Monday, October 12, 2015

I’m back!!!!

I can hardly believe that it has been two months to the day that I boarded a plane to come back to South Africa!!! It is just crazy how fast time has flown and I decided it was time to give you a quick update of what’s been happening! It has been very busy since I’ve been back, seeing my kids at Bizweni, seeing my kids at His Ark, and reconnecting with my friends and “adoptive family” this side of the world. It has been so good seeing all of them and hearing about their lives over the last year, but there have definitely been some bittersweet moments. Transitioning back here proved to be more difficult than I expected, but I’m thankful that it is getting better by the day!



Many things have changed at school, as some students have moved on to other schools, and a week after my arrival one of the students in my class died in the hospital, which has hit all of the students and staff very hard. We are thankful for the love, encouragement, and prayers through that journey. We’ve also had times of fun, learning new things, beginning some basic reading with a few of the higher level children, and recycling to help our environment, and turning trash into a bird feeder treasure! They’ve finally started the building of the addition to our Centre- a Skills Development Centre, for the older children!!! We’re so excited that God has provided this addition to our services, so that we can more appropriately help our students and the new ones that will come!

20150820_Clever Inathi shapes

It may not look like much to you on this board, but for this girl it means lots of improvement. Because of her Cerebral Palsy, fine motor skills, like writing are very difficult for I. She was able to copy down a triangle accurately for the first time, and as you can tell by her grin she was very proud of herself, and so were her teachers!!! Smile


At the end of our week studying birds, the kids used their imaginations to build a bird in a nest, using pineapples, pretzels, grapes, & frosting. They really enjoyed the activity!


The kids LOVE our baking days, but sadly we don’t have access to the kitchen we were using before I left, so we’ve had to be creative in finding recipes that don’t require any heating.  As you can see in the picture, I’ve typed up the recipes in simple steps, with pictures to help all of the students to be able to follow along, with the hope that one day some of them will be able to follow the simple directions on their own. They loved helping and loved making “Peanut Butter Snack balls”, a childhood favorite of mine, that my mom used to make for us after school. I think we may have to try this recipe again- it was a hit!

Prayer Requests:

  • Pray with me as I’ve been asked to consider a different role within the Centre next year. Pray that I will have clarity about what role I must take in the new year.
  • Please pray for continued transitions at the school and for staff unity amongst the changes coming in the new year.
  • Pray for generous sponsors for a new bus for the Centre, as transportation is one of the main hindrances of our children getting to school.


His Ark:

With Antje being back in Germany when I first arrived, I was quite busy for the first few weeks, but I was so happy to see how Jolin had taken charge, now that he is full-time with His Ark. It has been so great getting to reconnect with so many of the kids and families in SLP and to see how they’ve grown! Some of the aspects of the weekly programs have changed because we are no longer working with the young adults from the Eagles Rising program, so that means less leaders, but it has opened up for an even greater opportunity. We have about 8 teenagers/ young adults, who have grown up in our programs who are now ready for some responsibility, and so we rely on them on Fridays to help in all aspects of the program, whether teaching the Bible lesson through acting, dishing food, or helping to keep the kids quiet during the lesson. It has been such a blessing to see how empowering these kids has had an impact on them, but also the younger children of Kids Club. It is part of our dream to raise up young leaders in this community who will stand for Christ and it is so great to see it come to fruition. What a blessing they are to us!

1st week back teaching kc

Quiet worship song: one of my favorite parts of Kids club. We use this to help calm them down but more importantly it is so beautiful to hear them sing earnestly and loudly….”…this one thing remains, your love never fails, it never gives up, never runs out on me…”

windy rainy day

As you can see, we still don’t have that building yet, but we’re still there for the kids, rain, shine, or wind!!!! Thankful for these little tents that keep some of the rain off.

girls club read aloud

Our girls, boys, & sports clubs have been in full force while I’ve been away, but I’ve been happy to get back into working with our young girls. At girls club, we started a series reading through the Jesus Storybook Bible, looking to see how Jesus is found in all of the Bible and what that means to us in our daily life.


Right after Antje arrived back in SA, we took 23 of our older girls on a 3 day camp. It was such a great time for the girls to get away from their home lives for a few days and for us to get to know them better. Our topic was sexual purity, which is a tricky topic for our community, with the statistics speaking for themselves between rape and teenage pregnancy, but we focused on what God calls us to and who we are in Him, so we must try our best to respect the temple God’s given us.


