Tag - south africa

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Through the Eyes of a Child – The NEW South Africa
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COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT: Lolla’s 5 Year Journey with The Sozo Foundation
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So… How’d It Go? Sound of the Nations: Battambang, Cambodia
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Are You Afraid of Evangelism? I Was Terrified…
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Immigrants, Orphans, and Jesus
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I See Gold in Ocean View – My First Three Weeks
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The Road Less Traveled – And Why Going It Alone Is Not God’s Idea
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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”

Through the Eyes of a Child – The NEW South Africa

Photo Credit: Sydney Priester

Sydney, hailing from the state of Georgia U.S.A., reflects on her experiences in the local community. She staffs at YWAM Muizenberg, loves teaching God’s Word, and working in the community of Capricorn.

This weekend I went to a local fish and chips shop with a vibrant, spunky, nine year old girl. I am white. She is Coloured (an ethnic group in South Africa of possible mixed origins). It is hard to believe that before 1994 this outing would have been against the law. While sitting there in the beach side cafe, we saw a Xhosa family ordering lunch at the counter. She turned to me and said, “I think Xhosa people are so beautiful! They make the nicest rice and know how to cook pap out of mealies… Oh, pap will make you lekker fat!” For a minute or two, we mused about how wonderful Xhosa’s are; then she turned to me and said, “I like white people too; they are so nice.”

That comment deserves a pause.

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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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So… How’d It Go? Sound of the Nations: Battambang, Cambodia

Photo Credit: Kenia Godard

It was a sort of divine, grand experiment: Could we bring a distinctly African worship seminar, in both sound and staff, to Cambodia? What would happen when drums and Township Gospel met chimes and Temple Karaoke? Would it all be lost in translation? Would the catch phrase, “From the Nations to the Nations,” survive being put to the test? We had five weeks in the hot season (and let me tell you it was REALLY hot) to find out.

Average Temperature: “Frying Pan”

Tastiest Treat: “Fried Spider”

School Catch Phrase: “A ‘notha Level!”

(There’s something spectacular about Cambodian’s declaring: “It’s A ’notha Level!” complete with a South African accent.)

YWAM Muizenberg, South Africa staff, Kevin and Tonya Stanfield (USA), Billy Edwards, MJ Abrahams (South Africa), Kenia Godard (Columbia), and Fy Rasolofoniaina (Madagascar), joined forces with the incredible YWAM Battambang base to pull off the second Sound of the Nations School in Cambodia (and discover a whole new appreciation for air conditioning). Let me quote a student’s blog to tell you more:

“The purpose of this course is to dig deeper into worship, raise up local worship leaders, and encourage authentic ethnic song writing! There is a distinctive lack of contemporary ethnic Cambodian songs… God made this country’s sound exquisite and totally unique. It would be so sad to miss out on their expressions of worship!” – Caroline Clymer

Writing a song may seem easy to some, but creating unique music requires a freedom of soul and a confidence that goes beyond the skill of one’s voice: An assurance is needed, one that runs deep and quiet, whispering of the unique song that resides within each one of us… and that this song, my song, is worth hearing. It is, in fact, God’s song too.

So did the divine experiment succeed?

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Are You Afraid of Evangelism? I Was Terrified…

Photo Credit: Cayla Bertelsen

This post was originally published on the Cayla Bertelsen’s blog at http://caylabertelsen.blogspot.com/2015/06/evangelism.html and is re-posted with permission.

When I hear the word “evangelism,” my heart starts racing. I don’t know about you, but the thought of walking up to a complete stranger and asking them about the status of their relationship with God has always terrified me. People’s stories make it sound easy (well, sometimes…), and then I wonder what is wrong with me? But, when the call comes at the end of the sermon for me to “go into all the world and preach the good news,” suddenly things begin to look very complicated.

Now, I want you to know that I am no expert in evangelism. I am not descended from Billy Graham. I am no Amy Semple McPherson. However, the Holy Spirit does live inside of me, and this makes all of the difference.

