A devistating fire swept through the Masi wetlands early on Sunday morning. I turned my personal phone off that morning because early calls often wake me up. I woke up to several missed calls from various friend’s in Masi and colleagues. Hundreds of men, women and children ran for their lives that morning and miraculously all went unharmed. The official report is that 170 homes have burned. This once labrynth of creative and feeble bunaglows is now a massive heap of debris and ash. Fires are common in South African townshps with rows of shacks stacked side by side. Sharing jerry rigged electricity lines, the thin plyboard, asbestos, and zinc materials combined with alcohol induced foolshness, indoor propane stoves, and other various heat sources, turns a harsh but liveable community into a fast and destructive field of flames.
This area of Masi is already where the poorest of the poor live, building shacks on swamp land because the real community is overcrowded. The foreigners and newcomers are forced to build in this area. Their homes can hardly stand the wind and rain and often don’t. Three of our Vulnerable Children families lost their homes in this fire and everything in them except the clothes they had on. Thank God they were not burned or injured.
The All Nations Masi team arrived at the scene as soon as word spread. By the time of arrival the fire department had quarantined the area off and the fire was smoldering. It was so shocking to see a whole area in the wetlands just gone. Each of these families lost everything completely in the fire. Their sponsors had just purchased school uniforms for January, these were also lost. But the Vulnerable Children program went and bought our families food and one change of clothing and one pair of shoes to wear for now. We made sure they were able to stay with someone.
The building began yesterday, many friend’s gathered together. The irony is great because its really a terrible spot to rebuild but the only option. We want our VC sponsrs and interested individuals to be aware of this crisis. Please consider if your church or friends might be able to send $ to help these families. Many of us have already sorted through our own home goods to share what we can. Here are some of the most immediate needs: The building of the shack 1,500 dollars, The purchase of the school uniforms lost are 70 dollars including the shoes. Beds, blankets, pots and pans, clothes, refrigerator, and stoves are other items that we hope to help with.
Please be praying for these families right now. A new fire even started yesterday, as the wind is unusually high. 8 shacks that had been rebuilt caught fire a 2nd time! Can you believe it? It breaks our hearts that many who have so little in the first place are caught loosing everything they have worked for.
On a side note there are Tzotsis (gansters) who are taking advantage of the chaos to target the vulnerable and the malungus who have come to help. On Sunday my friends and coworkers Kalyn & Julianna were held up with a butcher knife, they lost only their phones but were very frightened as you can imagine. Those we are helping are also at risk as poverty breeds theft especially among the “have nots”.
Thank you for your concern & prayers for these families.
If you would like to make a donation to help them, please DONATE HERE.
life is all about connection. shame:a lack of connection. research shows that people who have a strong sense of love and belonging are the ones who believe their worthy of it – whole hearted people live from a sense of worthiness, courage; (latin Cour)- meaning: heart – to tell your story with your whole heart, different from brave. Courage-Compassion- Connection (as a result of authenticity – embraces vulnerability. These people are willing to say I love you first. The willingness to invest in a relationship that may or not work out…living with vulnerability means you stop trying to control and predict. We numb vulnerability. You can not selectively numb emotion…You can’t say I don’t want to feel these… grief, shame, fear… without numbing the other affects, when we numb those we numb joy, gratitude, happiness…we make everything certain. Blame: a way to discharge pain and discomfort. Your imperfect and your wired for struggling, but your worthy of loving. Let ourselves be seen, deeply seen, to love with our whole hearts, to practice gratitude and joy in the moment of terror -to feel this vulnerable means I am alive. Then we are kinder and gentler to ourselves and the people around us.
Yesterday morning started off with rain, our venue was locked in Oceanview (which we reserved and double checked on), and the meeting was suppossed to start at 10am. Not a single invitee was there. We were thinking we needed more prayer fuel to get this going…. but as Julie and I sat on the cement stapling applications, we literally said, ” Let faith arise and the enemy be scattered.” One lonely prostitute came at 10:15, another at 10:20, Alli ran around and found our guy to open the civic center, and then by 10:30, we had 9 ladies…
These weren’t just your regular old ladies from Oceanview. Many of them are the designated refuse of the community. In fact, as the groundskeeper finally unlocked the civic center, he recognized one of our clients and started violently screaming at her in Afrikaanse, He said, ” She is not welcome here!” Thankfully in this case his say was meaningless. I was shouting cheers of pride as a different girl walks in, she literally dodges the drunken kiss of random man walking by on the street. He weaved through me to get to her. She pushes him off, with her absolutely stunning daughter in her arms. I’ve watched this darling grow over the last year… blonde curls now, asian eyes, and gorgeous olive skin. The coloured people are beautiful.
