prayer

Yesterday we fed our homeless friends, built relationships, loved on the vulnerable. Then @nicmaurel rolled her ankle badly and our car died. 

The enemy HATES what we are doing. He does not want to see our city restored. He does not want us to love the broken. 

Our families are living by faith, trusting for our Fathers provisions. Please stand with our two families as we walk in the calling placed on our lives. Please continue to pray for provision to come. Please pray for healing for Nicole’s ankle, for the pain to go and swelling to go down. 

Please pray for a new car for us that we can call our own and that is in good running condition. 

And please pray for the four of us who have committed to help bring restoration to our city and her people. 

Donations to PayPal account : downseyluff@aol.com

just be. 

I’m climbing into bed broken. My heart shattered more than usual. Candice and I have just spent the past few hours driving round town looking for some of our missing girls. We didn’t find any of them. We did however find so many new ones. Walking the strip in their heels and short skirts, parading for potential clients. Our hearts heavy we drive into the center of the city and stumble upon a secluded spot where there is a hidden “shelter”. Seeing one of our ladies we get out and start a conversation with everyone who would listen.

I start to talk with two young guys, Jaque and Sean. Both so sweet and funny, eloquent and smart. My tattoos were the conversation starter as usual :)🙈 and as I share the meaning of each they soon realize that I’m not like most other “church people”. They were very open with me and something started to really tug at my heart, I knew something, but I couldn’t figure out what it was that I knew. Something nagging in my spirit. Something drawing me to these young guys. Something not right, but not in a scary way, in a deep maternal aching way, what was it?

They excused themselves as they “had somewhere they had to be” and they left. A part of my heart left with them. Candice and I got in the car shortly after their departure and headed back to the waterfront to find our girls.

As we pull onto the strip we see Jaque and Sean “working” along with the girls. At that point I knew what my spirit already knew, had already been warning me. These beautiful boys were sex workers. As we drove past my heart shattered as I tried to contain the gut wrenching sobs that needed to come.

We start to head out of town but Candice knows me well enough to know that I needed to go back to them and let them know that they are loved. So she turned the car around and we went to park.

We get out of the car, take a deep breath and head over to the bench that they are leaning on.

They were genuinely happy to see us and as we sat in the bench with them their stories come tumbling out.

So much pain and loss. So much hurt and fear. And now a life of abuse in order to survive.

An hour later we left. Left them to make money. To survive.

#onefuturefoundation

if you would like to support our family and the work we are doing please do so at http://www.justgiving.com/kingsroadchurch

Thank you!

He’s a good good Father. 

Well what a Merry Christmas we had!! Three days before Christmas day we moved into our new home! What an amazing gift.

We wanted to say thank you to everyone who helped to make the move possible, and thank you to everyone who prayed for us and held space for us.
We still have a lot of unpacking to do but it already feels like home. The children are so content and for the first time in almost a year we can all sleep knowing that we are safe and secure. What an amazing feeling.

We are all finding that the stress and sleeplessness of the past few months is finally being put to rest and we are loving the sense of freedom that we are feeling as a family.

We have so much space we dont have the furniture to fill it. After our home invasion last jan we had to give away the majority of our belongings as we were moving into a tiny cottage and there was no space to put anything or store anything.
The few things that we did store at our last place were stolen 😥.

So now we find ourselves needing to rebuild our home. I’ll be hitting the second hand stores hard over the coming weeks. :mrgreen: 

Tomorrow our One Future Foundation team are going to the streets to feed as many people as we can. Now that we are living in the city we are realizing just how extreme the homeless situation is here. Even driving through the upper class neighborhoods there are so many people sleeping in doorways and under trees. So many going through the garbage bins and begging at the traffic lights.
On Christmas morning Mart went in search of a jar of cranberry sauce, he stopped at a traffic light and a young girl, around 12 years old was begging. He had no cash, so he went to the grocery store and bought her a bag of food, including a roastsd chicken. Everything within him wanted to pick her up and bring her home. But we can’t. So we pray that this dream we have of having our own building for OFF becomes a reality this coming year. A place where girls like her can come and be fed and loved and cared for.

As 2016 comes to a very welcome close we are excited to see what 2017 holds for our family, friends and the ministry. 

As always we love and appreciate each of you, your love and support keep us going. 

Much love and anticipation. 

the Downs family. Xx

To support our family please donate to PayPal account downseyluff@aol.com

or http://www.justgiving.com/kingsroadchurch  UK tax payers will be able to increase their giving by us claiming the tax back

Tis’ the season….

 

Christmas time has always been my favorite time of the year. The snow, the cold, the lights, hot chocolate on 5th Ave, the smell of pine in our living room, all my siblings together with our parents, gifts, food (always the food), carols, mince pies, Christmas shopping, ALL of it just makes my soul sing.

This year is different though. As I look and see everyone’s IG and FB pictures of their beautiful decorations and their first snow falls, I find myself fighting to feel the spirit of Christmas. Sounds terribly negative doesn’t it?! I can see my Mum nodding her head in agreement 🙂

Life this year has consisted of super highs and terrible lows, I have found myself longing for “normal” and for the majority of the year our life has been anything but.

