Stacey.

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“Stacey” is one of our girls that we spend time with on Wednesdays. She has been in the “business” for 6 years and wants out. But she is stuck.
Sex work is not a choice. Today she said to me “I have no choices in life, none”
She told us how a man had booked her over night for R1500, he picked her up and went to get the money out. He came back to the car and told her that the ATM wasn’t working so they would have to go in the morning to get the money. She tells us how her instincts told her to walk away but she ignored them because she is desperate for the money. He took her to the motel where he raped her and beat her. She ran out of the place naked, screaming and asking for help. There was a police car near by, she ran to them screaming for help, naked and afraid. The police laughed at her and told her that she just needs to suck it up and go back and get her clothes, that it was her own fault, and that a sex worker can not be raped because she asked for it.
“This is my life” she tells us. “I have no choices”. #onefuturefoundation exists for women like Stacey and all the others who we care for.

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The journey so far.

So we are on week 7 of our church plant in the Point area of Durban; and oh what a 7 weeks we have had!!! We are so excited about what has been going on, and we just wanted to do a post to fill you all in on some of it.

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Every day we are seeing God’s grace and love for us as a family and as a church. We are seeing new people coming through the doors weekly and this week we ran out of chairs!! It’s so exciting for us to have so many of the people who we minister to and love on during the week come to church on Sunday. Every Wednesday there is a team of us ladies who go to the streets and abandoned apartment buildings and build relationships with the women and girls that we meet. Our only agenda is to love them. That love comes in different forms, for some its just a quick check to see how they are doing, for others its a donation of clothing or hygiene products, but every single person we meet goes away knowing that they are loved not only by us but also by their heavenly Father. Every week we are meeting new girls who are working the streets, trying to survive another day. Every week we hold them, and love them, every week our hearts ache to leave them. We tell them to hold on, that God has an answer and He is going before us and making a way for us to take them out of their situation and empower them. We know that His timing is perfect but man we’re impatient and its hard knowing the life that these beautiful daughters of God are living. A life of fear and brokenness. We are all holding on for the big breakthrough, while praising Him for the smaller daily breakthroughs.

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As far as our family and how we are doing….. Well lets see….

I (Vashti) am super busy with the street ministry and soon an addition side of ministry in the Westville Women’s Prison. (I will post about that another day) I’m being wife and Mum and homeschooling along with Mart.

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Homeschooling is an interesting journey. We are currently living in a tiny space and have zero storage so everything is still in boxes. This is hard work when you cant remember which box a certain book is in and you need it RIGHT THIS MOMENT!!! Hahahaha!

We are praying for a new home, but at the moment we are trying to make this place work. Joe and Jesse are VERY different students. Joe is super smart and picks things up so easily, he is hungry to learn and flies through tasks. Jesse battles in some areas. Mainly reading and writing. He had a condition called Dyspraxia and this makes learning to read and write incredibly frustrating for him. He’s also very bright and is mastering mathematics and understands spoken word amazingly. I was shocked a few weeks ago when he displayed his knowledge of a number of large and complicated words, not only knowing the meaning but also how to use them in conversation. He is also Level Ultimate Master at tree climbing 🙂

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It turns out that Hudson is also very smart, a little bit TOO smart!! And he is also getting involved in school already at the age of 2 1/2. Having 3 boys is heaps of work, there is a LOT of Super Hero talk and play, Lego is our all time favorite pastime. We LOVE parenting three boys, although I am 100% outnumbered!! Thankfully I got my Grandad’s Geek genes and I love anything Super Hero and Si-fi, so apparently I’m a cool mum! In saying that I am VERY ready for a couple of daughters, and we know that God is working on that as I type 🙂

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So many ask me what Mart is up to, well other than growing some pretty epic facial hair…. Mart’s heart lies very much in the prevention side of what we are doing. His heart is to see children built up and empowered to walk and live in their God given identity. To prevent homelessness and run aways, to help to cut down on sex work through educating highly vulnerable children, before they end up like the adults that we are now caring for. His plans for building a school of excellence in the rural communities are MASSIVE! He has all the blue prints/plans drawn up by an architect and he is currently working on gaining funding. This blueprint is such that it can be used the world over in all types of communities. It is powerful and so much bigger than I can type in this post, but please pray for the funding to come. The plan has the potential to eradicate so many of Africa’s educational problems. Mart is excited about what we are doing in town, but due to us focusing mainly on the sex workers and homeless women he is not involved in the outreach as of yet. He 100% empowers me to go and use the gifts and talents that I have been given, by spending those days with the boys and homeschooling. Which of course the boys LOVE!!!

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We are now living 100% by faith as a family and at the moment we are financially falling short monthly. We are looking and praying for monthly committed supporters, who want to partner with our family in what we are being called to do here in the city of Durban. If you feel that this is something that you would like to help us with there are a number of ways that you can donate, probably the easiest and cheapest way for anyone who is in the USA or a country that is not the UK will be to donate via PayPal.  We have an account with them and the name is downseyluff@aol.com

We also have a UK bank account and if you are in the UK and would like to donate via EFT or monthly direct debit please email me at vashti.downs@gmail.com for our UK bank details.

We LOVE our city and her residents and our family is committed to doing everything that we can to help see Durban restored to Christ. We can not do it without your support and prayers. Every penny and prayer make a massive difference to not only our family but to our city and her broken.

Our main prayer requests right this moment are as follows… For us as a family to become financially stable so that we can become move effective in ministry. For a home in town that is safe, affordable and big enough for our family. For our own car, that is big enough for our family and that we do not have to make payments on. For my health and for Joe’s health, we both need healing from chronic illnesses that are costing us monthly in medical bills and causing us both to spend days battling sickness and making us less effective in ministry.

We love and appreciate you all.

From The Downs family. xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Broke.

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Today I was broken. Usually I manage to hold everything together when ministering to the girls. But today was hard. Really really hard. Our team were all hit hard as we loved on the girls and then watched them walk away back to “work”. Caring for the profoundly broken is not for the weak hearted. Our team is a team of warrior princess mamas, who love fiercely. But today our hearts broke.
Please pray for the girls and women that we care for.
Please pray for their protection and provision.