We thought it would be helpful to give a brief description of the work that goes on here and some of the things that we are involved with. There are so many opportunities to serve others here because there is so much need that exists. We will describe some situations to try and give some clarity to what exists. The unemployment here is about 40% and we are sure it is much higher in the townships than it is in the towns. We know of people that work and support all of their extended family, in some cases that is one person working and maybe 8 others that are dependent upon them for food, clothing, and basic needs. The vast majority of people are more than willing to work if they can find a job, even if it is menial labor. We know of one man that walks about 4 hours into the city to do yard work three days a week. One of the good things about South Africa is the willingness to take care of the extended family. In essence it functions like this: if one person has corn they all have corn.
We came across an orphanage where the woman who runs it sold all of her assets and bought a place out of town by a stream. She started taking in children that weren't wanted and basically trusts the Lord to supply her with the things that she needs. She has people just bring a child to her and hand it over the fence and she takes them in. She has about 8 children there currently as far as I could count. We go there weekly to help in any way that we can. Sometimes the government services will bring out a child that they can't care for but the funds that are provided are minimal and it doesn't even provide enough for food for the children. When she first bought the place she carried water from the stream for drinking and washing but gradually she has gotten running water and even propane heat that is used on the coldest nights. Some of the children were abused but she just loves them and takes care of them. Quite an example of service to others.
One young couple had their computer stolen out of their business and it was their source of income since they produced announcements, brochures, programs, etc. They didn't have the funds to purchase another PC.
The senior couples help missionaries get ready for their mission in ways they couldn't afford to do themselves. Like taking them to the dentist, doctor, filling out forms that are needed for a passport and many other kinds of things. I know of some that have outfitted them with the clothes that they will need on their missions.
It is a wonderful place to serve and help in any way that we can, in addition to the other responsibilities that we have.
2 years ago