January 2021

Reach4Life Street Corner Clubs
Team Soweto has started nine “Reach4Life (R4L) Street Corner Clubs," inviting people on the street to learn the word through the R4L book. After attending three weeks, they receive a R4L Bible. Since this began earlier this month, 62 people have committed their lives to Christ and are receiving ongoing discipleship. This is the beginning of the school year in Africa and Thandy reports that social media groups have begun. Rural communities without electricity aren’t left behind. A “door drop” plan has been developed. Peer Educators drop off lessons at the homes of participants by slipping two brown envelopes under the door with the lesson for the week and a worksheet. On Friday afternoon, the kids put their work, questions, or testimonies into the extra empty brown envelope and drop it at the door of the Peer Educator. Three radio stations are also providing slots for R4L programming. From January 11 until January 27, there have been 4,026 R4L books distributed to young people calling into the radio shows.
Looking for Funds for Church Building Project
Harrismith is located halfway between Johannesburg and Durban. Thandy's husband, Emmanuel, planted a church there, which the local Peer Educators attend. Currently, there is not enough room for everybody who wants to attend (especially the many children). Young people and kids stand outside and listen through the windows in temperatures that range from very hot to very cold. In 2018, land was made available by the municipality for a church to be built where the tent was pitched for our 2018 mission trip visit. Some funds had been raised but not nearly what was needed, so we have decided to help raise funds to complete this project. The church will be a basic structure (foundation, floors, walls, roof) measuring 66 x 39 ft. (Pictured above is an example of how it will be built.) Thandy and Emmanuel have received quotes and found a reliable contractor. Since Harrismith is in a central location and is already a hub for distributing R4L Bibles, the vision is for the church to also house training conferences for R4L and church leaders, including pastor trainings. It will also provide for community needs (R4L clubs, after-school tutoring, elder care, etc.). The church will cost $33,194. Some individuals and churches have helped raise $17,355, so we are trying to help them raise the balance of $15,839. For details and pictures, click here and then open the downloaded document. Then if you would like to contribute to this special project, please go to our donate page. Click on the "donate" button and after you enter your personal information, continue to the next page where you can select "Church Bldg" from the “projects” dropdown box. Thanks for your support!
Teams Prepare for New School Year
The R4L teams needed devotionals as part of their preparation for the new school, so we created ten devotionals based on the book The End of Me by Kyle Idleman. It talks about getting to the end of ourselves, with highlights from the Sermon on the Mount (weak to be strong, humbled to be exalted, etc.).  Above is Ladysmith coordinator, Thabisile Khumalo, with team leaders from the townships of Ezakheni, Uitvaal, and Makhasi; the villages of Enkunzi, Kwahlathi, Mhlumayo; and Watersmeet (farmers court). Clive Sithole, Peer Educator from a different location (Durban) said: “The devotional project we have been working on for the past 3 weeks have brought life in my heart again. We haven’t been to church in months, I do pray and read the word on my own, but this is better. I love the questions at the end where I can reflect and right my own thoughts and get a chance to share them with my group. My favourite Devotion has been “Broken to be made whole” Jeremiah 18:4. This moved my heart deeply and healed me from something that I have been dealing with for a long time. Thank you to the team that put these devotions together they are great.”
Grief Counseling and Prison Training Initiative
This month, multiple prisons contacted Thandy and asked if her teams could provide grief counseling, given the high number of Covid-19 deaths taking place in the country. At her request, we put together some training materials for that purpose. (These materials can also be used by churches and others.) Veteran R4L prison workers are training other Peer Educators to work with them to provide this service. In a separate initiative, inmates who have committed to Christ and are long-time participants in the R4L program will be trained to run R4L groups. Shown here (faces blurred) are men from Krugersdorp Prison. They were taken through the 2021 R4L prison strategy plan and next month ten men will be trained to run groups there. Jabu Ndaba coordinates the R4L prison teams in South Africa, Swaziland, Mozambique, and Lesotho and will be working closely with them to ensure the program is implemented properly. Five prisons are participating in this initiative to train inmates.
Covid-19 is Hitting Hard
Pictured here is Bongi Leeuw (right), Sokhulume (South Africa) R4L Coordinator. She says, “Both my mom and I tested positive for Covid early January; it was a tough situation. My mom is elderly and has other health issues, we thought were going to lose her. I posted on our R4L WhatsApp prayer wall that we needed prayer. I got prayers from our teams in Swaziland, Scottburg, Tugela Ferry etc. it was such an encouragement. I am happy to share that my mom and I are now clear and ready to go home. It was a scary experience, but I praise God we are healed.”

