NEWS LETTER January 2016
As usual we want to thank all of you for your contributions towards Agape. We value your prayers more than any physical contributions. Your obedience to the Lord by sowing and giving to the ministry is how the Organization survives. Therefore all that we have, we see as receiving it from Him, through you. Thank you so much to each and everybody that sow so diligently into Agape.
2016 feels like a brand new book that we open. It’s like reading the summary on the back page of a book. You know more or less what is going on, but now you look forward with great expectancy to read the book. It is the same at Agape where God has shown us so much new things and has given our efforts proper
direction. Last year we have started with the changes He showed us. We have given over the church and Gerrit and his faithful ones continues with weekly children’s clubs. Gerrit also started a small group for people that does not go to church. They come together in the newly built coffee bar. The verse that inspired him to initiate this is Luke 15:1. Some of the people were part of Ami’s hopeless group, which of couse is not hopeless any more. They are now children of the most High God and they are already
looking forward with great expectancy what God is going to do in their hearts this year.
During last year Father showed us clearly that the new direction for Agape would emphasize the residential care for special needs children and vulnerable children. Our waiting lists at our facilities became longer. In our special need facility we have 21 children but only receive Departmental Funding for 15. At our Child and Youth Care Centre we are registered for the care of 20 children, but receive Departmental Funding for 10 children. The irony of this is that each week we receive reqeusts From the Department Of Social Development for the placement of more children. We have applied and pray that we will receive suitable funding as from the 1st of April 2016. Please pray with us.
We are very excited to see the Early Childhood Development boom in Grabouw and to see so many of the other non profit organizations finally coming on board to provide this much needed service to the community. This movement has enabled us to say yes to God’s call for our focus to move from Educare to Residential Care. At the end of December we closed 4 grade R classes and now at the end of March 2016 we hope to transfer our biggest ECD facility to another mission organisation. After 21 years this was not an easy task as Ami still remembers how she had to take the little ones of the street and sometimes had to first wash them before she put them in a class. Many of these children are now already through college or university.
When they see us on street they love to say hallo. We know the circumstances from where they come from and we are extreemly proud of them and know that Father’s Hand will always be on them.
Gerrit had the wonderful priveledge of attending the graduation ceromony of three of our child care workers at the Hugenote college the 8th of January 2016. Marco, our first adopted son from this community, was one of the three students and Gerrit suddenly realized that this is a milestone, because the Hugenote college was where he and myself studied 42 years ago. Their Alma Mater is now also ours. God has made it come full circle and Marco and his wife, Rene, are proud to
walk in their parents footsteps. Marco is now the head child care worker at our children’s home. He was only two years old when we took him out of the bad circumstances and God rescued him out of a family of criminals. His mom was murdered and his Dad was in jail. He lived with an alcoholic granny that threw him out of the little room they stayed in most of the time – even in rain or snow. God has changed this bloodline and placed him amongst children that came out of similar circumstances.
During these past holidays a lot of the projects were moved around. The children from the children’s home moved to Agape 4 and the school for special needs moved to Agape 2. The Day Care Centre for special needs moved into the grade R school at Agape 2. The whole of Agape 2 will be renovated and upgraded to a dissability friendly centre for special needs children. Asiphe Home (Residential Care Facility for special needs children) will be on the same premises and that will make it so much easier for therapy and related activities. The big daycare centre of 170 children moved to Agape 1. Agape 3 got a new school building and the plumbing and electricity needed to be put in. This was an exodus of another kind. Buildings, classes, ramps for wheelchairs and bathrooms had to be renovated and changed. We were so busy that we did not even send out news over chrismas time.
For our children’s home children it was the most amazing experience to be with us on the same premises. It feels like one big family. Our children now visits them regularly and they realy enjoy the swimming pool and the horses and also the vegitable garden. They are not only closer to us for their benefit ,but also for us to come to know all their chances they take with the child carers.
This is harvest time
And this is teaching them that a tomato plant needs a stake, just as they need to be each other,s stakes in bad times. “Lean on Me” says Jesus.
Can you believe that with all the movement we still had time to do a camp with all the children of Agape 4. Sleeping in a tent under the stars was for some of them a first and very uplifting.
Riding on our horses and teaching them how to clean the stables and feed and care for the horses was such a new experience. Marco and Melani are the horse guys who helped the children.
With all the resources at Agape 4 can you imagine what God can do in the lives of these children. Practical skills is the in-word for us. God was again so good to us that He send somebody to buy some containers for us.
These containers now became the official workshops for Agape, where our children will learn skills of woodwork, painting and varius easy crafts. Making their own paper, cane work and wooden toys.
The result of all these movements is that the whole of the old Elfco hostel is now empty and the builders can start with the new renovations at the new Disability friendly centre and will also include Asiphe Home. We will be able to take in more children and the facility will be 100% compliant to all health and safety standards. This is a big operation and we have a bit of money to start but the joy of all this is the amasing adventure to see how God builds His own project. He planned it again so wonderfully by introducing to us a man with a disabled child, but also an Architec and an Engineer. The builders are also God given, Jandre and Elaine came on our way through a visit and now they helped us to start the buiding process. They have already proved themselves by renovating our new children’s home in a most excelent manner. We can’t wait to see the finished product.
We want to declare with David in Psalm 18: 1-3 and 28-33. (Read the whole of Psalm 18)
“ I love you o Lord my strength. The lord is my Rock, my fortress and my deliverer, my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.He is my shield and the horne of my salvation, my stronghold. I call to the lord, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies. You o Lord keep my lamp burning, my God turns my
darkness into light. With your help I can advance against a troop, with my God I can scale a wall. As for God His way is perfect, the word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in Him. For who is God besides the Lord? And who is the Rock except our God? It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, He enables me to stand on the heights.”
Sing with us: The steadfast love of the Lord never seizes His mercies never come to and end They are new every morning New every morning
Great is Thy faithfulness o Lord Great is Thy faithfulness. Lamentation 3:22-24
We pray God’s blessings over you for 2016. Gerrit and Ami, Gideon and Agape family.
HIS FAITHFULNESS FROM OUR GARDEN
Safety for the Agape Family Finances for all renovations