C. is an inmate of a prison not far from our mission center.
Some time ago C. ,who is subscribed to the Activated magazine and has been working through our Bible study material by correspondence, wrote us a desperate plea to somehow assist his family, who were struggling severely due to lack of finances.
Shortly after, during a missionary trip 400 km away, we were able to C’s family boxes of groceries, clothes, and shoes. These supplies were received with enormous gratitude and recently a letter came to our mailbox with the following words:
(translated from Afrikaans) “My sister in the Lord, and everyone there THANK YOU SO MUCH for what you all have done for my family and me. I truly appreciate it a lot and praise the Lord Jesus Christ, who has interceded for me to the Father, so that my prayers could be answered. I also want to say that I just phoned my wife and she had no words for me as a result of her thankfulness and joy.”
Also, the children are thankful. They told me that they received the clothes and shoes at just the right time and that they were exactly what they needed, and exactly what they had been asking their ‘Mammie’ for, but she couldn’t, so Jesus brought them the solution.”
We are thankful to help others in the name of Jesus that He may be glorified and honoured, and that people will know that He loves them.
A clinic ‘in the middle of nowhere’ in dire need of supplies received R150,000 worth of donated medical supplies when Helping Hand volunteers drove 1,400 km from Cape Town to the Bambisana clinic, about 28 km outside of Lusikisiki in the Transkei. The clinic serves almost 200 patients daily and had -due to a lack of supplies- recently been forced to send patients to a hospital further afield. “You are truly a Helping Hand from God!” we were told. Among the supplies were bandages, oxygen masks and containers, linens, gloves and Csection kits. “Thanks to you and the swabs and kits you brought we are now able to perform C-sections again, may God bless you,” was one of the comments we later received by e-mail from the Doctor in charge. We were grateful to have been a part in assisting the dear doctors and their medical staff who sacrificially serve the community in this remote area.
New Life With Love
For the past few years, Helping Hand volunteers have joined the ladies at New Life Centre, a refuge for pregnant women in crisis, for devotions on Wednesday mornings. Instead of delivering presents at Christmas time, this year we wanted to really spoil the girls and take them out for a special meal, complete with all the trimmings. Finally the long awaited date came on the 20th of January. Five of the ladies stood ready, looking their glowing best when our minibus pulled up to take them to the Spur restaurant in Durbanville. One of the residents had started labour that day, so she was unfortunately unable to join us. We took her orders for take-aways and prayed for Jesus to give her the needed strength.
Everybody was in high spirits; frustrations of the day were forgotten and the girls sported big smiles as they went over the menu and chose the dish that was exactly to their liking. It was really nice to sit and chat, while enjoying a delicious meal, finding out more about each other’s lives and sharing hopes and dreams for the future. It was a magical evening, everybody enjoyed themselves thoroughly and bonded more closely. The atmosphere couldn’t have been better!
After the girls ate to their heart’s content, there was one more surprise: a bag filled with a variety of goodies, chocolates, beauty masks, an inspiring book titled “From Jesus, with love”, lotions, perfumes, manicure sets, etc. One woman said that not even her family treated her this way! On behalf of all the girls at New Life Centre we want to say a big “Thank You!” to every one of the donors and sponsors that made this evening such a ringing success! Definitely an initiative to be repeated!
A HELPING HAND AT CHRISTMAS
“At Christmas we celebrate the gift of God’s love for all humankind–a love that can be expressed in every language and shared by all people.–A love that came into this world in the form of a child born into humility, with a heart of mercy and compassion, and a life given for all people.” –Maria Fontaine
The above quote encapsulates the motivation behind each of Helping Hand’s projects during the month of December.
Special Event Christmas Parties: This month we arranged a special events day, complete with jumping castles, balloons, games, a yummy lunch and Christmas presents for the disadvantaged children of two crèches. Each child received a bag with yummy treats and a personal gift. We had previously compiled a list of names and gender so that each gift would ‘fit’ its recipient. The children played, ate and laughed, and, at one of the crèches, treated us to their very own nativity play in appreciation for the day. All in all they were wonderful days, and both the children and we went home with joy in our hearts.
Christmas Comes to the Informal Settlements: Each year Helping Hand participates in large scale Christmas parties for thousands of disadvantaged children in the two town ships that host our feeding schemes. On two of the hottest day of the year we set out to Wallacedene and Blokombos (the two informal settlements). We were there to give out food, toys and treats, yes; but mostly we wanted to show these children that they are not forgotten, that God has a plan for them, and that they matter. In total we gave out 3,200 gift parcels and shared thousands of smiles.
