We have been planning for a number of weeks for the Choir to go over to some of the matches in and around Johannesburg but sadly when they go to the border they were turned away by the South African Border Control and told they could be arrested if they tried to sing near the stadiums.
This was really disappointing as its such a wonderful opportunity for people to be blessed by their singing dancing and their culture. I was asked by Sikhumbuso to write to Mr Mandela on behalf of the Choir so I have and it is below to read if you are interested.
Please pray that someone would be able to help them get permission to sing.
To the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
Dear sir or madam good day to you
I would like to inform you about a group of Blind and Visually impaired young people who were turned round at the border of Swaziland by the S/A border control. Their intention was to travel to Johannesburg to sing and dance in traditional 'Swazi Style' for visitors, and possibly go to one of the football matches. They love football and in fact won a football tournament in Swaziland for the disabled 3 years ago, sadly, currently no funds or opportunities for them to train and represent their country exist.
We at Africa Equip brought the whole choir 12 members to the UK 20 months ago and we toured England and Wales with them taking school assemblies and sharing their experiences in churches and Colleges for the Blind They were so loved and welcomed. It was even arranged for them to play the England Blind football team at Hereford College for the Blind, But the England Coach Tony Larkin's Father passed away and the game was postponed.
It was a joint Idea with Africa Equip and the Choir to take the wonderful opertunity to share their talents with visitors from around the world so you can only imagine out disappointment when they were turned away last week. They had even wrote their own Football song.
They and other Blind young people are treated so unfairly within their communities due to their disabilities yet they never complain they just get on with life they are so full of joy and energy That they inspire and bless anyone who hears them I saw with my own eyes the impact that they had on people here in the England and Wales I saw strong men cry and alcoholics cry like children so moving was their Singing Dancing and Joy. They were this year awarded the top position by the Association of Christian Gospel Artists in Swaziland yet they were not given tickets to go and get their trophy, they could only afford 3 tickets! what an indictment!
So I am Appealing to you my dear brothers and sisters do not let this be a shame on South Africa please could you arrange for Mr Mandela to give them permission to come to South Africa I do not consider myself worthy to speak to Such a great man myself. I did make the journey to his old home in Soweto when I last visited, I personally stood against the discrimination of apartheid back in the 80's and went to hear bishop Tutu when he came to Birmingham. I love Africa and her people and have devoted my life to Her Service under the guidance of my God. ( you can read more of what I do at the Africa Equip website Africa Equip Website and My Blog my blog )
The Choir's request is to have a letter of permission, Just to be able sing on the streets near some of the stadiums and if possible to have one police officer near by to look after them but that may not be necessary.
Thank you in anticipation of your help
your servant in Christ
And on Behalf of Skhumbuso Khumalo Chairperson of the Christ Worshippers Gospel Choir. who asked me to write on their behalf to Mr Mandela.
News is the same on the The recording studio The main problem being that we need a permanent home to site the studio. We cannot drop it where the choir are now that we are building in a shipping container has not gone so well last month for a few reasons, which has been a bit frustrating Nevertheless we do now have the corrugated steel sheets which will form the outer skin of the studio and hold back the sand.
The main problems are now a shortage of funds for the silencers approx £1400, and the fans and controllers which are £2180. This is essential equipment for ventelation, so we cant do without it. We will have a open day when we are a bit further on and can demonstrate all the recording equipment working properly. We also have the foam linings for the celings that Jim has donated sent over this week. We can now complete the lining of the inside of the studio.
We are still paying for her fees to go to see Dr. Hind each month and have injections for arthritis it is so important to keep her going, because she is doing such a great work. Again we are still waiting for contractor's to give her a quote for the extra work required to repair the borehole, this is estimated at £300.After Numsa's request for clothes, shoes and blankets for the orphans, we are pleased to say we now have over 200 sets of clothes. Thanks esp to Naomi and Anne for all their work organising this, and also to everyone who has helped sorting and packing, and of course to all those who have donated items. However we do still need shoes for kids from 4-16 boys and girls, so if you have some that are in good condition but no longer used, please get in touch. We currently are not involved with the costs of feeding these orphans, but would like to get involved one day. We would also like to help set up a small school room as the children are currently taught by drawing in the dirt with a stick.If you feel inspired to help us organise the clothes parcels or the rebuilding of the kitchen, the regular food parcels or the future school, please contact us as soon as possible.
After over 18 months at the Farm we call Solomon House we have made the decision leave and find alternative accommodation near by. The main reasons are the cost of the house has nearly doubled since we started renting, due to the exchange rate, this with along with a large rent increase. But also with the problems they have had with neighbours.
The choir are all packed up ready to leave Solomon House but as yet don't know where they are going !!!
