How you can help

We would like your help...

Patients at State hospitals and clinics in South Africa are typically destitute, malnourished, as well as being very sick or injured. Many are jobless, many are homeless, and many have no loved-ones to provide the basic needs for them in hospital.

The Ruth Mailbag Group strives to provide for the needs of destitute moms and babies in the maternity and NICU of our local state hospital and several other hospitals in our country who have asked for our help by providing them with a basic baby pack for their new and or sick babies.

If you can assist please get in touch with us through or visit our blog at for more information.

Yours sincerely,
Joy Coetzee
Founder – The Ruth Mailbag Group

Or a hospital near you... please, browse through the following list, I’m sure you will find a government hospital near you to support:
Contact Details of Public Hospitals in South Africa -
Eastern Cape -
Gauteng Province -
Johannesburg -
KZN -;
Port Elizabeth -
Western Cape -

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Project with a religious theme

Lent begins on Wednesday, 13 February 2013, and ends on Thursday, 28 March 2013.  We will have a Lenten Challenge to knit, crochet, sew or quilt for charity, (a charity of your choice, but I will encourage you to work for the babies born at your local government hospital as that is my primary concern!) e.g. one item per day (40 days), 40 squares for blankets, a bootie a day = 20 pairs, a cap a day, etc.  Some patterns to consider  Traditional Lenten colours are purple, the colour of royalty and repentance; black, the sombre colour of mourning and sorrow for sin; use also scarlet, an intense variant of purple and red that symbolizes the life-giving blood of Christ; or any colour that pleases you.  Please post and let us know what you are making and how you are progressing.  Photos are welcome. 
God bless you,
Joy Coetzee – The Ruth Mailbag Group.
Fax 086 516 4618

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Siyathemba January update

Siyathemba January update

It is already nearly the end of January, and It feels like just yesterday when we were slowing things down for a family break in December! 

We were so blessed to receive a very generous donation from the Beacon Fellowship from Ladysmith together with the Ruth Mailbag group whilst we were on holiday in December.  It was such fun making up Christmas hampers for some of the moms that we are in touch with, and we’ve managed to stock up our baby clothe donations quite nicely.  We would really like to thank them, and also the people that give generously on a monthly basis, to the cause of mothers who have chosen life.

The wheels have been turning slowly with getting our NGO officially registered; it would be no surprise that such things require a large amount of paper work that needs to be filled perfectly. We were hoping to get things finalised by the end of February 2013 but it seems that our documents need to be reprinted and resigned, so please bear with us through the process so we can establish things correctly.

However the lives of people continue as does the work of God irrespective of whether documents are signed correctly or not. We are becoming closer friends with a few of the mothers and one of them we see almost weekly when we give her a lift to church. This particular mother has just finished a computer course however is really struggling to find work. She handed us a letter which helped her to communicate her journey over the last year or so.  The overwhelming message was one of loneliness. Her journey started, afraid and pregnant, and by deciding to keep her baby she lost her home and her family. She has no friends and no one to love her and now stays in a dark room in a building that is occupied by various individuals and families that are not interested in her as a person. When she opens her door she looks onto the rubbish pile for the building.  She now has her baby daughter who stays with her! I told her about 2 weeks ago that I believed that the time for loneliness in her life was over and she could not hold back the tears. We are very hopeful as we watch Jesus rebuild this life and honour someone who has chosen the road less travelled. I trust that I will be writing soon to tell you that she has found a job and is supporting herself.

There is also times when we cannot understand why things happen as they do but have to keep trusting Jesus that he is able to answer the hurt and the questions that others may have. We have learnt that the message of God is Jesus and the hope that he brings through the cross and nothing else.

