December News!! & Happy New Year 2020!

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2020!

Dear Ones,
           We hope this finds you well and trust that you have all celebrated a wonderful Christmas with your family and loved ones. We want to wish you a very happy and fruitful new year 2020! And to thank you for your faithful partnership, love and support. THANK YOU SO MUCH!

The definition of routine is: a series of actions regularly followed! We would venture to say that this year was filled with routine, actions repeated over and over again, such as: teaching, preaching, ministering to the poor physically, emotionally and spiritually, laying brick by brick as when building. At times routine mighty lose its sparkle. But the Bible promises in Galatians 6:9 that if we will not get weary in well doing, that we shall reap in due season. So although a lot of our accounts of what happened in the month that passed may appear very routine, let’s not lose sight of the fact that faithfulness to the Lord’s call will in time result in a harvest coming in.
We want to start by thanking all of you who have formed a partnership with us and have stuck with us through thick and thin. You are the reason our work has prospered and that we are now getting better positioned to reap the great harvest the Lord is about to bring in. We believe, and therefore know, that this year will yield a bigger increase than ever and that we will continue to go from strength to strength.

CHRISTMAS MEAL/SPECIAL EVENT:


On the 20th of December we served a meal of chicken, French fries and green beans, with ice cream as desert in Sir Lowry’s Pass in order to celebrate Christmas together. A couple of our young girls danced (see above) and I, Rita, shared a message titled ‘Great Joy’ - which also included how to truly experience the great joy by learning how to lay hold on all the Jesus provided for us through His finished work.


Some new-found friends, A. and D. joined us and helped serve, etc. They also brought the ice-cream desert which was greatly appreciated by all.  And they were a big help and blessing to the overall work. Thank you!



Before leaving each of the children received a Party Pack which A. and D.s 3 year old daughter was very happy to help hand out.—A great time was had by all!

CHRISTMAS SERVICE THE 25TH:


On the 25th we had a beautiful time of praise and worship together with our Gracelife family. Five of us then got up and shared our personal testimony bringing out how Jesus is real and how He transformed our lives by bringing us into relationship with Himself. At the end we served an abundant and delicious snack of sticky barbeque chicken and minced fruit pies along with tea and coffee! Our 2nd Christmas feast together. We thank the Lord for His goodness and generosity towards us. The abundant life He promised! Praise God!



FELLOWSHIP SUNDAY THE 29TH:



After our time of worship the girls did spiritual dancing and Philip shared a Word about entering the new year, encouraging everyone to leave the past behind and to put our hands to the plough and look forward to all the good things that God has in store for us, remembering that we are the light of the world for the lost.



At the end we served chicken and egg sandwiches and apples (which were in such abundance that a couple of our young men went to the streets distributing apples to the poor villagers and children passing by. We also had left over sandwiches which some gladly took home to share with other family members. We also distributed two boxes of Weet-Bix making sure that every family that attended got at least a package.

FOOD HAMPERS AND VOUCHERS:


We want to thank each and everyone of you who helped make it possible for us to continue reaching out to the needy families at this time of year with Food Hampers/or vouchers. As seen we also received some chicken and chicken giblets for our distribution. People were very appreciative and thankful! Praise the Lord!



PARTY PACKS:

We also want to than SA Sweetlands for enabling us to pass out Party Packs to 300 children in Sir Lowry’s Pass and Nomzamo. For many of these children it might be the only gift they receive at this season.




SKILLS TRAINING:

This month the ladies attending the Skills Training course learned to make jewelry from clay. They also started attending a special entrepreneur course learning to budget and be self-employed. Philip helped them get back and forth a couple of times. This course still needs to be completed in the new year!




PROJECTS:


A couple of projects started the previous month were completed, like the housing for the family that had to move form the homeless shelter that we had erected years ago at the soup kitchen.
 We also brought a bed and mattress to the son of the two girls that we helped get off the ground last month by providing new beds for them. The whole family is now sleeping on new beds and mattress. And we were able to get some more lights installed so that they have a light in each room,
 

SUPPLIES:

We thank Dis-Chem and assistance as well as the dedicated team of ladies that help us sort and distribute the supplies. Besides what is seen here we also distributed milk and Weet-Bix, etc. And we are grateful to Woolworth’s for the twice weekly contribution to the Sir Lowry’s Pass soup kitchen.