All of our girls decided that they wanted to sign a covenant to remain pure until they’re married and as a reminder we gave them each a little ring. We’re hoping that as witnesses we can help them walk through this journey, despite some of their very difficult circumstances.



As for the rest of the photos, you can see that the girls had fun in their games, swimming, and some serious challenges. Most of the “games” were actually team and character building activities. It was so great to see them work together, sometimes getting frustrated, but to see them find ways to solve problems together was amazing. We also had a fashion show encouraging the raw beauty we’ve been given and to help teach them modesty.

As you may have noticed in some of the photos, we’ve been blessed that God has opened the doors for more volunteers to come work with us. Right now, we have two volunteers from Germany, Adina & Marcel, and they are here until July. There were also a few here when I first arrived who were here for just a few weeks. We’re so thankful for extra hands!!!!


Prayer Requests:

  • As we predicted with our topic from camp, some of our girls have told us or have shown signs of sexual abuse. Pray that we can find the right ways to help them and that God would put His hands of healing and protection over them.
  • Continue to pray with us for the future of His Ark, particularly finding land and a building, and continued volunteer support.
  • Pray for the safety of all of our kids, young leaders, and our staff in SLP. Pray God’s protection over us as we work and walk with our community.
  • Pray for the upcoming Christmas party, as we are looking for sponsors, and that all of the details will come together smoothly, so that we can bless our kids in big ways and they will have a deep understanding of the real meaning of why we  have this party for them.

Brag moment….remember Pauline the girl we helped get her birth certificate? Can I just say, how proud I am of this girl?!?!?!?! This is my beautiful girl on her Matric (like a prom) night. She wanted to have natural hair, because that’s the way God made her, and would only let me put a little makeup on her, because she didn’t want to look “fake and like a clown”.  As we shopped for her dress, she was concerned about being modest.  I’m so blessed to know Pauline, but more importantly I’m so thankful that God is using her in mighty ways to set an INCREDIBLE example for our girls, that there is another way to live. She came on camp with us, and was such a crucial player in everything.

Please pray as she finishes her last term of school, that she will be able to do her very best and that we will be able to help her get into a good university and find sponsors to help her on this next stage of her beautiful journey.


As for me, I’ve been able to settle into my new house. I’ve moved in with one of my friends, Leilanie. It is so amazing to see where and how God has taken me places!

Please continue to pray as I continue to settle and finish unpacking.

Please also pray for my car, as it broke down on the way back from camp last week. I’m praying it will be low cost and soon fixed as not having a car is becoming a problem, now that school is back in session.


Until next time….

Monday, April 20, 2015

Longer-term than planned

Well, it’s been a while since I’ve posted, and if you’ve seen me around, you can put two and two together that I didn’t make it back to South Africa in February. Then when I pushed it back to April, thinking that all of my paperwork would be through for my Work permit to return this past week, well God had other plans. After many, many delays in the paperwork and the police department losing my paperwork, again another deadline set has come and gone. After much prayer and seeking of wise counsel from my sending agency and close friends and family, I’ve pushed back my plane ticket until mid-August, trusting that by then all of my paperwork will be in my hands by then.

It has been a challenge to be on this roller-coaster of ups and downs, going and staying, but I’m trying hard to just remind myself of the blessing of extra, unexpected time with family and friends, and that I get to walk side by side with my baby sister as we prepare for her wedding at the end of the summer. And overall, that God is sovereign, and even if I don’t understand why, He has me here for a reason.

That being said, I’m still staying busy with admin work and helping with the curriculum for the school, and helping with what I can from afar, but as a way to earn money so when I go back full-time, I will be looking for a job for the summer.

