Jacksons, Mission Partners of Castle Street, Missions

Jacksons Update – June 29th 2022 (excerpts)

The Restorative Justice course was allowed to continue at Voorberg even though the gang-related stabbing of an officer caused the rest of the prison to be shutdown. 

The first day brought early insights to one man who told of abuse towards him and his family by the farmer they worked for and on whose land they lived.  This produced a great hatred of all white people, expressed in his crimes against them.  He was also plotting how to destroy the farmer and his family once he was released from prison.

Just a few hours into the RJ process he realised that what he was doing was wrong.  Instead of planning murder, now he’s planning to write a letter to the farmer, explaining the effects of his actions and taking a step towards changing his future.

We frequently hear “I’d never known that before.”    Several confessed they’d been planning revenge once released but now know it’s not the way to go.   It’s about presenting the facts and encouraging the men to look at themselves and their actions honestly.

39 inmates take part in a room with no covid-distancing and acoustics that make it difficult to hear what the men say.  The family restoration day on Saturday was a big occasion but facing tough questions from loved ones and telling the truth makes a huge impact.  The families who came heard the truth from their men, which is sometimes hard to bear but marks the start of a restored relationship.

Pray for Fraser’s trip to Namibia in July, that he will be able to fit everything into the time he is there. 

We presented our applications for our visa extensions for the next three years in Cape Town last week.

James flies out to visit us next week, arriving on Tuesday.  He and Fraser haven’t met in the flesh since August 2018. 

Jacksons, Mission Partners of Castle Street, Missions

Jacksons Update – June 15th 2022

(excerpts)

Ebrahim in Drakenstein Maximum is teaching other inmates to play instruments and now leading the chapel music group.  He wants to introduce as many as possible to Jesus and the non-believing drummer has now committed himself to the Lord.  He was teaching a regular to play the song “Still” (Hide me now) but only knew the chorus, not the melody or lyrics.  On Monday Dawn had packed a random selection of music to take on Tuesday.  One of the pieces was “Still” which she left with Ebrahim.  Isn’t it wonderful when God arranges such things?

Hylma asked Michael in Maximum 2 weeks ago to read the Psalms (probably Psalm 46).  He couldn’t believe what he read first: “Stop fighting.” How did Hylma know he’d been fighting days previously?  Hylma hadn’t known but God had and the Holy Spirit worked through her.  May he grow more like Jesus, persevere in his theology and strengthen his relationships with children and family outside.

Pray for the 6 men at Obiqua Restorative Justice follow up sessions every fortnight who see their attitudes changing.  One kept quiet when a warder scolded him in a derogatory and insulting way.  Before there’d have been a fight.  Pray they’ll break the cycle of violence and despair.

A Restorative Justice course at Voorberg Correctional Centre starts next week.  Pray protection for us all  – the enemy is unhappy when his territory is invaded.

Gideon, Medium A, is to be released on parole next week,  resolved to rely on the Holy Spirit in the outside world.

Fraser waits for final confirmation from Mukhanyu College of the level of library support they need.  It is likely he will also help provide a catalogue for the John de Gruchy library (a Christian theologian who resisted apartheid).  Fraser visits them next week for their needs on the catalogue setup.  NETS staff will provide him with what he needs for his training trip to Namibia.  (11th – 13th July)

Jacksons, Mission Partners of Castle Street, Missions

Jacksons Update – June 1st 2022

Give thanks that Fraser had a very good meeting yesterday with representatives from Mukhanyo Theological College.  It now seems definite that Fraser will be supporting them with the provision of an online library catalogue across all their campuses and also their sister colleges throughout South Africa.  The latest issue of the NetACT journal was published today, and Fraser is now in the process of finalising details for his trip in July with staff from the Namibia Evangelical Theological Seminary.

The RJ follow up sessions Dawn leads on Mondays are going well.  This week we discussed anger, which led onto fear.  The teaching on anger at Pardeberg prison was used to defuse a potentially violent situation in one of the rooms.  Pray for Ebrahim in Drakenstein Maximum to be fully released from the temptation to suicide.  Decades ago he was in contact with satanists.  Now he’s a firm follower of Jesus and has seen many answers to prayer.

Pray for the communities where drug taking and crime are increasing exponentially.  The men worry about the dangers that face their children outside.  Pray the men’s altered lives would be part of the change and they would be able to trust God enough for their families.

Zebulun church in Wellington is planning an outreach soup lunch on Thursday.  Pray that they continue to make a positive impact in their gang-ridden area of Wellington.

Recognising individual talents, weaknesses and misfits is very important.  Pray especially that the leadership of the prison ministry will be aware of this.

Please pray as we gather documents to apply for a renewal of our visas to stay in South Africa.