We have previously told you about 4 months ago about a mother that arrived late one evening when I was feeling at my weakest, God miraculously provided one of the strongest Christian nurses in the hospital to translate for me however  a few consultations later she still seemed so resistant to keeping her baby. She returned one day just to tell me that she was going for the abortion. I was very sad and told her I could help her no further but whatever she chose she should remember that Jesus always loves her and left it at that.  That nurse who helped me called me a few days later to tell me that she had decided to keep her baby. To say that least, I was stunned, I had never expected this and it was obviously God who was at work. That nurse then built up a relationship with her over the next few months and I had contact intermittently through that nurse. She returned 2 weeks ago in the later stages of her pregnancy complaining that she no longer felt her baby moving. We sent her for a scan and indeed the baby was no longer alive. I told her and I have never seen someone take this news as badly as she had. She was completely broken; she sobbed and sobbed and sobbed. I was amazed at how someone who initially had not wanted that child was so broken that it was no longer was alive. She had obviously worked through some very difficult issues to accept and love her baby, and then it was gone!  What could one say under these circumstances? I sat rather speechless before her, as in some way I felt responsible for her pain. However I had to remind myself that I did not need to make excuses for God and trust that He had the power to answer the questions she had. The questions that arise in these circumstances are sometimes difficult to answer but ultimately it is for this broken world that Christ died and only in his suffering do we get perspective in ours.

It has also become obvious to me that this brokenness is not limited to mothers seeking abortions. I am in charge of our maternity ward and in December 73% of the mothers giving birth in our labour ward for the 1st time were under the age of 20! It is also not infrequent to see 18 or 19 year olds coming to deliver their second baby. As you can see the problem is extensive and I am very grateful that at the moment we have a good supply of doctors at our hospital and therefore I am not so pushed for time. I can therefore also spend time with these mothers since I am of the firm belief that only Jesus can solve these extensive issues.

These situations also give one a bit of perspective on the issues we so easily complain about on a day to day basis. When I consider the problems faced by these mothers I am very grateful to our Lord for my beautiful healthy family and his continuous daily provision.

 On a happier note, we had a little boy born in early January.  He’s been named Owame (he is my son), a testimony or acceptance and love!  Through a long and sometimes difficult process of facing his mom’s very complicated social situation, the young mom has managed to make contact again with her distant relatives who have welcomed her and her baby into their home.  She is an orphan and previously very alone, so this discovery has been a priceless one for her.  Owame was not born at our hospital, so we haven’t met him yet, but she’s promised to come and see us at the end of the month when we can give her a big parcel of lovely things that have generously been donated to us and meet this little boy.  Another little boy is due any day...this is the baby of the girl who ‘mistakenly’ sent be the sms requesting for an abortion, which we mentioned in a previous update.  The mom is well and so excited about the soon-to-be arrival of her little son.  She said, “My life hasn’t been the same since we spoke.”  We’re posting her a big parcel of goodies and hopefully will get to meet her and her boy in May this year. 

Lastly, we are continuously meeting new students and foreign doctors, and through one conversation or another, are able to tell them about Siyathemba.  The concept that there may me an alternative to an abortion seems a very unthought-of one to them , and through many questions, we are able to share the truth with them which will hopefully lead them saving babies and helping hurting women in their futures.

Thank you again for you love and support,

Burd (and Bee)
Mosvold Hospital

How you can help - February 2013

How you can help

there are many items you could donate to

St Patrick’s Day Baby

Closing date for this project – 1st Saturday in March

Wool/buttons/lace/ribbon/fabric & sewing cotton

Blankets/clothes/toys/toiletries for preemie & newborn babies

New and good quality 2nd hand goods

All items donated are very much appreciated

Traditional colour green!!!

THE RUTH MAILBAG GROUP, “For charity – NO retail value”




Then why not join us or send in your finished items.  Please remember to add your name and address / email so I can let you know they have arrived...

Fax 086 516 4618
Related link -

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Appeal for assistance: Mom and triplets

Appeal for assistance: Mom and triplets

Name of the Mother: Ms Zanele Mvemve
Place of Birth: Watersmeet (Ladysmith)
Children: One Girl and Two Boys
Please send gifts to: Ms Zanele Mvemve, C/o Mr Thabo Sithole, PRO, Ladysmith Provincial Hospital
Postal Address: Private Bag X9928 Ladysmith 3370
Physical Address: Malcom Road, Ladysmith
GPS co-ordinates: 29.766058 | -28.5567272
Telephone: +27 (0) 36 637 2111
Fax: +27 (0) 36 637 6457
If you will be attending the Ruth Mailbag Group Meeting (on the 1st Saturday in February at the Juana Maria Home, Francis Road, Ladysmith, at 14h00,) you may bring your gifts to the meeting and I will pass them on to the mother.
Yours in anticipation,
Joy Coetzee - The Ruth Mailbag Group