I’ve tried hard to stay in touch with my kids and ministries as much as I can so here are some updates from the other side:


His Ark:

There have been several outbreaks of violence in our township (slum/village) involving gangs, but we are so thankful that has calmed down and so life is back to usual for most of our kids. Kids club kids were so excited to have the programs start back up, with kids club, the sports clubs & bible study groups on a little holiday break. Here are some pictures of what they’ve been up to!

girls club ice cream

The Girls club started up again and they enjoyed a special trip to McDonald’s to start off the year to talk about what they did over their break and to talk about what they want to learn this year.

girls club start

Here are the girls, working hard to write down what they would like for God to teach them this year. Most of the girls in this group are new to our group and our Xhosa speaking girls.

boys camp 1boys camp 2boys camp hike

Here are a few of the pictures of what has been happening with our YLC (Young Lads Club or boys bible club). Jolin was able to take a group of 20 of our boys away for a few days to grow with each other and most importantly to grow in their relationship with Christ. Thank you to those of you who gave sponsorship money so our boys could get out of their typically violent and troubled daily living situations to a safe and peaceful retreat! They had a blast!

Prayer requests:  * Please continue to pray for the safety of our kids and our staff

*Please also pray for additional volunteer help for our programs

*One of our teenage student’s father is very ill and in the hospital. Please pray for her as she has to live alone and visit him in the hospital daily and still keep up on her schoolwork.


Things at Bizweni have also been busy as they’ve started a new school year, meaning some of our students have moved on to other schools and some new students have entered Class 3. Some bittersweet moments, and I’m sure when I get back it will be quite an adjustment for me to not see a few of my older kids. They were able to go on another sports day a few weekends ago, but I don’t have any pictures of that at the moment.


bizweni aphiwe

A loves getting outside and working on his upper arm strength and was very proud to be doing it all by himself!

bizweni Lerato

L is such a clever girl! So proud of how much she has grown and all they tell me about how she is progressing and thankful we have the standing frame she’s in to help her physically too!

bizweni sandwiches

On one of the cooking days, they made their very own sandwiches, some of them for the very first time. Proud of the concentration you can see in some of their faces. Smile They really enjoyed getting to eat their hard work!

bizweni shopping 2bizweni shopping

Like last year, our students got to go on a field trip to the grocery store to practice money skills, but also to identify veggies, fruits,  and other common and important items in a store. Most of us take this chore lightly, but this is a struggle for our children as they grown, but we’re thankful for the opportunity to help them learn in a fun and safe way!

Prayer requests: * Please pray for all the staff, but especially in the classroom I’m working with. They are feeling drained with all the extra work and not always enough hands.

*Please also pray for the safety of all our staff & students as they travel in and out of the townships everyday for school.



*Please continue to pray for my paperwork, that everything will go smoothly so that I have all my documents before my flight.

* Please pray as I continue to seek monthly supporters, so that I am fully-funded when I return.

*Please pray as I look for employment, that I will be able to find the right fit that allows me to still have time to work on the things I need to for my paperwork, Bizweni & His Ark.


If you or someone you know is interested in supporting me or wants to know more about what I do, I’d be glad to get together with you and tell you more about it.


If you’re interested in financially, you can simply send a check to CTEN  (Commission To Every Nation, PO Box 291307, Kerrville, Texas, 78029-1307), just be sure to leave the memo line blank and put a sticky note with my name so they know whose account to put it in. Or you can give online to CTEN (click on CTEN and it will take you directly to my page).


I’m so blessed by all your continued support through all the valleys and hills I’ve crossed on this journey. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

2014 Christmas Party!

Well friends, I realized I never posted on my blog about the Christmas party, but we’ve posted lots about it on the Facebook page, but I will post a few pics on here and several BIG THANK YOUs to all of you who made this possible, whether it was donating a present, contributing financially to supply a present, or giving of your time on the day! Our kids were so blessed and I’m sure are still talking about it!




Over 200 presents were collected or packed for this day! Our His Ark kids were blessed!


The volunteers getting ready for the kids


Some of our littles waiting patiently for the bus



Making new friends and having fun while waiting for the bus; it was such an extra blessing to take them somewhere for the party



ready to get this party started!


One of the kids favorite songs…The Monkey Smile


The Bible story about Jesus being the Light of the World and our very own Kids Choir performing! <3


1V6A28361V6A28051V6A2816Cupcakes for Jesus Birthday!1V6A28781V6A28731V6A28811V6A29081V6A3038

1V6A2932All the fun & games1V6A29471V6A29631V6A29671V6A29711V6A29831V6A29991V6A30011V6A30371V6A30441V6A3061Marcelin Adams 39 (2).  present time!!! Such big smiles!! Smile