‘What a wonderful world’…

Today was just fun & never boring (Well, if you exclude the thought of sleeping in Geography class!). Me and my friend, Dally, had fun in every class. Usually you wake up with the thought: ’’Great. Another day waiting at our midst’’. Hear the complaint in those words?

Seriously, I think we should just wake up one morning & smile. If it’s Monday or Sunday; pause & look at all the wonderful things around you. We all want to blame all our problems on life.  But just think positively for once. ’Stop and stare. You think you move but you get nowhere’. See, songs encourage you to ‘stop & stare’ and actually ‘move’ somewhere. I think-believe-that we should look at the beauty in everything around us. In everyone around us.

Stop wishing this brand new day away so that you can go back to bed and sleep. Rather wake up with a smile & think ‘Wow. It’s a fresh start’. Even though society and politics are corrupt…laugh! HaHa.

We only get one chance to live on this beautiful planet God gave us. So, smile dammit!

Zanė #* (14 years old)

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Thankfulness

I was blessed today by meeting a lady who taught me about thankfulness.  We were there as part of our Pregnancy Care programme.

We were at her home to give a package of clothes for her brand new grandson.  Her daughter had been through a rough time but had decided to keep the baby (her second) and we were visiting to see the new baby and to make sure everyone is ok.

They live in a shack and neither of them works.  She was embarrassed by not being able to give us something to drink.

The lady spoke about how grateful she was for us bringing her grandson clothes and that we had been there for her daughter.  She asked that if we come across any other people like her daughter that we please help them too.

She discussed how it was hard but that she was so grateful that her daughter had kept the baby.  This was her grandson!  She wanted to be able to sit around a table one day when it is going better and know that her family is around her.

She spoke about how they were really struggling and sometimes all they have to eat is cabbage…. but that she thanks God for giving them that to eat!

Not once in that hour and half of visit did this lady complain about their hardship or their lack of anything.  Not once did she sound angry or bitter.  Instead she played with her grandchildren and spoke to her daughter in a gentle tone.

At one stage she told my colleague to apologise to me as she could not speak English as she was not educated. 

What I was thinking at that time: 

“Lady you can teach me more than I could ever teach you.  It does not matter that you are not educated! You are wise and wonderful just by being you!”

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“DIE OMGEE PROGRAM/THE CARING PROGRAMME”

DIE OMGEE PROGRAM

Bethany House is awesome.

Al die verandringe hier maak mens mal jy moet nuwe gewoontes en reëls na kom.Maar aan die einde van die dag is alles net vir ons om ons lewestyle te verbeter. Ja die kinders maak mens moeg, kwaad, en geiereteerd maar hulle is my familie en sal altyd bly “no matter what”.  Ek bly nou al amper 7 jaar hier ja ek raak moeg van elke dag se selfde ding oor en oor maar die deel van lewe.

As dit nie vir Bethany House was nie sou die kinders hier nie so lekker lewe soos nou nie.  Vir die mense daar byte wat niks van ons weet nie gaan na www.childincrisis.org.za en deel met ons julle geselskap ons sal vrae antw. Maar niks persoonlik aan ‘n kind se lewe.  Julle is meer as welkom om by ons te kuier en vir ons wys julle is deel van ons.  Al bly julle nie hier nie kom gee die kinders ‘n dag vol prêt en omgee.

Blog my enige tyd en ons sal julle meer inligting gee oor die “Awesomste” plek in die gemeentskap en sluit in by die Omgee Program.

                                                                –  Selandi (15 jaar oud)

NEEM ASB KENNIS DAT INDIEN U ONS KINDERS WIL BESOEK, U EERS DIE “ALTERNATIVE PARENTING PROGRAMME” MOET VOLTOOI

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(Translated for the English speakers)

THE CARING PROGRAMME

Bethany House is awesome.

All the changes here can make a person crazy, as you must get used to new habits and rules. However at the end of the day is everything for us to improve our lifestyle.  Yes the children makes a person tired, angry and irritated but they are my family and will always stay that “no matter what”.  I am staying here almost 7 years and yes I do get tired of every day the same thing over and over but it is part of life. 

