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Showing posts from 2009

spreading christmas cheer

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the christmas period has continued to be a busy time for the team at the village of hope, and we have also been so overwhelmed by the presents and parties that our 9 children have been blessed with during this time. it was however somewhat of a problem giving our children hundereds of gifts whilst the large majority of the children that we also work with in the community receive nothing, therefore we decided to not only bless some local creches, in elgin timbers and iraq with some of the toys that we had received but also thought that it would be nice for all the children in our town to see and experience father christmas paying them a visit. therefore with the wonderful arty skills of emily house we converted our trailer into a sleigh which we drove around the townships and squatter camps, complete with a 'real norwegian' santa claus (our wonderful volunter trondor, who had an amazing time on the sleigh)....see newspaper article (right) for an image. christmas was and is indeed…

still no phonelines

communication is proving a little difficult from the village of hope at the minute as we are still without phonelines, stolen twice in the last two weeks....we trust that you enjoyed the december newsletter, as previous post and we look forward to resuming normal updates and service as soon as we can....

village of hope christmas newsletter

News from the Village - Christmas 2009.

Summer is coming, witchdoctors, and kids returning home.


Well we thought that October was a tough month but I think that November has topped it. That said we are still pushing forward and making a real difference in the lives of the children that live with us on the Village of Hope and those we seek to serve in our community. I can't say too much but please pray for us as we come up against local opposition, including witchdoctors, as we work in what is a very poor and needy area of the world.

As I sit writing this, World AIDS day is upon us (December 1st) and whilst we are working in a community where around 34% of our population is infected with HIV there are still many thousands of people who don't even know their status. It is our aim to encourage people to get tested because once their status has been confirmed we can work effectively on a programme which will stabilise their health and provide them with a hope for the future.

Unit News


lack of communication

since last monday, during a board meeting via skype to the UK, we have been without phonelines, and therefore internet on the village of hope....this has been somewhat frustrating and has meant that we have had to travel to thembacare to do any internet business......we are trusting that the phonelines, which were stolen, will be reinstalled sometime today!

world cup fever....the world waits

i see that the rich and famous, including mr beckham has turned up in cape town this week and it would seem that the world has it's eyes set on cape town, not for the last time in the next year, as the world cup draw is made tonight.....we know that all of this razzmatazz pales into insignificance as we work amongst the poor of this nation...tonight we wait with baited breath to hear who will be playing who in south africa 2010....

dutch help...

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as highlighted before, see community day post, we have been partnering with some dutch students who are over in grabouw on internships, we have been blessed with social workers, who have been drawing up some of our files and case studies, physio therapists, who have been working on the motor skills of our children, and sports students who have been helping with some of our soccer outreach in the community.

yesterday the students delivered their final presentations to their tutors and we were invited along to give feed back and to hear about how they had got on during their time with us, me and maz felt like proud parents as the students shared of their stories about the wonderful time they had had on placement at the village of hope.

we are hoping to cement further relations with the HAN university, to ensure that we continue to receive their students and provide them with an amazing placement.

knowing your status!

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today i can justifiably speak about HIV and Jesus without too much complaint.....the 1st of december marks two important dates in the village of hope calendar.

firstly we think of Jesus as we celebrate the first day of advent, the time where we prepare ourselves to remember his first coming as a baby born to a virgin in a stable in a poor occupied nation in the middle east.

secondly we think of those infected by the virus, HIV, which can lead to full blown AIDS, we live in a town where the known infection rate is over 30% and with children who already know their status...however many thousands of people are living with this virus without full knowledge of why they are feeling sick. today we will match through our streets to encourage people come to be tested at the various places around our town where they can find out their status and make a start on the road to stabilised health.....

...they say knowledge is powerful, it certainly is with HIV as the treatments now available to many can…

community day

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we have been working with some of the dutch students (from the HAN university, who are on a placement in grabouw) on a community day for some weeks and yesterday we all worked very hard to ensure that the local people of grabouw had a day to remember.

the idea of the day was to bring together people from all over the town to firstly have a great time, but with the intention to get the message of HIV and AIDS over to them in a fun way. the day was split into three categories, culture, in which we created a space for local artists and schools to perform, either dance or song...this was held on the back of a flat bed lorry, the second was health, were we arranged with the local day hospital to release some of it's HIV testing team to come and work for the day, and sport, which is where i sorta fitted in...we held a soccer competition for 2 age groups and a netball tournament...the dutch students also set up some 'traditional dutch games' which included knocking a nail into a p…

toddler goes home

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today we placed one of our wonderful 3 year old boys back out with his family, this boy who had been at thembacare athlone for many years had been with us since we opened in april and we had become very attached to him, especially as the outlook for him to be reintegrated with his family was slim.

his mother, HIV+, only visited a couple of times, and the meetings/interaction with the boy was pretty limited, however with the recent involvement from the boys grandmother, who lives in the eastern cape, we were happy that he would be welcomed into a loving home.

whilst it is always sad to say goodbye we know that our children need the opportunity to grow up in their own community and culture, especially within their own family, so it is with much tears that we say goodbye but trust God to provide all that this precious boy needs as he grows up with his new found family.

village of hope office!

