God has a special purpose for each one of us. Not everyone is meant to be in missions. But I heard my calling clear as a bell – to be here, in South Africa. God opened the doors for me in 2004 with a 7-week mission trip that has turned into almost 5 years of serving and loving the people in Jeffreys Bay. He planted me right in the heart of the community – in the midst of the townships.
After cooking, feeding and teaching at a daytime shelter for vulnerable children and children on the street, teaching the handicapped, mentoring girls youth groups, and doing home visits in the townships, I have become very familiar with how the people think, their cultural values and beliefs, their needs, how they live. God has filled me with such a love for these people and the desire for them to be filled with the joy of knowing Jesus and experiencing his purpose for each one of their lives.
|Meeting the Needs of the People|
Through The Word and Practical Help
Jeffreys Bay has a population of 42,000 people with almost half living in the townships – the ghettos. The best way to influence someone’s life is through relationships and relationships happen through invitation, so we connect with the people. This is what we do:
- help people develop a personal and intimate relationship with God
- pray & counsel them, love and support them;
- assess family situations in order to address people’s health issues and transport them to clinics and hospital;
- connect people to resources, support groups;
- ensure children are in school, assisting with school supplies and uniforms;
- involve a social worker when intervention needed;
- assist with food packets, clothing and bedding; and sometimes housing for sick, single mothers and their children;
- assess their financial situations to see what government grants they can get and assist them in attaining these;
- be the community contact to inform people of government documentation needed and transport them to Home Affairs
- teach weekly bible studies.
These people have serious situations to deal with --- extreme poverty, crime, abuse, addictions, life threatening illnesses such as Aids/HIV and TB, and few employment opportunities. All are traumatized by these situations as they have inadequate support systems in their lives, little or no money and limited knowledge of what to do.
Love In Action
Our goal is to show these people the love of Christ. We come along side and help these families get back on their own two feet -- helping them to help themselves. If they are HIV positive, we help them to get tests and medication; if they don’t have their Identification documents or grants, then we walk them through the process. Many people don’t even know what their options are or what resources are available so we ask a lot of questions and help them to make a plan. We address their most serious issues and just love on them. We want each person we come in contact to know that they are worthy, precious people with a hope for their future.
As I get to know the people, many opportunities arise to support them and be their friend. What an honor and blessing it is for me to serve God and His people in this way. I thank my faithful supporters for helping to make this possible and for their prayers and encouragement.