OPERATION ROBIN HOOD

COLLECTING FROM THE “RICH” TO GIVE TO THE “POOR”

The idea behind this outreach program is a simple one. It merely involves me getting into a car or pick-up truck and going down first one street and then another, as in the Google Earth satellite view of a suburb of Port Elizabeth above, stopping at each house and leaving a flyer in their postbox, or, if possible, speaking to the tenants if they are in.

If they are in I would ask them if they have any old clothing, books, toys, tools, furniture etc., that they are prepared to give to the less fortunate in the city, and who hasn’t got stuff hanging around the house that is no longer needed?

The name of the outreach was pretty obvious, wasn’t it? Robin Hood. Sherwood Forest in the 1200’s et al. Stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. Can one use the ‘LOL’ thing on a website? Dunno. But I’m going to anyway…LOL!!!

Once a collection date has been arranged, I would return on that date to collect whatever it is that this family or that no longer want, put it in the back of my bakkie (pick-up truck for my non-South African readers) and take it to the church I am a member of for sorting, cleaning, refurbishing etc.

In the case of clothing it would be sorted out and anything not worth passing on will be thrown away, whilst the rest of it almost always taken to a participating dry cleaner for cleaning. Once cleaned the clothing will be sized and packed into plastic bags, each with a scripture card and our contact details inside. These will then be divided into loads and taken to participating churches and other outreach programs and given to the poor and needy.

In the case of garden tools and/or ordinary tools being given, or sewing machines, these will be serviced and given to people who are really battling to find work, people who really want to work to earn a living or put their children through school.

No one suspected of alcohol or substance abuse will be given anything that they can sell. They would be given food and cigarettes, but nothing else.

In order for this ministry outreach to be started I need a vehicle (a bakkie) as I am currently without one. For this I am appealing to the business world via a crowdfunding page.

The Paul Project is both a Non-Profit Organisation, No. 138-177 NPO,  and a Public Benefit OrganisationPBO No. 930047761.registered on the 18th of June 2014, and as such is approved for purposes of section 18A(1)(a) of the Act and donations to the organisation are tax deductible.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION AND REFERENCES

This is a ministry outreach that the LORD placed on my heart quite some time ago but I kept getting my ‘knickers in a knot’ over. The reason for this is that He has also called me to writing and this was confusing me no end. Not wanting to be willfully disobedient, yet wanting to do this as well as the writing I was torn in two different directions – to write and ignore what is so passionately in my heart, or to go for the collecting and free distribution of food and goods to the broken and destitute of the city and completely ignore my passion for writing thus definitely ignoring God’s call on my life and definitely invoking His anger and disappointment with me…which is a stupid thing to do (Hebrews 10:26-31) A confusing time indeed.

The reason for my confusion was my own thoughts and desires. For a long time now – almost 10 years – I have had the passion to unite the congregations of the churches in the City of Port Elizabeth into one body in order to give the evil one a “knock out” punch (read more about the desire to do that here, and about the ‘knockout punch’ here), but this constantly proved more difficult than I thought it would be. I just could never get started on it…

Then one day on my knees the LORD told me to stop being unrealistic and to drop the rest of the projects and just get started with this one that you are reading about now, along with the writing (you can read more about my call to writing here).

He reminded me that any good work done in His Name and for His glory is a seed and a seed in His Name cannot be manipulated. In the words of Andrew Wommack, “You can cheat or manipulate nearly all systems that men have created. The legal system can be beaten, letting the guilty go free. Our educational system can be beaten, passing students who haven’t really learned the material. But you can’t change seedtime and harvest.” In other words, what we plant we will surely harvest.

So it is now clear in my heart and soul which direction to take.

I was to reach out to the destitute and give them hope to carry on, and one way that I could do that was by blessing them with good quality previously worn clothing that made them feel a whole lot better in themselves. 

The people I met and the testimonies that came from those meetings, along with my own experiences in life, would provide me with a rich source of inspirational writing material.

