Family.

I try and do a family update as often as possible, so here’s the latest…

The past couple of months have been so very busy, trying to fit it all into one post is not going to happen so here are just a few highlights and lowlights from the past few weeks.

Summer is supposed to be drawing to a close here in South Africa, but the temp is still up in the 30’s. This past school term both of our big boys were on the school swim squad and in their interschool gala they came away with a heap of medals each. Its was a super fun, but very hot day and every bit if me wanted to be in the pool with them 😀.

Their school reports yet again blew us away and we couldn’t be prouder of them both. Even with Jesse’s learning difficulties he managed to pull in some pretty impressive grades. He’s a star! Joe is as steady as usual and came 9th in his whole grade for last term. He got 100% on his exam last week and is constantly receiving his Academic excellence badge. What a legend.

And then there is Hudson… Sweetest child in the world. Full of joy and love, super smart and very funny.

Last month I’ve been really battling with my health and ended up fighting and awful bout of bronchitis. Not having medical aid or financial freedom to go to the doctors is very hard, especially when dealing with chronic illness. This past month my body really hit a wall and I ended up on bed rest for nearly a week.

Being who I am meant that bed rest was incredibly difficult for me and I still managed to arrange a wedding for a homeless couple and keep up with ministry. In the end a doctor friend of mine came to my house, put me on a drip and knocked me out for 24 hours… Call it “forced bed rest”!! It worked and a couple of days later I was good to go again!

During my days of sickness Mart held everything together. Dealing with the boys, cooking, making sure I had space to rest. He is currently working on his own project (we will talk More about that when its up and running). His heart is still very much with education for the rural/high vulnerability communities and his current project will help to fund that passion. Its exciting to see him so passionate and focused.

As a family we just want to say thank you to everyone who supports us. To those who lift us up in prayer and encouragement. To those who send gifts into our bank account. To those who send messages of love. You are all part of this journey that we are on and we appreciate you all so very much.

We ask that you continue to pray for the miracles that we need and if you would like to have more info about our prayer needs please email us at vashti.downs@gmail.com

Those who would like to support financially you can do so at http://www.justgiving.com/kingsroadchurch                                                                                        PayPal account downseyluff@aol.com                                                                                              or you can email my mum at lindsey.toms57@gmail.com for our UK banking details or to give through our Stewardship account which can claim back UK tax

Regular giving can also be set up through any of the above methods

We really appreciate every bit of support.

We love you all. Have a blessed weekend.

Advertisements

Unless…

Shelters here are not like in the West, they are basically old warehouses cram packed with bodies, male, female, young and old. Drug addicts, drug dealers, sex workers, pimps, families who are down on their luck. Pregnant women. Rapists, murderers, grandmothers and newborns. All under one roof. 200 bodies, broken, diseased, addicted, dying.

Sex workers servicing clients on the bottom bunk, a young single mother nursing her baby on the top, while on the neighboring bed, just 2 feet away a girl lies dying from AIDS. Day in, day out, this is the life in TDK shelter in the Point area of Durban.

THIS IS LIFE.

The majority of the ladies that we care for reside in TDK. The majority will die there, unless…

One way that you can help make the “unless” a reality is to support our family.

10 years ago this month I walked into TDK for the first time. 10 years ago I fell in love with the most broken of Durban. 10 years ago my life calling was made clear to me. And 10 years later we still can not do the work that we do without your help.
As a family we live by faith, as a family its been a hard and grueling journey.

Some days we have, other days we have not, and yet we keep pushing forward in the Calling that has been placed on our lives.


If you would like to help you can do so by donating to our PayPal account downseyluff@aol.com

Or through our Just Giving account http://www.justgiving.com/kingsroadchurch

If you would like to give directly into our bank account, please contact lindsey.toms57@gmail.com

We appreciate every single penny. We can not make the “unless” a reality without you.

Crisis.

What a week it has been, its safe to say that Candice and I are exhausted today!
Thanks to the generous support of our dear friends and donors we were able to hit the strip two nights this week! What a blessing! And both nights we were able to provide our dear ladies with a hot meal.

Candice and I took a couple of drives through the CBD area and were once again reminded just how much of a crisis we are facing. 100’s of girls and ladies forced to sell their bodies for survival. Having sex with disgusting men just so that they can put a roof over their heads.
Our hearts were once again broken for these precious women.

Last night we started the first of many short films based on the work that we do and the lives of the ladies that we care for. As we sat in the vehicle, we candidly talked and we could feel the desperation. Rain pounding and wind howling they climb out of the car and back to work.

“This is not a life, it is an existence.” Jess, age 21.

The not so uneventful February.

February was an uneventful month, until yesterday. Yesterday EVERYTHING changed! Yesterday Candice and I witnessed a full blown miracle, like legitimate God working, Jesus experience.

For a year @hopes_anchor_durban has had our heart set on this property for our drop in center. We fell in love with it from just looking through the fence and the chained up gates. We have never been able to get inside to look around, but something in our hearts says “home”. It belongs to the municipality and has been sat empty for 6 years now.

We are writing a proposal for the property and wanted to get some photos so Cands and I drove down yesterday and walked around the outside trying to find a way in. No luck. Padlocks and chains held the three entrances secure and we were about to give up hope. Candice out of frustration took hold of the main gate chain and shook it and it wouldn’t budge, and like she REALLY shook it. The chain wrapped around both gates and the padlocks were rusted shut. It wouldn’t budge.