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as the work of the village of hope expands so does the paperwork side of things, maz is doing an amazing job with our finances, and has been joined by corinne to sort the 'petty cash' side (although she looks more interested in her coffee!), rob house is also busy with documents, all three are pictured, emily has also been working in the 'dinning room/office' as she finishes off some video editing.

it's great to have such an amazing team around us and i hope that with rob around he might start to share some thoughts on this blog as well!....

we have a new baby....

we have been working with a very needy mother in our community, unfortunately this young lady has full blown AIDS and the virus has attacked her eyesight and she is now blind.....she has also just given birth to a 4 week premature baby, born last saturday in our local hospital....she was discharged that same day with the new born......!

the mum is now in thembacare receiving some much needed support from the wonderful team there and she realises that she cannot support this child and is happy to place him up for adoption, however for the foreseeable future we will help her as we take this precious one into our care at the village of hope until all the red tape has been sorted (and that could take some time).....

please pray for this mum, her child and the team here on the village of hope as we seek to do our best for her and her baby, that she might be fully restored and that this child might grow up in a family who can provide him with a bright future....thanks

christmas is coming!

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the weather is getting very hot here in south africa which must mean that Christmas is coming!....with that wonderful thought in mind we are hoping that you wonderful readers might want to do something amazing this year for the children we are working with....our current monthly costs have risen to over £7K and with only £1K of regular giving coming each month we will soon be at the end of our 'buffer' and the project will be at risk....therefore we need your help, could you run a fundraising event, buy one less present and donate the money to village of hope?....whatever you can do will really make a difference to the children we are working with who are infected or affected by HIV and AIDS...

to donate please visit www.justgiving.com/thembalitshauk thanks the team at the village of hope!

mummy maz

since we picked up our 9 year old boy from thembacare athlone maz has made a real effort to engage with him, maz' background is working with children with special needs and has an amazing gift to get into these children's worlds....well last week maz was working up in our children's unit and just about to leave when this boy, who has very little vocabulary, called out 'goodbye mommy maz'!....this just about knocked maz for 6, she was so over the moon that she had been able to be that special person to this wonderful but much needy boy.

later on in the week maz tried to get him to say it again in my presence but he was having non of it, however when the house mom's asked the boy in his native tongue, which is xhosa, who is that lady (maz) he replied 'that's my mum'....which was another amazing milestone in this little boys life....i hope that we will be able to have that same effect on so many of our children who have lost their 'real' parents…

continued support

the village of hope project seems to be growing daily, whether that be with new children, outreach into the community, extending the land which we are looking to produce our own crops on or just looking to provide our amazing children with new toys or clothes, as with anything the bigger a project becomes the more funding we require.

our amazing friends at everynation hammersmith have chosen the village of hope to be their christmas fundraising project and have updated their web site with links to a new video, (with some footage of me and maz sharing the vision, which is now actual, and some filming that was done on a visit into our local community), which is also on youtube, and our justgiving page where people can donate...please have a look at their page and even if you are not involved in that church maybe this christmas you could perhaps thing of ways in which you could support the work we are doing in south africa.

p.s the youtube footage was shot in december 2008 and it just show…

what do them walkers do with themselves over in south africa then?

we have finally been found out, yes we spend all our time either on the beach, walking in the mountains, lying around reading a book or visiting vineyards to do the very hard exercise of 'wine tasting'........

...well that's how it would appear in this months edition of the franschhoek' valley 'the month' publication, myself and maz go away for a well earned weekend away at the beginning of october, just so happening to tie in with the wonderful 'franschhoek uncorked' festival, and we get caught on film!

you can have a look at the full publication by following this link to 'the month' web site and have a read of the article found on page 7!

using the sun!

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over the last few days the we have had a local company (solar zone) come and install solar panels (german made) which we hope will provide us with hot water to the 4 separate units here at the village of hope...with up to 8/9 hours of sunshine/or daylight for 8 months of the year we really hope that we can cut our electricity bills and maybe even one day go fully solar for all our electric needs....we will monitor this and let you know how we are getting on with the panels and indeed see if it cuts our bills at all.....this morning we all woke to hot water, with the exception of johan and joyce, it seems one of the children turned their system off by mistake!....oooops

new beginnings

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last friday we had the great pleasure of helping a local family move from their wooden home into their newly built government brick home. the family, a mum, dad and a 17 year old son who helps arron with his soccer outreach in rooidakke, had lived in this one bed wooden home, which they rented, for the last 10 years.....it took just two loads on my bakkie and small trailer to move their entire home, beds, plastic chair, clothes etc...they were joined in their new 2 bed home by an uncle who we collected from a nearby farm, he had lived in his home for 59 years, he had a simple bed, mattress and a couple of chairs.
it was a real privilege to see the mum take the first steps in her new home, and as we moved her belongings from the car she washed her hands in the sink, just a single cold water tap, for the first time. the home is a simple single story build, open plan lounge/kitchen, two bedrooms and a room with a toilet and shower, the 'kitchen' is just a single sink in the corner…

zuma on AIDS

our new president (jacob zuma) made a speech about the treatment of HIV and AIDS last week, pls see this article for the full report.....some interesting comments have been made about this as you will see.

lets just hope that this man has finally realised what a mess our country is in and maybe he has finally changed his mind about showering after having sex with a person known to have HIV.....we need our leader to be an example to the majority of people who look to him for guidance and moral standards......lets pray that this will make a difference to those infected or affected by this awful disease.

