Journal - january 2011


Jan 29th - My New Little Brother

Karl has decided to invest in a young man in Ocean View named McKyle. McKyle is nine. He lives with his mother, three other siblings, uncle and his grandparents… all in a two bedroom flat. His father is addicted to tick (meth) and not involved in his life.

I am excited for this opportunity and pray that God would show me how to communicate the love of his true father, Jesus Christ.


Jan 26th - White Men Aren't So Bad

Today we met with Richard, the director at Living Way (a local non-profit here to serve the community with job training).

He was excited to learn we have about a dozen women who have been pounding the streets selling diapers, brownies, carrot cake, and sausages to earn money for the class.

Richard will be leading the Sisterhood of Success job skills training course. Many of these women have not had very many positive experiences with white men - men who have only wanted to use their bodies or speak harshly to them.

We are thrilled that they will have a chance to get to know Richard – a man with a compassionate heart and love for Jesus, who can gently show them how to change their life through good choices, hard work and the power of God's amazing love..

Please Pray: We pray the Lord will use this course to change lives – as these women experience the high value God had already placed on each one of them.



Jan 26th - The Girls that God Hears

Every week our Baby Safe team of girls meets to pray for our clients and friends in the community.

Many women struggle with prostitution, HIV, unemployment, and depression. We have seen many answers to prayer and are SO EXCITED God hears us and cares for these precious women! We shouldn't be surprised - but often sit in amazement that He is changing lives before our very eyes!

We keep asking God to intervene on behalf of these women, provide for them, protect them, and show them His unending love for them. He LOVES these women with perfect, unfailing love.


Jan 23rd– Joe and Bishop Tutu

Karl is meeting this week with Joe O’Connor - founder of the Community Sports & Development Council.

After Joe built an inner city sport complex in a very poor part of Dublin, Ireland, he met Bishop Tutu at the grand opening. Bishop Tutu cut the ribbon and then Joe told him about how his next project was slated for a poor township of South Africa (Ocean View!). Tutu's eyes lit up when he realized we were moving next to his own beloved country!

Plans for the Ocean View Community Life Center are underway, and this is an important two weeks. We are raising funds and meeting with local business leaders, non-profits, a member of parliament and residents of Ocean View.

We are excited to see what these two weeks hold and pray that the reality of a community center begins to take shape.

This is Joe with Bishop Tutu from South Africa

The Community Sports & Development Council is a non profit community development organization that provides creative solutions for the design, funding and development of community enrichment centers and state of the art youth & family sports facilities.

Jan 18th – Prostitues Sell Brownies

Julie is so proud of these women!

Some are prostitutes and women with HIV – but they have made a choice that they want something different for their life – they are daring to dream that life can go beyond survival to success. They are beginning to see God is FOR them!

Claudine, our Ocean View client liaison, has helped us choose the right snack products to sell (chips, brownies, and carrot cake). She loves Jesus and has helped disadvantaged women in her community dream big.

Update on the fundraiser: The women all tried selling kimbies (also called nappies – known as diapers in the US), but some found that customers wanted a higher quality diaper (that was too expensive for us to acquire for them). SO INSTEAD they are now selling brownies from the local whole sale bakery- and have seen great success!

Please pray: We are asking the Lord to bless their efforts, so that they can raise the $30 needed for their portion of tuition (sponsors have already paid $170 toward each woman’s $200 tuition).

Many of these women have never had an extra $30 in their lifetime, so we have put a big challenge to them: to work hard and dream big - to plan for their future - to expect God to come through for THEM.

Success Already: It is incredible to see how surprised they are with themselves already – that they can do a little bit every day to work towards a bigger goal. Even the small successes they have recently experienced (by selling brownies and making money) have been life changing for them. They are beginning to see that THEY have the ability to choose a life of purpose over a life of passive resignation to poverty.

Please Pray: We pray the Lord would reach down and speak directly to them…showing them each that He has an amazing plan for their life.


January 16th - Being Noticed (by Karl)

Have you ever thought about the desire to be noticed? Different kinds of people seek it in different ways.

There are the Hollywood Paris Hilton types. There are kids at a soccer tryout, hoping the coach saw them score that goal. What about the little girl who dresses up in her princess outfit, hoping her dad at the computer will take a break and tell her she is beautiful?

Sometimes when we have nothing, all we can hope for is to be noticed. There are those here in Africa that physically and spiritually have nothing. They have lost all hope and question whether anyone truly cares or loves them. DOES ANYONE NOTICE THEM?

Therefore, I am on a new mission. It is to notice as many people as I can here in Africa.

It’s what they yearn for, it’s what they hope for… it says to them “I care and want to hear your story. I want to hear your hurts and troubles. I want to let you know you are loved”.

Back in March I met a guy who begged for money on the side of the road. I gave sometimes as the Spirit led, but I noticed over time that my friend (Paul is his name), got to be more and more excited everytime I saw him. Whether I gave him something or not, he was just plain excited to see me.

