Friday, April 14, 2017

Certain in the midst of uncertainty!

Hi Guys,

I don't know about you, but I am so thankful on this Good Friday for the Cross. We live in such perilous and uncertain times. Whoever imagined we would live in a world where there are suicide bombers and  shootings in city parks, churches, and elementary schools. Who knows what will happen next with Russia, North Korea, or Syria. In my country of residence, which is knee-deep full of corruption, there is great uncertainty as to what will happen if our president gets his hands on the national treasury. Everywhere you look, there is uncertainty, fear, apprehension of the future.....

And that's why today I pause to say I'm so thankful for the Cross and for the Empty Tomb. Had Jesus not given His life to change all of our futures, had that tomb not been empty and had there not been a God powerful enough to raise His son from the dead - then all we would have is uncertainty.

But praise be to God! Jesus did sacrifice His own life for mine on the cross, and that tomb was empty because God did have the power to raise Him from the dead. Therefore, my story does not end here amidst a sea of uncertainty. I have faith in a powerful God who is Sovereign above all powers, all rulers, and who will have the final say. Yes, we live with uncertainty, but our future is not uncertain. We will truly live in eternity with  God because of what Jesus has done. This world is not our final destination. There is more to come!!! So I live with Certainty in the midst of all the uncertainty. Of this I am certain - God is Good on this Friday- the 14th of April, 2017, and this uncertain world won't  be where my story ends.

Happy Good Friday! Know that we love you very much.
Sincerely,
Jodi & Marius

Monday, March 13, 2017

Out of Ashes!

Hi guys!

Here is what has been happening for the past several weeks. I want to use more pics and less words this year to keep you interested, so here goes…..

One of the workers, Leslie, who has been working for us at the restaurant was reading his Bible one night last week and fell asleep, and the next thing he knew his shack was on fire! This was all that was left the next morning…




 We got the word out to the community around us, and within two days Leslie had begun rebuilding! He lost everything in the fire, barely escaping with his life!  People generously have given clothes, a Bible, pallets, tin for the roof, a new bed and mattress, nails, and food. It is awesome to see the Body of Christ in action when we simply give what we have. This has really impacted Emi to be even more involved with social justice and to be more aware of the needs of those around her.


 

      






Emi’s Closet Vitamin Project continues to rock on. We delivered 40 liters of multi-vitamin syrup last month!! And that is helping strengthen 700 little immune systems! Thank you to all of you so very much who continue to help us in this endeavor. We also want to thank our local pharmacist at Poli Clinic Pharmacy who gives us such a great discount to make it possible for us to help even more kids!  This project is making a difference in a lot of little lives. THANK YOU









   






Another really cool thing is how well the Little Oaks students are doing who received scholarship money in December in the States! Achuma just won the silver in the whole Eastern Cape regional Gymnastic Championship. She is excelling in her academics as well. Thank you so much for donating money for her studies and her extracurriculars  She is a little star! And our tiny little school, Little Oaks Christian Learning Centre, that we started only 2 years ago, has grown from 11 students to 45! The recent athletics day gives you a picture of how much it has grown. We are going to have to re-locate soon to have a bigger facility - exciting times! More news about that next month....







Here is a pic of our little Valentine on a Valentine's date with her daddy. Aren't they so cute? I love this picture. We’re very proud of Emi as she continues to grow and learn. Parenting is not for the faint of heart, but it is so worth it!! We love our little treasure. She is doing well in school, and in her hip hop and kickboxing classes.














And here is our dog Zoe with Emi's hip-hop rapper puppet Hopscotch.







Thank you for your prayers, financial support and love!  We are in our ninth year here in Africa! This would not have been possible without the support from back home.  We're coming to the States  as a family for the month of July, and we’re super excited about that!! Marius hasn’t been back in four years, so he is especially looking forward to some nice visits, some Cracker Barrell breakfasts, and some much deserved r&r.

I want to ask you please - if you are a supporter of ours - don’t forget us this summer. June-July are generally months that many people forget to send donations, and last July we received half of our normal monthly support. This year Trinity Church has blessed us with flight tickets to get home, but we will still rely on the monthly support of our donors financially when we’re home,  so as a loving reminder in advance….. please don’t forget us in July! Thanks so much for your support! You’re making a difference in many lives.

