Here you will find the latest news from us soon ...
Our hearts rejoice as we witness God's faithfulness in taking care of all our needs. A year or two ago we purchased 4.5 ha of irrigation property, but it was partly covered with dense intruder thorn bushes.
God recently provided for us the funds to hire an excavator to clear nearly 2.5 ha, and now the whole land is cleared except for a small section.
All our gardening efforts the past year was destroyed by the birds, a direct result from the intense drought that we experience. There are no food for them in the surrounding semi-desert area and our garden is a very attractive alternative. We realized the only solution would be to put the garden under net, but new net can be a costly expense.
One of the nearby grape farmers took down some netting and donated a big amount of secondhand net that we can use to put huge sections under net. We have just finished our first 70 square metres under net and are now busy preparing beds to plant in.
The past Sunday the Pofadder Choir (from the nearby town Pofadder) visited us and spent the day with us. We had a blessed time of fellowship, especially since two brothers from our previous mission also visited us. We could encourage our brothers and sisters from Pofadder to faithfully serve and trust God for all the difficulties that they are facing.
GREAT IS THY FAITHFULNESS!
- Kas van den Berg
We sincerely thank the Lord for His grace and mercy that He bestowed on Onseepkans mission.
Our New Mission House
The month of April was dominated by our start to move to our new mission premises. Our co-worker, Eric Justus, has moved to the new premises. For the past few weeks we mostly cleaned up and started fixing fences and camps in order for us to move our dairy and meat goats. We have also started a vegetable garden and hope to plant enough vegetables to supply some of the local need for fresh vegetables. Furthermore we have also moved our mission shop to the new mission premises.
Our New Mission Shop
One of our trusted workers, Jan Fritz, helping in the shop.
It is sad to see how many people are caught up in the vice of alcohol abuse. When working at the new mission premises, we frequently witness people walk by with boxes of wine or crates of beer on their shoulders. We trust God for opportunities to reach those trapped in this devastating addiction.
Please remember us in your prayers as we start developing the new mission. Sometimes the workload looks overwhelming, but we constantly remind ourselves to take it “one day at a time”.
God’s richest blessings.
We praise God for His goodness and grace. Easter weekend of 2013 will in future have very special meaning for us at Onseepkans mission. God gave us our church and our new mission premises during the time of Easter 2013.
Since we came to Onseepkans one and a half years ago, we applied numerous times without success to obtain the very badly vandalized Dutch Reformed Church building in Onseepkans. On Friday 15 March 2013, two weeks before Easter, we received word from the Dutch Reformed Church in Pofadder that they have decided at a church council meeting to give the church building to us on a long term use agreement. We ask you to especially pray and trust the Lord with us for the restoration of God's house. Over the past months our hearts were saddened to see how God's house was broken, defiled with the most filthy graffiti, and even used as a place to drink and a public toilet!
Hag 1:8 - Go up to the mountains and bring wood and build the temple, that I may take pleasure in it and be glorified," says the LORD.
Some of you will recall that we bought a property in Onseepkans, a house in need of some repairs situated on an eight thousand square meter plot.
During the Easter weekend we also managed to buy the adjacent property, giving us enough space to start developing the mission on our own property.
God gave us the following Scripture regarding the mission property:
Gen. 26:22 … the LORD has made room for us … in the land.
During the school holidays we again had the opportunity to run a Bible club with the children of Onseepkans. We thank the Lord for the opportunities we had to share and pray with the children over the many issues that they are facing. Please pray for the children of Onseepkans, the evil-doers of this world have also reached them with cell phone pornography. I counselled children as young as 10 years old, involved in cell phone pornography. Out of curiosity, without knowing what they get involved in, these children get caught in the vicious web of pornography, destroying their innocence and damaging them for the rest of their lives.
As we continue with the work that the Lord has given us, we thank you for your interest in the work of Onseepkans Mission. May our Lord continue to be your Rock and your Strength.
Reflecting back on February 2013, we thank the Lord that we had the privilege to see our canal flowing again. For those of you who do not understand the importance of this event, we will try and give a brief background.
Onseepkans is an arid and very hot area, with summer temperatures reaching 50 degrees Celsius and winter temperatures in the early 30’s. The economical lifeline of Onseepkans is an approximately 16 km long ground canal, channelling water from the Orange river (the largest river in South Africa) to a number of irrigation plots, ideally situated for flood irrigation. A large section of the community will benefit directly or indirectly if these irrigation plots are properly farmed, since Onseepkans has no other real economical income except for agricultural activities. Many of these irrigation plots are in the hands of the small farmers, the previous disadvantaged people in South Africa. There are 27 small farmer groups in total, with each group comprising of six members. A very large section of the community, over half, currently depend on the government for social grants. When the canal ran dry, agricultural activities in Onseepkans literally came to a standstill. Without water, no one could farm.
During the month of February, after struggling for more than a year to get help from government level, we rejoiced in watching how the excavators cleaned the canal. We are thankful for those involved, Department of Agriculture and BVI Engineers, who helped us to reach this milestone. With the water, it seemed like life flowing back to Onseepkans again. Now farmers can start to work their irrigation fields again and be able to irrigate their crops from the canal. Our mission also benefits from the canal functioning again. Pumping water for household purposes became a nightmare when the canal was dry. We had to to pump water through a 1.5 km long pipeline from the river to the house, just to have basic household water. Now we pump water less that 500m away from the house, and we can start our vegetable garden again also.
As we reported in the January newsletter, the challenge that now lies ahead is to see how we can get help for the small farmers to clean their properties from “Prosopis” thorn bushes. Department of Environmental Affairs have committed themselves to help the small farmers in this regard, and we hope to see teams start clearing April this year. Unfortunately Department of Environmental Affairs only clean the bush to ground level, meaning that stumps are still left in the ground. This will have to be removed either by hand or by machines and is still a hurdle to be overcome at this stage.
