Category Archives: Real life

Can You Believe It? Online Giving!

                                  Click me to join the fun

Sit back and relax. We now have online giving options! They are super easy! Now everyone can easily join the fun and help spread the LOVE!

Our 2017 budget is in need of 39 people to commit to $50 a month, or some such configuration. It’s never been easier to join! We’d love to partner with you! Click the friendly baboon or GO HERE if you prefer.

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The Opposite of Addiction

A friend of mine in South Africa posted this video on Facebook. It is an animated, abridged version of a TED talk given by author Johann Hari. He wrote a book about substance abuse called Chasing the Scream.  He realized he had a number of addicts in his life and didn’t know how to help them.  He went on a journey to find answers and wrote about it.  I haven’t read the book, yet, (I have started.) but I think his findings are worth considering.

Addiction is a major factor in our community.  (Today I was praying with two young moms whose own mothers are addicted to crystal meth.  These mothers no longer have relationships with their children or grandchildren.) In many cases, the shame and isolation method of treatment isn’t working.  It is making it worse.  This author postulates that love and community may be much more effective tools in setting people free, which resonates with where we see God leading us.

God of the Impossible; God of the Preposterous

Yesterday was the two-year anniversary of the Grade R (kindergarten) at the Ocean View Care Centre. I had no idea until I arrived. The excitement was abundant because it was truly a day to celebrate plus, God had provided a free trip to the circus for the school as a birthday present! Two years of miracles are certainly worthy of celebration.

The story is remarkable. The school was born in pain. The founder lost his young son to cancer at the end of 2014. He decided that he was not going to allow the children of Ocean View to be lost through lack of academic preparation. He couldn’t change what happened to his boy, but he could change the paths of the children of Ocean View who seemed to be falling through the cracks because they were on the streets when they should have been in a Grade R preschool.

The school was started with a simple decision. We will do it and God will provide. There was no building and no budget. These children’s families could not pay for this school and yet these children needed nutrition if they were going to learn. He found a retired teacher to do the teaching, and they rounded up about 20 kids who were Grade R age but were playing in the streets during school days. On February 10, 2015, the school started outside in the corner of a building. It rained that day while kids sat huddled in a corner of an abandoned building.

The school started to grow. More children came and so did more volunteer teachers. In April, the school and Ocean View Care Centre received 16 used shipping containers and were allowed to put them on a plot of council land. Now the school has its own classrooms and kitchen. Playground equipment was donated and a small support staff feed and care for the students.

Every day is a miracle here. Everyone is a volunteer. There are no salaries. When they come to serve, it is a miracle. The children are fed breakfast, lunch and a snack every day with no budget. Miracle. 85 children completed the first year. There was a total of 98 who came at some point during that year. Miracle. That was overwhelming so they capped enrollment at 55 the second year with a smaller staff. Miracle. This year they have about 40 students. Miracle. Almost 200 children’s lives have been impacted over this two years. Miraculous.

During our morning prayer meeting, I found myself praising the “God of the Impossible; God of the Preposterous.” He has made a school out of shipping containers and a vacant lot. He has fed and taught almost 200 children and prepared them for a better future. He has changed the lives of countless parents, observers, and volunteers who He has touched as we watched Him work with willing hearts and no budget.

The crazy thing is this is only the beginning of the impossible and preposterous things we expect God to do in Ocean View, in the Fish Hoek Valley, in Cape Town, in South Africa, across the African continent, and around the world. Get ready to participate with the God of the Impossible; God of the Preposterous.

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Surprise from Cape Town!

Dylan didn’t tell his grandparents and flew nearly 24 hours straight to surprise them in Dallas, Texas. My parents’ reaction is typically entertaining with my mom screaming and my dad non-reacting to my mom’s screams.

Dylan will be in the USA for a few months to earn money and other such adult things before his next adventure. He and Jackson will be living together!

Evangeline + Paris + YOU=LOVE

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Our favorite daughter of all time wants to attend a YWAM Discipleship Training School next month. It’s in Paris with a 3-month outreach to southeast Asia. It would be a huge growing, learning season for her.  She will be learning about herself, Jesus and loving others and how all that works together in life.

