April 2022

South Africa Challenged by Floods, Power Cuts
Please pray for the family and friends of a grade 9 student in one of the Reach4Life (R4L) groups in Nanda (Durban), who was killed during the recent floods. The storm that occurred on April 11 dumped nearly 12 inches of rain in just over 24 hours. The resulting floods left 435 people dead, 55 injured, and 54 missing. Informal settlements built close to the edges of rivers were hardest hit. Some areas are still difficult to reach because of damage to bridges, roads and rail lines. The flooding also caused the port of Durban to be shut down. Damage is estimated at hundreds of millions of dollars in an area that is still recovering from the political riots in July and soaring inflation. (Picture from The Guardian.)

Crippling power cuts are also occurring in South Africa, caused by ongoing breakdowns at the state power utility. Thandy says, “We are really struggling with the power cuts. They have turned off a number of networks and others are extremely slow… We are on day 3 (as of Friday, April 29) without power in our area...we have been requesting hot water for Musa's (their baby's) bottles at a nearby garage.” In spite of misgivings about gas stoves, which cause many fires there, they are going to get one so they will be able to cook. If you would like to donate toward generators and power banks to help keep the Reach4Life program functioning smoothly, please go to our donate page. (Give it a minute to connect.) On page two of the check-out process, in the projects drop-down box, please select “power backup.” Thank you for your help with this unbudgeted need. (Note: Now is a great time to donate. Because of all the problems, the Rand value has dropped, meaning our dollars convert to more Rand.)
Prayer for Continued Supply of Reach4Life Bibles
Please pray for a steady supply of Reach4Life Bibles to be printed by Biblica. We contribute toward the cost of printing but they have graciously been supplying a good number of Bibles as well. Biblica has recently created an online app for Reach4Life which is less costly than printing physical Bibles, with the hope that more people can use it. However, most of our users are from disadvantaged areas and countries which do not have easy internet accessibility. (See article above re power cuts.) Even if power is available, it is not reliable. And internet use is bought by the amount of data used, which most people we minister to can’t afford. These physical R4L Bibles are a precious lifeline (literally) to those who receive them, so please pray for a continued supply of these Bibles at the same level as we have received in the past. We also need more Portuguese Bibles. Thank you for your prayers!
Rejected by Families for Choosing Christ
Thandy reports, "We currently have 16 cases in South Africa, 7 in Swaziland and 3 in Mozambique of kids who have been disowned (kicked out) by their families because of their faith. We are meeting with families to help them understand the faith and asking local churches to accommodate the kids until families can take them back (if possible)." This is an ongoing challenge in the program; there are always those who are needing places to stay after they choose to follow Christ.

Refilwe (on right in picture at left) from Johannesburg shares, “My family fears that I will bring bad luck in the family because I no longer acknowledge the dead as my protectors and guide. I am not afraid, and I am not letting go of my truth that Christ died for me. Losing family is nothing compared than losing my soul if I deny Christ. Reach4Life has taught how to survive tough times and as the Bible says I can do all things through Christ and that nothing will separate me from the love of God. I choose Christ.”

At right (in picture on right) is Dudu Mfecane. She says “I am a Peer educator and it’s been two years living without my family because they don’t want anything to do with salvation. I now stay with a friend whose family are believers. It was sad at first but now I’m stronger in my faith and I don’t feel sad because I know one day, I will see my Lord and rejoice with other brothers and sisters who have suffered for the gospel. Knowing Christ is the greatest gift, and I won’t trade it for nothing.”
Zion Church Chooses Christ Alone

Zion churches in most parts of Africa are those who believe in the existence of God and Christ but also worship ancestors. They struggle with the concept of serving Christ alone without the help of their ancestors. But some of the kids from Zion churches have been sharing what they learn through R4L with their parents and church leaders, and question the mixing of worship. Thandy says, "After long talks, five of these Zion churches are no longer worshiping ancestors but now believe in Christ alone as Saviour and mediator." (Read "I Was Confused" article below for a powerful testimony.)
"Some Pastors Were in Tears"
Pictured above is a Peer Educator training in Osizweni, Newcastle - a community of many townships struggling with drugs, gangs, and violence in schools. Pastors heard about R4L and asked to be trained. Thandy says "We drove from Johannesburg, and it was one of the most heart-warming trainings we have had. Some pastors were in tears during the presentation." The pastors said the training has given them a better way to address the problems their communities are facing.
Teen Moms Become Lights in their Community
These newly trained Peer Educators pulled Thandy aside to ask if they were worthy to teach other young people because they are teen moms themselves. Quickly she went through the R4L lesson on “Starting Over." She reminded them that believers become new creations in Christ. Thandy says, "Poverty and broken homes have contributed hugely in the wrong decisions taken by these three girls in the past. But now they can tell their stories to others and be the light in the dark society they live in. We love it when the program heals and restores the Peer Educators themselves. Now as they step out, they can be confident and knowledgeable.”  
Department of Education Wants R4L in Troubled Schools
At a recent meeting, a Department of Education representative requested that R4L be launched to 46 troubled schools in the Westrand district of Johannesburg. Mr. Lwazi (left) says, “This program is a much needed tool for our city schools who are hard hit with drugs and gangs. This is the best intervention program. We love the fact that it comes with Peer Educators, which is what we need in the lives of the kids - positive role models... This is a life transforming tool and we want it in our troubled schools. We believe this is the answer.” Student Peer Educators ("foxes") have also been selected to work with the adult Peer Educators. They are able to keep groups going even if the adult PE's aren't able to come in during COVID closures.
No Garage Sale; Clothing Drive Began April 1!
As a reminder, we will not be having a garage sale this year and will be concentrating our efforts on our annual clothing drive. (However, if any of our supporters feel energetic and would like to hold individual garage sales, donating the proceeds to Prevention Time, that would be great!) It will run through October 31. As a reminder, we can take gently used:

