Hope for the Living

Hope for the Living was established to cater for vulnerable children in the Roodepan community, as an outreach of the Parish of St Francis of Assisi.

 

During 2015, a decision was made that the Parish of St Francis of Assisi (where Hope for the Living was established and is housed) take over the administration and ministry of “Hope for the Living, was taken by the Church Council during February and March 2015.  

July 2015 the program of feeding the children of Roodepan re-started. The ministry is led by one of the Church Council members, appointed by the Church Council, Mrs Claudette Fourie with nine volunteers joining her in this “new-old” venture.

The message was sent out to the children at the various schools in the area that meals would be served on a Tuesday and that all children would be welcome to attend.

We started in July 2015 with 24 children and the numbers grew fairly quickly, as the word spread amongst the children. By September we were feeding about 45 children as well as a number of adults from the parish community and in November the number had grown to between 50 and 60 children on a Tuesday. The number dropped a little during the beginning December. Private funding was obtained for the purchasing of food through to November, thereafter monies that were in the account of Hope for the Living were transferred to the Parish account, as this account was then close. The monies are managed by the treasurer of the Parish Council. 

Together with the meal, homework is done with the children and we have been able to assist some of the children who have been struggling in various areas.  Sunday School on a Tuesday was introduced, as well as talks focusing on HIV/AIDS and TB and the abuse of drugs and alcohol have been addressed.   More of this will be presented during 2016.

The children have been taught some spiritual dancing by one of the volunteers.  She is the Youth Leader at the Parish, also leads the spiritual dancing group at the church and joined as a volunteer when we began again in July 2015.  The spiritual dancing proved to be much fun and is very entertaining. 

Hope for the Living hosted the last Link Meeting, held  in November2015, which saw the venue at the Parish of St Francis of Assisi. The Caregivers presented a delicious meal and teas for the member so this meeting.

On International Aids Day, we held a short service with the children. Prayers, singing and reading were presented.  Children lit candles and added to the prayers that were offered.

 

The Caregivers, made red ribbons for the Sunday service, which they pinned on all who attended the worship, bringing to life the plight of all who are affected and infected by HIV/AIDS.

                                     

The End of the Year Party  that was held for the children on the  December 2015 was great fun and well attended.  Sunday School children were invited to join in and some of them attended. We felt this was a positive move to ensuring that the Parish is fully involved in the ministry activities of the church.  80 children attended the party.  A local businessman sponsored the jumping castle and 80 party packs, which included a small gift with each party pack.  These were distributed as the children went home.  Cake, sweets, juice and “boerewors” rolls, (rolls with cooked sausage) were the order of the day.

    

 

The Garden:

The garden was initiated by Father Thomas (the Rector of the Parish).  Training in the development and maintenance of the garden was offered to the caregivers.  We have been able to harvest, spinach, cabbages, lettuce, some beans and mealies from the garden.  A young who has just completed her final year of school in December 2015, has asked if she could work in the garden for a small amount every month.  We have agreed to this and she will begin immediately.  She has also agreed to assist other parishes to set up gardens if the need arises.

Hope for the Living initiated a Christmas Carol Outreach.  On Sunday 13 December 2015, together with members of the Parish about 30 people went out into the community of Roodepan, sang Christmas Carols at the houses of those Parish members who are not able to attend worship and are given Holy Communion at home on a bi-weekly basis. Hope for the Living had put together gifts for each of the houses visited.  The gift was made up of a facecloth with soap and hand and body lotion.  This proved to a source of great fellowship for all involved. 

This has proved to be a very important ministry of the Parish to the community.  The Caregivers have offered talents that have being latent and surprised themselves as well as given value to the program.  It is a wonderful time of fellowship for the caregivers, being able to share the struggles in their own lives as well as those who they come into contact with.  We are able then to dedicate and offer prayers for joys, struggles, thanks and needs that we face on an everyday basis.

On Tuesday, 26 January 2016, we opened the kitchen again and had 80 children being fed and cared for.  We are all excited, and nervous as we go forward in an economic climate that calls for the church to take action and care for the most vulnerable in our society.

We ask that you continue to prayer for the Caregivers, the children and the growth of this very important ministry of the Parish.  We trust that 2016 will be a very blessed year as we grow spiritually with the children and bring them to the Glory of God.

We thank you too for your prayers, continual support and the love that is passed over many miles to all of us.  Please be assured of our prayers for your Parish. If there are needs, joys, celebrations that we can prayer into, please do let us know as we grow together as a Link to bring and share the Glory of god in the world.