Dec

5

Flowers


I adore shopping for others.  

Gift giving is a joyful way to let others know how much you care for them. Especially when the gifts are the thoughtful, don’t cost a ton of money, but “I was thinking specifically of you” type of gifts.

Now, what if I told you that you could turn those gifts into intentional blessings?

Well, you can!  

When you buy online Amazon will donate a percentage of your purchase to the charity of your choice.

To do this login to your account using AmazonSmile (CLICK HERE).  Choose your charity – I highly recommend Ignite South Africa, Inc 🙂 and make your purchases.  Every month Amazon totals the purchases made and designated to Ignite, then mails the donation.

Personally, I bookmark the page for easy access. Currently I have donated $38.09 to Ignite South Africa through my account.  What a gift Amazon gives in allowing me to benefit my favorite charity as I buy!

I encourage you to do the same.
Sign in to your account using AmazonSmile and choose Ignite South Africa as your charity.
As you do that, your purchases will even bless others!

 

Nov

18

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Youth everywhere experience challenges.

Those challenges may be due to disabilities, relationships, abuse, bullying, drug, and so many other factors. Far too often adults do not see the  child’s challenges or take them seriously.   Many assume naughty children are just naughty rather than considering it a cry for help.

We are grateful to be in a position to see, hear, and intervene for youth through our Flashpoint program.  Meet Bonolo, one of our 8th grade students, and hear what she has to say…

“Before Ignite my life was a mess.  I had nearly committed suicide because I saw no hope and usually had a short temper. After all the lessons that I learned from Ignite I experienced change.

Thanks to you Ignite South Africa I now have reason to hope and my life is back on tract. I am speechless but I want to say thank you for supporting me, you’ve changed my life completely.”

Bonolo’s testimony is one of hundreds that we received this school year.

We are grateful to the Department of Education who allows us to teach and speak words of encouragement and hope into their lives of these students.

Our Flashpoint bi-weekly classes were attended by over 1,800 students this year as we taught grades 7, 8, and 9. Follow this link if you want to check out our curriculum.  Our curriculum is available to be used free of charge, contact us at info@ignitesouthafrica.org to request the book(s) you are interested in!

Nov

11

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This is our first place winner Mofokeng Popi and here is what she shared:

When I was much younger, I lived with my grandmother in a small village. Often she would have to fight to get me to school because I hated it so much that I would pretend to be sick so she’d let me to stay home. When my mother visited us I acted out because she forced me to go to school.

My absenteeism was so bad that I had not learn to do the basics of grade r. During the year that I somehow completed grade r, my mom bought a house in Phuthaditjhaba. The following year she decided that I should move in with her so I could get a better education. However, I had to perform a test to determine if I was able to start grade 1. For the test, I needed to write the first five letters of the alphabet and count from 1 to 20. I failed miserably so I had to repeat grade r.

When I passed and moved onto the next grade I made new friends, all of whom surpassed me academically. I was seen as one of the dumbest children in class because I was struggling to write and read my name and surname. Whenever I was asked to answer a question in class the other kids would laugh at me and tease me because I always got it wrong. Their constant harassment changed me. I became a troublemaker and a bully because I was full of rage. I wanted to make their lives a living hell, so I ate their lunch and took their pocket money not because I needed money but because I wanted them to feel the pain I felt when they were laughing at me.

Grade 2 and 3 were very similar in that I always made friends with the bullies and was often in fights, we broke all the school rules. I passed grade 3 and was sent to another school because I still wasn’t doing well academically. I started playing soccer and joined a netball practice; I thought these activities would restore joy in my life and give me a reason to live because every day that I went to school I wished I’d die, knowing that I was always going to be a laughing stock.

In grade 5 my behaviour remained relatively unchanged. I was still enraged because of my incompetency. My teachers used to say that I would never make it in life because they had lost all hope in me. This pushed me deeper into the dark hole that I was myself in and I felt worse about myself. My self-esteem and confidence had been eroded, but my parents didn’t lose hope; they kept pushing and taking me to different schools and even paid tutors to teach me how to read and write. It seemed as if they were wasting their time and money, but God was in control. In grade 6 I started seeing things in a different light. My hope was renewed when I started to believe that God would change my situation.

