Author: Karen

Over 790 teens and children from around the Southern Peninsula spent their July school holidays in a classroom of a different sort, the Living Hope Holiday Club.

This time of year is always looked forward to explained Life Skills Educator Justin Hendricks. “Holiday Club is one of those events that a Life Skills Educator cannot wait for due to the excitement of the kids. One day as I was walking to work from my house I entered the Capricorn area and got some kids along the way. They were already on their way to our programme at 07:30 and the programme only started at 09:00! This showed me the excitement the kids had for Holiday Club.”

Each year themes are chosen for Holiday Clubs based on prominent Bible verses and stories that can be personally applied. Curriculum Coordinator Danielle Schneider explained that this year two themes were chosen.

“This year for Holiday Club we spent the first week focusing on the Greatest Commandment found in Luke 10:27, love God and love your neighbour. Then we spent the second and third weeks looking at the life of Paul and applying positive characteristics to our own lives. Things like being a positive team player, humility, and having a good attitude.”

Children and teens explore these themes through songs, Bible stories, games, and crafts and they always get to enjoy a sandwich and a piece of fruit. While it’s easy to think the kids just show up for the fun, Hendricks believes that the programme makes a real difference in their spiritual lives. “While walking with them [early that morning] most had memorised the memory verse. This is a really good thing because they have taken in what was taught and don’t just come for the fun and games, but to learn something as well.”

Regular life skills clubs have now resumed during the school term with alternating days catering to teens and children. Living Hope hosts these clubs in Red Hill, Ocean View, Masiphumelele, Capricorn and Overcome Heights and welcomes new children to come any time. For more information about these and other life skills programmes call Living Hope on 021 784 2800.

This afternoon a fire broke out in the Wetlands area of Masiphumelele according to Disaster Management they estimate between 200 – 450 homes could have been affected, the exact number will only be known a little later. According to on the ground reports there have been no fatalities. For those who would like to assist in donating items – the needs are: soap and hygiene products, household items (pots, pans, blankets etc) – these items can be dropped off at Living Hope’s main gates with security or at the Masiphumelele Community Hall

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May is Child Protection Month in South Africa – the goal for Child Protection Month is to promote the culture of respect for children’s rights thus ensuring that all children grow up in an environment that is safe from abuse, neglect and exploitation.

We have a saying at Living Hope – “It’s better to build a whole child than to mend a broken man”

Our Life Skill Educators work with children on a daily basis – reaching over 5000 children every year through afternoon clubs, holiday clubs (VBS), numeracy & literacy tutoring, life orientation classes at Primary Schools, early childhood education in pre-schools, abstinence based programmes, leadership development and teens and college health outreaches.

We want every child to know that God loves them, that He created them with a plan and a purpose and that their current situation does not need to determine their future. Our family strengthening programmes are aimed at working with a child in need as well as their whole family – offering parenting workshops or talks, fatherhood programs and mothercare groups for mothers with new babies.

Will you help us? Will you join us in PROTECTING our children?

We are looking for 1000 people to donate $1 per day to our DAD program inorder to keep our Life Skill Education program going – Without our Life Skill Educators we cannot achieve the above – will you help us?

To sign up today as a DAD please click here

You can help us by praying for the children of South Africa too – pray for protection from sexual exploitation, child labour, child pornography, child trafficking, physical abuse, emotional abuse and neglect

Jesus says in Matthew 18 vs 5 “And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.”

 

Living Hope recently hosted a community wide Open Day on the 29th of March at their Capri campus.  The day included a full kid zone with face painting, jumping castles, carnival games and more.  DJ Stan was streaming music throughout the day and food was available for purchase.

 Facepainting

Living Hope once again opened up the day to local schools for a poetry competition around the theme HOPE – A Thing With Feathers.  Students from Fish Hoek Primary, Marine Primary, The Rock Academy and Kommejtie Primary participated.  The poetry competition winners were:

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1st Place – Adara Aho Gr7 Kommejtie Primary
I’m locked on a tower,
I’ve lost the key,
I’ve lost all power
I’ve lost me.

