Leaders of various Christian churches in the Ratanda/Heidelberg area joined forces to feed the many families needing relief during the COVID-19 pandemic.
For weeks, the Lesedi Community Centre has seen lines of hundreds of residents waiting to receive food parcels.
The parcels are made up of locally-bought vegetables and food products.
Beneficiaries also get a small meal while waiting in line. About 350 people receive food parcels and meals on a daily basis.
The Lesedi Community Centre is working together with the Lesedi Pastors Fellowship Forum to distribute the food parcels daily. The church leaders have also used the opportunity to spread the good word of the Lord to the waiting beneficiaries.
Delivering an early morning sermon to raise the spirits was Pastor Andile Fodo. He spoke to the lines of residents urging them to keep their relationship with God despite not being able to attend church. As per regulations, churches and other form of gatherings are prohibited across the country.
Lesedi Community Centre a haven
Jaco Kritzinger of the Lesedi Community Centre says that the centre has become a relief centre for locals needing relief during the lockdown.
Apart from the feeding scheme, the Lesedi Care Centre also has a shelter for the homeless, health-care outreach programmes and skills training.
Indawo Yo Sizo in under the Lesedi Community Centre, providing COVID-19 testing in the community.
About 11 orphans are also cared for at the centre’s Galaxy Childrens Village, including 20 beneficiaries at the Lesedi Emergency Shelter.
“There are 68 residents at LCC. This is the first time the centre is at full capacity. These residents also assist in cooking and packing food parcels.
As of 5 May, over 3769 food parcels have been handed out. About 7126 cooked meals provided. The number of new beneficiaries grows daily.
If people come for the first time, they come with their ID book and a ticket is provided.
The ticket will be signed and a new date will be given for beneficiaries to collect again. “Every person receiving a food parcel is registered,” confirms Jaco.
Doing God’s work outside the church
Leading the campaign was Pastor Clint Dixon, who explained the important role of the church when society is faced with at this moment. “We believe in excellence in whatever we do. So we try to give as much as we can because the Lord is guiding us through the work we do.
According to Pastor Dixon, the food parcels are privately funded by individuals and churches in the area.
“We have a lot of support from the people of Heidelberg, from businesses to individuals. We are very grateful for that,” he said.
Speaking on behalf of the Lesedi Pastors Fellowship Forum, Pastor Mduduzi Zulu (from Assemblies of God) says that the local church leaders have united regardless of their various denominations to do their part in helping others.
“We are here to do the work of the Lord. This work does not only end at the pulpit but also in the community where help is needed most,” he said.
Mrs Pat Mahlangu said the church leaders handing out food parcels is like the story of Jesus Christ, where he fed thousands of people as written in the Book of Matthew.
“The work of the Lord is continuing here as we feed hundreds of people everyday,” she explained.
The beneficiaries expressed their feelings of joy and relief, thanking the pastors and the LCC for providing the much-needed food parcels.
The Lesedi Community Centre is located at Rensburg in Heidelberg and a non-profit organization is also assisted by the Lesedi Local Municipality and the Social Development department.