“As we all know the pandemic has crippled many companies which resulted in people losing their jobs, which only added to the already struggling economy,” says Marvin Petersen, pastoral worker of Biblia in Kalk Bay. “Over the years we have helped numerous people in our feeding schemes but we quickly realized that relief can make people dependent. Our intentions were good and yes, there is a place for relief but the on-going dependency indicated something more needed to happen. People were coming back, Sunday after Sunday for more hand-outs and all that we became was another food station among many others during the week.
“Our hearts burned for change! We wanted to see people come to know Christ, to have a living relationship with Him and to be able to depend on Him and not on the arm of flesh.
Marvin continues, “The answer to our prayers started when a young man from Limpopo landed on the streets of Kalk Bay not so long ago. He visited me a number of times at the Biblia Kiosk, where he was taught the Word of God. We encouraged him to get into the Kalk Bay shelter, which he did and was accepted. He then went out fishing on numerous occasions, however it was short-lived because of the weather conditions, the scarcity of the fish and space on the boat.
“This obviously meant he was unable to pay for his shelter fees which left us with a dilemma. Should we pay for his fees or must he find his own way? Both of these options placed a burden on us. If we paid, the burden rests on us; if he had to find his own way, the burden fell on him. What to do? How can we share this burden together?
“With much prayer we decided to train Lawrence in basic carpentry skills for four weeks and with the training he was able to build his first planter boxes. What an achievement! A staff member at the Bible Institute advertised these boxes on their newsletter and the response was phenomenal. We received orders like crazy!
“Lawrence was able to pay his shelter fees and buy other essential items for himself. All glory to the Lord!
“But the story does not end there! Lawrence was taught and encouraged to save and be a good steward of his money which in turn helped him to move out of the shelter and rent a small little flat. Wow!”
This is what Marvin Petersen desires to see continuously happen when they reach out to help others. This new approach, to train others to work with their own hands, not only helps them catch their own fish (figuratively speaking) but also helps them get their dignity back.
“I am glad to say that every morning (in our devotional and prayer time) Lawrence thanks God for the way He brought change in his life,” says Marvin. “The Lord did not only open this job opportunity for him but changed his heart.”
Marvin and his team are currently training more people in this wonderful holistic ministry of job creation and discipleship. Please pray with them as they use this initiative to disciple many in Christ Jesus.
Contact Marvin at [email protected] for more information.