Mission to South Africa
News from Grace Place 20 May 2015

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, The good news is that Connie and I have been able to work out our itinerary for our furlough in August/September and the tickets are booked and paid! I still have to work out some of the internal dates in our calendar – just too many places to be in such a short time. Plan to get that done this week. This past month has been a month of frustrations, mostly because of a computer crash in which I lost almost everything on my desktop. It took the local computer guy several days and nights to try to get it all back. Result was that he still didn’t have my contacts nor my old e-mails from 2014 up to February 2015. So, if you haven’t heard a reply from me about something, please resend your letter as I lost a lot of records. I have however got most of my contacts back from the computer I was using in 2013. But, I know some of the addresses are wrong, so if you have changed your address or know someone who has changed theirs since 2013, please update me. Godfrey, who drives for out of town trips and I spent about four days in Joburg. The main reason for going was to help Kathleen celebrate her birthday. We had some good family time together! Also, Cathie helped me with my computer and Connie and I worked on our itinerary so it was a full time. Kid’s Club is going well, thank the Lord! And the Bible Studies are well attended – partly because we’re planning an outing the end of May and if they want to go they have to be at Kid’s Club and Bible Studies. So there is much enthusiasm there! The younger group have also challenged the older youth to a competition; I still need to get the questions worked out so they can prepare. I had two of the older youth out for a couple of nights and we spent time reading the lesson Scriptures so that Adam would be able to teach it. They had not read that part of Genesis (about Jacob and Esau and all the deceit that Jacob perpetrated, and then Laban with Leah.) They were really amazed! Since English is not their first language, it is not easy reading for them. They need a lot of practice and also help with vocabulary. Other good news is that Adam passed the test for his driver’s license! That is really an achievement here, and since he was driving a lot on this farm road with my instruction, I do take some of the credit! My patience must be recognized somewhere! I’m usually very calm, but I did shout at one of my learner driver’s when I thought he was going to reverse at about 60 into the neighbor’s fence. One of our recent projects has been taking food to a few people who do not have enough income to cope. I’m sending a photo of Adam and Emily with her old rake and new rake! A week ago, two of the youth asked me to visit an old man who has been asking their mothers for food every day. They barely have enough to feed their own families. I went with them. He had no food nor soap to wash nor clothes to change into. He did have two blankets. Photos are before and after. The two young men who went with me shopping really enjoyed being a part of helping him. They picked out some trousers and then said, “and shoes?” I said, “Yes, and socks!” When we visited him this week and took more food he said something to the effect that “I can see the love of your God!” And, “I want to go to church tomorrow!” Saturday morning was an early morning with a funeral in town at 6:00 am. I was the only white person there, and they acknowledged me and asked me to say a few words. I talked about the hope we have in Jesus and one of the young men read the scripture from I Thessalonians 4. The comment from the preacher was, “That was sweet and short!” He proceeded to preach and told them straight that drunkards and fornicators are going to hell! I invited a younger woman (the age of my daughters), Cecile, to Grace Place last week for a few day of rest and retreat. She and Adam and I had a great time together – sharing the word, praying together and just enjoying each other. So now I am “Mom” to a new daughter. She is now on her way to Caapetown to take up a job in a Christian Preschool. Godfrey and I came to Johannesburg again on Sunday so that I could meet with Al Corson, along with Connie and Cathie. Godfrey was very ill in the night with hemorraging and spent yesterday seeing first a doctor who said he needed surgery urgently. She sent us to a government hospital who said it wasn’t urgent and he must get it done in Limpopo (where we live). So Cathie took him to another government hospital. He is to see a specialist tomorrow about surgery. He needs much prayer because being in a government hospital is not always the best place to be. We have seen answered prayer already as his diarrhea and bleeding just stopped about 12:30 yesterday morning without any medication. But, he is still not feeling well. He’s doing a great job with the youth and is very much needed in the Lord’s work here! I pray that things are going well with you all. God is good and He always sees us through our joys and woes. My mother-in-law used to refer to the sweet/sour pickle of the Christian life! May yours be sweet! Love in Him,, Marilyn

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