A Christmas to Remember: The profoundly mentally and physically handicapped children of the Sivenathi care centre cannot help themselves. They cannot eat, play, move or communicate their needs without someone’s aid. It was to these children we wanted to give a special gift; a gift to remember. We decided to take them on an outing to the zoo! As we drove up in the big red, chartered luxury buy we were met by delighted children. Although these children cannot talk; the smiles, gesticulations, and sounds they made were more than enough to convince us the outing would be a success. At the zoo, a team of volunteers took the children around in their wheel-chairs to see all the animals. Because eating solids is difficult we had treats like, yogurt, custard, juice, and ice cream. Each of the children also received a brightly colored helium balloon (probably the highlight of the day), and being able to give them one-on-one attention made it all the more special. We all had a wonderful time and look forward to organizing future outings for these precious children.
Christmas for Everyone: On Christmas Day we opened our gates and invited anyone who was alone to come in and celebrate Christmas with us. We sat and ate our Christmas dinner with total strangers who shared their lives’ stories with us. After dinner, we sent many on their way with extra food and treats. Another team of Helping Hand volunteers went to give treats to the men and women at the local police- and fire stations. We were met with beaming smiles and grateful hearts, making it truly ‘Christmas for everyone’.
Filling Holes in Hearts
In Khayelitsha, the largest township in Cape Town, many strange, terrible, and sad things happen every day. It’s considered the worst of all the townships. Muggings, hijackings, and child abandonment are commonplace.
In the midst of all this, we find Rosie. Rosie is a regular woman–from the township herself—who decided that things DIDN’T have to be that way, and she set out to make a difference!
Now, several years later, Rosie runs a centre (consisting of several buildings) where almost 100 children receive food, shelter, and teaching, with more added constantly!
She has built a “hole in the wall” into the exterior of her main building, thus providing a place where mothers can leave their babies, rather than abandoning them. “It’s not easy, and not all of them make it”, she says, “but it’s worth it for those that do and who have another chance at life!”
Helping Hand was able to assist her with cots, food, juice, toiletries, and other items. We plan on continuing to support her efforts in the future, as she is a clear example of what ONE ORDINARY person can do…to change the world.
Disadvantaged Children “STEP”-ping into the Future!
This month saw the eagerly awaited arrival of the Afrikaans version of the STEPS program; a colorful series of character-building books with stories, games, activities and moral teaching. We were able to donate full sets of these wonderful books to each of the students of the different crèches in the town-ships near our mission center. The teachers in these crèches often work on a voluntary basis, since funding is scarce. Most are run on a shoe-string to make ends meet, and lack basic necessities like paper, pencils, etc.
The children, many having never previously owned a book, much less a whole series, were thrilled when they were handed the books. And the reactions we encountered when their teachers wrote each of their names on the books were heart-warming and very touching. The books were their very own, not just to hold for a moment, but to keep and treasure.
The curriculum in this series consists of a full course of character building lessons, such as “How to Resolve Differences”, “The Power of Friendship”, “One Deed of Kindness Goes a Long Way”, and many others.
The teachers were equally thrilled as we showed and explained the resource materials of posters, readers, and teacher’s guide that go along with the children’s series. They give to these little ones selflessly and we were impressed with their dedication and love.
The children in these crèches come from the most disadvantaged families, those who cannot afford even the cheapest of care-giving facilities. Often the only meals these young ones receive are the ones given to them during school-time. We were told how, sometimes, one of the parents might send a can of baked beans or a loaf of bread to the crèche for the children to share. At other times, the teachers themselves bring some cereal or rice to supplement a meal. There are needs to fill on so many levels.
After securing sponsors, we were able to deliver two month’s worth of food to the crèches, bread, peanut-butter, eggs, cereals, rice, beans, milk, and even treats like cookies, juice and snacks.
It is our hope that with minds challenged and tummies filled, these precious children will be able to step into the future with hope and confidence.
September 30, 2010
One day this month, we received a phone call: “We’ve got some milk for you!” “Can you please come to pick it today?” “Will a van do?” we asked. “Oh no, you’ll need a truck!” was the reply.
Some hours later we had collected over two thousand liters of milk. Our volunteers joined together to unload the truck (kindly lent to us by a friend) at our storage facility. Within the next two days, we distributed the full 2,400 L of milk to 14 different centers, including daycare and quadriplegic centers, homes for mentally and physically disabled children and burn victims, clinics for HIV AIDS patients, and many others! Since milk is such an important part of our diet; it was received everywhere with utmost gratitude.
