To our many faithful supporters and prayer partners,
God has proven to be amazing and so very faithful as we press on toward our goal and our “call” to go to Zimbabwe Africa in February.
When God put our team together, for 2015, back in April, we were all so very excited and with much enthusiasm, we began praying, planning and preparing for this mission. Many relationships in Africa that had been established from previous visits, were praying, planning and preparing along with us and are looking forward to our return. God has continued to work in all of our hearts, across the globe…building, molding and drawing us all to Him. Ron and I have been so blessed to talk with many of them on a weekly basis, as we encourage and empower them to press on for the Kingdom and in building their businesses to employ the jobless and support the orphans. They are amazingly gifted people with a true desire and a thirst to grow in their family and business responsibilities as well as for Kingdom work.
Many of you have had some questions regarding the various organizations that we are a part of, as we work in this calling to Africa. I’m going to attempt to explain some of them and want you to feel free to talk with us any time, if you want more details. We are so very blessed to be a part of each organization. Ii apologize for the length of this document, but there is just so very much to share, so that you understand!!! J
Rock Forward is the organization that we have founded in 2012, with a focus on creating sustainable businesses in Zimbabwe and other areas in Africa. We are invited to visit and pray over other opportunities in Mozambique and Zambia as well. This will take time! We need to have discussions with the nationals that are involved and have a desire to be mentored regularly and will be willing to have communication with us on a scheduled basis. We are currently working with a screen printing business in Harare, as well as a soap industry and a broad agricultural farm that raises hogs as well as chickens and the crops/feed to care for them. When we go in January, we will be discussing the possibility of a tomato farm, (possibly several), that may be in collaboration with a canning facility, to have some buying power and will allow a better income for the farmers. We will also be looking into a facility that is for handicapped and challenged children. This is a real passion for us! These children are “throwaways” in Africa, due to cultural issues, and are not cared for in any way. We are also beginning communication for game hunts. We are visiting an area near Victoria Falls that may be the hub of the hunts. We have a point person in Africa, who is already guiding some hunts, as well as some mentors here in the USA. All of the individuals that we mentor and disciple are growing in their business and in their relationship with Jesus, their families, and their marriages. There is a real hunger and thirst for training and education in their walk with Jesus.
We also have a small orphan ministry as we work through a local pastor, Pastor Chippo. We will spend a day visiting the most vulnerable and hurting families, many consisting of a grandmother and several orphaned children who have no food or clothing. We pack baskets of non perishable foods and supplies for them, and distribute it to each family, pray with them and just spend time visiting with them. They are proud to show us things that they are doing, working on, and even the most humble living arrangements. It is priceless and leaves an imprint on our hearts forever. We have raised funds from our T shirt sales to feed 60 families for 2 weeks. We understand that this is only a very temporary fix, but it is the hands and feet of Jesus and exemplifies His care and love for them. They are forever grateful and do not hide their thankful hearts.
We also meet with the various small groups or cell groups as they call them, within the church that we attend. We experience a very sweet time of talking about life and sharing Jesus. Last year, we had a fabulous time with them, talking about marriages and what it means to have a marriage the way God intended it to be. Lives were changed, encouraged and empowered.
Our Rock Forward Team consists of 10 people this year. They are: Ron and Cathy King, Jeff and Rebecca Smith, Justin and Sara Beck, Faith Rupp, Amy Yoder, Jeremy Rupp, and Walter Schoenhals. This is a diverse group that only God could have put together, but we are excited and have been working together now for the past several months, on fund raising, culture training, praying and just hanging out. We are trusting that God will be in charge of our schedules and that He will lead us to the people that He wants us to minister to. We are trying to prepare to go with no expectations, but leaning completely on the Master Planner.
Partners Worldwide / Arica Works is our sending organization based out of Grand Rapids, MI. Under Partners Worldwide, is an African Branch called Africa Works of which Ron and I are global partners. We are heavily invested in Zimbabwe, and Mozambique. We work to create sustainable businesses by offering committed entrepreneurs a micro loan that is later paid back. This offers opportunity and also a means of starting a business. They are set up with a business coordinator in Africa and a mentor in the USA. This program is amazing and is opening up many opportunities to change the economy in this country. The unemployment rate is at 90% at this time, and any assistance and opportunity is an indescribable blessing to them, gives them a purpose and opens a door for us to bring the power of Christ to them. They are so motivated and blessed by the ministry. Africa Works is a comprehensive program through the distribution of the microloans, education, market research and co-ops to help businesses.
We as a team want to thank all of you, who have been supportive of our MANY fund raising efforts and have been so very generous in your giving and your praying and your concerns. We are so very dependent on God and His provisions and power. We covet your prayers for direction, safety and His leading to the people that He wants us to serve. Pray that His power is revealed and that lives will turn to Him. Our cry is that we are the hands that reach out to the needs of His children, that we are His feet that travel to the hard places, that we are His voice that gives the words of love and encouragement, and that we bring the saving grace of His salvation and the powerful Word of God.
If anyone wants to help, please make your checks payable to Partners Worldwide, and the funding will go to those projects. You can send a check to :
6585 Co Rd 25,
Archbold, Oh 43502
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!! Thanks also from the heart of God!
Ron and Cathy and the Rock Forward Team