Category Archives: Faith

Believe!

Violins and Boys

After successfully completing my Suzuki violin teacher training with SASA I began teaching the violin in Limpopo, South Africa.

How exciting. In our little rural South African town where there is no theatre, not much culture actually happens. I really miss classical music and playing together with like minded people.

So I decided if there aren’t any colleagues around, I should train some up myself.

By now I have quite the little violin ensemble of enthusiastic young musicians, all of which are new beginners.

How exciting!

In order to keep ourselves motivated we should have the opportunity to perform, I reasoned. That is why on Saturday, July 1st, we are going to have a wonderful winter music concert. I am teaming up with a young lady teaching the piano, so her and my students will be performing at the best of their abilities.

And of course, I will be playing some much loved classics to entertain our audience as well.

Most of my students are boys, so we are going to play some rock music as well and some Orcs and Goblins. Its definitely not going to be boring.

Here is our program, what do you think?

Concert pieces

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Pray for Germany

Yesterday I took some time to make a Lebkuchenhaus with my little boys.

We have summer holidays here in South Africa. Nevertheless I want them to grow up with some of the German Christmas traditions I so cherish.

While the English do have something they call gingerbread it is not even close to true Lebkuchen. And we don’t really enjoy that burning ginger taste. Lebkuchen dough is made with honey and many spices and has to rest a few days before baking.

So yesterday we took the dough I prepared earlier from the fridge and started baking, decorating and assembling this little house.

While I go through length to preserve some true German Christmas tradition, Germany this year shocked me with throwing out these reminders of Christ in order to not offend Muslim migrants. Schools and Kindergartens were asked to refrain from singing Christmas carols and some Christmas markets were renamed into Winter market.

Last night there was an attack on a German Christmas market. 12 people were killed and 48 injured.

Why is Christmas, the story of a little baby boy being born as Gods promise for the salvation of mankind, so offensive to some? Why are Christians in the Middle East and elsewhere persecuted and killed for their faith?

Why do a nations leaders opt to repurpose Christmas instead of sharing this story of Gods humble decision to dwell amongst us as a child?

christmasThe forces of darkness can’t tolerate the messengers of light. Christmas always came at a price. We can ignore the persecution of Christians in the middle east until persecution is at our own doorstep or chose to help answer protest.

While Muslim nations forbid Christmas celebrations, German officials have congratulated Muslim immigrants to their religious holidays and then proceeded to repurpose Christmas markets as oriental bazaars and winter markets. Instead of teaching immigrants about Christianity and the values that made the European countries so attractive to migrants in the first place, German kids had to endure compulsory visits to mosques this year. There was very little resistance from churches, in fact leaders of state financed churches rose up to claim Allah and the God of the bible are the same. Christian refugees who often flee serious persecution in Muslim nations are being assaulted in Germany, the country they came to for safety. By Muslims, who are treated with utter cultural sensibility.

But there are many strong believers in Germany. Intercede for them to rise up, unashamed. There are pastors who are warning against Islamisation and face severe disciplinary actions against them.

Read more on how you can intercede for Germany here>

Pray for Germany: Intercession

Jesus came as a baby in the middle of persecution. Romans where pressing His people hard for taxes, the religious clergy had no answers, the Edomite king Herod slaughtered thousands of babies trying to kill Jesus and only angelic visitations provided Joseph with the necessary insight to bring his family into safety.

Since then, Christians have always been on the receiving end of persecution for what they believe. Although the message is one of love.

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His kingdom is not one of Earthly power and manipulation. Those who seek earthly fame will always hate those who proclaim eternal life.

God is just. I pray that Germany will reach out and preach the gospel to all those seeking shelter and refuge from the pain they tried to escape. I also pray that the country will not throw its pearls down the drain but conserve their Christian heritage and not tolerate persecution of Christianity within their borders.

‘Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. What kind of house will you build for me? says the Lord. Or where will my resting place be?” Acts 7:49

Prepare your heart as a dwelling place for the Lord.

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Our Lebkuchenhaus.

 

 

 

 

That time we got stuck in Botswana

“At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon during the night in dream, and God said, ‘Ask for whatever you want me to give you’” (1 Kings 3:5 NIV).

Living in South Africa has at times been a paper war nightmare. As it is with a couple from two nationalities there is always more documentation, visas, and passports to constantly keep updated. This year I finally got my permanent residency permit. It took 6 years to get there. The home affairs offices changed procedure so many times, losing our applications when they moved office, sent it to the wrong place. At one occasion we had to type everything ourselves into the home affairs computer because the lady didn’t know how to operate a PC, then photograph the screenshot and email it to the Pretoria office!

In the process we became so knowledgeable in this area that we have been able to help quite a number of binational couples with their paper work.

On one of these visa occasions, we submitted the application for my South African visa and were waiting for it to be issued. After a couple of visits to the local Home Affairs office, it was just a matter of waiting for the visa to arrive. We were told we westerners are just too impatient! Two weeks before the expiry of the current visa the officer assured us that there would be no problem—we should just remain patient, which we were. The week the visa expired, we went back to the department to find that all the staff was on a training course in a different city placing them out of office for at least three weeks! This posed to be quite a problem for us, because the immigration department in our region was very strict and we knew this would mean trouble or even deportation as in the case of many other people in similar situations.

The long and short of the matter was that the immigration department advised us to go through a border and come back, and they would give us an automatic three-month extension. This sounded like a plan. We decided to go through to Botswana, pass through the border, and come back and get the three-month extension. We packed and left the next morning. After traveling for about two and a half hours, we reached the border post. We had entered through it, but to our amazement, the immigration officer refused to allow me back into the country because of my expired visa! We were stuck in Botswana and had to make another plan. We prayed and felt we should go to another border post, which was very far. We had no Botswana currency and little to drink, and it was an extremely hot day. There was no shop at the border post and no town or settlement nearby.

We traveled very far to the other border post only to receive the same bad news when we arrived. This border post was literally in the middle of nowhere; apart from some chickens and a few men with machine guns there was nothing. It was so dry the ground was burned; there were a few dusty bushes and a shack, but nothing else.

Here are some pictures I took that day. They cant possibly capture the heat, the dust, the thirst and the feeling of totally depending on God to get out of that.

As we stood behind the counter and wondered what to do next, the immigration officer did a double take and called us over. He asked me who I was and explained that he had dreamt about me the previous night. In the dream, he continued, I spoke Afrikaans to him. So although I had been in South Africa for just 6 months, thinking on my feet, I quickly switched to speaking Afrikaans with him and it made him obviously very happy. (I had watched some Afrikaans TV shows just to help me learn the language). He was so happy about it that he gave me a one-year extension on the visa, which is quite an extraordinary thing on its own, and he helped us through. We just praised the Lord as we came through!

