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

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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.

No more bubble.

Over the past couple of weeks I have learnt something about myself.

I know too much.

I know too much about stuff that others don’t want to know. The sex trade, drug addiction, trafficking, lives lived in the darkness. The horrors of abject poverty. The daily fight for survival. The daily fear of today being the last day.

I know more than anybody should.

Days like today I long for that bubble that “regular” people have. That secure, safe, oblivious bubble that allows the horror to stay hidden and ignored. You know the bubble?!

Over the past couple of weeks we have been quiet about an unfolding story. The abduction and murder of Siam Lee has rocked our team to its very core.

But I’m not going to talk about Siam. I’m not ready, my words haven’t settled into cohesive sentences yet. I’m still too broken.

What I am going to share with you is the reality of a crisis that we are facing. Not just here in Durban, but the world over.

Human trafficking has become somewhat of a buzz phrase over the past few years. We follow the Instagram accounts, we go on the marches , we buy the shirts and take a selfie with black tape over our mouths. We share the posts of international campaigns. All of this is worthy, helpful and brings general awareness.

Note “general”

General understanding is ok. I mean not knowing or understanding the complex, means that the bubble stays intact. Lives are able to continue without a requirement of action.

Ahhh the sweet sweet bubble.

The environment in which we are working has been described as a “dark underworld”, I disagree. Is it dark? HECK YES! The darkest possible, is it an underworld? No not really. The term “underworld” suggests secrecy, this life isn’t secret. It’s laid out for all who care to see. It’s daily life for thousands in our city. It’s right there on the surface for those who are willing enough to see.

There has been uproar over Siam and her life. There has been anger and judgement towards her mother. Social media loves to attack the victim. Keyboard warriors with fast fingers and little knowledge, sitting in their well protected bubble.

Every single day our ladies face rape, abuse and death. Every client possibly the one who ends their fragile life. Severe PTSD, trauma related addiction and fear are the norm for the majority of our ladies. There is no “underworld” here, its life of the broken and abused.

It’s right there laid out for all who care to see. Take a drive through our city streets. Look through the bubble, see them.

See them as He sees them. Women who were created for more than this. Women who were once that beautiful, perfect newborn who were born for greatness, but never had the opportunity to walk in it.

Ask yourself, “do I really care?”

Everyone likes to think that they do, but when the s$&t hits the fan what happens? When Siam’s case has run its course, then what?

How many are truly willing to volunteer to pop their own bubble for the sake of others?

I’m not talking to those who are already fighting, those who are walking the walk. We see you we love you.

I’m talking directly to those who love to leave their social media comments. Those who are currently outraged over Siam. Those who constantly say they want to help but never fully commit.

Are you ready to fight?

Are you willing to see?

Consider those two questions very carefully because once you see it, it is with you. Once you know too much there is no going back to the bubble.

Oh bubble how I miss you.

Feeling

We are currently working on a case that is so painful and so dark. I’m usually quite good at protecting my energy and my heart, knowing when to step back and remove myself from a situation or person. But this case has me fighting to keep my heart in tact.

Sleep has been evasive for a week now and I’m somewhat of a zombie 😂🙈 but I KNOW “for such a time as this”.

I ask that you would lift us up. Martin is being amazing as always, empowering me to walk in this calling, he’s so hands on with the children and the home. He knows that right now I need to be working this case and he has been gentle and thoughtful, letting me sleep in the mornings, caring for the boys while I spend hours in strategy meetings.

My other team member who is involved in this case is also being amazing, calling me and checking on my heart, sending me scriptures and words of encouragement.

We know that He loves these girls and His heart is for them to be found and restored.

Please will you lift us all up. Please pray for protection and peace for our family and for the whole team involved. Please pray for wisdom for the decision makers as to our way forward. Please lift up all of the girls who are involved, especially those who are still held captive.

Please pray that His will be done and that freedom reigns.

For me please pray for energy and a clear mind. Please pray for my heart as it has been shattered daily for a week now. Please pray that the fire in me continues to burn strong and fierce.

And please pray for my little family as I fight for the lives of others. Pray for provision for us as we try to keep our heads above water financially, as we prepare for the boys to go back to school in a few days time.

I know that I HAVE to feel all the feels so that I can understand the hearts of these precious girls, but man it’s hard.