South Africa is coming off a second wave of Covid-19, which has been more severe than the first wave. To date, there have been 1.44 million cases, 1.27 million recoveries, and 43,105 deaths. A new strain has emerged there which is said to be more contagious, but not more deadly. The risk is that when more people are infected, it will affect more people with underlying health issues. Sadly, some dear friends of the R4L program have passed away, and they will be missed. Pastor Barney Mabaso and his wife, and the principal of the Tugela Ferry mission school and her husband, are among those who died this month. We extend our condolences to everyone who has suffered the loss of loved ones. At this time, the country says it expects to receive 1.5 million doses of vaccine in January and February, which will be administered to the country’s 1.25 million health care workers. Plans for further vaccinations have yet to be worked out. For a video about the new strain of the virus, click here. Please pray for the protection of our R4L members and network, and for the country to begin receiving vaccines for the general population.
Excellence in Financial Reporting
Pictured above is Thandy working with Thabiso Madonsela, who assists the ministry with all government reporting. He was formerly a Peer Educator for four years, and has been ordained by his church as a lead pastor at a new church plant. He is also a qualified graphic designer and financial consultant. He runs a registered company that helps faith-based organizations comply with all the nonprofit government policies. It is helpful to work with someone who understands and supports the program. Thandy reports: “Phakama’s financial reports and tax returns have been audited and we have been given a certificate of excellence for our financial record-keeping.”
Reach4Life Reality Bites Answer Questions
Pictured above are Tinyiko Shibambo (left) and her best friend Lupfuno Luyolo (right), both 14 years old. Tinyiko says, "I live in Kashigamane village in Limpopo province. I am part of the Village’s WhatsApp group. Our youth leaders from church called us to tell us that since we are not going to church he wants us to join this R4L program. I registered and my book was delivered at home in 2 days. The Reality Bites have shocked me I did not know that you can talk about such issues if you are a child of God. I just kept everything inside. Every question is answered in this small Bible. I love my Bible so much I have recruited 6 of my friends 2 were not believes but now they are saved, we are committing ourselves to waiting for marriage and we commit ourselves to serving the Lord one day.”
Moses Finds Answers
“My name is Moses Fuduka, 19 years old. I gave my life to Christ after attending the R4L street corner club (see article above), a friend invited me that they were people calling out on the speaker that Christ loves us and he wants to be our close friend. I was feeling down that day I went just for fun, but I heard the message about new birth and forgiveness. I heard that Christ can carry all my burdens I just need to surrender my life to him. There was a great peace just hearing that. This Bible is something else, its like you are talking to a person, because answers are right there with many supporting verses. I am not going back to my old life.”
Emmanuel Graduates
We want to congratulate Emmanuel Nzama (Thandy's husband, on left) who graduated in November from Team Impact University with bachelor degrees in theology, ministry, Christian counseling, and Christian education. He completed his courses even as he underwent surgery last year. Over the years, Emmanuel has planted churches in four South Africa provinces - three in Mpumalanga, four in KwaZulu Natal, five in Free State, and two 2 in Gauteng. In addition to church plants, he has held numerous pastor training conferences, where a total of 1,209 pastors and church leaders have been trained. He planted the Harrismith church in Free State (see the church building article above), and will be overseeing the building and development of that church. Well done for all the hard work in getting your degrees, Emmanuel!
The current Rand exchange rate is now at 15.2 Rand per dollar.
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Lorna Packard
Mindy Sauerlender
Mary Schumacher
Kim Ives
John Packard


Pastor Ed Kelley IV
Margaret Kiyohara
Janis Schlepp
Sara Dickinson