Monday, December 19, 2011

A weekly 'breath of fresh air' at Sonstraal Hospital

(This blog entry was written by Monte Christo Miqlat's recent guest, Jeanne Bayles. Please enjoy her view of one of the areas where MCM reaches into the community. Thank you, Jeanne, for living out the verses that you site at the end of this blog entry!).

This being my fifth trip to South Africa, I was very much looking forward to revisiting Sonstraal Hospital – a place where men, women and children are cared for who have TB and must be treated in a hospital setting.

I accompanied Pam Gass and Cathy Sias, two volunteers who have so faithfully served each week bringing a craft, a Bible story and a sweet treat. Most importantly these two women encourage other women who are in need of a kind word, a gentle touch and the encouragement that comes from sharing the love of Jesus.

One of the most beautiful displays of love I have witnessed was what I saw at Sonstraal Hospital today. There was an elderly patient sitting on the stoop looking as if she didn't feel well. One of the younger patients lovingly sat at her feet and rubbed her feet and legs with lotion as she gently spoke to her. She lived out the attitude of the very craft we created angel.

As I witnessed this, I was reminded of the passage in Matthew 25:40 which reads, "Then those sheep are going to say "Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you? Then the King will say, 'I'm telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me--you did it to me.'

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Year end activities

For those who have lived in Paarl, you know that December brings closure. Schools, programs, sports leagues, small groups, it seems like everything starts wrapping up for the holidays. It's the same in our ministry. Last Friday we held a wonderful staff get together to talk about 2011 and what we've been able to accomplish. It's a rare event that our entire staff can get together but 46 of us were able to gather at Tiffany's for our year-end wrap up. Each staff member received a certificate of accomplishment as we have met a high percentage of our goals and objectives for the year. Take a look at how much we've grown!!! Isn't that a great looking group? - we can't tell you how blessed we feel to work with such amazing, wonderful, caring people!
Then, a few days later we held our Pre-school graduation. These young ones really put on a show for us. The highlight was clearly the Michael Jackson dance routine by the boys that had the entire room howling... now it's time for a long summer break before many of these kids start real school in January! Congratulations to Glenay, Surita and the staff for a job well done.

Community support breakfast

The morning of 17th November was very special for Monte Christo Miqlat. Local restaurant Schoongezicht hosted a community breakfast that was attended by over 50 community and business leaders. Each of these men and women had been invited by our Board Members to hear about the impact we've had on our community this past year. The numbers are significant... as of 14 November there were: 889,200 meals served, over 2,500 children in sports programs, 275 homeless fed each week and 65 put in jobs weekly, over 400 people per week being cared for at Tiffany's Center and over 375 each week at Lukhanyo. Add in the continuing care at Bowy House, our Leadership Development programming and the school holiday meals and programs and the picture is clear. We're making a difference.
The sad news that we shared with those present was the fact that our R1.9 million funding from the South African Lotto was being eliminated for 2012. Simply put, we were asking for help. If we're going to continue with this level of service for the poor, we need to replace that funding. The initial response after the breakfast has been encouraging. A lot of people want to help. We live in a wonderful community and at times like this, we are reminded of that fact. We are beginning to understand that if we work together, nobody in our community has to go without ways to receive help. Please continue to pray for us as we work hard to rebuild our funding base without a need for the Lotto support.