The Kingdom of Heaven is truly near.. .Chevon was there with her 3 day old baby. She looked absolutely terrible, tik (Crystal Meth) will do that. But she was there and baby Donaven was alive. She has miscarried many times due to drugs. She hadn’t ticked during the last 4 months of her pregnancy, due to our prayers and Alli’s feirce devotion, with the exception of one binge when she stayed out all night & came home and hit her 3 year old, and then there was the day before she gave birth… but we celebrate every sober day. Sure she is still bound, and hasn’t surrendered to Jesus yet, but His kingdom is coming.
She actually holds and shows affection to her 3 year old, thanks to coaching and she is committed to smoking outside, in the back, as far away from her kids as she can get now. His kingdom is getting nearer…Her little girl is a much different girl than I knew 6 months ago. She physicaly looks clean, happy, she plays with the others now. Before she would litterally sit alone in the dirt for hours, her face crusted up, no matter how many times they wiped it, she never smiled even at the most genuine efforts. Her mom use to ridicule and tease her. Now she cuddles her, bathes her and feeds here. His kingdom is coming. Chevon listened closely as Julie explained that she could one day be the boss of others… what a unbelievable dream for her, as she has made her wages from renting out her body for the last several years. His kingdom is near…. its getting closer, to her and every other woman that showed up yesterday.
We are launching a new Baby Safe program called Sisterhood of Success. It will start Januray 3rd. It is a series of three different courses, as we partner with a local NGO called Living Way. Our girls will learn to actually reprogram their brains to believe that where they live, the family the come from, and the amount of money in their pocket actually has nothing to do with their potential for success. The aim is to break the poverty mindset and equip them with valuable job skills. The women who graduate will be formed into groups and given a microloan to launch their own business. These women will do discovery bible studies in every class to pair their new paradims with glimpses of His pursuit of them, His plan, and His love for them.
His Kingdom is coming….
We are trusting God for $1700, which is $120 per woman ( our aim is 15), to complete this program, with meals, manuals, and professional trainers. Baby Safe will sponsor this, which is 50% of the fees, and each women will start Jan 3rd selling diapers and mixed nuts in their community to raise the other 50%. This is a huge for them; to work hard to invest into not their living conditions or food, but their actual education… this concept is virtually non existent to many of them. If you have any sponsorship ideas or offers -please contact me!
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
will accomplish this.~
p.s. I wrote this blog a week ago and He has already provided the $1700!!
Cape Town – Approximately 500 babies have been dumped by their mothers in the Mother City so far this year, but most of them have survived. A recent survey by Child Welfare found that it is mostly young mothers who abandon their babies. On rare occasions, it does happen that the mother kills the baby and gets rid of the body. Niresh Ramklass, executive head of Child Welfare Cape Town, said it is sad to see how many babies are dumped when there is a solution.
“There are many couples who are on a long waiting list to adopt children. The mother could take her baby to any adoption agency. Here a good home and family will be found for the child,” he said. Reasons for dumping babies. Ramklass gave five reasons which could possibly be the main causes for babies being dumped: “Teen pregnancies, drugs, rape, poverty and women expecting foreigners’ babies.
“If the mother has a child with a foreigner, it sometimes happens that the community rejects her and the child. ”Some of the people in informal settlements reject the baby of a foreigner. The women then live in fear of attacks on themselves too. For them, the only way out is to get rid of the baby.”
In the latest incident, a 17-year-old mother appeared in the Khayelitsha Magistrate’s Court on Thursday on charges of murder and perjury in connection with the murder of her six-week-old baby, Simamkele Qhana Baleni. She allegedly left him under a plate of corrugated iron on Monday, but later claimed he was kidnapped from the Khayelitsha day hospital. The matter was heard in camera because she is under age. Only the accused’s mother was allowed in court. The State prosecutor said she was not allowed to give comment. Attempts to get hold of the charge sheet were also unsuccessful.
Her lawyers said she did not apply for bail, Sapa reported. The accused was being held in a place of safety and would appear in court again on November 5.