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Showing posts from December, 2010

christmas present for maz

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christmas may have passed last weekend but in true style our amazing friend matt walker arrives with something to blow us away.....maz has only been saying recently that she can never get to a computer, even in our new office, however today her dreams have come true as matt bought us a brand new laptop....this man has a wonderful heart of generosity and we want to thank him for all his love and support over this last year.

walkers christmas newsletter!

we (tim, maz and arron) wanted to send out a more personal Christmas newsletter, but due to some internet/googlemail problems we weren't certain on who received this and who didn't, therefore we have decided to at it to this blog with a link from our individual facebook sites.

we hope you enjoy the read and want to encourage you to continue to follow our progress on a daily basis here at the village of hope blog.


Walker Christmas Update from Village of Hope

Grabouw, South Africa

Dec 2010.

Firstly we (Tim, Maz and Arron) wanted to bring you a more personal news update from the Village of Hope Grabouw, rather than the more ‘corporate’ ThembalitshaUK newsletter that you may normally receive.

Well what a year 2010 proved to be and we will try provide some of our personal highlights (and maybe some low lights) throughout the next few paragraphs.

We started the year in the wonderful summer weather of South Africa, always a bonus for those of us that love the sunny weather, however within a…

homes for sail.....take 2

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see previous story here.
once again we have been blessed with the provision of two sailing (yacht) sails from our friend mike in somerset west, and once again we have blessed another family in the iraq squatter camp, grabouw, with a new roof.


photos show arron, our eldest son chris and chris' father-in-law paul smith taking a morning to cut and install the sail.

christmas in the squatter camps

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i don't think anyone can really appreciate the poverty that surrounds our town until they have visited the poorest of the poor, not just on some township tour but walking, talking, sharing time and conversation in the very homes of the thousands of people who live in some of the worst conditions in the world. the contrast between the have and have nots is somewhat brain challenging but God has provided us with a platform to not only help but really engage with these people.

on fridays we are provided an amazing pot of soup from our local resturant (the rose and bull) which we normally share with a local soup kitchen that cares of the needs of a small number of people in the rooidakke informal settlement, however last friday (christmas eve) the centre was shut but we still had the soup to give out...therefore rob (house) called me to see who we could bless with it.

we made our way to the iraq squatter camp, which sits above rooidakke, in my bakkie and encouraged everyone to go and co…

santa hits the big time!

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for the second year running the village of hope hit the front page headlines in the christmas edition of our local newspaper, the elgin grabouwer. see story as image and click for a larger version.

but this year santa has gone one step further by appearing on youtube, see link here . emily house, our wonderful film tech guru, put this clip together to give you all a flavour of the event, include the assembly by johan, decoration by tim and rob, our santa played by tim's dad, and elves fran, kate, jess and mel giving out sweets from the sleigh, unfortunately you don't really see arron, josh, chris or dan who were playing crowd control!!!...hopefully you will see the joy that was bought to hundreds of children who can be seen running after the sleigh in the waterwerks squatter camp.

next year we will have to go one step further, but for now we want to wish you all a very happy christmas from the team at the village of hope, grabouw, south africa.

kayak day makes the news

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as you may have read last week we took 50 children who have been the most regular at our weekly sports outreach clubs to the local dam, read story here. well the story has been reprinted in our local paper, see image to the left and if you would like to read further click onto it for a larger copy.

christmas decorations

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this afternoon the boys, arron, josh and dan, with the help of a few friends, put up the christmas decorations in the children's unit...i know we are late but better late than never!

father christmas arrives early in grabouw

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yesterday afternoon the children in our local community were surprised to see father christmas riding on the back of our sleigh. this was the second year that we converted our trailer into a sleigh and the response was no less joyful from the children who saw us.

last year we had trondor our Norwegian volunteer, play the star role of father christmas, see last years post, this year my dad (roger) had the staring role which i think he enjoyed. he was joined in the sleigh by our 'elves', mel, katie, fran and jess who gave out sweets, bars of soap and mens aftershave from the back of the sleigh.

it was so wonderful to bless the kids in this way, and to see their smiling faces as they saw santa coming past their homes was a real pleasure.

