Mission to South Africa
News from Grace Place 1 September 2014

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Dear Ones, I sat outside on my veranda for a while just at sunset. The small mountain reebok have been coming down to eat the mealies I put out for the birds. But, my presence kept them away until I went into the house for a moment. When I came out there were three of them, which Duke promptly chased. It was peaceful and calm and the fire that had been burning on Groenfontein was out. Spring flowers are beginnine to bloom – jasmine, yesterday, today, forever, and wisteria – so there are many lovely scents in the air.
The biggest thing this month has been having Lance and Jo Teal from Douglas, Wyoming, here for a little over three weeks. They are great companions, always some good laughs. Lance busied himself repairing all the big and little things that needed attention and has made many things more convenient – like a cowbell to call the youth when they are staying here, a radio/tape player from the China Shop so I can play some of my tapes of Stu’s sermons and others that I had no access to. Jo is amazing – she thinks of so many ways to bless people – it’s fun to watch her.
Kathleen phoned me about a week ago and it sounded like she might be having a stroke – the doctor has diagnosed Bell’s Palsey and is treating her. She is improving and we’re praying for her complete recovery
My dog, Duke, had tick bite fever and we rushed him off to the vet. He’s fine now.
Many people in Leseding are hungry and I’m getting many more requests for meiliemeal and some basic vegetables. I know that if a family does not have meiliemeal, they have nothing! That is their basic and sometimes that is all they have. Through prayer, proper medication and some nourishing food, two of the ladies we’ve been feeding have made a remarkable turnaround – but they are sooo thin. Pray for wisdom for us to know who the Lord wants us to help.
Quite a few months ago I started a ‘club’ called ‘Good for Nuthin’. The youth are to find someone in the community who needs help, a sick person, an elderly person, etc. They work however many hours it takes to do the job – they are checked by Godfrey, our youth pastor. Then they are paid for the hours they have worked. As there is just no employment locally, this gives the youth the opportunity to work for their own needs and in the process help the community. This past month they have been particularly active.
The Revolution and Youth Bible studies continue on Saturdays. We’re studying the names of Jesus and have recently done “Jesus, Savior”, “Jesus, Lord” and this week, “Jesus, the Living Water”. I want them to know the Lord as their friend and close companion – not only the Lord who is way out there!
Numbers at Kid’s Club have been good – about 700 each Wednesday lately. But, don’t think it all runs smoothly. We have an adversary who doesn’t like what we are doing. A week ago it was a woman who comes for her bread and milk each week, but she is mentally challenged and that day we had decided to give her her bread and milk and put her outside the fence. The next thing I heard that she was behind the shack and had drunk some poison. The youth gave her milk to drink and she was rushed off to the local clinic. I was hoping they didn’t need to see the bottle she drank out of as it was thrown down the ‘long drop’. About the same time a car siren decided to go off and there was no way to get it off without a major procedure of getting to the battery which is under the back seat and taking the cables off so it could reset itself. In between all this we had 700 children running around eating their bread and milk and 12 volunteers from a local high school there to do their community project and I was trying to tend to the needs of others. But we lived through it!
This past week it was, “Where is the peanut butter?” It was found in time to get the sandwiches prepared for 700 children.
I’ve begun preparations for the year end activities with the kids – a “Sausage Roll Day” to treat them one day and gifts for 1000 children to be given out on a ‘surprise’ day (so we don’t have 2000 children.)
I’m well, but I feel like this past month has been an emotional ‘merry-go-round”. Thanks for your prayers – the Lord is with me – ALL THE TIME!
“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:38
In Him,,
Connie Wicks

Marilyn continues in the ministry in which she became involved in 2001 – that of sharing the gospel and a substantial meal with around 500 children in Leseding, the township near her of about 70,000 with approximately 70 per cent unemployment. This began as a ‘soup kitchen’ in which we actually served soup. But when summer came and it was too hot for soup, the menu was changed to peanut butter and jam sandwiches and fresh milk. Lethabo Kid’s Club is where the children know they will hear God’s message, sing praises, and have a substantial meal. You should see them running to get there!

The youth are a special part of her weekly ministry. God is at work in their lives, and many are developing into leaders in His work.

Hospitality has always been a major part of Cook’s ministry and Marilyn continues to host the youth, visiting missionaries, others who have come to help her and work in the ministry. For this, Grace Place, her home is ideal in providing a quiet place to draw near to the Lord and experience His beautiful creation.

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