Journal - May 2011

May 28 - Gotta Get Your Flippers

Many women in Ocean View are missing their top front teeth. Reasons vary – the teeth got knocked out in a fight, they had one rotten or crooked tooth and for some reason the crazy dentist took them all, it was fashionable one year in Ocean View to remove your front teeth, it’s better for kissing, etc.

If you decide you want to get “flippers” – new front teeth (that you can flip in and out of your mouth) – you decide that you are ready to tell your community – I want something better – I want to start over.

New teeth are a sign of a new beginning.

Baby Safe sponsored two of our Sisterhood Graduates to get new teeth (it helps with employment)…

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, started her new full-time job last Monday (only a few days after getting her new teeth)!


May 27 - Soccer Boys Choose Jesus

The Ubuntu boys played a friendly game against one of the more talented academy teams in Cape Town called Vasco da Gama. The boys played well, but lost 3-1. It was a good gauge of where we want to be as a team, but also reminded us that these boys have the talent and ability to compete with anybody. As most things are in's a process for them as players and us as coaches.

Afterwards 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 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...



May 26 - High School Divas

The Divas themselves

I (Julie) asked my Ocean View High School girls what they wanted to call their group – and they said, “The Divas!”

So I put a photo of our Divas on notebooks and told them to write down daily...

  • what they are thankful for,
  • what they want to change about their life and
  • letters to God (their hopes, dreams, fears, frustrations, etc.)

I am also meeting with them in groups of two and teaching them how to lead the Discovery Bible Studies themselves and how to turn Bible stories into short stories for “Living Statues.

Notebook journals for each girl
Nadine and Jody rewriting part of the book of Ruth



May 23

One of our prayer partners sent us this song...SO GOOD! This is me!

We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
And we cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
All the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have faith to believe

‘Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise
What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise


May 21 - Jensen, Emme and Soccer

The Ubuntu boys had a game in Somerwest West against the “De Beers” team (Yeah, like in diamond De Beers - diamond mines are big in South Africa). The boys won 6-0 and played some of the best soccer to date!

It was also a great day to hang out with the family. My girls came and enjoyed their time on the sideline. Emme loved to roll in the grass and Jensen loves to watch the “big boys” (her all around term for “soccer players”).

It was truly a refreshing day with some great family time!

See the photos of the girls at the game...


May 15 - Gladiator and Arsenal African Style


THANK YOU OMAHA! Many of my soccer friends back in Omaha donated their old Gladiator and Arsenal soccer jersey’s after the Omaha FC merger.

We sent a set of each to my friend and brother Munyaradzi in Zimbabwe. He is ministering to the local youth and sharing God’s love for them.

The team had been praying for some uniforms as they had none (many still play barefoot).

I love how God uses people all over the world to love each other, even if they are in different countries and have never met!

These boys and their coach were truly blessed by people in Omaha Nebraska! It was an amazing testimony to God’s provision. Awesome!

See the below email from Munya...

Hi Coach! I trust that you are all fine and that you are well kept in the hollow of His hands. I am pleased and blessed to let you know that all is going well in Vic Falls.

I handed the soccer kits to Absalom the team manager and coach. They are jubilant in the camp. Their first matches wearing the new kits were fantastic!

They massacred their opponents. The under 17 thrashed their rivals 4 nil and the under 13 hammered their opponents 5 -2. It is imperative to note that most of these young stars are now believing God.

The kits that you blessed the impoverished academy with was an answer to prayer. Absalom is the happiest man in the community.

The breakthrough came at time when he started trusting God. He became a follower of Christ about three months ago. Now the youngsters are now pumped up. It dawned upon them that God is there, He hears our prayers and that He loves us. The youngsters are now part of DBSs in the community.

Let me at this juncture thank you must suffice for the pivotal roll you are playing in making this our beloved country GREEN AGAIN. Proud to have you in our ministry.

You have touched many lives in our community!

Looking forward to welcoming you one day soon. Here below are some of the pictures that I captured (see above).





May 11 - Don't Judge (unless of course you ARE a judge)


My view for 2 hours as we sat there and waited

I (Karl) went with an Ocean View friend today to court for his hearing on a citation. A few observations about South Africa court (it's a pretty serious place)...

  • The lawyers call the judge “Your Worship” and bow when they leave and enter the room
  • The lawyers all wear black robes
  • The jail cell is located down a few steps in the middle of the court room...very odd
  • It seemed like the only reason for everyone being there today was to reschedule their court date
  • Everything is said in English translated into Xhosa and Afrikaans
There is no middle of the road “county” jail. You are either kept for a few days at the local police office or sent to Pollsmoor, one of the worst prisons in the world.