Love,
Marius, Jodi, & Emi Deetlefs
J-Bay, South Africa


P.S. If you would like to help us care for vulnerable children in South Africa you can give a tax deductible donation online at
www.WorldOutreach.org/donations  or checks are payable to World Outreach Ministries with Deetlefs #490 in the memo

    World Outreach Ministries, Inc.
    P.O. Box B
    Marietta, GA  30061

Thursday, May 12, 2016

EMERGENCY on Vitamin Delivery Day!

Hi Friends,

Today was vitamin delivery day, and as it is the start of winter here it is even more important than ever that kiddos take their vitamins every day to fight against disease and infection. We visited some cute kiddos...


Here is a tiny video clip of a few more cutie pies we saw at one of the pre-schools today:















This is a new pre-school that we delivered to for the first time today.... Welcome Shama Kids!
























And here are my new friends Laura and Malena from Peru who have been helping to make some of our TREASURE products which we sell to help buy vitamins for the kids. They have been spending every Thursday with me helping to make some of TREASURE's new line of recycled gift tags. They have helped SO So much, and because of them we have gotten ALOT of stock together which I'll share more later, but here's a sneak peak.  Cute? Aren't they? 

   
 and Malee from Thailand who, from her wheelchair, hand-made this incredible rug from our  leftover fabric scraps:


 
 

And on Tuesdays, Taneale (who is also our dog Zoe's vet as well as a fellow worship team member with me at church), who is a great seamstress, has joined Mich and I and is sewing some gorgeous  new treasures.  We are so glad to have her on board! This beautiful children's dress is  an example of Taneale's handiwork.














And I had some other faithful helpers (Michelle, Kimmie, Lynnette, and Sara) who volunteered 4 hours of their recent school holiday to help cut cardboard cereal boxes to make gift tags. It was a great help!


And lastly, the EMERGENCY happened today as my little monkey fell off the monkey bars at school and broke her wrist! Emi's first cast ever.

   

Please pray for Emi's wrist to heal properly, and for grace and patience as she adapts to her new left handed ways.

Thanks for keeping up with us, thanks so much for your support, and thanks for your friendship. Pray for me as I'm helping to lead a small group and we're working through "When Helping Hurts - How to Alleviate Poverty without Hurting the Poor our Yourself". It is extremely challenging, and influences the way we reach out to the several hundred kids we're ministering to now. And please also remember to pray for Marius as he has been experiencing a lot of stress and pressure at work, and one of the results has been his worsening jaw pain. He could use your prayer support. That's it for now. Be blessed!

With much love,

Marius, Jodi, and Emi










      



Saturday, April 9, 2016

600+ kids receiving immune-boosting vitamins - THANKS for your help!!

Hey there! 

It’s Jodi writing from South Africa. Many of you heard our Facebook S.O.S post. and you reached out to help. We are SO grateful for that. Our transition to WOM has been a pretty smooth one, and we are thanking God for continuing to meet our needs.  It's better when possible to show progress in pictures/videos, rather than in words so here goes:  This first clip is from one of the 14 cresches (pre-schools) that we take vitamins to. I asked the kids if I could pray for them, but they misunderstood and they prayed for us instead. I caught the last seconds of their sweet Xhosa prayer. Click on the you tube link below to hear it.



Here are some pics from when Mich and I did our vitamin distribution run together last week:

Jodi and Mich on the vitamin trail

Anet - 1 of the pre-school teachers

Nipholene-another super pre-school teacher!

