0

One Step Further.

IMG_7894{ Themba and his mentor, Denis de Chalain }

Themba Dlamini, one of the great success stories to emerge out of CAST’s business development programme, has taken his car-wash business to the next level.

With dreams of expansion, Themba set out with a mission to purchase a container for his business. This would allow him to have a spaza shop running alongside his carwash so that while customers were waiting, they could hang out, purchase food and drinks and socialise with one another.

Last weekend, the passionate entrepreneur held an Open Day to celebrate the new development in his business. Denis de Chalain, who is a business mentor to Themba, works for the Imana Foods Group and organised for them to run an Imana promotion in conjunction with the Open Day. They required a core group of people to cook their food samples on the day and this was done by several of CAST’s Business Forum volunteers. This partnership helped contribute to the days success and drew in bigger crowds who were curious to see what the hype was about ( and wanted to get some free Imana promotional products).

Despite the rainy weather, a significant amount of people turned up to support KwaDabeka’s favourite businessman and the atmosphere was full of celebratory joy for Themba.

The next step is to develop his Car Wash business further by adding a “shisanyama”, or a braai area to the mix. He is looking forward to future events where other companies will be partnering with him to market his business as well as their brands, so watch this space.

IMG_7941

IMG_7914

IMG_7909

IMG_7897

IMG_7931

0

Brighten Up Kwadabeka

IMG_3763

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.

 

IMG_3639 IMG_3644 IMG_3472

0

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.

0

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!

0

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

0

More Than a Ball and a Hoop.

KwaDabeka Sports Day.

Getting the youth more involved in the church was a vision for KwaDabeka Baptist this year and it seems the vision is becoming a reality.

To commemorate June 16th, Youth Day, CAST coordinator, Lungelo, organised for a Sports Event to be held at the church – an opportunity for the youth to socialise and enjoy their community beyond the weekly Friday night meetings. The KwaDabeka sports teams were joined by teams from Isaiah House Church in Molweni making a total of about 150 youth. The program ran from 9am until 4:30pm, with the youth participating in basketball, netball and soccer tournaments throughout the day. During the intervals of the sports programs, the crowds were entertained by ice-breaker activities and humorous commentating.

At lunch time, the coordinators took the opportunity of the gathering to give a short talk to the youth on “Awareness “– a topic which included points on drug abuse, teenage pregnancy and underage sex- and then do a salvation call at the end of the talk.

25 young people committed their lives to Jesus.

IMG_2473

IMG_2415

IMG_2708

 

Addington Sports Week.

The school holidays can be a scary time for the children of the Inner City because many come from neglectful households and dangerous areas. Without the safety net of going to school every day, many of these kids are left to roam around the streets of Durban Central. The risk of them getting involved in inappropriate activities is also very high during this period.

CAST, held a Sports Clinic for the children to attend from the 8th -11th July at Addington Primary School. The aim of this week was to provide the kids firstly with a safe space to come every day, and secondly, for them to be in an environment where they are free to just be children. A volunteer team from Lake Pointe Church in Texas along with volunteers from Westville Baptist took part in coaching basketball, netball and soccer everyday for the kids.

“The day was very eye-opening and fulfilling, and it was awesome to see joy in its rawest form.There definitely is a benefit to the community from outreaches like this because the children have an alternative outlet during the holidays”IMG_7789 IMG_7808   

Sports Ministry is about more than just kicking a ball around or shooting hoops. It’s an opportunity to form lasting relationships with kids and youth from the Durban communities and to have an impact on their lives that goes beyond a friendly game of soccer. Let us know if you are keen to be a part of this!

0

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

0

The Ripple Effect.

It’s a one night commitment a week…but it could change a life for eternity.

About one and a half years ago, the CAST Street Ministry Team met a man named Johan at one of their weekly visits to The Nest shelter in Durban Central. Many of the team warmed to Johan’s friendly nature and dry sense of humour and over time he became a good friend to the team. He had not had contact with his family for years, and would never tell the team why, choosing instead to treat them as his family.

“He often had the ability to lift us up and encourage us when we were trying to do the same for him”

Johan was not a healthy man though. With ulcers on both legs and respiratory problems, he was an outpatient at Addington Hospital. After a while, his condition deteriorated.  He was admitted to hospital where he was diagnosed with stage four cancer of the larynx, which was inoperable, and underwent a tracheotomy.

Once he was discharged from the hospital, Johan found he had nowhere to go– The Nest refused to have him back and he couldn’t afford frail care on his insufficient grant. Eventually the Street Ministry team managed to find a shelter that had space for him, although the conditions were shocking. The state of this shelter led to Johan’s health deteriorating even further and the team could only pray that somehow a miracle would happen in terms of better accommodation.

