CNP Update

After taking things easy on Monday post Argus, I was back in Chris Nissen with a 'bang' on Tuesday. Or rather, life in CNP hit me with a bang. I started by visiting two men who haven't been to my bible study for a while. I'd been told they were upset with me, but as it turns out they weren't at all. It was great to spend some time just chatting with each of them and to hear from them about how they're doing, this always helps to stem the gossip. After seeing these two, I then spent time with Aletta and her new grandson, Justin. He really is a very beautiful baby and his mother is very proud of him! Karin is doing well as a first time mum and has quite a bit of family support which helps. Whilst talking with Aletta I ended up refereeing an argument between her and one of her sons. This is not a position I like to get into as invariably one party always feels aggrieved that you took sides, plus it's very draining being in the middle of a slanging match with both sides expecting you to support them. Sadly, this situation arose due to a well meaning but misguided church member giving some money (never a great idea) without consulting with the leadership first. This is one of our biggest frustrations at present as we have a few 'lone rangers' who have their own agendas in CNP and seem to think the church should get on board with them. Unfortunately such people tend to favour one family and throw lots of resources at them with little apparent thought to the obvious consequences. Invariably, Paula & I end up working hard to resolve issues and mop up the mess.

One such lone ranger recently told one of our members that she should stop relying on govt. handouts and get a job. All well and good in theory, but this misses several key facts, firstly she cares for her youngest son who is unable to work, secondly she cares for two small grandchildren and thirdly, she runs her own micro business making peg bags which tides her over nicely. Oh, did I mention that she's over 60? So, clearly she's been given sound advice!

Another lone ranger in the church wants to build a house for one family and wants the church to fund it - cracking idea. Our church would have a mini-revival as the residents of CNP flocked to the church in the hope of also being given a house. Thankfully our eldership agree that this is a real non-starter, phew!

On a really positive note; Home Affairs were in CNP on Saturday so many residents were able to sort out birth certificates etc. This might not sound particularly impressive, but trust me, this is a HUGE issue for many folk living in poor communities. The really good thing is that Peter (in my bible study) is now receiving help directly from Home Affairs to acquire his birth certificate. He's been battling for ages to get a birth certificate, which will allow him to get an ID document which in turn will allow him to apply for the disability grant. I've been helping him as much as possible but we've been on a few 'wild goose chases' resulting in a lot of frustration, so hopefully he'll have all his relevant documents very soon. Peter currently lives on handouts as he has no income and cannot work due to a serious illness.

We called in on some friends last night on our way home from our leaders meeting (a strange evening) and enjoyed a glass of wine with them, so that was a great end to a long and draining day.

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