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Life Cape Town blog 11

Tuesday 15th July 2014

life cape town logoToday was our last full day in Cape Town (which meant lots of tears!!)

We started the morning with devotions and worship, which was another amazing start to the day! Then we helped at Westlake Community Centre, some of us laid down astro turf in the corner of the garden (where we'd pulled up all the weeds yesterday), while others made sandwiches for the local children. Then we had a tour around the Westlake Community, which was really interesting (and a little shocking) lots of the children came out to wave to us... We then spent the early afternoon painting a mural on the wall of our verse from this year's holiday club and pictures of our 2 team's mascots (the giraffes and the elephants).

This evening we had a goodbye braai (BBQ) with our hosts and some more of the congregation, it was an amazing end to an incredible trip!!

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Jenny Coffin, 16/07/2014

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Life Cape Town blog 10

Saturday 12th July 2014

life cape town logoLate start today as it’s our first and only "rest" day. So sightseeing was the order of the day with our first stop a cable way ride up the famous Table Mountain, which stands just over 1000m high. The views were stunning on another glorious winter day with bright sun shine. And we did get to feel like tourists with all the foreign languages spoken around us and the multitude of South African accents of obvious holiday-makers.
It is amazing how the camera phone has replaced the traditional camera. I noticed countless people quickly whipping out their phones to take pictures. But that was true of our young people too, but what wonderful memories, all captured on their personal devices, they will have access too as a reminder of days in Cape Town.
Good old retail therapy was next on the list, but it was quite obvious by the lack of spending that time together was more important than searching out the bargains.
Tomorrow morning has our young people speaking in the church service again. So please remember Kalvin, Izzie and Caroline as they share some of their experiences of the past week as we reached out to the children who attended holiday club. After church all the team will spend lunch and a lazy afternoon with their hosts.
Monday morning sees a new project in a community called Westlake.

Grant Everson, 11/07/2014

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Life Cape Town blog 9

Saturday 12th July 2014

life cape town logoYesterday was our final day of Holiday Club! And despite being exhausted, the whole team was sorry to say goodbye to the children! So many relationships have been formed over the last week, some requiring a good deal of perseverance and patience. We all have so many wonderful stories to tell of conversations we have had, questions that have been asked or actions that have been shown. The drama ended with a show down between 'King Doom and King Grace, as good triumphed over evil, and we even had a magician come in for surprise Friday, which was a big success. It has been amazing to see all the children coming out of their shells and really enjoy themselves as we dance, sing, eat many biscuits and talk about Jesus.
After a speedy clean up of the church hall, we had a celebratory lunch with all involved in the holiday club and a chance to reflect on our highlights of the week. Grant and Julien then took the UK team to a 'put put' ie Crazy Golf place right on the coastline of CapeTown, where we thoroughly enjoyed whacking the balls (fairly inaccurately) and watching the sunset. It was lovely to spend time together and then have a 'family meal' as we named it, after such a busy but exciting week.

Today (Saturday) started in high spirits, mainly because we got a lie in!!! As our first day off, we were excited to head back to the coast and become tourists for the day. It has been an absolutely glorious day and perfect for our trip up table mountain. What a fantastic view! Caz lead us on a walk around the top where we took photo after photo and just stared and stared at beautiful scenery. We then headed to the Waterfront for some lunch and Retail Therapy with the Edgemead Team, as we are now completely inseparable! Julia, Julien, and Grant roll their eyes as we hug again and again as we say goodbye knowing full well we will see them tomorrow!

We are now beginning to prepare ready for our next challenge of doing some projects in Westlake next week. Please pray that we all remain healthy as some of us our beginning to get a bit run down out of exhaustion! Spirits are still running high though!

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Hannah, 11/07/2014

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Life Cape Town blog 8

Thursday 10th July 2014

life cape town logoMy apologies that we missed a day of blogging. Thursday has been pretty full on and a real feeling of things going really well with the Holiday Club but left us also mindful of the little time left in working with these lovely children.
As programmes go, today has been really superb with things feeling better and better. I am totally loving working with the entire team, that being our young people from Life and Holy Trinity, Tulse Hill, and our friends from Edgemead, Cape Town. It is amazing how teams are bonded together by a common purpose and none so true than our team. It is hard to imagine that we all met but a few days ago but it feels like months. That is the spin-off of the "island effect".
My own experience these past two days has been of joy, the joy of being part of a club that we hope will both challenge and leave a lasting memory on the lives of some of the children attending. It was also a time of sadness as I was able to attend a memorial service of a young man who passed away recently due to cancer. He was 34 and as a teenager was a member of the youth ministry programme I was responsible for. At the service I also saw other young adults who had previously been involved in the youth group who were now married, and one young lady had her four month old baby with her. I was reminded of this cycle of life but felt again privileged to be part of so many different lives.
Some of the young people will probably write more about their current experience of the Holiday Club, but Julia and Julian were able to visit and meet some people involved in a project called The Warehouse. It is a BESOM type project, only bigger, but they had small beginnings in a renovated little car garage. Julian's comment was that Julia came back "absolutely buzzing". So I'm really glad the Brands were able to see a picture what what The besom in Leatherhead could possibly look like in the future.
This afternoon we just needed to get away and do something relaxing and so we found some tennis courts and appreciated the immense pleasure it gave us of some welcome exercise. Thank you for your continued prayers. Its the final day of the Holiday Club, final crafts, final play and final small group time. Please pray with us for the message of hope through Jesus that we are leaving with the children at the end of this week.