Overjoyed that we would be able to come home, we also experienced God’s provision in regards to fuel. The BMW we drove at the time gave us on average about 650 km per tank of fuel. Well, that day we drove 1,280km on one tank and unbelievably pulled into the gas station on the last fumes. Hallelujah! God is good!

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A majestic Baobab Tree we passed on our adventurous trip through Botswana.

 

 

“Then God came to Laban the Aramean in a dream at night and said to him, “Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, either good or bad” (Gen. 31:24 NIV).

 

 

This and many more testimonies of adventures with the Lord you find in our book

wpid-wpid-91im2p9hj5l-_sl720_.jpgThe Powerful Impact of a Spirit Led Life.

You can download it for kindle or order the paperback book.

Both would make us very happy!

The book is also available in German translation.

 

 

Prophetic Words 2017

INTRODUCTION  We are excited to bring you this year’s God Said 2017! The Lord has once again given words of great encouragement, wisdom and prayer directives for the next season. The prophetic word…

Source: Prophetic Words 2017

A South African Peter and the Wolf

As 2016 comes to a close, I want to delight you with our very own South African version of the classical children’s ballet Peter and the Wolf. My 4 and 5 year olds at preschool practiced very hard to perform it for you. My own little Samuel, 4 yrs, wanted to be a cat, and Steven, 7, helped out with light effects. Enjoy and comment if you like.

 

Time Management and Social Media

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Traveling with my husband ministering at prophetic events.

Our oldest started grade 1 this year! How exciting, and how challenging at the same time.

 

Finding my feet and my place in the “mom collective” at our son’s school hasn’t been easy. I grew up and studied in Germany, the South African way of doing school is absolutely different from what I knew as school. Even the things 1st graders do here are different!

Plus, although I do my best mastering the Afrikaans language, it does happen that my son comes home from school with a word I have never ever heard of before. Enter social media. It is super nice to be able to quickly WhatsApp the teacher a picture of the word in question and get a prompt reply.

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Vetkoek filled with mince

Or when its fundraiser day and its my turn to make and sell vetkoek and mince.

How wonderful to quickly be able to google the recipe and do my part to fundraise for new toys and playground equipment. I probably baked 200 of those…

 

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Our upcoming preschool concert has me sewing costumes, cutting backing tracks and rehearsing scenes of Peter and the Wolf. Fun!

As far as blogging goes, between running a preschool, teaching our churches children’s church, giving violin lessons and playing in our worship band, blogging sure takes a back seat. But I definitely daily take the time to check the news and stay current. And this can be done really, really easy using twitter.

@chrisvanheerden

In talking with several wonderful friends recently I found that many people do not know how to really take advantage of the social networking microblogging service.

There are gazillions of Christians out there with twitter accounts of about 36 followers, and since there is never anything cool to read, they often haven’t been on twitter for month or even years.

And of course you get those who follow 7199 people and the content on their timeline is so confusing that it would take quite long to find out what’s current and important.

Apart from the search function in twitter that lets you see the currently trending #hashtags (anything that is moving people in that moment in the country you chose to search there is another way to curate your twitter content.

You can sort accounts that have a specific contend into lists.

A list is a curated group of Twitter accounts. You can create your own lists or subscribe to lists created by others.

That means you do not even have to follow all of the celebrities you like to stay in the loop with. Just create a list called Celebs and add anyone you are a fan of into that list. Later, if you want some celebrity news, just open that specific list.

Viewing a list timeline will show you a stream of Tweets from only the accounts on that list.

That’s how I can see all important international news at a glance without having to scroll through a thousand people’s interesting but more trivial comments first.

Here are a view examples of lists I compiled.

At the end of this blog I will teach you how to create your own lists.

If you don’t have to take the time to create a lot of lists, you could simply subscribe to already compiled lists like my NEWS list:

 

I also made a view other lists with interesting content of people who wont be very likely to follow me back but are interesting to follow (without really hitting “follow”)

Kingom (Christian personalities and ministries)

VIPs, like heads of state

and so on. You are welcome to subscribe to any of my list to save you time.

 

As a rule of thumb, I follow people who follow me, people who have interesting content and are willing to interact. And then I list those that are too high and mighty to follow back but who are important enough to be of interest.

This way, it takes only 3 min to scan through anything newsworthy, helping this busy mom to stay in the loop!

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Using Twitter lists (in Twitter’s own words)

To create a list on Twitter for iOS:

  1. From the Me tab, tap the gear icon 
  2. Select View lists.
  3. Tap the plus iconto create a new list.
  4. Select a name for your list, and a short description of the list. The default setting for your list is public (anyone can subscribe to the list). To make the list only accessible to you, slide the switch next to Private to on.
  5. Tap Save.

To create a list on Twitter for Android:

  1. In the top menu, you will either see a navigation menu icon  or your profile icon. Tap whichever icon you have, then select Lists.
  2. Tap the plus iconto create a new list.
  3. Select a name for your list, and a short description of the list. The default setting for your list is public (anyone can subscribe to the list). To make the list only accessible to you, tap the checkbox next to Keep private.

 

I hope this helped you a little! See you on twitter!

 

Christiane

 

 

 

We might have never had kids …

Time to be thankful. Steven is now 6 years old and a healthy, happy boy. Do you know that we almost never had him?

In the video you see him as a healthy 3 month old baby. Which is amazing, considering the fact that he was a preemie born 7 weeks early.
With a 3 kg fibroid I was told I would have to have a hysterectomy.
We so much wanted kids. I was already 28 years old when we got married, considering that my now husband worked in South Africa and I held a job in Stuttgart, Germany, we took our time to pray about that big decision. When I hit 32 and we still had not fallen pregnant  (I never used any contraception my entire life) we decided to consult a specialist.
The doctors here in South Africa saw no chance for that. We had made a 5 hour journey from rural South Africa to Pretoria to consult with fertility specialists at the Femina clinic. They were very concerned and wanted to immediately schedule a removal of my womb since I had this huge fibroid.

Taking a moment in the park at the Union buildings in Pretoria, we were very devastated at the news. But I knew God’s command to be fruitful. This couldn’t be the end of the road. Instead I felt we should immediately go to a christian book store and get something that would motivate us in this sad moment.

