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Holiday Club Season 2016

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This year CAST took our annual holiday club season to a whole other level by partnering with local churches to host clubs in five of our communities.  A total of 1100 children were reached with the Gospel.  The adventure started off in the rural communities where kids came to learn more about Jesus at Noodsberg Baptist Church.  Then, the attention turned to Durban central, where CAST continued our long standing partnership with Addington Primary School to host a holiday club for learners.  Volunteers from both Westville Baptist Church and local partner churches were key to the success of the programme.

This week CAST made a new record of hosting three simultaneous holiday clubs in KwaDabeka, Lamontville and Mariannridge!  CAST was only able to accomplish this through the hard work of volunteers from Lake Pointe Church (Texas, USA), KwaDabeka Baptist Church, Lamontville Baptist Church and Joy Chapel Ministries (Mariannridge).

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Below are the stories of two high school students from Lake Pointe Church who gave of their holidays to volunteer with the clubs at Lamontville and Mariannridge:

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Paige, a volunteer from Lake Pointe Church

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Kylea (on right) with a local volunteer

Paige and Kylea came to South Africa for the first time last year.  They served at the holiday club in KwaDabeka, and fell in love with the culture and people.  Despite the language barrier and challenges of running a holiday club in a different setting, Paige and Kylea felt the Lord calling them to return to South Africa this year.

As Paige explains about serving, “You have to prepare your heart and be open to learning new things.  You also have to be open to the flow; things don’t always go the way you planned.”

Kylea also shared, “Even coming to the other side of the world, the same God is Lord everywhere.  You have to get out of your comfort zone.  I’ve learned how to be a better leader.”

CAST’s partnership with Lake Pointe Church is also vital for community volunteer training.  Instead of just implementing holiday clubs once-off, Lake Pointe has the long-term goal to empower church volunteers to serve their own communities.

Last year Lake Pointe provided volunteer leader training for local community members in KwaDabeka.  This year KwaDabeka Baptist Church was able to implement their own holiday club with entirely local community volunteers.

CAST would like to thank all our partners, volunteers and donors who made this holiday club season such a huge success!

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Photo Credit: John Benn Photography

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Acting Justly, Loving Mercy, & Walking Humbly with our God

As this year comes to an end, the team here at CAST would like to thank our donors and volunteers for supporting Church Alliance for Social Transformation throughout 2015. God has used CAST to bring His Kingdom through mobilsing and aligning the local church to reach out with practical compassion, to empower, transform, and redeem lost and hurting communities.

Our theme verse, Micah 6:8, has been the focus of 2015 for CAST: to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God. As we reflect on the year, we would to share five CAST highlights from 2015:

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1. Addington Camp & boysIIMen Camp: CAST’s annual youth camps were a great opportunity for children in our programmes to experience Christ in an environment outside their community. From a largely refugee community, 57 children attended Addington camp in Anerley and were introduced to Jesus. During boysIIMen Camp, 58 young men attended camp and 25 accepted Christ.

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2. Holiday Clubs: This year CAST partnered with local churches to put on holiday clubs in Addington, KwaDabeka, and the rural communities. Thanks to the hard work of Joseph Bode, many volunteers from our partner churches, and even an American team from Texas, CAST was able to provide a safe place for kids to learn more about Jesus during the school holidays.

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3. Lovebox Drive: This year CAST hosted our third annual lovebox drive. Over 400 children in CAST communities received a lovebox for Christmas and attended Christmas parties in their communities.

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4. Xenophobia Response: In April, the refugee community in Durban experienced xenophobic violence. CAST in partnership with Westville Baptist Church and several other local churches and organisations responsed to this violence by providing relief to those families and individuals affected. Westville Baptist Church’s Youth Centre turned into a temporary warehouse overnight for the many food, household, hygiene and children’s items donated. CAST has continued to work with the affected families and individuals by partnering with UNHCR to provide housing packages as well as support through counselling, dialogues, and data capturing.

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5. Our 5 Core Programmes: Although they are the understated backbone of our organisation, CAST’s Poverty Relief, Counselling, Youth Development, Educational Assistance, and Business Development Programmes provide the vehicle for community transformation to happen. On a daily basis, so many inviduals and families are impacted by the programmes that CAST offers in partnership with local churches. From food parcels given to families in desperate need all the way to entrepreneurs trying out their new business ideas in Lions’ Den, God is using CAST in a powerful way to grow the Kingdom of God.

Thanks to both our donors and volunteers, CAST has been able to continue our existing programmes while also expanding the reach of those programmes to transform individuals, families, and communities. During the year we had amazing opportunities to reach out and move beyond just charity to truly live out God’s call in Micah 6:8. Whether you acted justly by fighting against injustice for refugees through CAST’s relief effots, or loved mercy by mentoring a young teenager in CAST’s Youth Development Programme, we have all walked this road of serving and humbling trusting our Saviour together in 2015. CAST would like to wish all our donors and volunteers a very peaceful Christmas as we remember our Saviour’s birth.

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Holiday Fun in KwaDabeka

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This past week, CAST partnered with an American team from Lake Pointe Church in Texas to organise a holiday club for the children in KwaDabeka.

On Monday, the team did training with local volunteers and invited kids from around the neighbourhood to come to KwaDabeka Baptist Church for holiday club.

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Though it was very cold in the beginning of the week, kids showed up to learn more about how God loves them and wants a relationship with them.

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As the weather warmed up, over 100 kids showed up for holiday club on both Wednesday and Thursday. The messages and activities focused on perseverance through trials and serving each other. The American team and local volunteer team were able to model a practical example of service from the Bible by washing the feet of the children.

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CAST is incredibly thankful for all the volunteers who made this holiday club possible!  Special thanks to the team from Lake Pointe Church who came all the way from Texas to reach kids in our community with the love of Christ.

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Showtime 2015

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Every year Westville Baptist Church, CAST, and an amazing team of volunteers partner to put together a fun and exciting holiday club for children who attend Addington Primary School.

This year was no different!  The theme was “Showtime” and the kids were part of the ‘live’ show. The theme focused around how God loves us and all about how to be a good friend and have good friendships.  The messages centred around making real life applications from movies clips.

Daniel from the Bible also came to visit our kids at holiday club, and shared all about his story!

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Lastly, CAST hosted a Parent Evening last night at Addington so parents could come and see what their children had been learning at holiday club.  Parents also received special gift packs, and were encouraged by guest speaker, Moira Longe.

Please be in prayer that the kids at Addington Holiday Club continue to grow in their relationship with God and are able to be an awesome friend to the people around them!  Thank you to everyone who gave of their time and resources to make this holiday club possible.

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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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