When the time came to write my final exams I was anxious because it was becoming harder and harder to move on to the next grade. When I got my report I was so scared of failing but I got the shock of my life when I found out that I passed with high marks. I was even awarded a certificate for remarkable academic improvement. I was so happy because it was the first certificate that I had ever received in my life and I also knew deep down that God was busy sharpening my life for His own glory.

But in grade 8 I found myself wondering if I could do as well as I did before. Doubting myself; I cried uncontrollably in my room, wishing that I could die instead of having to go back to school where I would, without a doubt, be the school’s laughing stock. On the day that we were set to write an English paper, I was beyond nervous. Everyone seemed to enjoy the test but I was clueless. My nerves held me back as if I were instantly paralysed. It was then that I had an encounter with God that I still can’t quite put into words.

I’m now in grade 9, I’ve come to realise that it’s my time to shine and show all my full potential. It might sound impossible but I’ve come to realise that when you want something bad enough, putting your mind to it and doing your level best is the way to go. That and a little help from God.

Remember that God is not a son of man who can lie, nor will He change His mind. Like He said in Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.”

I believe and I declare my life will never be the same again. Walk in the light.

Join us as we congratulate and thank Popi for sharing her story with us!

Sep

23

Puleng and Rosemary

On August 22, Rosemary Mlotshwa received her first call on our Pregnancy Center Helpline.  Here is her amazing testimony of life change and a life saved.

Expectation is something that is wonderful and it has power; sitting and waiting for the phone to ring gives you much power to have patience.  So that’s what I did.  I waited…and waited…and practiced patience.  Until it happened!

Late one afternoon I got our first call from a young lady who was pregnant, scared, and was concerned about getting help for an abortion.  When the phone first rang, I’ll admit I panicked at bit.  But then I took a deep breath, remembered the training I received, took out my training document, and answered the phone with a shaking voice.

Fortunately, God was there with us in that moment.  He picked me up, made me strong, and calmed my fears.  The girl’s voice was shaking and she spoke very fast.  She was nervous, afraid, and desperate for help with an abortion.  I managed to calm her down by the grace of God, and after talking with her she agreed to meet for an appointment the following day.

This was as new for me as it was for her.  We both were scared.  But I also knew that it was a divine appointment from God.  On my way to the appointment I prayed, studied my notes, prayed, and studied some more.  Then my phone rang and my heart dropped thinking she was calling to cancel.  Instead it was just to confirm where to meet.

I was happy to finally be in the field and to be used by God to help someone, but at the same time it’s hard to be happy while someone is desperate and scared and sad.

We met at the church, and in a warm and beautiful office started talking…and talking.  I did my part by applying what I had learned, and God did his working in her heart and changing her mind.  After a long, difficult chat she decided to keep her baby.  I was so proud of her.

Together we saved a life that day.

Through this call, I learned more about love, patience and life.  Life begins even before a child is in the womb, and every life is precious to God, our Creator.  I thank God for bringing me this deeper revelation.  I thank God for the training I received both in the classroom and in the field.  And I thank God for the opportunity to save lives.

While I am changing someone’s life, it’s surely changing mine as well.

Please pray for Rosemary and our other helpline workers – for strength, wisdom, patience and love as they answer the call.  And if you can help sustain the work they are doing, please visit our strategic giving page and select House of Refuge.

Sep

14

Mother and Baby

Did you know…?

  • 1 in 4 youth we teach are orphaned and at risk.
  • 41% of all rapes in South Africa occur to children 12 years and under.
  • Tradition states that a man “owns” anyone to whom he provides resources.
  • Only 1 in 25 rape victims report to authorities.
  • South Africa ranks highest in the world for rape.
  • This accounts for a high percentage of HIV and teen pregnancies.
  • Abortion is often the choice.
  • Illegal abortion occurs for more than 1 in 2 girls, often with devastating results.

These statistics are heart-breaking, but at Ignite South Africa we are purposing to change them through an incredible team of staff and volunteers.  Together, we are empowering leaders for life, and making a tremendous impact.