I picked up the book supernatural childbirth by Jackie Mize and began reading and believing. I read it out loud to my husband all the way back to Louis Trichardt. All those scripture verses about God’s promises of offspring really lifted our faith. So we tried again and within 2 month we fell pregnant.

My gynae told me not to get excited at all, she predicted the pregnancy would not go full term. At 12 weeks I began bleeding. At 14 weeks there was heavy leakage, I was hospitalized and told to terminate as there was visibly on sonar no more fluid left in the womb.

I talked to my unborn child and told Steven to hold on and promised him he would be able to swim a lot later. I prayed 2 days non stop. The doctors tried to convince me to terminate, saying his lungs and kidneys and brain might be too damaged. But of course that would be a decision that a mother cannot take. I was at peace, if this baby couldn’t hold on he would go and be with Jesus, fine. But I would fight for his life!

After 48 hrs the water had come back and a specialized gynae said she could see how there is scar tissue on my placenta where it could have been torn. At 30 weeks I went into labour, with the help of Adalat the doctors tried to stall contractions for one more week while I received steroids to strenghten babies lungs.

At 31 weeks Steven was born via C-section, 2 days later we had to go home since we couldn’t pay further medical costs. South Africa is really tough that way.

Steven one day after his birth. A strong and happy 1.8 kg baby born at 31 weeks breathing and nursing perfectly,
Steven one day after his birth. A strong and happy 1.8 kg baby born at 31 weeks breathing and nursing perfectly,

Steven was breathing and nursing perfectly and overcame a slight jaundice rather quick and today he is a happy healthy child.

can you believe how tiny he was?
can you believe how tiny he was?

I had the fibroid removed by the only doctor we could find in South Africa who would do it on a 3kg sized growth, everyone else wanted to perform a hysterectomy. 1 year later I fell pregnant and delivered a healthy baby at 38 weeks. Wow thank you Jesus!

Our two big boys!
Our two big boys! There is a PayPal link of you want to drop them something little to say Hi.

So proud of hubby!!!

andriesbookIt is just so amazing! The dream becoming finally a printed reality, a few days before my husband’s birthday.

Lots and lots of work and more than 2 decades of full-time ministry experience in the pastoral and prophetic went into this practical handbook on how to learn to pick up the things God wants to communicate to His people. This book covers dreams, vision, angels and so much more. Just so happy it became a reality. How boring is Christianity when there is only a one-way talk happening: the church talks to God and does not know how to listen for an answer … enjoy! Available on amazon as paperback or kindle version. Yippeh!!!!

A must-have handbook on how to tune into the voice of God!

Yippeh, we just published our first book!!!

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Click here for your paperback copy!
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Click here to get your kindle copy!

Yippeh! I am sooo happy that in between raising two young and very busy sons, pastoring a church, managing a preschool and doing various charity work, my husband and I were finally able to complete our first book together!

This book is born out of the amazing things we have experienced in our daily walk with God in a nation that has many challenges. With so much crime and no real social security, we need to hear God’s voice so much more.

God talks, wants to warn and advise and encourage you! Dreams, visions, the bible, prophetic insight popping up in your spirit when you pray, we talk about how you can fine tune into God’s voice.

This book contains more than 60 exciting stories and events in our lives where God spoke things we couldn’t possibly know through human understanding alone, and how God uses a sensitive believer to impact the lives of others. Your personal faith will be built up, we will make you rush back to your bible to see if God really does all we quote from the book of books, and you will be so motivated to listen to Him with a new expectancy of getting answers. Thanks for buying our book, you are supporting our work in Southern Africa.

You are welcome to check out www.emmanuellife.org for more information.

Since amazon has different platforms for different nations, you are welcome to browse on your respective amazon site for our names or book title and download the book onto your kindle or kindle app from there! Look for “The Powerful Impact of a Spirit Led Life”or Andries van Heerden or Christiane van Heerden.

Ipromon the meantime we have also published a compilation of prophetic words for 2015 available here https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00QW3A252 check it out! Especially inspiring for South African entrepreneurs and educators.

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Andries and Christiane van Heerden are senior pastors of Emmanuel Church in Louis Trichardt, Limpopo, South Africa. Besides impacting their own community in areas of ministry, education and charity work they travel to nations around the globe to inspire believers to really listen to God’s voice for a more effective impact into their communities. They enjoy raising their two sons, Steven and Samuel. For more information on their church and ministry check http://www.emmanuellife.org/

A Special Needs School: Love the Children

PS: Read the update on this post here: Revisited

 

When you live in South Africa, chances are that you are barely making it through your month.

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That’s why at month end the supermarkets are overcrowded with people who received their pay and can buy some food again. I was not used to this from my former life in Germany. I now earn a fraction of what I brought home monthly in Germany. Medical costs are high – my son needed his teeth fixed and it actually cost more than what I get in a month.

As pastors of a big community church in the poorest of all SA provinces, we deal with so many crises that it sometimes seems like climbing a never ending mountain. We had to bury a lot of young people recently due to crime and traffic accidents.

Working for a church means to be the crisis center of a community. And a church in a poor community in the poorest province has very limited funds, so you end up paying a lot out of your own pocket. A new T-shirt for your child or some shoes for a needy sister? I hope some of you can relate when I write that one becomes a little hesitant to get involved in new things. I am not one of the south Africans driving around with a flashy car spending my mornings in gyms and glitzy malls. Wouldn’t mind, but there is real life happening to real people and i don’t want to play the violin while the titanic is busy sinking. I’d rather be tossing more people onto the life boats, if you know what i mean.

In Africa it goes like this: if you have once helped, you will be always responsible to help. Somehow helping creates the impression you have got a money making donkey in your backyard somewhere. We had many people who we helped, showing up again and again demanding more and more things, not understanding that my sons also must eat.

But the Lord Jesus challenges us to never close our hearts, we need to trust Him to replenish what was given.

Out of that call to love, we dared once more to go and check out people who might be in need. You know, when it comes to children, you just have to throw caution into the wind and get ready to help.

So today I have been on the road to Thohoyandou, the former capital of Venda in the Limpopo province.

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Africa runs at a very different pace (hurry up and wait).

This Special Needs School has been all the time on my mind though, and after being in contact with the headmaster and some people who wanted to help, I was pushing my husband and finally today we got to go!

I want to share some impressions and pictures with you.

I pray and hope my words can reach your heart and those of some people able to support.

The school was founded under the old Afrikaans regime, a huge complex with great facilities – in theory.

It is immediately evident upon arriving at the school that the gardens are landscaped and the offices comfortable.

Apart from the front, the back buildings are starting to show signs of neglect and disrepair.

