Archives For Siphiwe

Could I have about 7 minutes of your time today? I want to tell you about some friends of mine, who just happen to live on the other side of the world.

One of the sweetest girls on the planet, my friend, Siphiwe.

One of the sweetest girls on the planet, my friend, Siphiwe. This moment when she put her arm around me: Priceless.

There’s about 150 kids who are not only my friends, but I am their friend. I genuinely believe they know the Browers and hundreds of others in North America as their friends. We’ve laughed, danced, ate & cried together. (If that doesn’t define friendship, I don’t know what does.) Isn’t friendship built on a common bond of interest in each other’s lives, trust and concern for each other’s well-being? Yes. I love the kind of friend you can call in the middle of a crisis and you KNOW they’ve got your back, no questions asked. We all need people like this in our lives, that show up saying ‘I am pulling for you! Your joy is my joy! Your pain is my pain! WE are gonna get through this.”

This is the kind of friendship that has formed long-distance between our connect community of sponsors through Children’s HopeChest and the children of the Bheveni community in Swaziland, Africa. A partnership. It truly isn’t one-sided. And we truly aren’t the heroes. Ask any member of one of the teams my husband & I have led… the kids & their caregivers are the heroes of their own lives. We’re the loud, obnoxious, over-zealous cheerleaders.

The B-Team worked tirelessly to paint the playground! The children LOVE it!

The B-Team & discipleship team worked tirelessly to paint the playground! The children LOVE it!

 

The children help tend the garden everyday. We were blessed to help a little while we were there.

The children help tend the garden everyday. We were blessed to help a little while we were there.

 

There are several ways we maintain this long-distance partnership:

Sponsorship impacts everyone's lives!

Sponsorship impacts everyone’s lives!

1. Sponsorship – through sponsorship a child in the Bheveni community is guaranteed a hot, healthy meal, clean water, discipleship & life skills training. Through sponsorship, they know they have a friend in North America who knows them by name, prays for them, and wants them to have a successful, fruitful life both here & into eternity. It’s $38 a month per kid, but all the money is pooled for the entire community so no child is left without their needs met, even if they don’t have a sponsor. We often say as a Children’s HopeChest sponsor, we get to mentor a child, but sponsor an entire community of children to band together & lift themselves out of poverty. It’s brilliant & God-inspired because it works – we see the fruit of sponsorship and it’s a beautiful thing, y’all! We currently have 30 new kids who have started coming to the carepoint who need a sponsor.

2. Dreaming Together – And we Dream BIG! Our online community of sponsors, advocates & supporters listen very closely to the vision the Bheveni community members have and do what we can to assist. We don’t do it for them, but assist and simply provide opportunity; whether that be through paying school fees (they have to pay to go to school! I still shake my head at this one. If they don’t have parents and barely have food, how are they to pay for tuition? ugh.) or giving a little bit extra during the holidays so they can build a new, safe community center and finally get electricity, it’s a complete joy to watch their dreams blossom & their futures brighten!

The Dream Building is going up!

The Dream Building made possible by GIVERS like you!

This multi-purpose building will be complete soon and will have electricity!

This multi-purpose building will be complete soon and will have electricity!

3. Visits – We’ve been to visit our friends in Swaziland four times since 2010. We’ve watched them grow up. We’ve led 4 incredible teams. I mean, I can’t even describe to you how amazing our team members are… they are just ready for it all & love the kids as if they were their own. It’s beautiful each & every trip to see the bonds of friendship forged and deepened.

This year, 2015, we are not able to send a team to physically be with the kids, or to physically pray & laugh & dance with the bomake who cook for hundreds of rambunctious kids everyday over an open flame. And it’s sorta crushed us to know a team trip isn’t happening. I pray that the children of Bheveni understand, but I have to put that in the Lord’s hands because otherwise it breaks my heart a little to think they may think we don’t care anymore. One blessing in this? We no longer have to put our time & resources towards funding a trip, but now we can JUST focus on supporting their dreams! Hallelujah for that! It would’ve cost the team a minimum of $20,000 to fly there for 10 days. Let’s imagine this money instead going into the long-term development of the children in a variety of other ways. And it can happen easier than you think.

Even though we aren’t having a team trip, we can & are still being a support to the Bheveni Community… and that’s where you come in.

Today, besides sponsorships, the one way my readers can help is…. drum roll, please…

Buy A T-shirt.

Really.

When you buy a Create Hope T-shirt, the extra funds will be invested into the kids’ lives. And the shirts are rad. Really. One of our 3-time team members designed it and she did a great job! So you’ll get a fashionable Tee and DO GOOD IN THE WORLD at the same time.

A rainbow of gorgeous, tangible hope.

A rainbow of gorgeous, tangible hope.

Your T-shirt will help ensure the kids stay in school, have the necessary school supplies & uniforms, have medical attention when they need it, and who knows, we may even surprise them by having the staff bring a meal with meat in it!

There’s a meal called ‘Chicken Dust’ – it doesn’t sound good but it makes my mouth water just thinking about it . Because meat is expensive, the kids only get this meal when our team comes. Once a year. And if we’re not coming… we gotta get them their Chicken Dust somehow, y’all! The hype around Chicken Dust rivals that of Chick-Fil-A. Now you get me. For all the kids to have a meal with MEAT, it costs appx. $600 US.

