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Soccer Boots for All

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Everyone loves buying a new pair of shoes!  In fact, just trying on new shoes can make your day better.

Last month the youth involved with CAST’s soccer teams in Noodsberg and Chibini received their own brand new shoes and socks.  For some of them it was their very first pair of new soccer boots.  CAST was only able to provide this gift through a generous donation from Community Chest.

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Over the last five years, CAST has seen a tremendous growth in the amount of youth involved with our rural soccer teams.  Our biggest challenge has been to provide the teams with soccer boots.  In the past, we relied on second hand donated shoes which were a challenge to find, and therefore most of the players didn’t have proper soccer boots, or played with no boots at all. The majority of the participants come from poor households and could not raise R600 ($44) for a new pair of soccer boots that would actually last more than just a few months.

The teenagers we work with oftentimes have low self-esteem. We have noticed whenever we attend games, coming from a poor community, most players feel embarrassed wearing worn out shoes.  The new soccer boots have boosted their self-esteem as they are able to play comfortably and with pride.  Also, the new soccer boots protect players’ feet from being injured by thorns in the ground.

In CAST’s Youth Development Programme, we believe in empowering youth to become resilient, so they are able to overcome challenges and provide solutions in their own communities.  By building the self-esteem of youth, they are able to stand up and make a positive impact in their communities.

To find out more about how you can impact the life of a young person through CAST, please contact George Mwaura at: george@cast.org.za

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Hands Up for Christmas In Action

 

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For CAST, December has been all about celebrating children and the gift of Christmas.  Thanks to all the generous donations we received, CAST was able to give a toy to every child on our food parcel programme.  This may be the only Christmas gift some of the children receive, so thank you for making a difference!

In both Chibini and KwaDabeka, CAST partnered with the local church to host a Christmas party and lunch for the children.  This was not only to give out the toys, but also to award the children’s academic achievement and participation in CAST’s programmes.  We believe it is important to celebrate children by communicating that they are valued and loved by God.  This may be the only opportunity they have to hear the Gospel and understand their worth in Christ.

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The Toy Drive may be over, but Hands Up for Christmas is not!  CAST is a little over halfway to our goal of sponsoring 1000 food parcels for 2017.  If you are still looking for a last minute Christmas gift and don’t want to deal the madness of Christmas shopping, CAST’s Christmas snowflake decoration is the answer.  For R200 ($14) you can sponsor a food parcel in someone’s name and receive a snowflake Christmas tree decoration.  This will remind them of the family they blessed this Christmas season.

You can give directly online here:

https://www.givengain.com/cause/4933/campaigns/17462/

For more information contact Laura Mbugua-Mwaura at: laura@cast.org.za

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Imanamalo

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IMG_8689.JPGBefore Baba Khumalo retired, he used to come home from work everyday and notice all the children in his community.  He wished that the kids had somewhere to stay where they could be nurtured and cared for, and where they could experience the love of Jesus.  But he wasn’t sure how.

Over the years, the Khumalos opened up their church, their home and their hearts to the children in Chibini.  In the past three years, the Khumalos have nearly doubled the size of their Sunday School, currently reaching 85 children in the community each week.IMG_8667.JPGHowever, Baba Khumalo was not content with only reaching children on Sundays.  Earlier in the year, Joseph Bode (CAST’s Education & Children’s Dev. HOD) and Zippy Benn, a CAST volunteer, suggested that the Khumalos start a creche out of the church where children could come everyday.

Bongani Mkhize, CAST’s Noodsberg Area Co-ordinator, connected the Khumalos with a local school principal who welcomed them into the local creche association.  By joining the association, the Khumalos were able to access training for their volunteers and ECD materials for the creche.

On 18 July 2016, Baba Khumalo’s wish finally came true – the Imanamalo creche was launched, with 27 children attending, from ages 0-4.

However, operating Imanamalo has not been without challenges.  Firstly, the church is a rondavel building, so it is very cramped for the children, and the roof leaks when it rains.  Also, the Khumalos have to take down all the ECD materials off the walls before Sunday because of church, then put it all back up again, and make sure the chairs for the church service are removed before creche starts on Monday.img_8560

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IMG_8551.JPGBaba Khumalo’s next wish is to build a separate building for the creche, so that the children have space to play and learn.  CAST is supporting this venture, and you can too by donating a few practical items:

  • Mattresses
  • Blankets
  • A big carpet for the children to sit on
  • Rice
  • Tinned foods (i.e. beans, Lucky Star)
  • Mealie Meal
  • Jungle Oats

Over the years, God has always faithfully provided for the Khumalos to reach children in their community. Please be in prayer as CAST partners with the Khumalos to impact more children with the love of Christ. If you are interested in getting involved or donating towards Imanamalo , contact Joseph Bode at: joseph@cast.org.za or 031 267 1716

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Too Much Power in Chibini

When you ask Baba Khumalo about how he likes his new bakkie, the first thing he says is, “Too much power!”