It’s hard for me to truly express this year without giving the devil too much attention, so lets just say that your love and prayers have been crucial to our survival these past 11 1/2 months.

And then amongst the stress and pain have been moments of true joy. For example, we were brought into the most amazing church plant, with the most amazing people, at exactly the right time. We lost friends but have gain a whole tribe. This past Sunday we celebrated Christmas with our lovely congregation. We sat together and ate the most wonderful Christmas dinner that had been donated by one of the grocery stores. Roast chickens, salads, bread rolls and LOTS AND LOTS of cake. Everyone left with their own giant cake and lots of left overs.

Ministry has grown in leaps and bounds. Feeding up to 200 people on a Wednesday has been a highlight.

Building relationships with the homeless and street workers, seeing joy and being able to provide clothing and much needed hygiene products for the street girls. I was even given the honor of holding space for a young lady who was in a government hospital, alone giving birth. I was able to be with her as she birthed her perfect baby boy into the world. She didn’t have to be alone and scared and I had the opportunity to love her and pray over her and her new son, Michael.

My heart is very much with the girls who are having to “work” the streets for survival. I know that this a passion that Father has given me and every week I fall more in love with these girls of ours. These girls have our hearts in such a profound way. Hearing them talk about their days, their nights, their “job”, our hearts shatter. Our frustration grows. Our maternal hearts beat wildly with an anger that is indescribable.
Their young hearts and bodies, old beyond their years, broken from the abuse of man. Their spirits crushed by the crime of survival.
Their tattered “best” outfits, their badly applied makeup cause my heat to physically ache. I want to give them a hot bubble bath, let them soak away the aches and pains. I want to clothe them in the prettiest of outfits and give them shoes that fit. I want to wash their hair and teach them how to apply their make up.

Just a few days ago I was messaged by a friend who told me that her school (she is principle) has decided to take our boys for no fee!! NO FEE!!! FOR FREE!!!! Guys this is HUGE for us. It’s a beautiful little private school where our boys will be taught and loved so very well. I can not put into words how thankful we are for this amazing gift. God is such a good Father.

We are also trying to move home before Christmas! Yes I know we are cutting it fine!! 🙂 We have been approved but are just waiting for a couple of final details before we know what day we can move in. I think that this time of unknowing has been my main cause of lack of Christmas spirit. I don’t want to put up a tree to then have to take it down a couple of days later. Also our financial situation has been very stressful and we haven’t even thought about shopping for the kids yet this year. Living by faith means that we have to prioritize and right now our priority is moving to a new home. So please pray for that for us. It would be the best Christmas gift ever if we could move next week.15319193_10154071296181932_492803783691736987_n

We have a number of needs when we move house. We do not have a fridge or a washing machine and would need those asap. Also yesterday when I was packing up our bed linen i discovered that all of our sheets and all items of bedding are covered in damp and mold and I have had to throw it all away. All that we have is the linen that is currently on our beds, quite frustrating as you can imagine. The mold in this current house is one of the main reasons why we need to get out of there, it is causing havoc with Joe’s asthma and its very distressing for all of us. Martin has been working daily on trying to bring this move about, visiting the internet cafe and trying his hardest to keep communications open between the necessary departments, not always an easy task in SA 🙂

As most of you know we are now living 100% by faith so these above mentioned items are not within our current budget. Please pray that we gain more monthly support so that we can live better than we currently are and so that some our our stress is relieved. There will a link at the end of this post to visit our just giving account where you can give if you feel called to. If you would live to give on a regular basis there is also a button on the home page for monthly giving. Thank you

There’s 4 days till Christmas, and although we are not in any way ready for Christmas day, we are better off than so many of the the people who we love and care for. And although we do not have a tree or gifts at the moment my children are on this ministry journey with us and they are learning that the Christmas season is not about them, but in fact about a baby who was born in a stable, to refugees. And even if there are no gifts, trees or decorations, Jesus is still our reason. He is still more important. And they realize that there are children in our congregation who do not even have a stable to live in this Christmas.

I am so thankful for our life, for our calling and for our sweet little family. And my sweet little family is thankful for each of you this year. Thank you for supporting us and loving us, thank you for the prayers and kind words of encouragement.

Our prayer for you and yours is that of LOVE, JOY and PEACE this Christmas.

Much love.

The Downs Family.

To support our family please donate to PayPal account downseyluff@aol.com

or www.justgiving.com/kingsroadchurch  UK tax payers will be able to increase their giving by us claiming the tax back

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

update

 

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Hi everyone, just thought we would give you all a quick up date of whats happening with us over here in sunny South Africa…

The summer is almost here and so is Christmas, I still haven’t got my head around the hot Christmas deal, maybe one day I will get the hang of it 🙂

We have been busy packing up our cottage as it is time for us to find a more permanent place to live and set down some roots for a while. We are packing in faith, trusting that our Father has the perfect home for our family, somewhere nearer the area where we are ministering and meeting as a church. Another turn of events is we are putting our boys into school!!! For the past couple of years we have been homeschooling, but now that we are moving to the city and probably to an apartment we feel that the time is right to put the boys back into regular school. Jesse has a learning difficulty called dyspraxia and we believe that having him in a school environment will actually help him a lot with his learning and also give him the opportunity to excel at sports, which are his real passion.

