Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Hey guys! Sorry things have been a little bit quiet over here….not for lack of activity but lack of time and energy to sit down and write, thus I have a back log of posts in my head that may be coming out one after the other…maybe :)
ok so the first thing we need to let you know about is our consolidation of ministries and networks. Some of you may or may not have been seeing the term "Grace Love Truth ministries" floating around.   This is our new umbrella organizations name. Not much has changed really…but also we have unified, consolidated and re-structured what we were all already doing, so in some ways there are big changes and in some ways none at all. You may or may not know we were under the umbrella of Heart to Heart International, which really meant nothing except that it was our registered NPO name with the government. So we have changed the name to Grace Love Truth ministries instead. And Grace Love Truth ministries is the umbrella that heads different outreach ministries (including Isaiah House) and different simple churches (including Isaiah house church and Kloof church which we are involved in) Previously the ministries under Heart to Heart were working independently- although we often networked, and we realized we were not accomplishing what we could, nor reaching the amount of people we could if we actually started working as a team more. This has led to the formation of a GLT eldership board which Sandile and I are a part of, and more identified leaders of the existing churches and ministries. All that may sound confusing….its even confusing me! So just go and take a look at the website www.gracelovetruth.com and you will get the picture :)
The only thing that has changed dramatically for us personally is that Sandile is currently pastoring the GLT Kloof church and has left the pastoring of the GLT Isaiah house church to a team which he oversees and mentors.

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

On Friday our friend from church organized some people to go down to Durban to minister at a soup kitchen that provides food for the homeless. We couldn't go due to the time and kids and all but I wanted to share two stories from that night. Firstly, some of our Isaiah House team joined in and went down to be a part of the ministry team. They are getting used to going out to minister and to pray for people, but only in areas much like where they come from and only to other (black) African people. The homeless population in town is different as it includes people of all races. Living in Molweni; our volunteers do not have any exposure to people of other races living in poverty and it is easy to believe that only blacks struggle economically. When the team arrived they were shocked at seeing white, indian and mixed race (colored is the SA term) people who were in need, but even more than that people who were homeless. By the worlds standards; and perhaps even by their own, our volunteers are "poor" They live in crowded dwellings and do not have the luxuries that the middle to upper classes hold. However they were shocked and broken hearted at seeing people who did not have a place to call home. People with no shelter to sleep in and no place to leave their things. Old people, men and women, children, whites, blacks, indians, and coloreds were all there, needing assisstance, but even more than that needing a touch of Hope from the giver of life Himself. One young woman on our team was particularly moved to tears. She has had a very difficult life, she grew up as an orphan, battled violence and abuse, struggles financially etc. But when she saw these people who had no home she couldn't believe it and her heart broke for them. She went home with a heavy heart, but also an appreciation for what she has; although it may seem like little. Our volunteers are started to become empowered!!! They are realizing that Christ in them crosses race barriers, economic barriers, educational barriers and so forth and that with the power of the Holy Spirit they are no longer "poor" and they do have something to offer. Praise Jesus, they are being transformed!

The second story I want to share is in no way my own, but it is so beautifulI want to share it. There were 4 men at the soup kitchen, I believe two of them were white, and two were indian. (For those of you outside of SA, The reason I mention race is that it is still a huge issue in this country, and the fact that the men are of different races add to the impact of he story) These men have decided that they are a family. The way the shelters work here is that you have to pay a small fee every night to get in. so the men have made a pact that if they do not all get in every night then no one will sleep in and they will sleep together on the street somewhere. So if two or three of the men get a bed in the shelter but the other doesn't then they will all give up their bed (and hot meal) to sleep on the street as a family unit. Guys this challenged me! Many of us would not even do that for our blood relatives, let alone our spiritual brothers and sisters or just some friends we've made a pact with. What a beautiful picture of love, unity, and loyalty!!

Thursday, 25 June 2015

We recently said good-bye to an amazing group of University students from Ashland University who came to join in with the Isaiah house for 3.5 weeks and to see what we get up to. Hosting a team every year or every second year from AU is part of our ministry at the IH and we LOVE hosting our American friends! (Not just because they bring us things ;) They come with passion, excitement, a servant heart, ready and willing to throw themselves into whatever is asked of them, and they do it with joy, fun, laughter, and love. It is always refreshing to have them, not just because of what I already mentioned but because they are new…fresh…innocent…they bring with them a perspective that isn't hardened or tainted, and sometimes we need that. When you work with people who live in such hardship, and you are surrounded by it every day you start to think of it as normal. Its normal that 14 year olds give birth and no one bats an eye, its normal that so and so beat up their girlfriend again, its normal that more than 50% of people have HIV. Its normal that there was another rape, another break in, another hijacking, another armed robbery….etc. THESE THINSG SHOULD NOT BE NORMAL!! And these are the things we are fighting against every day. These are the things we are trying to love and support people through. 
When we have visitors I am always reminded to see things through their eyes, and not just the negative things, but we also become tainted to the positive things as well. When we have visitors, I see the beauty of the valley again for the first time, I see the hospitality of Zulu people, the joy, fun, and laughter. I see the resilience, the strength, the determination, the hope. I see how far our volunteers and leaders have come. I see them challenging our american friends to be vulnerable, unashamed, open. I see them showing them how living in the Spirit is not something you take on and off; not something that is turned on every Sunday morning and tuned off at night. I see friendships forming across cultures, countries, and colors. I see young Americana and Zulu people so transformed by Jesus and his Grace that they cannot wait to tell others about it and how he has set them free. The students always think they are coming here to serve and help and minister to our people. And that is not untrue…they do those things, but the real reason they come, and the real reason we  have them is because they are ministered to, they are transformed, they learn, their eyes are opened, their word views are blown, their hearts expand, they receive healing and freedom, the boxes that they have set up for their lives are torn down and cast aside. And those are beautiful things. 

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Welcome to the Isaiah House blog! 

 “They will REBUILD the ancient ruins and RESTORE the places long devastated; they will RENEW the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations…” [Isaiah 61].
The Isaiah House positions people to know Jesus Christ and to be transformed holistically.  We have been operating in the area of Lower Molweni in the Valley of 1,000 Hills since 2010. 

God has been working in powerful ways. In communities overrun with poverty, violence and hopelessness, lives are being transformed and people are seeing the hope they have in Christ. Those who have been impacted are now becoming leaders with The Isaiah House, dedicated to seeing their neighborhoods transformed through the love of Jesus Christ.

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