May 10 – Keep on Truckin

Photo courtesy of Noah Kaye


Transporting donated mattresses going to fire victims

Last week a fire swept through the township of Masiphumelele (the community about 200 yards from our home).

Over 1500 shacks were completely destroyed leaving 5000 people with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Three people lost their lives. We have had numerous friends lose everything including kids that Karl coaches, Sisterhood of Success women, Jensen’s teacher aid, and others we have met while here.

Here is an article about the fire (Aphiwe Magqagqa, the boy featured in the photo, is one of the boys I coach).

Today one of the disaster relief coordinators was so grateful for our truck to transport some of the donated mattresses and clothing for the victims of the fire. He said they only had one other vehicle to use in the transportation of the donated items and I told him to call me anytime he needed help.

So many of you donated to that makes me grateful for all of you.

From taking 20+ kids home from soccer to delivering items to fire victims in a township, you are truly part of God’s heart for Africa! You are making a big difference!

Bags of donated clothes in the back of the truck
Some men from Masi rebuilding their
home from partially burned materials



May 9 – the Eyes of a Teenager

I (Julie) love teenagers! I love their quick laughter, their impersonation of my American accent (along with my overuse of the term “FANtastic), and their hopefulness.

Finished with the book of Esther, we are on to Ruth. During our Bible Study, the girls read the first chapter together and turned it into their own short story. This is the first time we tried it with “Living Statues” - we made up actions for each part of the story (we all sat in a circle and repeated the crazy actions as we chanted the story).

It’s such a fun way to make a story come to life and I don’t think they realize they are memorizing the Bible. Little do they know, these Bible stories have a way of seeping into life and before you know it, this God of the Bible is talking to YOU.


Here is Ruth chapter 1, through the eyes of teenage girls from an African township...

• There was a famine and a man and his moved to Moab.
• The man had two sons and a wife named Naomi
The man died and his two sons got married.
• After 10 years, the sons died and Naomi was left alone.
• Naomi decided to return home and wanted her daughters-in-low to move on.
• Ruth refused to move on.
• Naomi and Ruth went back to Bethlehem together.
• Naomi changed her name to “Bitter” because she felt empty.

Of course it’s better with the actions! View the video above...a bunch of teenagers all holding up their left hand and shaking with laughter as they wiggle their left ring finger at the “got married” part. After all, what teenage girl doesn’t dream of marriage?

They were also talking about what they need and self esteem came up. I told them that was rubbish. Self Esteem is not important – Character is important.

We talked about what character means. Coincidentally, the book of Ruth is all about character. They will be memorizing a story about an amazing woman with character who honoured family, served others, followed God – and got to marry the cool guy in town. I guess character is some pretty good stuff.



May 4 – The Sisterhood Continues

I (Julie) am so proud of Claudine and her sister Diane.

Here they are at our house applying for jobs online and printing their CV (see photo)

Karl kept us laughing while making us lunch (his famous tuna Melt Sandwich – they were impressed).

Note: Claudine has already had 4 calls from her online job posting. Please pray for her to get a job! Baby Safe is paying for her to get her front teeth...something many women in Ocean View are missing and a “must have” for most jobs.



May 2nd – A Wink and a Nod

I (Karl) had the privilege to volunteer at a soup kitchen and hand out blankets the day of the Masiphumelele fire.

I was so impressed by this African woman (see photo), with her house just burned down, who volunteered to help at our blanket station.

Since there was no way to officially determine if someone in line had been a victim of the fire – or was just pretending to get free stuff- she would give me a special wink and a nod if she knew they did not live in the burned out area.

I was so humbled by her quick smile and helpful spirit, even in the midst of personal tragedy.

I had to ask myself – if all of my possessions had just been burned to the ground – would I be out here helping my neighbours by handing out blankets? Would you?


Big blankets donated from the government
(with about the softness of a floor mat)


Karl getting ready to hand out blankets
Passing out blankets
Fire victims being served

Big tins of the soup (donated by the government) -
We served this in Masi and then brought some to Africa House where some fire victims were staying

Soup's Up!



May 2 – Extra Guacamole

Recently our Ocean View Bible Study friends have taken our friendship to a whole new level of REAL. Read Julie's blog “It’s Complicated.”

We found that we can’t get away with just reading the Bible at our Bible Study – we actually have to be real – real community, real friendship – church at its best.

All that to say – after several weeks of hard discussions and many tears – our friendships have grown. Here we are enjoying our time together over a plate of yummy nachos...talking about God's goodness.

Have you ever noticed that most everything in life is a little better extra guacamole? I really think it is.

Waiting for nachos
Claudine and Elriza

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