I would 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? Do you know Jesus loves you?"

I hadn’t seen Paul for about a month now. I was beginning to worry about him. Yesterday as I was driving, I heard someone yell at me. It was Paul walking on the side of the road. I couldn’t stop, as traffic was packed, but as I looked back in my rearview mirror with my hand out the window pointing upwards, all I saw was Paul with both arms raised high into the sky with a huge smile on his face. He saw that he was noticed and knew that he was loved!


January 13th – Meaty Ice Cream?

Julie and Zamo checking out our diaper inventory
(Zamo is an incredible women on our Baby Safe team who lives in Masi
- she has encouraged the women and translated for our meetings)

Well – this is quite the ride!

Julie's Ocean View women have NOT sold very many diapers – but they are still coming to the follow-up meetings (she meets with the women twice a week to collect their earnings, check their records, provide more diapers to sell and bring promotional flyers). Julie is encouraged they keep showing up!

They appear to be trying but say they want to sell a higher quality diaper (Huggies instead of the generic ones they are selling now). We're just not sure the profit margin on the Huggies will allow them to ever make enough money for the class (plus I’m we're.) One woman wants to sell brownies and another make-up. We’ll see how this turns out!

In Masi they say no one wants to buy this kind of diaper – and many women turned their diapers pack back in to us. They would rather sell meat and ice cream!

Maybe we’ll give that a try! Maybe a meaty ice cream would work?


January 10th - Bring your group to Africa

Karl has been working with short term teams that are planning a missions trip to Africa! He loves being able to connect people to this amazing place.

This could be...

...a goup of dentists that want to provide dental care to disadvantaged Africans

...skilled workers that want to repair someone's shack (often a small one room home for a family of 6)

...high school kids that want to work to children players and coaches that want to offer clinics for youth

Let Karl know if your church or group would like to come and serve the amazing African people!


Jan 6th and 7th – A Crazy Idea!

We are offering Sisterhood of Success to the women of Ocean View and Masi. It’s a job skills class offered to mothers in crisis that works to change the mindset of poverty from the INSIDE OUT.

We are so excited to offer our friends REAL HOPE to become employed or own their own business…while providing for their family and using legitimate ways to earn money. This class will change their thinking and affect the rest of their lives!

Because we are using curriculum from an international, proven program, there is a cost to the materials, the approved trainers and facility. The cost per student is about $250 each – that’s about a month’s salary. It’s hard for those in poverty to save $1 – let alone $250 on something like a class. There is not a high value on education here–most of them didn’t get past the 7th grade. There is also not a high value on planning for the future (like spending time getting trained to improve your future circumstances).

Jensen helps run the meeting! We passed out the diapers and helped the women brainstorm about ideas for selling them.


So…the word around here is that even if you offer a FREE class – it’s VERY difficult to get anyone to actually show up. That’s why it seems crazy to offer a class for $250. Who would attend?

I’ve thought to myself, “Is there any way this can actually work? ANY WAY?”

Many people from the US have caught the vision and said they want to be a part of enabling and blessing these women! We now have enough in donations so that each woman only needs to earn $30 (instead of $250). It’s amazing!

These women, who are holding tightly to this small glimmer of hope, are so thankful for each of you who gave!

All of that to say…the women met today to collect their packet of diapers to start selling in the community – to fundraise for their portion of the class.

How the meeting went...

1. A STORY JESUS TOLD: I shared the famous story Jesus told 2,000 years ago about the rich man who went away and left his servants in charge – giving them different amounts of money. When he returned, he found that two of his servants worked hard and doubled their money. He was so impressed with them! But one servant simply buried his money in the ground, doing nothing and squandering time. The rich man was furious he didn’t even try.

2. STEWARDSHIP: So we talked about “stewardship” and what it means to work hard, try and be accountable.

3. LOGISTICS: We showed them how to track the sale of each diaper and did some role playing on selling the diapers and recording the sale on their “record sheet.”

4. PRAYER: As I laid my hands and prayed blessing on each women, I couldn’t help but think, “Unless the Lord comes through BIG – and I mean really, really BIG - there is no way these women can raise this $30 and maintain interest in this class.” Some of the women are prostitutes and it’s not unlikely they would sell the diapers and use the money for drugs (most likely “tik” – aka crystal meth).

I recently heard someone say we only need to do what God has asked of us and obey. Maybe it's just 2% - and He will do the remaining 98%. It's not all on us to make "it happen." Thank goodness - because even though I thought my flyers were pretty spiffy, the fundraiser idea pretty solid and my "inspirational speech" not too bad - I know there is NO WAY even one of these women will attend the class if God doesn't come through with the inspiring, requiring and desiring.

Please PRAY that people would buy diapers from them and that even before the class begins our women would be encouraged by the blessing God has for their lives!

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