Bono, Masi and a thing called Ubuntu

Screen Shot 2013-02-28 at 5.18.53 PMOur facebook friend, Steve Stockman, wrote one of the most moving, impassioned posts about Masi, Mandela, Bono and the meaning of Ubuntu.

On a few select days, I think we are here in Cape Town to “fix” or “address” issues. Most days, I’m certain we are here to learn. Ubuntu is a beautiful concept to learn and appreciate.

What does a society look like that hasn’t embraced the survival of the fittest? When you give someone a bag of groceries, why is it gone before they reach home?

“Most important of all, why had the oppressed 80+% not retaliated against their oppressor but wooed much of their youth to ride down the Rainbow towards a rich eclectic nation of true promise? The answer to our question was one word – Ubuntu.”

You can read the full post from our Belfast friend here.

A Baboon Walked into the House…

It sounds like the start of a bad African joke…A baboon walked into…


ibanmagesKevin and I were not home. We had a close call with a baboon a couple of days earlier, but Kevin was able to scare it away. Guess the word spread quickly that this is the place to hang out. Six months ago we lived in Midwest suburbia and today I’m writing about baboons in the kitchen. Go figure.
Continue reading A Baboon Walked into the House…

Paradise Lost

A teenage boy was stabbed to death in Masi on New Year’s Eve. By other teenage boys. Shortly after midnight, a fight broke out.

Summer is stunning in South Africa. Uninterrupted blue sky, calm ocean waves, mountains see their reflection in the vast water. White sand, palm trees, vibrant flowers in bloom. Post card perfect.

News of the murder didn’t make it into the newspaper. No outcry. No headline. No mention. Not a ripple. We knew him, the boy. He had been to the teens club, with Kevin. We even knew of the boys that killed him. 12, 13, 14 year old boys.

It is summer. Holiday. Sun-tanned tourists and kids on school break fill the beaches and shops. Bermuda shorts and sun glasses and drinks with umbrellas.

One of the greatest lies ever perpetuated is that some lives aren’t worth as much as others. It is believed, taught, lived.

This is evil at its best. Disguised in paradise.

Living Between Paranoia and Compassion

anxiety-bwWho left the front gate unlocked? That was my first reaction to the youngish looking man with a 3-year-old child perched on his shoulders. He didn’t knock on the door, but paced around on the front porch, peering in the windows.

Kevin wasn’t home. The man spoke with a delayed slur. He was missing several teeth, his cheeks hollow. If I was going to make assumptions, I’d say he was on tik, or crystal meth as is it’s called.

He asked for bread and water for him and his son. February 1, his son turns 3 years old. Do I have any toys? Continue reading Living Between Paranoia and Compassion

Our “New” House!

We were growing anxious. Sleepless.

We had 12 days to find a house in South Africa. The market was flooded with people looking for rentals in this beautiful area.

We needed bigger, at least three rooms. We wanted to live both near downtown shops, church and close to Masi.

We didn’t want to pay a lot of money. We are still surviving on 30% support levels, so we weren’t expecting beach front property.

12 days to find a home. Then buy all the appliances, furniture, bedding, etc.

Oh boy, it was getting close. The owner called us to see if we wanted it. Yes, we will take it. FINALLY, after almost two years of living in someone else’s home or with someone else’s things, we will have our very OWN. Thank you Jesus.

It is 102 years old. It has some challenges…

Wearing My Zebra Pants

100_0443Last weekend we went to the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront in Cape Town. It’s a fabulous shopping experience on the harbour. A group of five guys dressed in zebra striped work out pants, ala the Hulk Hogan era, were wowing the crowd with their limbo skills. Not only could they duck under the limbo stick while chanting, they even lit the stick on fire and then shimmied underneath it. Not so much as a hair was burned but the crowd gasped at the near misses. One guy had a serious afro and I’m not sure he realized just how close the outer limits of his hair came to being toast. Continue reading Wearing My Zebra Pants


Screen Shot 2013-07-27 at 1.52.27 PMThe Masi teens and leaders rebuilt a shack yesterday. It took 8 hours of hard work. If you receive our newsletters, we once mentioned a boy named Bobby. It’s his house. There was no roof, just tarp. Cape Town winters are cold, rainy and very windy. There was no floor, just dirt.

The teens decided to rebuild it. They didn’t have fancy sponsors. They weren’t trying to raise money for a summer camp, or field trip.
In the words of one of the leaders, “His house is not right. The conditions are very bad. I mean, we all live in shacks, but his is not right.” Continue reading Uprising

Why Does God Make Some People so Rich When Others are so Poor? Does He Hate Us?

Screen Shot 2013-07-31 at 9.45.13 PM

This week in our Masiphumelele teens’ club we have been inviting questions, tough questions.  We have been asked about the reliability of the Bible, about trust in Jesus, and how to navigate traditional, African religious worship as a follower of Christ.  Today came the toughest question yet,  “Why does God make some people so unbelievably rich when so many others are so unbelievably poor?” Continue reading Why Does God Make Some People so Rich When Others are so Poor? Does He Hate Us?

Thanks Big Guy

Group3-300x168Living Way’s Worker Readiness Course prepares employees for the workforce by teaching tangible skills such as work ethic, time management, hygiene, conflict management, CV preparation, interviews, dreams and goals. (from living hope website)

Kevin received many notes of thanks from workers who benefited from his maths tutoring. Our favorite is this one:

To Kevin,…maths has become a little easy now thanks to you, you made things much clearer.  Thanks big guy, you are awesome.”Ntombizanele

Being the 6 foot bald guy has its privileges.
To Kevin, (Living Hope volunteer)…maths has become a little easy now thanks to you, you made things much clearer.  Thanks big guy, you are awesome.”Ntombizanele – See more at:

Cape Town, South Africa

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