Msinga meeting 21.10.2017

by Matthias Lübke

Msinga Friendship Day in Schorndorf

Bringing hope „was the motto of our Friendship Day on 21 October 2017, celebrated at the Protestant Free Evangelical Church in Schorndorf.  Reiner Raasch opened the gathering and led us throughout the day through the program. The church’s pastor Burkhard Bahr had a brief devotional for us on „Where there is hope, life continues to move forward! Look to Jesus!”

The chairman, Matthias Lübke, encouraged us to be messengers of hope. Filled with the life of Jesus we may pass on torches of hope to others.  The field of activity of Msinga as an association is varied, focusing currently on Nepal, India and South Africa.

South Africa - God-Parent sponsorship program: We were all impressed as Willana Pretorius (South Africa) shared with us about Jesus‘ call on her life which led her to join the work of Khayelisha in Tugela Ferry in 2010. Her responsibilities there include the administration of sponsorships that Msinga has been procuring in South Africa for many years. She explained that sponsorships are not only to be understood as a fostering of the sponsored children but that, in the process, also friendships are formed which impact way beyond the purely financial support.  They are close relationships created between sponsors and “their” children.  Sponsoring God-Parents are encouraged to write a short letter to their God-Child, conscientious that such a personal note is of great value to the God-children who are keen to hear from sponsoring God-Parents.  I should like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support, especially all sponsoring God-Parents!

South Africa - Khayelisha report: Elzeth Malherbe also gave us a report on the Khayelisha Care Project. KCP ministers in KwaZulu-Natal in the Msinga region, the poorest area of South Africa. Looking at it on a worldwide scale, the Republic of South Africa records the highest HIV/AIDS rate, sadly ranging first also in terms of crime. As a result, many people die prematurely, leaving behind their children as orphans. Many of those orphans are then minimally looked after by a grandmother, a relative or their eldest sibling. Other children are neither cared for nor do they have accommodation.  The Msinga region suffers from high unemployment (approx. 70%) and HIV/AIDS (35%-40%) as well as life-threatening tuberculosis.

In March 2016, after the contract with "Global Fund" (an organization fighting HIV, tuberculosis and malaria) of the World Health Organization expired, 20 of our KCP caring staff who worked in the larger community lost their jobs.  With the help of Msinga Mission 10 female staff could be employed again from mid-July 2016, each earning around € 105 per month.  While their salary is low, the work of these women is of considerable significance on behalf of KCP in the wide Msinga district.

In addition to all kinds of learning activities, girls in schools are educated about sex to enable them to defend themselves against harassment and how to identify it early on. Girls have a right to put up a fight against sexual abuse and may report it to the police. Parents and churches should not treat the subject of sexuality as a taboo but learn to discuss it with the children, providing them with a biblical perspective on sexuality.

The various school programs focus on Christian values, goals, healthy relationships, unhealthy dependencies and creating a new way of life as an individual.

An important part of KCP members of staff is the running of self-help groups for pregnant girls and frequently very young fathers-to-be.  In these groups future parents learn how to take responsibility for the new life they conceived.

Reach4Life: This program, designed for young people, offers them the opportunity to be invited to a living faith and new life in Jesus Christ!

Nepal/India:

In the afternoon, Matthias Lübke showed a film about his visits to Nepal ever since November 2016, undertaken together with his local partners in the country.  It was impressive to see how fellow workers in the Gospel take the Good News to the remotest places in mountainous regions, regardless of the evident suffering and needs in Nepal.

The mission’s work among children in India, all of them rescued from red light areas, was also highlighted with brief updates. We are currently witnessing a sad development in India and Nepal in that governments increasingly restrict freedom of religion, especially so for Christians.  In spite of all those needs and troubles in both countries, we are given the chance to be involved in taking Jesus and his love to many ethnic peoples.

Interspersed between talks and alternating speakers prayer groups were formed around tables who, among other requests, also brought the unreached peoples of the Magar, the Raute and Kumal before the Lord.

There was food galore awaiting us for lunch, hot and cold drinks were offered and lively chats over coffee rounded off the harmonious Msinga Friendship Day. Many set off for home, refreshed with new motivation for the work of the Gospel and joyful about meeting up with friends.

It was truly unique to witness the love for nations that came to bear here!

(A report sent in by a first-time visitor, supplemented by editorial staff).

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