register(); ?> Beanies, jerseys, teddy bears, dolls and scarves on Straatwerk

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Beanies, jerseys, teddy bears, dolls and scarves

This winter, women put their knitting and crocheting skills to great use. Scarves came in handy in our outreaches to women involved in prostitution, who try desperately to make a living in the most adverse weather conditions. Jerseys and beanies brought a smile to faces young and old, while knitted teddy bears gave comfort to young children and teenage girls growing up in difficult circumstances.

And, of course, the dolls were used in our Valuable to Jesus campaign. Elsa de Jager (85) and Gladys Kritzinger (83) received a donation of wool and started to knit. “Old age makes the process very slow and our hands aren’t always steady, but it is still very rewarding to do something for those in need of a little warmth,” they told us.

Thank you to all those who made sure that people in need were kept warm this winter.

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The VTJ campaign gains momentum on the Cape Flats

The Valuable to Jesus campaign on the Cape Flats is gaining great momentum, with four leaders currently training other women, inspiring them and ensuring that everything runs smoothly.

These co-ordinators are overseeing the following areas:
Regina Salie – Bishop Lavis, Kalksteenfontein, Valhalla Park
Patty Manuel – Athl0ne, Heideveld, Manenberg
Anita Herwel – Mitchells Plain: Woodlands, Westridge, Heinz Park, bottom area of Lentegeur, Portlands
Cynthia van den Berg – Beacon Valley, Eastridge, top part of Lentegeur, Tafelsig

These leaders are responsible for prayer in the schools, the organising of CAP (Community Awareness Prayer) as well as rallies where the women from the community are invited to become part of the campaign. At these meetings they share the vision, there is a time of praise and worship, the VTJ choir performs, a guest speaker shares a message from the Bible, they eat together and guests have an opportunity to register. This is a very successful way of recruiting women on the Cape Flats.

All the women who are part of the VTJ campaign have the opportunity to enrol for courses throughout the year where they can develop personally. Courses that have been offered to date include: inner healing, budgeting and entrepreneurship, focused prayer, Precept Ministries (www.precept.org.za) course in how to read and interpret the Bible, and children’s ministry training.

Three times a year, the women who are members of the VTJ campaign from the Cape Flats (about 100) gather for a camp and two “celebrations”. At these gatherings they spend time laughing, socialising, crying and sharing stories and testimonies.

The VTJ campaign goes from strength to strength on the Cape Flats due to all these dedicated women, and by the grace of God. For more information on how you can make a difference in your own environment, contact Jennie van den Berg at 021 9308055 or email her at jennie@straatwerk.org.za

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What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninetynine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbours, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost’. Luke 15:4-6

Part of our outreach efforts to women caught up in prostitution is to extend invitations to engage with us. Even simple “please call me” messages are taken seriously and are followed up.

We also follow up through:

  • personal conversations;
  • telephone calls;
  • SMS and WhatsApp messages;
  • home visits; and
  • general services, including gifts, cards and letters

When a woman decides to accept the Lord into her life, the procedure for following up is slightly different, with a more holistic approach.

Women receive the following services:

  • support sessions;
  • counselling;
  • drug rehabilitation referral and support;
  • integration with family and children where – in most cases – bridges have been burnt;
  • addressing most pertinent physical needs (such as housing, food, toiletries and medical needs);
  • Hands of Hope – creating an opportunity for the women to earn cash in hand by making bracelets;
  • assistance with their CVs, training and seeking employment;
  • Hope’s Up programme – performing voluntary work for basic income; and
  • practical training in relevant subjects.

The body of Christ is essential in doing the follow-up work. All the spiritual gifts are necessary in order that women can find new life in Christ. Practical examples of how individuals, home groups and congregations have become involved include:

  • Providing plastic to ensure that the roof of a small, self-built house doesn’t leak (the woman has to live in it to remain on the housing list).
  • Food for a family in a transition time of crisis, and support for the unemployed father of the children to find work to provide for his family.
  • Renting a house for a family in need of stability, in order that they can plan for the future, and serious medical intervention.
  • Erecting a Wendy house, for which the woman will contribute half of the cost.
  • Constant contact after a woman returned to her old lifestyle, to encourage her to come back.
  • Help with settling the baby of a woman who had passed away.

“It takes a village to raise a child”, as the saying goes. In this case the Church has a role to play in receiving these women in love, and giving them support.

 

Finding lost sheep
Some of the women from the Cape Flat’s Valuable to Jesus campaign got together for an enjoyable “celebration”.
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Written by admin

Teenagers are not the easiest bunch of people to work with, and the teens of Badsberg Close, Heideveld, and the surrounding neighbourhood are no exception. Drugs available on every corner, teenage pregnancy considered acceptable (Grade 8 is termed the “maternity ward”), sexual abuse that robs them of their dignity, gangsterism with the allure of quick money and power, and poverty that forces many young people to drop out of school and find a job are some of the things that these teenagers are faced with on a daily basis. Making the right decisions without proper guidance and support is almost impossible.