emily house took a lot of video which she is hoping to upload to youtube and as soon as it is available we will post a link.

new home, new family

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this morning we had the wonderful privilege to take our 9 year old girl to her new home in khayelitsha, she will join 5 other children at one of the homes run by the amazing charity 'home from home'.

whilst it was a sad morning for our house moms and our 8 other children, she was so excited about moving into her new home and meeting her new foster mom. she is the 16th child that we have placed back into the community with either foster, adoptive or their own families which is amazing in the 20 months we have been open as we had little or no hope of placing any of them back home.

with her leaving we have one space in our 9 bed unit to take in another child who we will work with, stabilise their medication and work with our local social services to place them into a new home and the cycle of new hope which our project offers will continue.

please join us as we pray for this young girl as she settles into her new family and pray also for continued links as we look to work with '…

helping friends

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yesterday we had an amazing afternoon when we took 50 of our most regular children on a special outing as a prize for their attendance at our sports based life skills and bible clubs.

we had hoped to take the children to the beach at gordon's bay but with high winds forecast we thought that rather than being sand blasted for 2 hours we would try to come up with another plan.

early in the morning i made a phone call to a guy who runs an outward bound style camp in the wonderful apple orchards around grabouw, and without hesitation he invited us to bring the children to the dam where they could swim and learn how to kayak.

what rikus, who runs company 'true north team building and adventures' didn't tell me was that he was already running a camp for some of the children who attend the applewood and Beaumont schools in elgin and somerset west....these children are mainly those from the richer end of our community who are on a week long summer camp.

the large majority of the c…

when all hope is lost, there's still hope in Jesus!

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it's five years ago today since i first stepped foot on south african soil, a lot has changed since then and having moved over full time two years ago i have meet some amazing people, these could be white vineyard owners, coloured community leaders or simple black children who capture your heart with their stories and smiles.

no one has captured my heart more than a 15 year old boy who has been regularly coming to our sports outreach in the iraq squatter camp in grabouw, this young lad has provided me with endless hours of laughter, his ability to translate my bible stories or soccer training to the younger children has enabled me to build into many many children's lives.....however his life story is one that would keep me awake at night as the wind and rain pour down on my tiled roof, whilst he only about 1/2 a mile away from my home contends with the same conditions in his small tin shack.

only last week when we were chatting about how the local people have accepted me (us VoH…

the village gets pigs

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yes that's right the village of hope have now taken two little piggies into their care, well not exactly our care as we are hoping to fatten them up to reduce our food bills in our children's unit, but they have come to join us in our wonderful surroundings for a few months!

arron is still to name them but i will keep you up to date with their little lives on the blog over the next few weeks...they have already made their dash for freedom by evading both the electric fence and the 'pig proof' fence which arron has placed around their home....arron and bruno (our little jack russell) weren't so lucky and both felt the full force of the electric fence...that'll teach them!

all the children have been down to visit the pigs this evening, the picture shows arron with on of our little girls...lets hope the children don't grow too fond of them!

CD4 count just 6!

i was somewhat shocked today to find out that a mum of one of the boys who attends our soccer outreach was in thembacare receiving treatment for HIV....obviously this is a very sensitive and personal topic but when i enquired as to how she was doing i was very upset when i heard that her CD4 count was only 6. for those of you unfamiliar with HIV and AIDS i have copied a couple of statements from a web site to give you a bit of a background, see below.

"On a regular basis, your doctor will draw blood to measure the number of functioning CD4 cells. The higher the number the stronger your immune system. People without HIV infection have about 700 to 1000 CD4 cells in a drop of blood the size of a pea. HIV infected people are considered to have "normal" CD4 counts if the number is above 500 CD4 cells in that same size drop of blood".

"If the number of CD4 cells in that drop of blood ever drops below 200 CD4 cells, you are classified as having AIDS. Simply put, exper…

roundtable headlines in grabouwer

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last saturday's sports outreach has been covered in this weeks 'elgin grabouwer', one of the highlights of the day were the new tee shirts which were provided by the local roundtable and this story has been chosen for the paper.

we want to thank all the guys from the elgin grabouw roundtable for their continued support of our work and the way that they give so selflessly when we call upon them.