 OUR NEW YEAR WISHES AND PRAYERS FOR YOU:
           Many people at the start of the year have many good goals, plans and aspirations. Many times however these soon fall away as life gets busy and the human nature tends to return to our comfort zone whenever possible.

           But we would like to pass on some very good advice which was passed on to us. Rather than seeking “What” in the new year, let’s seek “Who”! Let’s strive not for what we can do, but rather, if we are to strive at all, let’s strive to build our relationship with the Lord. To cultivate it to become deeper and more intimate. To learn to hear what the Holy Spirit is trying to communicate with us (by taking time in the Word and presence of the Lord, taking time to slow down and listen, study the Word, etc.) This can only be accomplished by prioritizing our relationship with the Lord as there will always be more to do than what we can physically accomplish.

However, as we let the Lord into the picture more and more and give the controls over to Him we will be finding that rather than being worn out in the flesh, which if the pressure is kept up, will soon lead to burn out, that we will be energized by the Spirit which will enable us to do things that we never thought possibly. The apostle Paul said, “I labor more abundantly than they all,  yet not I but the grace of God which was with me.” (1 Corinthians 15:10).

Our prayers for you, and ourselves likewise, is that we will learn more and more to wait on the Lord, to be led by His Spirit.

In closing we also want to thank you for upholding us and the ministry in your prayers. And if any of you have some specific prayer requests that you would like us to pray for, please do not hesitate to let us know.

If you are reading this and are not yet partnering with us we would like to extend and invitation for you to please pray about doing so. AS you have seen we face many needy projects in our ministry.

With love,

Philip and Rita

PS: We want to thank each of you for partnering with us and for the wonderful work that has come about as a result. We pray that you and your families may be mightily blessed.
         
           When giving we ourselves never look at it as a loss, but rather as a farmer planting a seed. The farmer knows that that seed, although in the ground and seemingly lost, is an investment and he expects a great harvest and a manifold return on his investment. So likewise we, when sowing ought to always pray over our seed that it will bring forth much fruit. And then be expectant the our prayer will indeed be answered. We trust that you have each experienced the goodness of the Lord and that He is more willing to give than we have the capacity to receive.
We thank you for each and every sacrifice you have made to help establish the kingdom of God on earth. And we pray that you may go from strength to strength, and glory to glory!



 

Merry Christmas!

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Merry Christmas!
 

Dear Family, friends, partners, supporters and all our loved ones,

We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 20/20. We also want to THANK YOU for the tremendous blessing you have been to us and our ministry by partnering with us and/or supporting us when possible and for your love and prayers. Together we are bringing true Christmas cheer year round!
However tis time of the year is very special in that we celebrate the truly amazing and most magical event in world history, and practically everyone will remember the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
We would like to share the following with you:
Some scholars believe there are more than 300 prophecies about Jesus in the Old Testament. These prophecies are specific enough that the mathematical probability of Jesus fulfilling even a handful of them, let alone all of them, is staggeringly improbable—if not impossible.
Peter Stoner, Chairman of the Departments of Mathematics and Astronomy at Pasadena College, was passionate about biblical prophecies. With 600 students from the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, Stoner looked at eight specific prophecies about Jesus. They came up with extremely conservative p
probabilities for each one being fulfilled, and then considered the likelihood of Jesus fulfilling all eight of those prophecies.
The conclusion to his research was staggering. The prospect that anyone would satisfy those eight prophecies was just 1 in 1017. In Science Speaks, he described it like this:
"Let us try to visualize this chance. If you mark one of ten tickets, and place all of the tickets in a hat, and thoroughly stir them, and then ask a blindfolded man to draw one, his chance of getting the right ticket is one in ten. Suppose that we take 1017 silver dollars and lay them on the face of Texas. They will cover all of the state two feet deep. Now mark one of these silver dollars and stir the whole mass thoroughly, all over the state.
"Blindfold a man and tell him that he can travel as far as he wishes, but he must pick up one silver dollar and say that this is the right one. What chance would he have of getting the right one? Just the same chance that the prophets would have had of writing these eight prophecies and having them all come true in any one man, from their day to the present time, providing they wrote using their own wisdom."
Not only did He love us so unconditionally that He died for us, aid down His own life in order to pay the penalty for our sins and wrong doings and deliver us from death, but He gave us so much more than just a free ticket to Heaven. To truly appreciate the reality of Christmas and what it means for mankind, when we chose to accept and receive the gift He brought us that Christmas so long ago, please carefully read the following. That, when grasped is able to instill a deep abiding joy that can never be taken away from us and that will abide with us forever.