The desire of my heart is to spread the gospel via acts of kindness to people (Ephesians 4:32; Galatians 5:22-23; Proverbs 3:3; Micah 6:8 and dozens more), for this is the very way in which God brings us to Himself (Romans 2:4).

The Paul Project is both a Non-Profit Organisation, No. 138-177 NPO,  and a Public Benefit OrganisationPBO No. 930047761.registered on the 18th of June 2014, and as such is approved for purposes of section 18A(1)(a) of the Act and donations to the organisation are tax deductible.

SOME BACKGROUND

The background of this intimate desire to spread the gospel through these acts of kindness to people stems from my own life.

I suffered immense amounts of rejection in my life through my parents (my mother tried to self-abort me but failed) and a messed up heart. As a young man exploring life I ran into several issues with this, many of them at the hands of women as I discovered the desires of sinful flesh.

More than once in my life I have been homeless, the first time when I was just 7 years old, being at the hands of the first black president of Zambia, Kenneth Kaunda, back in 1964 when he attempted to nationalise the mines and so threw all the white miners out of the country where I was born and like nomads we (my parents and I) traveled by car down to my father’s sister in Cape Town, a journey of some 5000 kilometres, looking for a new life.

As it turned out we received a poor reception from that part of the family and wound up spending the “golden handshake” the Zambian President had given every white miner to leave the country within 48 or 72 hours (I can’t remember the exact details now, all these years later) or face imprisonment on accommodation in Muisenburg, now a part of Cape Town, for several months whilst my father looked for work in Cape Town.

This was my first period of homelessness. It may not have been “out in the street” but it was living in a place that had nothing a 7 year old could recognise as ‘home’. It was like living in a stranger’s home, and it left indelible stains on my personality.

Life carried on and this pattern repeated itself more than once in my life due to my mothers drinking and somewhat warped view on life due to a tragedy that had happened in her life prior to her meeting my father.

My parents had 2 children before me, both of whom failed spectacularly in life. This did nothing but add to the pressures that were placed on me as an “accidental birth” as I was regularly informed when she’d been drinking, and blame for many of her own failings fell on my shoulders.

More indelible stains on my personality.

The latest and very last time life was to render me homeless was at my own doing, at my willful disobedience to God Almighty, Whom I had found my way to by the time it happened, and by Whose grace I sit here in my lovely warm flat and work on my computers to bring you this website and missional outreach to share the Words of God through kindness and love…

I really do not want to bore you with the details of my life, but if you are going to have confidence in me and support me in this, then I feel it is necessary to reveal at least some of the details in order for you to understand where I am coming from and why this ministry is so dear to my heart. The direct source of this reasoning will surprise you, I think…

The Paul Project is both a Non-Profit Organisation, No. 138-177 NPO,  and a Public Benefit OrganisationPBO No. 930047761.registered on the 18th of June 2014, and as such is approved for purposes of section 18A(1)(a) of the Act and donations to the organisation are tax deductible.

REASONS FOR THE OUTREACH

After my first divorce up in Zimbabwe I met a woman on the Internet (not always a wise thing to do), and came down here to South Africa to meet her. As it so happened we thought we were right for each other, both having experienced a great deal of abuse from those who were purportedly close to us, but as it turned out we were totally wrong for each other and we were torn apart.

The result of this is that within 6 months (less actually) of my packing up everything I had in Zimbabwe and coming down here to start a new life for myself, and hopefully grant “new life” to a woman who deserved it, I was sitting on the edge of a curb in  East London, totally penniless and destitute. I praise God for His grace – His unmerited favour – towards me, and His kindness and loving understanding of each and every one of us…

I wound up living at the back of the Quigney Baptist Church in the Quigney, in East London, apparently the roughest area of the suburb, and walking the streets daily looking for work.

It was one evening during this period when I was standing outside a restaurant in Vincent, still battling to get my mind around the things that had happened to me, when I glanced back inside the restaurant and caught a blokes eye, or rather his eye caught mine. He beckoned me into the restaurant and invited me to sit at this table as he told me to order anything I wanted off the menu, which I did and for one glorious hour I was a normal person, enjoying dinner in a fancy restaurant and all was right with the world.

