We are nearly complete with the transition for Children's Cup (hosting our final team; 17 women from usa), remaining available for any unanswered questions, see to it the Government financial audit is finalized and then the handover is complete to Patrick/Leah and Chris(the 3 new missionaries that we have shown the ropes, details and whose/whose, where's/where to). We have turned over all sites started under the name "Children's Cup" (26 locations providing some form of assistance to 3800 children) to them. It is a little bitter sweet, but knowing that the work that has started will continue in some fashion is a blessing, and knowing that the relationships we have created will remain and stand a duration of time-is heart warming.
As Spark Foundation: (but we really don't care about the name, it's just a formality)... so, "AS CHRISTIAN MISSIONARIES"...
LEGAL STUFF-we should be finalizing the registered trust within the week (a trust is the type of non profit organization we created to allow us to stay legally and operate legally in South Africa)
MSHOLOZI (em-show-low-zee)-with Pastor Paul, we are assisting with a church plant by supporting the current pastor- a young and brilliant, biblical sound young man and his wife(a very poor community)- this will evolve into facility and children's care/feeding location(kingdom center) in time.
PHAKANE (paw-gone-knee)-with Pastor Muzi, we are assisting with a 2 year old church plant and have started 5 day a week feeding. We have built a kitchen and put in soccer field and netball courts for youth and children, the numbers of children active at the church has doubled in the past weeks as they now have a safe place to come and play after school and a smile greeting them as they dish a plate of food. The community already tends to a garden and has been taking up their own offerings to add additional foods(meat/fish) to what we provide.
CLAU CLAU (Shlaw shlaw)-we provide food for feeding and Pastor France and wife continue to be fully onboard with assisting their community twice weekly.
TRAINING-We are going to Pretoria for a children's discipleship training and connection at the end of the month-it will greatly enhance our work in educating young people to empower children in the Lord-it is a program called AWANA and is something we were involved in in the usa as well.
GROWTH-we are providing foods to a church plant in Kabokweni, as well as Tonga, and we are looking at new sites in Barberton, as well as Hermansburg and Tekwane - all 3 of the latter would be church plants and children's kingdom centers eventually; should they have the necessary ingredients and community involvement for success.
SCHOOL OF MINISTRY-we are teaching a discipleship course every Tuesday night at our house-18 students registered for the current course, and we have 22 young adults in a course every Wednesday night in the township of Mahushu from 4-8pm- seeing amazing results and testimonies from this group. We are blessed by them weekly. Graduation is set for the first week of December.
KIDS PLAYGROUNDS-we have purchased and are having fabricated 2 sets of swings and seesaws -one for Mahushu and one for Phakane. Though Mahushu is now a "Children's Cup" site, we still have deep relationship there, and believe in the local pastor and his efforts.
PASTOR AND LEADER TRAINING CENTER-we have secured the funds for a building project in Elukwatini for a leadership and pastors training center. Our dear friend and partner Darryl(the white South African) has been teaching Wednesday nights in a rented hall, and the pastors all want more and want more opportunity for their leadership teams. We have over 400 video training's, and 200 of those are English translated to Zulu(one of the many local languages-and generally the heaviest used(similar to siswati)).
NEW MISSIONARIES -Dave and Beth Philips have joined us from the USA- She is a brilliant children's educator(preschool) and has all the materials and supplies for success. He is a talented project manager and will be overseeing building projects once we locate a work foreman. In addition, John and Kay West have joined us from the USA via Swaziland. Kay is a professional counselor and specializes in women's ministries and will take on the task of working with the community women who care for and cook for the children, John is gifted at youth boys ministries(boyscout style) and all around as a solid example.
TEAMS-we are open to hosting you!- get 10 people+ and let us know your dates and your talents. We will get you a budget and connect the pieces and dots for you... we prefer to have people fit into the ministries we are already doing- so will want to compliment those things with your gifts!
We are now being very diligent to take our time and do things at the speed the community needs and is willing to own and be involved in. These projects must revolve around the local church. If the community is not taking ownership, we don't want to work there(if the church is already trying to do something with what little they have- we explore partnership). If the student does not want to be involved in a leadership/discipleship course- we won't push it on them.
We believe firmly in connecting local businesses and individuals into these township projects, as well as always having an exit strategy- we must approach every project knowing that in due season- they must take it on themselves with less and less oversight.
We are gifted in creating systems, accountability and networking, and want to use those strengths to our advantage to make long lasting, community driven projects that glorify and honor Jesus.
We are seeing something exciting happen... multiple people, multiple organizations, all working together for a common goal and a common King. Banners and flags set aside to see people connect with Christ- it truly is BEAUTIFUL and God Wins!