This was such an blessing of supply!
August 27, 2010
We don’t always realize how much we have to be grateful for–until we meet someone who DOESN’T have much. Often we find that THEY of all people ARE grateful, happy, and find joy in life.
Helping Hand recently took part in a function/party for quad/paraplegics at the Lentegeur medical/rehabilitation centre in Mitchell Plain, Cape Town. There was between 30-40 attendees, all of whom received personal attention, food, drink, and counseling. Games such as blowdarts were organized,music was played and group dancing, band performances, and speeches went on! A large braai was also prepared; leaving attendees as well as staff laughing,well-fed, and eager for a next time!
We are all so glad we were able to help with the juice, chips, napkins, etc—but most of all we’re so glad that we could be there for the patients. Many of them were battling depression and feeling useless; thus the extreme importance of showing a little love and confidence in them!
It was a great time for all and we hope the effects will linger in their hearts as they do in ours.
July 31, 2010
From Monday to Thursday this week, several Helping Hand volunteers set out on another “road trip”; traveling up to Mosselbay and then back down, and stopping to visit, speak to, encourage, and pray with those along the way. From the farms to the offices, small towns to cities, we found many willing to listen and even help us in our mission! Many Activated magazines, Bibles, and books were distributed, and our hope is that the effect on those we met will be spread to THEIR friends and family!
To Recap July 15th, 2010
Every day during this 2010 World Cup Helping Hand—in collaboration with playing2win members from around the country—was present at the stadium, fan parks, waterfront, and surrounding area. Over 20,000 Activated magazines were distributed in total as well as +40,000 gospel pamphlets! Many accepted Jesus as their Life Coach and came to know Him better! Our team members met fans from countries across the globe; and found that the need of all people is the same—love!
What’s Newsworthy from Cape Town
During the semifinals—Holland vs. Uruguay and Germany vs. Spain—our Cape Town playing2win team, along with members from Uganda, Kenya, and Joburg, was very busy hitting the streets with the material for the masses! The Good Times pamphlets were received with enthusiasm by thousands of fans, and the Activated magazines also found welcome place in the hands of many!
Eager fans found the “I was There” concept intriguing and exciting; often calling their friends to jump into the pictures at the last second! Our playing2win members established meaningful conversations and contact with the fans—no matter which team!
Take a look at the video on playing2win.com!
MAY 20, 2010
Graduations are wonderful events. The thrill of having completed an extended, difficult, and all too often hectic course—whatever it is—permeates every moment of the occasion!
So it was on April 11, 2010—the graduation date for 5 dedicated students from the 12 Foundation Stones training course. Some of them due to work restrictions did it over almost 3 years, while others did it in less than a year; however the results were equally impressive!
They graduated from the 24 part course with honours—and the graduation was meant to reflect that! Each student received a certificate of completion, a Bible, and a personal message of commendation. We had a ceremony with songs, a speech for them, prayer, and finally snacks, conversation, and celebration!
Each one of the graduates is now a dear friend of ours and we look forward to working together with them and they are excited about continuing to learn!
In life we are constantly graduating from one level and moving on to the next—the attitude with which we face each challenge determines how effectively we “pass” the course!
APRIL 22, 2010
Molding the Future Molders…
From April 12-16, Helping Hand helped to plan, prepare, and staff a children’s camp near Johannesburg. (with children attending from Namibia, Mozambique, Zambia, and of course South Africa!) All attendees are children (between the ages of seven and twelve) of missionaries.
The purpose of the camp was as a “training time” for the children—to encourage them in sharing their faith, improving their overall interaction with others, and teaching them more about local culture, history, and geography. They also had daily activities, games, physical education, + songs, campfires, and evening stories! We had team leaders with 4-5 children each, and it all went very well.
It was a success! All the attendees truly paid attention to and put into practice the lessons and tips taught in the classes. It was inspiring—and CONVICTING—to see CHILDREN striving to learn more, do more, and do it better. May we endeavor to be the same.
APRIL 7, 2010
“Sorry, I’m Busy…?”
In our busy lives it often seems irrational to stop for “small” things. That huddled person on the street corner, the child tugging at our sleeve for attention, the tired cashier who could use a smile…
Stop? How can WE; with schedules dictating our lives, and urgent obligations at every turn—how can we stop to perform a “time-consuming” kind deed?
The true question is: what are our REAL obligations? If we were in the other person’s position, how would WE want to be treated?