Grant Everson, 11/07/2014

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Life Cape Town blog 7

Thursday 10th July 2014

life cape town logoYesterday was Wednesday Diamond Day at the Holiday Club, which meant extra points all round.... Then today was Thursday Poetry Day, which meant lots of animal poems!

The Holiday Club is still going really well, the children are getting even more into all the dramas and actions for the songs, they seem to all be loving the whole thing and keep bringing more friends (which earns them extra diamonds...)

Tomorrow is the last day of our Holiday Club, so we have the conclusions to our drama and bible story, as well as a surprise for all the children in the afternoon.

Before supper at the leaders' house, some of us did some site seeing at Rhodes Monument, which has some amazing views over Cape Town, with all the mountains in the distance!

Jenny Coffin, 11/07/2014

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Life Cape Town blog 6

Tuesday 8th July 2014

life cape town logoWe have seen a quiet group of boys and a (slightly) louder group of girls grow into a wonderful happy team leading the holiday club with elephant and giraffe team chants, decorating biscuits, dancing, fencing, frisbeeing, footballing, growing in confidence and tenderly encouraging the children in their groups. No time for tourism yet!  We on the other hand have been shopping at "pick n pay ", driving a "combi", cooking, washing up, and shopping again and driving, cooking and washing up ... But also enjoying being part of Grants South African team!

life cape town 2014


Julia Brand, 08/07/2014

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Life Cape Town blog 5

Monday 7th July 2014

life cape town logoHi everyone. Today was the first day of holiday club, the day we've been building up to the past few days. Started with breakfasts at our hosts houses followed by a meeting at 8:00 sharp with no one late today! Sharon was impressed! The children registered then we ushered them into the hall. We split them into giraffes and elephants and taught them their war cries. They watched the drama, saw the Bible story acted out, learnt the theme dance, did different activities including dance workshop ran by Caz and I. The children are split into groups according to age. I have grade 3 and my co-leaders are Aaron and Sipho. The group worked well and all the children enjoyed the activities and getting to know each other. Then we prepped for the next day and Stephi, Jenny and I went shopping then to our hosts for dinner joined by their son John John and his fiancé Tammy for Boboti and Malva pudding and a lovely evening chatting. We are really settling into our hosts houses now and really enjoying our time here. Izzie.

Izzie, 08/07/2014

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Life Cape Town blog 4

Sunday 6th July 2014

life cape town logoHi everyone! Today was amazing!! Jenny and I woke up at 6:00am (which doesn't sound amazing but it really was an awesome day!) ready for another busy day in Cape Town. We layered up as it was another freezing day! Greeted warmly with fried eggs and bacon made by Saskia (our host), we were all set! Jenny, Izzie and I are all sharing a bedroom and we were surprised that we managed to not wake Izzie up! After breakfast, Grant came to pick Jenny and I up at 7:00am and took us to the 7:30 church service where we were going to speak. The lady running it, Connie, asked us a couple of questions and then after the service, we had tea before going to our second service of the day where the other members of the team joined us. In the second service, Hannah and Ricardo spoke. After a long, tiring but good morning, we went to the church hall to finish setting up for the African Safari Holiday Club starting tomorrow organising: drama, costumes, stationary and finalising the plan for the day. We then had lunch with a couple from another local church and after lunch they spoke to us about all our hopes and fears for the week and answered our questions. We then played team building games before having a prep talk by Sharron (the person running the club). We then went to the leaders' house where we had dinner with all the team. We had some amazing and hilarious conversations over dinner and while watching the Men's Wimbledon Final which indirectly helped us bond so well! I will never forget laughing so much in my life!!! We then went back to our hosts and had tea and rusks (special tea-dunking biscuits!) and then went to bed to have a good nights sleep ready for the holiday club tomorrow. ??