  • clothes
  • shoes
  • purses and belts
  • linens (tablecloths, towels, drapes, etc.)
  • blankets/sleeping bags
  • anything fabric-y

We've been asked not to include stained, torn, or otherwise unusable items in our collection. Clothes can be dropped at 30020 2nd Ct. S., Federal Way, on the porch, where you will also find donation receipts in a plastic bag. The funds we raise will be used to support the R4L program. Please also let your family and friends know about the clothing drive, and let us know if you become aware of any opportunities to collect clothes, including estate clear-outs, since they are another source of these items. We can pick up large amounts of clothes if needed. Contact us at 253-946-5953 (landline), 206-423-0306 (cell), or by email. Thanks for your support!
Peer Educator Training in Verulam (Durban)
Forty-seven young people and eighteen pastors attended the Peer Educator training in Verulam, north of Durban. (See pictures above and below.) This community is mostly comprised of people of Indian descent and Blacks, and their biggest challenges are alcohol and drugs. Now that they are trained, they are more capable of dealing with those issues.
Peer Educator Weddings!
(Above left, pictured with Thandy and Emmanuel) Nhlanhla ("Lucky") Mbuyisa is the Zandspruit Coordinator, and pastor of a R4L church plant that he started two years ago. He married Zanspruit Peer Educator Tshepiso. Nhlanhla says, “My journey with Reach4Life started when I was 16 in high school, and I came to Christ through the program. After High school I became a Peer educator, then later I was asked to coordinate and train new PE’s. The Program has made me the man that I am today. I met my wife in the program, every year at our PE camps we had men's groups and one of the subjects was raising families which will bring glory to God. I am grateful, this program is more than just a project, this is Gods tool to restore many young lives to His original plan for their lives.”

(Above left) We also congratulate Mduduzi, a Peer Educator from Ladysmith, for his marriage to Jane. She is being welcomed into a very big, loving R4L family!
More Church Groups Started!
The Mozambique team has been busy! Nine church youth groups and five community groups have been started in Beira province (pictured above) and in Gaza province (Chokue), 13 church youth groups have been started. Below is a picture of a church youth group in Lesotho.
"I was Confused"
“My name is Olwethu Dlamini, I attend a Reach4Life group in my school. I was confused when the Peer educator taught about who is Jesus because in our Zion Church that’s not what they were teaching us about who Jesus was. I didn’t know that Christ’s death meant that our sins were forgiven and that no other sacrifice was needed because the blood of Christ did a perfect job. My Pastor was angry at first and asked were do I get such teachings. I invited the Peer educator and that’s how my whole church understood and gave their lives to Christ. Now R4L is the Bible we use, we follow the lesson plans and we interpret for the elders who do not understand English. I am a child of God and I know what Christ did for me on the cross.”
"Traveled Two Hours"
“I am beyond encouraged to go and make disciples. I travelled two hours to get to this training so that I can be equipped to share the gospel. It was very hard for me to tell my family that I was saved four years ago because they were very much against salvation. I have a passion of encouraging other young people like me to stand no matter what. Now that I am a peer educator, I thank God for the opportunity. I have three schools that I will be teaching in. I feel courageous and excited.”
Bible Study with Family
Ntando, age 15, shares, "I love attending the R4L classes, I have learned how to pray and to read my Bible. Everyday I do a Bible study with my family. Thank you for bringing this great Bible in my country Swaziland.”
"Vocal About My Faith"
“My name is Nomkhosi, I am 15 years old. Today I have been trained as a Peer educator, I will start a group in my school. I am already very [well known] because I am vocal about my faith in Christ. This book is amazing, it has all the answers to questions asked by young people daily. It is fun to read and still has the power to change behaviours of our youth. Thank for coming to my town, we are ready to serve!”
Never Had a Bible
Bridget Faca, Cape Town, writes, “Thank you for giving me a Bible, I never had one before. Now I know about Jesus and what he did on the cross. In our groups we discuss and find scriptures to help us from our R4L Bibles.”
"Great Ideas and Topics"
“My name is Sipho, I am a youth Pastor here in Osizweni. We have tried going to the assemblies to preach but the teachers and learners complained that we were irrelevant to their day-to-day struggles. As we were getting trained today, I could see that we presented the gospel in a very boring and irrelevant way. Reach4Life has opened our eyes. It gave us great ideas and topics to use so we attract the attention of our audiences. I am confident that as go back to speak in schools now using the R4L books our outreaches will be fruitful.”
The current Rand exchange rate is excellent at 16 Rand per dollar!
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