On this tower y fears compiled,
I’ve forgotten my passion,
My heart gone mild,
I cant defeat the first pain,
Before the second’s half way of my tongue
The third strangles my throat,
The fourth compressing my lung
How can I fight your battle
When I’m losing my war
How can I carry your pain
When I’m buckling at the core
I’ve got my wings; I’ve got my feathers,
How far would I fall,
With all my tethers?
Yet hope comes in, despite my fears
“Please don’t worry, I’m always here”

It destroys my chains,
Sets me free
My hearts not tame
I am me.

It told me to soar
It’ll catch me every time
Fear the ground no more
Ill be fine

If I don’t date fly
Where will I be?
When I could reach the sky
And see all there is to see

Because hope is a things with feathers
Nothing holds it still
No chain, rope or tether
Would fight against His will

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2nd Place – Nicole Wicks Gr7 Fish Hoek Primary
Hope is an amazing feeling which keeps a lot of people striving,
It cant be seen or touched but we know its there,
When times are tough and there is not much light,
Hope is the one thing that will always shine bright.

Hope can make a difference,
Hope is a powerful feeling,
It can change the world if we all start believing,
Hope can be in many forms, many ideas and many feelings,

Everybody should have hope,
If everyone stands together hope will rise,
It will rise high and soar off a mountain side,
It can be in dreams, in thoughts, in plans.

Hope can be a graceful butterfly,
Flying across the green grass over a meadow,
Hope can be a dream catcher always reminding s to be one,
To not just stand there but to make a difference and have fun.

Finally hope can be a white dove,
Soaring, flying up high,
The dove perfectly represents hope, faith and peace,
Watching those white feathers pass by.

Never just stand there and wait for hope,
Be positive hope will come, it feels like a dream coming true,
Hope can never change the past,
But hope can definitely change the future for you.

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3rd Place – Holly Ringwood Gr6 Kommejie Primary
FIRE
A mound of ashes brushed aside to reveal a single, glowing coal
The fire has died down, but its not too late to re-ignite now that the flames are gone
A dingle breath of wind from wings of a passing bird igniting a small flame
Carefully butured and looked after, tongues of fire leap into the air
Trying to reach the wings that brought them life and gave them hope
A fire has been reborn and like a phoenix from a flame Hope arises

WIND
A single feather drifts towards the ground, then blown away by a gust of wind
Waem thermals of air lifting hearts and birds higher,
Gales determined of blowing them away
And like a swallow determined to fly through the oncoming winds
Hope is never blown away

WATER

Tears, rivers, oceans, seas, lakes and streams all forms of what we need the most in life.
Diving down to the bottom of the ocean and then re-surfacing as droplets of water sliding off feathers
Enduring storms out at sea nd days without nourishement
And no matter how wet a Gull can be
Hope is never dampened.

EARTH
A Sho cast across the earth and a watchful eye upon it too
Making its home in inhospitable places.
Mountains, tall trees and cliffs
So versatile, yet can all fit onto the earth’s surface.
Flying high enough to touch the clouds
And no matter how far away the eagle seems
Hope is never out of reach

And this to me is HOPE – A THING WITH FEATHERS …

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Living Hope is grateful to local vendors who donated prizes for the poetry competition winners.  A big thanks to Ratanga Theme Park, Long Beach Mall, Easy Dig Café and Michigan Spur Long Beach.

 

Living Hope wants to thank the youth of both Valley Christian Church and King of Kings Baptist Church for giving of their time to serve as car washers for the day.

 

The day offered opportunities to learn more about what Living Hope offers and what is happening in the communities with tours around our facilities.  Living Hope’s mobile health clinic was on site as well for free health screenings which included BMI, blood pressure and sugar tests.

 

Living Hope is a NGO that seeks to reach people for Christ, bringing hope and breaking the despair of poverty and disease.  Living Hope provides guidance in four ministries; Living Right, Living Care, Living Grace and Living Way – seeking to impact South Africa’s Southern Cape Peninsula with a holistic approach that works to support those both affected and infected by HIV and AIDS, and other chronic diseases – as well as several other contributing factors. For more information on Living Hope services near you, please contact our offices at 0217842800

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Great News – Living Hope now open to hosting short-term Mission Teams in Zimbabwe

Some time ago, on learning about and seeing Living Hope’s ministry model in action in the Southern Cape Peninsula (South Africa) and being deeply impressed by our effective, holistic and Biblically based model – folks spoke about Living Hope coming to Zimbabwe and helping capacitate or set up a similar ministry and programs in that country.

