April 2020

Dear Praying Friends,

We are so grateful for the wonderful response we received concerning the need for food relief here in Knysna. A mere “thank you” could never be enough! Your gifts have helped over 200 families have food for 3-4 weeks. Because your contributions came so quickly, they were a catalyst to get our local entities (charities and local government) moving in the proper direction.

We have received many notes of thanks and appreciation from people who have been helped, several local township pastors, and even the governmental leaders of Knysna. They were astounded that people from overseas could care so much about people here. They’ve been hearing how difficult things are in America, so they never would have anticipated the generosity you’ve shown. What a great opportunity it was to tell our local leaders about our desire to serve and glorify God, and in doing so demonstrate Christlikeness in our community!

The food parcels were a great start, but delivering those has become increasingly risky, not just for us, but even for municipal workers who now require a police escort. People are hungry, frustrated, and lashing out. Therefore, our attention is gradually turning toward assisting soup kitchens in the poorer communities. Some of them are attempting to provide up to 1,500 meals per week! With the right ingredients, a basic meal can be made for about $0.15 – $0.20 per person. For many, that one meal will be all they have for each day. George and Herb are vetting soup kitchens this week and would like to start making modest grocery purchases for some of them starting next week.

If you are interested in helping please send a check made payable to Calvary Baptist Church and in the memo put “Knysna Hope – soup kitchen.” You can mail the check to the following:

Calvary Baptist Church
Attn: Mary Hampton
1380 South Valley Forge Road
Lansdale PA 19446

It would be helpful if you would also respond to this email and let us know how much you will be giving. We will purchase and deliver ingredients for soup kitchens if we know how much is coming in for them. Please know those who receive a meal will be forever grateful.

For many people here, the church represents an entity that is all about receiving and getting as much as it can out of people. This is what the prosperity gospel has done to South Africa, as false teachers and “wolves in sheep’s clothing” fleece these poor folks for everything they have, all while promising financial riches and rewards if they would just give more and more. Against that backdrop, we have had the chance to show unconditional love to total strangers, encouraging them to trust God and depend on Him for their needs. Please pray that we capture these opportunities for the Gospel and use them effectively.

While food relief has been dominating our attention this past month, other ministries have moved along as best as can be expected. Our growing church plant, Knysna West Bible Church, continues to bring us great joy! We love our church family and try to make the most of our YouTube services and other meeting times on Zoom. We look forward to when we can be together in person again, but there’s no way to know when that will be. We simply must trust the Lord that His plan, though certainly not our plan, is indeed the best. Please pray we maintain patience during this time of ministry disruption.

We want you all to know that while we deal with lockdown conditions here, we know there are many struggles and hardships back in the States. We are praying that God will keep you, protect you, and show His matchless grace to you during these unprecedented times. If there is anything we can specifically lift up to God on your behalf, please let us know. We know you pray for us often; we’d like to do the same in return.

With Enduring Gratitude,
The Coon Family