Tuesday, December 1, 2009


At last we opened Beth Shan. We have been operating the shelter since March but on Sunday the TC André Cox offically opened the shelter.

There were many wonderful supporters at the opening and they have pledged to continue helping us both with finaces and aid in kind.
This Saturday a group of young people from Choose life Church will be coming along to paint our bedrooms. While they are doing that I will be taking my ladies along to Etembeni where they will give the toddlers there a Birthday party and help to look after the little babies they have at the home. We are all looking forward to a morning of service.

Today is International Aids day and Carla and I were guest speakers at a function celebrating life at the South African Revenue Services (SARS) in Centurion. I spoke on HIV and Carla spoke on Domestic violence. The folk listened carefully and I hope we made a good impression on their hearts.

On the 26th the staff from Beth Shan and Mercy house went along to Church Square and for 2 and 1/2 hours spoke to many folk about being aware of the domestic violence that plagues our country. We handed out many booklets and information pamphlets on all the services available to folk regarding their personal rights. it was a good morning and we really think we made a difference. It was great to meet folk from all over the world as every tourist that came to the square came to the table and some even told us that they were going to suggest our initiative to their social departments.

We asked people to sign a petition stating that they were against any form of gender based violence and they were against any form of child abuse. We managed to get 530 signatures in a matter of hours.

today I took Tabiso to Etembeni. He is a beautiful baby whose mother left him at our shelter since Wednesday. She now has another tiny baby to look after. Tabiso is wonderful he is gentle, shy and vocal. His mom really loves him and she agreed to allow us to place him in a place of safety until she can find somewhere to live and until she comes out of hospital with the baby.

While we are a shelter that looks after moms and their children we are not equipped to look after little children without their moms being around. Etembeni on the other hand is a baby home and is more then equipped. I thank God every day that I belong to this amazing organisation that really does meet the needs of the community. Pray for Tabiso that this young child will grow up to be an amazing young man who will do great things for God and for this country. I believe he has the potential to be a president.

Nicole (my second child) has just passed her first year at University and again we give thanks to God for a bursary for her second year of studies. She did really well and we are very proud of her.

Matthew and Mark are busy writing their exams and they are confident of a pass ( I'm praying their confidence is well placed) Natalie is on holiday with her boyfriend. She is my eldest daughter and keeps me on my knees.

My husband and I are looking forward to a busy Christmas and then a few days of camping out in the veld.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Beth Shan

It has been some time since last I put fingers to a keyboard. So much has happened. Beth Shan is really do well. We are more and more convinced every single day that this is aGod thing. I love working in the shelter. I am facinated by the stories of heroic deeds. Every woman living at our shelter is a hero. one has escaped Human Trafficking another from an abusive relationship and its amazing that they are finding peace, and restoration at Beth Shan. Whats even more amazing is that they are find God.

The Salvation Army in South Africa is busy taking a good hard look at itself which can be an excellent tool as far as development is concerned - if used properly and if everyone really takes it seriously.

So far its looking great. Get to look at the website TSA Southern Africa Strategic Plan '10-'15

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Travelling, training and praying

I am about to set out on a month of training in Human Trafficking awareness. Together with Sister Colleen from the Sister of Mercy I will be travelling around to a few centres in South Africa speaking about Human Trafficking and hopefully making a few folk aware of what they can do to help young girls escape this terrible experience.

The more I speak and teach on this subject the more I realise that this world needs a Saviour. We are living in a time when human life has become so cheap. In South Africa a young girl can have an abortion at 12 - without parental consent. They talk about counselling but little is given. A child herself - often raped by her own relatives can have an abortion because we can't fix the initial problem! So when someone offers these girls a way out - out of the country, out of poverty, out of their parents homes they grab it with both hands.

I try so hard to protect my children but you can't protect them all the time. There are times when you have to trust the world to treat them well- you have to trust that you have taught them to make well considered decisions. That's what I want to achieve with this training. To place before people options for better decisions.

