03 March 2016

when children praise...

Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. (Psalm 8:2)

We recently witnessed a wonderful move of God at Hatfield Christian Church, the local church out of which we work in the communities surrounding Pretoria.

During corporate worship a group of children found their way to the front of the auditorium, waving flags and dancing. They didn't look like mature worship leaders or professional dancers. They looked like kids having fun. Someone in leadership saw them, and rather than shut them down, he invited them onto the platform to dance and wave their flags before the Lord in full view of the congregation.

Before long, there were reconciliations happening all throughout the building. Generation affirming generation, male honouring female, and every tribe and race embracing and celebrating one another, all in the context of glorious praise to God in at least five languages. It was stunning! And we pray that what God has begun among His people will cover this scarred nation, a salve bringing healing and peace.

Psalm 8:2 says that God has ordained strength from the praises of children to silence the enemy. Everyone's praise is always powerful--because of a mighty God! But there is something special when God moves amidst children's praise. What better to silence the jaded, demonic voices of bitterness, gender tension, and racial strife than the wonder-filled praise of all-powerful God coming from innocent lips!

The millenia-old saying is still true today: there comes a beautiful clarity in the spirit when children praise. What would happen if you and I praise today? What would happen if you and I empower our children to praise today?

03 November 2015

What We (Get to!) Do

In short, we work with leaders: those who care for orphans and vulnerable children, daycare principals and teachers, worship leaders, and pastors and their wives. We've worked so far with these leaders in Cameroon, Mozambique, Swaziland, and South Africa. The main platforms for our doing this are:
  • Berakah Education Foundation
    Berakah is a community development ministry focused on early childhood education in the Lusaka settlement in Mamelodi, a poverty-stricken township north of Pretoria. Chandra is the managing director of its main project, a crèche (daycare) and its governing non-profit organisation. She is on the ground every week discipling the principal, teachers, and staff and training them in early childhood development and in business principles, working to get both the centre and their own lives as followers of Christ sustainable. However, Chandra and Annette, another member of Berakah's board, take the training (designed by Annette) to various other suffering areas. In 2015, the two have trained nearly 500 teachers and principals, impacting potentially ten thousand children as a conservative estimate (most crèches have a far bigger ratio than twenty children per teacher).
  • James 1:27 Trust
    Mike works at the James 1:27 Trust, where they are developing software, care models, and business practices for the thirty thousand nonprofits in South Africa who try to care for its 3.7 million orphans. In this role, Mike has been able to provide technical support and expertise for organisations as well as bringing them tools like Office 365 for nonprofits that help make their work more efficient. But the work has also created opportunities for Mike and Chandra to minister to the leaders who work directly with the children and the staff in the offices. If we empower those who care for many children, we impact many children!
  • Church Development Plan (GHK)
    "GHK" (Great leaders, Healthy churches, Kingdom advance) was launched within South Africa's TCN (the Christian Network) and the international PFI (Partners for Influence) as a systematic strategy for creating strong churches that advance the kingdom of God. This project is called the Church Development Plan within the Africa Forum, a network of churches throughout sub-Saharan Africa who relate to Hatfield Christian Church ("GHK" doesn't work so well in French, Portuguese, and Swahili). We have the opportunity to travel with the Africa Forum's leaders, Johan and Electa Potgeiter, to the various nations within the Africa Forum to help train pastors and church leaders regarding personal discipleship, community discipleship, and building a healthy church. Having already ministered with the Potgeiters in Cameroon and Swaziland, we are so excited for more opportunities opening up in 2016 and 2017.
  • SA Cares for Life
    Chandra assists SA Cares for Life with trauma training for the staff and volunteers at its safe house, helping volunteers, foster parents, and others become aware of the lifelong impact of early childhood trauma and training them to be competent and healing caregivers to these children who come from difficult and painful circumstances.
  • Hatfield Christian Church/The Christian Network
    Mike volunteers on weekends with Hatfield Christian Church's worship ministry, playing keys, directing bands, and occasionally leading worship. In 2015, Mike was invited to participate in a training event for worship leaders in the eastern part of South Africa. Currently, Mike is helping Hatfield's worship leadership develop training curriculum for TCN and for the worship academies it hosts. 
How you can help?
Like every other missionary, we get to do what we do because of a faithful sending team back home. Our sending team supports us monthly with finances and with prayer. We'd love for you to be a part of our sending family. Please look here or email us to find out how!

