Tag - cape town

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COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT: Lolla’s 5 Year Journey with The Sozo Foundation
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“A Man of Sorrows and Acquainted with Grief”
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What is Reverse Culture Shock and Why It’s Important to Understand It – Part 1
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The Pain of Saying “Goodbye”
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How to Cope with Reverse Culture Shock – Part 2
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Where Are You Home? The Journey to “Become Home”
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Why Have a Blog?
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How the Word of God Became My Daily Bread – A Student’s Encounter in the School of Biblical Studies

COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT: Lolla’s 5 Year Journey with The Sozo Foundation

Photo Credit: The Sozo Foundation

We are excited to share Lolla’s inspirational journey with The Sozo Foundation. We celebrate the wonderful things our non-YWAM neighbors are doing to impact the local community! The Foundation recently turned five years old, and The Bay Community Church has made it possible by giving the organization its full back up support from the beginning in 2011.

The Sozo Foundation is a non-profit organisation, based in the impoverished Cape Flats community of Vrygrond, Cape Town. The Foundation creates opportunities for holistic development through various key areas of Youth Development, Education, Health and Wellbeing, and Skills Development. Their vision is to see the community of Vrygrond living with dignity, purpose, and hope. They live by their motto: We help people to know they’re loved so they can love others. Our guest author for this post is Nolis Mhone, a Public Relations Intern at The Sozo Foundation.

Lolla has walked a journey with Sozo from its inception, and we were thrilled when she joined us permanently in April 2015. Born and raised in a small town in the Eastern Cape, Nelisiwe, or Lolla as we affectionately call her, moved to Cape Town in 2007 with her mother and sisters after tragedy struck her family. Vrygrond soon became Lolla’s new home, and quickly after arriving, Lolla began volunteering at the Vrygrond Library in the afternoons after school.

In 2011, The Sozo Foundation was started and began to use the library to provide after-school tutoring to high school learners from the community. Intrigued by the newcomers and the programme that they offered, Lolla volunteered her time and helped out wherever she could.

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“A Man of Sorrows and Acquainted with Grief”

Photo Credit: Painting “Spring Again” By Gaylin Downie

The above painting shows the winds of change blowing away the darkness of winter and the old season. Colour is released from heaven to earth bleeding life back into the hills, which become covered in spring flowers. Words: “Wrong will be made right, when Aslan comes in sight. At the sound of his roar, sorrows will be no more. When he bares his teeth, winter meets its death. And when he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again.” ~ From The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis

{This painting is by Gaylin Downie, local artist and YWAM Muizenberg staff of Bethesda House, and we are blessed to feature it here. Her main art expression is prophetic art, which is a visual form of what God is communicating to people to encourage them and highlight aspects of who they are and what they are made for. You can view her art on Facebook here: CrimsonHeart by Gaylin.}

 

My heart breaks and bleeds as I contemplate the extent of the brokenness of humanity. Murders, shootings, gang rapes, molestation, drug abuse, theft… Is there no end to the evil of mankind?

I wish that my thoughts were merely theoretical, but they are not. On a weekly basis I am faced with the troubles in some of the communities in Cape Town, South Africa. It is even sadder that I seem to be more heartbroken than the actual people who live in these traumatic situations.

It’s not that they do not feel the pain, but that the pain has become their normal experience of existence. They are beyond pain. The pain is so deeply entrenched in their culture and identity that they don’t see it anymore.

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What is Reverse Culture Shock and Why It’s Important to Understand It – Part 1

Photo Credit: Felicity Davies

I am currently writing this blog entry from the UK, where I’m visiting my home country because my husband and I are missionaries in South Africa. My husband grew up in Manchester, so we are staying in a house provided by a member of his church. I cannot tell you how grateful we are to have our own space while we are at home visiting family and friends – it makes it easier for us to rest in-between social engagements.

Reverse culture shock is when you return to your own culture but find it a bit unfamiliar because you have adapted to the culture of the nation where you are currently living and working.

