On the 2nd, Kobus Odendaal from the Western Cape Missionary office visited us for 2 days. We took him on a tour of the farm and showed him our water project. There are 2 reservoirs that can each hold 40 000 litres of water. The water is from a natural spring and are carried by gravity for 4.7km by means of an irrigation pipe to the different places in Chandame. We appreciated his visit a lot!
On the 4th, Jannie transported corn and worked on the hooks that he needs when he tows in the containers. I had to drive to Limbuni to go and get some eggs. I left the bakkie running when I got out at Peta Bennet’s place to get the eggs. When I reached the back of the bakkie it started rolling backwards. I tried to get back in die bakkie to hit the brakes but I was unsuccessful. Suddenly the bakkie came to a standstill and behind the right wheel there was a big rock! I was still in a lot of shock while driving home but also so thankful that nothing bad happened. Later that day I returned to the scene and the rock that stopped the bakkie was not there! I was so amazed! We serve a wonderful God! He saw that I was in trouble and he did something about it. Jes 59 verse 1
Every day we had a standard routine. I had clinic duty from 9 to 12. Most of the patients had flu symptoms, stomach problems, back pain and skin sores. A four-year-old came to the clinic with a head wound. He was helping his dad hunt mice (the locals usually put the mice on a skewer and barbeque it) when he got in the way of the pick axe. He was so brave when we treated his wound. Sarah’s leg (see previous update) is almost healed.
On the 7th of August we went to a church service in Chandame. The scriptures were Num 13 verse 26-32 and Joh 14 verse 1-6. It is our responsibility to encourage one another. Be faithful to Jesus Christ so that you can enter his Kingdom.
On the 8th, Jannie worked on the road to the farm. I had about 30 kids at the school for the day and I did hand eye coordination with them. We also asked people in South Africa to pray for peace in Mozambique.
On the 9th, Jannie had to transport more corn. 44 bags of 50 kg each. Our workers had to cut reeds for the fence around our home.
On the 10th we had to transport stone, sand and bricks so that we could finish off the solar toilets.
There was still restlessness between the two political parties, but everything at Chandame was restful and quiet.
The weekend of the 13th we went over the border and camped at Fat Monkey in Malawi. We went back to Chandame fully rested and ready for all the challenges that we are faced with every day.
On the 16th, we went to Lilongwe to buy medicine for the clinic and stock up on some food supplies. We met up with Amanda van Saasen. She has lived in Malawi for 21 years doing missionary work. She is an amazing and strong woman.
On the 18th there was a funeral for a man who drank poison. There were problems between him and his wife. Our workers were really upset. They buried him like a dog. It was so sad and it just made us realise that there is so much missionary work to be done in Mozambique.
The weekend of the 20th we had a choir competition at Chandame. The youth choir wanted to raise money so that they can buy uniforms for the choir. We attended the festivities on Sunday. It was incredible! The choir sang with so much enthusiasm. They raised half of the money that they need for their uniforms. They still need the rest, but God will provide! Jannie also had to take Pastor Daniel to one of the prayer houses in Impale on the 21st.
The Monday of the 22nd God’s light shined brighter than the sun!! We were still working on the solar toilets using the method of the Barefoot Architect. We still need parts for the generator from South Africa.
On the 26th we had a meeting with the owner of the property that our water source is on. The agricultural developments are endangering the water source so we came up with a solution that the church should buy the land from him and he approved.
From the 26th to the 28th the Presbytery meeting took place at Chandame. Church elders and ministers of the congregation attended the meeting. Pastor Daniel also preached his last sermon. The verse he highlighted was Phil 4 verse 4 to 9. He is leaving us after 8 months at Chandame. The Synod relocated him to Mpatso to so that he can manage the farm project. So we are again looking for a new pastor.
Patients that were treated during August – 320.
Proverbs 27 verse 9
Ointment and perfume delight the heart. And the sweetness of a man’s friend gives delight by hearty counsel.
