“ Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
A fresh start
The start of another year has come and gone and we are already a month into 2023. It feels like just the other day that I typed up the last feedback. I remember a sermon from Pastor Steve Dunnett where he said “ A year is only 365 and a quarter days. What are you going to do for the Lord this year?” It was inspirational and really got me thinking! Time passes so quickly. If you want to do something for the Lord , just start it and He will assist.
I am a “to do list “ person. My lists are numerous and very long but I do find that by committing to paper and then ticking off items, I tend to manage the process over time. The lists often scare me and I have the mental image of an hour glass with so much to do and the sand running out so very quickly!
This year is going to be even more demanding as school events, kids sport and family matters are taking up much more of my spare time. Work has also been hectic and very demanding the last two months. I have several exciting half -finished projects for the CradleArk that get put on hold by the demands and crises facing the community.So at then end of the day, when it all looks impossible, you have to hand it over to the Lord to project-manage for you. You plan and He determines what, when and how! Thank you Lord!
Wow- so many exciting thing have happened since then. I need to be quite selective in what I include or else the message may be lengthy! (probably will be anyway because I missed all of you!)
Expecting the worst
Ed and I drove through to the CradleArk and with this intense heat we were both expecting a shrivelled and dead field. There have been some challenges with the understanding of the drip irrigation effectiveness. In addition the old pump finally had seized and although we had supplied a new pump, shortly after I returned from the previous visit, I was told that Samson had run out of fuel! We arrived and within minutes the heat reduced and large raindrops fell. Not a massive shower but just a reminder that the field is the Lord’s to do with as He pleases.
The Christmas Party
I attended the CradleArk Christmas function for the first time! It was lovely!
Thank you to the Cradle of Hope or all the provisions and organisation. Thank you to all of you who contributed.
We had a truck full of presents
Thank you to the group of “Thanksgiving givers” for their amazing generosity. Adults and children all received really special gifts. There were also handouts of clothes and food parcels.
There was a lot of excitement and joy.
The new community JOJO tank
Matthew and Elias finally finished off the tank-stand so we delivered an new 2400 litre Jojo. This really was a replacement for the existing Jojo that was leaking badly even subsequent to our repairs.
We located it nearer the lower houses to allow easier access and to reduce the risk of losing all water in one go if the tree branch fell . However, we face continuous resistance from the municipality to drive the extra 60 metres or so to fill this one?
The sheer excitement of new shoes. Take a look at the smiles in this one. Thanks for the donation
A sustainable business can be created in seedlings. There is a natural uptake for the farming and they can be bought and sold at the roadside. We need an efficient way of producing them and getting them big enough for market. The Hoop house /recycled trampoline idea was born!
As the trampolines resulted in more liability for the Cradle of Hope these were discouraged. We took the old frames and converted two frames into a 6m hoop-house.
As I was away in December, Edwin ran with this project and took it upon himself to erect the hoop-house. What a blessing he has been. It has also been a journey for Ed (and I) who really started out with his focus purely on the kids and creche and now helps me in all areas. It is such a blessing to have his support, ideas and accountability. Thank you Lord. Thank you Edwin.
This is the start and we will extend this as the project settles and finds a reliable owner.
We are wanting to utilise what little water is available in the intermittent borehole so phase one has been implemented which has involved a lot of bush and tree clearing. Thanks to the merciless panga wielding volunteers!
Bright Star expands
Bright star continues to shine!
A revamp of the plugs on the mobile unit took place causing a slowdown in business.
However, we have now added to the product range including nails, eyelashes and braids. Esperanza is still running this very well and it has become a reasonable source of income. We would like Matthew to upskill her in terms of the cutting and we will review the business and see if we can expand it further. Once we see an extended track record we would like to build a second mobile unit!
The sunflowers are coming through despite the lack of rain and they are just an uplifting happy crop. A special thank you to our seed donor!
The beans are doing very well. The sugar cane is back at head height.
The maize is a bit stunted from lack of rain but time will tell. The okra looks amazing as do the sweet potatoes.
The potatoes have done very well. There are various melons that I did not recognise and a spattering of butternuts and gem squash. In summary I was pleasantly surprised to see what is growing and doing well despite the dry conditions. We have had long discussions and believe that the benefit of the somewhat slow (boring?) drip irrigation is starting to sink in (excuse the pun)
The container and the church building
Matthew has sanded down the rust on the container and painted the various areas for us. With the price of containers this is very well appreciated.
The existing church building (shack) has been reclaimed by the owner and torn down.
Ed, Debbie and I have all had the same strong feeling that we need to get God’s Word to the community in a more defined way. As a result we will be trying to erect a roof that will become part of the creche/community hall/church to facilitate services this year. This will be in conjunction with the work we do on Pastor Matthew’s truck-back home.
We are also grateful to Matthew for all the grass cutting he has done around the church, play area and container. He has also opened- up the road to the field.
We are wanting to improve our compost heap and composting project which can become a sustainable business in it’s own right. If anyone living in the area(Krugersdorp/Tarlton) wants to drop off their grass cuttings to assist, please contact myself or Edwin directly.