At the moment, the TSS is home to 360 visually and hearing impaired children as well as physically disabled children and children with various degrees of mental disabilities who are schooled in 3 separate complexes at the school.

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The Principal, Mr. Maluma, received us sitting at his desk.

He informed us that this is a government school. The government build the school in the 1970s. The different buildings on the vast complex are big and solid. But it is obvious that for a long time no repairs have been done.

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The Deputy Principle of TSS Mr. Msrabu was so kind to lead us around the school premises.

This is the main building where the staff offices are.

Please read my report carefully. It is easy to come in, judge and criticize. I really do not want to do that. I am sure the staff of such an institution is really weary of people with a camera throwing some bags of cookies around and thinking they are saving the world.

It is hard to serve at any place and not get accustomed to all the wrongs over the years so much so that you get comfortable and stop saving the world, though.

The way leading to the teaching and housing area of the visually impaired. You are looking at classrooms.

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Classrooms around a courtyard.

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Dorm room for 7-12 year old girls. Everything was clean except for a strong smell of urine due to the bedwetting problems of many children.

Mr. Maluma kept stressing the fact that they need waterproof mattresses.

I really wish the government would provide the funds to renovate the dorm rooms and add some cheer and deco to them.

Another dorm room.

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Just get me some paint a a few arty aunties and lets paint this happy!

Stairway to the first floor where there are more bedrooms. I was sad to notice the total absence of decorations.

The cafeteria for the blind.

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The facilities were all very neat and clean. Although to me the bedrooms are totally drab and sad, I am aware that many learners are from backgrounds where they probably never even had a bed of their own and also not three meals a day. That is much, and it is too little at the same time.

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The government pays the school R17 (about 2 USD) per child per day for food. The parents pay a fee of 1400 ZAR, about 160 USD, per year as a school fee.

As I said it is a government school, the principal and staff are paid by the government. There is no extra initiative to repair the school and purchase any extras out of the private pocket. The government seems to have no funding available to upgrade the cafeteria. The chairs and tables are so worn. I pray we will meet somebody with enough funds and a hart to change this!

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The library and resource room. The materials where basically 20 years old or older.

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Kids are between grade K (in South Africa it is called grade R) and grade 7.

The severity of their disability differs greatly.

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A great number of Albino children (lacking normal pigmentation) whose eyesight is usually seriously impaired, often up to 80%, but who are otherwise fine, are in these special needs classes. To me it was astonishing that they were not wearing any glasses. I do not know enough of the customs in their villages to be able to judge if they are actually better off at this school. I personally felt that the environment in the classrooms was careless and unengaged.

The children were definitely bored as this was not the appropriate place of schooling for those with Albinism.

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The classrooms lack teaching materials especially for the little ones.

The kids live at the school but do not have any personal belongings. There are no decorations and also no special materials to teach blind kids. In most classrooms the children were asleep on their desks.

There were Braille typewriters in the class but the teacher said she does not know how to use them.

These typewriters are the only way that blind children can write.

The manager had never heard of Braille and was amazed when I showed him that you can type dots that form an alphabet.

The teachers said it is too difficult for her, she is new. She has been working there since 2010.

I see the effort in teachign the children academic skills. It would be nice if some fun franchises such as Kindermusik could be sponsored to come in and support the teachers.

I noticed that there was only one crafts class,  all other craft classes such as sewing and wood work were closed down, although they could produce toys and the likes for the school. I hope the leadership will realize again that fundraising can and must come from within the school, and the nearby tourism due to the proximity of the Kruger National park would provide a great source of income if for example woodwork was to be sold.

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Another challenge I noticed is that severely mentally ill children where together with learners who were only hearing impaired and obviously frustrated with the little education they were receiving.

Although the school is only up to grade 7, learners are often 20 years of age when they finish school due to the fact that up to the time they get to this school, they have not been given any education at all. Hearing impaired children have not learned to communicate even the simplest terms in sign language before. The teachers have to do a lot of hard ground work and are in over their heads.

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These teens were all desperate for a hug and some praise for their samplers of their work.

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One teacher, asked about the stimulation the children are receiving in the afternoons, told us they are only roaming about. No toys, no activities. I want to bring toys for each child, but I am told that the teachers are afraid that this will cause strive amongst the children. I understand that problem.

I can make simple Montessori-type teaching aids by myself for these children. I will try to get our people to help me purchase the materials needed to make those teaching aids myself.

But I would really need you to ask for some sponsors for waterproof mattresses, and anything else you can think of as well.

There is no visible application of modern educational materials. The teachers need to be taught to use computer programmes to teach vocabulary to the hearing impaired children.

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This is a government school. But the braille typewriters stand unused because teachers are not knowledgeable about their use.

There is a computer room with about 16 computers in it and I am told the deaf children can never learn to operate a computer.

When I mention that there are loads of educational games available for cheap or even free online (like for example sorting a picture to match a word), the teachers in the class who are on their cell phones and the manager as well say they hear that for the first time.

Who can support us to be involved in helping??? It’s not just material needs. The children are sleeping their formative years away. So much could be done.

The kids were desperate for a hug and an appreciative word.

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This lovely young first grader sang for us a song with a voice as clear as a mountain stream. So beautiful. Her teacher was the mopst enthusiastic of all the teachers we met, although she has to make do with materials more than 20 years old – only two buckets full of plastic toys, no numbers or counting beads, no alphabet to feel etc. I want to make her some tools like that.

This little blind girl touched my heart with her beautiful song about the love of Jesus she was singing for us. I so hope to have the time soon again to go again and show the teachers how to use teaching aids.

What I can not do is to buy 360 standard mattresses with plastic covering.

The sad thing is that my skin colour is always putting me in the box of “rich and responsible for everything”. Which is not true – I had to even borrow a car to go there.

The classroom with a teacher I really enjoyed. She was trying to do the best for her grade 1 learners with whatever materials she had.

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The teacher urgently needs some toys and learning materials. All she has are some plastic toys in two plastic buckets.

I can rally my friends to help get 360 stuffed toys so the kids do not have to sleep alone on a cold room.

I can make teaching aids.

I can get books and building blocks.

I can try to inspire the teachers to re-open the workshops so that students can produce goods to the benefit of all. (toys can be self made as well).

Can you help us contact organizations who might donate modern day teaching aids to the school?

I can talk to farmers to donate fresh produce and food.

I can buy treats.

I can inspire my youth group to come and do a show for the kids and minister the love of Jesus to them.

Can you find sponsors for the mattresses and other material needs?