And if we raise another $400 beyond that, we can have the staff show up with a 30-day supply of food to the local homesteads. Often these are child-led or grandparent-led homes that are struggling the most. Two years ago we took one of these 30-day supply bags to Grandma Dlamini raising 5 grandkids (because all their parents had died). She burst into tears and said just that morning she begged God for a miracle. They had run out of food that morning. THAT morning… and THAT evening God sent some clueless Americas to show her His faithfulness.

The faith of a grandmother is a powerful thing.

The faith of a grandmother is a powerful thing.

Buy a Create Hope Tee, y’all. 

It’s $30 total shipped to your door. There’s even kid sizes. If you don’t want another Tee but wanna help the Bheveni kids out, click my paypal button on the top right column, and your donation will go towards providing some of life’s most basic needs (like food & education) for my friends.

We need to sell at least 100 Tees. As of yesterday, we’ve sold precisely 11. Eleven. So yeah, we’ve got some catching up to do. Shirt sales end July 27th.

I’m gonna choose to have the faith of Grandmother Dlamini. I’m praying the audacious & desperate prayer for our God to show up STRONG on their behalf through broken, yet willing vessels such as ourselves.

Thank you!!!

Shine On!

Danielle 

#createhope2015

One of the many ways that God blessed our missions trip to Swaziland was to show us how the ministry between Children’s HopeChest, AIM, and the carepoints actually work. Obviously our chief concern is how these relationships & ministries effect our children who attend Bheveni Carepoint.

It’s about the Kids!!!!

I can say unequivocally that those who are ministering to our Bheveni kids have the kids needs at the center of everything they do. From the leaders of HopeChest here in America, to Jumbo & Kriek Gerber who are AIM’s Swaziland leaders, to the Discipleship Team who know the children and teach them about Jesus every week. IT IS ABOUT THE KIDS!!!!

What a relief it was to see for myself that yes, it is about the children – it’s not about making a name for their ministry, or having all the best technologies or vehicles to transport teams & staff. No. Let me be clear – it is most definitely about making sure our kids are cared for body, soul, and spirit.

Gratitude to Deb Gangemi

Deb Gangemi

I want to take a moment to thank a very special person. Deb Gangemi. Deb was Bheveni’s sponsorship coordinator from the beginning of the carepoint’s existence. Through God’s grace and her passion for the Swaziland kids, she led hundreds of people to pray for & give to our Bheveni kids for over a year & a half. The building, the outhouse, the fence, the garden, the water tower, the well – all these things you see in the pictures are a result of her efforts to seek funding and support. Deb I hope you know how thankful I am for the foundation you laid, for all the time you gave. We are reaping the rewards for the seed you’ve sown and so are the children of Bheveni. Thank you!

Let’s THRIVE together!

A solid foundation has been built at Bheveni. Kids are being fed and have access to clean water. Kids are learning. Bheveni has become what the vision was nearly two years ago – to provide a safe haven for the area children to not only be fed, but also to hear about Jesus & grow in Him. This is happening. To God be the glory!

The goal of CHC & AIM and our FB Community is to see to it that the children who come to carepoints are not only surviving now, but also thriving & succeeding. This definitely happens because of a strong partnership community. Our goal is to raise up a strong Bheveni Carepoint and surrounding community, one that is NOT solely dependent on provision by us, but one that thrives & is able to rise up and grow beyond what they thought possible. We want our helping to actually help – not hurt or cause dependency on anyone but Jesus.

One Striking Difference

I think this is one of the main ways that HopeChest and AIM differ from other large ministry organizations – they seek not only to give the kids a meal or clean water, but to genuinely help them to help themselves beyond mere survival by creating ways for them to thrive in areas such as:

(While some of these services may be supported by child sponsorship, additional sources of support are required)

  • Education – each child must have the opportunity to go to school.  School fees are costly and must be paid each year in order for a child to graduate to the next grade level. Many families, especially with multiple children find this very difficult. Soon I will be sharing with you a plan to help each of our Bheveni kids thrive in this area.

  • Enhanced medical care through cross Carepoint initiatives

  • Initiate activities through the community that increases ability to earn a living wage (micro-enterprise, occupational training)

  • Engage in developing or building up an indigenous led local church. Each child should be able to have access to a local church & body of believers.

Partnering & Sponsorship

You and I are partnering with this vision. By sending in $34 a month, you are not just supporting one child. You are supporting & helping to fund an entire community at Bheveni. It helped me to view sponsorship this way:

With my $34 a month, I am SPONSORING a community and I am MENTORING a child within that community.

Siphiwe & I at Bheveni

I love this approach – it gives me greater hope for my sponsored child that she will grow up in a safe environment with all the opportunities before her to be the best she can be. I know that Siphiwe (my special friend) is fed & cared for at Bheveni & has access to discipleship & medical attention if necessary. But my money also goes to support the greater Bheveni community needs that Siphiwe has full access to. And I have an opportunity to write letters & pray for her as she grows up in Bheveni Community.

Perhaps you currently do not sponsor a child, but still want to make a difference at Bheveni. I’ll be presenting opportunities soon whereby you can be involved in being a positive influence on children across our world without being a specific child’s sponsor. We are moving forward & growing along with the needs of our carepoint kids & community! I am thrilled to be a part of the plan!

God bless each of you!

Danielle

P.S. You’ve been receiving daily emails from Moms4Change due to our missions trip. But starting this week, Moms4Change will be publishing only two post per week on Tuesdays & Fridays, through the end of the year.  On my next post I’ll be announcing the winner of the Timbali purse – so get to commenting! 🙂