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God Bless our Volunteers

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We are truly blessed to have volunteers in our Early Literacy programme who have given so generously of their time and love to the learners in our communities this year.

Your excellence drives our success and makes an invaluable difference in those young lives. What a beautiful picture of people from all walks of life coming together for God’s purpose!

#movebeyondcharity #jointhemovement

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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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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.

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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!

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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

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Cleaning Up Lamontville.

Imagine getting a group of teenagers excited about having to pick up litter in their community for an entire afternoon. Schools and parents have been trying for years to make kids litter-conscious and most of the time, their efforts are in vain.

But  CAST’s area coordinator in Lamontville, decided that he was going to tackle this task and rally up the troops from the Lamontville Baptist youth group, to clean up an area of the community.

“I wanted to give the teenagers an opportunity to evangelise to and explore the community they are a part of.”

He is really passionate about his community and he wanted to do some sort of community outreach project that would allow the youth to learn about service and would also be a blessing to the people of the community. He wasn’t expecting many teens to turn up but was hoping for at least 10. So when 28 eager volunteers arrived, followed by another 29 a little while later, he knew this would be a successful venture.

So off they all went, armed with gloves and rubbish bags , ready to get the litter off the streets of Lamontville.

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The project ran from 11am until 3pm and eventually the group had to stop because they ran out of rubbish bags. A total of 200 black bags had been filled to the brim with rubbish.

“My goal was to expose the teenagers to something they wouldn’t normally do. I wanted them to see the response they would get from the people in the community. I also wanted the people living in that area to see the teens taking responsibility and being an example of Jesus.”

The response from the youth group was a positive one. They are all really excited to get involved in future projects and currently want to help create more facilities and opportunities for coaching sports in this particular area.

This man, who grew up and lives in the township himself, has big dreams for his community and is being equipped to make a difference.

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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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