Pray for us as we go around to Limpopo, Shosanguve, Durban, and Gauteng that God will touch hearts and place a passion for saving people from exploitation of the worst kind. We have been told that women are used more in Africa then men to recruit the young girls into this terrible world. I want to reach the hearts of those women. I want to reignite a belief that life is precious and that it must be guarded and protected.

We have a huge soccer event happening in 2010. We know the event will bring in many tourists but also it will introduce many dangers to our young people. Evil moves in crowds and young people are attracted to crowds. We have very fuzzy boarders in South Africa and high corruption - officials are easily bought over. Girls will be brought in and shipped out in the flow and ebb of these crowds. If we can prevent even one girl from leaving we have done a great thing.

young girls are most vulnerable in this terrible trade. We will be speaking to young nurses, but also to a few grannies, we have Officers at the boarder towns who will now know a little more about the things happening in their towns.

My prayer is that God will grow a passion for the lost deep within our hearts. That he will develop it and grow it until it consumes us and carries us from one place to another.

I want God to build a hedge around me to protect me from the evil one. that my family may be safe and my children never be taken into this terrible world. I ask that God allows me to keep the training work for the training and family time for the family. That my children may be happy and healthy and my husband a good father and husband to us. That my life may be a shinning light for others to see what a difference believing in God makes.

Pray for safe travelling for us. We will be covering quiet a few miles over this next month.

Saturday, April 4, 2009


I'm getting myself ready for a Good Friday. I will be speaking on Christ's destiny his call to reconciliation and repentance. As I was looking through some really good books I rediscovered Charles Swindoll's book Simple faith what an amazing book and in it I found this beautiful Puritan prayer from the book the valley of vision. Its a beautiful prayer and one that I will pray more often:

I am a shell full of dust But animated with an invisible rational soul And made anew by an unseen power of grace Yet I am no rare object of valuable price But one that has nothing and is nothing Although chosen of thee from eternity, Given to Christ, and born again I am deeply convinced of the evil and misery of a sinful state, Of the vanity of creatures, But also of the sufficiency of Christ
When thou wouldst guide me I control myself When thou wouldst be sovereign I rule myself When thou wouldst take care of me I suffice myself When I should depend on they providing I supply myself When I should submit to thy providence I follow my own will, When I should study, love, honour, trust thee, I serve myself I fault and correct they laws to suit myself,
Instead of thee I look to man’s approbation, And am by nature an idolater. Lord, it is my chief design to bring my heart back to thee. Convince me that I cannot be my own god, or make myself happy, Nor my own Christ to restore my joy, Nor my own Spirit to teach, guide and rule me.
Help me to see that grace does this by providential affliction,
For when my credit is god thou dost cast me lower When riches are my idol thou dost wing them away, When pleasure is my all thou dost turn it into bitterness.
Take away my roving eye, curios ear, greedy appetite, lustful heart; Show me that none of these things
Can heal a wounded conscience, Or support a tottering frame, Or uphold a departing spirit.
Then take me to the cross and leave me there.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Beth Shan opens

So much has happened since last I wrote! Beth Shan (house of quiet) is a shelter for women victims of domestic violence, has been a part of a bigger programme called the Family care programme for a long time now. We had so many problems mainly that the ladies would enter into relationships with the men staying at the centre. Broken lives were helping other broken lives.

We knew something had to change. Thanks to the Envoy at the centre we started to dream of a shelter away from the care centre. We were given a legacy and allowed to start looking for a house. We found one in a lovely quiet suburb of Pretoria, South Africa.

It has a flat at the back and we have decided to make the flat for the exclusive use of victims of Human trafficking. We can accomodate 17 ladies all in all.

We are a very qualified team Carla - our social worker and Innocentia our aux. social worker as well as me - the manager. We are having a lot of fun getting started in our new home.

We have made a decision to be an example of excellence in all that we do. We want the ladies to leave our shelter ready to face whatever the world has to throw at her.

