It’s a wonderful life… most of the time! :-)

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 The past week has been pretty crazy to say the least. We have been busy non-stop. Last week God very clearly spoke to us about serving others. So we dedicated our Fridays to helping out at Hope Farm

Ministry has so many faces and this week those faces have been so diverse. On Monday Mart and Andrew helped a friend of ours build a home for a homeless granny.

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There was also quite a bit of building going on at Hope Farm…

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I have also been getting all my church work done and spending time in Hope’s Closet.

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Unfortunately Joe had a terrible couple of days with his asthma, we ended up having to nebulize him and going to the doctors and getting new meds for him. The meds took all of our money and that was very frustrating. I hate asthma, we are trusting God for Joe’s complete healing.

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One his chest was feeling better and he was stronger there was a day of adventure at Hope Farm, swimming and paddling in the dam.

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The boys are loving every moment of being on the farm and spending time with their friends. They are thriving.

We took another step towards self sufficiency. We got some boiler chicks! They will be ready to eat in about 8 weeks. We will send them to slaughter and then freeze them. They are pretty cute at the moment but thankfully they get ugly as they get bigger 🙂

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So that’s how things are going at the moment!!! Super busy and super wonderful….most of the time 🙂

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Full Circle.

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We arrived in South Africa 10 years ago with 8 suit cases and a dream. A dream of a better world for orphaned children of South Africa. We didn’t know anyone or anything other than the fact that KZN was the AIDS and orphan capital of the world and that was where we need to be. We started Project O and pretty soon we had over 100 orphaned children that we were supporting. These children lived with grandmothers and aunties, most had lost their parents to AIDS and many were infected themselves.

Project O provided each child with sponsorship of monthly food supplies and education. Our sponsors were and amazing group of dedicated individuals and churches, who went above and beyond for their sponsor children. Sending the monthly amount but also sending gifts, letters and photos for their sponsor child. On this side of the world we had a team of people who would take food deliveries out on a daily basis, using quad bikes to get to the remote areas of the Thousand Hills. They would spend time with the children and the care givers teaching life skills and building relationships.

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Every thing was amazing for a while. So many children having their lives changed, So many families supported and loved. And then things changed. Many of our supporters had to cancel their donations and sponsorship due to their personal financial situations. We were hijacked twice and had all of our equipment stolen. And worse of all we had 6 armed robberies in 6 days where everything we owned was stolen from us. All of our computers and office equipment gone. We did not recover from these set backs and eventually had to shut down the project and say good bye to our staff.

We were heart broken.

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For the past three years it has been very hard for us. We are not the type to quit but at the same time we could not see another option. That is until now. We feel like we have been bought full circle. That we are being draw back into working with the rural people, caring for orphans and supporting Gogo’s ( grannies) .  Moving to the farm is providing us with the opportunity to start our feeding program back up again. The veggie tunnels and space will enable us to grow veggies for the program. It will also give us room to raise chickens for the families.

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We are so excited over the potential of what can be. In the next month or so we need to raise 6000 british pounds as a down payment on the farm. From there we will have 12 months to raise the rest of the money to complete the purchase.

This property is an incredible opportunity to get Project O back up and running. It will be a secure base to run the work from.

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If you would like to partner with us in this venture please contact us at vashti.downs@gmail.com or you can go to our Just Giving account and donate there. Here is the link below…

Project O Just Giving

We appreciate your love and support. YOU can change the lives of orphaned children. YOU can make a difference.

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And we are in!

This weekend we moved to the farm! It has been a bonkers few days. A whirlwind of moving house, parenting, ministry and church work. It s been so very busy but loads of fun. We have gone off grid and are using solar and a generator for power and borehole and fresh springs for water.

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I inherited some chickens who are terrified of me. They are still quite young so I am hoping that as I feed them and spend time with them they will become tamer.

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   Our garden is full of fruits and vegies. This excites me so much. I find myself just sitting in the veggie patch with a cup of tea making plans and dreaming of great things.

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Martin and Jesse spent time yesterday planting tomato seeds. We are hoping for funds to get new shade cloth for one of our tunnels. We plan on growing vegetables in bulk so that we can start the orphan feeding program back up, we can also use the tunnels to generate an income for us as a family so that we can continue with our adoptions.

This property is literally a dream that we have had for the past 10 years. We have held onto that dream even in the darkest times. And now here we are seeing it come into being. There is a long way to go and it is going to take a LOT of hard work, but we are willing and able to do what it takes.

A large part of our dream is to become fully self sufficient. I am realising on a daily basis just how little we actually need in order to live a full abundant life.

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Our first few nights we have all slept so so well. There is an amazing sense of peace and joy, unlike any we have felt before.

And although many of our friends think we are crazy, we are loving every moment of this adventure.

For those of you who are on Instagram and would like to follow our daily journey you can find me at @vashtidowns

And for those of you who would like to donate to our work you can do so at our Just Giving site.

Project O Just Giving

We would like to say a HUGE thank YOU and we love you to those of you who have supported us in this move and who have donated to the adventure. YOU are helping to make this dream a reality. We love you.