the plight of south african children

i was sent a link to this interesting article on the bbc website from one of the thembalitshauk board members, it tells of the story of so many children in south africa who are the only breadwinners in what are child headed homes.....and as you imagine homes in the affluent west, or even affluent cape town, please amend your thought to a tin shack with no running water or electricity which you wouldn't put your dog!.......click this link to read

funnily enough (well not so funny) we were only talking in our village of hope meeting yesterday about the plight of a 14 year old girl living in nearest squatter camp, who is looking after her brothers and sisters and has never attended school.....we were asked to help her, but how, we have so many other children who live with the same situation in our town.....

another interesting article on the bbc site, and one is at the heart of my concerns, is that of all the work that is being completed on the stadiums that will be used for the world …

the houses arrive

yesterday i had the pleasure of picking up rob, emily, rosie and isaac house from cape town international airport, rob and em are from our home church in england (rob is also a trustee on the thembalitshauk board) and they have committed the next 10 months of their lives to working with us on the village of hope....we will keep you up to date with their activities on this blog so please keep an eye on how they are doing.

it's great to have them around and we look forward to seeing how they fit in with our current team and what God has planned for them as they serve us and our needy community here in grabouw.

trondors take on the soccer saturday

we have a wonderful norwegian couple working with us at the moment and as i have highlighted before trondor, the gentleman, has his own blog, in norwegian, but you can get google to translate for us!, anyway he has posted a blog about the soccer saturday, pls visit his blog here to read the post and gain his insight into the work we are doing in the community.

i'm hungry but i can wait.....

on friday afternoons we pick up soup from a local pub/restaurant who make this up for to provide 'a meal' for a local feeding project. well this friday we were a little late in picking this up so i had the chance to take one of our local boys with me (they finish school at 2pm here)...during the conversation in the car he was telling me of his woes, this little lad is only 9 years old, no mum and father in prison (for a very long stretch), told me that he normally goes hungry on thursday and friday evenings as his uncle doesn't always collect his pay until the saturday morning...'but that's ok' he said 'i am hungry but i can wait till tomorrow'...

..my heart just broke, but not just with this little guys story but of the thousands of children who live not more that 500 yards from my home, where i can take cold beer out of the fridge or cook up a meal from the 'stuff' we have in the freezer, who have a similar story of hunger, poverty, disease and…

birthdays and soccer saturday!

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i can't believe its nearly been a week since i last posted, things just seem to be rushing away with us at the village of hope at the minute.....and we didn't really have any time off over the weekend as we ran our latest soccer saturday in the morning and held a birthday party for two of our children, along with their families at the village of hope in the afternoon.

well lets start with the soccer saturday, once again we bought together the children that we work with in the 4 different areas of grabouw, each area providing 2 soccer teams (under 12 and under 15) of 7 boys and one team of girls for netball...all in all we had over 120 children playing sport between 9am and 1pm which was fantastic.

i picked my boys up from the squatter camp called iraq, at 8.30 in the morning and took this photo of the boys next to our training post and in front of the squatter camp before we left, as you will see in the following photo the pitches we played on and the setting of those pitches we…

the myths that surround HIV

living in grabouw we are part of a wider community heavily affected with the HIV virus, one in three people in our town live with this disease and many more are affected by it's prevalence. that said we don't see thousands of dying people walking our streets, living with HIV isn't a death sentence and what with the work we are doing via the village of hope, thembacare and the other NGO's in town we are seeing people not only stabilised but living a 'normal' life.

yes there are the drugs which must be taken every twelve hours to keep the virus from spreading and becoming full blown AIDS, but once a person is on the ARV programme life continues, with it's daily struggles and chores.....i was reading an article on the BBC web site about ladies living with HIV in zimbabwe who play football, the perception of 'the world' is that of people lying in hospital beds or dying in their tin shacks, however as the article states these ladies want their status to b…

recommend reads....

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much of my time is spent reading God's word, the bible, or books about the scriptures, how to apply them to your life etc, i do love to read other books as well but i love the bible, the characters, the way that it speaks to me day in day out, about the situations i find myself in here in south africa 2009....

....however over the last couple of weeks my reading time has been taken up by two amazing (secular) books, the first called 'dead aid' by dambisa moyo, it looks at the way that aid is used and given to african nations, i suggests new ways to help and support those on the ground.....well worth a read especially if you are working with organisations that benefit or help 'those in need'.....maybe i will write more on my thoughts about that at a later date......

..the other book is called africa trek, have a look at the web link here, and is written by a french couple, sonia and alexandre poussin, who have walked from the cape of good hope, just down the road from…

its been a year

tuesday 6th october 2009, was an amazing day for the walkers, yes it was a year to the day when they arrived 'full time' in south africa and it has been a roller coaster of a year. we have achieve so many things, not only looking after 10 amazing children in the unit which we have created from a humble garage and welcoming volunteers from around the world but working in the community, becoming well known in all areas of our town. it must also be siad that it has also been hard to leave our family, especially our boys (and daughter-in-law), mums and dads, sisters and brother-in-laws, friends, old and young....but hey God never told us that it was going to be easy, we are standing for him, following his lead and wanting to do his will in whatever way we can.

thanks for all the amazing help we have had, without the likes of vineyard mission team, saul and angela, johan, daz and lisa, reagan and sandra, joyce, vicky and chris, gerrits of many different surnames, bev, thandi, dros, …

kidz club

last week was school holiday here in south africa and as with every holiday there are literally hundreds of kids wondering round doing nothing, our local church, elgin united, also work in the community via their siphla sonke care team and as part of their work they host a kids club in the informal settlement church, imizamo united.....as usual bethesda kidz running the programme for them....(i know that this is a little complicated but please bear with me!)....and me and the rest of the village of hope team (daz, arron and jess, along with two dutch and one norwegian volunteer) ran the club.

