Mashach project cares for community during lockdown

Isaac Petersen, administrator Celeste Petersen and co-director and volunteer, Cyril Fielies delivery food parcels.

The Mashach Project is making sure people are cared for during the lockdown period.

Founder Isaac Petersen, 37, from Bayview, said when they started the initiative, they restored the houses of elderly people who could not afford it.

However, he added: “It has since evolved its purpose to a more dynamic and eternal one. We quickly learned that we couldn’t restore properties without investing spiritual capital into the people themselves.

“I discovered that as humans we only value others and assets if and when we see the value we ourselves have. Our self worth is directly linked to the state of our surroundings and the people around us.”

Mr Petersen told the Plainsman he received an instruction from God in October 2018 to paint dilapidated houses in Westridge, where he grew up. “The organisation was formulated by the coming together of Carmel Cwhristian Union, the family oriented church which I am the pastor of, and the painting company,” he said.

“The current lockdown situation that we are finding ourselves in has brought with it many challenges for everyone. The Mashach Project had a small amount of cash available that we raised over a few months. We decided to set out and help as much families as we can with food and cleaning supplies,” Mr Petersen said.

They received requests from people and managed to help some of them. On Good Friday, April 10, they handed out 40 vegetable hampers, each containing butternut, squash, potatoes, onions and cabbage, he said.

“We would like to help more people and have hands on standby but unfortunately we currently don’t have the financial capacity to do more.

“I am currently unemployed and therefore not generating any income, and neither is the church gathering together in order to collect funds. (So), the organisation is unable to do more. That said, we are confident in God providing all that we need to execute our biblical mandate to share our bread with the hungry,” said Mr Petersen.

They are currently working in Westridge and are in the process of formulating their structure, budget and programmes.

Cyril Fielies, co-director and volunteer said: “We are excited about the future of the organisation and anticipate fighting more of the giants our communities are warring against. If God be with us, who can be against us,” he said.

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