Lots of blessings to you from South Africa,

Christiane van Heerden

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Bruno had a Birthday – the power of the trivial – throwing a bone.

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Meet Bruno!
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Yip, he used to even come with us to the office …
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About 2 weeks before the birth of my first child
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Bruno never tires.
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He can climb any obstacle with his little legs.
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Puppy ate too much.
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Bruno as a puppy.

P1010858 P1010882 Photo-0004  bruno 046 Bruno is our dog. My first dog ever!

My husband, who worked as a cattle and ostrich farmer before, helped deliver this little puppy 5 years ago when he was stuck. Shy little thing. We decided to keep him and named him Bruno.

His mother was a very elegant Weimeraner and his dad a sneaky Dachshund/sidewalk-special who somehow made it into the mom’s yard …

So Bruno has got this elegant and sophisticated face, a beautiful brown coat and ridiculously short legs.

Me being German seems to have provided me with a hidden talent in dog-training. Bruno, my very first dog, house-trained quickly, had fun learning all the basic commands like shake, stay, down, roll-over, fetch etc etc and quite a number of party tricks as well. In my South African neighborhood that’s uncommon, dogs mainly serve to guard property.

Bruno enjoys walks with us, heels perfectly and even waits patiently without the need of a leash outside the neighborhoods grocer. He has become popular and well loved and would do so well at dog sports which we do not have here – he loves obstacles and takes them all in his stride.

Recently it was his 5th birthday. Our kids are very impressed that Bruno was here before them. I dare say, caring for Bruno as a little puppy maybe had a similar effect as adopting a child has for some couples who struggled to have kids – after 4 years trying to conceive, we fell pregnant and before Bruno’s 1st birthday, our first son arrived. A miracle baby, thanks to a lot of prayer and faith. But that’s a different story.

So we sang, like every year, happy birthday for him, presented him with an extra big chewing toy and a huge meat-cake and it was all great fun.

I hope you liked this post.

Really sweet posts like this one http://allaboutmanners.wordpress.com/2012/07/16/always-remember/ seem to get a lot, I mean a LOT of likes. Although it’s just one picture with a fluffy thought. So I thought, writing about little Bruno might delight my readers.

The title talks about throwing a bone too. I throw one for Bruno and he fetches it and has a lot of fun.

Last week the owners of a vine estate in Franschhoek refused to host a wedding for a gay couple.

It is against their religion.

There are many other beautiful wine farms offering venues for weddings. This couple, on their private estate, said their beliefs prohibit them from supporting the gay lifestyle. So they got taken to the Human Rights Court and criticized by the newspapers. Question: If I go to a professing Indian Hindu’s estate and demand of him to slaughter a cow for my festivity, is he allowed to deny it on account of his faith?  Would we do the same to a Muslim’s farm? Why doesn’t that Christian couple have the rights to quote their beliefs? Why must people be so aggressive about their sexual preferences, instead of granting people of a different conviction the so much cited tolerance as well?

Throwing you a bone – since I am not blogging anonymously it is probably better to stick to posts about puppies? All comments welcome!

Give a little love: Happy Sunday

I want to wish all my much loved followers and friends and readers around the globe a nice and fuzzy happy Saturday nights sleep and I hope you will have an amazing Sunday.

Rest and think about what it’s important!

If you give a little love you can get a little love of your own.- Do not miss this lovely youtube clip, its really nice.

A series of video clips done by Eric Colodetti taken from various sources to depict Noah and the Whale’s “Give a Little Love.” I own none of the media in any way.
Original artist: http://www.youtube.com/artist/noah-an…

Bless you richly, Christiane

One week closer to achieving your dreams – Wednesday Night

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One week closer to achieving our dreams … wouldn’t mind a bathroom like this … for now saving to have one like this for a short vacation seems hard enough, haha … but dreams are there to be dreamed right!

Wow, this daily devotional blogging is really help me to stay positive of where I need to keep my focus.

My son Steven, 4, really cracked me up yesterday. I was commenting on how long our dog, a Weimeraner-Dachshund cross, is proportionally to his short legs. Steven is wondering for amoment. Then, totally serious and amazed, he asks: “But mommy, how does he manage to reach the ground with those short legs?”…

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Steven was a serious thinker from day one! He traveled more in his first 4 years than many adults I know have.

Blonde moment … haha.

Wednesday Night:

Hi, how far have you come for achieving your dreams for this week?

Remember, dreams are the beginning. If we do not dream up where we would want to be in a years time, we will not make rational plans on how to get there. Without plans, actions can not follow. In the end, we might have wasted another great year that God gave us here on this earth.

God Has a Plan.

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Elephant Safari. To learn more about my traveling life, check http://christianevheerden.wordpress.com/ if you like!

The universe is not a car without a driver, nor a driver without a map. The Bible often speaks of this great plan of God. It is the “purpose” of that famous and favorite Bible verse, Rom. 8:28. Rom 8:28  And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. God has planned out this purpose in advance. He thought it out, planned it in every detail, and carries it out “on purpose”.

His purpose for you is this: Joh 10:10  The thief does not come except to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

For us to experience this purpose, we need to be in sync with God’s heart beat. God created the world lovely and beautiful. Men came and through disobedience brought death and destruction.

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With my in-laws in the African Bush …

Now it takes us hard work and effort to cultivate the earth to make it the beautiful paradise it was meant to be. But God is very pleased if we do give it our best to make things beautiful, to be creative and be a blessing. So did you stay true to your 5 points your wrote down on Monday? Each time you discipline yourself to do what is right, and to walk an extra mile, to learn a skill instead of watching TV, to help a friend instead of being selfish, you help adding love to the planet. Mostly, on Wednesday nights we have run out of steam. That’s why churches have cell groups on Wednesdays, to help you recharge and fuel your resolve.

Can we pray today that Jesus will fill your tank, take away hurt and disappointment and help you reach your dream?

One week closer to your dreams – Wednesday

Hi everybody, how was your night?

My little one is teething and apparently needs a mommy hug every 30 min at nights …

My old friend was sure happy over the meal last night. You don’t realize how much it means to a lonely person to feel somebody thought about you. I should make it a habit.

I hope you all used your time well.

Remember the verse from Proverbs I was sharing this yesterday?

Pro 2:10  Wisdom will control your mind, and you will be pleased with knowledge.

Pro 2:11  Sound judgment and good sense will watch over you.

