I came back from the Eastern Cape Four12 Regional Equipping Time earlier this year with my heart feeling so full and encouraged with what God is doing across the Four12 churches! I knew that our teens needed to catch a heart to GO and see that we’re part of something bigger! So we made the call to cancel our Oxygen Life Church’s youth camp plans and instead pile ten teenagers and five leaders into cars and drive from Port Elizabeth (PE) to East London (EL) to spend the weekend with some of the Four12 youths there. WHAT AN EPIC WEEKEND!
We arrived in time to join in with ‘Vibes’ at Crossways (Vibes is the three Four12 church’s youths which join together every Friday night). A great time worshipping Jesus together and the teens got to pray for and minister to each other afterwards, a real time of unified hearts.
On Saturday we went to the Kings Childrens Home. What exactly is Kings Childrens Home? It is not just another children’s home. Jonathan and Tracy King lead Crossways Church (Four12 partners). Jonathan teaches at a few local schools, Tracy runs a play school from their home and together along with full time jobs and leading a church…they (along with a few amazing African ‘moms’) care for a brood of anything from 25 plus babies and toddlers at a time, sent to them via social services and police interventions.
God said to us, why not you? Why someone else? You have a home, love, the basics…’. If that could be described as a call, then yes God ‘called them’
What started as caring for one little abandoned boy has become the Kings’ home now brimming to the point of overflow with babies and toddlers (their house with a few God-send temporary containers turned into housing for the babes on their property). With over 123 babies having been cared for by them over the last seven years, the Kings’ heart is to see every baby find a forever home with adoptive parents. When asked if God called them to this incredibly sacrificial life adventure (they live financially by faith that God will supply every need for every child they open their home and hearts to and they will not turn babes away if at all possible) their response is ‘no, well not us specifically. We looked for someone to care for Benjamin (the first little boy found abandoned outside their home and who is now their adopted son) and God said to us, why not you? Why someone else? You have a home, love, the basics…’. If that could be described as a call, then yes God ‘called them’ (and incidentally calls all of us).
So at this amazing place the youth girls spent time connecting and playing with the children, while the boys got some good blisters on their hands leveling a patch of ground for a newest container to be placed. The King’s had been trusting for another container (to be used to house another 15 children), and we got to be part of the beautiful process of seeing it happen. We uprooted grass, dug, sweated, drank gallons of water, got sunburnt and laughed a lot. It was great to labour alongside each other for something so important.
One might think, ok so these guys drove 4 hours up to East London on Friday, hung with some youth guys, did some work at a babies home and then drove back Sunday, they were there for only 36 hours…was it even worth it? YES, YES and YES again! God works through us building into each other’s lives with love. We have invested in a new relationship with guys up at the Four12 churches in East London! We were a part of helping babies have a home to stay. Our teens were built up and encouraged! Ultimately the Kingdom of God was advance, that is so worth while! Let’s be ‘a going people’, let’s continue to invest radically into other’s lives.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dave is a 3rd year theology student who leads the youth and kids ministry at Oxygen Life Church. Twenty-three years old, loving surfing, his family and most importantly Jesus.
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