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Baba Khumalo and his wife pastor a church in the rural community of Chibini.  CAST partners with this church to help run its thriving children’s ministry.  During the past two years CAST has partnered with Chibini Baptist to run holiday clubs, which has brought tremendous and sustained growth to the Sunday School Programme. The Sunday School has become so popular that kids from other surrounding communities want to come and join. However the distance and rough dirt roads prevented the children from coming.

That all changed when a generous donor provided a bakkie to the Khumalos. Now Baba Khumalo is able to pick up an extra 15 children every Sunday from the surrounding communities.  The Khumalos now average 85 children for Sunday School, an impressive number considering the small size of the community.

The bakkie also enables the Khumalos to do home visits and outreach in the community, making connections with the families of children who attend Sunday School.

A vital part of the their ministry is providing a meal for the children every Sunday from their garden.  Having access to the bakkie has allowed the Khumalos to sell their produce to local tuck shops and make a bit of income in order to grow their garden and feed the growing amount of children in Sunday School.

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Another blessing for the Khumalos has been their bore hole. Earlier in the year the same donor provided for the bore hole to be dug. This water source has not only enabled the Khumalos to continue growing food for Sunday School during dry season, but has also benefitted the entire community during the recent drought.

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As we come to the end of 2015, CAST wants to thank our Saviour for the blessings He has provided our communities with this year, especially in Chibini.  God’s provision has not only transformed Chibini Baptist Church, but also the surrounding communities!  Please continue to pray for the Khumalos and the children and families involved with Sunday School as their ministry grows.

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Rural Happenings

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CAST’s Appelsbosch Community Empowerment Centre

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Pastor Dube and Coach Ostrich

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Appelsbosch Baptist Church

A few weeks ago, we heard from Ostrich, CAST’s Sport & Youth Development Intern in Appelsbosch.  Since that last update, the outside painting of Appelsbosch Baptist Church has been finished, and the connecting CAST Community Centre Office has been completed as well.  Appelsbosch community members now have a formal place to go to access CAST services.

In regards to Youth Development in this community, Ostrich organised 38 children from Noodsberg Primary School for a development rugby team.  For the older guys, Ostrich has put together a district team for 23 players from Appelsbosch, Noodsberg, and Chibini.  They recently played in a local tournament and won.

During the school holidays, the Vikings Rugby Academy from Norwegian Settlers Church will be doing a coaching clinic for the rugby teams in Appelsbosch.

In our other rural communities, Noodsberg Baptist Church and Chibini Baptist Church will be hosting a Fun Run/Walk this weekend.  There will be a 5K Walk and Run, as well as 10K and 20K Runs.  Medals will be awarded for winners.

Make sure to check out our Facebook page to see photos from these exciting upcoming events at: http://facebook.com/CAST_ngo

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Children’s Ministry in Chibini

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Chibini Baptist Church is one of CAST’s thriving rural partner churches. Since last year’s CAST holiday club in Chibini, Baba and Mama Khumalo have been overwhelmed by the growth of children coming to their Sunday School.

Several additions to their ministry have also increased the amount of children attending church.  First, the Khumalos received a bakkie, with which they are now able to transport more children from surrounding communities.

Second, the Khumalos organised a soccer pitch right above the playground that was donated last year during holiday club.  In addition, Baba Khumalo set up netball poles for the girls to play.

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These new sports opportunities have brought more children into the church to hear the Word of God.  Baba and Mama Khumalo have even started occasional “Sports Sundays”, where they share a short Bible message with the children, then invite them to play in a safe environment.

Please be in prayer for the Khumalos as they introduce more and more children to the love of Jesus.  In a community where many parents are absent due to work opportunities elsewhere, the Khumalos play a vital role in the lives of so many children.  Thanks be to God for providing for this CAST community!

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Coach Ostrich

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CAST’s Youth Development Team (left to right): Shaun (KwaDabeka Intern), Ostrich (Appelsbosch Intern), and George (Youth Development Manager)

Originally from Appelsbosch, Mazisi (also known as ‘Ostrich’) is no stranger to the challenges that face his community, especially for the youth.  Appelsbosch is located in the Ilembe district, neighbouring the other partner CAST communities of Noodsberg and Chibini.  High rates of teenage pregnancy, HIV/AIDS, and lack of activities and work opportunities keep the youth in this community from realising their potential.

As Ostrich explains, “Most youth from this area are not doing anything.  Guys finished with Matric are not going to college.  Their mindset is to go straight from Matric to work – that is all they know.”

After attending school in Pietermaritzburg, Ostrich decided to move back to his home community to make a difference.  Ostrich is a talented rugby athlete with extensive coaching experience.  This year Ostrich joined the CAST Team, and he oversees CAST’s sports teams in the local communities of Appelsbosch, Chibini, and Noodsberg.