THE BENEFITS OF SALVATION:

that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.                           Romans 10:9-10

The Greek word SOZO (from which we translate “save”) means more than just forgiveness of sins. It actually means “healed, delivered, prospered and made whole”!

Christ redeemed, won back, and purchased everything that was lost through the fall of man back in the garden of Eden. So if you think about what Adam and Eve lost, you’ll start getting an idea of what Jesus came to restore!
(Galatians 3:13-14)

Let’s look at some of the benefits we now have in Jesus:
ETERNAL LIFE, which is an intimate relationship with God. This is the ultimate benefit of salvation. (John 3:16; John 17:3)

WE ARE SPIRITUALLY REBORN. We are born of God and become new creations. (John 3:3-6; Romans 6:6, 22; 2 Corinthians 5:17; 1 John 5:1,4,5)

OUR SIN NATURE DOES AND WE NOW HAVE A RIGHTEOUS NATURE. The sinful nature is completely dead! God now sees us as perfect, we are accepted and righteous because of what Jesus did, not what we do. Righteousness (right standing with God) is now freely given to us—it is our new identity. We are no longer sinners by nature or default. We are now righteous and holy. (Romans 5:17, 6:1-7, 6:18; 1 Corinthians 1:30; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 10:10; 1John 4:17

FREEDOM. We have deliverance; we are set free from sin. We have been delivered from all the works of darkness. (Romans 6:22-23; Colossians 1:13)

WE PASS FROM DEATH TO LIFE. (John 5:24)

WE NOW HAVE A PROTECTED SPIRIT. Out new-born spirit is now eternally sealed with the Holy Spirit. This means that your spirit can never again be contaminated by sin. (Ephesians 1:13; 1 John 3:9)

WE HAVE COMPLETE FORGIVENESS. Believer and non-believer are alike completely forgiven. All our sin (past, present AND future sin) has been forgiven. But only a believer (someone who has received Jesus) can truly experience nd enjoy the freedom of this forgiveness.
(John 1:29; John 3:16-18; Colossians 1:13-14; Hebrews 10:10; 1 John 2:2).

 THE FRUIT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. Becoming a Christian means that you now possess the nature of Christ in you. This means that you now have perfect love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control in you. (Galatians 5:22-23)

HEALING AND HEALTH. Jesus bore all our sickness and disease on the cross. He was broken so that we may live in wholeness: physically, emotionally and spiritually. “By His stripes we were healed.” (Isaiah 53:4-5; Luke 4:18; 1 Peter 2:24)

PROVISION AND PROPERITY. He became poor (on the cross Jesus lost everything) so we could become rich. (2 Corinthians 8:9; 3 John 2)

WE ARE BLESSED! We are blessed with every spiritual blessing, and everything we need to live life, and to be godly. (Ephesians 1:3; 2 Peter 1:3)

Choosing to receive Jesus as Lord and Savior is the most important decision you’ll ever make, This decision will not only change your life now, but it will impact your life for eternity.

If you have never received Jesus as your Lord and Savior and received payment for your sins, we would like to give you an opportunity now. Pray the following prayer from your heart;

“Father, I thank you for the free gift in your Son Jesus. I believe that you raised Him from the dead and I receive Him as my Lord and Savior. Thank you for forgiving me, for cleansing me, and for giving me a new identity. I am Your child! I have been set free from the kingdom of darkness and am now in the kingdom of God! Thank you for your unconditional love. In Jesus Name. Amen!


  We encourage you to share some of this true Christmas cheer with your family and loved ones. The love of God is without partiality, for “God so loved the world”, that does not exclude anyone.

  May you and your families be blessed as you celebrate a truly joyous and meaningful Christmas.

  With love, prayers and great appreciation to each of you for the wonderful part you play in our lives and the support and blessing you are to us and our ministry of spreading the love of God far and wide!

  Philip and Rita

Philip and Rita


  

November's News Letter, almost Christmas!!




