Cape Town Day 2

This morning started with loud music, some rowdy team members dancing in the breakfast room…it was pretty amazing! We have such a great team.

We rode to the Living Hope offices to get a tour of the facilities and hear updates on the program. The tour included the Living Care facility, which is on that main campus. {Living Care serves people with chronic illnesses including HIV and AIDS by offering Palliative Care in its 22 bed facility, as well as through Home Based Care in six different communities.} We then drove around the township of Masiphumelele, and then on to the Living Way facility. {Living Way works to empower people from the under resourced communities in the areas they serve with economic and job skills. This is done by equipping people with the tools to live productive lives, empowering and training business owners to be sustainable and increasing employment through access to training in skills like agriculture, baking and computing. These strategies are based on Biblical principles and ensure that people have meaningful opportunities for income generation while realizing the dignity that God has in mind for every human being.} We walked through the Living Way campus and saw the tunnels where they are growing the tomatoes and cucumbers. They have been teaching a group of folks to farm and they then turn around and sell what they grow to local groceries. The tomato plants were very tall, and they were only two months along! It has to do with the hydroponic tunnels and the fact that they grow the plants in bags of sawdust rather than in the ground. They told us that everything currently growing in the tunnel has already been pre-sold! We went to Vusi’s shop (Vusi makes the amazing hand poured/hand painted candles and wire crosses I love so much.) to purchase some candles. He was the first graduate of their program, and has done so well with his shop that he has moved into a larger shop AND he had an assistant helping him sell today! There was a young man named Lucas who had moved into Vusi’s old shop and makes picture frames from repurposed wood. They were gorgeous. Another new development for Living Way is the music/cinema program where they teach people about the film industry. They have been contracted to shoot two films already!

After lunch, we met the Life Skill Educators and Support Group Leaders at the Living Hope office in Ocean View. These guys go out every day to work in the communities and they are some of the kindest, most amazing men and women you can meet. For those of us who have been to South Africa before, it was great to be able to catch up with them for a bit. They couldn’t stop saying how great we were for coming back and they definitely remembered our names as easily as we remembered theirs. It is such a blessing on both ends – ours and theirs. This year, we are doing all of our outreach in the Ocean View Community Center. Last year we worked strictly in Mountain View, but Living Hope is trying to relay to the folks in Mountain View that they are a part of the Ocean View township…not a separate community…and that they are just as loved and important as everyone else. We arrived for afternoon club around 3:30 and by 4:00pm there were around 100 kids there. They played games, danced, and had a talk about hygiene. The kids were so ready to play and run around with us. As a visitor, you can not expect to be there and not have kids playing with your hair, holding your hand, and forget trying to sit on the floor. You will have at least five kids fighting for your lap or even just trying to get close enough to touch you. They are such sweet kids. You just want to line them up and go down the line giving each of them hugs.

Tomorrow is our first day in the kids/teens club and the first chance we have to work in the communities and we absolutely cannot wait!