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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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When In Doubt, Paint!

Armed with a box full of paint, a giant sheet of metal, a pair of scissors and some red ribbon; the CAST staff made their way to the community of KwaDabeka.

Once a month, our staff has what we call, “CAST SUNDAY”. This is a day when we head out to one of the four communities that we partner with and we join the church in that community for their Sunday service. This is a way of unifying our staff and volunteers throughout the communities and experiencing the different churches that we work so closely with.

On our first CAST SUNDAY, we visited Noodsberg Baptist Church and celebrated the opening of the Borehole and the completion of the roof for another church that we have built in ApplesBosch. It was such a rewarding experience for us and afterwards we brainstormed ways of making the next CAST SUNDAY even better. We wanted to come up with something that would symbolise the unity of our communities.

When in doubt, paint!

As a staff, we have decided that on every CAST SUNDAY, we will mobilise the community and church members and create a hand-print painting of the CAST tree that will be displayed either on the office wall or counselling centre wall of every community. It’s an activity that everyone gets to feel a part of, and it’s a colourful reminder of the unity of the churches and communities.

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So, on the 29 April, we ventured to KwaDabeka Baptist Church and joined them in their Sunday service. Jean-Ray preached on compassion and serving within the communities and we had an amazing time of worship. The church was full and it was awesome to see people of all ages so passionate about Jesus.

 

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Afterwards, everyone piled out of the church and rejoiced as we cut the red ribbon and officially celebrated the opening of the CAST Counselling Centre. We pray this centre will be a beacon of hope in the community for those suffering from depression, trauma and grief, among other things.

 

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And then finally it was time to paint. Chaos ensued as mothers and grandmothers and children eagerly grabbed paintbrushes and covered their hands in the CAST colours, ready to leave their mark on the tree. Amidst a swirl of red, green, brown, orange and yellow, emerged a beautiful painting- a symbol of community, love, and Jesus.

It was such a momentous occasion, and we are confident that the next CAST SUNDAY will be just as rewarding.

So, if you are keen to come along and visit the communities, keep an eye on Facebook, Twitter and our Website for dates and info. The more the merrier!

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