At Zoë Trust we support our young people with support groups and with tutoring in basic literacy and maths. And, of course, lots of prayer for their safety and for the right decisions.

If you want to help with support groups and tutoring after school, call Lisa at 072 390 7437 or email her at lisa@itsamazing.org.za

 

Finding and returning lost sheep
Our teenage boys are very pleased with their beanies.
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The showers at the Bo-Kaap depot are working overtime, and hygiene levels are soaring. Besides the continuous need for soap and towels, there is also a great demand for clothes and shoes for both men and women. Many of those participating in the project have torn or worn-out clothing. To address this problem, we have started a clothing bank. Smaller sizes (pants size 28 – 34, small and medium sized shirts and all shoe sizes) remain scarce as they are the most popular items. Please contact our offices on 021 9308055 if you would like to make a donation.

Another challenge at the depot is security. We are fortunate to have volunteers who help us with this, but we’d like to at least reward them with two cups of coffee during their four-hour shifts. To do so we need coffee, tea, sugar, coffee creamer or milk powder, two washbasins, dishwashing liquid and mugs.

More information about the project is available on our website: www.straatwerk.org.za

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Written by admin
Usefulness

We recently received an unexpected email addressed to our manager who is responsible for the ministry to the destitute and desperate. It read, “I don’t believe you know who I am, but I would just like to thank you and your team from the bottom of my heart for the noble task you undertook in cleaning the Liesbeek River. So many people easily complain, but only a few are willing to bend over and pick up the litter. I am quite sure that you only receive 1% of the praise that you deserve, but please know that there are in fact people who recognise and appreciate your work and who rejoice at it”.

I admit that picking up litter has become somewhat of a forte of everyone involved at Straatwerk. Projek Opruim teams are involved in this every day in various areas and the night outreach teams get involved amongst those enjoying the city’s nightlife, every Friday evening on the streets of Cape Town. As part of community awareness prayer, litter is picked up around schools on the Cape Flats while praying. (A significant group of women pray specifically for the school children affected by sexual abuse, prostitution and pornography as part of the Valuable to Jesus campaign.)

The well-known leadership guru, Jim Collins, once asked his mentor to describe success, to which his mentor replied: “Life is not about being successful, but about being useful”. Offering service and being of use to those around you is what life is about – and the Bible attests to this. “For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.” Eph. 2:10. Something is stirred when one takes practical action. One of the most quoted prayers one would find on fridge magnets or bible coversnowadays also affirms this: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.” This prayer was written by Reinhold Niebuhr when he served as a young pastor in his first congregation in Detroit during the 1920s, in the time of the great depression in the USA.

Realism asks that we think smaller, more modest, but that we try and do what our hands find to do, within reach of our ability. Realism is the wisdom (asked for in this prayer) that does not become dejected, helpless and therefore stuck at inaction because of everything that cannot be done, but is willing to start on a small scale, step by step. This is the essence of Paul’s message in 1 Cor. 15:58 where he states that in light of the gospel, we should be abundant in all that we do, because our labour in service of the Lord is not in vain. That leaves no room for cynicism, because there is always something to do.

Greetings from Fourie and everyone at Straatwerk

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Every person deserves a place to belong. Neither race nor title, income, address, gender, nor any other category should stand in the way of letting someone feel that they belong.

Perhaps this is wishful thinking, but when you see the Jesus Saves Daily teams in action, you know that this isn’t a far-off dream.

The Jesus Saves Daily crews deliver services at the Ophelp Projekte City depot in the Bo-Kaap every day. They wash the coats (bibs), the towels that are used in the showers, and do many other tasks around the depot to keep it clean and tidy.

Our term of endearment for these special people is MIPS – Mentally impaired People of the Streets. MIPS are mentally or physically differently-abled, and although they cannot meet the demands of ordinary cleaning shifts, they render essential services to Ophelp Projekte during their twohour shifts.

Jesus Saves Daily Jesus Saves Daily

 

The dear ‘wasbads’

Everyone knows where to find the ‘wasbads’ – Castle Street in the Bo-Kaap, at the Ophelp Projekte depot. Here anyone is welcome to take a free shower (not just participants in the Ophelp Projekte), which includes towels and toiletries. In the past 6 months, approximately 8 482 showers have been taken, and the ‘wasbads’ have become a place of love and care for many.

wasbads wasbads

 

Straatwerk’s dedicated workers
Central services Prostitution: prevention and recovery
CENTRAL SERVICES
This team keeps the office and household running smoothly and sees to it that we are always ready for any training event, special outreach, crisis or whatever need arises. The communication section sees to the newsletters, social media, launches, and receives the groups that come on outreaches.
PROSTITUTION: PREVENTION AND RECOVERY
This team of women manage the entire Valuable to Jesus Campaign, both locally and nationally, and train women to implement the campaign in their own communities. They also coordinate the Street Outreaches, follow-up visits and other essential services for the women trapped in prostitution. In addition, a discipleship programme is offered to those who choose to entrust their lives to the Lord.