Ostrich works from Appelsbosch Baptist Church.  An impressive 90 percent of the congregation is made up of young people, ranging from 15-25 years old.  Many of the church attendees are from the local college in Appelsbosch, a campus of Coastal KZN TVET College.  When George, CAST’s Youth Development Manager, provided two buckets of paint for Appelsbosch Baptist, Ostrich was able to organise these young people to paint the church walls.  P1020232

Ostrich still faces many challenges in launching a formal Youth Development Programme in Appelsbosch.  There are no fields in the area for sport, and Ostrich has struggled to get involved with youth in the schools.  However, he remains optimistic and realizes there is a need to meet with community members to build trust – specifically parents of the youth.

Please be in prayer for this exciting new opportunity to reach the youth of Appelsbosch!

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An Update on Chibini

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Imagine going to church and trying to worship, pray, and listen to the message while also quieting the roaring grumble of your empty stomach as to not interrupt the service. Imagine growing up in a family of 10 or more children struggling to make ends meet, with no father-figure present to provide for the family.

This is the reality for some of the families that attend Chibini Baptist Church, one of CAST’s rural partner churches near Noodsberg. Mr. and Mrs. Khumalo, who pastor the church, use the little they have to address the enormous need of the community through feeding the children in their Sunday School programme every week. Using vegetables from their own garden, they try to provide a simple meal for hungry bellies, so the children can focus on worshipping and learning more about God.

With a 48 percent unemployment rate in this area, many working adults leave the farms to live in the city and support their families back home. But oftentimes this money is not enough to feed the many hungry mouths at home, and children are raised by grandparents and/or a single mom without an active father-figure present. One way CAST is addressing this issue is by providing food parcels to families in Chibini.

Another way Mr. and Mrs. Khumalo seek to care for the children in their community is by providing a simple meal once a week and introducing the children to a heavenly Father who loves and cares for them, no matter their circumstances.

Earlier in the year, CAST and a partner team from the US were able to organise a holiday club for the children in Chibini. The American team also helped in building a playground for the children to enjoy. Now a few months later, the Sunday School has grown in numbers, averaging around 70 children, an increase of 25 kids. Normally the Khumalos are able to use produce from their garden to feed the children once a week, but during this time of year their garden produces less.

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If you would like to assist Chibini Baptist Church with a few simple groceries to sustain the growth of their children’s ministry during this dry season, here are a few things that would help:

  • Beans
  • Rice
  • Juice
  • Tin foods

CAST’s main intention is to help community churches in poor communities to find meaningful ways to bring the gospel and social transformation to people in their neighbourhoods. This involves meeting the holistic needs of individuals, whether that be physical or spiritual food. Please consider donating some of the necessary food items to help accommodate the growth in Chibini’s ministry for a short season until the Khumalos are able to grow more produce in their garden. Another way you can get involved is by giving money towards CAST’s food parcel programme in Chibini to help struggling families until they are able to get back on their feet. If either of these opportunities interest you, please contact Rachel at rachel@cast.org.za

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A Light in Chibini

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Meet Mr. and Mrs. Khumalo, who lead a church in Chibini.  They have grown an extraordinary children’s ministry, bringing many young people to their church to hear the Gospel.  Baba and Mama Khumalo shine brightly in their community.  Meanwhile a whole ocean away, a group of Americans heard their story and decided to help build a playground in Chibini so that children would have a safe place to play.

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To celebrate the playground, CAST, along with the visiting American team, put on a holiday club in Chibini this week.  Before the holiday club even started, the Khumalo’s church blasted music to promote CAST’s event, which led to an impromptu revival for the community!

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At first, the children trickled in slowly.  However, once word spread about a new playground and American peanut butter sandwiches, the masses came flooding in.  By the time the sun was setting on Wednesday afternoon, CAST had 176 children listening to the American team share the story of David and Goliath through a translator.

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The theme of holiday club is how God has created each child as unique and special.  All the crafts and activities are centred around the movie Khumba, which is about a unique half-striped zebra who ends up saving all the animals in his community.  CAST’s prayer is that the children will come to know that Jesus loves them deeply and has created each child to be a light in their community.

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Also meet Sihle, another individual who has become a light to the youth in Chibini.  Sihle is only 19 years old, but he coaches a soccer team in Chibini.  Sihle’s journey began when Bongani Mkhize, CAST’s Noodsberg Area Coordinator, invited Sihle to boys2Men camp.  At camp, Sihle learned about being a light in his community.  He came back to begin a soccer team of boys aged 13 to 18 years old.  The boys play without a proper soccer ball, shoes, markers, or jerseys.  The uneven open field they play on is nothing close to a proper pitch, but the boys come faithfully to practise.  Sihle always prays with his boys and encourages them to focus on soccer and school.  In a community where father figures are largely absent, Sihle is able to be a light by pointing his boys to Christ.

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As holiday club comes to an end this week, we pray that this week will be the beginning of many children coming to know and love Jesus through light of individuals like the Baba & Mama Khumalo and Sihle.  Remember to pray for Chibini!

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