Stephi, 06/07/2014

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Life Cape Town blog 3

Late Saturday evening 5th July 2014

Even watching the football has not been able to keep Grant and the Brands awake for the entire duration of the Dutch/Costa Rica World Cup game. It's been another full day of training and I guess the emotional stress is the thing that has tired us the most. The two teams, our UK bunch and the local team of leaders, have really got on very well, and continue to grow in strength as a team.
Sunday morning will see us in two services, namely one at 7:30, in which Jenny and Stephanie will have an opportunity to speak as they are interviewed by the preacher. So it’s a really early morning call for the girls. At the 9:15 service, Hannah and Ricardo will have the chance to share in a similar way as they answer similar questions that relate to the passage being taught. The text for Sunday is Romans 7:15 - 25a where Paul speaks of doing what he doesn't want to do, but ends up doing it anyway. So a really powerful text so please pray for our young people as they speak of their own experiences.
Most of Sunday will be spent at the church finishing off any last minute preparations and we'll end the day will dinner together and devotions before heading off homewards for an early night. As the girls have written earlier, we are enjoying the most generous hosting by the Christ Church Constantia family and their provision of meals for our training time has been outstanding. 
It has been cold and very wet and these warm meals have got us through the day. Please pray with us for good weather for next week as the club programme has an indoor and outdoor component. And pray for the many young people who will be attending.


Grant Everson, 06/07/2014

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Life Cape Town blog 2

Saturday 5th July 2014

Day 2 on Cape Town, and the sun decided to shine on the team for a record breaking... 10 MINUTES!! Sharon (the Christ Church curate/holiday club leader) and Grant have been preparing and equiping us for next week’s holiday club, but mainly trying to contain our excitement for now that the team is really bonding! Today we had a nice early start ready to practice the worship songs, energetically led by Caz. We also had to perfect our dance routines, yes you read correctly! Every day of holiday club involves 'leading by example' by mainly prancing around the hall like idiots!

We are really enjoying ourselves though! We have spent a considerable amount of the last two days spiritually and mentally preparing for the holiday club and how we can best show God's love to the children over the next week.

All the drama rehearsals are underway! Hannah is deep in preparation for her role as Harriet the Hippo, whilst Matt is absolutely relishing his role as King Grace, which involves everybody bowing at his feet!

We are extremely grateful to the Constantia parishioners who have been cooking us delicious stews and soups to sustain us in the freezing cold church hall! Many numb hands and feet have been returning to hosts for warm fires and hot chocolates!
Tonight as a team we reflected in what our values for the holiday club were. We decided that the heart of our intentions were to provide security, to act with kindness and to unite together as a team, as we enter a week of teaching, fun and laughter.
There is so much to look forward to! We cannot wait to get started on Monday.

Love Hannah and Caz


Hannah and Caz, 05/07/2014

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Life Cape Town blog 1

Friday 4th July 2014

We've just finished our first full day in Constantia and have had a brilliant start! We had breakfast as a team this morning and then headed over to Christ Church to meet some of the team who we'll be running the holiday club with and got stuck into painting backdrops and decorating the whole hall. We have a safari theme so have turned the hall into a mini safari, with sand, palm trees and a tent! After lunch we made up team chants for our 2 teams (the giraffes and the  elephants) and also learned the actions to our theme tune, Move it move it (from the Madagascar films).

Now we're all home with our hosts, warming up by the fire. All our hosts are so amazing! We all felt at home straight away and have eaten so much!

Tomorrow we're carrying on with the set up for the holiday club: rehearsing the drama and setting up some of the activities. Thank you for all your prayers so far, please pray for our team and for the holiday club. Thank you!


Izzie, Stephi and Jenny, 05/07/2014

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Life Cape Town blog 12

Tuesday 15th July 2014

life cape town logoThe last two days working down in the Westlake community has been a real blessing. We went looking to work and make a difference, but as we started the days with devotions and worship, we were keenly reminded of God at work among us. I think we became so programme focussed that we forgot about God's Spirit at work in us personally.
The past two days of worship has had the team praying for and with eachother. I know we take that as a given, as something the team will naturally do, but more prayer for the programme than our own spiritual journey.
Some of the young team have expressed a profound challenge by God about the things they are coming home to and the choices and sacrifices they will make. That for me is very inspiring
Our last evening ended with a good old braai (that's a bbq) and its true that South African's braai no matter the season or the weather. One of the families from Christ Church graciously opened their home to host this "farewell" meal time. I know we travelled to help run a holiday club programme and be involved in a deprived community, and our focus on that meant that we have been somewhat blind to the many people who have played pivotal roles during our stay here, be they hosts or people who have cooked meals or baked biscuits. 
Tonight was as much about honoring them as saying good bye to us. In the morning we'll hit the road to Cape Town International Airport to board a flight that leaves at 1:15pm bound for Dubai Airport and Cape Town will be at our backs.
Revd Sharon Davis, the curate, was instrumental in making the whole trip happen and be the success it has proven to be. So this is an opportunity to say WELL DONE and thank you for all the organising and arranging she did in the weeks that led up to the trip.
Ashtead and Tulse Hill we'll see you soon.

Grant Everson, 29/06/2014

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