Reaching out through The Oaks

The Oaks, a home providing accommodation and discipleship to ex-offenders launched by The Message Trust SA, continues to provide support and care to the current residents while taking it upon themselves to help aid families in need during the pandemic.

During the Covid-19 pandemic and strict lockdown enforced all across South Africa, several families have lost their income and are struggling to provide food and essentials to their children and family members. Marlon and Annalise Petersen, The Oaks’ house parents, alongside the 3 young men currently living in the home have taken the initiative to help source and deliver food parcels to families in need throughout Cape Town communities.  




The basic food parcel which feeds a small family for up to two weeks. Food parcels have been provided by the Mayor of Cape Town’s office, as well as through donations made through The Message Trust Community Fund.

This is being done through communicating with churches we have partnered with to assess the need of the communities in which they are located, and sourcing food parcels and essentials through the Cape Town Mayor’s office.

The Oaks family collects parcels from the Mayor’s office and are involved in the physical delivering of the parcels to both churches and individual families in different communities. The team also takes the time to pray with families and offer them words of encouragement before moving on to deliver the next parcel. Several partner organisations and individuals who have heard the call to give in this difficult time, have also donated specific items of need in order to ‘top up’ food parcels with other practical items that families need. The


“It is an overwhelming and ongoing task. The demand is so great and the supply of food parcels is so small – it is really difficult to see how much more is needed. This week there was a lack of supplies at the Mayor’s office, so we were actually unable to make food deliveries this last week, ” said Marlon.


The team are taking every step possibly to fall in-line with government regulations, as well as following strict hygiene protocols to ensure they are not becoming a part of the virus’ spread whilst trying to do good. The team remain prayerful and cautious as the communities they are reaching out to are becoming increasingly dangerous as several riots have been reported across the city. There is also a very real worry of catching coronavirus themselves, however these feelings aren’t nearly as great as the need to serve the hungry and inflicted communities in Cape Town.


“It is difficult to see the amount of pain and need there is in our communities but hearing the family’s hearts and appreciation when we deliver the parcels is such a great reward to be able to give back to the community.”


The Oaks Family, together with The Message Trust, thank God for the opportunity to help the most vulnerable amongst us. It is an moments like this that we are able to show the strength of Christ’s people against diversity and the strive towards a nation of unity. If you would like to make a financial contribution to the relief aid we are offering, please make a donation via GivenGain:


Written by: Alexis Horne

Reaching out through The Oaks