Please help.

My parents started a fundraising campaign to try and get me a vehicle. Now that I live out of the city I rarely get to see my precious ladies.
Today I have been talking with the members of our city homeless task team and plans are being made to provide the vulnerable street sleeping ladies and their children with a safe place for emergency accommodation during the coming storms.
This is a real answer to prayer, but without a vehicle I will not be able to get to town to find the ladies and let them know where and when this accommodation will be available. Tomorrow night will be too late as the building will be full.
Without a vehicle I am so restricted. Its painful. As part of the task team I am invited to the task team workshops and meetings but without a vehicle I can not attend these meetings. It’s incredibly hard for me to deal with.
The fundraiser has 2 more days and we only have 1/5 of what we need for a vehicle. Please can you help? Every penny helps.
Below is our gofundme link.

https://www.gofundme.com/f/a-car-for-vashti?utm_source=facebook

We really appreciate your support so much.

Protect and Expand.

I spent time with the lavender this weekend. As I was working on them I asked for the Father to speak to me. The past couple weeks I have been battling with trying to figure out where I fit. Life has changed so completely that I hardly recognise it or myself. That’s hard. So this weekend we visited Hope Farm and took some time out together as a family.

As I sat in the lavender garden pulling up weeds the Father began to speak, a quiet calm whisper directly to my heart.

He shared 2 things with me. Firstly as I pulled up weeds from around the individual lavender plants I noticed that where there were more weeds the lavender was stunted and prevented from growing and flowering, the weeds were preventing the lavender from flourishing. As I took this in the Spirit whispered “protect your peace”. I had been so busy striving to find my foothold, make room for myself in ministry again, that I hadn’t taken time to protect my peace. I wasn’t protecting my energy and the enemy was beginning to wear me down and suffocating my peace with busyness. As I sat in the dirt, pulling up the weeds I asked Him “how? How do I protect my peace?” again the Spirit whispered, “by being still with Me. Just like this. Right here, in this moment you are building up your strength and focusing on My voice.”

Exodus 14.14 says “the Lord will fight for you, you need only be still.”

Psalm 46.10 says “be still and know that I am God.” In the Passion translation it says “surrender your anxiety! Be silent and stop your striving and you will see that I am God.”

SURRENDER YOUR ANXIETY.

Anxiety and fear are the destroyers of your peace.

When I read the Passion translation I knew that He was speaking directly to my heart. Lavender is known for its calming and peace giving properties, this is the main reason why we decided to use lavender to start the essential oils garden. The weeds were suffocating the lavender, rendering it useless in its potential to be turned into a peace bringing essential oil, just like anxiety renders me unable to walk in His peace.

After pulling up the weeds and cutting back the peppermint I started to move the rocks back that circle each lavender plant.

When we put the lavender into the ground the chickens came running to scratch and peck through the freshly turned soil, and although this is great for the soil and the chickens it wasn’t so great for our lavender babies, so we took rocks and circled each plant so that they were protected from the chickens scratching.

The rocks hemmed in the lavender, protecting and giving it a chance to root well.

Now was the time to move the rocks out a few inches so that the lavender had room to fill out and take up more space. Chance to grow, expand, flourish, take up space.

Then the Spirit spoke this scripture to my heart.

Isaiah 54 1-6. Message translation. “Sing, barren woman, who has never had a baby.
Fill the air with song, you who’ve never experienced childbirth!
You’re ending up with far more children
than all those childbearing women.” God says so!
“Clear lots of ground for your tents!
Make your tents large. Spread out! Think big!
Use plenty of rope,
drive the tent pegs deep.
You’re going to need lots of elbow room
for your growing family.
You’re going to take over whole nations;
you’re going to resettle abandoned cities.
Don’t be afraid—you’re not going to be embarrassed.
Don’t hold back—you’re not going to come up short.
You’ll forget all about the humiliations of your youth,
and the indignities of being a widow will fade from memory.
For your Maker is your bridegroom,
his name, God-of-the-Angel-Armies!
Your Redeemer is The Holy of Israel,
known as God of the whole earth.
You were like an abandoned wife, devastated with grief,
and God welcomed you back,
Like a woman married young
and then left,” says your God

This scripture has come up throughout my life on so many occasions and during so many seasons. Each time it has encouraged me to keep moving forward in my calling. And even now during this season of unknowing, I am encouraged to keep dreaming big, keep reaching out, not letting any situation or fear hold me back from growing and flourishing. He has spoken promises over my life, including more children, joy, a home, a legacy, and over the years anxiety and fear have taken my focus off His promises for me.

As I moved each rock, giving the lavender space to grow and breathe I spoke out the promises, calling them forth in faith.

I don’t have all the answers that I desperately want right now, but I do have the answers that I NEED.

Protect your peace and keep moving/expanding.

I don’t know how it will look, but I do know that the Spirit will lead my steps.