man it was busy, we had over 100 children at each club, which we ran on monday, wednesday and friday between 10am and 1pm, we sang songs, listened to outside speakers talk about health, safety and the environment, played games and made paper mache piggy banks....yea that was messy.

it was a privilege to get along side some of the poorest and most needy children in our community, really engage with …

follow jess' blog

our new longer term volunteer, jess, has started her own blog recording her thoughts about her time here at the village of hope, it is a real pleasure to have jess around and we would love for you to follow her as she settles in to the life here in south africa and finds out exactly what God has called her here to do!.....have a look at her blog here and i have also linked at the 'blogs we follow' down the right hand side of this page

you can sit this side....and you can sit the other.

myself and maz have been struggling with sore throats over this last week and yesterday maz decided that enough was enough and she would go to the doctors to get some meds to help, i was driving so ended up visiting the doctor as well (he confirmed that my cold was a lot worse than maz' and gave me double antibiotic, but hey we men always know that we get worse colds and flu than women, the doctor just confirmed that yesterday when we saw him together, oh and i must add that i wasn't the one who was that bad that i needed to see him!...) sorry maz..

that aside it was the first time that i had been to the doctors since we arrived nearly a year ago, not bad really, but maz had been down with some of our sick children....any how as we were sitting waiting in the well furnished waiting room, with newspapers and magazines to hand, maz told me that this wasn't 'the side' that she normally waited in, in fact she even used a different door to enter the place when she bough…

chipper hire......

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during the week the guys from sales hire in town blessed us with the use of a wood chipper which we have used to clear some of the many piles of wood that we have round the farm. sales hire manager gerrit wrote a wonderful article in the local elgin grabouwer about the work we are doing here on the village of hope..click on the image to have a read...

precious girl goes home

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yesterday we had the pleasure of placing one of our precious children back home with her family, unfortunately this little girls mum passed away but her aunt has taken over custody for her. we are going to be continuing supporting her with food parcels and clothes for the immediate future but we pray that she will fit in well with her new family.

norwegian joins the blogging on village of hope

trondar our norwegian volunteer has started his own blog, in norwegian, where he is posting about the year he is spending working with thembacare and village of hope here in grabouw, although the blog is in norwegain you can use the clever google technology to translate for you.

please visit his blog and have a look at the work he is doing with us on the village of hope.

so you wear gloves all day do you?

i had a chat with a local grabouw man yesterday and he wanted to know how we were getting on at the 'farm', the conversation went something like this:

him:'what are you farming up there then'

me: 'oh children'

him:'ha, ha'

me:'no really'

me:'we work with children infected with HIV and AIDS and we have a home for ten of them to stay with us on the farm, called the Village of Hope'

him:'oh so you wear gloves all day do you'?

him: 'do you get yourself tested for AIDS often'?

such is the limited knowledge of the local population to a situation that is killing and affecting millions of their country men...sad but true

filming ends.....

yesterday we met the filming team for the last time, the team, led by wayne schoenfeld and nadia duguay, had arranged for a local 'squatter camp band' to perform, along with dancing, as the credit roll sequence for their new film, me, maz and two of our babies were there, along with other people from our community who had 'appeared' in the film.

during the week the team had been out in the community with some of the thembacare nurses, attended our service on wednesday afternoon, which i (tim) led during the service we looked at the power of God in us as we serve our commnuity, amazing stories of God's power were captured on the film, which we hope will serve as testimony to His working through us, they also filmed phumesa and her family in her home in rooidakke, as well as spending some time with us on the village of hope.

we hope that this film will tell the story of the carers, and the children infected with HIV in our community. this will be the next in the series…

maz meets sister francis (in cape town!)

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this morning, we (me and maz) had the opportunity to attend the childrens hospice international world congress in cape town. it was such a pity that we didn't know about this event before hand but we did spend a few hours meeting key people in the childrens hospice world!.....we also were invited to listen to nadia, from the exeko project mentioned on the previous post, share her talk on therapeutic clowns which was very interesting.

as we broke for coffee maz had the amazing opportunity to bump into sister francis, the founder of helen and douglas house, a charity very close to our hearts as we have had contact with them via our wonderful friends pete and rachel griffith. what was the chance of that meeting?....amazing.

weekend filming and a new boy!

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this weekend we have welcomed a team from canada who are filming at our thembacare and village of hope projects in grabouw, the team are from the exeko project and are following the lives of our careworkers and the children we look after on our project.

today, as the team were filming, we were contacted by the thembacare team in grabouw about a boy who needed a home whilst his mom received treatment for HIV at the clinic, he is about 3 years old and is also HIV+, it was amazing to show the film crew around the settlements and for them to see the day to day work that we are doing in our community.

the world remembers, the world remembers not!

