What is Havilah? Maybe the word sounds familiar to you. Our name change is born from months of prayer and worship in Ocean View. What kind of name would describe the scope of what we are doing?
We prayed separately and collectively with friends. The re-occurring theme was this needs to be a place of rebirth, something that reflects our original relationship with God. When Adam and Eve walked with God in the cool of the day in the garden. (Gen. 3). It needed to reflect the possibility of restoration. For awhile we referred to our place as Ocean View’s Eden. It looked nothing like Eden. There wasn’t a flower or even green grass in sight.
Then one day, the word Havilah popped into the conversation. Not one of us truly knew what it meant, although it sounded familiar.
Originally, we thought it was one of the four rivers that flow from the Graden of Eden. Upon research, we discovered we were wrong. It wasn’t one of the rivers, but it is a piece of sandy land that one of the rivers, the Pishon, surrounded…a place of hidden gold and gems.
Genesis 2:10-11: And a river went out of Eden to water the garden, and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads. The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; onyx stone.
Introducing…Havilah Collective. Havilah is located in the Ocean View Care Centre in the Coloured community of Ocean View.
If you look at the Hebrew definitions of the word Havilah, there are several definitions:
The first verb חול (hul) denotes a whirling in circular motions or a writhing in agony. Hence this verb is used for dancing (Judges 21:21) or the shuddering of mountains during an earthquake (Habakkuk 3:10), and also for the contractions during the labor of child birth (Isaiah 45:10) or the averting motions of people who fear the wrath of God (Joel 2:6). HAW Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament sums the meaning of this word up as “the physical writhing expresses the inner terror aroused by knowledge of God’s great deeds”.
The masculine noun חל (hol), meaning sand (Genesis 22:17, Job 6:3, Jeremiah 33:22). BDB Theological Dictionary suggests that the link between sand and a verb that means to whirl may lie in the image of sand being blown about by a whirling wind.
**Ocean View is located in a pile of sand. When the coloured community was forcibly removed from their homes, the apartheid government moved them to snake-filled sand fields.
- The masculine noun חל (hel) or חיל (hel), meaning rampart (2 Samuel 20:15, Isaiah 26:1) or fortress (Obadiah 1:20). Theological Dictionary supposes an original meaning of a surrounding wall.
- The feminine noun חלחלה (halhala), meaning writhing (Isaiah 21:3, Nahum 2:11, Ezekiel 30:4 and 30:9 only).
- The masculine noun מחול (mahol), meaning dance or dancing (Jeremiah 31:4, Psalm 149:3).
- The feminine equivalent of the former noun, מחולה (mehola), also meaning dancing (Exodus 15:20, Judges 11:34, 1 Samuel 18:16).
- Most often this noun denotes plain might, either God’s (Psalm 59:11), man’s (Ecclesiastes 10:10) or even plants (Joel 2:22). Often it means wealth (Job 31:25), or worthiness (1 Kings 1:52), but both in the sense of might-giving; substance. Our word may also be used as synonym for army — that is: the king’s force(s); Exodus 14:4.
To attempt to summarize:
A sandy land surrounded by the river Pishon, flowing from the garden of Eden.
A land of hidden gold and gemstones.
To writhe in agony, to give birth
An army of mighty men and women.
We believe this is our mission-to see Ocean View as a people of hidden gold and gems; a mighty people. Born from pain and agony. Dancing. A fortress.
A people born to overcome. To see their value and might, to be birthed from the sand of man’s rejection into the garden of delight.
Building a community to bring reconciliation, restoration and hope.
RESTORATION. REDEMPTION. REVOLUTION.
How, do you ask?
Our philosophy and plan are like a wheel. A wheel within wheels to be exact. God is the governing centre and we are the spokes, joined with others, who revolve around the idea of co-revolution with the community. Here is our three-step plan for 2018:
Step One: Restore Beauty. Plants, flowers, sustainable gardening, colour and fresh paint. Our place is an outward expression of self-worth.
Step Two: Restore Community. Coffee shop. There are 30,000 people living in Ocean View with absolutely no place to meet and talk. A coffee shop is never just a coffee shop. Lights, live music, good coffee.
Step Three: Restore Rest. We are training two more women in the new year to do aromatouch massages. We are fixing up the container so it is restful. The broken windows have been fixed, the floors will be re-done and a fresh coat of paint will be on the walls. A massage is never just a massage.
Step Four: Restore Reconciliation with God, ourselves and others. Identity programs, reading programs, worship nights and programs which include parent/child interaction. Child development, drug and addiction counselling, etc.
This is only just the beginning.
To read more about Ocean View and it’s roots in apartheid history, read HERE.