Hawk Nelson in his song, “Words,” says “Words can build us up, Words can break us down, Start a fire in our hearts, Or put it out.” In 2012, Reverend Frik Janse van Rensburg, Director of the South Africa/Indian Ocean Region put a fire in our daughter Elisabeth’s heart.
It was a special day. Spiritual renewal week was in full motion and CEF was buzzing with both International Headquarter employees and the overseas regional directors. Elisabeth skipped school that day and came to work with us so she could meet some of the international missionaries. Her day was well spent as she listened to what God was doing all over the world.
At lunch, Frik sat across from Elisabeth. They chatted, getting to know each other and discovered that they shared the same birthday.
“Elisabeth, I’d like to challenge you,” Frik said.
“Okay,” Elisabeth answered with uncertainty in her voice.
“We are building a camp for children in Mauritius. But we have a lot of money to raise. I am asking people your age to collect just $10 from all their friends to pay for this camp. Do you think this is something you could do?”
“I can try.” Elisabeth was excited about the challenge, but was afraid that she wouldn’t be able to raise a lot of money.
At first, she seemed to forget about Frik’s challenge. But as September 16, her birthday, approached she remembered that it was also Frik’s birthday. The challenge was renewed.
“Mom, since there is nothing I really need, why don’t I have my friends bring a donation for the camp rather than gifts for me to my party?”
The plans began. Friends were invited to a Mystery Dinner Party that took place at a camp. Each guest dressed and played their part. There was a lot of fun and laughter that evening.
But that is not why the evening will be remembered. It will be remembered for what God did with the money that Elisabeth collected. In total, her friends donated $238. In Mauritius, that was more than $2,000 MUR! Elisabeth, who thought her efforts would have minimal impact, was amazed at how God had multiplied her money.
The Impact in Mauritius
“We tell others about what Elisabeth has done,” Pauline Kut, Director of CEF Mauritius, says. “When I was first told about the donation they told me it was a ‘little girl.’ I thought she was about 9 to 11 years old. I thought how wonderful it was that God impressed it upon a little girl’s heart to raise money for this project. But then I found out it was a teen! This is rare. The board found out first and thought ‘Wow!’ because this never happens in Mauritius. They are encouraged by this and want our pre-teens to follow in her steps.” Elisabeth has been invited to Mauritius so that she can speak to and encourage the teens there to raise money.
Pauline has seen God work in many miraculous ways during the planning of the camp in Albion, a city not far from the seaside in the northwest corner of the island of Mauritius. God has provided an architect and an engineer free of charge. These provisions convince Pauline that this camp will one day be completed. They are currently waiting for the building permit to be approved. Once it is approved they will begin the first phase which will cost $167,000 MUR ($67,000 USD).
“It seems like quite a lot to raise, but it is peanuts for my heavenly father,” Pauline says. “If God has spoken to me about it, I believe that this project, now being planned for 35 years, will come to be a reality.” God has shown Pauline that He is in the project. What seems impossible to us, is not impossible for Him. “As we step in faith in this project, God is going to move, showing his faithfulness again and that this is not my project or anyone else’s but God’s,” states Pauline.
Pauline has worked for CEF for ten years and at first, she wanted to sell the land. She was discouraged by how long it was taking to get the camp built and operating. She originally felt that it was an old vision, not hers. There was so much fund-raising to do and it seemed to be impossible. She reasoned that having the money for CEF would be better than having an unused piece o
“But I was thinking only of myself. Just three years ago, God spoke to me through the book of Joshua. I am now convinced that no matter the cost of the project it is not about my raising the funds, it is about Jehovah Jireh who will provide.”
About the Camp and Mauritius
The island nation of Mauritius is located in the Indian Ocean about 1,250 miles east of Africa. The island itself is only 28 miles across and has a population of over one million.
Mauritius is religiously diverse but over half of the population practices Hinduism while 32% practice Christianity. It is obvious that the people of Mauritius need to hear the Gospel.
Once the camp is built, it will be used for this purpose. The goal is to share the Gospel with as many Mauritian children as possible. The site will also be used for training, multiplying the workers who can reach the children with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Pauline says, “We will be able to do so many things on these premises for children and if God is in this project He will surely provide everything.”
Elisabeth would like to challenge others, especially teens, to do as she has and raise money for the camp in Mauritius. She says, “It was kind of hard not getting presents, but you have to put others first. Mauritius is a small country where Hinduism is prevalent. They need to know Jesus. Someday I would like to go to Mauritius and learn about the people and their culture. I also want to tell them about Jesus and maybe all of the people on the island will change.”
Do you accept Elisabeth’s challenge? Will you help CEF of Mauritius raise the money needed for their camp? It is difficult to raise funds in Mauritius due to Hinduism being the prominent religion. Funds must come from elsewhere. They need $15, 000, 000 MUR ($500,000 USD) more to make Camp Mauritius come to fruition. If you would like to make a donation, you can send it to: CEF Inc. Mauritius Real Estate, Account # SMU0270, PO BOX 348, Warrenton, MO 63383 - USA.
By Sandy Bunch