On the 3rd of July we had a sermon at Chandame and the scripture was John 15 verse 1-8. The message was to bear good fruit and abide in God.
On the 6th, Hennie and Elsabet Smit surprised me by visiting us on my birthday. It was really special for me. An outreach group from Wellington also spent the night on their way back to South Africa. The visit from the group was also very special because we made new friends in Christ. A group of Potchefstroom also slept over at our place on their way to Malawi. We are feeling blessed with all these visits from different groups.
We had 9 days of light rain here in Chandame. This is good for the crops and the plants. On the 10th of July Jannie got malaria again. Every one prayed, because he was very sick. There is definitely power in prayer.
I AM A GIFT FROM GOD! Everyone must remember that!
On the 14th, Wynand, Martin, Lance and Candice (all members of Joshua Generation) spent the night. It was an amazing visit! They prayed for Jannie’s knee and since then his knee is much better. There is power in prayer! They also prayed for the healing of my hernia.
Psalm 94 verse 19, 22. “My God is the rock and my refuge”
Monday to Friday I had the clinic duty as usual from 9 to 12. Luckily the malaria patients were less. The adult patients only had common flu symptoms and the babies and young children, bronchitis. Please remember to pray for the sick!
On the 28th, Jannie helped the Nkondedzi congregation transport sand, stone and bricks with the tractor and trailer to the site where they want to build a church. Nkondedzi is 40km from Chandame. He also helped them to lay the foundation
At the end of every month we look back and just praise the Lord for taking care of us and never letting us down. God is definitely in charge! We will not be able to survive Mozambique without God’s grace.
Patients helped at the clinic: 261
On the 4th of June we arrived at Woodlands in Botswana where we spend the night. The 5th of June, we were in Zambia and we stayed the night at Fawlty Towers, Livingstone. The 6th of June we were still in Zambia and spend the night at Bridge Camp.
On the 7th we crossed the Malawi border. We had to spent 2 days in Nkhoma because Jannie had to help with the parts that he brought back from South Africa.
Proverbs 9 verse 10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding”
Proverbs 9 verse 11: “For by me your days will be multiplied. And years of life will be added to you”
On the 9th of June, we were back at Chandame and thanking God for keeping us save all the way. The next day Jannie had to help pull out a trailer (that was overloaded) out of a ditch. He had to use his tractor and trailer to get the job done.
On the 12th we went to Tsangano to visit one of our congregations to welcome their new pastor.
On the 13th, Helen Meyer visited us with the ACRIS clinic. They just visited us and didn’t see any patients. She brought ointment and bandages for our clinic. A big welcome and huge gift. We were working at full steam again. I was busy with the clinic and Jannie helped the locals with their corn harvests.
Sarah is a 6-year-old girl and had been struggling with a horrible wound on her shin. She fell out of a tree but at the time told us it was a snake bite. She went for x-rays, but they couldn’t find anything wrong. It turned out that there was an infection in her leg. No matter what we did, the leg would not heal. She went to a hospital in Malawi after we told her that we think she had a minor bone fracture because we could see a piece of bone in the wound. The Malawi hospital could also not diagnose her and sent her home with bandages and honey. We had to clean her leg with saltwater every day and had to apply honey to the wound before wrapping her leg with bandages. We prayed a lot for her leg and a miracle happened. The honey pulled out the piece of bone that was stuck in her wound and to date, the wound is almost completely healed. We were so relieved because it took almost 2 years to heal.
On the 19th we went to Nkondedzi for a church service led by Joshua. The scripture was from John 21 verse 14. God has a plan for each and every one of us. Jesus Christ wants to lead you every day.
On the 22nd of June, some locals brought a 2-year-old girl to us at 19:00 covered in burns. Her mother had to go to the market and left her alone next to the fire. Her clothes caught fire. We cleaned the wounds with saltwater and applied ointment before covering everything with bandages. We gave the folk some medicine to give her through the night and also told the locals to keep her hydrated. During their follow up visit, we realized that they only gave her water and medicine, but no food! She was underfed and hungry! I gave her 2 bananas while Jannie was busy tending to her wounds. After the 3rd check-up we decided to send her to the Nkhoma hospital because they have a very good burn unit. After 3 days in hospital she passed away of malnutrition, burns and smoke inhalation.