Pro 2:12  Wisdom will protect you from evil schemes and from those liars

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One thing I absolutely MISS big time living in South Africa is a stroll through a pedestrian zone. I lived and worked in Stuttgart before, and it’s parks and Kings street (Koenigsstrasse) always provided for inspiration. I would love walking for hours, watching people, writing down thoughts … in South Africa there is nothing like that.
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Beach on a rooftop in downtown Stuttgart.
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Stuttgart has over 8 km of parks inside the city! Central Park NY go home!

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God really is honoured when his children are smart. There are enough evil schemes out there to get us. Have wisdom and you will be protected. If we do not lock our doors at night and we get robbed, can we blame God the next morning? No, it was our own foolishness and some other person’s evildoing, that teamed up in harming us.

Let me put it this way: there is no club of good people out there. If you receive a phone call informing you that you’ve won the British National Lottery, you put down that phone. I’ve got news for you, you most certainly did not even know of that lottery before, you never bought a ticket, and you did not win. And you do not give out your ID number nor bank account details to anybody, also not on email. That is wisdom, and that is protecting you, according to God’s precious word, from evil schemes and liars.

God is pleased when we make a wise plan, check it with God’s word, and see it through. God is not pleased with people who constantly start something and always lack the drive to see it through to completion. That is why I hope that this week you make a decision to make planning a habit and to stick to the plans you are making.

 

I have been in South Africa for almost 8 years now. Children that I saw after their birth in hospital are going to school now, kids I taught at church are finished with High School!

I realize what an unkind privilege youth is. To believe you have all the time in the world ahead of you, that resources are endless and life is good… only to realize a decade later that time is running out, mercilessly, that resources are hard to come by and life simply is not fair.

My life in Africa has added to this stark realization of the insignificance of a human life. Recently a friend died after a minor medical procedure that went slightly wrong, and the doctors just didn’t care. He died on the way home from hospital. A short life – over before it amounted to anything that would even just justify an article in the daily paper.

How do we slow down this life? How can we leave footprints that last? Is there something you can create, and leave behind, that will be a positive reminder of you?

Without God, it is impossible to make sense of being a timeless being in a time constricted universe.

The hope of a life that lasts an eternity helps to act unselfish here and now.

I could never understand how someone could deal with weapons, making a fortune of the cruel death of others, and then go home and swim in the pools with their children?

Only when you take God out of the equation can you be that selfish, consumed by the here and now, not touched by the consequences of your own actions.

But how then can you parent to leave a legacy if consequences are removed?

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After sharing in a church in Germany I am presented with some handmade puppets for my work with children in South Africa

This tiny spec of life that I have must be used for something positive. A decade has passed too quickly. Believing that God sees and appreciates the effort is a comfort.

Ask Jesus to help you, today, with His spirit, to make right decisions, to build your house properly, and to leave a blessing behind wherever you go.

Thank you for your time,

Christiane

One week closer to achieving you dreams: Tuesday Night

Hi, how was your day?

I am talking to you this week about understanding our purpose in life and reaching our goals.

Have you made your list of five things you need to do this week yet?

Remember, to be successful in God’s eyes, we need to walk the righteous path and be a blessing to the land we are in.

And as always – at least in my little life – whenever I decide on driving this or that and follow up some good resolutions, a lot of unexpected things go wrong. Today I have received 3! detrimental news that have the potential to knock me into perpetual depression. If you think I am trying to write a fluffy little one week devotional for spoilt upper class western moms, you are mistaken. I live in Africa, work for an NGO (so definitely no upper class) and I am dealing with more daily trauma than most of my comfortable friends back in Europe. Add to this the daily potential for rejection as “stranger”, the high expectations we face as pastors, the daily violence in Africa and the ever-increasing gap with my overseas friends and family who do hardly understand the daily challenges of life in Africa, and you end up with a cocktail of emotions! Today I was asked by our worship leader at church to play some violin for a DVD recording in May. Geez, I basically haven’t practiced since the children came along as it takes much concentration and small children want to touch everything all the time! When Steven was small I still used to give some lessons, but by now totally gave up for lack of time and babysitter!

Any other time I would have said, sorry bro, but I can’t see how I am gonna do this. But this is challenge yourself-week, so whoppa, I am trying … gonna try … still trying to catch my breath from the horrible event this afternoon which for privacy sake I wont be able to discuss.

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Steven dancing away at a live concert at the sea promenade in Binz.

And a journey of a thousand miles begins with one single step – and it takes about 3000 little steps to walk 1 kilometer! The little steps we are taking this week serve us to come closer to where we want to be in the end.

Psa 37:5  Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.

Psa 37:6  And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.

Psa 37:7  Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.

Have you seen people prosper because they use evil ways to get where they want to be? God encourages you not to loose hope although it might seem you

Psa 37:8  Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.

Psa 37:9  For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.

We believe that God knows where you come from and how you got here. We should not think that because the wicket thrive for a day, (some decades, more realistically) it will be good with them forever, or that because the righteous seem to suffer more, their end wont be better.

Go your way steady and upright and you will arrive at a wonderful place.

Was it tough getting that first thing done today? For me, staying away from sugar is big. Sugar makes me big, right? So for a happier self one needs to cut out stuff that makes happy? Seems tough enough. So I decided not to go to Woolies because they have that delicious chocolate mousse which I love so much. Guess what, now Pick n pay has it too. So how do you avoid temptation. Buy a banana instead. Something has top click in place in our minds to create those enzymes that give us so much drive that we do not need civilized drugs such as sugar and chocolate. I am not against them – but healthy eating is a big stepping stone towards success.

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At the Stortebeker festival, a huge open air musical on the island of Rugen.
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My son will never forget the live show of the life of Klaus Stortebeker, a righteous sea adventurer who revenged the poor and oppressed.
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To offer such experiences to our kids, it takes a lot of planing!

Stortebecker (35) Stortebecker (125)Today was all about planning. We have to plan our lives or time will just happen to us and we will be surprised by how fast all of this is over.

Earlier this year we celebrated my son’s birthday. We have had 364 days since his last one to prepare for today. Let’s just say things are not as easy as they should be. As parents we want to do what is best for our child. We want them to grow up happy and be confident, productive members of society.

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First Birthday Party’s Choo Choo cake

I can say confidently that it is easier said than done. If it takes this much work just to get a birthday party right, I can’t imagine how I am going to help him succeed at school and find the job of his dreams?

Even for a 4 year old, a birthday party needs to be perfect. The weather must be right; food must be prepared at perfect specifications – Steven knew that he wanted a cake in the shape of acastle, so mama searched on the internet how to best get that right.