Zimbabwe is a country of wonderful enthusiastic and friendly people, and also one of great need. We have heard Gods’ call for us to go and help. For some time now we have been working with local partners and communities in Zimbabwe, doing trainings and various other preparations for the establishment of programs. Danielle Schneider has been working with partner churches to improve their children’s ministry programs and to run life skills programs, in Gweru / Mkoba (central Zimbabwe).

We have more recently also started a new Economic Empowerment partnership in Harare (the capital) with a national Zimbabwean organisation – Miracle Missions. The Economic Empowerment program involves working with orphans entering adulthood; through lifeskills training, worker readiness training, Christian counselling, and helping them get short to medium term work placement that will set them up to become economically and socially active members of society who know God’s love and plan for their lives.

Context in brief

While Zimbabwe is a beautiful country with good natural resources and resourceful people, it is also rated (by the UN and others) a very low income country. It comes in at 172 out of 187 countries in the UN’s Human Development Index (HDI), 2013. 72% of the Zimbabwean’s live below the poverty line, 40% are seen as living in severe poverty[1]. In one of the townships where we work in Gweru, Mkoba, only 20% of the community’s active adults are in formal employment.   Mkoba is a community of about 100,000 people.  Not only is there deep poverty here, but parents, schools and local churches lack resources to offer children good standards of education and life skills instruction.

(If you wish to read more about Zimbabwe and the context please request us to send you additional material, or you may google Zimbabwe and the places mentioned here yourself.)

Our partner churches in the town of Gweru and in the township of Mkoba have one to several dozen children a week attending a church service or program.  We have trained and are mentoring local leaders to become more effective children’s workers and life skill educators.

Short-term mission teams are welcome from the beginning of August this year. Find out more info at teams@livinghope.co.za

Mission program

Currently Living Hope is seeking teams to get involved in our children’s and Life skills programs. Teams have a few options available to them, depending on when they come – especially if teams come during the Zimbabwean school term or vacation time.

  1. 1.      Teams during the Zimbabwe school vacation time

One the objectives of the children’s ministry is to host annual Holiday Clubs (aka Vacation Bible Schools).  We would like to host a Holiday Club during the August School Holidays and/or the December Holidays.  The children are out of school for the entire month so we are not locked into a certain week those months.  (Since this would be the first time these churches would be hosting Holiday Clubs we will be starting small.) The churches are in different locations, thus we would host one Holiday Club two days in one location (in town) and then host another in the other location (in Mkoba) for the next two days, doing the exact same program in both places.  The structure of the Holiday Club would be very flexible and will include games, songs, Bible story-telling, and other fun activities such as face painting and balloon animals.

  1. 2.      Teams during school term

As children are at school during the morning, this program involves Afternoon Clubs. Similarly to the Holiday Clubs, these clubs would consist of games, praise and worship, a Bible story, practical application, and crafts.  Prior to the mission trip, our Life Skills Specialist, team members and the local volunteer leaders will work together to set a program based on the amount of available time, materials and skills of people and so on. (Living Hope has a rich pool of curriculum/material – both our own and that of other organisations for which we have permission to use.) 

Additional program activities

Children’s ministry, as described above, is the core purpose for this mission’s opportunity but, depending on the time Teams come to Zimbabwe, there are a number of other activities that could be added, namely:

  • Invariably when one enters Zimbabwe one enters via Harare. Teams can spend a day observing the Economic Empowerment project and getting involved in an activity or two related to this.
  • Doing life skills programs in schools (teaching in the classrooms, school assemblies, and even after school at school).
  • Ministering to the local churches (such as biblical teaching, praying for local churches, and so on).

What else do you need to know?

There are more details and as soon as you communicate your interest we will send you additional information. For now, the things you should also know are:

  • This opportunity is for a group that wishes to come for a minimum of 4 days and up to 10 days.
  • The team size needs to be a minimum of 5 and a maximum of 12 people.
  • You can apply as a group. If there are open teams individuals can you join such a group.
  • This is suited to people who like to work with children of different ages, but you needn’t be experienced in children’s work.
  • In an un-developed context it is often difficult to plan in detail and expect all to unfold as planned. Additionally for our partner churches these are new programs. Therefore visiting team members need to be flexible.
  • Please come with a servant heart, open mind and a gracious spirit.

