Living Social Justice

A blog about responding to poverty and injustice, everyday and in all sorts of ways

Archive for the month “June, 2012”

“Excuse me sir, would you like something to eat?”

Image courtesy of Barry Knain, via Flickr.com

Sally Martindale-Tucker writes about the blessing that follows crossing the line of fear.

We had lived in our home for over a decade and I had seen him walking past our house every day of those 11 years. He clearly lived on the street. He was dirty, dishevelled, had growths on his face and filthy dreadlocks. He never once made eye contact with me or asked me for anything, for which I was grateful, as he looked scary. He always looked in the dustbins for food. A time came, three years ago, when I began to feel distinctly uncomfortable that I was able to watch another human being searching for food in bins, and turn away without offering him anything to eat from my well-stocked larder.

I felt God speaking to me, saying, “Go and offer him something to eat.” I was afraid and did not have the courage to do it. I kept finding reasons why I could not do it. Under all my rationalising, I was just plain scared. Fear traps people, and I knew that the longer I avoided confronting that fear, the harder my heart would become, and the harder it would become to hear and respond to God in the other areas of my life. The next time I saw him, I chose to walk up to this man I had ‘known’ for eleven years, and offer him a meal. “Excuse me sir, would you like something to eat?” And with those words, a miracle happened.

He looked up at me, and for the first time in 11 years I saw his eyes. I truly saw the image of God in his eyes. It was a breath-taking moment. A moment in my life that I will never forget. He smiled and mouthed something I understood to be a ‘thank you’. I realised why he had never asked me for anything before … he was clearly mute, unable to speak. Something profoundly life-changing happened in those moments — for both of us. He now rings our gate bell every day and I gladly offer him food. He looks like a different man and I am a different woman.

What a privilege to serve someone in whose face I see the image of God. Perfect love truly drives out fear.

– Sally Martindale-Tucker lives in Rondebosch with her creative hubby, Gavin, and their four wonderful children. She is a full-time mom and is passionate about South Africa and seeing God’s Kingdom come in all areas of society and daily life.

Mid-week round up

Photo courtesy of Cari Ann Wayman via Flickr.com

Thought the internet was only capable of dishing out celeb gossip and Tweets? Think again. We scoured cyber-space to find only the most inspiring, thought-provoking and encouraging news, photos and links out there… Enjoy!

Meet a Cape Town-based artist using wall murals to spread hope.

This is one sign we’d love to see on the streets of Cape Town.

Are you paying your domestic worker enough? Do the maths.

The danger of only telling a single story (video).

Some comedic relief.

Must-read: “I just want to belong”.

Is there anything you’ve seen or read this week that’s inspired you?

Love doesn’t cost a thing

Photo courtesy of Mark McLean via Flickr.com

Are we more willing to open our wallets than our hearts? By Anneke Jagau

One of my first student jobs in the Netherlands was working as a fundraiser for a big international development organization. My job was to  ‘attack’ people on their stroll through the mall with graphic images of poverty. Swollen bellies, torn clothes, desperate eyes. The kinds of disturbing, stomach-twisting images that have frequently been used by non-profit organisations to stir up emotion and full the fundraising coffers.

My favourite people to ‘attack’ were those with burgers, milkshakes or any other kind of fast-food in their hands. I would play the guilt trick by asking them if they knew how much they could do for someone living in poverty with the money from that  drink or burger. I would tell them, holding my placard, that if they could afford to spend their money on expensive fast-food, they could surely afford to give 5 euros to help someone in the  developing world. Often they would sign up, generally just to get rid of me or get rid of their guilt.

Read more…

Mashudu’s story

In this month’s update from the street and shelter ministry, we take a moment to praise the work God is doing in the lives of people, like Mashudu, through this team. Read on!

Mashudu at one of the street and shelter ministry meetings in Wynberg

When starting the street and shelter ministry little over a year ago, one of the first people we came across was a man by the name of Mashudu. Over the past year, we have had the privilege of witnessing the work of the Lord in his life in amazing ways.

Mashudu (also known as “Lucky”) found himself on the streets of Cape Town after leaving his home town in Limpopo. The reason for him leaving was to seek employment in a “bigger” city in which he thought employment would be readily available to him. Like many South Africans, Mashudu struggled to find basic employment. This was simply because of his lack  of tertiary education and communication skills. Without any income Mashudu struggled to provide for his basic needs of food and housing.

As a street and shelter ministry team we were able to share the gospel with Mashudu. Mashudu made the decision to follow Christ and found a new hope that had no end. We found space available in the Kensington Haven Night Shelter, where the basic needs of Mashudu could be met. We so loved observing the growth taking place in Mashudu’s life. It was such a privilege to witness God maturing him with a Christ-centred perspective through all of his circumstances. Mashudu, while attending Common Ground Church, also had the privilege of taking part in Network. Network is an organisation that aids people with developing basic job skills in order to find employment.

Mashudu’s baptism last year

After seeking employment for many months, Mashudu found work in a security company and was able to find adequate income. After some time he was then able to find a more secure form of employment through a different security company where he now currently works. Mashudu is staying in Wynberg at the moment and is part of the Common Ground Church Wynberg congregation.

The most encouraging part of this story is that Mashudu still relies on Jesus Christ as his provider and has found treasure in walking with his heavenly father. This transformation has allowed him to find his security in Jesus and not in employment, no matter what circumstances may arise.

Please leave a comment of encouragement for this team. For more info on the street and shelter ministry, visit their Facebook page.

In the image of Country Road or the Creator?

Common Grounder, Kerith P. shares her honest and heartfelt story of obedience to God’s calling during the Warm Up Winter campaign.  Obedience isn’t always easy, but ,as Kerith found out, it’s full of joy on the other side.

It all began at the Champs meeting last month.  While discussing the Warm Up Winter campaign, I began wrestling with what God was really calling me to give.  I felt as though He might be challenging me give up something I held very close to my heart: my monthly clothing allowance.

Now this might not seem  like a huge deal to everyone but I’m sure there are a couple of girls (and guys) out there who would understand exactly how this made me feel. Could He really be asking me to do that?  But as the meeting went on, I continued to feel God’s tug on my heart and then someone else shared exactly what I was thinking.  Could He be any clearer?

At our small group that week, I mustered up the courage to share my thoughts with everyone. “I feel like God is calling me to give up my clothing allowance this month,” I shared with the group.  After it was verbalized, I actually had a bit of cry.  It was an emotional thing because clothing is such a big deal for me.  I pride myself on being a designer so I feel there’s a certain expectation on how I should dress to live up to that ‘cool factor’.  It was tough knowing I had to give that up.

I went away excited and challenged after mobilizing my whole small group to get involved.  And then it hit me. I had seen this jersey in the shop over the weekend and I thought to myself, “Flip! That’s the amount I need to give up for Warm Up Winter.”  And the struggle continued…“I really like this jersey and I’ve got some very nice pants in my cupboard.  I’m sure I can just give them instead and then go buy that jersey, right?”

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