As we drove back to Mseleni, Rachel and I were talking about how to reach the men of Hlulabantu and thought perhaps we should be going round the beer drinking points. Imagine our joy when one of the first things we heard from the young men of Hlulabantu was that they had spent a Saturday visiting the drinking sites! They had a mixed reception but were determined to do it again.

We returned to a very dry Mseleni. There had been virtually no rain whilst we were away and to add to the water shortage concerns, the water treatment plant workers went on strike on the day we returned. They had sabotaged the plant to prevent it from being repaired. However, it could be repaired but then they merely sabotaged the system at another location. Simply withdrawing one’s services never seems to be deemed enough to constitute a strike in South Africa! The hospital is struggling on with some water tankers, which are bringing water to some plastic tanks. The suppliers need to be protected under security guards, as they even feel threatened!

  • Pray for the water shortage to be restored.

The Christoph Meyer Foundation Tutorial Centre is moving forward slowly. We have 10 computers pledged but we need to set up an internet connection and a secure room. Exam time is at hand and the students are now in their last six weeks.

  • Pray for them and their futures.

Ntokozo and Phindi have had to postpone marriage until June next year because of finances and family concerns. Khanyisile (who grew up in the Children’s Home and graduated in social work last year) and Mandla (a Christian in community development work) are going to get married this November. Rachel, along with Victor will therefore be busy, in loco parentis.

To help people to make the connection between our labour of love, care in hospital and home and the gospel of Jesus Christ., we attempted our first ‘Ngomlandela’ (I will follow Him) concert in March. It was not very successful as there were only a handful of people in the audience. It is a means to give testimony to God’s love and care and our determination to follow him. We hope to do one or two more before Christmas.

  • Pray that we might take the lessons learnt and develop it into a success.

Pastor Dlamini has written a book on pastoral care “Yalusa izimvu zami” (Feed My Sheep) and we have managed to have a small amount printed. He hopes to launch it at the Pastors’ Conference and then at the Church Conference. It covers his practical insights into ministry and one on the subject is in Zulu. The initial run will be 200 copies and we trust that funds from these sales will enable us to print more.

In August Pastor Thwala brought a tent to Hlulabantu for a three-day evangelistic drive. Pastor Dlamini is also busy trying to raise funds and promote interest in a tent evangelism ministry in the area.

Pray for the AEC as the drive of evangelism and mission is awakening.