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Sinikithemba

 

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At CAST’s Community Empowerment Centre in Chesterville, Nomakaya Mpambaniso (CAST’s Chesterville Community Co-ordinator) leads a counselling support group for those in the community.  Every week the group comes together for support, sewing and knitting projects, as well as fun games and activities.  Most of the group members receive food parcels from CAST, which helps to supplement their diet.  This past week Sinikithemba celebrated Youth Day by having group members dress up in school uniforms and playing school games to encourage staying active.

Below is the story of how the Sinikithemba Support Group has impacted the life of a group member, in her own words:

My name is Lindiwe Dlamini. I love God, and am very much appreciative to God for sacrificing his only Son Jesus Christ, and I am also in love with my community and my people.

I heard about the Sinikithemba Support Group (meaning ‘we bring hope’) and CAST, and volunteered there. This is where I met Mam’Glad, Carol, Lizzie, Mam’Njazi, Makhosi, with social workers and others – good people I met.

When I met these people on this particular day I was happy, excited and blessed to meet them. I listened attentively that everything they spoke about had Christian values and principles; they spoke about helping needy people in the community, respect, giving faith to the faithless and also assisting the needy with food parcels.

I was led by a Bible verse from Psalms 23 that says, “The Lord is Shepherd I shall not want.”

So I thought about the initiatives that were spoken about in the meeting and I had faith again and went out to the community to tell people of CAST and the Sinikithemba Support Group. More people were interested so Mam’Glad spoke to social worker that assisted a lot in the community.

People that are assisted in this community have hope, faith, respect and love. CAST has also led them closer to Christ.

We also assist people with counselling and refer them to the clinic, as well as helping the disabled and cleaning their homes if there is no one to help.

We thank you for the help and assistance, as well as the education and training, and the love we receive.

With this programme, you get all the assistance you need, even the ones who are on chronic medication have something nutritious to eat prior to taking treatment/medication.

We even visit schools to find out what problems they are facing and see where we can help as a group through the assistance of CAST.

In conclusion, we ask that CAST continue supporting communities like us because it makes a difference in the community and people gain hope, faith, and start living again and themselves go out to help others. We thank you for the great work and we love you guys.

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Five years ago Jupiter and his family fled to South Africa from the Congo. In his home country, Jupiter had worked as a teacher. However as a refugee in Durban, Jupiter struggled to find work in the area of his passion, education.

At first Jupiter was able to attend the University of KwaZulu-Natal to study Community Development, but when he struggled to renew his refugee status his studies were cut short.

Out of necessity, Jupiter began buying items at auctions to sell at the Sunday flea market. His family had settled into life in South Africa, away from family and friends in the Congo. Two of his children attended Addington Primary School.

One day on her way home from Addington Primary, Jupiter’s one and only daughter was hit by a car. Life changed forever for Jupiter and his family.

Through the pain and grieving, Jupiter found a reason to hope. He is giving back to his community. A year after the loss of his daughter, Jupiter has found a way back to his passion. Jupiter attended our business training at Addington on Saturday. He was so excited about the work of CAST that he decided to attend our literacy training for Addington homework help as well! Jupiter was amazed when Yasmin, our Inner-City Coordinator, told him,

“CAST can you give you an opportunity to teach again.”P1010454

CAST’s education program has given Jupiter his passion back. He now has a way to teach children at Addington through homework help. Instead of repeated rejection because of refugee status, CAST has given Jupiter hope in his God-given talents again.

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Brighten Up Kwadabeka

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On Tuesday, the 24th September, 100 members of Westville Baptist Church along with 120 members of the Kwadabeka community, came together in a beautiful portrayal of Heritage Day.

An initiative powered by CAST- a social outreach non-profit- and Westville Baptist, “Brighten up Kwadabeka” was a day aimed at painting, fixing, cleaning and repairing Sithokozile Secondary School, handing out food parcels and making home visits to the food parcel recipients of the community, and running a children’s programme for the young ones at Kwadabeka Baptist Church.

The day ran from 8am until 12pm and ended off with a massive community braai, in celebration of South Africa’s National Braai Day. In every classroom, a group of people could be found hard at work, covered in paint, and out on the field there were people sanding down pillars, replacing gutters, hosing down the roof and cleaning up litter.

The partnership with Sithokozile Secondary School and Westville Baptist began 1994 when the church opened a soup kitchen for needy pupils. Since then, Sithokozile became the first township school in KZN to receive a new soccer pitch, made from synthetic grass. This initiative, along with the opening of a counselling centre at the school, was organised by the Church Alliance for Social Transformation (CAST).

The relationship between CAST and the Kwadabeka community has developed over the years and now includes an ongoing and effective food parcel programme, a sports programme and a business development forum.

It was an honour and privilege to have had another opportunity to serve this community, and to see so many people of all colours and ages, come together.

 

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Christmas Lovebox Drive.

Hearts to Hands is holding a Christmas Love Box drive, where we aim to give 800 + under privileged children in poor families a Christmas present.We invite “YOU” to take part in this exciting and fun project to make a difference and bring a smile to a poor and needy child’s face this year.
How can you get involved?
Bring a wrapped shoe box and fill it with presentsas per suggestions on list below.
Collect from us:
· Hearts to Hands wrapping paper to wrap lid
· Name, Gender, Age, Shoe Size, Clothing Size
· Copy of list detailed below.
Suggested list of gifts for love box:
· Item of new clothing
· Some sweets/choccies/biscuits/yummy
spoilsthat they would not normally have.
· Toys or age appropriate gift(i.e. for teenagers)
· Toiletries: toothpaste/tooth brush/soap/facecloth/
shampoo/deodorant/sanitary pads etc…
· Stationary for school/ crayons/colouring books
· A personal note of encouragement to the child
that will inspire hope
· Anything else that you want to add is very welcome.