Greetings to all,

           We send our best wishes for the season holidays about to begin. We are amazed to see that yet another year has nearly passed— time literally flies. But “God is outside of time and our faith brings us into His timeless zone. There, what the years have stoles, will be restored, and even as our years increase we will not grow weak and weary because the restorer of life and nourisher of our old age is in us”!(J. Prince)
We have had a busy month and lots of good things have been accomplished.
What As seen in the photo below a large group of people from Sir Lowry’s Pass completed Growth Track a course designed to help people find freedom, connect and belong, discover their purpose and make a difference.

GROWTH TRACK:


Philip and Christian ministering side by side at one of our Growth Track meetings.


Philip leading some “Baby Dedication” meetings aimed at preparing the parents who would like to dedicate their young ones to the Lord.


The picture above and the two ones following depict our Life Groups. We first have a united teaching  & then divide into groups to further discuss and share what stood out to us, and what we plan to do about it.




SUPPLIES:



As seen in the first picture we found two sisters and two children sleeping together on the floor as there was no money for beds. One of the sisters is slightly mentally handicapped and not able to work while the other has been unemployed and has a baby and a 12 year old boy as well as the handicapped sister to look after.            
We were able to help them with two beds this far. We still need to get the 12 year old off the floor as he sleeps on a mattress on the ground. Also the one bedroom has no electricity and therefore no light. We plan to soon help with that as well.

14 large boxes of Weet-Bix collected and distributed to EDC centers in Sir Lowry’s Pass and Nomzamo.


 And 100 liters of milk were likewise collected/distributed to ECD centers in Sir Lowry’s Pass and Nomzamo.


Philip shopping for our Food Bank and later distributing to four especially needy families in Sir Lowry’s Pass.


We did not hear from Dis-Chem for a long time as it went under new management. But we were very happy to again receive some much needed help this month.


A family from Zimbabwe that has been housed at the Homeless Shelter at the soup kitchen is having to move as there a new plans of using the railway station for touristic purposes, They found a very small one-room house, but their family is large and so they are presently busy building an outside room for the older boys to stay in. Here Philip is bringing various building supplies including a door and some roof sheeting.


The family mentioned above making a new shelter was also blessed with a large corner couch which was a big blessing as they basically have no furniture besides the beds that we provided them some time back.


One of the many happy recipients of some Dis-Chem supplies. Every little help is greatly appreciated! Last month we also assisted her with a washing machine.

SKILLS TRAINING:

This month our Skills Training Group was especially blessed as they were “hired” to help make some necklaces and earned R 5 each per necklace produced. They have also been making earrings etc. to sell.

GRACELIFE CHURCH PLANT:

One one of the first Sundays this month we had a Thanksgiving Service. We looked back and counted our many blessings. At the end some especially nice treats were served!


Emily welcomed everyone. Christiaan led the service. And Philip closed with communion! (see below).



During our Thanksgiving service we had about four or five people step forward to testify of how their lives have been transformed after getting to know the true Gospel and learning more about grace and faith,


At a subsequent meeting when Christiaan called those in need of ministry forward just about the entire church moved to the front. We all felt the move of the HS and many lives were touched.


In the photo here JB, Christiaan and Philip are busy ministering to and praying for some of the people!


Here we are praying together with some of the many volunteers in one of our pre-service meetings.


Cari ministering to the 7-12 year olds at Kids’ Church. Some, in order to be able to attend, persuaded
parent to come to church and they have been attending faithfully since.


When delivering supplies we were asked to please minister to these young boys. All three readily received the Lord!


Philip ministering to a group of young children and their teachers in Nomzamo. They likewise were happy to receive Jesus.

TESTIMONIES:
           Following are just a few testimonies from the month that passed. We often promise ourselves that we are going to start writing down every testimony as it happens, but then life gets busy and when later on we try to recollect we are sure that we often miss some things. It was said of Jesus, “ (John 21:25) There are many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen.” — And “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8) still busy at work!

This month we (Gracelife) held a Memorial and a funeral in Sir Lowry’s Pass. Among the attendee was a man in his fifties. When he saw Philip he came up to him very excited asking if he remembered him, which he didn’t. The man then went on to explain, “Long ago you prayed for me for…..(a private health problem) and I have been completely whole since that day!

While at the market alone, a lday came up and asked me where my husband was. She then went on to say that she had been at the market years ago and that my husband had “somehow” picked up that she had a problem with her back. He had prayed for her and the problem never returned. She ad been perfectly fine since then.