Presently we have 7 ladies in one is a pregnant mom with two little children. She will have four tiny children in a short while. We want her to be so well prepared for her future even her children will be safe and have a good start to life.

God is teaching me so many lessons. I have so much to be grateful for. We have a home and a family that is really well adjusted to the stresses and strains of today. I have so much to say thank you to God for. I have a loving husband - we have been married for 23 years this year. I have four beautiful children and I have a career I love (sometimes) which allows me to grow in so many ways.

Just hearing some of the stories of the ladies in our care I know that God has really spoilt me so much. I would love these ladies to experience just a small amount of the joys I experience daily.
We have not had any Human Trafficked ladies yet but I believe that when we are ready they will come.

I had the privilege of joining a friend on a ladies camp. It was in Bronkhorstspruit set next to a beautiful river. It was amazing. I just love worshiping God in such a beautiful and peaceful setting. There were 120 ladies all ready to worship God and allowing God to speak to us.

Preparing for Easter Weekend I have once again been reminded that sometimes we get so pedantic about details with regard to this weekend that we forget the focus needs to be on Jesus and on God and on the fact that Easter is all about His love.

I've been doing a lot of awareness training on Human Trafficking and have four workshops lined up before the end of the may. All in all life has suddenly become more than hectic. Keeping the balance is going to be difficult. But I hold on to the fact that God is my Father and He looks after me and keeps a check on my diary. He also gives me the strength I need to keep going.

I am so grateful for the people that God has placed around me and how he places just the ones I need to hear from or listen to at any given moment.

Please pray for Beth Shan and for the team who will be leading these women into a new way of living.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

marriage as a value

Life just seems to get more and more interesting every day. Our commissioner has decided that our territory must speak about the values of Christ and what it would mean to live out those values. The first value we need to look at is the family, relationships, marriage.

Looking at marriage as a value is very different from looking at it as a way of life. Marriage has come to mean so many different things including a tax break!

As we were looking at marriage Paul McCarthy was in the news with his divorce and possible engagement - Elton John had married his life long partner and so Hollywood was again making marriage the popular thing to do. But at what cost. Does nothing worth having last anymore???

Marriage is not an easy option. Its hard work. Two different people coming together with the common goal of making "it" work seems doomed from the start. But God takes two hearts and bends the one then the other, he works on our temperament and refines our lives. All so that we can know the picture of the bride (church) and his son (Christ). To prepare the bridegroom goes to his fathers house and builds a suitable dwelling place for his bride to be. To prepare the bride starts on a journey of cleansing. She purifies herself by reading the word of God for Jews this is the Torah. She sits under the counsel of wise older women. She makes her clothes, she prepares her body - for Esther an entire year of preparation for one night with the king. For the family its a time to prepare the daughter and help the son.

What we lose we make a marriage all about a wedding and nothing about a life. I have had the privilege of working with women who settled for less then the best in a husband and paid the price by the beatings they received. For many the man started out great but turned into a monster with the help of alcohol or drugs. Good intentions became empty promises and life turned from great to hate and misery resulted.

How do we get back the original intention of marriage? How do we encourage our young people to know that marriage is actually such a sacred act. You have to enter into it with reverent thought and intention. Keeping true to one another is all about being true to yourself and who you are and with that integrity comes union.

I guess life is what happens when you're not looking. I'm not sure that values are the breaks on the wheels of life and really need to be those moments when we actually stop and smell the roses and think about our actions.

So slow down, think, imagine, dream then live

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Poor Prophets

I've been reading Ezkiel and been very thankful I am not a prophet. As I read of all the things God wanted this man to do - just to be an illustration to the children of Israel was mind blowing, but the most amazing of all was the simple obedience seen in these men.

This man spoke to my heart. His pleading with God for the people - not for his ease or his comfort but for the people all the time. I look at the Corps and wonder how many I want to please and how many I want to make uncomfortable. Then I wonder what I would be prepared to do for God's sake. Would I be prepared to be a walking illustration? I don't think so.

