Showing posts with label people. Show all posts
Showing posts with label people. Show all posts

Featured Blog

Jim over on has featured Facing The Mountain once again.

This time we're part of his Awesome God in Amazing Africa post on the Missionary Blog Watch page of the website, where Jim picks up on our post: Savouring Every Last Drop, a short post as Jim describes it "Just a little simple post of thanksgiving!".

I do try and focus on the blessings as much as possible on the blog and this particular Soup Kitchen was a tremendous blessing to us as well as to our regulars.

It's always humbling and a privilege to have any of our posts picked up and shared by others, so thanks Jim!

Coach Cris as I know him was my first boxing coach and to this day the best coach I've had, and he is someone I have a huge amount of respect for.

Cris is the real deal! Also known as The Warrior of Faith, he is  a professional boxer and belt holder, he is currently holder of the World Boxing Federation (WBF) Welterweight International Champion. He also held the African Boxing Union Title (ABU) Champion which he successfully defended twice.  Cris now coaches boxing for the love of the sport.

A bit of background: Cris is Angolan but lives in South Africa, he's part of the Angolan diaspora caused by the civil war in the country which eventually ended in 2002. He arrived in SA as a youngster and now resides here permanently. Cris started boxing in Luanda aged 15 as a distraction from the gangs he was involved with and his passion was sealed.

Women Of Worth

A good friend posted this great quote from Wesley on Facebook yesterday with this scripture from 2 Timothy 1:5 - “I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also”.

There is so much truth contained in there and when one considers how the Word teaches us that we should instruct a child in the ways of the Lord it makes infinite sense.


At The Gathering we've been trying to have a Baptism Gathering for a while now but the prolonged drought and lack of a suitable venue were problems. However, we finally managed to baptise seven of our members last night at Waterworld in the Strand (thanks Carl & Claire!).

It was a great time of worship and celebration as each of those being baptised declared their faith in Jesus and the rest of the church rejoiced with them.

A Special Day

When asked how today went I simply replied: "Today was one of the happiest days of my life!"

Ever since we left Zimbabwe so abruptly in 2003 I've longed to return to see our many friends that we never got to say goodbye to.

So to be here for the wedding of our dear friends Ziggy & Mercy and to get to meet up with Linus, Emilia and Shepherd was a real privilege.

Legacy seems to be a hot-ticket these days as politicians and celebrities get concerned about what their legacy might be. Sadly few of those that get wrapped up in this nonsense seem to understand that we don't get to choose or decide what our legacy will or won't be. Whilst it's true that our actions and words shape any legacy, it is ultimately history with the benefit of time that will have the final say.

Thankfully Madiba never showed the slightest interest in the celebrity-esque manipulation of legacy. Madiba transcended that kind of nonsense which is why his legacy will only grow from what it already is.

So what does his legacy as it exists so far, mean to us?

Today is a huge day here in South Africa as hundreds of thousands of citizens from every section of society join together to remember and celebrate the life of Tata Madiba.

These supporters will also be joined by an unprecedented gathering of world leaders, many of whom will be left totally bewildered and gobsmacked by the tributes that pour in to honour Madiba and his legacy.

Grieving And Rejoicing

Today has been a very sad day. We learnt this morning that our friend and patient in CNP who has recently got on to ARV treatment died. She had been very sick in the past week, but we never thought that this was it. Paula took her to the clinic on Tuesday and they immediately admitted her to the hospital where she stayed until her death. Thankfully, Paula, one of our carers and the family were all able to visit her in the final week and spent some quality time talking and praying with her.

Another Perspective

Recently we had the pleasure of hosting the Mabbett family from Hertford Baptist Church, one of our supporting churches. It's always a pleasure to see folks from back home and it's always a pleasure to introduce people to Chris Nissen Park and some of our friends in the community.