I Rita prayed for L. She phoned me saying that she had a very difficult time breathing and had gone to the hospital where they were going to put her on oxygen, and asked me to please pray for her. Later she called again asking if we could please come to her house and pray for her. She was back home but felt like she had a lump in her throat that was choking her. Philip and I went to her place and as I laid hands on her and prayed she said she felt like a knot was lose and that she swallowed it. She has not had any further problem since, which is now a couple of weeks ago.

H. had a swollen infected finger. She had shown Philip who had just briefly prayed for her and the next day it was completely cleared up.

One day Philip saw T. carrying around her sister’s son. He had somehow injured his foot which made it very painful for him to walk on it and it had swelled up a bit. Philip prayed for the boy and didn’t think anything more of it. The following day he saw the boy running around—no more pain, no more swelling, completely healed.

Mr. A. told Philip that he had been diagnosed with precancer on the top of his head and was to go for an operation shortly. Philip prayed for him and when he saw him again the following week Mr. A. told him that he had been back to the doctor who had told him that there was no longer a need for an operation as he didn’t find anything anymore.

M. arrived in church with a swollen infected sore breast making it not possible for her to move her arm on the side freely. I prayed for her and just gave time for the HS to move and do its work. After a short while without encouragement from me M. started to move her arm more and more and was soon in awe as the pain was gone and she was now able to move her arm any which way.

In John 14:12 Jesus said that “greater things than these shall you do”. It seems that there were no greater healing miracles  than what Jesus did. There was no disease that he did not heal, and he raised the dead, caused the lame to walk, the blind to see, the deaf to hear, etc. So what could Jesus have meant? Could He possibly have been referring to the fact that we should be able to lead people to being born again, and filled with the Holy Spirit?….Jesus could not do so while He was still alive and the Holy Spirit could not yet be given until Jesus went away. In John 16: 7 Jesus said, Nevertheless I tell you the truth; it is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away , the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.’

Since our church plant in Sir Lowry’s Pass we have seen many people receive the Lord and get filled with the Holy Spirit. This leads to an eternal life, something that mere physical healing cannot do. Physical healing is still very important, but our present life her upon earth is described as a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away (James 4:14), but in that small timeframe we have the opportunity to receive the greatest gift of all, Everlasting life, by simply receiving Jesus as pour lord and Savior and if we will make Him Lord He will transform our lives and we will be able enjoy the abundant life He came to give.

MEMORIAL AND FUNERAL IN SIR LOWRY'S PASS

 The husband of one of our church members recently passed away. During the week JB from Gracelife facilitated the moemorial and the following Saturday Philip and Emily facilitated the funeral.


Emily gave a word of comfort and consolation at the reception where the casket was and people were able to go by and say their farewells. Later Philip gave a word of love and hope and the deeper meaning and purpose of life. While Emily gave a running translation for the Afrikaans only speakers.


CHRISTMAS:

This month we also distributed 300 party packs for the children’s end-of-the-year celebration. Here the children in one of the kindergartens show their party packs. A little goes a long way to spread much joy for those that are not used to much! (We hope to show more photos of that next month. We thank SA Sweetlands for their generous donation of ready-made packs.

NEW BIBLESTUDY GROUP:

Since starting the church plan in Sir Lowry’s Pass our schedule has changed. Due to that we have been able to start a new Bible study group in our home. These are all (we have 3-4 students) people that had not yet received the Lord and knew very little if any of the true Gospel. It is a real joy to minister to these ones as they are like hungry little lambs readily gobbling up any little crumb available.

In closing we would like to extend an invitation to those of you who would like to become partners with us and/or give and extra help for the Christmas season. If you are interested in knowing more details please contact us:

Email: force4good.fvs@gmail.com

With love and appreciation,

Philip and Rita

For your convenience our details are as follows:

Antonios Michalitsis, FNB, Branch: 250655 Account no. : 62633037082
 Rita Olsen, NedBank, Branch Code: 11414500  Account no.: 1043639810
PayPal: force4good.ministries@gmail.com
or: PayPal.Me/fvsa or PayPal.Me/fvs
            For those of you that are abroad and would like to contribute please be aware that besides PayPal there is also the SEPA option as we have an account in Europe:
Rita Olsen
Danske Bank
Branch: 1551
Account: 3719943470
IBAN DK28 3000 3719 9434 70
SWIFT: DABADKKK