Rose of Sharon Blog

Good morning friends,


Apologies for the lateness of the update which should have been sent out yesterday.  Sometimes it’s not always possible when life throws you a curved ball!


We pray and trust that all is well with you and think of you all with great fondness and longing.  Thank you to those of you who keep in touch we love receiving all your news and it also helps us to pray more informatively for you. 


We are amidst a rather frustrating time but are leaning upon the Lord, trusting that He knows what’s best and that there is always a reason and purpose for all we go through in life.  Our car troubles continue, and the car will be going to the mechanic tomorrow (Monday) for 4 days. This will curtail our activities until the end of the week.


We have been doing as much preparation as we can for the Christmas outreaches, which are now a little delayed.  But if all is ready and waiting, then as soon as we get the car back, we can still push to do as much as possible before Christmas.  This is the perfect time of the year to explain to people why Jesus came to Earth and to remind them that Christmas is all about HIM and not Santa Claus, Elves, Reindeer, parties and gifts.


When we do give gifts of sweet hampers to the children or buckets of groceries to the old folks along with financial assistance, we remind them that we are giving them a gift to remember the wonderful gift Jesus gave to us of His glorious life, death and resurrection.  The forgiveness of our sin is the greatest gift that any of us can receive and therefore Christmas is truly a time for rejoicing.


This past week we fetched thousands of Gospel tracts in various languages which will be packed into the sweet hampers and buckets of groceries as well as being distributed by ourselves during the Christmas Outreaches.


We are still waiting for the thousand plus sweet hampers that we have ordered and will hopefully get them by the end of this week. We are unable to fetch the buckets from St Luke’s but are planning to do so on Friday once we have the car returned to us.


We have done the bulk grocery shopping to fill the additional buckets that Rose of Sharon provides to many destitute folks.  This has taken up a lot of our time and is a huge undertaking.


On a personal note, a family who is friends of Des’ was attacked in their home last week.  The husband shot dead in front of his wife and the 2 ladies in the house were both tortured with boiling water before being knocked unconscious with the butt of a firearm.  We are very aware of the violence all around us, but it does hit harder when it’s someone you know.  Please continue to pray for our country, which is still so divided and filled with bitterness and hatred.


Thankfully it’s not like that everywhere and we thank the Lord for the love we share with our African pastors and their congregations.  We find none of that terrible tension with our Christian brothers and sisters. 


We were supposed to have our Scottish AGM for The Rose of Sharon in Longniddry, Edinburgh last Friday.  We would have joined our Board Members via Skype.  But on Friday morning our treasurer fell at home and broke her leg and the AGM has had to be postponed.  Jacqui, we know that many prayers, along with our own are going up to the throne room of grace on your behalf. Get well dear friend and may the Lord grant you a swift healing.


Below please take a look at the Sunday School children at Kwa Lubisi.


Once again dear friends thank you for your love and support.

Much love in Christ from us both

Gavin and Des.

Good morning dear friends,


As we head towards the end of the year with frightening speed, we pray that all is well with you and that you can look back over this past year with thankful hearts no matter what this year had brought you.  We rejoice with you in your blessings and our hearts ache for those who have had losses, illness and various setbacks.  But whatever kind of a year you have had so far, we pray that the Lord’s hand remains steady upon your lives and that you know that “He who started a good work in you will be faithful to complete it.”


The last 2 weeks have seen us buy in the buckets needed for the Christmas outreach.  Some of these buckets were delivered to our faithful friends and supporters at St Luke’s Church in Johannesburg.  The congregation take the buckets home and return them filled with groceries.  The rest of the buckets, we here at Rose of Sharon fill ourselves, before heading off on outreach.


We visited with Patricia, Fikile and the 5 children in Paddevlei last week as well as evangelising in the surrounding slums and shanty towns of Kersiedorp, Kliptown and Eldorado Park.  Gospel tracts, buckets of groceries and financial assistance was given to help ease the critical situation of a good number of old folks. Yet again, our hearts ache for the pain and suffering we witness as these dear old souls in the winter years of their lives, try to survive in the most difficult of circumstances.


Patricia’s 5 grandchildren are all doing well.  Zulu continues to attend a school in a different area, but the family are still trying to get him enrolled in the local school for next year.  We will not know if this application is successful until early January.  We again are having to provide new school uniforms and shoes for the coming school year as the children have grown out of what we for bought them at the beginning of this year.  Stationary is also going to have to be provided, but before then, Christmas gifts are going to have to be bought for the whole family.  What a privilege and joy to be able to make a difference in impoverished lives of families such as these.