I love God and I love the people he has sent me to minister to and I want them to get to know the message from God but where would I draw the line - I wonder.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Reflections of a tired mind

I am in the process of preparing myself to write the last exam in my post graduate diploma Adult education. I will be pleased when this is all over and I can forget about studying for a while. A good friend wants me to do my Master's degree but I think studying is over for me for a while. I am getting old and my memory doesn't want to work so well any more.

My heart hurts for Israel at the moment. I see so much hurting and so much pain in Israel the Gaza strip is such a tiny piece of land and yet there is so much hatred and so much pain their tonight.

Having been to Israel and seen these places my heart hurts to think that God loves this land so much and yet people are still hurting and being hurt in this wonderful land. I pray for peace in Jerusalem daily. today I pray that God will change hearts and bring peace.

We will again be praying for Israel and Palestine in our meetings on Sunday.

So many of us are making plans to have a good 2009 and our Corps plans will be having their planning meeting on the 20th this to make so many plans for a year that is going to be amazing.

Beth Shan (our home for abused women) has been a great concern for us in that it needs to open in a new house but the house was a problem - Friday is D day so we are praying that God will again make a miracle happen and that we will be able to move into the house very soon. Pray with us for a speedy answer.

a good friend has given Jeff and I a verse from Scripture to encourage us and I am holding on to it with both of my hands

Zep 3:17 The LORD your God is with you; his power gives you victory. The LORD will take delight in you, and in his love he will give you new life. He will sing and be joyful over you

How wonderful for God to sing and be joyful over me! what a beautiful picture of love and hope.

I love the positive statements in Scripture - God is with you - his power gives you victory. I love that and I claim it for my life.

Well I have to put in a time of study now - leadership in teaching can be challenging but even more so when you are teaching adults. I know that God is preparing me for something and I will honour him in all things.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

living Christ's values

Well we are into the new year and we are dying of the heat. It is so hot the dogs are over heating!

I gave Jeff a bonsai for Christmas and its struggling in the heat. I now need to get him a book on how to look after a Bonsai tree. I hope this one does well!! Its been around since 2004 I hope it outlasts us.

Our new territorial Commander has made 2009's theme Living Christ's Values. What an amazing open theme. I had to go back and look at the life of Christ to understand the secret to living like him is behaving like he did to the Father.

He says things like "nothing I do I do without consulting my Father". He put God's agenda ahead of his own, God's love for mankind in place of God's love for him. I am amazed and a little scared to really get down to the nitty gritty on this theme. I have realised that I have to change some of the "accepted" things I do and say.

Its so much easier to live your life in a bubble where everything is predictable. who would have known there would be a storm and the disciples would be fighting for their lives and Jesus would be sleeping - who knew that if you actually get out of the boat you could walk on water. Who would have known that saying "yes I want to be healed" would mean that you would be.

Jesus did not do the expected. he turned the values of the official religious leaders on their heads and they didn't like it. I wonder sometimes if I haven't become an official leader???? do I do the right things because they are valuable or because they are right in my sight??? I'm a little retrospective at the moment so indulge me. I'm second guessing everything I do to make sure my values really do work with Christ's. I'm finding that some of them are really a security blanket that stops me from getting too involved with the "wrong sort".

As an Army Officer I get drained or sapped of energy really quickly when I have to deal with the broken and desperate in life. So often the root of their problem is so easy for me to see but difficult to make them see or even want to fix. How much more annoying must we have been to God in the form of Christ. He must have wanted to shake us sometimes when we didn't get it or we didn't change or we didn't believe cos we didn't see!!

I am determined that this is going to be God's year to act in the Corps, in my family and in me. I am expecting great things. Maybe some of my value systems may just be turned on their heads a little.

till next time. see ya

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Wow it feels like forever since last I wrote my thoughts down. My life has been a steam roller of work, work and sleep. feelings and emotions are optional extras at times. We have secured a house to house the programme Beth Shan. What a wonderful statement to make. Sure there are problems - perhaps more like challenges but they are just sent to keep you humble and totally reliant of God. God makes me want to giggle when he sorts a problem out almost immediately or when he whams you with an aha moment as he sorts something out overnight that has kept you up most nights.