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The Pain of Saying “Goodbye”

Photo Credit: lost in pixels via Compfight cc

When I was younger, I struggled for years with suicidal depression. When I look back, I can see that I was so obsessed with myself and my pain that I was ignoring the precious people in my life. I was quite selfishly happy to part with them and to never see them again just so that I could stop hurting.

That was a long time ago, and I am now faced with a pain of a different sort. One of the first things I learnt, when I became a follower of Jesus, was that I needed to “sell everything I own and go follow Him.” I did it, and I did it with gladness because of the new life that I had found in Him. Later on, I was faced with the challenge of leaving my home, my language, and my nation. I lived in Wales at the time, and God wanted me to go to England; this is only a four hour train journey, and I would always cry half the way there!

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How to Cope with Reverse Culture Shock – Part 2

Photo Credit: looking4poetry via Compfight cc

In my last article I began to open up about the issue of reverse culture shock (What is Reverse Culture Shock and Why It’s Important to Understand It). In this blog entry I would like to discuss ways that I discovered to help me handle this unpleasant experience.

When I first experienced reverse culture shock, I was not aware of what was going on. I felt depressed, discouraged, and disoriented, but I had no words to use to describe what I was feeling. I somehow came across a book called Re-Entry and found that the information imparted in this book helped me understand what I was experiencing; this knowledge in itself brought some relief. As I read this book, I was reassured that I was not the only one to go through reverse culture shock, and it gave me a vocabulary to use to be able to communicate my experience with others. If you are a missionary, I would highly recommend that you familiarise yourself with the issue of reverse culture shock so that you are prepared for when you go through it yourself or when someone you know is going through it.

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Where Are You Home? The Journey to “Become Home”

Photo Credit: Shannon Mintz  Photographer: Felicity Davies

Sometimes as missionaries and expats we do not often express the sense of loss and separation one goes through when following the call of God that moves us across countries, cultures, and/or oceans. So I am thankful for Angharad’s post last week on the “pain of saying goodbye” to home for another country (if you missed it, you can read it here: The Pain of Saying “Goodbye”). I can also understand this on a personal level. And please don’t misunderstand me; as much of this is difficult, much is also a desired, exciting, and joy-filled experience.

But at the same time and maybe after going through stages of grief and journeying through transition to living somewhere else other than my “original home” (cultural, birthplace, family, etc.), I find myself in another place emotionally and maybe spiritually too – a place that surprises me today but in a good and thankful way. A place where I survey where I now live with more fondness, even with a love that continues to deepen. Where I claim the beauty, the diversity, the people, and with contentment my heart says, “Yes.”

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Why Have a Blog?

Photo Credit: TomConger via Compfight cc

I happen to love crime shows. And it’s amazing the scientific and technological advances that have been made. To use the minutest bit of evidence – DNA, blood, hair, tissue, fingerprints – to catch a criminal. Granted t.v. is probably blowing it way out of proportion and not demonstrating the great amount of hard work and other things which contribute. But I digress…

When looking in particular at the fingerprint, it is an imprint of the smallest raised swirls and lines of skin tissue on your finger, yet it’s so intricate. And it got me thinking today,

God has not only left His fingerprint, His imprint on our lives,

He has woven His DNA within us and He has placed His image upon us.

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How the Word of God Became My Daily Bread – A Student’s Encounter in the School of Biblical Studies

Photo Credit: S. Reachers via Compfight cc

A little over nine months ago, I came to YWAM Muizenberg to participate in a School of Biblical Studies, and I came hungry. I didn’t know what my life was missing, but there was a deep yearning inside of me. Famished and weak, I decided to come to South Africa to give Jesus one more chance to satisfy my growing appetite for something more. One thing I knew before I came to South Africa was this: if ever-significant amounts of time are spent reading the Bible, the reader comes away changed.

It’s inevitable; truth will change you.

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