We are waiting for buckets to be returned from St Luke’s Church before we head off to Dovho in the Limpopo Province for the first of the Christmas Outreaches.  All is ready and it won’t be long before we will be on the road again.  During the coming weeks Gavin will be confined to his study preparing sermons for the outreach. 


Des has had another rather nasty chest infection, picked up, we suspect, in the slums of Johannesburg while on outreach. Activities were curtailed this past week, but she is now on the mend, so hopefully things will be back to normal in the coming week.


An electricity sub station just outside our complex where we live blew up just over a week ago and we were without power for 3 days.  What a nightmarish time it was.  We were concerned for the food in the refrigerator and freezer but thankfully we were able to selvage most of the items.  Yet again it was made very clear to us how utterly dependant we are upon our modern gadgets that unfortunately are all powered by electricity.  Once the batteries in our phones and computers died, we were utterly unable to communicate at all. We were not able to use fans or our air conditioner in the terrible heat which made things most uncomfortable indeed.  We were so grateful when power was restored and realised yet again that we take these things for granted and only miss them when they get taken from us.


Along with this update, we are sending a short Power Point Presentation.  We do realize that not all of you have Power Point and some of you will not be able to view it.  For those of you who can open it, please use your right arrow to move to the next slide and we pray that this short presentation will be a blessing to you.


Much love in Christ from us both

Gavin and Des

Good morning Friends,


It is with grateful hearts that we greet this new morning.  After much prayer for rain, we have seen the Lord graciously answer our prayers.  It has been raining all night and even now there is a quiet gentle soaking rain outside which the ground is thirstily drinking in.  What joy to see the rain and we pray that there will be much more!


The terrible heat which saw temperatures rising to 44 degrees Celsius on the northern borders of our land has been broken with the coming of the rain and there seems to be a respite in the terrible heat.


We have not been very busy these last 2 weeks but have taken time, firstly, to recover from the exhausting Cape outreach and then secondly, to take stock of what we still have available in the stores and to see what needs to be bought, ordered or delivered before we start our annual Christmas outreach.


The many buckets we need for the hampers of groceries have to be bought as well as groceries and the thousands of sweet hampers must also to be ordered.  The Gospel tracts we use, need to be collected from the printer and delivered to the supplier of the sweet hampers for inclusion in the parcels as well.


We are making plans for the first Christmas outreach which will be to the big Church in the village of Dovho in the Limpopo Province on the northern border of South Africa and to the surrounding areas.


We have been working locally distributing Gospel tracts and helping with financial aid as well as food hampers to many of the unemployed, destitute people on the streets in our urban mission field.  We are also due to visit Paddevlei, Kliptown, Soweto and Eldorado Park in this coming week.


Politically South Africa continues to totter on the brink of collapse in many sectors of our economy.  The electricity crisis continues, and the very real threat of dire water shortages has caused alarm in many circles. Sanitation and water purification are areas of major concern due to the lack of maintenance of the water purification plants and there seems to be no end in sight to the serious difficulties facing our land.  We realise that we are not the only country facing difficulties in one area or another but according to statistics, (which considered, safety, education, economy, and general standard of living) we are rated as the 7th worst country in the world to live in.  So, prayer is greatly needed and appreciated for our land and her people.


On a personal note, all is well here at the Rose of Sharon base.  Although both of us are still battling with various health issues, the Lord has graciously granted us the strength and ability to continue with all aspects of the work that He has called us to.  The MD (missionary dog), continues to thrive despite the Cushing’s Disease that has taken hold of her little body.  She is a constant source of delight to us both.


So, folks, once again we miss you all and are so grateful for your love, prayers and financial support

Every Blessing in Christ Jesus, from us both

Gavin and Des

Latest comments

14.08 | 14:08

Happy 25th anniversary, God Bless you both.
Willie Lorraine and David xxx

12.07 | 05:31

Thanks so much James. It's such a encouragement to get your message. Blessings from us both, Gavin and Des

12.07 | 00:07

God Loves you Gavin & Desiree, Full on schedule, Hope you just sense the presence of The Holy Spirit, precious peace and precious Love of Jesus Christ Amen

14.03 | 18:13

I felt a sudden urgent impulse to pray for you both, but didn't know why, until I read your latest blog. God speed full recovery. Bob