Friday, 13 January 2012

Settling in

I've been at The Village of Hope five days now, and I'm starting to get to know everyone here. I haven't really been out and about that much since my visit with Tim to the township, so I'm hoping to explore in the car sometime soon. I drove the big jeep the other day, and was pretty amazed that I a) didn't crash and b) was able to work the massive gear box.
The project is made up of a team- at the head are Tim and Maz Walker, the project leaders, who oversee the whole project and also work with the other Thembalitsha projects. Then there's Mel, a long-term volunteer who helps manage the children's unit, and a family, Rob and Emily who help run the project, and their children Rosie and Isaac. And then there's two guys who help with maintenace, and other volunteers. So people have different roles- at the moment, I'm trying to find mine.
I've spent quite a lot of time with the children, helping with the house mums. I've already been called Mommmy Jess!! The children are fascinated by my butterfly tattoo, and LOVE playing with my hair. They are in the Village for all kinds of reasons- one little girl was severely neglected. It's hard to understand why , because she's SO gorgeous, but it's not my job to judge, just to help. Some are HIV positive, and others have had TB, suffered neglect and malnutrition. Despite this, they are happy and full of life at the Village.
Today I've been helping to introduce more structured play into the unit, which is something Maz wants me to do. This basically means thinking of new activities and seeing how these can be worked into the timetable and into the coming weeks. Also Mel has shown me how to do some admin that needs doing.

The oldest child, who is 11, is extremely poorly and although he only came back to the Village from hospital a few days he has had to go back :-( He has special needs and so he doesn't understand a lot of what is going on, so it's hard to see. Your prayers for him would be appreciated.

I've found this week hard, but I suppose that's to be expected. God has been my comfort and my strength through it all- my rock, my best friend, my daddy, my guide and my confidant, all rolled into one!

I'll write again soon


  1. Oh my word! It sounds amazing! Reading your updates have really touched me, I'm so unbelievably proud of you, you are so very brave and so full of love that you are going to be totally fantastic and do fantastic things out there, I'm so happy that you've got so stuck in and are enjoying this new challenge! Your trust in God is really inspirational.
    Lots of love Lizzie xx

  2. Jess you are amazing! SO looking forward to hearing all the wonderful things the Lord is going to do in and through you. Releasing lots of grace over you for every thing that you are facing and fresh revelations of the heart of who God is :) He is very good, and it is going to be a very good season for you :) xxx Philly

  3. Hi Jess, well done for handling the gearbox on the jeep, am well impressed. I'm sure the children love you so much, hang in there, you are doing so well! Lots of love, Uncle Mark xxx