What it is likely to cost?

Teams contribute to ministry costs to enable ministry activities (Holiday Clubs, Afternoon Clubs, Life Skills training and so on) to occur and for the costs related to their ministry activities.  The cost for a week of ministry is $350 (this is for a standard program but costs may change for different activities or extended ministry periods).

Then there are expenses related to your personal costs: airport transfers, accommodation, ground transportation (between Harare and Gweru and local transportation), meals and some drinks. In Gweru you will be staying at Antelope Park which has often been described by a range of tour operators and tourists as one of the best places to visit in Zimbabwe and even Southern Africa. The package includes a dedicated vehicle and the services of an ACTS guide / driver. ACTS is our visitor care and logistics partner.  The standard personal cost for typical 9 days program (as per example below) is $900. For more information please see Logistics and Personal Care document attached.

Sample Missions Team Program (9 Days)

Day 1 – Arrive in Harare and settle into Team House

Day 2 – Visit Eco Empowerment in Hatcliffe Lunch @Church

Day 2 pm – Rest Supper @Team House

Day 3 – Travel to Gweru

Day 4 am – Meet with the local team, plan for ministry activities and get to know each other

Day 5 and 6 – In one location hosting Holiday Club/ Afternoon Club

Day 6 and 7 – In other location hosting Holiday Club/ Afternoon Club

Day 8 – Recreation day at Antelope Park walk with lions, game drive, ride elephants or horses, etc

Day 9 – Travel back to Harare, go directly to airport, or settle into Team House and leave next day (depending on flights);

OR

Day 9 – Travel to Victoria Falls (one of the wonders of the world)

Day 10 – Travel back

If you wish to grab this wonderful opportunity to serve in ministry, experience Zimbabwe’s friendly people and see beautiful Africa email us today at teams@livinghope.co.za

Look forward to hearing from you and hosting you and seeing what God will do!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


[1] According to a report by the Oxford Poverty

Living Hope is having their annual Open Day on Saturday, 29th March 2014 from 09:00 – 14:00 at the Living Hope Facility in Kommetjie Road Capri, Fish Hoek. The day will be packed with fun activities for the whole family, such as games, jumping castles, face painting, live jazz bands, competitions, music and a live DJ. You can also take advantage of our Food Court that will have various fast foods for sale. A dedicated Kids Zone with adult supervision will give your kids the time of their lives.

Your family will also have the opportunity to participate in scheduled tours through our Capri Campus and our Health Care Center to give you an overview of all the services Living Hope offers. A mobile clinic will be available for free health screening such as, Blood Pressure Monitoring, Blood Sugar Testing, Body Mass Index.

Contact Mario at events@livinghope.co.za 0732799190

Henry

Living Hope’s ministry programs are purposefully designed to be a part of a (w)holistic approach to our vision of seeking to reach people for Christ, bringing hope and breaking the despair of poverty and disease. Many times the first connection a person has to us might be the opening God is using to allow them access to the greater and broader healing our family of programs offer.

One such starting place for many is through our Health Care Centre. A 22-bed facility on our main campus it is foundational to our work and was the early catalyst for much of what Living Hope is today. For one man battling HIV and other illness our Health Care Centre was the starting point as he sought physical treatment and care. Henry’s story, like many we serve, is one of addiction, despair and very real loss. A drug addict for a number of years he has seen his marriage struggle and his health deteriorate to a desperately alarming level. As he was cared for and loved on by our Centre staff the Lord began to lead and guide him in the need to understand more about Jesus. As our staff supported that process for Henry he began to clearly realize his need for God’s grace in his life and committed his life to the Lord. Jess Ollis, social worker in the Health Care Centre shares about the change that took place following this commitment; “It truly was a rebirth as we saw a lot of negativity die away and a new positive and more hopeful future be born. His attitude with staff improved drastically as did his overall demeanor and outlook”.

While we celebrate the eternal healing that has taken place, our staff continues to work to a day that Henry will be able to leave our Centre. We know for the continued support he needs, both with his health and addiction, Living Hope’s (w)holistic approach is designed to help answer the call. Whether it be through follow up care in our substance abuse recovery program or through our chronic disease support groups our focus is to utilize the strength of our family of programs to return hope where hope was once lost.

