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