Journal - March 2011


March 31, 2011 - Karl is Sick

Karl was planning on doing his first Discovery Bible Study with his soccer boys at a camp-out tonight, but he is very sick and it looks like he will be unable to attend.

He was throwing up all night, but since people started praying this morning he has been able to keep sips of water down (although he is still in the fetal position).


Please pray:

  • Would you ask the Lord to speed up his recovery so he could still attend the soccer tournament tomorrow?
  • Would you ask the Lord to protect the girls from this sickness?

Answered Prayer: April 4, 20100 - Karl is fully recovered and the girls have not caught anything yet. Thanks so much for your prayers!


March 30, 2011 - Isaiah 61 Charm Bracelet

I am so proud of our Ocean View single moms! They have finished the Sisterhood of Success class, and we see the Lord changing their life, heart and circumstances every day.

I made a charm bracelet and gave it as a present to our girls - to remind them of Isaiah 61:1-3, verses Alli (my Baby Safe partner) and I love to pray over these precious girls!

    • HEART- bind up the brokenhearted
    • KEY - freedom for the captives
    • SUN - release from darkness for the prisoners
    • JEWEL - crown of beauty instead of ashes
    • OIL - oil of joy instead of mourning
    • GARMENT - garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair
    • LEAF - They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor

      Isaiah 61:1-3

      The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.

      They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.

The girls were so happy to be able to wear on their wrist a picture of how the Lord sees them...oaks of righteousness!


March 24, 2011 - Just Use Little Itty-bitty Eggs

In the High School Girls Bible Study today the girls learned a new word - Acrostic!

We talked about how Old Testament writers loved acrostics and sprinkled them throughout the entire Bible. It's facinating, because we just finished the book of Esther and realized that even though the book of Esther never mentions God's name - Jehova (JHVH) is listed 4 times as a hidden acrostic in the story.

The girls had fun making acrostics out of their names!

Note: An acrostic for my name, for instance, is Just Use Little Itty-bitty Eggs (JULIE).

Some of their name acrostics:

  • JODY - Join Our Dangerous Youngsters
  • NICOLETTE - Never Introduce Cats or Leopards Ever To Those Enemies
  • MICHE - Monster Insects Can Hurt Everyone
We sit on blankets outside the dance studio and talk, laugh and read the Bible
The girls made great acrostics out of their names
After our Bible Study, they start practicing their dance routine in the street (they don't want to waste the 5 minutes before class starts)


March 22, 2011 - God's Glory in Gloria (see prayer need below)

On my way to Gloria's new home in the Masiphumelele wet lands

We maneuvered past broken down shacks (made of scrap wood, tin and card board), growling dogs, and the local water spicket (used for hauling water to your shack and washing clothes) Alli and I followed Gloria through the "wet lands" in Masiphumelele.

Smiling ear to ear, she was so proud to show us her first home – a little shack, furnished with a bed, table and stove. We brought gifts for this auspicious house warming… new dishes, some food and a framed picture of her Sisterhood of Success graduation.

She laughed with glee as she hugged the framed photo – so excited to see the image of herself – holding up her graduation certificate!

We are so proud of her! As a Baby Safe client, Gloria decided to keep her baby boy, now almost 1 year old, and just graduated from Sisterhood of Success. She is leading Bible studies with women in her community and is working hard to find a job and provide for her two small children.

Last week she was in desperate need of housing, so she scoured her neighborhood looking for a shack to rent. Baby Safe has given her a small loan for her first 2 months of rent ($42 a month), while she looks for employment.

She told us, “I prayed to God that He would take care of me – when I moved in this weekend I didn’t have any blankets, pots, or food. I was so worried! But when I got here, the landlady said I could keep the blankets, pots and extra food. God heard my prayer! He is taking care of me!”

We truly see God's glory in Gloria!

As we were sitting on Gloria’s bed, she shared that a few days ago a man raped a 6 year old and 10 year old girl here in her neighborhood. The two sisters were alone in their shack, while their mother was out drinking. The man was discovered passed out on one of the children. One of the girls was so traumatized she had a bowel movement on the bed.

Gloria is horrified a mother could behave this way. The man has been arrested and the children are home from the hospital but the mother is still out drinking. Gloria is very concerned something similar could happen to them again.

Before we left, we prayed that God would bless her new little home and protect her precious family. We asked for God’s favor and blessing on her life.

Note: She told us she has renamed her 1 year old son “Jensen” and her 4 year old daughter “Alli.” We are so honored to know Gloria and call her our friend.


Please Pray (Recovery, Protection & Restoration):

As we were leaving the wet lands and got back to Alli’s car – we discovered her back windshield was shattered and her purse, with all her money and credit cards was stolen. We called the police and Gloria pointed out the men she thinks committed the crime. The police will be doing an investigation, but in the mean time the men have threatened Gloria.

Would you come to our Father about these things?

  • RECOVERY: For the recovery of Alli’s things - tha the men will be arrested, the items recovered and that God would provide for the expense of her broken window
    • Answered prayer: April 4 - Many of Alli's things were recovered (Bible, client notes, wallet - and she was able to cancel her credit cards before any money was stolen).