Also in June, Jannie’s decided to not charge a widow for the corn that he had to drive to the market. After 3 days she visited us and brought us cabbage, tomatoes, carrots, potatoes and bananas. This just shows you that if you do good, God will provide!
On the 29th Jannie got Malaria again! He had a cold fever at 2 in the morning and I gave him some medication. Hennie Smit also gave him multi vitamins.
Wynand Theron and Martin Potgieter is the answer to our prayers! We have a 900ha farm, Mwala Matze. We want to use the farm to generate funds to help with the spreading of the Lord’s word as well as creating job opportunities by teaching farming God’s way. We deforest a part of the farm with the help of some locals. We want to plant corn, potatoes and cabbage, but we need funds. That is where Wynand and Martin came in. They want to help with the development of the farm and they are also going to help with funding. They share our vision of the farm and we are so fortunate to have them be part of this journey. Our plan in the future is to invite other groups and give them a tenth of our profit so that they can have funds to go and spread the word of God.
WE MUST JUST WAIT ON THE LORD AND MIRACLES WILL HAPPEN!!
Patients helped at the clinic: 184
The first 10 days of May we were still tending to our two grandchildren in Brackenfell. Amanda came back on the 10th of May. Amanda told us about an experience she had while on tour regarding the power of prayer and that you have to listen and be obedient when the Holy Spirit speaks to you.
We were back home in Rawsonville and we could attend the Pentecost services in Rawsonville. It was so comforting to hear that we are not alone in Chandame. God is with us every step of the way. You cannot survive on your own. Don’t lose your focus on God.
On the 25th of May, we flew back to Gauteng. Our bakkie was parked in Birchleigh at Andre and Rita’s house. Jannie had to pick up parts and extra goods for fellow missionaries in Malawi before we left for Chandame. Jannie also serviced our Colt bakkie so that it would be in tip top shape for the drive back to Mozambique. On the 4th of June, we started the long journey back to Chandame.
We started April on a positive note by not having to take any strong medicine. We only took medication to build up our bodies.
Jannie went to an orthopaedic surgeon with his left knee that had been giving him a lot of trouble. The doctor told him that he would need to get a knee replacement sometime in the future. However, Jannie had a vision in his dream one night that his knee would heel without an operation. We serve a God of miracles, so anything is possible!
We spent the first week of April with Jacques, Susan and Alexander. It is always such a treat and privilege to bond with my children and grandchildren. When we arrived in Rawsonville my eldest daughter Christien and her children were also there, visiting from Porterville. Time with our children was so special.
On 12 April 2016, we went to Brackenfell to help our son in law, Eddie, tend to Andreas and Gabriella while Amanda was in Germany performing with the Libertas Choir. It was such a joy and a pleasure to look after our two grandchildren. This made us realize that we as Christians have to believe like children. As it says in Matthew 19, verse 14: “But Jesus said: ‘Let the little children come to Me and do not forbid them, for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven.” Every weekend we went back to Rawsonville where we could catch up with friends and go to our Afrikaans church. At the end of April my eldest daughter, Christien and her 2 children came to visit us in Rawsonville. We enjoyed the visit a lot and made lovely memories to take back with us to Mozambique.
God will never let you down! No matter what!!
On the 1st of March we were blessed with a much welcomed, 70 mm of rain. The rainy season started later than usual this year and the earth needed it badly.
Hennie and Elsabet visited us for Jannie’s 60th birthday. We had a bit of a water crisis during this time and Jannie and I did not feel good at all. Hence, we could not enjoy his birthday to the fullest.
