Monday, February 21, 2011

Just a small glimpse of reality.

This is a story that I found that was written by a former drug addict while in prison. This gives you a glimpset of what the people we are working with are facing among their communities. This drug, "TIK" is crystal meth. All the girls that we are working with either have previously been addicted or currently addicted. As tough as this is to hear, this is only ONE issue that they are facing. Here is a piece of reality.  TIK is the most common drug used in Manenberg.

My Name: "Is TIK "

I destroy homes, I tear families apart,
Take your children, and that's just the start.
I'm more costly than diamonds, more precious than gold,
The sorrow I bring is a sight to behold.

If you need me, remember! I'm easily found,
I live all around you - in schools and in town.
I live with the rich; I live with the poor,
I live down the street, and maybe next door.

I'm made in a lab, but not like you think,
I can be made under the kitchen sink.
In your child's closet, and even in the woods,
If this scares you to death, well it certainly should.

I have many names, but there's one you know best,
I'm sure you've heard of me, my name is crystal meth.
My power is awesome; try me you'll see,
But if you do, you may never break free.

Just try me once and I might let you go,
But try me twice, and I'll own your soul.
When I possess you, you'll steal and you'll lie,
You do what you have to -- just to get high.

The crimes you'll commit for my narcotic charms
Will be worth the pleasure you'll feel in your arms, (your lungs, and your nose).
You'll lie to your mother; you'll steal from your dad,
When you see their tears, you should feel sad.

But you'll forget your morals and how you were raised,
I'll be your conscience, I'll teach you my ways.
I take kids from parents, and parents from kids,
I turn people from God, and separate friends.

I'll take everything from you, your looks and your pride,
I'll be with you always -- right by your side.
You'll give up everything - your family, your home,
Your friends, your money, and then you'll be alone.

I'll take and take, till you have nothing more to give,
When I'm finished with you, you'll be lucky to live.
If you try me be warned - this is no game,
If given the chance, I'll drive you insane.

I'll ravish your body, I'll control your mind,
I'll own you completely, your soul will be mine.
The nightmares I'll give you while lying in bed,
The voices you'll hear, from inside your head.

The sweats, the shakes, the visions you'll see,
I want you to know, these are all gifts from me.
But then it's too late, and you'll know in your heart,
That you are mine, and we shall not part.

You'll regret that you tried me, they always do,
But you came to me, not I to you.
You knew this would happen, many times you were told,
But you challenged my power, and chose to be bold.

You could have said no, and just walked away,
If you could live that day over, now what would you say?
I'll be your master, you will be my slave,
I'll even go with you, when you go to your grave.

Now that you have met me, what will you do?
Will you try me or not? It's all up to you.
I can bring you more misery than words can tell,
Come take my hand, let me lead you to hell.

As difficult as this is to read, we proclaim that God the Father has the power to completely transform the lives who are in the midst of the evil thing. We are seeing it happen right in front of us. Continue to pray that God would break the chains of bondage and provide a glimpse of His glory to this community and these individuals.

"Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen." - Eph 3:20-21

Friday, February 18, 2011

You know you are in Cape Town when...

1. Someone whistling doesn't make you turn and look.
2. Crossing the street without getting hit makes you happy!
3. Another car pulls out in front of you doesn't make you mad.
4. Walking 20-25 minutes to get to church is actually not too bad.
5. You climb mountains to see beautiful ocean scenary on a regular basis.
6. You have to make sure you ask for "tap" waTer or you will get a bottle of sparkling water.
7. Fish that are about 2-3 feet long are sold out of the back of a pick up truck.
8. A person doesn't wait for someone else to turn, they just go off the road to go around them.
9. You are going to see Jackass penguins.
10. It is no longer politically correct to say "African American."

:) These are just a few of the interesting adjustments that I have made!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Swing batter batter, SWING!!