There is a possibility that they will go to a three bedroomed house which has a living room, dining room and kitchen. The living room could possibly be used as a fourth bedroom.
Sku is taking the choir to the property tomorrow to see what they think. Obviously it is considerably smaller than Solomon House, but with all the problems ( still ongoing) associated with their present home they will probably be glad to move and adapt to a smaller living area. The locality seems good in that it has a proper tarmac road instead of a muddy track ! and is on a bus route and near to a shopping facility. It has mains water, and there is a local primary school. There are neighbors which could be a blessing or otherwise -- there is no way of knowing!
The property would be considerably cheaper to rent and to run which would indeed be a help to us as we really need to be focusing on funding the container and its forthcoming transport to Swaziland. School fees are also outstanding and need to be paid.
Sunday, 30 May 2010
The choir moved into their new rented accommodation yesterday, the move went well with just their braille books to collect today. Sadly no offers of help were forthcoming even though I let a number of people know. The road from the farm to the new house is quiet so they put the wardrobe on the roof of the minibus and drove slowly for the 2k drive up the hill, they then went back and did the same with the bed, they had to put the large fridge freezer on the seats through the side door and left it sticking out the side! the driver drove slowly and they managed to get everything up there safely.
When I called Last night they were settled in and really happy. The new house is three bedrooms one bathroom a small kitchen a small dining room and lounge. Outside the house there are two panels ( a panel is a small room able to accommodate to to three people like a small bedsit) three of the boys will be in one and the driver and Bongani will stay in the other.
We read psalm 37 and prayed together Percy shared from John 15:1-2 where it speaks of God pruning the vine in order for it to bare more fruit, he then paralleled this to how God has moved them into a smaller place in order to give them a bigger place in the future.
they have a number of needs :- furniture, cooker, plates and cutlery, curtains, most things really.
they also need a alarm for the mini bus as there is no garage at the new house.
The new landlord seems like a nice man and the rent is very fair less than half of what we were paying. This will greatly help our over stretched resources.
We now Have a strimmer at last but no grass now to cut with it!. Actually it was always the intention to be able to use the strimmer to cut the grass for other people as a way of generating income. It's now winter so no grass is growing and there is no grass at their new temporary home.
We recently heard that Colile has passed her teacher training exams that she has taken this year, This is great news well done Colilie.
Well another month passes by which is filled with blessings, challenges and some sadness. On the blessing side of life – the health week went very well. During the school holidays, we had a whole week of fun and teaching on nutrition, hygiene, exercise, safety in the home, first aid and what to do when you worry. There was a prize for the best behaved child and the best work on a daily basis. A great time was had by all.
9 more children have completed the yellow grief book – a tool that takes children through how to handle bereavement and emotions. The prayer garden is looking very bright with all the painted stones. Three of our children (all siblings) have had a close family member die suddenly so it is important that we have this prayer garden as a place to come away and reflect on life and our families. Please pray that God will comfort these children at this difficult time for them. Many thanks to all those who have contributed to this project.
The Hawane community project – In Community By Community (ICBC) is coming along well. Each month, 8 local people from 5 different churches come for training at Imphilo House at Hawane Farm, in home based care and mobile clinic work. They are now looking after 6 community members between them. Please pray that God will give them wisdom, compassion and boldness to preach the gospel whilst they care for the sick.
We had our first mobile clinic at Lavumisa on the 18th May. We saw 91 people but had to turn many back due to a lack of time. (it takes two and a half hours to drive there and it is not safe (due to animals on the road) to drive back in the dark.) The community had chosen 11 people to help me out and what a blessing they were. We had some doing the index cards, others on de-worming, some on blood pressure checks, some for crowd control and then some for translation. The pastor preached the gospel whilst we saw the sick people. It was a fantastic day. The community members were grateful as the local clinics are a two hour walk from Ezindwendweni. Please pray about this project – the bulk of the sickness is caused by poverty. During the clinic I was called outside to attend to a child that had collapsed. The locals thought she needed to go to the hospital but it turned out she hadn’t eaten for five days and had fainted. If only you could give out a tablet to deal with poverty - but the answer is much harder. Please pray that God will give us wisdom as we move forward in this community.
Sophia went to visit her family members in Piggs Peak this month. She met up with her grandfather and some of her uncle’s wives. She had a lovely day with the family and is looking forward to another home visit. It is very unlikely though that she will move back home due to the lack of space and poverty there. However, we thank God that she has been able to be reunited with her family. Please continue to pray for Sakhi – we do not have any information about his family members. However, this month Sakhi has been able to remember some information about his life before coming to the Lighthouse. Please continue to pray for him though as the details are not enough to discover where he stayed and who he stayed with.
Many thanks for all your continued prayer and financial support. You really are a blessing to us this side!
Jane Bradshaw, PO Box 1141, Mbabane, Kingdom of Swaziland.