Just before Christmas we met a young man named Stephen. He had just come out of the hospital—where he was being treated for TB. He was sitting outside of the local video store begging…yet barely able even to breathe. We were touched by his situation and brought him some food; and continued to do so over the next days. We gave him a special Christmas parcel and some clothes.
Staying in touch with him, we found out that he soon went back to the hospital, and has been back and forth since. He managed to find a place to stay in a nearby township: (about 10 min drive from our mission centre) however the rent—although minimal–was still unattainable for him. The doctors told him that if he doesn’t stay off the streets he most likely will die; thus begging was out of the question.
We prayed about it, and decided to pay his rent each month. The verse “do unto others as you would have them do to you” stood out clearly to us!
Stephen is doing much better now. Today we brought him home from another brief hospital visit, and promised to see him soon! He is so thankful; and though he struggles even to walk, he smiles beautifully!
Our lives must be comprised of more than obligations—we must have aspirations!
March 17, 2010
“We often take our lives for granted.” This is a concept we’ve probably all heard at some time or another, but have we really thought about it? Most of us have plenty of food, warm beds, vehicles, televisions, computers, and the list goes on–while MILLIONS are without basic necessities! Can we not do SOMETHING to uplift their lives?
Well, there is an even deeper need; one that is rooted in mankind the world over, no matter what their physical condition–rich or poor, young or old. That need is love.
Love. An almost foreign word to some; while others have relegated it to the near- obsolete position of a lovers’ concept, a mother’s duty, or a child’s adoration.
But love is so much more than these…love is giving, sharing, helping, talking, hugging, saying a kind word, doing a kind deed, speaking softly instead of lashing out in anger, spending time–which you may not even have to spend–with someone who needs it. Love is these things and more!
If we can help others materially, that is a way they can experience God’s love–through OUR love…and if we give love to others in little ways like those above, imagine what the world can become!
Sympathy just feels sorry–love DOES something!
Feb 21, 2010
Helping Hand has been active in the Cape Town area for over 12 years, and there is more than enough work to do right here to keep us occupied, ha!
However, around August last year, the Lord showed us to break OUT of our usual routine and start making trips to nearby towns
We went for the first time in August 09′ on a 5 day trip –reaching out to many people, from farm owners the beggars on the street; younger, older, ANYONE.
The trip was completely by faith, as we didn’t even know where we were going to sleep, or where we would witness. We just took it one step at a time.
Through our outreach in Cape Town we have met many people who live in the surrounding towns, whom we never got to visit. So, during our trip we were able to stop by many of them and see how they were…which was fun and positive! We enjoyed it!
In the end we talked with, prayed for, encouraged, and made friends with many wonderful people, most of whom we are in contact with and have seen since. We also distributed a large amount of inspiring literature–books, CDs, pamphlets, and the Activated Magazine!
Three members of our team just came back from the fourth trip made so far! It was a miracle every step of the way and we are excited to be reaching out and expanding BEYOND our previous limitations and boundaries!
The largest room in the world is the room for improvement.
Jan 15, 2010
As we stepped into the small room, we glanced at the beds lining the walls–beds with children staring at surprise at us. One child smiled as I approached and tried with difficulty to reach me. Another waved her hands wildly in excitement, while all seemed to wordlessly say “hug us, smile with us, talk to us…please.”
Siva Nathi is a centre for physically/mentally handicapped children , ranging from babies to older teens. Early January each year, Helping Hand endevours to give the children a Christmas(albeit late due to the centre being closed at Christmas)and share some love and kindness with the little ones who need it in so many ways.
This year there were about 30 children staying at Siva Nathi, each one of which we talked to, played with, and gave a Christmas parcel to. They received their gifts with such joy and thankfulness, thanking us over and over! It made us ashamed to think of the times we are ungrateful or think we have huge problems; when all around are so many more needy.
I particularly was struck by the attitude of a little boy named Luvo. Luvo was born with an abnormally large head. He cannot walk and needs help to do most things…even at ten years old. However, he is one of the few children who is able to talk, & his heart overflows with cheer! When looking through his parcel, he found a toothbrush included. “Wow, a toothbrush, a toothbrush! My very own toothbrush!” he exclaimed while showing it off to all present. For me that was pure happiness–and in such difficult circumstances.
May we never overemphasize our problems & never under-emphasize other’s.
I’m looking at my toothbrush with new eyes.
JAN 4, 2010!
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL OF YOU!!!
