Living Hope blossoms in South Africa
CAPE TOWN, South Africa (BP)--Two young sisters walk home happily after an afternoon of singing praise songs to Jesus and hearing stories from the Bible. At home in Red Hill, an informal settlement in Cape Town, their mother is zoned in to the television, where she sits every afternoon.
The girls walk into their tiny home, immediately turn off the television, and tell their mother they have a story to share from God's Word. It's become a daily routine for the girls, who also have taught their mother to pray and will not let her go to sleep at night before praying with them.
Sometime later, the mother visits Mzubanzi Bayeni, a life skills educator for Living Hope, a community outreach organization in Cape Town, and thanks him for what he is doing for her children.
This is just one of many stories Allen Allnoch, a Living Hope volunteer from Georgia, shares about his experiences ministering through Living Hope.
During the World Cup tournament, Living Hope volunteers worked countless hours in several settlements like Red Hill, conducting Holiday Bible Clubs for children enjoying a month-long break from school.
Red Hill is a unique informal settlement encompassing three camps. One camp is home to foreigners from Somalia and Zimbabwe; another camp houses a Xhosa-speaking black community; and people from the Afrikaans-speaking Coloured group live in the third camp ("Coloured" is the official name of this people group in southern Africa).
"We get kids from all three camps, which can be hard work when you're trying to speak in English or Xhosa or Afrikaans," volunteer Stuart Rimmer said. "Some or all or none will understand what you are a saying."
Rimmer, a three-month Living Hope volunteer from Great Britain, has spent many hours working with children in Red Hill, building relationships with them and teaching them about God's Word.
"These kids, they really want to get to know you and you really want to get to know them," Rimmer said.
Rimmer's teammate, Allnoch, who has volunteered with Living Hope for the past year, also has built relationships with many people.
Such relationships led Allnoch, who has a background in journalism, to begin work on a book of testimonies of the lives Living Hope's ministries have touched.
Allnoch has felt for some time there should be a book about the work of Living Hope and believes God placed it on his heart to use his writing background to share the stories.
"We're trying to show how the ministry has helped people around the Cape peninsula," Allnoch said. "There are just so many great personal testimonies."
Living Hope helps those in need through a variety of ministries including caring for those with HIV and AIDS, meeting spiritual and physical needs of the homeless, and teaching life skills to children and adults.
For more information, visit www.livinghope.co.za. Jacob Alexander is a writer for the International Mission Board's global communication team.