Sunday, July 22, 2012

Celebrating Mandela Day in Paarl!

Last Wednesday, July 18th, volunteers from all over the community joined the staff of Monte Christo Miqlat (MCM) and enjoyed devoting 67 minutes of time to helping others as a way to mark Nelson Mandela International Day.  Why 67 minutes?  For 67 years Nelson Mandela devoted his life to the service of humanity--as a human rights lawyer, a prisoner of conscience, an international peacemaker and the first democratically elected president of a free South Africa.  This July 18th also marked Mandela's 94th birthday, and volunteers from 7 different companies in the Paarl Valley and Western Cape helped serve the community at MCM's Bowy House, Tiffany's Community Care Center and Lukhanyo Community Care Center.   
Geratec employees helping at Bowy House

Several staff members from Paarl's Basson and Blackburn spent 67+ minutes at Lukhanyo Community Care Center in Mbekweni.  They attended the music classes that are given there and participated in making musical instruments and playing the drums.

This same group joined in the daily feeding of the children.  Many of them were very emotional as they witnessed the hungry children who came through to have their soup containers filled.  The staff finished their time there saying it was an experience they will never forget.

MCM wishes to thank the volunteer staff members from Geratec-Paarl, Nedbank-Paarl Mall, Walton's-Paarl, Department of Education-Western Cape, SADTU (South African Democratic Teacher's Union), Basson and Blackburn and Paarl Mall for the goods and clothing that were donated and the gift of time that you shared.   It was a blessing for all of us at MCM to see your servant's hearts as you showered love on members of the community. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

It's the middle of winter...MCM Sports is thriving!!!

Aletia Grundling and MCM sports coaches
Girl's soccer game
Boy's sports drills
Growing up in the distressed communities of Mbekweni and Paarl East in Paarl is not easy.  Active street gangs, drug and alcohol abuse and crime are rampant...and a big temptation for our young people.  Additionally, the lack of strong role models continue to present challenges to the next generation.  With five years of experience, now, Monte Christo Miqlat (MCM) has learned that a strong sports program can be a very effective deterrent and positive activity for the youth in our communities.  Through Coaching 1000, the backbone of our program, we have raised up quality post matric youth coaches (several of whom are pictured above with MCM CEO-Aletia Grundling) who help to teach both sports skills and life skills.  Last year we expanded our Coaching 1000 program into 6 local primary schools and 1 high school.  Here we partner with the physical training teacher in their work with the children.  We provide assistance in basic warm-up activities and then assist with sports drills in a variety of sports (i.e. athletics, cricket, soccer, rugby and netball) during school hours.  Also, two weeks before the end of the term, we assist in testing the children by drilling them on various skills that they have learned that term which helps the teacher with the grading of each child.  With 9 youth coaches, we are scheduled in 25 physical training classes and support approximately 750 children each school week.  After school, in the afternoons, we assist the same school children with additional training, specifically for soccer skills.  This involves soccer skills development, drills, life skills and club development.  And all of this is designed to provide an opportunity to hundreds of children to lead positive lives and give them healthy alternatives to the aforementioned street activities.  MCM wishes to thank Emerge Poverty Free ( for their support for our Sports Program these past five years, and for creating the opportunity for us to work with the Westhill Endowment ( this coming year.  Thank you for partnering with us to touch hundreds of young kid's lives in Mbekweni and Paarl East!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Time for a staff function!!!

Edward Hildebrand worshiping
Pastor Vernon Jacobs sharing
June 28th was a GREAT day for the staff at Monte Christo Miqlat (MCM), because we had our first bi-annual staff function for 2012!  The event, hosted at Tiffany's Community Care Center, started out with lively praise and worship led by our very own Uncle Edward which always gets us all 'fired up.' We were also blessed to receive a warm welcome and message from one of our own board members, Pastor Vernon Jacobs.  His message was an eye opener and motivation to all of us, focusing on the Prayer of Jabez in 1 Chronicles 4:10...enlarging and increasing our own and MCM's territory.  He emphasized that 'territory' does not have to mean real estate or financial gain.  There are so many ways this prayer can be incorporated into life.  Those include: 1) Influence...asking God to expand the area in which you and the ministry can be of influence to others, 2) Responsibility...asking God to increase our area of responsibility whether
Aletia Grundling motivating team
personally or in our jobs, 3) Boundaries...praying specifically for what boundaries you want the Lord to broaden such as personal job coverage, ministry geographical coverage, etc. 4) Time...though God won't necessarily freeze time, He can help us to manage time better and be more efficient both personally and in the ministry and 5) Family...asking God to expand our family relationships whether it be for a spouse, children, etc. 
The braai team
Our very own Aletia Grundling, MCM's CEO, gave her first staff presentation and provided an evaluation of the last 6 months of MCM's performance.  She highlighted a number of 'WOW Moments' for each focus area and ministry and we were all blessed to be reminded about all that God has done in the last 6 months!  We concluded our staff function activities with a wonderful braai prepared by these pictured members of our Sports and Administrative teams, as well as lunch prepared by other members of the MCM team.  We are grateful to everyone who helped to put together such an AWESOME staff function.  We all look forward to the next one in November!!!                  

Monday, July 2, 2012

Monte Christo Miqlat Winter Outreach

Watergat Squatter camp community
MCM staff serving soup
On 9 June 2012, Monte Christo Miqlat (MCM) staff from the Drakenstein Food Centre had the opportunity to partner with the 'Debunk the Junk' youth project from Cape Town. Together with the 'Debunk the Junk' team, our staff traveled to the Watergat Squatter camp near Simondium (just outside of Paarl) with the goal of providing encouragement and engaging with the community about their socio-economic circumstances. Doctor Lynne Cornelissen joined us as well and made herself available for the day to provide health checks and answer medical questions.  Also, Jonlyn Tromp joined our team and worked with the community members on various legal issues.
Smiling faces...happy tummies!
Our activities included a praise and worship session with the community after which the MCM staff handed out soup and bread. Clothing and books were also distributed to community members.  As you can see from this last picture, the youth from the Watergat squatter camp were all smiles and really enjoyed the day. And we were as blessed as they were to have had the opportunity to serve so many!