My people, His beloved.

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For 7 years I have been loving on the people of TDK Shelter in Durban. It’s a raw, dirty, volatile, disease ridden, roach and rat infested environment, filled with profoundly broken lives. the worst of the worst, the lowest of the low fill the cubicles and sleep on the bunks. Packed in like drug crazed sardines.

Mothers, fathers, children, uncle, aunts, grandparents. Old, young. Black, white, Indian, coloured. Drug addicts, prostitutes, little children. A huge unpredictable, dysfunctional extended family. All with a common goal… to get through today.

To survive.

Selling their bodies, hustling, selling drugs, begging on the corner, robbing others. Whatever it takes to get to tomorrow. Living in constant survival mode. Get just enough money to get just enough heroin to keep detox pains at bay. Get just enough money to get a loaf of bread to feed their children. Get just enough money to pay their nightly rent so that they do not have to sleep on the street.

Get just enough.

But “just enough” is not enough. It never is. There is always the next need. There is always the next fix. There is always tomorrows empty belly. Just enough is just NOT enough.

Yesterday I took a team of students from Bethel, Redding to the homeless shelter. They had zero agenda other than to love with the love of Christ. To love extravagantly. To love un-conditionally. To speak love, to be love in this place where love doesn’t exist. For most of the students this was the first time that they had been into this kind of environment. And where fear could have taken over, loved reigned instead. As they loved my people, as they loved God’s beloved; transformation took place. Healing came, hardness displaced, darkness banished.

The addicts put down their pipes and syringes in order to receive prayer. The girls put off going to “work” in order to hear about the love of God. The children used these new strangers that were so full of joy and light as jungle gyms.

For two hours survival mode was put on hold and the place was filled with the love of a saviour who came to die for these very people. For two hours I didn’t feel like I was in it alone. I was surrounded with people with like minds. People who loved my people the way that I have loved them over the past 7 years.  People who loved my people the way that He has loved has loved them always.

” I will give a new name to those who are not My people; I’ll call them “My people,”
    and to the one who has not been loved, I’ll rename her “beloved.” Romans 9:25

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My view from here.

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What would it look like? Well right now it looks hard and insecure and exhausting and doubtful. Today I feel like I don’t know anything and that really bothers me, but I refuse to let this post be a moany, negative rant so I’m going to stop right there! 🙂

Last week we found ourselves standing on top of a mountain over looking the valley community where our Project O orphans live. I couldn’t remember the last time I was in that community and as I drove through with my car full of my kids and my best friends kids I remembered the previous love affair that I had had with the Valley. The anticipation I would feel on visitation day. The eager feeling of getting to certain homesteads so that I could love on the little guys and bless the Grannies.

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I found myself desperate to just start knocking on doors and praying for people. I found myself scanning every face just to check if it was one of our orphans, now 3 years older than when we last saw them. Would I even recognise their sweet faces?

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Would I remember their names? My heart aches for this community that is rife with HIV/AIDS and hundreds of little lives damaged by the loss of their mothers. I feel guilty over the fact that we had to put Project O on pause due to the lack of funding and the loss of sponsors. I see the needs right there in front of my face. Homes that are literally falling apart.

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Schools that have no supplies to teach the children to the standard that is so desperately needed to change this community. I am reminded of the little ones who were passing out in school due to empty bellies, brains not functioning because of lack of nutrients. Teachers desperate to help but hands being tied due to lack of funding.

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I fall in love all over again and I am desperate to go back and love this community with the love of God.

I am reminded of the verse in Isaiah that says… ” How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!”

As I stood on top of the mountain feeling His spirit all around He reminds me the HE reigns. That HE is sovereign. That HIS grace is sufficient. That HE owns the cattle on a thousand hills. The HE is a father of abundance and that HE will provide for the calling that has been place over our lives. All I must do is be obedient, take the good news, proclaim peace, good tidings and salvation.

It’s not easy and today I had a good moan to my friend about our financial situation and about how frustrated I am. And then He reminds me. He puts me back on top of that mountain. And reminds me.