This morning, while I was spending time with Jesus, He reminded me of two times last summer when I was able to share my faith with a total stranger. Both of these were unplanned meetings – but they have really changed the way I think about evangelism. I am not so scared of it anymore. I hope that after you have heard them, “evangelism” might not sound like such a scary word to you either.

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Immigrants, Orphans, and Jesus

Photo Credit: BruceEmmerling via Pixabay cc

This post was originally published on Lindsey Lautsbaugh’s blog at http://www.thisisloveactually.com/immigrants-orphans-jesus/ on December 1, 2014 and is re-posted with permission.

My maternal grandparents were immigrants from Norway. My Grandma Edie would enthrall me with the story of her first sighting of American soil. As a young girl, she peaked through the window of the ship, and there stood the Statue of Liberty on Ellis Island, New York City.

When Grandma Edie and Grandpa John fought around my sister and me, often they would do it in Norwegian so we couldn’t understand what they were saying! My grandmother made fish-balls and lutefisk and lefse. The town they lived in was full of Norwegian immigrants, and its official motto is still “Little Norway.”

Being surrounded by so many Norwegians brought the inevitable Swedish jokes. I just thought it was like an old high school rivalry. I didn’t know why Norwegians and Swedes teased each other; it’s just what we did. In fact, my Grandfather posted a sign at the top of his drive-way that said, “Norwegians Only! No Swedes Allowed!” Little did I know that this rivalry came out of a deep-rooted history. But it was all good fun for the family in those times.

The last two weeks I’ve thought a lot about my precious grandparents. I was always acutely aware we were a Norwegian-American family. But there was so much I never knew to ask them. They were immigrants. The family didn’t know English when they came, I know that. But what else? What was it like to be foreigners in a strange land?

The reason I thought of this was because I’ve been surrounded by a whole new set of “foreigners” here in South Africa. My husband and I bought a house, and we are doing a few renovations this month before we move in. We’ve had the privilege of hiring a number of men from Malawi to help us with some of the work.

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I See Gold in Ocean View – My First Three Weeks

Photo Credit: Rohit Padmanabhan via Unsplash

Just a month ago Tiffany Baca, the author of the below post, moved to South Africa to join the staff of Justice Doll, a YWAM ministry. She shared her experience with her friends recently (see http://us6.campaign-archive1.com/?u=5871ff8192&id=9321bed718). Can we join her to see and to pray with God’s eyes for beautiful Ocean View?

I got to stay in this cozy, adorable, little, yellow mission house…

…filled with Scriptures and pictures of the people in the neighborhood, stories of the challenges and victories and abundant with love.

It seems so far removed from its surroundings because of how you feel in the house, yet those that have lived in the house have invested, loved, cared, been in the nitty-gritty of, and rejoiced over its surroundings.

My amazing housemate took the time to show me around and explained to me the history of Ocean View. She shared about the families in the area, took me to church, and invited me into this space that teeters between over-coming and just-getting-by.

There are kids who grew up in Ocean View and prospered and raised their families seemingly unscathed by what goes on around them, and there are kids who grew up to reciprocate the violence around them.
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The Road Less Traveled – And Why Going It Alone Is Not God’s Idea

Photo Credit: Linh Nguyen

This post was originally published on the author Lindsey Lautsbaugh’s blog at http://www.thisisloveactually.com/road-less-traveled/ on June 3, 2014 and is re-posted with permission.

Last week I left my house for a late afternoon run. I’m a hoofer who plods along slowly. Seeing me run would probably evoke less images of a light-footed deer and more images of a stray elephant looking for its herd. But, I digress.

That evening was beautiful, still, cool air, and beautiful clouds. I love running at that time of day; the streets are full of people walking home after a long day at work. There are large groups of gossiping Mamas noisily giving the updates of the day. Weary fathers pushing their young daughters home from preschool. Dusty men returning home after a hard day of manual labour.

That evening I took my normal route along the busiest roads, past the buzzing taxi ranks, and weaving along semi-crowded sidewalks. The next morning I woke up to learn that thirty minutes after I had run, there was a shooting along my route, killing several. It was part of a week of rising violence in our neighborhood.

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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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