On a more personal level, those of you who are familiar with our family and our doings, will remember that when we were still with Moreson Mission at Malmesbury, we were involved in pottery making (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kNeQ9uGT_GQ). When we moved to Onseepkans we brought all our pottery equipment with, but were without a kiln (pottery oven) to fire our pottery. Eventually we bought an eight cubic feet gas kiln and rejoiced when we had our first firing a couple of days ago. We hope to have photos of our new pottery items on the website soon. Please pray and trust with us that this project will also become a tool in God’s hand to reach the community. The children (and many adults) are idle during the day and then get involved in all kinds of mischief and wrong things. We hope to train some of the children and maybe also adults in the skills of pottery, and hope that the creative influence of this art form will inspire them to more constructive habits.
Some other news:
Our milking goat herd increased with 5 new arrivals that we bought from a nearby farmer. Currently we milk 11 goats. This generates enough milk for our mission and our workers. As our herd increase with the next lambing season and our existing young ewes come up for production, we hope to also start venturing into new possibilities, for example yogurt and cheese making.
Recently the community, primarily Roman Catholics, had a late Sunday afternoon church march with crosses through the main street, as part of their church activities celebrating the coming of Easter. They asked us if we could film the event and we took pictures and a video that we are currently busy editing for them.
The local school also had a march against drugs and abuse, and we had the opportunity to show a dvd on prostitution and drugs and also say a few words to the children. Afterwards, during the march, we also assisted them in taking photos of the event. We thank God for these opportunities, since it bring us in a more closer relationship with the community.
We will again have Bible club for the children of Onseepkans in the coming Easter school holidays. Please pray that God will work in the hearts of these children, transforming and bringing a permanent change in their lives.
Thank you for your continuous prayer and support. May our Lord richly bless and Keep you.
As we approach the end of January 2013, we think back on how this year started with quite a few interesting events that took place. As we have already reported in the December 2012 Newsletter, we manage to buy our own property in Onseepkans and will start renovations this year. Together with this we are also busy negotiating to buy a shed, not far from where we bought our new property. This structure will give us about 550 m2, which will enable us to expand our future mission projects under one roof.
We are very excited about the progress on the cleaning of the canal, and hope that in February 2013 Onseepkans will have water again. After more than a year struggling to have water for basic farming and household needs, we thank our Lord for His mercy in opening the doors for the cleaning of the canal. Soon the upcoming farmers can start to work their irrigation fields again and be able to irrigate their crops from the canal. Our mission will also benefit from the canal functioning again. Currently we had to pump water through a 1.5 km long pipeline from the river to the house, just to have basic household water. It was an endless battle with pumps and pipes breaking. Now we will again pump water from the canal 500m away from the house, which will put much less strain on both the pumps and pipes.
The challenge that now lies ahead is to see how we can get help for the small farmers to clean their properties from the intruder thorn bush, the “Prosopis” tree. These bushes have infected the farmlands due to a lack of farming activities, and in some cases became a dense forest that one can hardly penetrate.
We want to sincerely thank you for your continuous prayer and support. May our Lord richly bless and keep you in His grace.
Dear Brothers and sisters in Christ
Reflecting back on 2012, we can only thank our Lord for His mercies and faithfulness the past year, our first year in Onseepkans.
So much has happened, and we experienced so much of our Lord’s presence, guidance and provision, that we truly rejoice in Him for all that He has done for us. We experienced many highlights the past year, and would like to share just a few with you.
End of May beginning June 2012 we started our little shop, serving the community with basic necessities that they need. The cost of basic necessities is very expensive in Onseepkans, and this together with a system of “buying on account” had enslaved the people in the vicious cycle of debt. The main reason why we started our little shop was to give the people the opportunity to buy groceries and other necessities at affordable prices on a cash basis. After six months in operation, we thank the Lord that we can look back and truly testify that this shop was and continue to be a tool in God’s hand through which He gives us wonderful opportunities to reach the community. Countless times God opened the door for spiritual conversations with clients that visited the shop. From young to old, we could not only serve people with physical food, but also with spiritual food. Please pray for our little shop, that most of all it will continue to be a tool in Gods hands in the year to come.
For the past year every school holiday we had a children’s club for some of the children from the communities. An average amount of about twenty children continue to partake in the children’s club, and already we had opportunities to pray for these children as they share some of the many problems in their lives. We also run the children club this December holiday, and one evening showed the children the film “Song of the Martyrs”, giving account of how the Gospel started in Korea. Afterwards I pondered on the film show, and rejoiced that we already made enough spiritual progress with the children that we could show them a film with such a deep spiritual message. I was reminded of our Lord’s words “Let the little children come unto Me …”
Only a few days ago we were privileged to receive our first invitation for ministry to some of the youth of the neighboring town Pofadder. We could speak to the little children on the importance to hear God’s voice and addressed the teenagers on the very important and relevant subject of human trafficking and drug abuse. Some construction work is taking place in the area and I was shocked to hear testimonies about foreign men who approach the local girls and offer them money to sleep with them. The young girls of the Northern Cape are very naïve and also very emotional, both characteristics make them a vulnerable target for the evil perverse wolves of this world.
God made it possible for us to buy our first property for the mission in Onseepkans. This has been a great joy to us, since we now have our own property which we can develop to suit our needs as the ministry expands. The existing buildings on the property are in need of much renovation work, but we trust the Lord and hope to make it habitable in the New Year.
We want to sincerely thank all of our brothers and sisters for their prayers and support the past year. Words cannot describe how much this meant for us. We wish you all a very blessed Christmas and a happy New Year. May our Lord continue to be your Guide and your Strength.