That's right! I am getting into a full swing here in Cape Town! This week at the Warehouse has been crazy! I have been here in a meeting and here in another one and then turning around and it is time to go to Manenberg or time for a session with my girls or I am writing up reports.. You name it! It's been crazy but I do have to say that it is better than just sitting here with nothing to do. God has been doing great things in Manenberg and it's so great to see! We are seeing girls desiring to change their lifestyles from drug addictions and gangs to relationships with God and better parenting. It's really cool to see because there is no other explanation but God!  My goal each week as far as my clients go will be to meet with 2 different girls once a week for about an hour. It's not a lot of time but other engagements and requirement for school take up alot of time. So most likely I will be meeting with them on Tuesday and Friday and also co-leading a girls group on Tuesday evenings. So, if you could be praying specifically for those days, it would be great!! I have begun to realize that 3 months is really a very short amount of time to be here and really be able to do anything. Therefore, God has given me a clear picture that more than anything, these girls just need to be loved and cared for. That is my plan! Pray that God would allow his love to pour out of me. These girls have never had someone just sit and listen to them talk. They have never had any consistency in their lives. They have never seen what a healthy relationship looks like. They have never had the luxury of being loved and told that they are beautiful just the way they are. Here in Manenberg, females are seen as objects. They are taken advantage of. They are expected to do whatever they are told. Even from their parents- they see no love and compassion. It is heart-breaking to know this but at the same time, how GREAT it is to know that God has given me the opportunity to show these girls that life is not supposed to be this way. That there is a God that loves them no matter what and that they have a purpose- and it's not to just sell drugs and give sex- but it is much more glorious and much more abundant! Pray for these girls! Pray for restoration and redemption in their lives. Many of them have never see love in the way that it is supposed to be. They see love and giving whatever is asked- they see love as giving themselves away- they see love as smoking drugs with their parents- they have never seen love in any other format- it is time that that chain is broken and GOD's LOVE is shown! We MUST stand up for the sake of the Kingdom and stand up against Satan and his lies! WE MUST!!! Pray that these girls feel more loved than they can even imagine! Pray that they understand the power of God's love and the abundance of it! It's never ending!! It's satisfying! I was talking to a girl the other day and she said, "Drugs are only satisfying for just a moment and then you are down in the dumps again, so you have to smoke again to get any pleasure at all."- it's just a cycle for them. Pray that God would reveal to them that His love NEVER FAILS!!!

Ok Ok! I know this post is really random and full of all kinds of stuff but there ya go! You see my heart!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

"...if you pour youself out for the hungry..."

Isaiah 58:10-11
     "...if you poor youself out for the hungry and satisy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. And the Lord will guide you continually and satisy your desire in scorched places and makr your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water whose waters do not fail."

What an incredible promise we have from the Lord! If we pour ouselves out for those who are afflicted and oppressed, at-risk, hurting, desperate and tired- HE will bless you!

Last night I attended my first group meeting with the girls from Manenberg. I had the blessing of seeing the fruit of those who have gone before me and poured out everything that have into these girls. I was able to see the light rising amongst the darkness of this township. 2 of the girls who have been active in this group for a while have recently given their hearts to the Lord and have remained clean from crystal meth and heroin for several months now. I saw joy on their faces like I have never seen before as we talked about their past week and what had been going on! It was a beautiful thing!  My prayer and I ask yo to join me is that these two girls would be lights in the midst of the darkness there. Pray with me that the Lord would be so evident and the transformation in these girls lives would spread like wild fire! Pray that the friends of these two girls would understand the change and desire to experience it as well! I will be working closely with one of these girls and another one who is addicted to crystal meth. Pray for wisdom, love, compassion, and boldness!

I also ask that you would pray for our one-on-one times with these girls! I will be meeting with both of these girls individually once a week! Pray that the Lord would give me clarity about what to teach them and what they need! Alot of the stuff I will be working with them about will be related to life skills, the way they see themselves, the way others see them, and how God sees us and desires for us to see ourselves! Pray for easy communication and that they would be willing to be honest! 

We had a very good introduction these girls but I am sure when it comes down to the personal deep things, it will be much more difficult for them to share, so pray that a quick trust will be established and that it will be a time where they feel safe to share anything they need to share and that I will be reminded what God says to us in John about giving us the words to say in that hour! Pray that I will know when to speak and when to just listen!

Thank you all again for your encouraging words and prayers!! Let's continue to ask the Lord to move amongst us! Ask God to speak to your heart today! May you be blessed by being obedient and serving the Lord in the way He desires for you!