Even though she’s been baking brownies, making earrings, sewing catchy crafts and such, she’s still quite shy of the amount she needs.

She needs at least $2500 before 27th of the September. Can you help her out? She is a worthwhile investment! thank you!

You can donate to her GofundMe HERE.

Is it an Election Year?

This post isn’t really about politics. Honest. In fact I am going to use 80s television to make it seem less political, but I do think politics is a gateway to look at ourselves, or a mirror, if you will.

The other thing is that this post isn’t about trying to change anyone’s views, opinions or actions. I am merely trying to plant a seed, a seed of hope.

It is strange viewing this election campaign from afar. The distance certainly changes the intensity. Although I find that people here are almost as interested as they are in the USA. So many tell me they are following the drama quite closely. To tell the truth, they seem much more interested than I do, but I find their reactions and observations fascinating.

There are some things that are obvious to me.

1. We are deeply divided. I am primarily talking about the people of God, but we could say that about the nation, as well. Some of us love Mr. T and are rooting for the A-Team. Others of us are saying that Mrs. C and Happy Days are the best option. And a very large group are saying they don’t like the choices that 80s television is giving us. I have people I love, honor and trust in each group. Each group seems to be using Biblical examples as proof. Each group seems to feel there is no other way to look at it and if you do, you are violating the Word. Continue reading Is it an Election Year?

Living in ‘Gang Hell’

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It’s so hard to describe what live is like for residents of Ocean View. This news article does a great job, even though the facts are hard to stomach. Please give it a read so you can see what every day life is like for the people we love here.

Welcome to Ocean View – a township where scores of people have been gunned down since December in gang-related violence.

Ocean View is home to 30 000 people, of whom at least 60% are unemployed, say community workers.

The latest crime statistics show there were 26 murders and 231 drug crimes reported there between April 2014 and March 2015. These stats only reflect cases reported to the police, and community organisers say the murder rate is much higher. Continue reading Living in ‘Gang Hell’

Introducing…Freedom & Flight Jewelry

How do you tell someone that God will provide for them but walk away while they are still hungry and need to feed their kids? You don’t.

We know too many single moms who are trying valiantly to feed, clothe and care for their kids on $0 income. $0. Nothing. We really feel like this idea is a God-given idea, especially since I, (Christina) have never made earrings before in my life. So introducing….

Screen Shot 2015-12-11 at 4.03.42 PMWe want to give these brave women a way to generate an income, at least enough to put food on the table. We aren’t experts or professionals at job creation or marketing, so this is pretty grass-roots, experimental. The goal is to bring freedom and have that freedom give wings to hope.
Continue reading Introducing…Freedom & Flight Jewelry

Pieces. Kickball. Palestine.

Part 2 of my recent trip. Part 1 is here. Part 3 is in my head.

kickballI hated “picking teams” in grade school. With the exception of one glorious fifth grade kickball season, I was never the first player chosen for a team. “Mennonite Molly” claimed that title. A leggy blonde a whole year older than the rest of us; a terror in a denim skirt.

It begins in our bones and stays there until something breaks. That dualism. The US vs THEM mentality.

Last month I got to travel with another woman to visit Palestine and Israel, which unexpectedly broke me into pieces. What I saw in real life isn’t what TV and the Internet told me I’d see. Continue reading Pieces. Kickball. Palestine.

“Why Have You Come Here?”

ssphoto**Part 1 in a series of who knows how many about my recent trip to Syrian refugees, Israel and Palestine.

Have you ever caught yourself thinking about or intrigued by a specific person, people group or place? Maybe even a cause? You know, you try to put it out of your mind, but at random times, it returns? You don’t even know the person, or have never been to the place, but you feel a connection with it; a responsibility or longing to know more?

The first time I felt this particular connection to someone was Michael Jackson in the fifth grade. I may or may not have been misguided by hormones. This is not what I’m talking about. This is stalking. Continue reading “Why Have You Come Here?”