Project Fix It was an initiative we ran whilst with HCC in which we sought to bless our brothers & sisters in Chris Nissen Park by fixing their homes up for winter to ensure they all had leak fee roofs, proper windows etc etc.
Now, we're in Macassar and we're aiming to go further and higher by replacing existing dwellings/hokkies with wendy houses and actually building homes where possible.
We're also planning on undertaking a whole host of repairs on houses too, but the priority is to sort out the key accommodation issues where members of the church either have no permanent home or live in a shack which is unfit for the purpose.
As Grace Community Church we're motivated to make a difference in the lives of the neediest amongst us. Just as the church in Acts ensured "There were no needy persons among them." Acts 4:34a So we want to care for our brothers & sisters whilst also being a living witness in the community.
We've identified four church families who are committed and bear fruit in their lives (Rom 7:4) but who live in circumstances (for reasons well beyond their own control) that are less than ideal. Personally, we feel strongly that when our brothers and sisters live in hokkies like these God's name is neither honoured nor glorified.
We need to exercise some care as to how we undertake these projects as we could easily end up with the fastest growing church around, but for all the wrong reasons. That is why we're applying the simple criteria of helping those who are committed to the church and are bearing fruit in their lives.
The dilapidated wendy house above is where one of our worship leaders lives in Macassar. She's a single parent and runs a small business as a hairdresser. She has three kids of her own and recently took in her teenage niece who was living in exceptionally bad circumstances - some people live far worse than this.
The front door is badly broken and barely closes properly. The window to the right is broken and in the photo above you can see that the window to the left is completely boarded up as the frame has rotted away. The worst part of this though is the roof. It's made up of three different types of roofing sheets which don't fit together too well, consequently it leaks very badly. This is a priority to fix.
This hokkie belongs to another young single parent in the church who has two young girls. Due to unfortunate circumstances she was living separately from her husband and life was not easy. He died recently, but amazingly whilst he was sick she took care of him and then sorted all the funeral arrangements for him. This would have cost her a huge amount both physically and emotionally.
This situation is a bit different to the others in that this mother owns the plot she lives on and the concrete slab in front of it is ready to be built on. As a church we've been in touch with some friends in Grace and HCC (our former church) who have agreed to supply us with the bricks we need to build a house. Daniel has drawn up the plans for it and is about to submit them to the municipality for approval which should take three weeks. Hopefully this will all go smoothly and we can start building ASAP.
Here 's some fantastic news and a great answer to prayer. After our previous post On A Hot Tin Roof some friends from Queen's Road Church in Wimbledon gave a gift which paid for half of this new wendy house for a couple in our church. We're really delighted for this couple and bowled over by the generosity of friends. We truly serve a great God!
Below is a picture of the hokkie they used to live in with their two little ones under 5 and brand new baby. Believe it or not this old hokkie was a step up from where they were previously but it still leaked badly and had a rough dirt floor. Now they have a leak free home with a nice wooden floor which is raised off the ground. In case you were wondering what 'hokkie' means it's an Afrikaans word which roughly translates as 'kennel'. Hokkie is used to refer to any shack or lean-to in which people live.
This hokkie was about one third the size of the new wendy house
As a church we're committed to making a difference in the lives of our members so that they might make a difference in the live of those around them. All this is going to cost us quite a lot of money and we believe our God will provide. If you would like to be a part of this then please get in touch, either through the 'Contact Us' link at the top of the blog, email us or leave a comment on the post. Either way we'll reply and give you more information on each of these projects and how you can join Grace community Church in blessing some amazing brothers & sisters in Christ.