Jodi giving a squirt of immune-boosting vitamins
Our TREASURE project is really growing.  TREASURE’s motto is “recycled. repurposed. redeemed.” That is what we do - we use recyclable materials such as coffee bags, fabric sample books, and plastic packaging to make home decor items including throw pillows, placemats, table runners, baskets, purses, and even cards and gift tags. We are so excited that people are buying our things! It seems to really be catching on. We’re building up our inventory so that I can host a pre-order Christmas sale, then you could possibly purchase some items as Christmas and I will bring them to the States the first week of December, as I’m coming home for Christmas! Yay! It would really be helpful if you could take a sec and “Like" our page on Facebook to help us get the word out. Click on the link below:


 100% of the profit of every item we sell goes to help orphans and vulnerable children THRIVE - which is why the project was created in the first place. Currently 600+ kids in Jeffrey’s Bay are receiving these valuable immune-boosting vitamins daily! We’re also helping with 2 educational scholarships, and we’re investigating the possibility of creating a back to school initiative  similar to our friends' “Give a kid a chance” program in Cherokee County, GA. There are tremendous needs here, as education is so important, and there are some bright little minds in these pre-schools who want to go to school later, but don’t have the money to do so.  Education is not free here, nor are the required uniforms so we’re growing into helping more there too.

Some people say to me, the vitamin project you’re doing is great, but why aren’t you doing more evangelism? I want to say this in regards to that. Africa is over-evangelized and under-discipled.  I mean this respectfully - unless you spend some time here in this culture you can’t really understand how true that statement is. For example, South African friends we know and work with here consider themselves to be Christians, and they sing worship music at the top of their lungs, and talk about going to church on Sundays. They ALSO dedicate their bonuses at Christmas to their ancestors and pray to their ancestors to multiply them. They regularly go to ceremonies/rituals including the slaughtering of goats and the blood being dedicated to appease their ancestors and help them flourish. They consult sangomas (witchdoctors) when they are sick or in financial or relationship trouble. And the list goes on and on and on.  I would say 99% of the African people I know here would consider themselves Christians, but so many are not willing to lay down cultural or traditional practices if those clash with their Christian beliefs.

Why am I saying this? Because they have the Gospel. They go to Church. They have heard of and believe in Jesus as their Savior, but they need to be discipled. They need for someone to walk a road with them, and consistently model and talk about who Jesus is, and how He wants us to live.  We believe it is easier to start this process with the little ones, as culture runs DEEP and we have more of a chance of getting through there. We aren’t just dropping off a liter of vitamins and calling that missionary work. We are visiting, talking, loving, playing, praying for and in that process DISCIPLING these little hearts. Sorry if this sounds like I’m standing on a soapbox but I can’t stress how true it is. Not to mention how important Jesus said that taking care of the poor is - in and of itself. James 1:27 says: “This is true religion - religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” Let me tell you - I know some widows and orphans who are in distress! And I genuinely want my life to make a difference in helping look after them. Thanks for being willing to help do that with me!

Marius continues to work/disciple the staff at the Coffee Shop. He is working so hard all the time! He has also begun baking artisan bread, making hand-made pasta, and brewing his own artisan beer. I literally had a dream the other day of one day owning a little artisan village with artisans/hand-craftsmen selling their artisan crafts, meats, cheeses, breads, and craft beer. And in my dream the whole village was “ tithing” back into treasure to help the many vulnerable children in this community. We could make a much bigger impact collectively if God ever makes this dream come true! I know the beer part might potentially scare some of my Southern Baptist buddies in the States reading this, but think about the monks who spent their whole lives set apart worshipping God. They were some of the best artisan beer brewers in the world. Still are today. Sometimes I really think that Marius may have missed his calling as a chef. He is so meticulous and precise in what he does, and he doesn’t serve something unless it is perfect. This is one of the things that make him really, really good at what he does! He is indeed an artisan, and a man of integrity.

And last but not least our little 1st grader…. 
Emi and her pappa having ice-cream together

Ems with two 1st grade friends from Little Oaks - Zelki & Abi.