  • PROTECTION:For Gloria’s protection – this is a ROUGH neighborhood with serious crime and these men are threatening to hurt her for turning them in to the police
    • Update: April 4 - Gloria has been followed and had threats so for now she is staying with her sister in another township.
  • RESTORATION: For 6 year old and 10 year old sisters that were raped in her neighborhood (and for the girls' mother)

Gloria and I outside her new home
with her son "Jensen" and daughter "Alli"

Alli and "Alli"
Gloria at her Sisterhood of Success graduation recently
(this was the photo we framed for her)


March 17, 2011 - One Shoe and One Sock

Arriving at Ubuntu Sports soccer practice, I (Karl) noticed he started out with one shoe (a canvas slip-on) and one sock. Apparently the other boys were laughing at him, so he took off his one shoe and just played in socks.

I admired his courage and tenacity - the field is pretty rough - filled with sharp rocks and sand burs - not ideal for bare feet covered in socks.

Many of these boys walk from their community, several miles away, to soccer practice. They don't own cleats, a ball or sportswear.

They just love playing soccer! They long to hear "Good Job!", feel the ball between their feet, and forget for a moment the tough blows life has dealt them.

It's a priviledge and honor for me to be their coach - here for the "good part" of their day!


March 17, 2011 - Love, Betrayal and Murder

Since last month the Ocean View High School girls have been meeting once a week to study the book of Esther (a tale of intrigue involving love, betrayal and murder) and take dance lessons.

Together these 16 year old girls read the entire book of Esther out loud to each other, retelling the story in their own words every few verses.

We finished the book this afternoon and I (Julie) asked them, "What was your favorite part of the story?" (SEE VIDEO BELOW)

- Nicholette - "The Party!"

- Stephanie - "When Haman got hanged! My favorite part!"

- Richelene - "When Esther got offered half the kingdom."

- Nadine- "Where all the Jews didn't need to be scared any more and everyone wanted to be a Jew. It was dangerous NOT to be a Jew any more!."

- Monique - "When Esther made herself pretty for the king - got herself looking GOOD!"

As for me, my favorite part was the girls just loving the story!




March 17, 2011- Soccer Super Star

Karl interviews two soccer players about why they love soccer. One says he "enjoys it" and the other one wants to be "a soccer super star - famous!"


See more soccer practice photos...


March 17, 2011- The Job Hunt Begins

What do people want most in South Africa? A job!

Nine of our Sisterhood of Success graduates are now looking for employment!

Unemployment is at 25% in South Africa, so in order to assist them, we have formed support groups that meet several times a week, with a very specific plan customized for each woman.

Typical "task items" on their Employment Plan (varies for each woman):

1. Finish High School - Take the steps to finish school (many employers require a 10th grade education). Note: None of our 14 Sisterhood graduates have finished high school (dropped out anywhere from 4th to 11th grade).

2. Get Teeth - Many women from Ocean View do not have their front teeth. Reasons vary. As you can imagine, interviews with employers go much better if they have "flippers" (front teeth they can "flip in"). The cost is about $40 (R300).

3. Get a your ID - You must have your ID to be able to work legally.

4. Get a library card - A library card allows you to use the free library computers to search for jobs online.

5. Learn basic computer skills - Get an email account, update your CV (resume), search for jobs online (we are so grateful Elmien will be teaching computer skills)

6. Practice Interviewing - They have learned how to handle an interview during their class, and we will build on their knowledge by helping them practice how to respond to the top 15 interview questions.

7. Apply for jobs both online and offline (by dropping off your CV at a place of employment)

8. Obtain housing - Most of these women do not have home of their own and live in dysfunctional home environments. Once they obtain employment they can get credit to purchase a Wendy house with a payment plan.

Of course we combine Discovery Bible Studies with the Sisterhood Employment groups.

Today we discussed John 15:15: You did not choose me, but I chose YOU and appointed YOU so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.

We talked about how GOD has chosen and appointed THEM...that He knew them and loved them before they were born. We described their future - a future where they are employed, can provide for their children, have a home of their own and are leaders in their community.

We KNOW it will happen. God is for them!


March 15, 2011 - Sisterhood of Dreams

These sisters have dreams! Dreams to own their own business and become leaders and examples in their communities.

Five of our Sisterhood of Success graduates have been selected to attend Sisterhood of Dreams - to learn how to start their own business.

A special congratulations to Claudine, an entrepreneur at heart, who was the first to use her business savvy to earn the $30 (R200) for the class.

She graduated on her 30th birthday!


March 15, 2011 - 33 Kids in the Truck

Pile 'em in! I (Karl) had no idea that a standard size pick-up truck (called a "bakkie" here) could literally hold 33 kids.

We use the truck (aka bakkie) for many things - not the least of which is giving the boys a ride home to Masiphumelele from soccer practice in Fish Hoek !


March 10, 2011 - Sisterhood Graduation

Graduation...incredible! We are so proud of the 14 women who, dressed in their Sunday best, graduated today. They completed Sisterhood of Excellence and Sisterhood of Value.