Jannie towed in 2 trucks at Agua Boa with the towing truck. It was the 3rd towing job in Agua Boa. The Lord is definitely providing for us by means of the tow in truck!! One of our worker’s dog got rabies and it bit some chickens and rabbits. Eventually, it bit two children and the dog had to be put down. On March 10th, the ACRIS mobile clinic visited Chandame. The ACRIS focusses on children and pregnant women. 211 babies were weighed and 30 babies got an immunization shots for measles.
On the same day, we left for Nkhoma, Malawi; both of us feeling horribly sick. We went to the Nkhoma mission hospital for blood tests to find out what was making us so sick. It turned out that our bodies were fighting against some disease. I (Susan) had malaria again. The malaria parasites were dormant in my liver and I basically infected myself over and over again. They started me on a medication to detox my liver. Jannie also started taking medication for bilharzia.
On the 18th of March, feeling really ill, we decided to go back to South Africa. We drove non-stop for 15 hours before we took a break and slept over at the Lion and Elephant. We arrived in Kempton Park on the 19th.
On the 21st March 2016 we started to drink strong antibiotics for 10 days prescribed by Doctor Johannes Smit. We stayed in Kempton Park with Andre and Rita Fouche until we regained our strength to fly back to Cape Town and to continue our recovery process in Rawsonville. On the 26th of March, we flew back to Cape Town.
I would like to end off this entry by asking you to read the following 2 verses:
Zephaniah 3 verse 17
1 Peter 1 verse 13
I flew back to Gauteng on the 4th of February. Jannie drove from Chandame (with Jaco and Maxi’s bakkie) to pick me up and collect goods in Gauteng for other missionaries in Mozambique and Malawi.
On the 12th of February we left Gauteng for Chandame and arrived on the 14th. One of our worker’s grandchildren died of a dog bite. Hennie and Elsabet Smit from Nkhoma had to bring the child’s body back to Chandame and decided to stay for the weekend.
We both started feeling sick again on the 23rd of February. Jannie immediately started drinking malaria medication and I started drinking antibiotics. If you are physically ill, it is very difficult to keep your trust in the Lord. But we knew at that moment that our faith needed to be stronger since God is in charge of our lives and he will get us through difficult times. A few days later, I attended a service in Chandame alone as Jannie was away for the day. It started to rain heavily. It rained so hard that no one could hear Pastor Daniel preaching. The congregation then decided to sing hymns because no one could hear him! It rained 80 mm in just 2 hours that day.
In February we saw and helped 566 patients in 10 days!
Jannie left South Africa for Mozambique on the 9th of January 2016. I stayed behind and continued my recovery process. The plus side to me staying in South Africa was that I could spend quality time with my youngest daughter, Susan and grandson, Alexander, who had just returned from South Korea.
Back in Chandame, Jannie was very busy running the clinic from 7 in the morning till late. The patients mostly had malaria. He was extremely busy treating them and he couldn’t tend to any of the other work that had to be completed. Currently, the most important project in Chandame is the clinic. The roof has already been raised but, the interior of the clinic needs work. Doors, plumbing, cupboards, bathroom shelves etc. are just some of the things that needs to get done. The Clinic Personnel also needs houses and that will take a while to finish. Slowly but surely we will finish these projects. Even though funding is a big problem, we know that God will provide.
Dirk and Marie Smit gave us a very big present when they left Mozambique permanently, their Colt bakkie! Unfortunately, the bakkie broke down in Malawi when Jannie helped Ivan Stevens move to Milange. They had to tow the bakkie back to Chandame. Jannie worked really hard in my absence! He spent time filling certain parts of the rivers with stone on the way to the farm so that we can have a less bumpy ride in the future.
Patients helped at the clinic: 600
We arrived back at Chandame on the 1st of November 2015. We were gone for a long time so the entire camp site was covered in dust and leaves. We started cleaning the campsite and Jannie also started helping the local farmers by transporting potatoes and corn. The clinic was re-opened after a long hiatus and we had many cases of malaria, and infants (between 1 and 5 months old), having respiratory problems. These usual tasks were really tiring since prior to our arrival, we were on the road for 8 days with the newly acquired tow truck. For those who don’t know, driving long distances in a tow truck can hardly be called humane! Thus, we worked half days and rested in the afternoon to regain our strength.