If you would like to give financially to support us as a family as I continue the work I have been called to please do so via HSBC 40-36-22 91808885 PayPal at downseyluff@aol.com or email lindsey.toms57@gmail.com to set up regular giving.

Thank you.

We love and appreciate you so much.

Blessings

Vash and the boys xxxx

Fourteen.

He turned 14. FOUR-FREAKING-TEEN!!!!!!!Idont even know what’s going on with time these days. Has it sped up? This guy was a chubby little baby like last week.

I’m struggling to find the words to describe how that makes me feel. All I know for sure is that he is MY child. He is introverted and yet hysterically funny. He is incredibly intelligent and works hard at everything that he puts his hand to. His creativity is so beautiful. He is gently coming out from under so much heavy stuff and into a beautiful freedom and as his Mum it’s a joy to behold. Joseph Kheta I love you dearly, thank you for making me a Mummy, you will always be a ray of hope in my life.

She came to us late last night. Hobbling though the parking lot, covered head to toe in Norwegian scabies and very dirty.Last time I saw her I didn’t think she had much time left this side of heaven, and yet here she was as determined as ever.
She received her meal and sat down with us on the grass and
proceeded to change our lives.Contagious joy and faith spilled out of Cindy last night, wisdom and honesty hand in hand dancing into our ears and our hearts, reality checking our spirits at every turn as her words twirled and leaped in a beautiful dance choreographed specifically for each of our team members. Her joy becoming ours, her faith boosting ours, and her words making a direct path to the Father’s ears.The Holy Spirit filled our little circle of obedient hearts. A fierce tribe who earlier had asked the Father for a direct encounter with His love. And here was His answer to our cry, Cindy, a very sick and dirty homeless woman who was a living message of love from our heavenly Father.And right there, sitting on the grass, I was reminded of why I started this journey 12 years ago, and why I have not quit. For Cindy, for the Father, for such a time as this.#missionarylife #ministry #livingbyfaith #livinginafrica #homelessnothopeless #iseeyouiloveyou #unconditionallove #extravagantgrace #hopeforthesoul #FrontierChurch #frontierministries #Heartstringscommunityproject

The lightness.

Years ago I arrived in KwaZulu Natal. The country was in the middle of the AIDS and orphan crisis and I spent my days in rural communities playing with and teaching the children, providing sponsorship for the ones who were orphaned and loving the Gogos and aunties who were caring for them.I loved my times in the valley with the rural people, but there was a longing in my heart to be with ladies in the city. I was torn in 2. And eventually the calling to the streets of Durban and her inhabitants became my main focus.

For 12 years the sex workers and marginalised women of the streets of Durban have been my priority. It has been a journey of a bit of joy and lots of pain. A bit of light and lots of dark. For the past few months I have been focusing on my kids, but still having one foot in the ministry supporting where I have been able to, while trying to heal from some deep personal wounds.

It’s not been easy, but the Father has been so very kind and gracious and patient with me. He knows my heart and He knew that I have needed some time out of the darkness of the ministry to the sex workers. And although my heart has been torn, I have known and felt His guidance during this time.

He has placed the boys and I in a beautiful community and has returned me to ministry to the rural children. I never saw myself back in this kind of ministry. Even as I type this it makes me chuckle because its now very much out of my comfort zone. I mean sit me on a bed in a brothel talking to a sex worker while she puts a needle in her arm, or put me in a dark alleyway while young girls negotiate with potential clients and I am in my element. I know how to deal with those scenarios, for 12 years it’s been my life.

But put me in a Zulu crèche where no one speaks English and make me jump around singing like a crazy person and my comfort zone is so far away I can’t even see it anymore.

This Wednesday I went to the crèche as usual, dropped off the yummy meal that had been prepared for the children and teachers and I got down on my knees with the children and sang some songs. At the end they piled onto me all wanting a hug, and something lifted in my soul.

You see, I NEED ministry of light right now. I NEED joy. I have been living joyless for so many years now. I’ve forgotten how to have fun, how to relax, how to be silly. The darkness of ministry to the sex workers had me broken to an extent. I had experienced so much pain and trauma during those 12 years that my joy was gone. The Father knew that during my time of healing I NEED to not be in the dark places so much. Not that I have totally separated myself from the city side of the ministry, but I have distanced myself for my own healing.

The distancing has been difficult at times, I miss seeing my precious ladies on a regular basis, but there is an incredible team that I know is loving them really well, and that has made the transition into this second phase of ministry that much easier for me. There’s so much happening in the charity right now, and a lot of it is behind the scenes and not quite reading to be shared yet, but it’s really exciting and my prayers from the past 12 years for our ladies are being answered, I want to pour it all out right now, but I can’t jump ahead of the Spirit, so all I can say is that I am so so SO excited.

