday morning. ITMI’s Gerhard le Roux was engrossed in getting his tractor to bubble to life. The corner of his eye caught…
ITMI’s Gerhard le Roux shares what he thinks is the single most important characteristic of a faithful and productive ministry helper – and a time he failed at it.
“I used to think, ‘All for one and one for all,’ is what village life is all about, right? That the villages are populated by the “noble savage” and lead a connected, unified community life,” says ITMI’s Timothy Keller. But unfortunately, this version of village life may be popular in Hollywood and children’s tales, its simply not what Timothy has found after over a decade of ministry in African villages. “Rural Africa is
Glen Barkhuizen has a unique mission. Glen is in charge of the garden ministry at Moreson Farm, where my family lived and ministered before God called us to Onseepkans.
Maybe you have wondered why we as a mission try to produce vegetables. Why don’t we just buy vegetables from one of the small little local stores in Onseepkans, or in the nearest town?
Gerhard le Roux and four of his kids took their sheep to pasture in the typical way, but what happened next was anything but typical.
For many of the people from the communities in Northern Cape, South Africa, it is an unreachable dream that their circumstances will ever improve. A better life is for someone else – not them. There’s nothing they can do to change their circumstances.
As you can see from these photos, the kids not only love it, they are focused on their work proud of their accomplishments!
What would you have seen if you were able to visit Onseepkans Mission with our ITMI team?