 

Ophelp Projekte OPHELP PROJEKTEThis group manages about 400 people who ensure that the streets of the greater Cape Town region stay clean. There are roughly 68 cleaning shifts that are run from our city depot per week, and 32 shifts per week from the Mowbray depot. All shifts include the services of a foreman and of workers. There are also shifts for basic maintenance work on roads in the CBD and other technical shifts.
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Written by admin

Engele by onsWe like to think that guardian angels are working overtime at Straatwerk – but do we really understand the role that angels play in our lives?

Sannie Wiese has been a loyal supporter of Straatwerk for many years, and also serves on our Women’s Committee*. Over the past few years, Sannie has compiled a thorough study of angels, and has been a regular speaker at a variety of events since 1996.

Her latest book, Engele by Ons (Angels with us) sheds light on topics such as: do I have my own guardian angel; what do angels look like; children and their angels; angels and spirituality. The book is also filled with real-life experiences that people have had with angels.

Get a copy of Engele by Ons from leading bookstores, as well as directly from Sannie at ewiese@mweb.co.za or from Straatwerk at cila@straatwerk.org.za

*The Women’s Committee provides support in a variety of ways for workers at Straatwerk. If you want to be part of the Women’s Committee, please contact Lisa Truter on 021 930 8055, or at lisa@straatwerk.org.za

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A, B, C, D, E, F, G…

Who would have thought that children prefer to sit and read and build puzzles, rather than playing outside with balls, hula hoops, and skipping ropes? Who could have imagined that children would want to attend a literacy class, instead of playing games? Well, it has eventually happened!

A few months ago, a beautiful 12 year old girl in grade 7 expressed with great excitement her wish to read aloud from a book. She initially struggled and stuttered over the words, but courageously pushed through. The book from which she read was meant for children aged 3-5 years. One’s heart goes out tosuch a child – only one among many children that have a basic literacy problem.

Our Zoe Trust team sat down together, brainstormed, consulted and eventually decided to implement the SmartBrain course (www.smartbrainsa.co.za). This was no easy task, and required hard work from the ‘teachers’, seeing as they did not have the opportunity to complete their own schooling, and had to first master the course themselves.

During the July school holiday they presented their first demo class, which turned out to be a major success. From August, basic literacy classes will be presented for different age groups at our home in Badsberg Close, Heideveld. An additional classroom has been built in the backyard of Ouma Joan (our neighbour) in order to accommodate more children.

We are also very excited that our “Babbelbekkies” informal early childhood development classes will be presented five days per week instead of only once a week. Everyone in our area will have to get used to hearing the sounds of the A, B, C…!

Badsberg Close, Heideveld Badsberg Close, Heideveld
While there was time to play with clay and jump rope, puzzle building and reading were the more popular holiday activities in Badsberg Close! Thank you to the youth from Fresh Wind Ministries who so eagerly participated in the holiday programme (www.freshwind.co.za).
Badsberg Close, Heideveld Badsberg Close, Heideveld
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http://www.straatwerk.org.zaMadri Bruwer

The distinction is often made between “forced” and “voluntary” prostitution, where the former refers to women who entered into  prostitution through human trafficking, and the latter to women who did not.

Straatwerk’s outreaches to women caught up in prostitution
We serve all women involved in prostitution or sexual activities for payment in our areas of ministry, regardless of whether they are involved voluntarily or involuntarily, with or without their knowledge, and citizens of any country. We believe that the women (and ourselves) should not think of themselves as being victims, but rather as independent, able individuals who can make their own choices.

Straatwerk’s Valuable to Jesus campaign
We believe that God wants to eradicate all forms of sexual abuse, prostitution and pornography through the focused prayers and compelled action of local congregations. The Valuable to Jesus campaign is a national school project.

Have a look at the advertisement of the package we make available, and join in.

Feel free to contact us for more in formation: madri@straatwerk.org.za

Human Trafficking definition:
Human trafficking is the illegal trade of human beings, mainly for the purposes of forced labour and sex trafficking. As the world’s fastest growing criminal industry, it affects every nation across the globe. Every thirty seconds, someone is forced into this type of bondage—modern slavery. (A21-Campaign)

Prostitution definition:
The practice or occupation of engaging in sexual activity with someone for payment. (Oxford Dictionaries)

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