We would like to say a special thanks to Activated Ministries for sponsoring the wonderful children's Activated magazines for our project here in Durban, South Africa. We are Franz and Terry from The Family Cares organization, and we have been doing full-time missionary work for over thirty years in various countries around the world.
Enhlanhleni Isibani Sezwe Organization
Enhlanhleni Isibani Sezwe (Zulu for “Light To The Nations”) is located in KwaDabeka Township in Durban, South Africa.
Their main focus is to provide physical and spiritual care for HIV/AIDS victims and their families. They care for the orphans of AIDS victims by providing food parcels and clothing. The Family Cares gives donated food on a weekly basis, which goes towards their large soup kitchen that feeds about 500 people.
Franz and I visited the one-room Sunday School of Enhlanhleni Isibani Sezwe on August 9, 2009. We had a great time with the 75 children who attended. We taught them some songs and enjoyed listening to them sing. Then we gave out 75 of the children's Activated magazines to a thrilled audience of youngsters! The Sunday school teacher, Mr. Burger, read the story to the children from the magazine called "Ice from the Sky", which is about a young mother in an African hut who has a child who is sick with a fever. She prays for ice to cool her child and the Lord sends hail. The Bible verse in connection with this story is Matthew 7:7: "Ask, and it shall be given unto you." The main lesson is: "With God, all things are possible."
Mrs. Anna Ntshangase (the pastor's wife) said that the children will learn about the importance of prayer and faith and this will have a lasting effect on them throughout their lives.
Jabulani Self-Help Centre
Jabulani is a Zulu wording meaning “Be Happy”. Jabulani Self-Help Centre is located at Mariannhill Mission in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. In 1988, Sister Marco (Missionary Sister of the Precious Blood) started Jabulani as a humble project with the help of the Missionaries of Mariannhill. One of the main goals of Jabulani is helping those who are sick with AIDS do something to help themselves and their families. This enables them to relearn to value life and to gain hope in their lives by realizing that just because they have AIDS, it doesn't mean that their lives are over, and they can still be a positive influence in the community.
Often individuals come to the doors of Jabulani to ask for money or food. The first time, Sister Marco usually helps them with a gift. But if they return, she challenges them to do something for themselves, for example; to sell candles, kitchen accessories, table cloths, aprons, or purses (all of which are made at Jabulani by volunteers).
She says to them "Go and see what you can do to help yourself, then come back here and I'll see what I can do to help you." When they return after taking up the challenge, she either matches what they have earned or she helps them with the remainder of what they need. These individuals learn to value their lives and take action to help themselves and their families.
Every day, the "family members" of Jabulani arrive at the center by 7:30 a.m. and leave at about 3:30 p.m. Breakfast and one hot meal are provided for everyone. In the various departments, the women and men busily pursue their creative tasks of weaving, sewing, baking, woodworking and candle making for the houses with no electricity.
More than 250 children are cared for here through a kitchen, payment of school fees, school uniforms and stationery, as well as homework assistance and holiday programs. The center also runs a daycare for the small children and a pre-school for the children of the women working at Jabulani. Once the older children finish school for the day, they come to Jabulani and complete their homework under supervision. This provides them with a better education that will enable them to have a real chance to break through the vicious circle of poverty.
On a weekly basis, we help the children and families (about 120 women and several men) of Jabulani with apples, bananas, oranges and a variety of vegetables.
Because many of these families are AIDS sufferers, it is always a tremendous blessing to be able to give good, healthy food to them. We also often distribute donated clothing to Jabulani. Sister Marco has told us countless times how much the food and clothing are a great blessing to all of the children and families.
Franz and I recently did our first program for the children, assisted by Mrs. Gloria who has been teaching the children for 10 years. We distributed 200 of the children’s Activated magazines and taught the children several songs. Gloria said that the thing she liked the most about the magazine is that the children will learn the importance of prayer and faith, which will uphold them during any difficulties that they may face throughout their lives.
Wayside Sunday School
Several years ago, Franz and I met Pastor Tony and Hazel Captain, who have often enjoyed receiving our devotional books and magazines for their church. We were invited to teach at their Sunday school for seven weeks, which we greatly enjoyed.
At one point during the course of our friendship, they told us about the Wayside Sunday School in Durban. So when we heard about Activated Ministries’ sponsorship of the children's magazines on prayer, we felt that the Sunday school would be a worthy project to receive some of the magazines.
Mike and Melly Soobiah and others from the Ebenezer Celebration Centre worship team started this project in 2001. Because Ebenezer is a church that is geared to outreach, they decided to bring the Gospel to these disadvantaged children in an area that is a bit out of the way from the mainstream. From its humble beginning of only 30 children, it has grown to 120 children which they visit on a weekly basis. We both noticed the sincere care, concern, and dedication that those who are involved in this project have for these little ones. Several of the teachers told us that visiting these children is the high point of their week.
During our visit, we were able to distribute 150 children's Activated magazines and prayed with 120 children to receive Jesus into their hearts. It was a great blessing for us to visit them and give them the greatest gift of all – the gift of salvation – that will never leave them and will have a lasting impact on their lives. Several of the teachers told us how thankful they are for the magazine and how it will help to further ground these children in faith and prayer.
We would once again like to thank Activated Ministries for these beautiful magazines which are having an impact on these young hearts and lives which will last forever.