Journal - March 2013


March 28 - Bedtime Stories

Julie recently asked her Ocean View girls, “Did anyone ever read you bedtime stories as a child?”

She heard a resounding, “No!”

These teenagers sat as little girls and listened to Julie read the best bed-time story in the world.

As she read from the Storybook Bible, they leaned in closer to see the pictures of Jesus born in a manger, choosing his disciple and healing a very sick little girl..

Our prayer is that they fully see how much Jesus loves all of us sick little girls. He can make each of us whole again...each of us well.

Our highlight will be next week - when Julie reads about how Jesus washed his disciples feet and then she will do a footvwashing for them.


Note: The Storybook Bible is the best children's Bible! I cry almost every time I read it. A great present and a must have for your children.




March 26 – Africa's Worst Soccer Secret

Ever wonder why African teams have never gotten to the semi-finals of the World Cup (and why few Africans play for the world's top soccer leagues)?

Since Karl has been coaching soccer here in Africa, he's noticed that the problem of "age cheats" (as it's called here) is a very real...something he sees on a weekly basis.

It's quite common to play in tournaments or even league games against kids visibly older (and much bigger and faster) than the kids playing on our team (our kids are actually honest about their age).

We've even seen kids playing soccer that are 4 years too old for their age group!

The parents here seem to encourage these “age cheats,” and birth certificates are falsified by the families. Soccer clubs have an extremely difficult time verifying accurate ages.

This practice is rampant on this continent and has hurt Africa on the world wide soccer stage. An African team has never gotten to the semi-finals of the World Cup and compared to the large continent of Africa, very few have played for the world’s top leagues.

My good friend and fellow coach Casey Prince (founder of Ubuntu Soccer) recently said..."A vast number of kids in the black communities and clubs are playing out of their true age group. For example we had two kids come to trial this year that were supposed to be 12 years old. Turns out they were 14. They are playing against younger kids and thus not improving as fast as they can. But because they look good they are picked for the better coaching environments, which means you have less talented kids getting the better coaching."

Why is this such a big problem? That cycle repeats itself, so by the time those kids are older, they haven't developed enough to compete with their global peers (who have played in the correct age groups and received age appropriate competition and training). They have been busy playing younger kids and have not had to push themselves– so by the time they are 19 years old when age no longer matters, their soccer skills are severely behind.

It's short term thinking vs. long term thinking...something we battle here every day in all areas of life, not just soccer. We are standing against the tide of corruption...even in sport!



March 21 - Motherhood is Beautiful

Julie is coordinating “Motherhood is Beautiful” weekly classes, designed to support and educate pregnant moms and mothers of newborns.

Parenting Class
- Parenting tips
- Child discipline ideas
- Blessing your children

Mom and Baby Health
- Feeding your baby
- Health topics
- Meet other moms

Prayer and Counselling

Toy Library

- Bring your child and learn how to play with them
- Toys for age-appropriate development

PHOTO Here is one of our amazing Baby Safe partners (a Living Hope volunteer) holding up topics for her Motherhood is Beautiful Class! She is a registered nurse running the “Mom and Baby Health” session





March 12 - Adison Rose turned 1

Adi is a child of ACTION!

• Climbing up a full flight of stairs,
• Crawling in clothes washers,
• Scrounging around for old, dried food nubbins on the floor (to pop them into her mouth before I can yank them away.

She is on the MOVE! We’ve got lots of big laughter and loud tears with this one!

See a video of her birthday...






March 14 - How much do we owe God?


Meeting with my Ocean View girls - I was looking for a way to explain how much we owe God (how big our debt is to him).

I said, "Here is a great way to know how much you owe God...I am going to list these rules and I want you to think about all the times and ways you’ve broken that rule."

Every single time you have broken one of these rules (in thought, word or deed), you owe a debt to God...
  1. You shall have no other gods before me.
  2. You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.
  3. You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
  4. Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work...
  5. Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.
  6. You shall not murder.
  7. You shall not commit adultery.
  8. You shall not steal.
  9. You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
  10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.


"Now...since the price of breaking God's rules is ultimately death - someone needs to pay that price. It should be us! This is why Jesus died for us - he was paying the debt we owe God. What do you think about this?"

I went on to say..."Every person in the world is on one of these steps...where are you?"

1. Don't Care - you really could care less about God

2. Care - you are mildly interested in God

3. Skuldig - you deeply care and feel very convicted or convicted about all the wrong things you have done (my girls told me this is the Afrikaans word for this)

4. Turn Around - you are ready to make a change and start walking in a whole new direction (stop being the boss of your life and ask Jesus to be the boss)

5. God Child - you are a child of God (you are following Jesus and want to obey him)

Each girl put herself on one of these steps. It is my fervent prayer that they take the next step toward God!




March 9 - You don't need THAT finger

Karl's story - Recently at a practice I noticed one of my players has been wearing a glove for the last week. It's been hot here at it looked unusual.

I asked another player..."Why is he wearing a glove?"

He replied that his teammate had purposely cut off his finger.

I was shocked and said..."Are you serious?"


Xhosa tradition to cut off a finger to protect them from evil spirits



He said it's a cultural thing in his tribe. When the boys reach a certain age (14 years) the elders bring them in, blindfold them, put their hand on a table and chop their finger off with a huge knife! It means he is now a man. I was stunned!

This player has been in our academy for almost 3 years. I had assumed that by experiencing God's love, mentorship from men who love them, a quality education and life skills...that our boys would be convinced to put away harmful cultural practices.

I was wrong...the local cultural demands on this player are still so very powerful. I have heard that many young boys die when they are circumcised a few years later and left to wander in the wilderness without food or water for a week.

Knowledge doesn’t change behavoir. I am reminded that it’s my job to pray and God’s job to change hearts and minds.





March 7 - Get a Fresh Start


Photo: Nadine loves Adi - Jody made this amazing wrap - Richalene helps Jensen with homework

As you precious teen-age girls come to my house every week and a make dinner together (they chooses the menu, we buy the stuff and they do the cooking).

After dinner, we sit down and go through a "Fresh Start" workbook. The girls choose a past hurt or offense they want to process – with the last step being forgiveness.

Forgiveness is the key to being free from shame and despair. Sometimes it seems like a ridiculous response to the incredible horror some of these girls have been through.

To explain forgiveness I told them this story...

There was in a girl in Ocean View, a friend of mine, who borrowed R1000 from me (that's about $120 - a pile of money around here). She tried to find ways to pay it back...but in the end came to me and BEGGED me to forgive the debt. So I did. I told her it was taken care of, she didn't need to pay it back.

"Sho!" They said.

Then I heard there was a girl who borrowed R100 from my friend (that's around $12). She begged my friend to forgive the debt- but she would not. In fact, my friend turned her in to the police, proved the money was owed her and had her thrown into Pollsmoor Prison (a nearby maximum security prison).

"Sho! Sho!!" They said.

Can you guess how I felt when I heard that? I was pretty mad after all I had done!

This is what it's like with God. He forgives us the R1000 we owe him - but we don't want to forgive others the R100 they owe us.



I was amazed that at the end of the Fresh Start process, three out of four of the girls chose to forgive very hurtful past events. God is healing their hearts!




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