Below is a little story of how giving to our Dollar-A-Day (DAD) program is directly impacting the lives of kids in the communities in which Living Hope works. We thank all our DAD supporters for their faithful and generous giving!

Vanessa (name changed) comes from the community of Mountain View and is one of six (6) kids in her family. Like many, she comes from a female headed household as her father left the family when she was young. As she and her twin sister began their involvement in the Mountain View kids clubs our Life Skill Educators began to build a relationship with them and understand some of the challenges they faced. With many things lacking in their lives, food was constantly one of them. At the age of 13, Vanessa took on many family responsibilities including working small weekend jobs to help put food on the table for the family. But in the midst of all these challenges her prioritization of her school work didn’t waiver as she continued to pursue her education.

As her mother grew sick and her responsibilities increased she reached out to our Life Skill Educators to talk. At the time she didn’t even have a uniform for school, but our Life Skills staff was able to help and secured uniforms, stationary and other items for her and several siblings. As food was a constant struggle she also asked for left over sandwiches for their family’s supper which staff was able to provide.

As our staff continued to work with Vanessa and encourage her, she began to volunteer at our holiday clubs. Unfortunately, life was still difficult as her mother remained ill and she had responsibilities of weekend work and care of her siblings. As she contemplated dropping out of school to ease some of the burden her mother called our Life Skill Educators for support. As our staff rallied around her they were able to continue to encourage her, to love her, to pray with her and to let her know that a network of support was behind her.

In 2013, we all celebrated as she became our first teen from the Mountain View community to matriculate (graduate) high school with a bachelor’s degree giving her the marks needed to continue her studies at the next level! In understanding the walk God has had with her through these tough times Vanessa is first volunteering at a Christian camp in order to give back before looking at her next step of studying to become a social worker.

We are so proud of Vanessa and blessed to have been a part of the successful journey she is on.

broken heart

Bennie came to Living Hope’s Recovery Programme as so many do feeling and looking as though the world had given him a thorough beating. Head down, not a hint of a smile looking the picture of abject failure and hopelessness.

The volunteers and staff were concerned that Bennie had come to Living Hope in the period before closure for the Christmas Holidays and many of us doubted that we would see him again after reopening in January 2014. To our absolute delight he was one of the first to arrive announcing very proudly that he was still clean and sober and that this was the first Christmas and New Year that he could remember being clean and sober and even going to church. We all congratulated him and there were others too who had really made a huge effort in a time of severe temptation and we give God all the Glory.

Later in the day Pastor Raymond Bowman the programme counsellor was sharing from the bible and explained the way of salvation in Jesus Christ. Suddenly Bennie blurted out the words,” that it, thats it, I gotta to do that”! Ray stopped and said,” what are you saying”? Bennie responded sharing that he had felt a strange feeling inside of him that he could not understand he felt it getting stronger every time he attended church and could not understand what was going on but was too scared to share with anyone. But suddenly it all made sense to him and he said it again, Pastor Ray, thats it, I know I gotta do this”.

The following moments were most sacred as Bennie knelt down and the other clients made a circle around him and Raymond led him to Jesus praying the sinners prayer.
As Ray, shared this with me I thought how lovely to start 2014 in this way. We thank God for the privilege to be able to share our faith and to have the special experience to see people respond to the gospel.

Bennie is visibly changed. In Living Hope’s Recovery Programme we say he has his head up again. I believe what he did would have made a very special impact on all other clients in that class that day.
Thank you to all who support this programme faithfully in prayer – God is at work in Living Hope’s Recovery Programme and is hearing and answering prayer. To Him be all the Glory!

*not his real name

What an incredibly exciting time it is at Living Hope right now! As you probably are aware in 2013 we were blessed with the opportunity to acquire 19 acres of undeveloped land that is adjacent to the main Capri campus. Through God’s provision of generous partners we were able to not only procure the land, but also have resources available to begin prep work on it.

As January brought us a new year it also brought us the start of this exciting process. We are pleased to share with you that work is underway and earth is being moved as we begin this journey and opportunity before us. We thank you for all your prayers and ask that you continue to join us in prayer as we discern how to best use this land in reaching people for Christ, bringing hope and breaking despair of poverty and disease.

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