8 years ago today around 4000 people were killed in the awful events that surrounded the destruction of the twin towers in new york, today once again the world remembers those that died in that tragedy.

today around 1000 people will die of AIDS in south africa, by the end of next week 7000 people in our country alone will have lost their battle of this awful disease, families will be mourning the lost of a mother, father, or even a child, families will be devastated and the lives of those thousands left will be made even harder.

please take time to remember the dead today, whether killed by terrorists or disease.

i love my bakkie

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i just wanna tell you that my bakkie is great, its a 1999 toyota hilux, 4x4, 3litre diesel, it can go anywhere, up mountains or down valleys, tow anything trees, cows, trailers and with a little bit of a hill and a wind behind me i can also get a speeding ticket, or two in it as well!........

assembly what assembly

this morning i woke early as i was going to visit a school assembly with reagan and sandra, after waiting around for about 20 minutes, with loads of kids shouting out hello oom tim (afrikaans for uncle tim), we were told that the school wouldn't be having an assembly as planned this morning...what i thought, we got up early, prepared over the weekend, trying to buy watermelons, out of season!, and now there's not going to be a school assembly....why?......oh cause it's raining came the reply, still a poor excuse i thought but then when sandra showed me where they hold the school assemblies it made a little more sense....the school assembly would be held in an outside courtyard between the classrooms and they didn't want the 500 or so kids to stand in the rain whilst we led a time of prayer, worship and teaching......a good call in the end i felt!........

today we also had the pleasure of welcoming michael and janet arthern, from southcourt baptist church in aylesbury, a…

medibook stats

last night we met up with some amazing people who are already helping in the fight against HIV and AIDS, can't tell too much yet but we might have some exciting news to tell about that in the future. one guy, len, runs a 'facebook style' web based application called medibook which is an online data base for hospitals etc in the northern cape, we will be looking to see how we might work together to bring that in to support the work we are doing in grabouw.

one of the applications on this site is an up to the minute report of births and deaths in south africa, quite shocking really as you can see how many people today have died from various diseases, and or this can be looked at by the month or year.....the figure of 1000 deaths from HIV today still stands...click here to have a look and be shocked by the amount of people currently living with HIV.....in all that we are doing we still have an increase in numbers, but we might just have found a solution....more on that one ano…

sick children and laptop found!

please could we ask you to join us to pray for our wonderful 9 year old boy, sorry can't provide names, who is not only infected with HIV but also suffers from alcohol fetal syndrome, has taken a turn for the worst and tonight we have taken him to a local hospital, 30 miles away!, for checks on possible TB or pneumonia........

....on a massive positive not the laptop that was stolen from a local home, see previous story, has been found in the 1.5million strong township of Khayelitsha..!.....amazing hey, the boy who lost it is over the moon and thanking God for returning such a precious item to him.

heartbreaks for our community

i write today to share some experiences that we hear about daily, the first happened to one of children in the community that we work with, this isn't a request for money but its about how best to show God's love to this families in their time of need.

about 6 months ago a very poor family, 4 people sharing a single room timber built shack, came to me to ask if i could find them a good second hand computer that their 17 year old son could use and that they could buy via me, their son is doing well at school and also helps arron with his soccer club near their home.

well amazingly someone donated a laptop, which was working to a standard that it could be passed on to them, with the agreement that they would pay for it, nominal R500, about £35.00, i just didn't want to give it away as everyone has to understand our roll in the community (that we don't just hand out) and even a second hand laptop has value...

we left for our 6 week trip to england and when i got back the mom…

eyes of dispair, oppertunities of hope

yesterday afternoon i returned to work with the kids at the hillside area of grabouw, it had been 6 weeks since i last saw them, and some devastating stuff had been happening to them and their friends from that area. many of the children, mostly the girls who we play/train netball with had been removed from their families due to abuse (of varying nature) and the numbers of kids attending our club was much lower than normal. as i looked into the eyes of some of those children i could see utter despair...my heart broke for them as i thought about their futures, their education and job opportunities, the homes they would create when they grow up.... and what would these children grow up to be like....their parents? or maybe with a little help well balanced members of a new south africa?...

here at the village of hope we not only look after 10 children infected with HIV but we also work with children all around grabouw, the teaching programme we use with the children is the ubabalo eafrica…

village gives hope to another 2 children

today we were able to assist with the placement of two very vulnerable children who's mother has just been taken into our thembacare AIDS centre in grabouw, these two children from the nearest community will be with us while their mother receives the care that will enable her to take care of these children once she has been stabilised by our amazing team at thembacare. we now are back up to 10 children in our 9 bed unit so space is once again at a premium, however with three of our children now attending school or pre-school each day we are able to help these two dear ones at their time of need.

walkers return and tim's birthday!!

well tim, maz and arron have returned from their 6 week long tour of england, during that time they were able to speak to many people, churches, schools etc to share their heart for the poor and needy in south africa, and especially God's call on their lives. they also encouraged others to seek the poor, whether that be in the physical or the spiritual, in their own towns, villages, streets and neighbourhoods.....Jesus doesn't call everyone to grabouw but he certainly does call everyone to do something!..

upon their return they found that the work that was started has continued, daz, lisa and johan have done a sterling job in keeping all the plates spinning and sandra and reagan have continued the work with the children in the town.

the walkers are going to take sometime to readjust back into 'africa' and today tim is gonna be enjoying his birthday with the rest of the team....

more updates will follow shortly.

support the work

tim, maz and arron have been over in england for the last few week raising the profile of thembalitsha and thembalitshauk, we have come across some amazing people who are willing to get involved in this amazing charity. if you have been around when we have spoken and would like to donate to the work we are doing in grabouw, via the village of hope, then please follow this link to our justgiving site or sponsor people like chris and louise stoddard who rode from lands end to john o'groats or jess stratford who is 'going bald for village of hope'!

