Mission to South Africa
News from Grace Place 6 February 2014

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.

Dear Ones, January has been a whirlwind of activities. It seems like much of it was spent in getting kids back into school (a new school year). Several needed school uniforms, many needed book covers – all these have to be just so, and then they are sold out or don’t have the sizes needed so it is a lot of running around to get it all accomplished. I was also trying to help Thomas get his Learner’s License for driving. This entailed three trips to Modimolle, a town about 60 kilometres from Vaalwater. One morning we had to get up at 4:00 am in order for him to stand in line until the office opened at 8:00. He finally was booked for the test – and then failed because he didn’t know all the signs. So we have another trip to get him tested again. Then only can he book for the driver’s license and hopefully pass (most don’t the first time). Helping some of the youth get organized for tertiary education was also one of my projects. Lack of finances is such a problem because their families don’t have money for that. It means that if someone doesn’t help them with school fees and accommodation and food for the year, they will end up wasting the whole year as there are virtually no jobs to be had. Megan has been a star in helping with all these things, especially in her help with driving around and to Modimolle. This was her 5th month in South Africa, and on the 24th her father, Bob and friend, Jenna arrived to see the various ministries and also to do some sight-seeing. One of the things we did was visit two of the local high schools. Since Bob works for a school district he was particularly interested in the computer room. And amazed at the school lunch being prepared over open fires in two large iron pots – samp and beans and butternut squash were on the menu that day. We also went on a game drive for six hours and saw lots of rhino, a buffalo as well as zebra, wildebeest and other game, but the biggest thrill was seeing four lionesses come out of the trees and lie down near us and then drink at a nearby rock pool – nearby as about 4 metres from our vehicle! Hospitality has been a big part of my January beginning with part of my family over Christmas and the first two days of January. Randy and Jennifer and their children had Sunday lunch at Grace Place. They are new in St Johns and out here from Texas. Having Megan’s dad and Jenna was also a great joy and then this weekend I’ve had 4 youth every day for companions for me and it’s been a great time sharing in the Lord, as well. The biggest event was 25 of the younger youth (ages 9-14) who came for a Saturday and played soccer on the lawn and swam in the dam (a few at a time, carefully monitored). Hula hoops and other games made the day. Randy and Jennifer and their kids were also here and a great help as well as my youth leaders who kept a beady eye on the younger ones. We had a Bible Study and I asked, “Tell me, what is sin?” Answers included, “lying, murder, stealing, and wearing a wedding ring when you aren’t married.” I think they are learning! Kid’s Club and Bible Studies are back in full swing with much able assistance from the older youth – even the younger ones are beginning to lead out! And that’s what it’s meant to be! So, it seems that 2014 has begun - thank the Lord for health and strength. The next issue of The Source should come out by the end of February. Watch my website: www.mission2sa.org. Love in Jesus, Marilyn

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