03 May 2014

a special thank you

The three-page letter pictured here (with names blotted out in the interest of privacy) came from one of the families cared for by the James 1:27 Trust.  The family consists of five siblings who live in Stinkwater, a struggling rural community about an hour's drive north of Pretoria.

The children, the oldest of which was eighteen when they were introduced to the Trust through a local school, have lived on their own since their parents passed away from AIDS-related complications.  Since then the Trust and a local partner have cared for the young family according to a customized care plan that was developed to address their specific challenges and put them in position to succeed in their future.  The care plan addressed nutrition, psycho-social health, educational counselling, skills training, and discipleship.

The James 1:27 Trust is developing software resources to help organizations like our partner in Stinkwater to bring holistic care (care for spirit, soul, and body) to thousands of vulnerable children in South Africa.  By partnering with us, you are a big part of the difference being made for children like those who've written this thank you note to us.

08 April 2014

girls' retreat testimonies

Last November, Chandra helped a local ministry host a girls' retreat for about 100 girls from struggling families in one of South Africa's poorer communities.  Last month, the director of that ministry shared some testimonies they had gathered from the young ladies.  So precious!  We're so thrilled to be part of God touching His children in these unique and wonderful ways.  (We've changed names in the interests of privacy.)

young ladies receiving their first pedicures

  • Minnie, Elaine and Debi have never eaten a meal with a knife and fork before. The care workers showed them how to use the utensils at the girls camp.
  • Sandra and Lori now insist that their family sit around the table together for supper, and that they pray together first.
  • Grace understands a lot more about teamwork after the girls' camp. She encourages her friends to work together as a team.
  • Hannah was constantly wetting her bed before the girls camp, but has had no incidents since. Her family's care worker says that something good happened at the camp and that Hannah is becoming a confident young woman now.
  • It was Patti's first time to enjoy popcorn while watching a movie.
  • Tracey never knew how special she was. She left the camp feeling special and unique. She is now keeping her room clean and tidy and makes her own bed every morning.
  • This was the first time that Zoe had the opportunity to sleep on a bed with a mattress.
  • sleeping quartersMany of the girls don't normally get three meals a day, but at the girls' camp they got to eat breakfast, lunch and supper all in one day  . They enjoyed the healthy and delicious food.
  • The game drive was the very first for many of the girls, and they loved all the wild animals they got to see.
  • It was the first time that many of the girls were able to swim in a swimming pool.
  • One girl had never slept on a pillow before, but now she has her own pillow to sleep on every night!
  • One girl says she'd heard of pajama parties but had no idea it could be so much fun.
  • Jane's mother died just after she returned home from the girls' camp weekend. She was the person who kept the family together. She was praying and encouraging everybody else. Now Jane is leading her family and others to God.
  • Sally is telling other children that they should respect themselves and other children and treat people the way they wanted to be treated themselves. She tells them that they must know that Jesus is watching over them every day.

18 March 2014

not fun and games

"It's not glamorous."
We've heard so many maxims about the nature of ministry and missions. It's spelled, W-O-R-K. It's not all fun and games.
We live in this incredible space where we greatly enjoy the place we live and the work we do, and at the same time are overwhelmed at the enormity of the task at hand.
Kids' songs and candy treats won't turn this around. Money will accomplish nothing. The real problem lies in the spirit.
When we're told of an 11-year-old raping a 3-year-old, taxis raining bullets on one another as pedestrians walk by disinterested, newborn children daily abandoned at a garbage dump, you can know the problem lies deeper than economics or culture.
That's where you come in.
You are our biggest asset. A spiritual problem is only solved in the spirit. Will you join us in praying for the families and community in which we work?
Pray that the back of poverty--that filthy demonic stronghold--is broken. Pray for mothers to stand up and defend their daughters, and for fathers to understand their value and turn to their children. Pray for the Lord to give us strategies to bring revelation to the community we work in and empower them to break the strongholds over their region.
It's not all fun and games. But it is our great privilege and joy. Thanks for being a huge part of our team!

05 March 2014

supporting us online

Did you know you can support us online?  Our sending church has an easy-to-use online giving app via Church Community Builder at which you can support us with a one-time gift or set up a recurring gift.

Just below "Christian City Fellowship" near the top of the page, click the "One-time" tab to give once or the "Recurring" tab if you'd like to set up a monthly donation.

Important: Make sure you select "Missions - Noviskies Africa" as the fund, so that your gifts go to place you intended!

The rest of the form is intuitive and easy.

If you have any questions or difficulty, just e-mail us at info@christian-city.net.

Thank you for joining our team!