God is our refuge and fortress

PHOTO: Vredenburg Bread Depot

“In Vredenburg at the West Coast the lock-down caused challenging questions about how IMSA (Industrial Ministry in SA) was going to make a ministering come back into the workplace,” says Pastor Joseph Philander, of the Assemblies of God (AOG) in Vredenburg and also a pastoral worker in service of Industrial Ministry. “We were asking ourselves if we still had a role to play.”

But he clung to the psalmist’s testimony in Psalm 91:2 where it emphasizes that God is our refuge and fortress; that we will be provided for. God is faithful to those he called.

Past. Philander was recently encouraged by a women who, after a meeting, shared her re-commitment to the Lord with the group. “I was just reminded again that although I cannot always see the impact of my ministering, God is working in his own way, reaching the hearts of people even in these uncertain times. God is at work and this is where God wants me to be.”

Since January many companies opened up again and some of the managers are very grateful for the valuable work that is done by Past. Philander. One message reads, “My fiend, the Vredenburg Team wants to thank you for being a true conduit of God. God’s messages through you keeps us grounded. When you show that you can reach out, despite your own suffering and love you are aligned with Jesus who showed that in deep suffering is the seed for great change and inspiration. We love you. God bless.” Heartwarming words indeed.

During lock-down Past. Philander and his wife, Eileen, joined hands with many feeding programmes at Vredenburg. They are also managing their own feeding programme for children now for three and a half years and are still going stronger with more and more adults who join their project. This gives them the opportunity to share the gospel one to one. “God provides in wonderful ways to keep it going; we could provide full parcels in these times in order to service the community in a practical way,” says Past. Philander. “It is amazing how people’s hearts opened up for those in need.”

Contact Past. Philander at +27 79 914 3076 or josephphilander@yahoo.com for more information