Our last newsletter was at the end of October 2019. That is when our year in South Africa ended! We have spent November – January in Northern Uganda among the South Sudanese refugees living in the Rhino Refugee camp, Ofua 3 settlement. It was a privilege to be there and an experience we will not soon forget.

We went for three months because that was the maximum duration for a ordinary tourist visa and we wanted enough time to spend with the newly trained facilitators to tutor and mentor them in the Walking with Wounded Children workshop.

During this time several things happened TO us, and IN us.

Physical challenges

  • We were grateful for our mud hut, but living in a mud hut had its challenges – we shared the space with gecko’s, ants and mice. We were always aware of the fact that the wall, and floor were all soil and that the roof was thatched grass. We had to adjust to being close to nature all the time!
  • We tried to keep our diet as close to those of the people around us as possible. The biggest difference was that we ate rice twice a day in stead of the sorghum porridge that the South Sudanese had. We were also able to afford a piece of goats meat every two weeks. For the rest, we ate rice and beans, rice and cabbage and rice and scrabbled eggs. It was difficult not to be in control of our menu and our meal times. We had a lady who did the cooking for us and she did a great job at cooking tasty meals with very limited ingredients.
  • Sleeping on a single bed on a thin foam mattress was also a challenge and we took a afternoon nap daily, because we could not sleep well at night.
  • The aches and pains we were feeling from the bed we slept on, was compounded by being a passenger on a motorcycle when we had to travel between settlements, using very bumpy dusty roads.

Inner renewal

We had to adopt to a new style of life in very foreign circumstances. We had to accept that we had no choice in where we live, what and when we eat, if we will have water or not, when our clothes will be washed – all of this helped us to see life very differently and brought us to a place of total surrender on all of these issues and a greater awareness of God and dependence on Him.

Fresh perspective

During this time in the refugee camp, we gained new perspectives on:

  • On the world.
  • On suffering.
  • About our own troubles and worries.
  • About what’s important and what isn’t.

Deeper appreciation

  • For each other seeing how our boundaries were stretched and how we manage to cope with the challenges .
  • For the fiends we have around the world. Thank you for staying in touch and for responding positively to the call for financial support for a workshop to tutor and mentor the newly trained facilitators.
  • For the sheer joy of the opportunity to do what we do. It was very rewarding to see how the newly trained facilitators presented the workshop material in their own way to their own people

New frustrations 

We have also experienced frustrations since our return:

  • With how we’ve forgotten the reality of many in our world.
  • With ourselves and our fellow privileged friends who care about luxuries as if they are necessities.
  • With people we visit whose thinking or cultural constraints limits their future potential.

It will still take some time to make sense of our hearts. And experiences. And feelings.

If you want to listen to the testimonies of some of the new facilitators on their experience of the three year journey we had with them, you can find it here: https://studio.youtube.com/channel/UCHwZycxoWgJg4xEs7FxbP0A/videos/upload?filter=%5B%5D&sort=%7B%22columnType%22%3A%22date%22%2C%22sortOrder%22%3A%22DESCENDING%22%7D

Looking Forward

We will continue with our personal mission focuses:

Theunis:

To bring leaders of families and business, to a broad and spacious place, helping them to find purpose and perspective through equipping, mentoring, coaching and facilitating.

Magda:

To help woman and children, by bringing discernment, wisdom and council into their lives through facilitating workshops and mentoring.

We do this through Walking with Wounded Children workshops (In association with Petra Institute), Dad’s Talk and Mother Design workshops (In association with the World needs a Father movement), Personal Life Coaching (Using Clifton Strengthsfinder assessment) and Business Coaching and Facilitating related to business and organizational development)

In all of this we aim to generate an income to make us less dependent on donation income in the future.

We are currently waiting on two organizations to confirm dates for Walking with Wounded  workshops respectively.

Theunis will do personal development coaching for a short period for Naspers Labs, helping one of their employees to increase his capacity in fulfilling the Key Performance Areas of his job description.

We are also trying to secure a venue and access to children in order to present a Walking with Wounded Children Workshop for interested individuals in the near future.

Thank you for your continued love and support.

Personal Bank Account For donations towards living expenses:

SCHEEPERS TG

STANDARD Bank Account: 20-112-360-6 (Cheque)

Branch: TYGER MANOR, Branch Code: 050410

For donations towards ministry expenses:
Ministry Bank Account:
STAND FIRM
Capitec Bank
Savings Account 1627076016
Send proof of payment to: theunis@standfirm.co.za

 

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