During the past month, CAST has witnessed tremendous spiritual growth in the lives of our participants, both through special events and regular programming.
During the October school holidays, CAST had the opportunity to partner with two local churches, Joy Chapel Ministries in Mariannridge and Lamontville Baptist Church, to host holiday clubs in these areas. The clubs provided a unique opportunity for CAST to assist the local church in providing a few days of fun, faith and fellowship in a safe place for children within the community during the school holidays.
In Mariannridge, 80 children aged 4-14 years old attended the holiday club. For this event, CAST was able to partner with the Mariannridge International Citizen Service (ICS) Team, which is a programme offered by Tearfund and Zoe-Life that brings together volunteers from South Africa and the United Kingdom to work alongside local organisations in projects aimed at helping children in vulnerable communities to become more confident and skilled in order to inspire hope in their communities. The ICS team worked alongside CAST staff and volunteers to ensure children were cared for and experienced the love of Jesus. After working in this community for several months, the ICS team has seen the damaging impact of crime, alcohol and substance abuse on families in Mariannridge. However, the team also experienced the power of reaffirming Christianity and spirituality in the lives of children during the holiday club when 60 children gave their lives to Christ. The Lamontville holiday club had similar success, with 178 children attending.
Also during October, CAST hosted our eighth annual boys2Men camp. Sixty-nine young boys (Grades 8-11) were selected from CAST’s youth programmes to attend camp. The camp was facilitated by thirteen leaders currently involved in CAST’s Sport & Youth Development programmes in each community.
This year’s camp theme was centred on “Abiding in Christ”, taken from the passage in John 15:4-5. The boys were encouraged to experience God through worship, prayer and quiet time in God’s Word. In response to an open invitation to accept Christ, 35 boys made first-time commitments to follow Jesus.
In the past few weeks following boys2Men camp, CAST has been able to follow up with the boys in each community regarding their spiritual journey. The question everyone is asking each other is “Are you abiding?”
Below is a testimony from a camp leader:
Coach Bongani Tshabalala attended the recent boys2Men camp for the first time this year, where young men from local township communities came together to learn what it means to be resilient and walk together in their spiritual journeys.
As a facilitator at the camp and in his community of KwaDabeka, Bongani actively encourages the youth to develop their relationship with God, “Because He is the one that is always there for you.” Through implementing the uBabalo programme in his soccer coaching, he has seen how ongoing mentorship and support has positively impacted the young boys’ lives. Since beginning the programme last year, the boys now occupy themselves with training, playing soccer matches, attending church and meeting as a study group.
Bongani’s dream is for the boys to grow spiritually and learn to be self-sufficient, productive members of their community.
Food Parcel Ministry
At the end of October, CAST’s food parcel recipients also experienced what can only be described as a spiritual revival. Each month CAST’s Relief Services HOD and Community Co-ordinators organise Ministry Days for the food parcel recipients. At the Ministry Days, recipients not only receive their food parcels but are also encouraged to use their God-given skills and talents to lift themselves out of poverty. Every month when CAST has Ministry Days, we faithfully pray that God will transform the lives of food parcel recipients, heal families, and provide for their needs. This month, CAST had the privilege of having guest speaker Tryphena, from Vukukanye Children’s Home, lead devotions at Ministry Days. Thirty-eight food parcel recipients came to know Jesus and committed their lives to Him. God’s spirit was very present, working in the hearts of those we serve!
Here are some ways you can join CAST in praying for programme participants:
- Pray for Joy Chapel Ministries and Lamontville Baptist Church as they continue to disciple children in the community who made first-time commitments to Christ.
- Pray for the children who attended holiday club, that they will continue to experience the love of Jesus.
- Pray that the boys will continue to abide in Christ, spending time with Him through prayer, worship and devotions.
- Pray for CAST’s community leaders as they continue to mentor these young men in CAST’s ongoing Sport and Youth Development programmes.
- Pray for volunteers that are able to disciple the boys on a regular basis.
Food Parcel Programme
- Pray for CAST’s Relief Services HOD and Community Co-ordinators as they provide support to food parcel recipients in reaching their individual and family goals. Pray that God will provide for the food parcel recipients and their families.
- Pray that the food parcel recipients and their families will grow in their walk with the Lord.