Helping Hand did things this year a little different than the regular Christmas-es…
On the afternoon of Christmas Day, The mission center (which doubles as our home, office, food-and-goods sorting base, etc) opened its doors to the public–inviting anyone who wished to “come and have a meal, juice, and some Christmas cheer!”
Quite a few homeless persons came in off the street, receiving along with their Christmas meal some words of encouragement and hope for the coming year.
To add to this, members of Helping Hand brought gifts of appreciation for the Durbanville Fire Station, Durbanville Police, Kraaifontain Police, and the Kraaifontain Clinic–all of which were gladly recieved by the staff! The extra gifts were distributed to homeless persons on the street corners, in alleyways, etc.
In the evening, several ADT (a national security agency) vehicles pulled in for some dinner and a quick chat. We were able to thank them as well for their faithful watch over public safety…even on Christmas!
When the last people parted from us with smiling faces, full bellies, and (I pray) the warmth of Christmas in their hearts; we knew it had been worth it!
It was something new for us but turned out better than we could have imagined–and we were reminded that day what Christmas is truly about.
PICS: CLICK HERE
Dec. 13, 09′
(Dec 10)The annual C’mas party in Blokombos was an inspiring way to reach out to and encourage–both physically and spiritually–1500 children! The cues stretched 100 meters away as they waited patiently in line for their C’mas parcels. Prepackaged for EACH child was a bag containing fruit, a drink, sweets, a gospel pamphlet, and a toy. It was a great success and made so many (who exist in otherwise dismal circumstances) lives happy. We are especially grateful to all those who, through their support, made it possible!
You can view the pictures of the event here
If you would like to support our efforts with a monetary donation, it will of course be greatly appreciated! It is only through people like you that we can continue operating! God bless you!
Our banking details:
First National Bank
Tygerberg Branch, no. 201410
Account Name: Helping Hand
Account no. 62024006662
Dec. 10, 09′
(Dec. 9) Helping Hand participated in the annual Christmas party in Wallacedene–in cooperation with the Shiloh soup kitchen. Nearly 2000 children attended, and each one personally received a parcel with sweets, a toy, juice, fruit, and a gospel tract. Many, MANY hearts were warmed yesterday–including our own–due just to a small kindness and consideration towards these little lives! They are the hope of the future!
You can view the pictures here:
8 Nov, 2009
Helping Hand is presently preparing for the yearly Christmas parties hosted in Wallacedean and Blokombos, which thousands of children attend. Due to the creche burning down(it was also used for the hosting of the daily soup kitchen and the yearly parties) things are rather up in the air as far as how they will be organized. However, we do know that the events will be held on the 9-10 of December, and we would like to make it memorable for the children attending!
Here are a few of our needs at this time:
Easily divisible snacks such as crisps, Yogi sips, sweet packs, etc
Or if you would like to support our efforts with a monetary donation, it will of course be equally appreciated and invested! It is only through people like you that we can continue operating! God bless you!
Our banking details:
First National Bank
Tygerberg Branch, no. 201410
Account Name: Helping Hand
Account no. 62024006662
FOR ANY OF YOU WHO ARE INTERESTED:), HELPING HAND HAS RECENTLY ASSISTED IN RECONSTRUCTION(THROUGH DONATION OF A WENDYHOUSE) OF A BURNED-OUT CRECHE IN WALLACEDEAN, AND IS PLANNING CONTINUED REPAIRS AND REORGANIZATION! (THE CRECHE BURNT DOWN ABOUT TWO WEEKS AGO DUE TO A STOVE BEING LEFT ON UNKNOWINGLY)
A MAJOR NEED AT PRESENT IS NOT ONLY BASIC HOUSEHOLD SUPPLIES FOR THE LIVE-IN CARETAKERS-WHO LOST ALL THEIR POSSESSIONS-BUT ALSO EDUCATIONAL BOOKS, TOYS, AND CLASSROOM MATERIALS. UNTIL THIS CRECHE IS RUNNING AGAIN, 15-25 CHILDREN WILL MISS OUT EVERYDAY ON NEEDED TRAINING; AS WELL AS THE CARING AND SUPPORT THE CRECHE STRIVES TO PROVIDE THEM WITH.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO HELP IN ANY WAY, PLEASE CONTACT US AT THIS NUMBER 072 443 7846 OR EMAIL AT helpinghand@telkomsa,net
THANK YOU FOR READING THIS! -AND IF NOTHING ELSE, PLEASE PRAY FOR THIS SITUATION! GOD BLESS YOU!