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Buyiswa Zwane (1978-2016)

View more photos of Buyi's life

Our dear friend Buyi passed into eternity last week and is survived by her husband and three young children. La Tascha and Sophie flew out on an emergency flight to South Africa to be with P. Jabu (husband) and the children during this difficult time of mourning and transition. Buyi truly was a Proverbs 31 woman. The family's needs are great during this very difficult time. If you are able to help financially in any way, please send donations with P. Jabu in the memo and we will get them to him as soon as possible.

Below is a tribute from P. Jabu (her husband):

It's hard to fathom that 2016 has been both the climax and deepest, lowest year of our lives together. I feel like God Who makes All things beautiful in His time and His own way, knows what He is doing much more now than I have been willing to acknowledge. Having been with you as a husband, friend, pastor, brother and more, feels to me like a fairy tale, a dream that exceeded my highest expectations in life. I don't think that anyone could have ever been so perfect with and for me for the season we've been together. To me only God could have put us together and orchestrated what feels like an abrupt end to a beautiful life that was only beginning. And yet it feels like with all the sadness and pain, your passing brought to me, God was still setting us up for a life with more of you in your absence than we could have salvaged had we known you'd leave so soon.

I see, hear, sense and experience more of you through the people you lived your life for, our children, The Body of Christ, our family and friends. It's a mystery to me that so much of you is still so alive, continuing and getting better even though I don't hear your voice anymore, I cannot hear your infectious and inviting laughter, feel you beautiful warm hand in mine or get lost in your beautiful eyes like I used to. The hope and peace I feel at the thought of you, I can only describe as Divine. It is without a doubt beyond my comprehension but well within my most welcome comfort. I wish there was something more that I could use, other than words, to express these contradictions I have been feeling in the last year. Somehow all this seems to have prepared me, us, the children, family and friends for a life without you and yet with more of you in your absence. All this, inspite of this having being the least prepared for your sudden departure.

I love you, I miss you terribly but what God's Grace enabled us to build together won't let me be buried in grief and sadness. There are so many things I wanted to say to you, I wanted to do for you and with you. With all that, I sense a new life being born in so many areas of the life we built together and I know it was God, It has always been God and it will always be God working. This very life has been the greatest source of healing and restoration, the same life where I have experienced pain that I could never wish on anyone, has been the same that shines the light in all the dark corners and lifts me out of the deepest and lowest places in this time. And I know, it is well, it is well because none of it is in vain. Pain has found her restoration, confusion her defintion and desperation, Hope.

As I have so many times heard in recent deep and casual talks with Pastor Renaldo, "God has prepared us, for what He has prepared us for". Even though I feel ill prepared, ill equipped, disdained and fearful, hope seems to be the only triumphant certainty. I feel an inexplicable calm, realising that I never needed to be prepared because God has been preparing, all of it. Hope is always finding herself to be the only place I make my bed at night. Even in confusion, in unbearable pain and uncontrollable sobbing, Hope secures my sanity. Hope is the only song that soothes my aching soul and makes joy in my heart the only familiar and welcome emotion I am desperately willing to embrace and hold on to longer. I know I can live today, raise our kids today, enjoy what God has graciously built through our lives today with friends and family, through the faith that held us and helped us grow together. I am better man of The Faith today, I am better father today and a better husband today. The Lord gave, The Lord took, To His Name and Only His, Yahweh be all Glory, Honour and Praise forever. Amen

 
Our Christmas Outreach Update and Schedule

So, we hit our goal of 20,000 cookies, but continue to see the need for more and more people to receive these cookies. They are truly a touch from heaven during this time of year. Please pray with us for the next couple of days. They could be crucial in the lives of the recipients. Our prayer is that we find the people who are most in need of knowing that they are loved.

For more information or to join us as we hit the streets, view our schedule.

 
The Latest

With so much going on, we figured we'd post how we're tracking.

Christmas Cookie Outreach Donations

Our goal is still20,000 so please continue to pray for us. It is particularly exciting this year because we have new cookie tags specific to York, Pa. We will be targeting the local neighborhoods, nursing homes, and shopping plazas looking for the ones who need a little touch from heaven. We are so excited. Each soul is worth more than all the world.

Annual Homeless Christmas Dinner

On December 8th, 2016, New Vision House of Hope asked us to plan and run their annual Christmas party for the homeless in Baltimore. With all of your help, we were able to provide individually wrapped christmas stockings for everyone, plus stockings for the staff, and food and entertainment for everyone. The night was a total success. I wish I could explain the blessing God poured out, but perhaps the pictures will achieve more than my words. For an evening, we were able to usher in the supernatural peace and love of God, and it was evident by the joy on their faces. Thank you so much, everyone, for your donation of money, time, pies, turkeys, merchandise, prayer, and service. We love you.

 
A Full Holiday Season

As some of you may know, we are embarking on our sixth year of our Christmas Cookie Outreach. Just last year, we baked 20,000 home-made Christmas cookies, and packaged them with a message of hope and love during, for many, a very difficult time of year. We will spend the next month or so baking in our brand new double oven (thank you donors!) so that in the weeks leading up to Christmas, we can pass these cookies out in train stations, bus stations, neighborhoods, shopping plazas, etc, to those who need a word of encouragement during this season. We are still hoping for one more double oven and money for cookie supplies, packaging and printing costs, so please continue to donate.

Secondly, through a series of seemingly ordinary events, some extraordinary partnerships have formed specifically involving children, teens and young adults. In partnership with Teen Haven, we are beginning a weekly children’s program beginning December 3. We often see many of the young children playing on the street without any parental supervision, so this will be a great way protect and raise up our young ones with the belief that any one life can change the world. We are also working with the children of a local public school in a weekly program called Released Time where we will mentor students and teach them important life lessons. In addition, we will be offering free tutoring and teen bible studies in the winter for children in the inner city.

Lastly, we received a phone call a few weeks ago from the founder of a women’s homeless shelter in Baltimore who asked if we would put on Thanksgiving for their ladies (we did this last year for the first time). Of course, we said yes. Last Thursday a group of us had the privilege of spending Thanksgiving with 35 grateful ladies who didn’t have a family to go home to or relatives to spend the holiday with. One lady profusely thanked us as we were leaving, and said she couldn’t remember the last time she was able to eat as much as she wanted.

The same organization has asked us to organize and cater their annual Christmas party on December 8 which will include food, entertainment, and gifts for the ladies. Keep us in prayer as we look to make an impact during this very open season that only comes once a year.

 
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