Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Hope Africa Blog is Awesome - Go Read It! Especially This One About What My Students Have to Say!

I just wanted to let you know another place you can read about what I am a part of with the Life Skills courses in the South African townships. Go to the *Hope Africa Collective Blog ( - because it's awesome and probably covers some stuff I don't (as I cover some stuff that they don't). :)

And I really encourage you to read this post in particular,, because it's all about the end of the Life Skills course and some things our students said about what they had learned. Here's an excerpt cuz I know you'll want to read more:  

Photo Credit: HAC Staff

"One girl said that she had hope for the first time in her life. She shared that there were so many areas in dealing with hurts of her past where Hope Africa actually became a bridge to bring hope to her life!"

Thanks guys! Blessings.

* Update: Please note that Bridge for Hope International changed it's name to Hope Africa Collective in May 2013. You can read about it here: My blog is updated to reflect these changes.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Interviewing Students - You are Valuable

Photo Credit: HAC Staff

This week we conducted interviews for our new Life Skills and Computer Training course.

A staff and I interview the students.

They want a chance in this class. To learn. To grow. To work. To provide. 

To believe.

As I listen, my heart cries, "You are valuable." Over and over again I want to say that...because I am not sure if they believe it.

Maybe it has been years since someone has been there. I don't know.

With one student was so broken by the past, I don't say it. Not yet. I don't want to scare - being too forward. So I say something encouraging (I don't remember what) but less "in your face."

Soon in class I can say, "You are valuable." But more than that, my co-workers and I will show it - to each person in our class - that God created them with design and purpose.

Value isn't only given through words.

Value has action.

I definitely forget this - too often - that my actions speak something - more powerful than I know.

So my prayer is...

To be intentional. For discernment. For wisdom. When to listen, when to speak, when to act:

"You are valuable. I believe in you."

The saying may be true, "Actions speak louder than words," but I tend to believe that actions combined with words are even louder.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Freed Slave

Photo Credit: HAC Staff
I am 23 days in South Africa today.

On day 12, I was praying for my time here, living and working with the township students, and I journaled these words: 

"For Peace. Influence. Provider. Foundations. One Step at a Time. Open Doors. Relief. Abide. Dicipleship (key for me). Change in Lives. Relationship (always on my heart)."

And I was reminded of Galatians that we are not slaves to the Law but free through faith in Jesus Christ as heirs, sons and daughters of God. That is Christ's promise for me - of Relationship - and I  choose into abiding and walking in His paths for me - because I love Him and He loves me. 

It's not easy. Days can be a struggle. Getting Here can be a struggle. But it is pure, serene joy to look into my student's eyes and see the change, to see a heart come back to life, to see dreams given wings, and to see hope take flight for - truly - a future is on the horizon.

Relationship. For my Students. With God. With Others. This I pray.

And I am thankful. At peace. Right where I am.

"So, brothers, we are not children of the slave but of the free woman. 
For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery." 
~ Galatians 4:31-5:1 ~

The Freed Slave
By Shannon Mintz
Feb. 21, 2012

The vertical is no longer,
But a side by side -
It's horizontal -
To those beside
It's casting myself down
So I look into the master's eyes.
Submission - willfully -
Choose to deny -
Is really, fully