Emi and her cousins (Ami and Ilanza) making Easter crafts.
We spent Easter with Ouma Toekie (Marius’s mom) and we had a special Easter morning with her as Marius read the Easter story and we talked about it with Emi and then we all prayed together. One of Emi’s questions struck me as we discussed that awesome morning when the stone was rolled away and Jesus was risen! She asked, “Mom, why did Mary think Jesus was the gardener” 

"Dear woman, why are you crying?" Jesus asked her. "Who are you looking for?" She thought he was the gardener. "Sir," she said, "if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him.” (from John 20:15) 

I thought of this awesome, magnificent, Creator of the universe God that we have,  not only humbly wrapping Himself in human flesh to come to Earth as a baby, but also even in His resurrection - the day He powerfully and miraculously rose from the dead - He chose to appear as a gardener. Think about it - If you had been with the Father from the beginning of time- helped create the Earth, been sent on a mission to that Earth to be crucified for our sins -  wouldn’t you want to FINALLY show the world just how powerful you had been all along? Your earthly mission is complete and now your true self is revealed!! And instead of a glorified, gleaming, humongous death-conquering body, He chose to appear like a gardener. I love that about Jesus! He was always so unconventional, so unpredictable, always counter-culture, always true to His mission,and always so, so humble.  

I pray that you are well and that your families are well. Many. many blessings for being such a blessing to those here. Thank you and lots of love from:

Jodi, Marius & Emi Deetlefs




P.S. If you would like to partner with us to help disciple and care for orphans in S. Africa you can give online at:


or via check:
Write check payable to World Outreach Ministries and put Deetlefs #490 in the memo 
Mail to :

    World Outreach Ministries, Inc.
    P.O. Box B
    Marietta, GA  30061

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Sendin' out an S.O.S.

Hey there!


It's Jodi, Marius and Emi sending out an S.O.S. from S. Africa....





Many of you are friends who’ve been a part of our journey to South Africa. We sold our house in 2007, and moved from Georgia to Africa to reach out to orphans and vulnerable children. We have been here almost 9 years! We live and work in JBay, South Africa. I have a little project called "Emi’s Closet project" that started with 11 orphans & vulnerable children 5 years ago, and is now providing valuable resources and the love of God to over 600 vulnerable children daily! Isn’t that awesome? Emi's Closet was named after our little girl Emi when she was a baby- and her closet once practically clothed a village in Swaziland! She is 6 now, and just started first grade. She’s learning so much, and she is a creative little artist, good gymnast, and very energetic kid! She is perhaps the best missionary in our family as she NEVER meets a stranger, and often conversations begin (at the grocery store, in the park, in our coffee shop, etc.) through Ems. I love that kid!

Through "Emi's Closet" immune systems are being strengthened, kids are being educated, and I get to regularly share the love of Jesus with these little ones who are in real need of hope. The whole idea of our little project was to help orphans and vulnerable children THRIVE, and the Lord continues to show us more effective ways to do that. These at-risk kiddos, ages 2-7 years old, have some REALLY tough lives due to poverty, lack of parental guidance, and in some cases abuse. We reach out in may ways to improve their health, education, spiritual and emotional lives. My friend Mich and I also have a recycling/sewing project called TREASURE


where we recycle/repurpose plastic packaging, burlap, and fabric sample materials into beautiful cushions, table runners, placemats, cards, etc. to help fund the purchase of vitamins for these 680 kids.We love making what others would deem trash into something beautiful! You can check out some of our creations through our friends at Grace Klein Community's ETSY store here:  https://www.etsy.com/shop/BeMoreRandom?page=1 .This project also has the added benefit of creating income for 3 South African women -enabling them to better support their families.



Marius serves in the business community here through his dedicated work at our little coffee shop. We host a monthly men’s prayer breakfast there, and new families to J-bay are attending the local church we’re part of here as a result of meeting Marius at the coffee shop. Marius models integrity, a desire to do things with excellence, and a heart full of generosity.  This year we’ve been able to supplement our monthly support with $400/mo from the coffee shop, which is really a blessing as our monthly support has been steadily decreasing, and is currently  1/2 of what it was 5 years ago! It has been our hope for the business to grow and to not be dependent upon outside funds , but this is a slow process. So, in the meantime - we need some help. 

We are sendin' out this S.O.S. to our friends/family around the world to try and raise some additional support in order to continue to minister here in South Africa. There are many blessings our job provides, but we didn't choose a profession where our job performance leads to regular pay increases. :) 

If you are in a position to, would you consider financially partnering with us?This is what we’re proposing - a donation of $5/week, which is about the price of 1 large Starbucks or  1 Little Caesar’s pizza/week. :) This FIVE BUCKS/wk could make a BIG impact and help us continue to reach out to “the least of these” here. And if you can’t do that, would you consider giving a one-time gift to help us get back on track financially?