Landline – 00268 4424432. Mobile – 00268 6539747. (Before 7pm GMT please!)
Donations: Please write cheques to “Elim International Missions” but mark it for Jane Bradshaw and state whether the money is for personal or ministry use. Send to Elim International Missions, De Walden Rd, West Malvern, WR14 4DF. Thankyou. Charity numbers 251549 / SC037754.
Latest News update..... Hi there! Just to say the Lord has performed another miracle on Banele Ngozo. last Friday we all thought he was dying - we were amazed he made it through the night on Saturday and from Sunday onwards he started to get stronger and the breathing better. Now he is still at home but can walk from the bedroom to the bathroom and to the lounge! Praise The Lord!
I have had an update from ben his project is going really well, (Sorry Ben no time to edit it.) If you re interested in hearing more please feel free to write to Ben directly at this email:- Contact Ben Parkinson at email@example.com for more information.
Container NewsThe construction of the sound recording studio that we are building in a shipping container is going really well. We are trying to do a really good job so that people will come from all over Southern Africa to use this studio. We also want the studio to be used for translating & converting the bible into audio and MP3 so that those who cannot read will be able to hear the word of God. In a few years, most Africans will have mobiles with MP3 players on them so even if they cannot read they will be able to hear.There is a lot of work involved in organising, packing and doing lists, working out priorities, timing for delivery (avoiding rainy season) and there are financial pressures as well. We need to contact Shirley again to help us get the container into the country and liaise with contacts and authorities. We pray that the container will go through customs without charge. We seek wisdom in only filling the container with the highest priority items for any of the projects, The choir have given us a list of things they need to go in the container. Zwakele, Africa Equip coordinator in Swaziland, is also liaising with project leaders for ideas of what is required.If anyone is interested in having a look around the container before it goes please note that We are planning an open day on:-
Last time, we reported the health news of Numsa, a gogo lady in Swaziland. Whilst serious disease was ruled out, the cause of Numsa’s discomfort was not yet diagnosed. Brett recently made contact with Dr Hynde, who reliably informed him that she has a bad infection in her bowel causing her to block up, which gives her the feeling of a lump in her stomach. He has treated her with medicine and tablets and wants to see her twice more. He said there is no need for any kind of operation. Dr Hynde he is 84 years old (not out) and is a second generation missionary to Swaziland,. His father founded the Red Cross in Swaziland, and he has lived there all his life. He was once the Minister of Health and his daughter Elizabeth is director of New Hope orphanage. One pastor once commented, "Everyone knows Dr Hynde! If you go to see Dr Hynde and he ever tells you there is nothing that he can do for you, you go home and put your house in order, because if he cannot help you, no-one can!” A great tribute to a great man!Africa Equip has had a request from Numsa for clothes, shoes and blankets for the orphans. Zwakele has been organising for all the children to have their size for clothes and shoes taken so we can try to get some help with clothing parcels for them. Africa Equip was busy last month sorting these out. However, we are short of much needed new pants and socks for the children but we have also been short of shoes so if anyone has any links or contacts for children’s trainers or shoes, please contact Brett very soon. However, please don't collect items over a few weeks and try to get them to him as the container will have left and storage else-wise is a big problem. We are putting together clothing parcels for 200 orphans between the ages of 1 to 16 years old.Some of the fortunate orphans in Numsa’s district are fed one meal each day, keeping many of them alive. Numsa and six other older ladies cook meals for up to 200 children; some might have both parents but be in dire poverty, some might have sick or dying parents, whereas others might be orphaned once (one parent has died). But over 120,000 in a country the size of Wales, are twice orphaned often with not even aunties or uncles to look after them. Many of these children are vulnerable to abuse, both physical and sexual. They are also sometimes cheated out of their inheritance by unscrupulous relations or neighbours. One of the things that happens is children will leave their districts and head to the cities in search of food and better prospects, sadly often ending up in worse situations. But meanwhile, they will often lose the land of their parents and ancestors to neighbours. So the work that the go-goes are doing by looking after the orphans in the areas they were brought up in, is not only keeping them alive, but ensuring that they keep the homesteads that they were born into. There are many ways that different groups are going about trying to help the overwhelming orphan population in Swaziland. We at Africa Equip feel this is a really important way, and so we try to do what we can to help the go-goes help the vulnerable, in their communities. We are currently getting quotes to find out how much it will cost to rebuild a building that was completely destroyed in a fierce storm last month. We know that a lady lets a number of the orphans sleep in the kitchen building on the floor. Her other buildings are already full of orphans just to keep them off the streets. But we have not heard of anyone being injured when it collapsed.We currently are not involved with the costs of feeding these orphans, but would like to get involved one day. We would also like to help set up a small school room as the children are currently taught by drawing in the dirt with a stick.If you feel inspired to help us organise the clothes parcels or the rebuilding of the kitchen, the regular food parcels or the future school, please contact us as soon as possible. Finally we have a update on the borehole repairs, that there is another £300 required to fix the problem as a drilling rig is now required.