We are praying to open Beth Shan in February. Many are saying it won't happen but I know God has a trick or two up his sleeve- I like the idea that God smiles at our roadblocks. the most exciting aspect of the new Beth Shan is that it will be a place of healing of Agape love and understanding, a place of quiet from a terrible life and a place of shelter from the storm. We will also have the element of women who had been through the horrible experience of being trafficked. I guess that will be one of our biggest challenges. They are survivors and have learnt how to be tough and how to get what you want in desperate ways. God must give us the wisdom to work lovingly with these ladies but also restorative. Making sure they will once again be able to live in a "normal" society after being so badly abused by fellow human beings.

As I look at the world today I see not much has changed. The corporate conscious of society has just dulled even more then it was in the past. Now we turn a blind eye to so much more then our forefather's did. Apartheid was terrible but slavery has to be worse. Genocide was disgusting as we look at it in history but we allow it in our life time and for me in my own continent.

The truth of power corrupting and absolute power corrupting absolutely is so evident in Africa. How we pray that God would bless Africa and we thank Him for men like Angus Buchan who stands and preaches repentance and confession of sins.

Africa has a bleeding heart that needs fixing but the eyes of those living in Africa will tell you that hope has almost left us. almost but not completely. God bless Africa!!

Christmas has come and gone and 2008 has closed its door. I loved Christmas this year. After our morning service which was well attended we headed out for the Free State and spent a few days (3) at Moreson in Vreda. Its a hunting lodge - canned lions no less !!!!!- But also a camping site with an indoor pool and the kids got to play with lion and tiger cubs. they had free access to them and the boys in particular loved that experience. it was only as we stayed there that we discovered the true nature of the lodge. But I am pleased to say that a law has just come out banning canned lion hunting. so maybe moreson will become a lion sanctuary I hope so!

We came back in time to prepare for Old Year's eve service. We decided to hold it at our home and the young people brought their guitars and keyboard and drums and we sang praises to our Great God. We looked at new hopes, new desires and new decisions. We asked God for direction for 2009 and thanked Him for his Faithfulness in 2008. It was a great evening at midnight we were singing -"You are awesome in this place Mighty God" to the sound of an incredible thunderstorm hitting our garage - where we moved to when the rain began to threaten). It was amazing just to bow before the king of the universe and offer to him ourlives for another year.

Our verse for this year is Luke 4:18-19 taken from the Message
God's spirit is on me; He's chosen me to preach the Message of good news to the poor, sent me to announce pardon to the prisoners and recovery of sight to the blind, to set the burdened and battered free, to announce, "this is God's year to act".

So allow me to announce to you all "this is God's year to act". As a church we are beleiving this so much and standing on it as our foundation. We know that God has great things in store for us and we are going to preach it, announce it, do miracles in His name and shout from the roof tops this is God's year to act. We are taking God at His word and know that that's a good thing to do.

So pray for us. As a family we are doing well. Nicole (my second eldest ) has just past matric. She passed really well and we are really proud of her. She start at university this year studying Bcom accounting. I know that even in this God will undertake to make sure she is financally able to get through her studies. We praise him for the 10 thousand already received.

matthew and Mark start with the senior phase of their high school career and are very excited. natalie has a job at Truworths (a clothing store) and a steady boyfriend so she too is beginning to be settled. jeff and I love each other more every day. We are so interdependent on one another its a little scary at times. I thank God for my life partner and ask that I may know how best to serve him.

So from us to you all God bless and keep true to Him. My hightest prayer for 2009 is that I may be worthy of His love and that he may continue to work His work of grace in my heart so that I can be more and more like him. I want to be holy even as he is holy. Too high - well I'm striving toward that goal.