Obviously there’s a lot more detail to this and that is covered in the books I’m writing at the moment but suffice it to say that that single gesture of kindness filled me with so much hope and encouragement that I was able to find a home and employment within the next two weeks…

Jesus spoke of hope many times. Paul wrote that Jesus is our hope (1 Timothy 1:1). Psalm 62:1-2 tells us that we are to have hope in God alone, whilst 1 John 3:3 tells us that everyone who has this hope in Christ purifies himself. But how do we get this hope? Where does it come from? To a follower of Jesus Christ it is an obvious answer to an obvious question. Our hope is in Christ alone. But what of a non-believer? What of someone who has had life really hard and does not know Christ? And from the way he or she sees many of this world’s supposed Christians behaving, does not want to know Christ?

MAHATMA GANDHI

Mahatma Gandhi was a very wise man in his own way. Sadly he did not have the wisdom to turn to Jesus Christ as his Saviour, and now, wherever he is he knows that that was a grave, eternal mistake on his part, but nonetheless he left behind some very wise words that, when viewed in context with the scriptures, can really help us to grow as Christians, or Christ followers.

The reason he did not convert from his native Hinduism to Christianity was simple. The treatment he received at the hands of the South African Afrikaaners in Durban was not the sort of treatment one would expect from a nation that called themselves ‘Christian’. As far back as the early 1900’s when Gandhi was practicing, or trying to practice, as a lawyer in what is now Kwa-Zulu-Natal, he often quoted that he “liked our Christ, but he did not like our Christians”. What a tragic legacy to leave behind!

However, these are not the words of his wisdom that I want to quote here.

Gandhi really hit the nail on the head when he said that there were some people so bereft, so broken and battered by life that the ONLY way God could be presented to them was through a glass of water and a slice of bread. And it is with this principle in mind that The Paul Project, through Operation Robin Hood, wants to reach out to those bereft, those who are so broken and battered by life that they can only recognise God by someones kindness…

The Paul Project is both a Non-Profit Organisation, No. 138-177 NPO,  and a Public Benefit OrganisationPBO No. 930047761.registered on the 18th of June 2014, and as such is approved for purposes of section 18A(1)(a) of the Act and donations to the organisation are tax deductible.

CONTACTABLE REFERENCES

The names and cell phone numbers below are of people who know me. They are pastors I have sat under, and have worked with, along with church members who know me. You are free to contact any one or more of them to check up on my credibility and vision…

Pastor Trevor Anderson
084 521 2057

Sally Allen
082 825 6188

Adele Liebich
072 276 5999

Joanine LeRoux
082 312 7667

Rob & Celeste Johnson
083 200 3998 / 083 222 7184

Conrad & Ilsa van Zyl
082 065 9694 

Jill Ayerst
082 321 1627 

Gillian  Hurter
(only after 7 in the evening please)
064 912 6547

Etienne de Jager
072 624 0249

Pastor Dirk van der Mescht
082 569 8447 

Shane & Marietta van Zyl
083 235 9205 / 081 412 0960 

Joel Human
084 588 6821 

Tanya Cochrane
071 566 7764

PERSONAL SPONSORSHIP

As I work for my income at the moment, it takes up considerable time. I would love to be able to do this kind of work day in and day out, meeting people
and spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ. To this end I need to earn a salary of some description but the NPO cannot legally pay me anything as I am its principle trustee. Therefore I would love to meet up with people who are prepared to sponsor me personally on an on-going basis, and even perhaps, to work with me on this.

If you are a dedicated believer in Jesus Christ, in Yeshua HaMaschiach, (Jesus, our Lord and Saviour in Hebrew) please prayerfully consider this.
Please go before God and ask Him whether He would like you to sponsor me at all.

If His answer to your question is yes, please contact me by e-mail and I will give you my personal banking details.

PLEASE LET ME KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS AND SUGGESTIONS...

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