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CHURCH- Durban City Campus is going so so well. We have a well grounded core group of people who are committed to seeing our congregation grow and flourish. We are committed to serving Marc and Nicole as they lead us as the Holy Spirit guides.

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We had our first One Future Foundation strategy meeting a couple of weeks ago and we are all so excited about the vision and the direction of the ministry. So much has been accomplished over the past couple of months, and we are all blown away by the goodness of God and the love and support that we have received from so many. Word is getting around and donations have been coming in, we are able to donate toiletries, food and toys for children.

These photos show the team of women who gather on Wednesdays to hand out donations and lunch parcels and some of the people who are benefiting on a regular basis.  This week companies helped pack up sandwiched etc and  we fed 250 needy people on the Durban water front. What an honor!!!

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We want to thank you for your continued prayers and support. Specific prayers requests at the moment are for a home for our family  and a school for the boys  which offers help for Jesse’s extra needs and maybe even a busary to help with fees (all schools require fees).

Our paperwork which we put in back in July is taking longer than predicted so prayers for a swift return of those would be great too.

If you would like to support us financially please visit our just giving page which is hosted by my parents church whom we love dearly 🙂 If you are a UK tax payer this will mean we also get a little bonus from the government 🙂 There is an option to give on a monthly basis, if you feel God is calling you to do this, I think this option is only available in the UK   www.justgiving.com/kingsroadchurch

Kindness.

WOW what a week! Who would have thought that the United States of America would ever be as divided as they are this week? I still consider NYC to be my first real home so I’m feeling all the feels this week. Wednesday was an emotional one as I sat and watched the feed on Facebook. What I read broke my heart. The Homophobic and sexist remarks, the smugness of so many people who I thought I knew, the grace shown by those who voted Clinton, and those who just kept quiet knowing that the decision that they had made had genuinely been for the good of their families. We always teach our kids to not be bad losers, rarely do we teach them not to be bad winners. My prayer for America, my home, my friends/family is that Mr Trump is a strong and Godly leader, that he surrounds himself with the right men and women to help and guide him in the decisions that he has to make as President. Would I have voted for him? No. Will I pray for him and his party? You bet ya!

So as I started Wednesday with a some what heavy heart A little gray rain cloud following me around, just like a cartoon character, I realized just how badly every country on this beautiful planet of ours needs kindness and the love and grace of God.

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We went to the streets Wednesday morning as usual and fed 80 people. We desperately needed more lunches but only had 80 with us. It is exciting for us to see new faces every week. This week those new faces included a bunch of super cute kids.

Also this week a lady called Shoneeze and her husband joined us. They had seen my post a couple of weeks ago that told the story of Stacey.

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Shoneeze has known Stacey for years and desperately wanted to help her, so they joined us this week and drove the Durban Waterfront until they found Stacey. They pulled over and talked to her for a while, offering her a way off the streets through a rehabilitation home called Shiloh House. They took Stacey yesterday for an entrance interview and Shiloh House have decided to take Stacey in and care for her. They will take her though detox and then on through rehabilitation!! What an incredible result for Stacey. Her life is about to be radically changed because of the KINDNESS of a couple who knew her a few years ago.

KINDNESS. How does that look? How do we show kindness to others? How do we show kindness to ourselves?  In a world of so much division and hurt, how do we be kind? It’s not a trick question, it’s not hard.  Do unto others as you would have done unto you. Treat others how you like to be treated. Talk to others how you like to be talked to. Be kind to those who are unkind to you. Respond with kind.

 

 

 

 

 

 

frustrated.


What I’ve had to deal with today. Meghan (in black) is pregnant and Precious (in gray) lost her baby. I’ve know Meg for a few weeks and she figured out this week that she is around 4 months pregnant.
I’ve known Precious for 9 years and last year she placed her baby boy into care, he was 2 at the time and very sick. He was placed into a children’s home and was getting the care that he needed, Precious made such a brave and selfless decision to put Lindo into care and I walked the path with her. I saw her pain. I felt it. 

Today she told me that Lindo had passed away when the home he was placed into burnt to the ground. 

My heart aches. I literally have no words. She stood silently as tears rolled down her cheeks. 

I’m home now and I’m sad and frustrated. 

I’m frustrated that we can not find a home in town that we can afford. I’m frustrated that we are not as affective as we could be. And I’m frustrated that our lack of funding is the reason for this. 

We need to be there for our people. And we can’t be. This is so painful for us. 

Please pray for provision for our family so that we can really do what we are supposed to be doing. 

#homeless #durban #durbanwaterfront #wearedurban #iheartdurban #onefuturefoundation