In October 2019, God sent five women some 8,700 miles to the mission field of Cape Town, South Africa. When we arrived we were greeted by our host, Lunga, who is a missionary working with YWAM (Youth With A Mission) in the suburb of Muizenberg in Cape Town (and interestingly is considered to be the birthplace of surfing).
Cape Town really is a city of extremes – with opulent waterfront apartments and shopping complexes alongside impoverished townships.
Our mission for the two weeks consisted 5 main ministry areas.
We were to work with Clever Kids in the township of Masiphumelele (Masi), overseen by Karin, for three days each week, helping in any way needed. Masi was known initially as “Site 5” but renamed by the residents to Masiphumelele, which in Xhosa means “we shall succeed.”
Cape Town itself has seen an increase in population of one person every 41 seconds since January. In the township, 20 families must share one concrete toilet cubicle. Sanitation is a real problem, leading to a number of health issues, with thousands of small tin shacks housing large families. Education is poor or non-existent, and children able to go to school are at a disadvantage due to their native language being Xhosa whilst the schools teach in English.
The vision statement for Clever Kids is for healthy growing kids to know they are loved by God, to be equipped with the basics of education, and to be motivated about their future – schooling, lifestyles, and God’s plan for their lives. We helped with their homework, whether that was English, Maths, Science. We also helped prepare and cook food. We also brought in Biblical teaching through fun activities – helped by our wonderful translator, Orduwa.
We taught the important subject of personal hygiene, washing hands correctly and brushing teeth – all delivered through fun activities for the children (and the adults alike).
Teen / Youth Work
We went to the township of Khayelitsha, and prayed over the township and over a site that might possibly provide a new, larger, site for their youth work. Later the same day, we were asked to work with the youth – sharing the message through games and drama.
Women’s pamper day
Doris, a missionary, working with Clever Kids, had a real heart for women. She wanted to put on a pamper day for the mums of the children, by organising a buffet, sharing testimonies, praying and listening and ministering to them. It was also a time to have a real sense of joy and laughter.
The team were able to provide this for the women of Masi, giving them “bags of hope” with the Father’s Heart Love Letter and hand / foot lotion.
Bethesda House Bethesda House is a small team with a prophetic ministry. We were asked to both help at one of their conferences, and to minister to the team personally. When we went back to Bethesda House to minister to their spiritual and physical needs. We washed feet and hands, we anointed them, prayed over them and ministered, whilst entertaining their children. We also fed them – physically and spiritually – providing breakfast and a Bible study devotional and led a time of worship, hopefully leaving them refreshed and re-energised.
Evangelism and Prayer for the Townships
The team were asked to evangelise, pray and minister through the townships, supported by Mama Cindi and Orduwa as guides, translators and covering. The team split into two groups, working in different areas, so as to shine God’s love over all of the township.
Gardens of Hope
During all of this time in South Africa, we were listening out with our spiritual ears for something that would lead us to the Gardens of Hope project but had heard nothing. So on the final Saturday evening the decision was made to visit Bay City Church.
After the service, we were invited for coffee with the rest of the congregation of over a hundred. And there – “hey Pesto” – there was Thabo, who just happened to start a conversation. He started sharing about his work in the gardens – alongside men from the community who worked there to pay for a place in a rehab – growing Basil to make Pesto, which was then sold in the markets.
Here was our “Gardens of Hope” – and after finding out more about the project, we felt it was a perfect fit.
It was such a God-given encounter, leading us to a project He wanted us to support. We had raised £2,000 towards the project before leaving – an amazing amount in so short a time. We had no idea how we would find such a project. But here it was, and even more amazing – given the verses from Isaiah which talks about a “watered garden … like a spring of water, who’s waters do not fail” – this particular garden is based upon hydroponics; it literally is a water garden.
We were truly blessed to be chosen for this mission and blessed to see God’s amazing work throughout.. Thank you for all your prayers and support.