This is a guest post from our Raleigh friend and recent favorite person, Roxie Cash. Roxie just finished two weeks in South Africa and spent this past week with us in Ocean View. I promise we didn't pay her to say any of this - she is just too generous and nice!! Love you Roxie!
I have been hanging out in Ocean View with the amazing Prince family. Oh yes, I actually had the opportunity to see their life in their township first hand. I am going back to the states with a clearer understanding of what they mean to the people they live with in Ocean View.
I have come to South Africa to spend some time with my son Ben who is going to Cape Town University. Ben took me everywhere while he was on his Spring break since it is spring here in S. Africa. I mean everywhere. I saw more in 18 days than I have ever seen on any trip anywhere. He showed me an amazing time. And I got to hang with Antony Burton who most of you know as well from Raleigh. He is in school here too.
But back to Ocean View, since I want to relay my moments there. First, Casey and Sarah and Kieren are so loved by this community of people who have more needs for love than I could ever fully grasp. I am convinced without a doubt that God surely put them here to love on these people. For sure, they are unique to the township. They are the only white people in Ocean View. They are a “stand out and be noticed” family. You would look at them and know that they are living among people that do not expect them to be living in their community.
However, strangely they fit right into the people’s lives. And that is not just by chance, of course. It is God’s work indeed. Casey is doing very good work with soccer. He is spreading the gospel through a sport that is so loved in this country. He is working with children who never would have the opportunities unless Casey was among them. Awesome.
I had more time with Sarah. The first night I sat in on a support group with women from the township. Wow – I mean really wow. I immediately heard their take on the Prince family and there deep love for Sarah and the changes her messages about Jesus have had in their very hard lives. I watched Sarah as they shared their prayer requests with the group and her sincere desire to have them hold God’s hand as they walk towards a better place where they can make real changes in their situations. They understand why she is there among them and they told me over and over that without the Prince family living in that house in that township at that time, things would be much worse. They really have hope for the first time. I met really loving people who have little reason to hug me like they did and take me in so quickly. I loved them right away.
Ok, that is a piece of the community, however. Sarah and Kieren took me on a walk around Ocean View. Some of the people live in homes that are small but nice. But most of the people live in shacks. Kids everywhere and men with little to do but just hanging out. Not a stroll through the park certainly. Sarah walks and waves and talks to everyone. She remains confident and smart about her surroundings. I’m pretty proud of her handling of a tough area to live.
But I am pretty sure that most of North Raleigh would not be hanging out in places like Ocean View. That is if you just were driving by, but if you took the time like Casey and Sarah to stop and live within the community, you would see it differently. I had the chance to see it more like they do. And I loved every minute I spent with them and the community. I could go on and on about the stories I heard, the people I met, the conditions I saw, the daily lives of Casey and Sarah and sweet Kieren. Kieren will be such a better person for this experience. I love the beauty and sweetness of that little girl. I love the type of woman she will become because of this time in Ocean View and for having such wonderful parents. But if I tell you everything about Ocean View then you won’t have anything to see when you come to visit the Princes in South Africa. I hope some more of Raleigh will come while they are here. It is worth the time.
I just want to end with thanking Casey and Sarah for opening their home and hearts up to me while I was in S. Africa. I felt so comfortable there. Oh – Sarah is quite the cook. She fed Ben and me well. Awesome food. I love you all so much and will remember my time in your home forever. I will pray for you and I will share my stories about the work you are doing through God in Ocean View.