You even have to make sure you have gifts and activities for the people who will be attending. Who knew? I always assumed the only person getting gifts was the birthday person. But all the friends at school gate cake and favour packs and the kids visiting us at home as well. Plus Steven wanted a piñata, you know those things that you hit and then sweets come out.

Even a cheap birthday party is expensive. This year we couldn’t afford to invite all church families like we did before. What I am trying to say is, it is really important to discuss your kid’s birthday parties when you are doing your financial planning.

My husband and I have done everything we can to try to make my son’s birthday party one he will never forget. We made all the arrangements, set appointments, made invitations, and bought gifts. A lot of  energy for a few hours out of one day. There is urgency, excitement, and nervousness all happening within me at the same time.

Planning:

If we can do this for our kids, why cant we do this for other areas of our own life as well? I can personally attest that I didn’t have a problem investing in my son’s dream. I have tried to make the planets align and let me tell you that is not easy. But when am I going to start investing in my dreams, my future?

Am I making the right arrangements to reach the heights and the depths I want to go? Am I setting the right appointments with people who will help me grow? Am I inviting the right people into my life?

No, I am not? So, it is time I started to plan my own party of success.

How about you?

Have a blessed night, Christiane

Good night song

One week closer to achieving your Dreams: Monday Morning

Without having a plan, we’re not going anywhere, right? I am originally from Germany and came to South Africa 8 years ago. Contrary to what BBC documentaries want to make you believe, Germany is a wonderful, beautiful and creative nation. These days it takes careful acts of planning to go there – from saving up money for airplane tickets for a family of four, to drafting an itinerary, booking accommodation, planning as to not miss highlights like festival I want to attend …

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Beach Baskets at the Baltic Sea in Germany offer shelter from wind and some privacy when tanning …
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Fishing Boats in Sassnitz, isle of Rugen, Germany
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Sassnitz, Baltic Sea, Germany

This week I want us to try and take a closer look at our own life’s story.

My blogger friends are people who already work hard to get closer to where they want to be – whether it is by developing a writing routine to hopefully become a published author, or blogging about their travels, craft projects or history. Well done you guys!

The dreams God put inside of your heart sometimes need a bit of encouragement.  This week I want to try and encourage you to notgive up and achieve the best you can, to reach new levels and make dreams come true. Maybe I can even help you to assess if you are still on the right track getting to where you want be.

Monday Morning. Wow. Yawn. Early in the morning at gym they put on the Black Eyed Peas song “if we could party all night and sleep all day, life would be eeeeeeasy”…

Hello, we can’t. Somebody ‘s gotta earn the bacon.  My husband Andries and I have got two small boys, 1 and 4, they do not allow us to sleep in, ever! Whatever makes you get up early everyday, work, kids, love to hear the birds, thanks for tuning in and I hope this will be an inspiring week of daily devotions for you.

Without a destination, we will not go anywhere. Benjamin Franklin said “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
Without hard work, the best destination will always stay far. You love looking at celebrities, we all admire what they achieved. Oftentimes the story behind success is that of hard work and personal discipline.

If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else. Monday morning is the perfect time to ask God to help us go the right way.

Let us listen to our heavenly father’s loving recipe for success and well being.

The bible text I am going to share from will be from

Psalm 37:1  A Psalm of David. Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.

Psa 37:2  For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.

Psa 37:3  Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. (go after righteousness)

Psa 37:4  Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

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Binz, Baltic Sea … a place I love taking my family to!

That is my portion for today.

First of all, it does not help our personal development to be envious, jealous, of anyone who came by their success by means of dishonesty. Their glory will be temporary only. So don’t even think about bribing somebody to get a shortcut. Jealousy is not a good thing.

On Monday, we are planning our week. What do you need to achieve until Friday? Are there deadlines at work, assignments to complete? Personally? A friend you haven’t called in a while? A healthy eating plan you want to follow? Quality time with your child?

Remember the Psalmist talks about trusting God. and do good; and dwell righteously in the land.

In the Light of this, I am challenging us to write down 5 realistic things you need to complete this week and ask the Lord to help us find the strength.

My goals for this week will be: 1.cut out sugar from my diet, 2.make a meal for a lonely person, 3.do a special outing with the children at our preschool, 4. find time in the evenings to repair things and 5. practice violin (edited)

The way we react on challenges in our life shapes us – I’ve reacted lately by chocolate .. if you know what I mean… I need to put a stop to this.

What are your immediate challenges you know you need to tackle better now than later?

Take a moment to write down your challenge for the week.

BINZ SPAß (23)Come back tonight to stay inspired for your week of purpose!

Thank you, heavenly father, that your plans for our life are amazing. Help us to really make a difference this week, and not let precious time be wasted. Help us make this life count for something!

Christiane

Time is passing

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My grandma after Word War two stole her youth…

That’s a photograph of my late maternal grandmother in her youth, which was a long time ago. Her name was Kaethe Meysner. And “a long time ago”feels rather relative now that I am definitely not naively young anymore.

When I am looking at all these college aged kids I know, many of whom I taught at children’s church since they were just preschoolers, I realize what an unkind privilege youth is. To believe you have all the time in the world ahead of you, that resources are endless and life is good… only to realize a decade later that time is running out, mercilessly, that resources are hard to come by and life simply is not fair.

I loved my grandmothers. But I realize now how little I knew about them. The thought that they, born in the early twenties of the last century, had a life that is totally different from ours always let me to believe that they were a totally different type people. I mean, look at an old movie. The hair, the tone of voice, the taste in decoration, all very different. But when you grow older, you suddenly realise the people were just the same. What are a few decades? Life slipped through their hands, and since my grandmothers did not build any companies or wrote famous books, basically all that’s left from their lives are their children’s and grandchildren’s memories of them. I am still sad that the little items my granny collected over a life time have somehow disappeared and all my grandfather’s bronze art has gone to an aunt. I have nothing left of my ancestors except a few photos. Which grieves me and scares me as it reminds me how quickly a whole life can be over and forgotten without leaving much traces. This teaches me that the greatest legacy I will leave behind are my children and what I impact into them.

My life in Africa has added to this stark realization of the insignificance of a human life. Recently a friend died after a minor medical procedure that went slightly wrong, and the doctors just didn’t care. He died on the way home from hospital. A short life – over before it amounted to anything that would even just justify an article in the daily paper.

Maybe in my youth I would have been labelled as an optimistic idealist, but over the years this has drastically changed. Especially after moving to Africa where thousands of people die every day and tragedy is not seen as unusual, my trust in the goodness of life completely crumbled.