Did you know…?

  • That our Pregnancy Center Helpline opened this year – the FIRST in the Free State!
  • Posters are going up in Qwa Qwa offering hope and help.
  • We’ve received a low interest loan and purchased the House of Refuge, a home to pregnant, orphaned teens.
  • Prepping and furnishing of the House has started.
  • Two women have experienced healing through our first abortion recovery retreat.
  • Five mothers have received support and five babies have been saved.

We praise God for these incredible testimonies and for His provision thus far.  But as we shared at our recent Gala event, even more is needed.  More trust, more faith, more prayer, and more people to sow into this incredible work.

Can you help…?

  • $45,000 is needed to retire the loan on the House of Refuge as quickly as possible.
  • Additional monthly givers are needed to ensure that we can meet operating costs prior to bringing in our first girls.
  • Advocates are needed to raise awareness and expand our partnership base.
  • And of course, prayer warriors are needed as well!

Please pray about the role the Lord is inviting you to play.  To sow financially, please use this link.

Thank you for your love, prayers and support!

Jul

6

 

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God doesn’t judge the way the world does, based on possessions, power, influence or fame.  Instead, He looks at how we love and how we demonstrate that love through the simple day-to-day things.

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ “ Matthew 25:37-40

In this parable Jesus’ message is clear –how we love others and respond to their needs is how we love and serve God Himself.  They are one and the same.

Food for the hungry.  A drink for the thirsty.  Welcoming a stranger.  Clothing the naked.  Comforting the sick.  Visiting the lonely or imprisoned.

What these acts have in common is that they are simple – things that any one of us can do.  They are also things that only the person being helped will notice.

Notice in this parable that those serving didn’t realize it was Christ they were serving.  “When did we do that?” they asked.  Winning His favor wasn’t their motivation.  Instead their motivation was to serve purely out of love for others, even the least of them.  As a result, their attitudes and actions were credited to them as righteousness.

Continuing on in the parable, you’ll see that those who didn’t help others, who may have had they known it was Christ they were serving, were separated out and judged as having the wrong heart, wrong motives and wrong actions.

Our Father is delighted when we love and help others without expecting anything in return.  That’s how we experience the pure joy of serving.

And we needn’t think we have to do everything, fix everything or give everything that we have.  That is not the goal.  The goal is simply to love others well, and it’s the simple things can make such a difference!

Lord, please help me to be present in each moment, and to notice the people and needs around me.  Show me how to help in the simple ways that reflect your love each and every day.  Amen.

 

May

30

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I love the Psalms because they are so raw, authentic, and passionate.

They show us that we have a God who cares about us and wants to share in our triumphs and pains, in our hopes and fears.  He loves our praise, but He’s also ok with our cries, complaints and rants.
God wants it all.  That’s what being in relationship is all about.

“When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You.  In God, whose word I praise, In God I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid. What can mere man do to me?”  Psalm 56:3-4

David was crying out to God because he was being pursued by his enemies.  He was feeling weary, discouraged, and fearful from fighting all day long.  And notice that he doesn’t say “if” I am afraid, but “when.”  Because it happens.  It happened to him, it happens to me all the time.

Like David, I have felt exhausted and battle weary at times.  I have felt trampled, hurt by naysayers and scared by doomsdayers in my life.  While I may not have actual soldiers chasing me with their swords glinting in the sun, my enemy (and yours) is even tougher, craftier and more persistent.

When negative comments and thoughts about myself and the world around me make me feel insecure, inadequate, and afraid that’s a sure sign that I’m putting my trust in something other than God.

Fear is a red flag that I’ve taken my focus off of God.

I love how David rallies his courage in this Psalm.  He remembers that he belongs to God and that God is with him.  He puts his trust in God and trust is the “firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.” 

God wants us to place our trust in him – only him.
Anything short of that is actually idolatry…ouch!

So David turns his worries into praise, and he conquers his fears knowing that God has his back (and front and sides…)  As David strengthens himself in the Lord he realizes that no one and nothing can harm him or prevent him from fulfilling God’s purposes.