Many of these woman have never graduated from something or received a certificate. This was an exciting moment!

FUTURE BUSINESS OWNERS: Of these 14 women, 5 will go on to "Sisterhood of Dreams" and learn how to create a business plan, conduct market research, and start their own business with a micro-loan.

SOON-TO-BE EMPLOYEES: At the same time, we will continue to meet with the 9 women who are now actively seeking employment. With weekly support groups, we will empower them to look for jobs online, keep their resume/CV up-to-date, role-play for interviews and become accountable for applying for jobs.

We are excited to continue to meet with these women and do Discovery Bible Studies together!


A big thank you to our Baby Safe team who "made it happen!"

Alli, Meehan, Julie, Bethany

- Bethany (Director) - Who supported this idea from the beginning. Even though I doubted myself - she had faith and knew God would come through. She approved a generous budget, visited our class and inspired the women with encouragement from the Lord during graduation..words I know they will remember for a lifetime. She also prayed for each woman individually - offering them hope and support through desperate situations.

- Alli - Who must have made 300 trips to Ocean View (transporting the students), spent countless hours in the classroom sacrificially cut the loaf of bologna (her most un-favorite food), sorted childcare and prayed without ceasing for these precious daughters of God

- Danielle - Who made an endless number of trips bringing us petty cash, helped with transport and was always willing to pitch in. We love you, Danielle!

- Meehan - Who prayed for every women and asked the Lord for a special word of encouragement just for her. She then created the most beautiful cards for each student, expressing the Lord's heart for them with a special scripture and word of blessing. She helped with transportation, spent time in our class and took the most amazing photos at graduation. Every woman will receive a photo of their "graduation moment," holding their certificate. For many, this is the only certificate they have ever received.

- Elmien - Who, upon arriving at her first day on the job at Baby Safe, was immediately willing to help us out at Sisterhood. We desperately needed someone to lead a group discussion during our student evaluations that day. She jumped in without hesitation and has been a great support for the women. We also appreciate her public relations experience and look forward to some media attention for our amazing group of students.

See the graduation photos...



March 9, 2011 - Neighborhood at a Glance

Composed of 6 small houses, our little neighborhood is about the size of 4 acres. It's probably similar to the beginning stages of your neighborhood when there were only a few houses (they stopped building houses here when the economy suffered). We average about 3 people per acre.

Masiphumelele, a nearby township composed of many shacks, is a community of 38,000 people living on less than one square mile (110 acres to be exact). Masiphumelele averages about 345 people per acre. Read more about Masi...

PRAYER: Our neighborhood has recently had increased attempted break-ins...see details for prayer


March 7, 2011- Why Simple Church??

I (Julie) realize that many people are not as impressed with the "why" as much as I am. In fact, our friends here - when they want to do a "Julie impression" - give a long pause with an emphatic " WHYYY???"

I guess I just really want to know WHY.

So if you're at all like me - the "why" of simple church is very important.

On this is a great explanation of "why"simple church" - in the words of a few friends...


But principles in the Kingdom of God turn us upside down. Here, instead of gathering a few spiritually curious people to sit and listen to us, we empower one or two of them to lead each other into greater understanding with simply a Bible and a few questions.

We ask ourselves (as church-planters), do we trust that our DNA doesn’t need to be the life-force these hungry people will feed on? Do we believe that the Spirit of God will draw men to Himself, and that the Word is enough to change lives? Read more from John...


Take away the building, the worship band and the Sunday school classes. In fact, take away the masses of people as well. Jesus discipled 12, and they reached the world. If we keep our simple churches small and intimate, we can disciple each person well and thouroughly, training them at the same time to plant a simple church of their own. It's about MULTIPLICATION.


March 3, 2011 - Do you know Landon Donovan?

Today we had Ubuntu soccer practice, which includes the kids in the academy as well as kids from the local area who are white, colored and black and come from the local townships.

I (Karl) find it very cool to see the different races out there playing a sport they love and laughing with each other. They aren't sure what to make of my "American" accent and wonder if I know Landon Donovan.

We had 60+ kids (with three coaches) with a wide degree of talent. It made for an interesting session. Before each practice we hold a devotional with the kids. This is a very special time, as we begin to see these young men realize how sport imitates life. We talk about the path God has for them and a destiny they can find if they work hard, make good decisions and believe in His love for them.



March 1, 2011 - One Noisy, Meaty Place

Last week, I (Karl) took four "Sisterhood of Success" ladies to a wholesale meat market near downtown Cape Town. The ladies were buying meat to take back to the township and sell in order to help make money for the cost of their class.

A few observations...

1. I was told being a white male, the African women would not speak to me in the car while driving there. They talked the entire way. I guess I've been accepted as a black woman.

2. Imagine the New York Stock Exchange and 3rd world butchery combined into one noisy, meaty place.

3. I would guess close to 800 people came through the doors in the hour and half I was there. Of those 800 people, I was the only white male.

4. When do we go again?


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