A woman in our church brought these little dolls to church the other day to donate them to our friend Kingsley’s preschool, for the children to have and take home. She and some friends of her’s made over a hundred of them for an outreach that was educating children about domestic abuse and she had some left over. They used left over yarn and made every single one of them different. All different colors with different hair and faces. Then they attached a little tag to each one with a message that was translated in English, Xhosa and Afrikaans. They are so sweet and Kingsley was sure the kids would love them and they are a great tool for teaching kids about just how special they are!
Monthly Archives: May 2012
One of the very first gardeners we ever worked with was a man named Kolani. He had no existing garden when we first helped him but had gardened in the past. He and his wife and son are living in a small house in the township. His wife has a job working at a grocery store and they are keeping their son in school. Kolani was unemployed but very willing to work and always looking for a job and taking as many day jobs as he could get as a laborer. He worked really hard in his garden and showed a huge amount of skill and passion and reaped a pretty amazing harvest last year.
Just this past week Josh stopped in to see how he and his garden were doing and he got some amazing news. Kolani has been hired full time by one of the local high schools to plant and maintain a huge vegetable garden that can be used to supplement the school meals!! This is such amazing news for him and his family because it means full time, consistent work and they have given him a year contract that can be extended! And he will be gardening!! He is the first of our gardeners to go professional. lol. We are thrilled for him and his family to say the least.
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14
A few weeks ago a stranger walked into our Wednesday morning ladies cell at the church. None of the ladies knew who she was and she had arrived an hour late thinking that the 9:30 cell started at 10:30. After the cell was over we spoke to her and found out her name is Kingsley. She is a Xhosa woman in her 30′s. She had been confused about the time but had heard about our church and our ladies meeting and taken a taxi from the township to join us. I asked her if I could give her a ride home and on the drive she told me that she is running a daycare center and that was where she needed a ride back to. She has taken over a building that was built and donated by the local power company and she and about two other women are caring for around 40 children there.
When we reached the daycare I asked her if I could come in and look around. Nathan and I went in and saw the children and met the other women who were working there and took a little tour. It is very plain. One room is open for the kids to play but there are hardly any toys or anything there. The other room was set up with little tables and chairs where the children eat their meals. There was a small bathroom and a small kitchen where they are daily preparing food for the children. Outside there is a small play area and then along the back of the building they had a small garden growing. Trying to supply food for the meals for the children.
As I was looking around I was struck by Kingsley and her attitude and the fact that as she showed me around she wasn’t asking for anything. Instead, I could see her commitment to these children and the fact that she was really serving her community and striving to do all that she could possibly do to enrich the lives of the children in her care.
As I left I just knew that this was someone that we need to be involved with, as a family, as a ministry and a church. I called Josh and gave him directions and he and Freedom went and visited her the same afternoon. In talking with Kingsley Josh found out just how true my assumptions were. Because she is running a daycare in an impoverished area, she is supposed to receive a certain amount of aid per child from the government every month. She told Josh it has been months since she has received anything. Most of the parents don’t pay for their children to come and instead of shutting down the daycare because of lack of funds Kingsley and her helpers are there everyday working for sometimes as little as $18USD per month. They are basically volunteering to take care of these children that have no where else to go during the day. And, they are feeding the children solid meals that they may not get if they weren’t there. It is actually amazing what she is doing to protect and serve these kids.
Since our first visit together, Kingsley has been in church every Sunday and attends the ladies cell whenever she can. Josh and Freedom have committed to working together with her in her garden so that she can provide healthy, inexpensive meals for the children. He has gone to the municipality on her behalf and is working to resolve a debt that she inherited when she took over the building. Josh has taken our Pastor Deon to visit her and the daycare and she has really taken a place in all our hearts. We have asked the church to bring in any school supplies and toys that they have for the kids too. There is an excitement around her and her daycare not only because it is a place where we can give and invest but also because we see a woman there who has an excitement, a passion, and a commitment to make a positive difference in her community. She is a true leader and she is already making a difference without us. We are so grateful we can just serve her in her passion. We are looking forward to walking a road together with her and the children she cares for.
A few weeks ago I wrote a post asking for prayer for a little boy, Andrew, whose parents had moved to Pretoria, South Africa in the beginning of the year feeling God call them to South Africa as missionaries. About a month ago they found Andrew, their youngest son, unconscious in the pool at the home they are renting. He was revived and was in a coma for a few weeks. They tried to bring him out of it and he did open his eyes several times but some of his body’s main reflexes would not respond and he developed pneumonia and this past Sunday he passed away.
It is so heartbreaking. He was only one month older then our little Nathan. I cannot even to begin to imagine the sadness, confusion and anger that these parents must be feeling. They also have two older children.
Please pray for this family as they work through this time of immense heart sore.
One of Growing Hope’s biggest partners outside the church has been the local Mossel Bay Rotary Club. Last year they heard about Growing Hope and invited Josh to come and share about what he was doing. At that time they said they would pay for all the seedlings that we are getting grown for the gardens.
On Tuesday night Josh and Freedom went to their meeting to give feedback about how the garden project has been going.
Here is the email that one of the rotarians sent the same night after the meeting:
Hi Josh and Freedom
Many thanks for your feedback. It is a wow project and I think you have managed to get a few more Rotarians on board which is what I had hoped. Congratulations the two of you.
I will keep in touch and give me a few days warning when a few Rotarians can join you on gardening expedition!
what i am listening to today. take a minute and let your soul cry out….
This is the latest post from our friend Mike concerning his son Andrew.
“The doctor says Drew is “in recovery” and that we now simply wait for him to wake up so that he can begin rehabilitation. Specifically he needs to cough: this is a reflex that must awaken in order for his lungs to recover. We are thankful to all the friends, acquaintances, and strangers around the world praying. Thank you for journeying with us.”
Although it seems Andrew hasn’t really woken up yet he did have his eyes open slightly yesterday. Any progress is good news!
Please continue to pray for this little boy and his family as they patiently wait for complete healing in their little son!