Recent News & Events

This weekend and last have been extremely busy but full of fun! Last weekend the boys had a Thomas birthday party on the Saturday morning, complete with little sit-on train for them all! Eli was very scared of the noise and Joel wouldn't go near it - that worked well!!! The party was amazing as the mum had really gone to town with Thomas accessories!! Eli was in 7th heaven - the biggest decision being what shall I eat next?

Health Care

Paula had a real eye-opener experience of the South African health service last Friday. One of her friends in CNP, who also happens to be a home based care patient, has been really struggling to get information, test results etc. etc. Finally fed up with all the fobbing off that seemed to have been occurring, Paula bundled her friend, 1 of the carers and another friend into the car and drove to the local clinic for some action. After 3 hours (a miracle in itself!), we had finally found the right healthcare professional who could help; established that the patient has got TB; received the first TB counselling session and 2 days's worth of drugs and made an appointment for the AntiRetroViral clinic the following week - it turns out that our friend had been taking vitamin pills thinking that they were ARV's!!

A Typical Week?

This week has been a 'classic Chris Nissen week' for Paula. It started with confirmation of the bad news of drinking starting again amongst our church members - a none too auspicious start! I then had the great privilege of buying monthly food again for the very needy thanks to 2 wonderful gifts we received in the UK for this purpose. Thanks to these, we can continue the feeding programme for another 10 months - praise God! This month it was hard to decide who should receive the food as so many folk are struggling, but we had to make the difficult decisions. It was also a privilege to deliver quite a stack of dry food goods to the CNP créche.

Tonight we had a lot of fun at our end of year leaders dinner at church. The occasion is to say 'Thank You' to those who lead cell groups throughout the year. Someone thought it would be good to get the leaders to dress up in something weird/unusual. Some really got into the spirit of the event.

This afternoon we went to the Tiny Bubbles Créche graduation in Chris Nissen Park. Despite the classic CNP start -very chaotic- the event was great and very well put together. Sandra directed the proceedings and there was a lot of involvement from the rest of the community. Not only did a lot of folk come to watch, but many of the older children in CNP had put dance routines together to entertain the audience.

Thanksgiving & Dedication

Michael & Joyce brought Hayden to church to give thanks to God for him and to dedicate him to the Lord.

We're so proud of what Michael & Joyce are doing! Hayden is clearly thriving in their care and he's a very happy little boy.

Aunty Henna turned 60 today and Paula's cell group celebrated with cake, surprise presents, cards and flowers. Poor Henna was completely bowled over by all this love but we all had a lovely time celebrating with her. Later in the meeting we prayed and thanked God for his gift of life no matter what our circumstances. Henna has been one of the founding members of Paula's group and is now one of the home based carers.

Our best friends in Zimbabwe sent us this photo of some friends of theirs paying the bill for a meal out. The party of 8 had two courses and a few beers which came to Z$6million which they paid using Z$1000 notes. If it wasn't so tragic it might be funny but it really isn't anything to laugh about.

Our friends in Zim really need your prayers, life is really tough with even the most basic of food items being scarce and very expensive.

How we long for change in that amazing nation!

They Make Me Proud!

A while ago Michael & Joyce spoke to me about fostering and whether or no it was a good thing for them to be doing. I encouraged them to go forward for the assessment process but also advised them to think seriously about the financial impact of any potential placement if they were to be approved. Michael & Joyce pursued this and have since developed a very good relationship with the local social services.

Paula's Ladies

Paula has had some really fruitful time in Chris Nissen in the past few weeks. She is enjoying getting to know a couple of new mums who are coming along to her cell group as a result of the meeting in the tent a few months back now. One, Daniele, has a 7 year old and a 1 year old little girl. She is a lovely lady and her husband has a reasonably good job. However, there is still very little extra money to go round. She never complains and her smile and sense of fun have been a real asset to the group and in the community.

Update (Of Sorts)

How to update without getting into trouble with someone? Probably not possible so here goes..

Chris Nissen is a real challenge at present. Mainly because some of our church members are behaving appallingly and preventing other non members in the community from either coming to church or trying out one of our groups.