Yoder Update -February 2024

One of the newest ministries of Christian World Outreach (CWO) is Single Moms Raising Sons (SMRS). SMRS is a ministry that started in South Africa by Thembi and Jeanette, two single moms who were raising boys. Having firsthand knowledge of the difficulties single moms experience they felt called to minister to other single moms.

As we look back, it was one of those God things that led to Thembi and Greg’s first meeting. Someone who knew about CWO referred Thembi to a friend who was a CWO board member who referred her to a CWO missionary who had returned to the States from Zambia who then led Thembi to Greg. At their meeting in 2020 there seemed to be a like-mindedness of how to do ministry. Thembi has said that she is impressed how CWO works with national leaders in-country who have a heart for ministry.

The ministry began by creating and leading Bible studies designed to introduce single mothers to single mothers in the Bible who faced struggles as they raised their sons. Thembi and worked on these Bible studies with other ladies while attending Denver Seminary. Their plan was to lead Bible studies and to train facilitators who would then be able to lead Bible study groups for single moms. What they found was those wanting to help single moms by being facilitators were single moms themselves. As these ladies went through the facilitator training, they found they had not truly dealt with the hurts and emotions in their own lives so Women to Women events were started helping these ladies heal emotionally and spiritually.

The issue of single moms raising sons is not just a South Africa issue. The Bible study groups have now grown beyond the borders of South Africa to Canada, Zimbabwe and the US. Greg recently received a message from a lady who asked for a copy of a Bible study she could use in helping a single mom that live on her street.

It has become evident that the Bible studies are successful in helping single moms know about a God who cares for them despite the circumstances. But something was missing as these single moms tried to direct their sons to a heavenly Father who would not abandon them. From this need the Men Molding Men camps were established. These camps are designed to direct them to a heavenly Father and help them develop healthy habits and give them self-esteem so they can be young men of integrity and someday become good fathers themselves. Similar to finding facilitators for Bible studies, it became obvious that the men who wanted to be mentors were men who had been raised by single moms and they still struggled with that issue. The need of these men caused the creation of Men Around the Fire events, giving these potential mentors a time for men to talk about their struggles as boys being raised by single moms.

SMRS in South Africa cannot meet all of the needs that arise from being a single mom or a boy being raised by a single mom. Because of this, SMRS has become a ministry connecting single moms and their sons to partner with established organizations that are prepared to meet some of the many other needs caused by their situation.

We are thankful that God designed the connection with Thembi and Greg so that single moms and their sons can be introduced to a heavenly Father who loves them so very much. We look forward to seeing how God continues to grow this ministry and supplies all that is needed for the ministry.

One way the financial needs will be met is through a fundraising effort in South Africa. There are 10,000 fig trees reserved at an orchard for SMRS that can be sponsored. Fig trees produce fruit three times a year for about 10 years. Some of the proceeds from selling the produce from a sponsored tree will go toward SMRS Bible study materials, sending a boy to a Men Molding Men camp and other ministry needs. If you sponsor a tree, you will receive an annual progress report on the harvest and how it has helped the ministry of SMRS.

Thank you for praying for us and for financially supporting us as we serve the SMRS team as they continue to follow God’s leading in ministering to single moms and their sons.

Serving Together,

Greg and Laura

  • Thembi, Jeanette and Solami, Thembi’s oldest son, as they lead the SMRS ministry.
  • The ladies who attend the SMRS Bible studies and for those leading the Bible studies.
  • Pray for the boys and young men who will be attending the Men Molding Men camps this year.
  • Pray for Greg as he prepares to go to South Africa in May serving with the team there.
  • For those leading the ministry of SMRS.
  • For the ladies who want to be Bible study facilitators and men who want to be mentors.
  • For creative ways to support the SMRS, like the fig tree project.
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