One of the ladies in the team continuously phoned all the institutions and homes she could think of until finally the Hillcrest Aids Centre agreed to take Johan into their care. The difference between the shelter and the Aids Centre was unfathomable: He was surrounded by Christian staff who loved and cared for him; fed nutritious meals daily; sleeping in a spotless general ward and given medication which included morphine. It wasn’t long before Johan had developed friendships with the staff and other patients, and on their frequent visits, the team would find a cheerful and positive man sitting in his wheelchair in the Hillcrest sunshine. The home was an answer to prayer.

Sadly, the cancer spread and on the 3 June 2013, Johan passed away in a beautiful and comfortable environment surrounded by loving friends. CAST rejoices in the fact that Johan had accepted Jesus as his Saviour and given his life to the Lord and that he did not have to suffer on the streets or in a dirty shelter.

Despite not being in contact with his family, the team managed to get in touch with them and invite them to the memorial service, which was held at Westville Baptist Church. His death has actually reunited his family and the team hopes that as a result of their friendship with Johan, they will have the opportunity to connect more with his family…who knows what ministry opportunities that may bring.

We see this story as a success, because Johan’s journey and the commitment of the team can teach all of us about how to love God and still have faith through suffering as well as show us the ripple effect that happens when we invest time and love and effort into the life of just one person.

If you think that God is incapable of using you to create a ripple effect of impact, then come and join the Street Ministry Team on a Tuesday night and let them prove you wrong.

0

Big Dreams, Small Steps.

The electricity in the township is out again. The residents cannot cook food for themselves or for their families and the nearest store is a decent walk away. Besides, walking in the dark of the night is never the safest option for anybody.
Nokuthula Ngcopo was tired of seeing this incident happen over and over again. This was a community she was born into and had grown up to love and so she came up with a business idea that serves Lamontville.
This is how “Fuza’s Fast Foods” came to be.
But starting and running a business is never an easy task especially when there is little to no capital, and you have no business experience. Although Nokuthula quickly gained customers, she would never know if she was making much of a profit or covering her expenses because she hadn’t learnt how to record her finances properly. It was also difficult to be efficient when she couldn’t afford the necessary equipment such as a frying machine and a chopping machine.
But, as the breadwinner of her house – with four kids and a mother to look after – she had to continue working.
Eventually she heard about the Paradigm Shift Business Course that’s run by CAST and started attending the weekly forums.
“Through Paradigm Shift I was able to get a loan to buy a frying machine. The course also taught me how to save, how to record my finances and how to handle customers. The spiritual aspect of the course helped me a lot too. Now I have started to pray every night and every morning which I never used to do before.”
Since being involved in the Paradigm Shift Course, Nokuthula has noticed a dramatic improvement in her business. She is selling more on a daily basis and her customer database has increased. She estimates that she is earning a monthly profit of between R1200-R1500. She is now able to employ another lady to assist her which helps her business to run more efficiently and effectively.
“My dream would be to open different fast food branches in other communities and in town.”
And now that she has acquired business knowledge and experience, that dream has more potential to become a reality.

IMG_7678

0

Add Some Drama To The Mix

IMG_7471

For a number of years, CAST has been running an after-school homework club at Addington Primary School. Volunteers assist small groups of children with their homework and provide an alternative to spending the afternoon on the streets. Children are referred by their school teachers and a lot of them have severe learning problems.

This year, one of our interns, Rebecca Benn, decided to add something extra to the Addington Primary Extra Curricular programme. As well as assisting with Homework Club, she has started up an after-school Drama Group for girls.

Not having any indication as to how well-attended the group would be or if there would even be anyone interested in coming, this venture was a courageous one.

“I expected there to be about 5 girls attending the first lesson and instead, I was faced with 15”

So it was a good start and it got even better, as every week the Drama group grew and grew. She now meets every Wednesday with about 24 Grade 6&7 girls and is looking at starting a Friday class for the Grade 4’s and 5’s.

This kind of extra mural activity not only keeps the children off the streets but also provides them with a platform and the freedom to express themselves which they may not get in their home environments. For girls who battle with anger or depression, drama is an effective tool in allowing them to deal with their emotions in a stable way.

With regards to Homework Club, Rebecca aims to do more for the children that have severe learning disabilities as well the children who don’t understand or speak English.There are a number of children who come from DRC and a lot who only speak Swahili or French. It’s hard for our volunteers to help these children with homework because of the language barrier, so we are looking at running one-on-one basic literacy classes with these children in the mornings before school.

So far, we are so pleased at the impact our homework club and drama group are having, but we can definitely do more.If you are keen or know of someone who wants to help out in any way with this ministry, please get in touch with someone from CAST. We always appreciate suggestions and support and we love seeing people in our community getting involved hands-on. Small things can have an eternal impact.