Please hand the Christmas Love Box back to Rachel
at Hearts to Hands as soon as its filled, or latest
30th October.

Venues to hand in the Christmas love Box is
CAST/Hearts to Hand Office, Westville Baptist
Reception,2 Church Place, Westville.

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Get Fit, Bring a Blanket

Last weekend, Hearts to Hands and CAST held a Blanket Drive Campaign at The Village Market Centre. This campaign was linked to the Fitcampathon Winter Warmth Program in which participants have free entry into the Fitcampathon but are asked to donate a blanket towards those that are less fortunate this winter.

The day brought in about 200 participants who donated about 250 blankets as well as clothes. Hearts to Hands even managed to recruit some potential future volunteers for the ministry.

One of the highlights of the day was when a team of “rough and tough” Harley Davidson crew pitched up to take part in the Fitcampathon, holding a heap of blankets for the homeless in their hands…big men with big hearts!

Another highlight was having both the Westville Times and the Highway Mail interested in covering the story of the day. It’s awesome to know that the community is getting more involved in what CAST is doing.

The biggest outcome of the day was that Village Market has decided to adopt Hearts to Hands as it’s CSI Project – which means they will be giving the ministry exposure in the centre for all projects we want to run. This will include our Christmas Lovebox Project and 1000 Snowflakes Foodparcel Campaign, both set to take off in the next couple of months. The Woolworths branch in the centre has also offered to donate frozen foods towards our food parcel recipients, which is a huge blessing for the ministry.

The blankets and clothes were distributed to families and food parcel recipients throughout some of our communities during intentional outreach days at KwaDabeka and Noordsberg – the heart of Jesus is so evident when we witness the joy that blessing others can bring.

We are very excited for what God has in store for the Hearts to Hands ministry and so grateful for the contributions people made towards our Blanket Drive.

Watch this space for the next campaigns!

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Hope of the World

IMG_0870Debbie and Ernie Calder, two of CAST’s devoted volunteers, had a story and message for everyone this week.

We feel moved to respond to the message Pastor John brought to the church under the heading “God in our Country”. John referred to Nehemiah returning to Jerusalem to build the city wall. This wall was important to the people. We also have walls to build in this country …and bridges.

Pastor John’s message also said “start representing and displaying God by being salt which preserves and light which shows His Kingdom in this world -by doing good.

John mentioned the issues of the day: poverty, hunger, disease etc and said “Ask God what He wants you to do. What has God laid on your heart? What is in your hand? Not doing it on our own but as a community and as THE Church.”

Noodsberg Baptist was built 30 years ago by WBC in the 1980’s. Pastor Ephraim is the original pastor, who still leads the church. Two other churches in the area have been planted by him, one in Applesbosch and one in Chibini. The lack of water in Noodsberg was a huge problem for this community. Even though the government had laid pipes, there was no pressure to push the water up to the church. A borehole was therefore considered and with the financial support of a visiting missionary, was finally installed. The ground was drilled, the pump and water tank were installed. The ground was ploughed and soil testing in the process of being done.

All was well.

Then came the news that the water had stopped and possibly dried up. We questioned God’s purpose when this happened but it wasn’t long before His plan was revealed.

Aqua Earth, the borehole company, was able to send a consultant to go and investigate. He discovered the pump had a problem and adjusted it so that the water could flow again. While there, he offered to provide a system to irrigate the land which he will install at his own cost.

So, what HAVE we got in our hands?

We, The Church, have land, water and fencing and we need to take it further.We need those who are willing and able to offer to help prepare and plant this land.As a church we can pull together. It’s up to us to go forward.

What resources do you have? What has God given you? Get in touch with CAST and help us carry an eternal message of hope to others.

THE LOCAL CHURCH IS THE HOPE OF THE WORLD

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Transforming A City.

“The Street Ministry can be challenging and even distressing at times but victories like Mary’s* make it all so worthwhile knowing that God is omnipresent in our endeavors and is busy changing lives for the better and giving His people hope and a future”.

When the team met Mary at The Nest shelter in Durban Central, she was in a bad way. Suffering from epilepsy and on constant medication, she came across very judgmental and self-centered. She had not heard from her siblings for years and her relationship with her father had deteriorated to the extent that they were not on speaking terms, something which made her quite bitter.

However, the team persevered with her, through regular visits and times of prayer –specifically around the issues she had with her family. When Mary’s phone was stolen about five months ago, the team gave her a replacement phone and SIM card which obviously meant that she had a new number. Mary was adamant that her family know her new number, so that they could get in touch with her in an emergency.

Fortunately, one of the volunteers on the team knew Mary’s family quite well, and made a plan for the phone number to be given to her brother-in-law. It wasn’t long before she received a phone call from her sister who subsequently took her out for lunch on her birthday. This was then followed by a call from her brother, and finally a phone call from her father.

These events had a transforming impact on Mary. As a result, she now speaks to her family regularly and is a happy and caring person. She recently attended a church in Durban with one of the team members and then went to a service on her own. She also befriended another lady in the shelter and has not only been praying for this woman but has helped her to obtain a much needed Government grant.

“Sceptics may say that the theft of her cell phone and the re-uniting of Mary with her family is all pure co-incidence but we firmly believe that it is God’s work and another example of how He can turn a bad experience into a blessing”.

Join the Street Ministry team on Tuesday nights and be a part of transforming our city. For more details, contact us online!

*not her real name