come on you can make a difference, do something amazing today!

fun day and a chance to hear us talk!

we just wanted to give you a chance to catch up with us before we leave england, this weekend we will be having a fun day to raise funds for thembalitshauk and would love to catch up with you, the event is to be held at aylesbury grammar school at 1pm.

if you are unable to make that and or haven't been able to hear us talk whilst we have been over you could listen to the first talk of the latest 'tour', which was part of the winslow christian fellowship service in june, click here to be taken to their site and then download the talk....we must say that it's awful to hear ones voice and the talk was a little disjointed with photos etc but you will get a feel of what we have been talking about!

school days, tour dates and americans

tim, maz and arron continue their themba speaking tour throughout the south of england, but are spending a few days down with their son and daughter in bath, in the rain. they have had some amazing times chatting with children and young people at school assemblies and catching up with 'old' friends and making some new acquaintances at various churches including meeting up with the everynation church in hammersmith where daz and lisa hail from.
news from the village of hope, via daz, is that our eldest boy, 9 years old but with learning difficulties, started school on monday, which is brilliant for him and will help our mums to care for the little ones easier!......our 8 year old girl is back in hospital with pneumonia, not good but she is in the best place at the mo.
finally we have had two teams from america over since we have been in england and they are doing some amazing stuff out in the community as well as supporting some of the other thembalitsha projects......

if you have an hour have a watch!

we are very much enjoying our time here in england as we continue our speaking tour about the work we are doing for thembalitshauk in south africa.

we have had some good news this morning from daz and lisa to say that another one of our babies has been returned to his home, which is fantastic news.

if you have an hour or so i would love to direct you to watch a short film by john pilger about south africa, whilst it was shot in 2001 and doesn't mention the HIV and AIDS issues it does give some background to the issues going on in south africa and looks into the lives of the people who we are trying to help....follow the link above.

back in the uk and great news about one baby

well we have been back in england for a week now and whilst it has been amazing to catch up with family and friends a lot of our time is spent thinking of the work going on in south africa, it hard to adjust to the fact that we have so much that we take for granted whilst so many have so little where we have just left.

we have had some communication with daz and lisa and wanted to share that we have been able to place one of our children back out to his family, which is great and the main aim of the project, we just need to trust that the family support this child as they should, but in the mean time we will continue to provide them with nappies and formula milk.

this week has been a busy time of speaking engagements, last sunday we spoke at winslow christian fellowship and we have made trips to tonbridge baptist church and also aylesbury holy trinity (not far from where we are staying i admit!)....

both arron and maz spoke at their 'old' schools, arron did really well and receiv…

house break in

unfortunately we experienced our second house break in within a couple of weeks, this has put a bit of a downer on the whole situation and the loss of our laptop and my cameras was annoying as we had so much data and photo images of the last 9 months work on the village of hope. we are still smiling and praying that those who stole from us will see sense and return our possessions......this is south africa you know!

south african health!

living in south africa for the last 9 months has been a life changing experience in many ways, some preconceived ideas have been blown out the water, others challenged and still others were confirmed.

i (tim) have found it so hard living with all that we have right next to those with absolutely nothing, that could be possessions but also the health that we enjoy and the education that we take for granted...

many people have asked me if what we are doing is really making a difference, aren't 'the people' so set in their ways that they won't change?, do they really appreciate all you are doing?......and sometimes i ask myself that too. why don't these people change their ways, why do they continue to sleep around spreading this awful disease......however when you look at it so many of the people we work with and who we call neighbours have no chance to the news media that we have access to and here in lies a problem.

so much of our info now comes to us via the internet,…

winter has arrived

last night we had one massive storm, not only wind and rain but also lighting and hail, whist we are feeling a little on the cold side our hearts really go out those around us who are living in the tin shacks with no electric, little heating and maybe even water coming through the roof into the beds/bed....

people have this crazy view that south africa is hot all the time, but what with cape towns position it's also known as the cape of storms, a name that is very apt at all times of the year.

pancakes all-round

our 8 month old baby, hloma's first tooth appeared over the weekend and the house mums made pancakes for all the children, with hloma having to eat the first one!...not sure that that was too healthy but we were told that it was 'the tradition'!....

voh in local press

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to celebrate national youth day our local paper, the elgin grabouwer, ran a great piece about the village of hope, i have attached a scan copy so have a read if you have time and good eyesight!

youth day

today, in south africa, we have a public holiday, where we are encouraged to remember the plight of our youth, the day centers around the soweto uprising which took place on the 16th june 1976, for more info you can have a look at a post i wrote on my 'old' blog e-holiness three years ago today!

we are full+1

our childrens care centre is designed and set up to take up to 9 children, however today we welcomed in our 10th child, yes we know that doesn't make much sense but the need is so great here and how could we turn down the plea of the auntie who needed us to take in another 2 year old girl to provide her (the aunt) with some rest bite whilst she gets herself sorted with her antiretrovirals for the HIV virus that has already claimed the life of this little girls mother and father.

thanks to all our kind donors who enable us to make a small difference in the childrens and the wider families lives.

kind donations

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there is a real problem with poverty here in grabouw and whilst thembalitsha try to work with people to bring them to a place of self reliance there are some days where you just have to reach out and help those in dire need. today we have received a kind donation of over R1000 worth of food from our local superspar and we are going to make up emergency food parcels and take these to the most needy families in the townships and squatter camps tomorrow morning.

