Blessings for Obedience

Deuteronomy 28: 12
The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of His bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands.

Wake-up time

This verse just stood out this morning.

I had an early start as our 19 year old cat decided that 4 am is the proper time for me to get up.

It was not me?

I’ve tried the ignoring and pretending to be asleep but the wake up call has different phases. It starts with a gentle purring and the peaceful suggestion that “now is the time”. It then progresses to foot stomping around my head . Next comes the gentle tap on the cheekbone. Still not awake? Ok use the claws next. If this doesn’t work a quick nip with the teeth will most definitely!

So too, the Lord often gently tries to waken us and we ignore Him. As a rule we keep ignoring Him until we get the real wake up call which is far less pleasant. So much easier to try to be attentive , do what He tells us to do and make sure our focus is on Him. Blessings for Obedience (and Curses for Disobedience) .

I felt as if the Lord was speaking directly to me in this verse with reference to the work done with my hands and the rain needed for the crops!

Encouragement

Load-shedding, no water, food prices , corruption , taxes, the petrol price- all the negatives bombard you on a daily basis. If it’s not on TV , then it’s social media or around the braai. I would like to encourage anybody feeling down and suffering from despair to draw closer (not further which seems to be my natural tendency) to the Lord. His rewards are numerous and invaluable. Ed and I are the most unlikely characters to volunteer and yet every time we leave the CradleArk it is with a sense of peace and joy. Visiting and helping those less fortunate, reminds you of how blessed we have been by the Lord in all spheres- family, health, occupation, purpose , friendships, abilities, opportunities, lifestyle! To be part of the experience of CradleArk please contact us!

The other great passion that working at the CradleArk has exposed, is to grow food. The Lord’s mysterious, amazing power is there to be seen in every seed planted! Nothing happens and you wait (impatiently) ! You want to stop watering as there seems to be no point! Then one morning there is a tiny plant from nowhere that has grown incredibly in one night! (In discussion with my pastor- Peter from Family Church , he so clearly likened this to God’s Word!)

Yay at last the seedlings appearing!

The more you plant the greater the satisfaction especially knowing it will go back to help feed somebody! If you wish to grow seedlings and you produce too many, you are welcome to bless us with them or to come and plant them at the CradleArk.

A detour past the Cradle of Hope

Ed came to fetch me in his bakkie (pick up) yesterday. We loaded up the CradleArk stuff and then had to pile in all the lovely clothing , toys , baby baths and whatever else the Cradle of Hope had been blessed with. Our first stop was at the Cradle of Hope in Stegman street.

A large pile of clothing and other items for the Cradle of Hope

Then we drove to the new logistics centre. Albertus has taken on a project of immense scale. There is so much going on and anyone in the building trade that would like to contribute expertise or materials, please feel free to get his details from me. Whenever, I visit the Cradle of Hope I am always amazed by what two ordinary God-fearing people have achieved because of obedience to the Lord. The scale is just huge and it keeps growing. Thank you, Lord for Melodie and Albertus. Everyone knows Melodie as the driving force behind Cradle of Hope . Albertus is another less recognised but equally important servant to the Lord.

Hungry children

A family of young kids (no adults in sight) at the CradleArk has had no food. We were blessed with a nice supply which we delivered. 

Father Christmas with his bag? – nope its just Ed!

The one youngster , call him T, always has a smile and a sparkle in his eye despite his circumstances. Thank you to the Cradle of Hope for the food that we could add to what Ed had already brought from home. Thank you for the privilege of handing it over and seeing the reaction.

Bright Star Solar Powered Mobile Hair station

I finally finished off an idea that had crept into my head and would not go away. It is a hair-washing and cutting station that is off-grid tailor made for Bright Star. The only part I was not thrilled about was the paint job. The white paint I had was way past sell by ! The masking tape pulled off bits and pieces leaving a rather weathered look.

The wait for the kit from China was long and everyone was getting a bit stressed by its non arrival. Finally it made it here!

Selected items sourced from offshore for Bright Star

I managed to repair an old kitchen chair, make the required frame, cut and plumb the basin, put together a 120 amp hour solar battery , panel and solar controller . This runs a hair dryer, clippers and a spray for washing hair. I really believe this is a sustainable business and will be expanding with time.

It has been very challenging sourcing various components both locally and internationally and has been in progress for a few months now. I have had to beg and threaten to get the equipment that had been ordered and paid for. This is probably the biggest stress and during that time I ask myself if the Lord is directing me away from the idea? The last time I even brought it up as a topic at the men’s group that I attend. After discussion and prayer I decided to continue.

Bright Stars mobile solar driven haircutting station

It was a difficult, conceptual build and took longer than expected. Finally it was time to load the finished product and deliver it to Esperanza at the Cradle Ark.

Bright Star’s Esperanza actions the first haircut! We have a business! Thank you Lord!

There was such excitement and to test it out I bought the little boy “T ” ,mentioned earlier, the first haircut.  A great day for him – food and a haircut! With that a business was created!

Mobile means we can work in the shade of a tree!

The solar panel will also be used to charge mobile phones while the client is getting his or her haircut.

Wow! No cost of travelling! Look at my haircut mom! The second victim

I have used a black plastic bucket as the reservoir for the water. I plan to expand on this with a DIY solar heater which will be placed on the roof of the patio of Bright Star. (Rather than delaying the implementation of the mobile unit , it was delivered with the idea to adapt it to hot water later.)

The farming

The potatoes that have been planted in the field are already looking good. We delivered a fixed pump, butternut seeds and more seed potatoes to Samson. He immediately started to fill the irrigation dam. Precious water!

The repaired pump back in action.

Sunflowers

During the year I went on two pigeon shoots to try help a farmer in Potchefstroom who was losing and incredible portion of his sunflower seed crop. In discussions with him and with the rising price of cooking oil, I felt that the Lord was pointing me at growing a section of sunflower at the plot. As a rule very little of the crop is lost to theft because it needs to be processed further to be really useful.

I ordered one small packet of Nigerian oil seed sunflower to prototype the idea. Imagine my surprise when Ed arrived with several jars of sunflower seed from one of our most special supporters!

Sunflower Samson

Thank you Mary ! As it is a dry land crop the Lord clearly does not want a small starter patch. Let us listen and see what happens next!

The next stage would be to make an oil press. For now the seed will be used to feed the chickens. The brightness of the sunflower will also uplift people’s spirits at the CradleArk

It is a very interesting plant and absorbs toxins from the soil. It has even been used to combat the effect of radiation!

2 comments

  1. What an incredible story regarding the sunflower seeds Pete! We never know why, but if we are good servants, His Will will be done.

    1. Hi Debbie. As I read more on the sunflower I see it may help in other unexpected ways too? For example I see it is sometimes used as a “lure” for cutworm away from other plants. As always we never fully understand the Lord’s intention but have to trust Him. Sometimes it feels frustrating but ends up being much more exciting and clever than we anticipated. God bless you.

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