October has been a relatively quiet month in the life of New Hope with no major changes taking place. We are grateful for the quiet as we gear down to the end of the year and begin planning for next year. Our beneficiaries have been consistent in their pursuit of recovery and we are so grateful to God for His grace over their lives and their journeys over this last month.
World Homelessness Day
The 10th of October was World Homelessness Day and in honour of this day we received a donation of toiletries to gift to our beneficiaries as they need them. INTERNATIONAL HOUSE Cape Town school so generously collected these donations from their students and gifted them to us. We are so grateful to them for their generosity in remembering the homeless.
Richard Bolland, one of our board members, shares his reflections on World Homelessness Day:
“Today is world homeless day and it acts as a reminder that there is still a lot of work to be done in our society. As I reflect on the last couple of years I am reminded that despite the suffering experienced on the street, there is a lot to celebrate.
“I am thankful for the many organisations, churches, businesses and individuals who love unconditionally and set up healthy and proactive solutions for people trying to leave the street permanently.
“I am thankful for the faith I see on the streets that encourages me to investigate my own privilege, comfort and encourages me to deepen my relationship with God. "God has chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom".
“I mourn with all of those who've tried to leave the streets but due to trauma, mental illness, bad timing, wrong decisions, substance use disorders and/or lack of support have ended up back there. My prayer is that we never give up encouraging one another to leave the streets. Yes, there is a time and place to take a step back but I truly believe in never giving up on someone.
“We might never solve homelessness in our lifetime but if we continue to criminalise the poor, violently remove people from sleeping places, fail to work on positive solutions & enforce unattainable bylaws (eg: urinating in public because there are no public toilets) then we sure won't get anywhere near solving it.
“Let's love the homeless and hate homelessness.”
Thursday night dinners
We took a two week break in October from our regular Thursday night dinners. On one of the weeks we met as a community to worship and pray together. This was such a special time as we sat together, listened to each other’s hearts and prayed for one another, our community and our country. We look forward to more regular worship and prayer evenings in the future.
Along with our regular Thursday night meal and table fellowship we also have an active children’s programme. Which is lead by a number of volunteers, one being a New Hope board member. Children from all over the community join in on the fun each week, some from foster homes, others arrive with their parents who are attending the meal and some are children of volunteers. It is a beautiful mix of all different ages, different backgrounds and everyone plays together. Each week the volunteers plan a fun and interactive activity for the children, play games, pray and share dinner together. It has become a wonderful place where everyone is welcome and they are made to feel safe and loved.
This last week’s activity: Painting egg cups and planting seeds in them.
New Hope Beneficiaries
We have been supporting Peter on and off for the last few month, through paying for his shelter fees at Youth Solutions. Peter has been looking for work as he is a accomplished draughtsman, but has been struggling to secure employment. Over the last few months of getting to know Peter, we have been so encouraged by his perseverance in searching and waiting for work and his dedication to his recovery. So we have decided to take him on as a full time beneficiary, and not only support him financially but also through connecting him to the Zanokhanyo Network job readiness course. One of our board members who is journeying with Peter on a relational level regularly tells us about the encouraging messages and scripture that Peter sends him on a daily basis. He also recently gave us this feedback after they spent the afternoon together: “We had a cool moment where the person we bought something from while hanging out on the weekend turned out to be someone (Peter) used to scam for heroin money. She didn't even recognise him! And he got to interact with her in a legitimate transaction. That was a great moment for him.” We have the amazing privilege of seeing a life transformed and we give the glory to God for the way He transformed and continues to sustain Peter.
Michael celebrated his 60th birthday in October while in recovery at TWC. He has adapted well to TWC and is currently in a positive space. He is now eligible to apply for and receive his SASSA pension, which open new doors and opportunities for him as he receives a steady income. We celebrate with him and are so proud of his perseverance and commitment to his recovery.
Roger has been in recovery and clean for 4 months and up until now he has been doing very well. However he has recently felt like he has hit a wall, which often happens around the 4 month clean mark. He has been feeling quite stuck not sure where to go from this point and uncertain of the future and what it holds for him. Fortunately the Inner Peace team have notice this and they are working with and encouraging Roger to stay focused on his recovery and to push forward. One of our board members had the opportunity recently to pay Roger a visit while he was down in Cape Town. He encouraged Roger to trust Inner Peace, New Hope SA, himself, but mostly God who is the One which sustains all things and has a plan for his future. We are trusting that through the support of those around him and God’s grace Roger will make it over the ‘wall’ and continue with strength in his recovery.
Over this last month while Daniel has been staying at The Carpenter’s Shop we have been exploring options of how we can best assist him with finding work as a tiler, and maintaining work. We realized that his biggest hurdle in securing work, is having the tools for the job. Most contractors require a tradesman to own his own tools, which Daniel does not. We suggested that Daniel submit a proposal to the New Hope board stating what tools he needs and motivating why he needs them. After a couple of revisions Daniel submitted a concise and well thought out proposal to the board, which they are now reviewing and considering how we can assist him in obtaining these tools. This proposal has given Daniel a lot of confidence in moving forward and that he will soon be able to provide for himself and his children.
Walter has been progressing well in his recovery at Inner Peace. He has reported that he is enjoying the programme there and is learning new things about himself for the first time since the age of 14. Walter received confirmation this month that he is eligible to receive a SASSA disability grant, which will start paying out in November. Which means he will be able to purchase a cell phone and we will have more regular contact with him. It will also mean that he can start contributing financially to his recovery, which is always a positive step. We are so pleased with Walter’s progress and his dedication to his recovery.
*Names changed for anonymity