if you would like to know how you might be able to help us as we seek to share with those in need then please contact us via the thembalitshauk web page here.

we are full

for the first time since we opened our doors we are up to full capacity, 9 children, after we were joined by our latest children on thursday and friday last week.

both of the new children are little girls (we now have 3 girls and six boys), one of 2 years old has been placed with us from a home where both parents have passed on from the AIDS virus and it is our aim to work with the remaining family members for her to be placed back out into the community, the other a 7 year old girl is a xhosa speaking child and has a wonderful nature considering the pain and trauma she has already experienced in her young life.

please pray for us, our careworkers and the amazing children God has placed into our care.

local paper covers village of hope

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on monday morning we were interviewed for the local somerset west paper, the districtmail, a weekly publication, who covered the story of our (tim, maz and arron's) move to work full time in grabouw and also how other volunteers (saul and angela) have joined us to help with the building of the village of hope.....other than stating that we all hail from london (not something that i think saul, a proud yorkshireman will be too pleased with) and that our project is 'school of hope' not the 'village of hope', i think that the article captures the essence of all we want to do here and the way we are looking for people to join us as we seek to serve the poor and needy children in south africa, also a nice photo of maz and tim (although the scanner cut off my head!). if you would like to have a read visit the papers web site here.

ross' team leave....shame

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yesterday we said goodbye to the team from aylesbury who had joined us for 12 days, serving in the community, building homes for a careworker, playing with our children and just giving the whole village of hope team a lift with their servant hearts and not so funny jokes!.....thanks to ross, david, barbara, jess, alinda and keith (pictured in that order)...

for more info on how you might come and serve at the village of hope then please contact us.

village of hope officially opens

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today, international childrens day, we had the official blessing of the village of hope. the morning was filled with preparations, with lawns being cut, sandwiches being prepared and speeches written, but by 3pm we were ready to thank God for his amazing provision over the last year and to thank him for placing this project into our safe hands.

we had over 100 guests from around the town, local churches, we sang some songs, one the anthem 'God of this city' and another xhosa song led by some of the thembacare staff, a dance was performed by some of the children we work with from the local community and the blessing was lead by gerrit from the corpus christi church in grabouw. members of the wider thembalitsha family also joined us to give their support, this was a great day and one which we will never forget.



bruno and seth join the needs list

last night both bruno, our little jack russell puppy (8 months) and seth, daz and lisa's little boy (11 months) joined those who we need to take care of, please pray for seth as he is feeling a little under the weather and for our bruno who has got tick bite fever.........life is never dull up here on the village of hope.

building home, investing in lives..

today we had the honour to provide a 'new' home for one of the thembacaregrabouwcareworkers, the team from england wanted to bless someone or invest in something whilst they were over, so i arrnaged for a 'shed' (for want of a better word and believe me in our western eyes that's all it was/is) to be made and delivered flatpack into the new squatter camp of xola, rooidakke. the team didn't do much putting together, that was carried out by the guys who made and delivered, however what the team did was invest time, love and money into providing this amazing lady with a safe, secure and water tight home for the winter and we hope many more to come.

well done guys and get those photos onto facebook or flickr soon and we will set up a link for the world to see what you have done.

if others would like to invest in our careworkers lives then please contact me via our thembalitshauk web site and we will make sure that your money is spent well in supporting these wonderfu…

first 'soccer saturday'

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on saturday we enjoyed our first ‘soccer saturday’ outreach in grabouw, the aim of the morning was to bring together the various teams that we run during the week so that they could put into action the skills, both soccer (and netball) and the lifeskills we have been teaching them over the last few weeks..

the event started at 9am with prayer (following a manic time for the organising team, of daz, lisa, maz, arron, reagan, tim and sandra before hand to ensure all the children arrived on time) and then the ‘tournament’ started, this was which was a round robin affair with all teams (hillside, pineview, iraq, roooidakke, elgin timbers) playing each other to decide the overall winner. 4 teams contested the under 15 soccer league, all 5 entered the under 13 soccer league and lisa ran 3 teams for the netball. Each of the soccer teams were made up of 5 boys, with up to 4 substitues and the netball was obviously seven with again a few subs...it was great to see over 100 children come together…

better news on water and viv's skydive

thanks for all who were praying for the water situ on the village of hope, all now seems to be sorted, abet the water is back to it's inviting brown colour...however we have some so we should be more than happy....

the team from aylesbury have had a busy day, i (tim) took them into the community this morning to visit and pray for the sick and needy, think for some was quite tough but hey seeing the way that thousands of people in our town live is quite shocking......

for those of you who are interested please have a look at viv (the lady who completed the skydive for her 60th birthday to raise funds for thembalitsha) via this link and if you feel compelled to give then please visit her justgiving site! thanks

no water at the voh

today of all days we have had awful problems with our borehole. why today, well ross and his team of volunteers from aylesbury (my home town) arrived this morning and we couldn't even welcome them with a warm cuppa!.....mores the problem in the baby care unit where we spent a whole night with no water and this morning there was no opportunity to wash or even make up their breakfast....

