Day 302: When People Make a Difference
A few weeks ago, you may have read my post about ZOE International and making a difference in the lives of others, one hurting soul at a time. If not, see ZOE and Sex Trafficking. More recently, we were in Cape Town, South Africa and had the honor of meeting Lorna and Reinaldo, as well as Marty, three wonderful people who are working hard to make a real difference in and around the slum areas of Cape Town.
They graciously met with us and from day one, were investing their time and energy into Ryan, the kids, and me, teaching us about what they do, introducing us to all of the many people they work with and help, and allowing us to immerse ourselves in what they do day to day.
Their vision is to determine needs in the poorer communities in and around Cape Town and endeavour to help those communities to meet the educational, emotional, and physical needs of children in their care. Below are some of the precious people they serve. Many of these photos are from the Educare Centers, crammed full of many, many children. Without these centers, even children as young as these might be on their own all day long. The photos below represent just a fraction of people touched by the lives of our new friends.
Marty and Lorna also volunteer and teach English at a local school (see below). We were asked to speak to three classes of sixth graders and share with them all about our journey. We taught, shared, and learned in return.
During our time in Cape Town, we had an amazing time working side by side with everyone. It was truly overwhelming to see the magnitude of needs surrounding them, but equally encouraging to see how much they poured themselves into their work, making an amazing impact on those whose lives they touched.
The two precious people below are Lorna and her dear husband, Reinaldo. Shortly after we arrived, we discovered that Reinaldo had been diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer the week before. We were surprised, as we had spent the week working side by side with Lorna. Through the week, she had always had a sweet smile on her face, and worked so hard to serve others, encouraging all around her with her kind, cheerful, and infectious joy. We had no idea of the trial she and her husband were going through that week, until we got to know her a little better.
As we got together with Lorna, Reinaldo, and Marty before leaving, we could tangibly see God at work, encouraging and uplifting them in the midst of this painful trial. Please, when they are brought to mind, pray for the challenging road they have ahead of them. God has used them so powerfully over the last decade and there is still so much work to be done.
Special thanks to Cyndi Royce, who connected us to her cousin, Steve, in Cape Town and to Steve, who helped coordinate our time with Lorna, Reinaldo, and Marty. We are so thankful to both of you for your part in allowing all of the above to happen!
If you are ever in the Cape Town area, you must meet Lorna, Reinaldo, and Marty. If you’d like to learn more about what they do or what they might need, please feel free to visit their webiste: Teach Love Care. Lorna, Reinaldo, and Marty, we pray that God continues to richly bless all that you do and provide for your needs in every way. Please know our doors are always open, should you find yourselves in the Chicago area. We hope to see you all again soon.