What We Do - Stories (How God is Changing Lives)

Coaching : Training : Discipling : Teaching : Building


New Outlook, New Job, New Front Teeth

When Claudine shared her story with some at-risk high school girls at a camp this year, she told them how she had gotten pregnant at 14 years old and dropped out of school. Overwhelmed with the challenges of life, she became addicted to drugs (tik..crystal meth) and no longer wanted to live.

Their eyes were wide open as she told them how God changed her life!

As she was lying on her bed, not moving for days, she told God, “If you are real...help me.” He did...she got off of drugs cold turkey and today she is a different person!

Unemployed for several years, I was so proud of her when she decided to take the Sisterhood of Success job skills class this year.

For many women in Ocean View, signing up for a class like this is a BIG deal. It means they are willing to draw a line in the sand and say, “I want a different life...I want to change.”

Since you can’t paint your house in Ocean View without your neighbour saying, “Oooo! You think you’re better than us? Painting your house?” it takes a lot of courage to decide to work hard for a better life.

I am so impressed with my friends Claudine and Elriza...they took the job skills course and decided they wanted to change their thinking from the mindset of poverty...to the mindset of success.

When they graduated...they both got new front teeth – another symbol in their community that they were ready for change...ready for God to revolutionize their life!

Elriza said…"I feel like a new person…everything is different. I LOOK different, I TALK different, I FEEL different."

Claudine said…"I feel blessed. Can I say that? BLESSED! EVERYTHING has changed for me personally. With my new teeth, I am able to look positively to the future."

Note: Claudine, who has been out of work for several years, has had a full-time job since May.


Soccer Boys Choose Jesus

Afterward one of our Ubuntu soccer games, we set off to the local McDonalds and KFC to enjoy a meal before the big event. That big event was youth night at Hillsong church.

As the worship rang out from the front, it was amazing to watch the different reactions by the boys.

Some looked around to see what the others thought. Some looked at all the girls. Some lifted their hands in worship. You could see that many already had a true love for worship and were not afraid to show it in public or in front of their friends and teammates. The message that night was "God has a plan for you".

I (Karl) was touched that before Ubuntu, some of these boys had never been told God loves them and has a plan for them to better their lives. Some of them listened intently as the message was shared.

At the end, their was an invitation to come forward if you wanted to publicly declare your wish to follow Jesus as your savior. We had 7 boys come forward. WOW! How amazing is that!

Ubuntu's mission statement says..."To introduce the young men of Africa to Jesus and His transforming love through soccer and to inspire and equip them to be the most excellent men (of God) they can be". I saw this played out in a real way that night.

See the photos of the game and Hillsong Youth Night...


Sister Talk

I (Julie) was picking up some of the students for our Sisterhood of Success job skills class and this was the discussion going on in the truck with our young women from Ocean View:

Beth didn't show up to go to class this morning...one of the other students. She told her friends she was sick…but they are concerned that she lied about being sick and that her abusive boyfriend is holding her captive in her flat (an apartment complex like “the projects” in the States). A gangster and drug addict, he doesn’t want Beth taking the Sisterhood of Success class – he’s terrified she’ll realize she can become successful without him…a REAL-LIFE “sister of success,” if you will.

They convince me to weave the truck around the back alleys of the flats and talk her into going to class today. I don’t usually roam around the flats – overrun with gangsters and drug addicts – but I tell them if the three of us go together, we can do it.

Trooping up the deteriorating stairs, we quickly knock on the door and she answers immediately…fully dressed and ready to go - hoping we'd come back. Apparently her 4 year old ran out of the house when they started fighting, afraid her dad would beat her mom again.

Now we’re off to find the 4 year old girl! Somewhere! We track her down at a neighbor’s house and take her to preschool.

Back in the truck, I ask the girls…"What is your happiest childhood memory?"

  • Mia says, “I remember being in school and going on field trips to museums. That was fun. I didn’t know then how hard life could be.”
  • Lisa says, “I remember walking with my sister hand in hand on Christmas morning – through our neighborhood to my grandmother’s house. That was a nice memory.”
  • Beth says, “I don’t have any happy memories.” Choking up… “but I know Jesus can change my life.”
  • I say (still driving), “Beth…Jesus was there with you when you were a child – all those times you cried…He cried with you. He was there. He loves you.”

There wasn’t a dry eye in the truck.


Interaview With Shane

I've (Karl) met quite a few guys who beg for money on the side of the road. One of those guys is named Shane. I usually see him at a stoplight and will ask him questions while waiting for the light to turn green. "How’s the family, what can I pray for you about, have you found work lately?" I usually end it by reminding him how much God loves him.

Here is my interview one day with Shane:







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