....it all seems to be caused by an electrical fault and this has been temporally sorted by a local electrician, however due to the length and type of cable we require we have had to place this on order so there seems little chance of this being sorted before the weekend....so for now its no showers or even hot water (another long story) so please pray for us, the team and especially those precious little babies.....

silicon sealant and cardboard boxes

last weekend i installed a freestanding open fire in to the corner of our open plan living room which we hope will keep us warm during the colder winter months of the western cape, all seemed to be ok with the installation, i made sure that i sealed the chimney where i had broken through the tiles in the roof to ensure that we didn't have any unexpected puddles when it rained......

...last night it rained, and rained and the wind blew and blew and by the morning we had a lovely puddle under the fire with water streaming down the outside of the chimney...it seems that my efforts had been in vain. this afternoon i visited the local hardware store to find some heat resistant silicon sealer which might help with my problem....i'll let you know how it goes..

...the main reason for this story isn't to confirm my lack of handyman skills to many of you who will all know that that isn't my forte, other than i think over this last 7 months i have achieved much more during the buil…

bike ride and parachute jumps

just wanted to point you to the donation page of our 'old' youth pastor from aylesbury, the young mrchrisstoddard and his even younger daughter, louise, are attempting to ride from the top of scotland, yes that bit of land with all the mountains and loch's, to the bottom of england raising funds for thembalitshauk, please visit his justgiving site and support him, and us!....

...we also want to thank vivbailleux, who on the celebration of her 60th birthday, sorry for the mention of your age viv, jumped from a plane, with a parachute attached i hasten to add, to raise funds for the work we are doing in grabouw....thanks to all those who sponsored her as well!

god of this city

now i know that grabouw is by now means a city, but God has really been speaking to me about the fact that whatever is going on in our town, and we have some really problems, our HIV rate is over 30%, we have the second highest rate (last year we were top, but thanks to the work that vicky and the rest of the thembacare team our doing in our town we have been knocked off the top of the pile) of new TB cases in the whole world, many of the children that we work with in our sports outreach programme have been raped or sexually abused during their short lives, and i would think that every family we are working with lives on less than a dollar a day, pretty grim hey.....God is still God of this city, this town, His people.

the song God of this city, which has been covered by the world famous christian artist christomlin, has become an anthem for me and i would just like to encourage you to have a look at this clip from the band who wrote this song, they're called bluetree and they hail…

tv hero's?

below is an except from this weeks football training session in the iraq squatter camp.......

'don't stand around with your hands in your pockets, do you see professional soccer players with their hands in their pockets?.....do the players for orlando pirates or ajax cape town stand about looking at the sky?....boys boys how many of you have seen a soccer match?....(silence) on the television?' (silence).....my mind then clicked into gear and i realised that the homes (wooden shacks with tin roofs) that these guys live in don't have electricity, or running water or a toilet for that matter, how could they have seen their hero's play, let lone on a tv, how would they know that footballers don't stand about with their hands in their pockets!.........

this is a day to day situation that frazzles our brains, we live with all that you guys have in 'the west' but in a country with so much how come so many have so little....?

birthdays and new children

today has been a special day at the village of hope, for one we celebrated our eldest childs 9th birthday, this little guy only joined us a couple of weeks ago so the team from thembacarealthone came and joined us at his little birthday party......the team also bought over two new children for us to care for, a little 18 month old girl and a lovely little 2 year old boy.......it's amazing to spend time in the unit with these children, yes i (tim) even took time to feed a child this tea time!, and to see the village of hope provide a home to these little guys.

with the unit now up and running our costs are rising, providing meals, accommodation and care for these children costs money so if i could please encourage you to partner with us, the easiest way to do this is via justgiving or you could contact our team in the UK via our UK based website, all donations will go to the work that we are doing here on the village of hope and to the wider thembalitsha projects

yesterday...

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yesterday was a sad day for the walker family and the rest of the village of hope team, as they not only said goodbye to rebecca and lisa from jersey but also tim's mum and dad (ann and roger) who had been staying on the farm for the last 6 weeks.....the place won't be the same without them, especially our mornings where a diet of porridge has been the order of the day!...

...but later this week we welcome another team from the united states and look forward to their help as we look to finish off the building of our tool shed, as well as completing the building which will serve as an overnight accommodation for visiting mums and installing some guttering around the buildings before the winter rains!

another boy joins the village

we are so pleased to inform you that we have been able to take on another boy at the village of hope, this little guy is eight years old, with slight learningdifficulties due to the HIV virus, and has been living at thembacare in athlone for quite some time. he will stay with us as a longer term placement, freeing up a much needed bed at the high dependency unit in althone, we hope that we will provide him with a loving and caring environment where he will grow with us as we develop this facility.

tim, maz and arron return....and the 3 little boys

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tim, maz and arron have returned from their trip to the kruger park, a wonderful time was had by all, they saw the big five, plus a cheater, one of only 200 left in the wild which was amazing.

tim also had an opportunity to share about the work that they are doing in grabouw at the airport christian fellowship in jo'burg on the way up and tim and maz also recorded an interview with john wasserman which will be broadcast on the spirit word channel later this year....we will keep you informed when this will be.

we now have three children, all boys, staying on the village of hope and we are looking forward to welcoming more in the very near future.

killing snakes and having breaks!

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this coming weekend tim, maz and arron are off to visit john wasserman at his church in jo'burg and then will spend a week in krugger on safari, yep it's a hard life for a charity worker!...

...today we have had the pleasure of killing our second snake (a puff adder) on the farm...see photo of arron with it's remains.

currently we have 3 babies in the unit and we will keep you up to date with this when we return on 27thapril.