A YWAM team of young people from different countries have moved into the farm right next to the choir. It is very early days to speculate how the choir and YWAM will work together but just knowing that they have a young group of very dedicated young Christians on their door step is such a great comfort and encouragement. YWAM share with us a very deep concern for the desperately needy and spiritually - lost people of this great country. We hope that the choir will be shown ways in which in which they can begin to bless each other and serve together.
Unfortunately we are still having problems with a close neighbour, he went round to the house of the choir a couple of days ago really angry and demanded money from them because he said that the choirs chickens had been at his cabbages. This is the same person who threw a stone at one of the chickens and broke its leg for the same reason. The choir have farmyard chickens and they need to roam to find food, but it doesn't appear has has made efforts to protect his garden which is the normal procedure.
This is just brilliant I was wanting to make a bike that someone who was blind could ride on with a sighted helper on the front just so members of the choir could get some exercise. So I was a bit upset when I realised that I was not going to have enough time to do everything. I had also mentioned to Sku that I was wanting to build a bike for them to ride.So I had a phone call from a lady at a school Nr Bristol who had found us on the net, and was wanting to donate some equipment to a good home rather than throwing it out. and something she had was a couple of trike's and a couple of quad bikes.! Gods timing is perfect.
We have been doing really well for collecting school books over the last 12 months, esp for secondary school ages. But we have a couple of projects that really need primary school books. So it was once again music to our ears when we had a Phone call from a school that was merging with another school in Birmingham and had lots of books and equipment that they were no longer needing. We collected 3 sprinter van loads of books and tables paper and classroom furniture which we have been sorting out. We have now got to the point where we have enough equipment to fill another container but no funds yet to purchase one.
Elizabeth Hynde has just received news that Caleb has acquired a student visa to Canada! They are busy arranging flights. Caleb will be staying behind to go to school starting in September with a view to training for the 2012 Olympics in London. Elizabeth and her friend, Deborah will accompany him out there then fly back once he is settled in school. She is rejoicing that her belief in her eldest and first ‘son’s ability and talent and her personal faith in God, have demonstrated how faith turns to fact! We rejoice with her! She hopes to stop by in the UK on their way there.
Jane and her team are making an impact on the Hawani community in lots of different ways but more particularly, in the area of health. She is still doing twice weekly dressings for a five year old boy who was recently badly burned but thankfully, he did not need a skin graft. Indeed, the bulk of the burn has healed, amazingly.
She has been recently visited by a team from her church and they all had a great time! Thanks to their hard work in the UK fundraising, Jane now has a library on site with over 2000 books! The children absolutely love story telling and it is a privilege to watch them read and be fascinated with the colourful pictures. Another team member, Janice, spent time teaching some of the mothers and children how to knit and another team member, Rob, was busy painting with the children and teaching how to carve local soap stone.
Some of the work is challenging as they come across living situations that most of us could never imagine possible such as Mphilo’s story. Mphilo is a nine year old boy living independently as his father battles HIV sickness, TB and alcohol rehabilitation. The team have helped to provide food and clothing and to apply more mud and concrete to make the ramshackle house he lives in more robust. Ideally, the boy would benefit from interim foster care at the farm in which the team live. Thankfully, the school is now aware of his situation and have applied to Social Welfare to see if he can stay with the team at the farm. They will continue to provide food for Mphilo until a decision is made.
Approximately 600 people attended a big clinic with the Luke Commission and were treated for dentistry, eye checks, health checks and a check-up by the 5 visiting American doctors. It went very well and the community was overjoyed at the free healthcare. It was an amazing treat for them!
If you would like to receive Jane’s newsletter please let Brett know and he will give you her details.
Some may know of the Butterfly Project, a project in Uganda set up by Social Enterprise (Africa) to create social entrepreneurs from talented youth. It works with the very most disadvantaged young people, living in either the parched rural areas, where there is next to no water or in the squalid slums of Kampala. The young people have been chosen, because they want to be the ones who change the living standards of the people that live around them, through developing social projects. The project is unique in the world working with these impoverished children, but we do need some support to help stabilise them, so that they can gain the maximum from the social entrepreneurship training programme. They need bedding to sleep on at home (£20), materials for school (£15), bikes for travel (£35) and even cutlery and plates. We are also looking for equipment, such as good quality children’s watches (with or without batteries), USB drives (2Gb minimum), old laptops (with at least one USB port), old working mobile phones, with or without chargers. Contact Ben Parkinson at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.