On the 25th of November I woke up early and started doing the washing. By 9:30, I started feeling really sick. Some of my symptoms included a fever and cold fever. Since we live in a high risk malaria zone, my first self diagnosis was malaria. The next day, Jannie and I crossed the border to Malawi to visit a hospital in Nkhoma. I ended up staying in hospital for 6 days. The doctor diagnosed me with a kidney infection and malaria. However, thanks to everyone’s prayers and the friendly staff at Nkhoma hospital, I recovered.
We would not have gone back to South Africa in December since we did not have enough funds. To make matters even worse, our children and newest grandchild we have not met, were visiting South Africa from South Korea. The situation was really unfortunate and I handed this problem to the Lord. Low and behold, my prayers were answered! Dirk and Marie Smit needed someone to move their belongings back to South Africa in December. And we were blessed even more when we found out that they would pay for the entire trip. It was because of this that we went back to South Africa and spend Christmas with our family. Jannie ended up doing this trip alone. I had to fly down to Cape Town because I was too weak to attempt the drive back to Rawsonville from Chandame. Even though the flight was faster, I was still nervous and jittery on the plane. Ironically, I met a woman called Amanda van Saassen, a qualified nurse. She was also on her way to Johannesburg and reserved her seat next to me. She kept an eye on me the entire flight. What are the odds of that! God is good and caring! Still being sick, I stayed with Hennie and Elsabet Smit. They looked after me really well; 24/7. This was really special to have friends that care this much.
We ended 2015 with our children and grandchildren. Remember never worry when God is on your side!
We had to spend 4 months in South Africa to fix the 1972 International Recovery Truck. On the 22nd of October we started to drive back to Chandame. Our first stop was Meyerton! We spent the weekend with our family. On Monday the 26th of October we hit the road again to continue on our way back to Mozambique. Our first stop for the day was Baberton and we decided to spend the night. The next day it was off to the border at Komatiepoort. At Komatiepoort we had trouble with the truck’s wheels and Jacques a very friendly mechanic helped us to fix the problem!
We spent 4 hours at the Komatipoort border. On the South African side we had no problem with the truck and bakkie on the A-frame, but on the Mozambique side it was another story. We had to take the bakkie off the A-frame and drive the bakkie through the border and then we had to load the bakkie back on the a-frame. Done and dusted we drove onwards to Maputo!!!
In Maputo one of the A-frame mounts came loose!! Thank the Lord that nothing serious happened! Jannie had to fix the prop shaft and take the bakkie off the A-frame again. I then had to drive the Ford at night in the streets of Maputo. Finally, we found the yard where we could leave the recovery truck and we then had to find a place to sleep. That night, at 12:30am the police stopped us and tried to find irregularities with our vehicle. We were really tired but with the Lord’s help we stayed calm. The police wanted bribe money, but we ignored them and after a while they gave up and sent us on our way.
In one of the small towns both the mounts of the A-frame came loose again!! Jannie had to take the bakkie off the A-frame and I had to drive the last 800km to Chandame. Before I started to drive the bakkie I asked the Lord to be with me on the last stretch of the journey. While I was driving I realized that there were not a lot of big vehicles on the road and that was just one of the signs that God was with me.
We arrived on Chandame at 02:30pm. We were tired but thankful. We thanked the Lord for being with us every step of the way!
This was one of the hardest trips that we had ever done back to Chandame. The truck was noisy and without any air conditioner! Every day we started driving at 5.00am because Jannie could only drive for 8 hours a day. We always had to look for a place where we could park the truck which was sometimes really difficult because of the truck’s size. The trip back took us 8 days to complete but every day when we found a place for the truck we thanked the Lord for guiding us on the journey.