The hard stuff.

The past couple of weeks have been very hard. Our hearts have been shattered by the pain of our girls. There is a devastation that we will never truly be able to understand. We have approximately 15 ladies who are sleeping rough every night and they are all in really bad shape.

Last week Zinhle came to us in awful pain. Her body is fighting AIDS, TB, severe scabies, and goodness knows what else. Her feet were maggot ridden and rotting. She could barely walk and the hospital had given her antibiotics and paracetamol. As if that’s going to help at this point!!

This week we had been given a few bandages and antiseptic cream, so I tried to clean Zandile’s feet as best I could, bandaged them up and put on clean new socks. She was going to go back to the hospital on Friday to try and get more help. We really hope that she did.

Then there was Tanya she had blown out 12 veins in her hands and arms and blown 3 in her groin. I sat with her and cleaned each one and dressed them. As I did so her tears streamed down her face. Her face and her words made me ache. “why am I such a failure?” Tanya has been working the streets for years. She goes through phases of being OK, getting healthy and then comes crashing down and every time she crashes its worse than the time before. It’s so painful to watch.
I cleaned her up and told her that she is loved, that she is precious and that she is seen. She knows that she needs help, but she isn’t ready. And that is more painful than anything else.

Some days it feels that we aren’t doing enough, but for Z and T what little we did for them on Thursday night was more than they had been given so far.

Turned away from the government hospital because of their addictions, because of their job, because of their status, they came to us desperate for help, desperate for love. We gave what we had, and although it doesn’t feel like enough to me, it really made a difference to them.

And amongst the devastation we get amazing news. Our new NGO papers are finally in our hands!!! This is a game changer. Now we can start putting in our proposals for a vehicle and for our property. Things are about to explode and we are beyond excited.

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With love from the Downs Family. Xx



When I sit to write the events of last night I chuckle to myself. Candice and I always end up doing the tough stuff, the stuff that puts our lives on danger, the stuff that really needs to be done but very few have the nerve to do😂
Last night we went looking for Aliyah, we prayed that we would be able to find her as sometimes tracking down the street sleeping girls is hard work. Within 5 minutes we spotted her begging in a take away. She was not happy to see us, she knew that it meant that the bed was ready and she would have to make a massive step away from the streets and all that she knows. Away from her boyfriend Braino, and away from the drugs. This was going to be her one chance to save her life and get the medical help that she needs.
This decision really was a matter of life and death. If she didn’t come with us then she would have died on the streets within the next couple of weeks. I stood back and could literally see the spiritual battle that was raging around this girl. It was savage. It was frustrating and I got incredibly angry. The darkness was holding this child so tightly, fear sitting like a vulture on her shoulders, addiction wrapping itself around her legs preventing her from getting into the car and escaping to freedom.
She refused to come with us, so we got back into the car and drove off. Leaving her begging for money for her next hit. I was seething. I knew that the only person who could get her to come with us was Braino, so I prayed that we would find him and that he could talk some sense into her. And just like that there he was on the corner of 2 of the most dangerous streets in Durban. As we pull up the car is surrounded by drug dealers wanting to sell us whatever we needed.
Both Cands and I have known dealers for years, we know how they operate and how to deal with them. As I put down my window and call Braino over I firmly let the dealers know my intentions, “sorry Ma.” “OK Ma, no worries.” hands up in surrender realizing that they had made a mistake. I take one look at Braino (I’ve known him for 7 years) and tell him “your girlfriend needs to come with us or she will die”. He knows it’s true.

We took one of the girls in the car with us to help us to convince Aliyah to get into the car and come to Braino, he couldn’t come with us as the dealers in that street will kill him if he shows his face there 🤦🏻
We find Aliyah and Mbali manages to get her into the car. We get her to Braino and all hell breaks loose🤦🏻🙄 again we are surrounded by dealers thinking we are customers, I put them in their place, and Braino tries to explain to Aliyah that she has to come with us. Then every homeless drug addict in the vicinity starts shouting at her telling her she’s crazy if she doesn’t take this opportunity. How lucky she is to have us. How they wish that they could go. Aliyah is unbudging, she’s not coming with us.
Then along comes Basil. Aaahhhhh BASIL!!! Basil is Aliyah’s dealer. Tall, dark and very very handsome, well dressed and smelling like leather and meadows😍 I hear @candiceede catch here breath! Lol. I just think to myself “oh boy this isn’t going to go well” I had just told off approximately 10 dealers like they were naughty school boys, and now along comes this guy who’s clearly in charge, we might be in a spot of trouble now. 🤦🏻 Leaning himself against the side of the car he asks Aliyah what’s going on. After he hears the story he’s clearly going to do whatever it takes to get her into the car and away from this place. He calming talks to her and offers whatever she needs, she said nothing will make her get into the car. They all disappear around the corner for a few minutes, when they come back Basil wants to know if it’s OK to let her have a hit before she gets into the car. So yeah I send her to go get high before we take her 🙄🤦🏻😂 whatever it takes.
After her fix she comes willingly and says her goodbyes to everyone.
At the respite unit we realize that she’s way sicker than any of us knew. She weighed in at 28kg, and was covered in sores and full of thrush and a number of other issues. Now her healing begins. Please be praying. She is currently detoxing and it’s going to be rough. Please pray that she stays there and doesn’t run away. Please pray for healing.
We want to take this opportunity to thank you for your love and support. If you would like to help our family financially please go to our Just Giving page which is supported by our UK Church, Kings Road Church, Berkhamsted. Thank you

I picked up my pen.

This week I finally sat down and started to write my book. By hand, with a pen and paper. For the past 2 years I’ve been running our ministry and life via my phone and it’s been a bit of a nightmare.

Trying to write my blog has not been enjoyable because I spend most of my time correcting and deleting because it’s so small and hard to type on.

To write a book on my phone is impossible. When we were robbed they took our laptops and we have not been able to replace them. It’s just so expensive here to find a decent laptop. So we just haven’t been able to get new ones.

Now that I have started to take my writing seriously we really need to replace what we lost, so I have started a crowd funding page to help us raise enough money.

If you are able to help us please visit our link below and donate. We appreciate every single penny. More than ever. ♥️

Thank you for the support and love. Much love from the Downs family. Xxx