Jacksons, Mission Partners of Castle Street, Missions

Jacksons Update – May 18th 2022

(excerpts)

The NetACT journal editorial board came up with good ideas on going forward.  Some of Fraser’s trips, including  one to Namibia from 10th to 13th July, are firming up.  He will also help some non-NetACT theological colleges with online library catalogues.  Funding is also available to conduct an information-gathering exercise on all the partner colleges this year. 

Thank God for the 6 men in Obiqua Correctional Centre whom Dawn meets fortnightly and who are still committed to changing their lives.  Pray for Jonathan at Drakenstein Maximum to be equipped with patience to listen without losing his temper as he phones his recently divorced wife and their 12 and 13 year old daughter and son. 

Pray for both James and Ruth as they discern what to do next as both their courses finish this summer.

Both Henry and Asanda in Drakenstein Maximum have said how they have been changed in prison and having the time to dedicate to the Lord.  Many of the men I meet are tired of the way they’ve been living and so amazed and overwhelmed by the way a relationship with God does change their lives.  Thank God for both these men who are determined to be changed.

A short-staffed Medium A didn’t have the required officer to supervise the Bible study, so it had to be cancelled.

Pray for guidance for Dawn about helping at a Restorative Justice course a long way from Wellington.  Dawn has been down with a winter bug this week.

Jacksons, Mission Partners of Castle Street, Missions

Jacksons Update – May 4th 2022

(excerpts)

Fraser has just received a tentative contact from someone in Scotland wishing to discuss passing books on to colleges of theology in Africa.  Thank God for the opportunity and pray that this would work out practically.

The Editorial Board meeting for the NetACT journal will now be on 13th May.  May the articles be useful and thought-provoking and the technicalities run smoothly.

Dawn turned up at Obiqua prison to start the Restorative Justice follow-up but no one knew she was coming.  Thank God for helpful staff there and for the good session she had with the six men who’d done RJ.  They’re still supporting each other and keen to make the right decisions in the right way. Pray that this would continue.

Dawn was able lead a Restorative Justice follow-up session at Pardeberg prison for the six men there.  Their thoughts and attitudes are being changed by what they’re learning and they’re determined to continue on the right way.  Pray that the follow-up sessions will be applicable, challenging and helpful.

The Bible studies at Drakenstein had to be cancelled today as the chapels were being used for Ramadan services.  Pray that Jesus’ followers will reach out in love to their Muslim neighbours.

Ruth was able to stay with us for two weeks and now flies back to Glasgow for the start of her final term.  Please pray we’d all settle back into life on different continents again.

Jacksons, Mission Partners of Castle Street, Missions

Jacksons Update – April 20th 2022

Ebrahim in Maximum had found that his guitar had been deliberately broken and started to hate the culprit.  He later heard God tell him that if he wanted God to come through for him he would have to forgive the culprit.  He decided to forgive.  The next day someone gave him a guitar, better than the broken one.  He told the others that if you don’t forgive, there’s no point coming to this class.  They now have four guitars for music classes.  God provides many creative ways for us to be involved with him.

Many of the men are keen to serve the Lord and enjoy being in a “brothers’ room”.  But some new believers, like Jetro in Medium A, are alone in a gang room.  He suspects that some of his roommates are interested in Christianity but are too afraid of the senior gangsters to express their interest.  May the men think seriously about whether they are in the right room and ask to move if God leads them.

Theswin in Medium A has found out that his young nephew has been shot in the neck and paralysed. Last Sunday, he stepped in at the last moment when the preacher didn’t turn up and said he’d never felt the Holy Spirit work through him as powerfully as when he spoke to the men that day.  Derick in Medium A who is being troubled by issues from his past.

Fraser has had a good meeting with representatives of NETS in Namibia and some new ideas for streamlining the NetACT internet portal, making it easier to administer and solving some technical problems he’s been struggling with.  A technology he uses has had a major upgrade.  He has to work out the implications and be able to upgrade the various NetACT sites which use it.

Ruth is able to come and spend time with us over Easter.

Jacksons, Mission Partners of Castle Street, Missions

Jacksons Update – March 30th 2022

(excerpts)

Give thanks for a powerful week of Restorative Justice at Allandale Correctional Centre.  The 5 men in Dawn’s group came with the desire to change. 

One man admitted his guilt after hearing testimonies of 2 very different victims of rape and male abuse – a man can’t run away from what is said before him in an RJ situation.  He now wants to apologise to his victim. 

The work is gruelling (6 hours a day, Monday to Saturday).  Pray for spiritual, emotional and physical health.  Thank God for the good welcome from the prison staff.   The tables are set up –  we don’t have to wash up at home for 30 people.  It makes a difference.

The Andrew Murray Centre would like to use NetACT to make an online catalogue available for Andrew Murray’s personal library housed on their premises.   Pray for Fraser’s progress re-organising the Hugenote College online learning system.