God will deliver him from the hands of his enemies, and God will deliver us as well.

Our fears stem from a lack of trust.
Not trusting that God has our backs.
Not trusting that God is with us.
Not trusting that God is speaking and that we’re hearing His will.
Too often, we listen to the voices of our enemy instead.

Where are you placing your trust right now?
Lord, please show me what it looks like to trust You in each area of my life.

May

14

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We located a House of Refuge, conference centre, AND office space!

It feels surreal that after searching everywhere God brought us back to the center of Qwa Qwa to find this property.  But He did.

This home has EVERYTHING we need to house 3-4 orphaned/at-risk girls with a house mom.  The property has additional buildings which will provide a conference centre, classroom, two offices and a bathroom.  This will allow us to relocate our Qwa Qwa office saving us $350/month in rent!

To make this God-dream become reality, we need YOU!  

For Ignite to purchase the home we must pay cash (SOON) and the cost is $48,000.
At first I was intimidated thinking it was impossible but then I realized that it would only take:

  • 48 people donating $1000 each (or)
  • 96 people donating $500 each (or)
  • 192 people donating $250 each (or)
  • 480 people donating $100 each (or)
  • Or any combination

Can you help today?  

Sow a gift
Help us provide shelter and safety to a pregnant teens, classrooms and office space for the work we do.

Pray
Help us intercede for favor- that our offer is accepted and the finances come in to allow this purchase.

Share
PLEASE share this email and opportunity with everyone you know and help us take the next step.

Thank you for partnering with us!
To sow into the shelter electronically you may use this link, for other giving options or if you live in South Africa, click here.

May

2

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Do you have any cares these days?
I know I sure do.  Cares about family, work, friends, what’s going on in the world around me… yet God tells us to cast our burdens, cast our cares upon Him.

“Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.”  Psalm 55:22, NASB

The Lord tells us to give these cares over to Him and let Him take care of them.  He encourages us and states that He will carry the weight, freeing us up to simply trust in Him.

He invites us to look to Him as our sustenance, our provider, the one in control of all things. My cares aren’t silly or trivial to Him, because I’m not silly or trivial to Him.  And the same goes for you!

If you have children, think about a time when they lost their favorite toy, stressed out about a test, or worried about being asked to the dance.  While none of these signaled the end of the world, it felt that way to them.  And you cared about it because you care so deeply for them.

Big or small, our burdens matter to God because we matter to God!

God’s promise is that He will never let the righteous be shaken.  That’s me.  I’m righteous, so this promise is for me.

And if you trust Christ as your Savior then this promise is for you as well.

Righteousness doesn’t mean doing everything right, rather it means being in a right relationship with God, and that happens when our sins are forgiven through Christ.

Picture placing your burdens on a hook at the end of a long fishing line.  Now cast that line as far as you can.  Watch it flying farther and farther until it hits the water with a “kerplunk.”

See that bobber thingy floating way out there? Say yes…

Now cut the line! 

As you cast your cares unto the Lord, resist that urge to reel them back in and trust. . .

Apr

21

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Each of us holds something in our hands.
Whether it an opportunity, a hurt, or a gift we all are holding something and often we don’t even realize what it is.

I remember a season in my life where what was in my hand was not flattering, it was offense.  I had been hurt, deeply hurt by another and yet because it wasn’t “proper” to be angry so I stuffed it.

I buried it so deep within me that I did not see it.

But over time, it became apparent to those close to me that something was wrong and thankfully…. they shared.  This allowed me to do the introspective work I needed to do to get right. To forgive.
To move on and be free.

I encourage you to look at what is in your hands.
Don’t wait for someone (if they dare) to question you about it, check for yourself right now.

Are you clutching something in desperation?
Gripping something in anger?
Or loosely holding something in an open palm?
and then figure out . . .  what is it?

God has given us one life to live.

Create your life to be a gift to others – one that builds up, supports, strengthens, and gives.
I promise, choosing life is something you will never regret!

 

Ignite South Africa is a nonprofit org in Michigan and South Africa with a mission to model, equip, and ignite godly leaders.  If you want to be a part of this mission, check out ways you can join us on our website.