Journal - December 2010


Dec 29th – Visit From Family

Wow! We can't believe it!

For 6 months we prayed that my brother and his family (who live in Kabul, Afghanistan) would be able to come visit us. It looked impossible – but God came through at the last minute! He provided the money for the plane tickets for their ENTIRE FAMILY OF SIX to come to South Africa.

We were able to do many things we don’t usually do – and enjoyed every second of it. Erin said, “I think this honestly is the most beautiful place in the world – everywhere you look it's amazing!”

She's right...of course then she said, "What surprises me most about Cape Town is how horrifying poverty is sitting RIGHT next breath taking beauty."

With so much beauty and ugliness existing side by side...this country never ceases to amaze me!

See the photos...


Dec 22nd – Christmas Cookies

The Discovery Bible Study women came over to our house today to make cookies!

What I learned…

1. That you can make “circle cookies” without a cookie cutter – just use a cup! Huh!

2. You don’t need an electric mixer – just stir REALLY hard with a wooden spoon (really, really hard)

We had a great time and Jensen and Emme joined the fun! For Christmas presents, I gave them a star ornament with a chapter from Psalms just for them.

See the photos...


Also, our friends from Ocean View had their first online shopping experience!

I asked them to each pick out a pair of shoes from All three women enjoyed looking through ALL the options (gotta love America and consumer choices) and each chose a pair of sturdy tennis shoes. They are so excited!




Would anyone from the US be willing to ship these 3 pairs of shoes to us? Shipping may cost between $50-$100. Please let me know if you could pick the shoes up from my parents house in Omaha, package and ship them.

The women each ordered durable sneakers. This will a big blessing to these women from a township - who don't own a car and walk everywhere! Let me know (email me at



December 15 - Expanding the Computer Class (Julie's entry)

We have been reaching colored women in Ocean View with the computer class, but want to expand to reach black African women in Masiphumele.

We met with the computer trainer at the Masi library today, and he is willing to partner with us to offer a similar computer skills class at no charge to our Baby Safe mothers in crisis!



December 13 - An Amazing Young Man (Karl's entry)

At All Nations we set aside ten whole days in December to give of our time and ourselves to love and serve others as a birthday gift to our King.

It’s called 10 Day for Jesus and it’s an annual event hosted by All Nations to mentor African leaders. We teach them how to reach local townships with the love of Jesus. They learn how to reach their local communities by finding others who are spiritually hungry and starting Discovery Bible Studies.

I had the opportunity to help mentor a few South African guys attending 10 days for Jesus. Antonio is one of those individuals. Our team met Antonio at Ocean View High School during our outreach phase of CPx.

Let me tell you what I love about Antonio!

Despite the desperate circumstances of life that come with living in Ocean View, his focus and joy comes from Jesus and His love for others. When I met with Antonio, he was so excited to share about his experience that day of going into Masi (a “black township” where people from Antonio's “colored township” of Ocean View rarely go). In Masi he went to sit, eat and discuss God with a Somali family.

It was amazing to hear him share the joy of being invited to fellowship with this family. He couldn't quit smiling.

I was supposed to be mentoring Antonio, but in truth he mentored me. In our meeting, I asked him what his “high point” and “low point” of the day was.

He said he just had two highs. First, his experience that day of sharing God's love in Masi. His second high was getting to talk about it. He said he had no low. WOW! If I had to live where Antonio came from and experienced daily the life of Ocean View, I know I could come up with a few lows.

I hope to spend more time with this amazing young man!


December 14 - Leaving the Township Behind (Julie's entry)

Chapman’s Peak Drive…listed among the top most beautiful drives in the world. It hugs the side of a mountain, boasting beautiful ocean views.

This Christmas season, instead of meeting in our usual closet-size room at the local Ocean View library, I thought it would be festive to take the Ocean View Ladies Bible Study women up Chapman’s Peak Drive, for apple cider and sweet rolls – to discuss what we are thankful for and pray for each other.

Although this beautiful drive is a mere 2 miles from her home, Claudine had never been there. None of these women can drive and life in a township is about survival – not nearby scenic drives.

Claudine was amazed at the breath-taking views! She couldn’t believe this had been here all her life.

She said, “Wow…I can’t believe this is here , right under my nose the whole time, yet I’ve never seen it before. It takes someone from America to show me how beautiful my country is!”

Bottles of apple cider and sweet rolls on Chapman's Peak Drive -
talking about what we are thankful for

And her country IS beautiful!

Along with sharing the details of our life for which we are thankful, we discussed the upcoming holiday, “Day of Reconciliation” (day to commemorate reconciliation between races and national unity).

I was sad and angry when we discussed how under Apartheid the four of us women would not be allowed to sit together on this mountain top bench, laughing and talking.

As a white women, I could have come here, but my colored sisters would not have been permitted to enjoy a view from their home land.

We are thankful for freedom, our friendship and a God who, I suspect, made this amazing mountainside view just for my friends from a disadvantaged community.


View of life in a township (Ocean View where they live)

View from Chapmans Peak Drive (2 miles from their township)



December 10 - Tribute to Grandpa Ted (Karl's entry)

My grandfather, Theodore "Ted" Ostrand passed away today. He was 81 years old and truly an amazing man, born in the sand hills of Nebraska in 1928.