If it was not for Bethany House the children here would not have such a good life as now.  For the people out there that doesn’t know anything about us go see www.childincrisis.org.za and share with us your thoughts and we will answer questions (but nothing personal about a child’s life).  You are also welcome to come and visit and to show us you are part of us.  Even if you do not stay here you can still give the children a day full of fun and caring.

Blog me any time and we will give you more information about the “awesomest” place in the community and join in the Caring programme.

                                                      –  Selandi (15 years old)

 PLEASE NOTE THAT BEFORE YOU CAN VISIT OUR CHILDREN YOU HAVE TO COMPLETE AN ALTERNATIVE PARENTING PROGRAMME.  

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Monash University Christmas Party

I was quite excited to go to the Monash University party with the children on Saturday.  It’s been a while since I’ve gone anywhere with them and I was looking forward to it.

It was a lovely warm day and the University students had done quite a bit of organising.  They had various games ready for the children and there were eats and some presents.  

It was a bitter sweet day for me and here is the reason why:  some of our children were put into a social setting that illustrated just how vulnerable and shy they still were.  Then there were children who I suddenly realised had built up so much confidence they were blossoming.

I got the opportunity to watch our children dance including a little girl who danced her heart out infront of strangers (when she first came to Bethany House she wouldn’t even look at anyone), to walk through a sprayer with one of the young children (I think she was in shock that I allowed it but she wanted to do it again afterwards) and to see that us loving our children makes a whole lot of difference in them.

I want to thank our Child Care Workers who’s love for the children have created an opportunity for them to thrive again or as someone called it “our children were free”.

I must also add that we had a group of our staff members play against the Monash University’s staff netball team.  Yes, we were out played (most of us haven’t played in YEARS) but we had fun anyway. I was very impressed to hear that the Monash University staff team practiced during their lunch breaks (you could tell that they work hard at it) and were motivated to be really good players. I take my hat off to them.

So, THANK YOU very much Monash University students for including us in your Christmas Party, it was lovely!

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Children at Play

Looking out of the window I can see most of the children playing in the sandpit. There are lots of laughter and quite a few demands to having things done in a specific way. And surprisingly there is peace between the different ages (and genders).

Often when people visit the Children’s Home one of their first reactions are “shame the poor children”. Yes, there is an aspect of sadness because they should be safely at home with their own parents. My usual response is that these children are just like any child and today this is proven in their play.

I wish you could see them rolling sand into balls and placing them neatly next to each other (I’m not sure why …. Maybe for a sand-ball fight?) Whatever for, today is a day of sunshine and joy at Bethany House.

I might just go outside and join in; and they will be welcoming because our children are always open hearted and ready to show us adults a fun time.

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Fruits of a Positive Word

For the session with the Ikusasa guys today I decided to write down a positive word for each one.  This word is how I see them.

The first process was to think about each one and to remember my first impressions and how I see them now.  I have not once felt anything but respect from them and their desire to be the best that they can be.  They amaze me each time I’m with them!

Then I shared each one’s word with the group and explained why I felt this best described the person.  Well …. there was teasing, laughing and loud denials from the spectators.  However, I stuck to my chosen words and I believe each boy appreciated what I had said.  To share the positive words “tailor made” for each one showed me again just how special the boys are!

It had been a good session I thought and I was satisfied with how it had gone.  Then I was told they were going to write down words to describe me;  AND what a blessing this was! Talk about a way to soften anyone’s heart.

The fruit of a positive word is an easy tool that has far reaching consequences for the one giving and the one receiving.  I recommend it.

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When we ask ….. God answers ….

This morning during devotions we were told that due to human error our finances have not come through.  This means no money for food, petrol and salaries.  Now, this is BAD NEWS for all! When there are no more answers we pray.  So we prayed; we joined hands and prayed for God’s assistance. Then we went back to work.

Less than two hours later we were blessed with sponsors who gave enough money to cover food and petrol for a while.  I’ve learnt a few lessons since working at Bethany House: one is that when there is no other avenue it’s not that we have reached a dead end.  Secondly God’s the answer, in both physical needs (e.g. the money) and in spiritual upliftment. 

There is still a long way to go to cover all our costs before the error can be fixed, but today I want to thank God for all He is and does.  I also want to thank those people who sponsored their money and to tell them that they have blessed Bethany House’s people in so many ways. Thank you!

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