A day in Europe is so much longer. There are cultural events to look forward to, parks to go for strolls, life has a much slower pace. As pastors in South Africa we deal daily with so much crisis and despair, that our weeks run into each other and before you notice, another 3 years have gone by. The thing is, none of the people you have helped will come back and look after you when you are in need. I have seen the opposite happen. When we were ourselves notable to give out any more food parcels, or had to put up rules, people can get very grumpy no matter how much you have helped them before.

How do I slow down this life? How can I leave footprints that last? I do not know if I have the mind to produce a classic piece of literature and I believe those days are anyway over. A great movie cost those involved in it 1-3 years of their life. And for the consumer it’s all over in 2 hours.

Without God, it is impossible to make sense of being a timeless being in a time constricted universe.

The hope of a life that lasts an eternity helps to act unselfish here and now.

I could never understand how someone could deal with weapons, making a fortune of the cruel death of others, and then go home and swim in the pools with their children?

truthOnly when you take God out of the equation can you be that selfish, consumed by the here and now, not touched by the consequences of your own actions.

But how then can you parent to leave a legacy if consequences are removed?

This tiny spec of life that I have must be used for something positive. A decade has passed too quickly. Believing that God sees and appreciates the effort is a comfort.

Something interesting, maybe a tat whacky, for you to be amazed at: http://www.highexistence.com/water-experiment/

Enjoy your evening!

C.

 

Never give up

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There came a day in my life when I thought “that’s it”and I packed my stuff and went to the Caribbean to see what would happen, if you got nothing but a few bucks …
I experienced such a wonderful thing there … God’s gentle, loving care and protection, guiding me to kind people who took me in and gave me a new outlook on life: God does not condemn, He heals.

Today I felt like posting this specifically for all my followers – some of whom I had some great talks with.

Sometimes we, I, do feel like those lions in the picture below, which I took out of a moving vehicle at Kruger National Park. Going somewhere, but bothered by spectators, lonely in our feat to reach our destiny.

It’s time to jump of the main road and climb the mountain top.

Let no onlookers in their comfy vehicles of life judge you, but turn to God, the only one whose dreams for your life will even amaze you.

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The Don’t Quit presentation is based on a famous poem which was written many years ago. The author of this poem is unknown. Sadly, in recent years a number of people have claimed ownership of the poem and some have even claimed to have written it themselves!

Here is the original poem in it’s entirety:

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but don’t you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow–
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than,
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victor’s cup,
And he learned too late when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out–
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far,
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit–
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.

– Author unknown

Step up and Step in: how can we fight rape in SA?

Hi Bloggers and Friends,I must say I have really had it with all the excuses going on in the country as if abuse of children, women and even men is just a thing of culture. It is not and I am just not going to put up with it anymore.
Today I sat with our churches Youth guys and we are now choreographing a hip hop musical drama including a short talk by a hunky good looking African guy (head boy nogal) about why rape is just wrong. Keep reading this post to get a glimpse at our first attempts on putting the Hip Hop message together!
I have also arranged for trauma counsellor Barbara Louw to come and teach all our cell leaders and volunteers about how to respond to  trauma and how to start the healing process.
IMG_1475 - CopyFurthermore I am pursuing a high impact Self Defense course to run for the whole community, partially sponsored by the church.
I know the big cities have more resources and access to talented volunteers but probably also a higher bureaucracy and protocol threshold.
I do not want to wait till a super polished show comes to our rural areas, so I am going to put together something right now.
And how urgent is the call for equipped trauma counselors in a nation where every third girl under 18 has been subjected to rape or abuse.
Smart talks, brochures or even handing out condoms at schools do nothing to stop the out of control spiral of sexual violence amongst the youth of our country.
I had the great privileged talking and brainstorming with Jaco and Philippa Booyens from www.afteredenpictures.com  who are
currently busy producing the 8 Days movie raising awareness about sex trafficking.
Africa’s medium is music and dancing, and we need to use those tools to expose the “rape apes” for what they are, and to bring civilian courage back so the “good kids” do not look the other way but get involved helping and taking a stand against abuse.
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Talking to youth to please NOT look the other way when they suspect abuse is happening.

Really, it is partially the good neighbours who allow this by looking away.

 

Between 77% and 83% of rapes are committed by someone that is a trusted friend or family member.

South Africa was currently rated by Interpol as the world’s no. 1 rape capital, a woman raped every 17 seconds. That is bad enough but according to the Medical Research Council, more than one in four minors experience physical violence at home daily or weekly and more than one third of girls have experienced sexual violence before the age of 18. Its study also states that 40% of all victims who reported rape to the police were under 18 and 15% were under 12 years old.

Another issue with sexual violence against minors in South Africa is the sexual abuse and harassment that is reported to occur in schools by teachers and other students.

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Rural Limpopo children are currently the most vulnerable population group in our nation.

According to the Human Rights Watch, girls from all levels of society and ethnic groups have been subjected to sexual violence at school in bathrooms, empty classrooms, dormitories, and more.

Police, prosecutors, and social workers have also complained that many incidents of sexual violence in schools are not reported to them because schools often prefer to deal with it internally, thus hindering justice against the perpetrators. The danger of sexual violence in schools has created a barrier for girls to seek education. HRW also reported that South African girls’ school performance suffers after an incident of sexual violence.

I passionately suggest that churches, instead of dancing around with Shofar around a golden ark etc(sorry, something that as a foreigner found quite strange in some SA conventions), unite their volunteer talents and work to produce some kind of Anti Rape, pro humanity, pro values show that could go on tour in SA, or at least in just in their respective communities.

Indifference is a crime just as murder itself. If the church does not step in, I wonder what today’s youth will be like tomorrow.

If we stay quiet, this becomes a habit of our nation, habit forms character – silence just affirms evil. Evil becomes routine. That is NOT my and NOT your South Africa.

Do not look away. Get involved. BE the fathers that protect, the role models, the champions of those girls around you, and STEP IN.
A nation that proclaims to have 85% Christians in its population should cry out in Shame at those statistics.
Andries and I are definitely busy addressing this issue with African pastors as well.
I am totally convinced that we all underestimate the potential of our churches in tackling the rape problem in South Africa.
Yes, 85% of South Africans call themselves Christians and one third of girls under 18 are raped.
That means rapists attend churches and listen to a lot of bla bla, it means church goers know and befriend rapists and say NOTHING and do not step in.
So we need to work together with all churches especially in rural areas to address the problem, outlaw it, mark it as beastly, threaten with eternal hell and legal actions, and make it every christians first and foremost duty to protect the girls, boys, women and even men around them from becoming crime victims.
The call must be step up and step in!!!!