After marrying my grandmother and having two sons, he contracted polio in his mid twenties. Knowing that he must provide for his new family, he attended electronics school driving 3 hours weekly to Omaha and coming home on the weekends. He then opened Ted's Furniture and TV which he ran for almost 40 years in his hometown of Ansley, Nebraska.

Grandpa enjoyed shooting blue rock and hunting. He once hit 100 blue rock in a row with a shot gun…100 out of 100. A perfect shot. He could talk to anyone and make them feel right at home, while drinking coffee in his shop.

During his life he was faced with many times of adversity including the Great Depression, the loss of the use of his legs, the death of a son, and a fire that wiped out his entire store inventory. He persevered through it all. From his wheelchair he could drive a car, lay carpet, repair roofs and much more.

He could have easily given up many times. I stand in awe of his perseverance, cheerful attitude and kindness. I loved my grandfather and will miss him dearly!

Click here for Grandpa Ted Tribute movie.


December 8th - Christmas Soccer Clinic (Karl's entry)

I have been coaching in a clinic this week for kids from the local townships.

Some of the kids were very good players and some were not.

The ones that were NOT, stood out to me. Why? When some of them did something well, I told them "great job" and "well done"! Words cannot express the smile that was my reward! It made me wonder, have some of these kids never been told "great job" or "you did something awesome" or even "I love you"?

That smile is burned into my mind. It's the same smile I have when I think of God's love for His children - all of them - in townships of South Africa and cities in America!

See the soccer clinic photos...


December 3rd - Kingdom Dancers Recital (Julie's entry)

Ahh..the high school film club girls are back!

They want to meet weekly but this time combine a Bible study with dance lessons (with the vision to be able to do street routines to draw a crowd and create an environment of worship in places where young people gather).

Tonight I took three of the girls to Kingdom Dancers' year-end recital. The girls are choosing a dance studio and are considering this option. They liked the Christian "message" behind the dances tonight, but will also research other studios in the area. I am proud of them for taking initiative!



December 3rd - Sisterhood of Success Info Meeting (Julie's entry)

Sisterhood of Success Job Skills Training Program is being offered to some of the communities most down and out women - some are prostitutes, many are addicted to crystal meth- all are desperate for REAL jobs in order to provide "clean" money for themselves and their babies.

We decided to hold an information meeting for the women in the community to learn about the program and get an application.



This morning started off with rain (NO ONE likes to walk to events in Ocean View when it’s raining), our meeting room was locked, and at 10 am when our Sisterhood of Success Job Skills info meeting was to start, not ONE single invitee was there.

Bethany (Baby Safe’s Director) and I began to wonder if we needed more weeks of prayer coverage before we would see break-through in Ocean View.

As we sat on the cement outside the building, stapling applications with the aid of about 10 African children “helpers” – we literally said, "Let faith arise and the enemy be scattered" and “TODAY is the day of salvation.”

One lonely prostitute came at 10:15 am and another at 10:20 am. Claudine ran to gather more women interested in making a change in their life.

Finally the man in charge of unlocking our venue arrived to open the doors and by 10:30 am we had 9 women in attendance!

We explained how the Sisterhood of Success course would teach them to...

        • change their thinking to become successful
        • teach skills business owners value in employees (to land a job and get promotions)
        • learn how to start their own business
        • discover what God is saying to them (through Discovery Bible Studies)

Every woman was smiling excited at the mere thought of changing the way they see themselves, getting a job, and possibility of running their own business!

After the meeting I sat with one of the prostitutes and said...

"One day YOU can be the boss of others! I could be someone that comes to work for YOU."

What an unbelievable dream for her, as she has made her wages from renting her body for the last several years.


At the end of the meeting we handed out applications and talked about how we would help the women raise funds to pay for half the class.

We told the women, “No one else believes in you, but WE believe in you. This is something you CAN do!”

Please pray these women will have the courage and strength to raise their portion of the funds and attend the course. This will be a life-changing experience for them! Read more about Sisterhood of Success program.


My friend Claudine did an amazing job of inviting
women to this informational meeting

These three women were excited to
learn about the program


December 1 - Karl and Casey Plan for Soccer Clinics (Karl's entry)

Karl was busy this week helping plan the Christmas Soccer Clinic.

There will be six days of the clinic, with each day consisting of a training session and devotional with the kids. At the end of the clinic, each boy will receive a shirt, ball and devotional book.

UBUNTU Sports Outreach hopes to select kids that are willing to be a part of an Academy Program from the kids that attend the camp.

The goal will be to coach and disciple these young men!

Please pray for the camps and that those kids who are supposed to be there will be able to come.

PHOTO: Gladiator and Arsenal jerseys donated from our soccer friends in Omaha!




December 1 - Baby Safe Christmas - prayer time in Masi (Julie's entry)

Here is our Baby Safe team Christmas photo! We have Christmas spirit -
despite the serious lack of snow, hot chocolate, and real Christmas trees.

Every week Julie's Baby Safe team meets to pray for mothers and babies in crisis! Today we met in Masiphumelele and asked God to intervene on behalf of desperate mothers and their babies.

God has been faithful to answer many prayers, and we have been amazed at the jobs He has provided for needy moms, sickness He has healed in little babies and hearts of women He has drawn to himself.

God is always good!



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