21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools.
Now that the adrenalin has reduced in my veins and after a good night’s sleep, I think I am better equipped to provide further, less emotional feedback on the community meeting on Saturday. The meeting outcome was sadly pre-determined and the result a complete mess.
The scariest thing imaginable is to be separated from God. If God hands you over to your own truths and rebellion, how terrible. We all test God’s patience through our own sin. So many times when we should incur God’s wrath by humbling ourselves and asking forgiveness, we benefit from His mercy.
The most difficult part for me to process of the result of the CradleArk meeting, is that I really believed deep in my heart, I had a vision from the Lord telling me to work there. I still see the trees at the top of the property which I saw (in my head/dreams?) I now wonder how much of the embellishments were my own dreams or maybe it was just a season that has now passed? Did we achieve what the Lord wanted? Has six years there just been a learning curve and preparation for what is still to come? Where to from here?
And we know that God works all things together for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose.
Rather than boring you with a rehash of all the unpleasant detail, I wish to inform you that some of the CradleArk community has decided quite adamantly, that they do not wish Ed and I to ever step foot on the property again.
They believe the municipality has done much more for them by providing water and toilets (without having to work for it?) They believe only certain individuals have benefitted from our efforts. (This was by design because we have always concentrated our limited time and resources on those showing some initiative and trying to better themselves. In our previous meeting with the committee, we concluded that all would be happy if we helped those requesting help and did not interfere in the lives of those who did not wish to participate?) Unfortunately the broader community does not grasp the concept that each business built would benefit all of the community by having that service readily available on the property (albeit at some price) Having food grown on the property means no transport cost and a fair price. Excess has always been given to the community (after Ed and I had compensated the grower out of our own pockets) and some to the Cradle of Hope.
In my discussions with Ed over the past six years , I have always said I will keep helping despite the challenges with the bigger community, until the Lord shows me that I need to move on.
I believe Saturday’s meeting and behaviour clearly demonstrated that. They have destroyed the church, threatened to kill pastor Matthew’s wife Scholarstic and want the cross removed from the property.
We will be assisting in trying to salvage Pastor Matthews home and move him to a safer and more productive environment.
Sadly , I believe they will next target the field Samson is running and then most likely the hair salon and Esperanza? Why ? Simply because they are hard-working and starting to get ahead. Those that could put a stop to it, do not assist because they believe Pastor Matthew usurped their authority?
My only disappointment is in not getting to build a church, community hall, creche that I believed would benefit the community so much, that I felt the Lord was telling me to do. Anyway it is a lot of work I don’t have to do and time I had to allocate. Instead I can catch up on my DIY list at home.
Your prayers for the safety of Pastor Matthew and his family would be appreciated . You can also pray for Fikile, for Samson and for Esperanza despite none of these people standing up for Pastor Matthew and his selfless attempts to help the community. Each with their own agenda that only they know in their hearts. Please also pray for the community that they turn back to the Lord, and especially for the young children.
I do believe that we will carry on working with the Cradle of Hope as it is a very special organisation.
I thank the Lord for the joy and learning He has given both Ed and I through what we have been doing. It is so little if we think of the sacrifice, He made for us.
I thank all of you for the support we have received. You are most welcome to carry on supporting the Cradle of Hope (and I hope you do) but I do believe in fairness and honesty that you need to be aware that the project you had chosen to support, has fallen away in its original format.
I thank my family for what they have willingly given up, for all the stuff I have stored in the house before taking it to the Ark, for their patience with me and for allowing me to put the Ark ahead of their own needs so often. I plan on taking a breather but will then assist the Cradle of Hope in some form, most probably at their Project Stepping Stones where we wanted to establish a training centre and grow more food. Time will tell and we await the direction form our Lord.
I thank Ed for the amazing support and counsel for the last six years. A humble and successful man, with a really big heart for children! God bless you Ed ! Thank you Debbie for your support, all the videos that really encouraged and celebrated the milestones. Thank you for all the time you sacrificed allowing Ed to work there.
Thank you to the Cradle of Hope, to Melodie and Albertus especially. Thanks to those working in the background trying to get funding writing proposals, requesting items and just doing good. The community is blissfully unaware of how much effort, the logistics and money went into assisting them.
I have been humbled by a widow from an old age home in Bloemfontein. She has always helped others throughout the 26 years I have known her. She was behind the chicken project. Each month I would receive notification of her contribution.
I wish to thank the councilor who so bravely spoke on our behalf at the meeting. Despite a lack in size he had the courage of a giant and I felt that the Lord had provided him.
Lastly, I thank the community themselves for the journey it has been. Despite what some of you believe, neither Ed nor I has ever benefitted financially. We are not paid by the Cradle of Hope. Douglas, I do not have a solar business. (ironically I work for Eskom)
However, we have benefitted immensely in seeing people bettering themselves, in taking initiative and running with their own projects (despite doing it differently to how we would have) and in learning. The reality is the more difficult it has been the more joy we have gotten out of it, when it finally came right.
Peter and Edwin