Thursday, June 23, 2011

Youth Day with the Dream Team...

Youth Day in South Africa (16 June) commemorates the start of the Soweto Riots in 1976 that were sparked by the government decree that all instruction in black schools would be held in Afrikaans. The holiday today celebrates the youth in South Africa... and the fact that they are the future of this country.
This year the Dream Team, along with other members of our staff and the community, held a Youth Day celebration at the Tiffany's Center. There were speakers, games, food and though the weather was bad outside... the atmosphere was wonderful inside!
With events like this, our working relationship with the Magnolia and Klein Nederberg community is getting stronger and stronger. We are blessed to have such a wonderful place in the middle of this community and the messages that were delivered by the Dream Team really hit home! If you read through these signs, you'll see the things that our kids have to deal with on a daily basis. The members of the Dream Team are working to help make a stand against these problems in the community. What a great way to truly celebrate "Youth Day."

Saturday, June 11, 2011

A Happy Ending...A New Beginning

Meet the Van Rooyen family...Quentin, Anneldi, Amy and Lara...who recently grew by one member with the addition of Luvo. If you have been following our blog, you might recall our posting about our former Bowy House resident, Luvo, who at the time of THAT posting (Feb. 16th) was moving into another children's home. Enter the Van Rooyen family...who live here in Paarl. After serving as missionaries in Mozambique 12 years ago, and learning about the plight of so many children who lost parents either to the war or to various diseases, they made the decision back then that if the right opportunity would ever present itself, that they would seriously consider adopting...even after having two children of their own. This in hopes of giving a child a home and a future otherwise impossible due to circumstances out of that child's control. Due to a great deal of prayer, and a number of different circumstances (divine interventions), Luvo began to spend weekends with the Van Rooyen family shortly after he entered the other children's home. After several successful weekend visits, he was allowed to stay with the family for the long Easter break ...vacationing with them and their cell group for the whole last week in April in the Karoo. Then on May 9th, the Van Rooyens, armed with much paperwork, went to the Magistrate in the hopes of attaining full foster care of Luvo. Anneldi shares that the magistrate asked just a few questions of she and Quentin, and within 15 minutes they were joyfully on their way out the door with full foster care responsibilities of Luvo. They will continue this process in the hopes of fully adopting Luvo into their family as soon as the good Lord makes it possible. Luvo has settled into his new home quite nicely, and thoroughly enjoys his 13 and 11 year old sisters, Amy and Lara. They are adoring big sisters, and are having great fun with a busy, fun loving little brother. Anneldi says that she believes that this is one of the most important decisions that they have made as a family and that they trust that they will embrace it with all their hearts. All of us at Monte Christo Miqlat have no doubt that this is where Luvo was meant to be, and we are just thrilled with how God has provided such a loving family and home for Luvo...a new beginning. God bless you Van Rooyen family!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Welcoming you to downtown Paarl

In the heart of Paarl is the Monte Christo Miqlat Coffee Shop. In addition to being a fully functioning restaurant, its unique purpose is to serve as a gathering place where members of the central community are made aware of the wide range of needs that people have throughout Drakenstein. It is a popular gathering place for men's and women's bible studies, and you can often see several groups of youth enjoying it after school in the afternoons. The large upper room serves as a perfect venue for meetings and conferences, and the prayer room is active all day long with people of all ages. Some of our unused space has recently had a facelift, as we have recently joined hands with Charlie's Coffee Shop. Now, you can find a wide range of Christian books and DVD's that you can rent and enjoy in your own home. Meet your coffee shop staff...Ameaka, Barbara, Gamu, Jasmine and Anestene. They are all very special people...some of whose stories are similar to many of the people that we serve.
One of them whom I spent time with recently (and ask
ed to remain anonymous) made some very poor choices in her teenage years. After getting involved with a partying group of friends, she also got mixed up with a drug using boyfriend. The downward spiral continued, and she found herself pregnant at a very young age. After being banished from her family for a while, she spent some time at the Salvation Army in Paarl where she connected with our ministry and learned the skill of making furniture. Later, she joined the coffee shop staff, and has completely turned her life around as she learned how to work with food and wait tables. Some of her dreams include getting her driver's license, owning her own home and settling into a nice, church community where there is no judgment and she can feel at home. She is definitely at home at the coffee shop! We hope that you will feel welcome, too!