Frustrated I walked away and she walked in the opposite direction. Then something in me made me turn around and walk the 5 steeps back to the gate. I joked by pretending to ring the broken door bell and as I did the gate swung open a foot or so!!!!! The chain no longer wrapped around both gates securing them shut, now it was only around one gate and the padlocks were still there, closed, rusted shut!!! I shouted at Candice and we just stood there 100% gobsmacked! Astounded. The gate swung open and we were instantly head to toe in Holy Spirit goosebumps.

I took it as an invitation to have a quick look around. We took so many photos and behind every door we saw more confirmation that this is Hope’s Anchor’s future home.

Please join us in prayer for this property, as we send in our proposal please pray that it lands in the right hands. And that it all happens swiftly so that we can start getting these women and their babies off the streets and on the way to healing. We have MASSIVE plans in place and we know that the funding will flow. And in the mean time we trust Him.

Thank you for your love and prayers xx

If you would like to help support the Downs Family please do so via

http://www.justgiving.com/kingsroadchurch

or their pay pal account at downseyluff@aol.com

 

 

Shift your mind.

This morning things were looking pretty bleak. Financially we are not in a good place, and it’s been quite stressful and incredibly frustrating.

It seemed that the more we are doing good for others, the more we were walking in obedience, the less provision for our own family we were seeing.

This morning I felt like I was questioning everything. First we found out the due to Jesse’s learning difficulties he is needing extra help and that that is going to cost us weekly, a financial commitment that we are in zero position to make right now. And yet he is our child and we can not let him miss out on this opportunity. And then we found out that our rent is being increased as of next month. Another financial commitment that we have on way of making, as of this morning we were still £100 down on this months rent!

So needless to say its been quite a stressful morning.

I literally had to step back and switch mindset. I had to start reminding myself of everything that is good and true. As I did so I felt and noticed a change in myself and my heart.

As of ten minutes ago the rest of this months rent came into our account.

And because of this answer to prayer we know that He will continue to meet our needs.

Do you need a mind shift today? If so I highly recommend it 😊❤️

We appreciate any donations made to our family PayPal account downseyluff@aol.com

Love from the Downs Family

Xx

Safe

Talk about doing hard and holy things!!! Tonight has our team on a whole new level of commitment to the cause.

There’s ZERO glamour in what we do, in fact tonight was downright terrifying at some moments, but in amongst all the fear and adrenaline of tonight’s fight a life was saved.

A life that has been cloaked in terror for as long as we have known her. I’ve never known terror like hers. And tonight she is safe.

Tonight we thank Father for His protective angels and His Holy Spirit. He was with us and His army fighting on behalf of our girl. Fighting for our safety. Filling us with the courage to take a stand for justice in the face of terror.

Because He sees them, we see them.

Because He loves them, we love them.

To support us in the work that we are doing please do so at PayPal account downseyluff@aol.com

We appreciate the support so very much.

Love from the Downs Family. Xxx

Downs family update.

Hi there, I thought I’d take a moment to share what’s been going on with the family.

Christmas was so great! It was quiet and that’s just how we like it 😊 we spent the day building Lego sets and munching mince pies. HEAVEN!

Then just like that it was 2018! Is it just me or do the days get faster the older you get?

The first week of January we were blessed with a brand new washing machine, I have never been so excited over doing laundry in my life 😂 For three years we have hand washed our clothing as we never had the money to buy a new machine. Someone who I have never even met heard about our situation and bought us a brand new one!! So so great. God cares about that stuff and I know He wanted to not only make our lives easier but also show us that He could use complete strangers to do so! What a great Father he is!

On the 14th of Jan I turned 41, not completely stoked about that one. 😆😂😆 I guess it’s not too old… is it?

And in the 17th of Jan the kids went back to school (thank goodness 😁)

The school holidays are extra long when living in an apartment. All three are really happy to be back to school and they have fantastic teachers.

Joe is now in grade 5, he’s in the throws of pre-teenness, lots of eye rolls and huffing, now I know how my parents felt! Sorry Dad and Mum 😆🙈

He is a complete super star at school, pulling in amazing grades and enjoying it all so much. He is so much like me and that helps with knowing how to deal with his hormonal swings hahahaha!

Jesse is as consistent as ever. He’s incredibly easy going and is excelling in his cross country running. The kid can run for miles without breaking a sweat… clearly doesn’t take after me!

He is still battling with his reading and writing after being diagnosed with auditory dyslexia and dyspraxia. But the amazing principle of their school has bought in a specialized teacher to help him and a couple of the other children at school. We are all excited to see how this school year unfolds for Jesse.

And then there’s Hudson, or Hudsie Bear as he calls himself. He turns 4 this weekend and we can’t believe it! This child is a miracle, today I was looking at pictures of his first couple of months and remembering the drug addiction and withdrawals, the sleepless nights and excruciating days. I look at him now and my heart skips a beat. He is so healthy and strong and so so smart, he really keeps us in our toes and fills us all with joy.

Mart and I are doing good. 😊 constantly trusting Father for provision and trusting Him to continue to guide us in this ministry life. Father has provided us with a new church family and we are so so excited about that. We have a feeling that this year is going to be incredible!

We have been in our apartment for a year now and every month we are blown away by how He provides enough for us to pay rent and car payments. We know that He will do it again this month.

We would like to say thank you to those of you who help us each month, your love and financial support keeps us here and in full time ministry. You are an incredible blessing to not only our family but also to the ones to whom we have been called.

We pray that 2018 is a year of dreams fulfilled and joyous freedom.

We love you.

From the Downs family. Xxx

For those who would like to support us this month, we are still short in our rent and car payments.

Donations can be made to our PayPal account downseyluff@aol.com

Every penny is so appreciated.