DSTV Social Investment Initiative CARE

May we ask you to look at the following please:

DSTV is currently running a corporate social investment initiative called CARE.  Nominated charities stand a chance to get R200 000-00 in ‘support’ from DSTV.  

To stand a chance, Bethany House Trust needs to be nominated by multiple persons, multiple times. 

PLEASE send a SMS(or few sms’s) to DSTV to nominate BETHANY HOUSE TRUST. It will cost you R1-50 per sms.  SMS: “Care Bethany House Trust, Krugersdorp” TO: 32510.

Thank you.

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God’s Beautiful Dancers

What a blessing our children are for us!

Today in devotions (which we have each morning) the girls danced for us. 

I stood there with such a soft heart watching them.  They are beautiful.  Their gentle movements and their focus was a lesson for me.  Yes we are there for them, but as the one prayed they are there for us too.

We can definitely learn from them:  They stood up early to get ready for us (considering they are on holiday. who wants to wake up early in winter?!) and even though (as the one mentioned) she was scared she did it anyway.

God’s heart must have been bursting with pride and joy when He watched them do their worship dance because I can assure you mine was.

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Siyabonga plays rugby

Went to Loftus Versfeld Stadium today to watch one of our boys play rugby for the Craven Week under 13s.  I was so impressed to think one of OURS was there.

I was speaking to another of our boy’s and he was full of dreams about one day playing on the field too.  He also mentioned that Siyabonga was going to be man of the match (and it didn’t matter that it was just his thoughts). 

Isn’t this what counts? That the children are able to rise above what others expect of them? Or that they can dream bigger where sometimes their dreams have been crushed?

I also loved that we were there to support him, because isn’t that what family does?

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Welcome to the new staff

There’s never a moment where you can call life at Bethany House stagnant!

Going away for a few weeks often means that when you come back there are new faces. And sometimes “old” faces have moved on.

I love how there is a new surge of “doing God’s work” and how the newness of being able to work in children’s lives (and fighting the system where need be) brings new life into those who’ve been around for a while.

So welcome to the new people who have joined Bethany House.  May this journey be one full of blessings. We look forward to working with you and to see our Bethany House through your “fresh” eyes.

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How do you say no?

Came to work today and first thing I hear is that we’ve admitted 20 children from a Children’s Home that has closed down.  Am I surprised? Nope, this is not the first time and I doubt it will be the last.

We’ve been known to race around at night to collect children who were affected by the Welfare strike a few years ago. We’ve had children dropped off because there is no place for them (even though we were full).

I always joke about Gert not being able to say no to helping children.    

To know that the children’s lives have been turned upside down and that they must be scared and totally lost prompts this question:  How do you say no?

It’s going to mean alot of work for the people involved, social workers and child care workers particularly, but consider the other side of the coin. 

If we had said no ….. Imagine if they had to be placed back in the original place of abuse/neglect? Or if siblings were separated because there is no other option.

So in the end there is no alternative but to say YES! To welcome them into our home and be a place where the chaos is taken care of so that they can do what they do best: be children.

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Founding Members

Gert and Antoinette Jonker were the first to be called to “duty” at Bethany House Trust. In those days Gert was in the police force and Antoinette a business woman. I am sure that they had their own goals and dreams yet they let these go to do as God had told them to.

Firstly, in their own home (which to me is amazing, because it’s never easy giving up your own personal space) where one of the first children they took in had a heart condition. Talk about an initiation!!

Time passed; I do not know if it was fast or slow for them, but it definitely was busy.

Now, they have the responsibility of FOUR Children’s Homes and various programmes (not forgetting the staff that are part of this organisation). Never an uncomplicated task considering it involves food, clothing, everyone’s well-being AND God’s will.

I imagine it can’t be easy to have all of this on their shoulders while they juggle family life (boys, dogs and their own lives).

And what have I learnt? God choose them and have blessed them for their obedience. I have also learnt that it’s important to pray for them. As our leaders: their wellbeing (physical, emotional and spiritual) has to be lifted up to God daily … for all of our sakes.

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Bethany House’s TV debut

We watched Great Expectations on ETV yesterday in the boardroom. All the staff were very excited and when Bethany House Trust was named (or the people representing us came on), we shouted in excitement.  This expressiveness I must add is not something new; we’ve been blessed with people who aren’t afraid to show their delight! 

For me it was a humbling experience.  I’ve been here almost 10 years (in February 2011 it will be 10 years), and I have experiences that are different from someone who’s just started working here.  I listened to Gert and Antoinette talk about opening their home for others and I realised that these are their memories; their struggles and hopes and fears of that time are something that is long past and not something anyone else can share.  There’s been so much that happened in their calling to run Bethany House yet they are still here.  They still continue to fight to keep it open and to make sure that the children are safe and as happy as possible. I’ve just met Lynette this year, but from having heard her story and seeing her grace in working with everyone, I know that not only is she a blessing for those she works with but that she’s a gift to us all.

It was a bit unreal to watch the footage of Bethany House on the TV as I was seeing it through the eye of a stranger.  AND I must say I was proud.  THIS IS WHERE I WORK!!! It was beautiful because our heart is to make it beautiful for the children.  The children were running around playing on the jungle gym BECAUSE that is genuinely what they do.  There was nothing fake about what was shown.  The stranger had truly captured what Bethany House is: a home run in excellence for our children.

Another aspect that made me think was our representatives.  They were there because they had obediently followed God’s path for them (I’m not sure if any of them actually believed that they would one day be on TV though).  Their roads were not always smooth and sometimes it must have been very painful, but they did not let that hold them back.  They give their all for their calling and with that they bless all that cross their path. 

So I must say I think the show was a success.  Not only because it showed Bethany House as it truly is, but because it made me see just how far we’ve come and how much we still have to offer.

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