If you would like to give financially to support us as a family as I continue the work I have been called to please do so via HSBC 40-36-22 91808885 PayPal at downseyluff@aol.com or email lindsey.toms57@gmail.com to set up regular giving.

Thank you.

We love and appreciate you so much.

Blessings

Vash and the boys xxxx

This week.

This week has been a busy one. The kids are on school holidays and it’s been a week of ministry, hanging out with friends, and fun.

For most of the week Jesse has been at the farm with his best friends, he had a blast. We are so blessed to have Andrew and Rae and their family in our life, they are a safe place for us when we need a shoulder or when we need a break from life. Being on the farm, living off grid and being around animals, open space and friends is just really good for us all, especially Jesse.

At the church property there has been lots of things happening. Frontier Ministries has become the covering for the work that the team does with the ladies on the beachfront, and the boys and I have become fully immersed in the community of Frontier. This week a section of the land needed to be cleared of Bush, non indigenous fauna and dead trees. This project gave Joseph and Hudson an opportunity to spend time with the other ministry kids and be helpful. Joe chopped down his first tree, it was EPIC!!! He was so proud of himself, his grin was so beautiful. I love watching him come into himself, discovering that there is life outside of a screen, a life that involves fun. He is also really loving school, he is making good friends and the teachers adore him and his quick wit.

Hudson is doing so well. Still the sweetest 5 year old I have ever known. He is loving puzzles and art and that is making my heart so happy. He has helped to chop trees and chop veggies with Heartstrings Community Project this week, preparing vegetables for the meal for the crèche and for the beachfront ladies, he loves to be involved and is always excited to be able to help.

And then there’s me. What can I say? I am trying to follow His gentle voice as much as possible. Even though the direction that He is calling me is TOTALLY different to the direction that I believed that I would be going for the rest of my life. I’m working on a post about that, it’s taking me a while because I am processing as I write. In the meantime I am serving. My pastor in NYC used to say “If you do what you know, then you will know what to do.” so here I am, ministering in a rural crèche, singing, dancing, loving on the children and teachers. We cook them all a super healthy, nutritious meal and take it to them every Wednesday. We help with a bit of English language teaching through songs and dance. Wednesday is a good day. Like I said I’m working on a post that will go deeper into my personal journey, so watch out for that one.

As I sit here at this moment we have some pretty urgent needs. I’m going to share with you all in the hope that you will pray for a miracle for the boys and I.

Firstly we are in desperate need of a car. We are currently 100% dependant on friends and neighbours to take the boys to school and for me to be able to get food and our needs from the shops. We are now rural and walking to the grocery store is not an option and public transport here is just not safe for a single white woman. We urgently need a vehicle.

At the moment our bills are also not covered. School fees and rent need to be payed in the 1st of each month, currently I do not have the funds to pay for either, not even close. Please pray for a financial miracle to happen during the next week so that I can pay those bills. I am trying super hard to not let anxiety rise in my heart, it’s hard, but I know that the Father is in control.

If you would like to give financially to support us as a family as I continue the work I have been called to please do so via HSBC 40-36-22  91808885                      PayPal at downseyluff@aol.com or email lindsey.toms57@gmail.com to set up regular giving.

Thank you.

We love and appreciate you so much.

Blessings

Vash and the boys xxx

Fallish.

There are days when I miss life in North America and England. One of the things that I miss the most is Fall/autumn. Its my favourite season. As summer fades and a chill hits the air, cheeks get rosy and breath becomes visible. Layers of clothing keep you toasty and hot apple cider and crackling fires keep you cozy. Apple picking and pumpkin choosing consume the weekends and anticipation of bonfire night, Thanksgiving and Halloween leaves you feeling excited and childlike. As the greens of summer turn rusty my heart warms more that the summer sun could have ever made it. 🍂🍁🍂🍁
The past few days here in South Africa have been uncharacteristically “Fall-y”. Its been chilly in the shade, but just right in the sun. The sunset has hit my bedroom window just right as the cool breeze blows through rippling the sari that makes up my bedroom curtains. It’s spring here, for for the past couple of days I’ve pretended that it was Fall. A girl can dream… And I dream of walks through the rusty trees, pumpkin spice something in my hand, breath catching on the cool air. I dream of bonfires and sparklers and hot cocoa. I dream of giving thanks over Turkey and mash potatoes and of kids knocking on the door hoping for a candy treat. All memories from my past that feel so distant. Memories that I wish my children also shared. Now is a time for new memories, memories shared with my children. They will be very different from my childhood. And I’m learning that that is OK. It’s not easy for me to let go of ideas of how this time of year should look, of how the following Christmas season should look, I’ve been here for nearly 15 years and Christmas has been a hot, sweaty, humbid battle for me every year, but this year it will be different. This years memories will be beautiful, I will make sure. And the memory making starts now. 🍁🍂🍁🍂 #livinginafrica #missionarylife #livingbyfaith