Andre Pekeur, Drakenstein Medium A chaplain, last week sustained serious burns needing skin grafts and may lose the use of one hand.

5 men following Jesus in Drakenstein Correctional Centre try to live for Jesus in difficult circumstances.

Our passports, old and new, all arrived safely.  Fraser can now plan a NetACT training trip to Namibia and no longer needs a PCR test to travel in either direction.  He may soon do training at Morija Theological Seminary in Lesotho. 

 The first in-person AGM for 3 years is being planned for Johannesburg in June or July without NetACT founder Jurgens Hendricks’ experience to guide us.  The office staff are trying to source funding for flights from the many countries which contain member institutions.

Jacksons, Mission Partners of Castle Street, Missions

Jacksons Update – March 16th 2022 (excerpts)

The webinar on Chinese and Islamist influence on Africa went smoothly.  

 Hugenote College supplies space on their online learning system for other organisations to offer continuous professional development courses and have asked Fraser to create a separate system dedicated to the CPD courses. He had a positive meeting with the other NetACT staff yesterday, defining the role NetACT is to play in the church in Africa and will now tweak the way the internet library portal is set up. 

Dawn is leading Drakenstein Bible study for 2 weeks.  Khanya asks for prayer that his eyes would be healed to see well enough to read his Bible.  Ebrahim told God he would fight a man in his room who was always trying to demean him.  The next day the man was found with a dagger and put under discipline elsewhere in the prison.

There’s support and enthusiasm from inmate to governor level for the music group there.  This could well be an acorn which develops into an oak.

Pray for Taskforce of God, a group of former prisoners, holding several meetings at the Zebulun church.

From next Monday a Restorative Justice course will be run in Allandale prison in Paarl.  Please pray for stamina. 

Our passports are safely on their way back to us.  Pray they reach us in good time.

Jacksons, Mission Partners of Castle Street, Missions

Jacksons Update – March 2nd 2022

(excerpts)

The Hugenote College academic year has now started.   Pray for new students from disadvantaged backgrounds. College life can be a culture shock for them.

NetACT has just discovered a new member we didn’t know we had!  Pray that their ‘halting’ start with NetACT won’t affect their current encouraging enthusiasm.

Dawn’s offer to start a music/song-writing group at Drakenstein Maximum has been encouraged by the Head of Education there.  Today Ebrahim in Maximum said that in 2021 he’d prayed that God would send someone to help bring music to Maximum.  He sees his prayers answered.

The men need self-awareness to appreciate how their victims feel. They can still find it hard to understand why victims react as they do years after the crime.  

A recent expense has been sending passports back to the UK to be renewed.  Almost the exact amount for courier and renewal fees has been unexpectedly given.  This sort of thing happens too often to be a coincidence.

Today Oliviero in Drakenstein Medium A told Dawn that, at the weekend, he spoke on the phone to his sister who was trying to get in touch for five years. She’d been in hospital with drug related issues for most of the time.

Daverick in Maximum, a member of the 28 gang, came to Bible study 2 weeks ago to find out more about Jesus – he spent most of his life outside trying to suppress emotions stirring within him.  He hasn’t yet decided to commit but is reading his Bible and considering it.

Dawn leads the studies for the next 2 weeks as her colleague Hylma is on holiday.  Pray for God’s help in preparing the sessions.

Jacksons, Mission Partners of Castle Street, Missions

Jacksons Update – February 16th 2022

(excerpts)

Dawn is back in South Africa after a straightforward journey.

Pray for Fraser’s has a zoom call on Thursday with Life Theological Seminary in Nigeria, a new NetACT partner who with no portal training yet.  Pray for the librarian there.

Our church’s elders’ retreat last week went very well – it was very clear that God was speaking.  Pray for the elders – for no fuzziness or persuading away from difficult choices.

NetACT plan a webinar on Chinese and Islamist influence on Africa in March.  Pray that it would be well publicised and for clear and direct presentations.  A lot of Chinese and Arabic money is offered to educational institutions.  The strings are not always apparent until after entanglement.

Pray for the new editor of the NetACT journal as she gets to grips with the online system.

The college in Namibia has suggested a date for Fraser to visit. Pray that his new passport arrives in time for this.

2 men in Medium A have asked Dawn for your prayers:

Rudiano wants to put God first, genuinely sorry for messed up relationships with a divorced wife, a former wife and older step daughter. Pray peace for doing God’s will.  His younger step-daughter is pregnant at 16.

Oliviero hasn’t heard from his only sister for 5 years and wants to hear from her again (her 3 children are in care because of her lifestyle).  Pray for them to make contact.

Roderick in Maximum reads his Bible but can’t trust what others say about Jesus and admits he hasn’t surrendered to Jesus yet.  He and Dawn will chat next week.

Pray for Ruth as she tries to get her coursework done.