The truth is NOBODY enjoys sending out letters asking for financial support - it is one of my least favorite things to do. But, as humbling as it is, we must raise some additional funds in order for us to continue ministering here.

We’ve recently joined forces with World Outreach Ministries.(https://www.worldoutreach.org)  They're a great 501c-3 organization in Kennesaw, GA who is processing all of our donations, mailing out our tax-deductible receipts, and they even accept credit cards from all over the world - which is a new thing for us - enabling us to fund-raise globally for the first time.So, let's see if it works!

There is really no pressure - just consider if you're in a position to spare $5/week ($20/month) and if you feel led -then join forces with us and be a part of making a difference in these little lives.

Please keep us in your prayers as we will keep you in ours!
Much love,
Jodi , Marius & Emi

THE DEETLEFS FAMILY
Jeffreys Bay, South Africa


P.S. If you would like to partner with us to help care for orphans & vulnerable children here in S. Africa you can click on the link below:

www.WorldOutreach.org/donations and follow the prompts

Or you can write checks payable to World Outreach Ministries, write Deetlefs #490 in the memo and mail to:

    World Outreach Ministries, Inc.
    P.O. Box B
    Marietta, GA  30061

P.S.S. Thanks for taking the time in your busy day to read this! :)

Monday, June 29, 2015

South Africa Is Gonna Let Me Stay!

Hi Guys!

Great news! We found out this past week that South Africa will indeed renew my visa for 2 more years! This is great news considering how many missionary families that we have heard have recently been forced to leave South Africa. Thank you for praying with us for this big hurdle!

We are so blessed that Emi’s Closet is approaching 400 children now how receive daily immune-boosting vitamins. I’m also able to add a fresh fruit drop once a month to each preschool so that each kid can have their own apple. I hope to increase that to once a week by the end of the year if possible. We’re also starting to plan a retreat for the first term of next year to bless all the ladies who run these little pre-schools. I want it to be a time of spiritual input for them and a time to bless them for all they pour out for the little ones. Here are a few pics from last week’s fruit/vitamin day. 






Our treasure project, making art items made from recyclable materials, continues to expand. We are so blessed to have made a connection with a network in Birmingham, Alabama called the Grace Klein Community. They loved our little project and asked if they can buy some of our products and re-sell them on their ETSY store. It is so cool. All of the money they make from this store goes to support different missions projects globally, and they buy all of the items from existing global missionaries (like ourselves) so it’s a win win. Check out the ETSY store where our tREasures are now available - it's called Be More Random here:


You can see our card sets, coffee bean coasters, and wooden key hangers that we’re making from recycled materials.








It would be great if you guys could share that link on your facebook page or via email, and help us get the word out that our crafts made from recyclable materials are now available in the U.S.!! And that is what is helping us fund the added fruit delivery. We’re going to be offering some great Christmas card sets soon. I will send you photos soon if you would like to order some to give your friends and family.

Marius continues to rock along at the coffee shop and with Global.  They have a community wide business prayer meeting now every 2 weeks, and that is growing with local business owners. This is exciting stuff as some of these guys aren’t even believers yet! The mall has taken quite a hit lately with the opening of a brand new huge mall about 30 minutes away. Hopefully things will get back to normal when the initial hoopla is over.

 We recently got to go to Bloemfontein for Emi’s cousin’s birthday parties. Don’t Marius and his sister look alike? They girls had so much fun playing together! 





Today is the beginning of 3 week winter break from school, as you guys in the States are enjoying a hot sunny summer! Emi has been enjoying kindergarten and she is looking forward to first grade next year. Only one more term of kindergarten left. (How did that happen??) 


I know many of you are on vacation now, but please don’t forget about us. Our last wire was about 1/3 of what it normally is, and it is winter here and utility bills still need to get paid somehow….  Please know that we love and appreciate all of you dearly. Happy summer and many blessings from the Deetlefs family!!

sincerely,

Jodi, Marius, Emi, and Zoe