Friday, April 29, 2011

Just Jesus

Thursday was a murky day, but I just kept pushing myself through it.  Part of it was that I didn't want to be home because Ntokozo was here (I know that sounds bad), but she won't speak to me and it's just sad for me to be at home.  So it was the extra push I needed to actually prepare for my women's bible study on Thursday.  We are working through John, so our next passage was exactly what I needed.  It's in John 5 when Jesus finally just begins to teach on WHO He is and His equality with the Father God.  This is theology, and it's thick and intense.  But as Beth Moore says, "Our theology forms our reality."  So it's important.  I was great for me to just teach on Jesus; JUST JESUS.  It's not always about us, actually it never really is; it's all about Jesus.  So I taught this lesson below and then we went around in a circle and shared all the places in our life where we needed Jesus.  The places where we needed Jesus to break through in all His power and glory and love.  I got to share my crap and so did everyone else.  It was messy and BEAUTIFUL.  We were all raw and blessed.  Jesus was there.  JUST JESUS.  I love this life.

Check out the notes at this link: or read below.


Love Anyway

This week is just insane.  I knew it would be hard, but my little heart is feeling especially weak under all this pressure.  The hours pass by so slowly because I am just heartbroken.  I keep replaying all our days with Ntokozo trying to figure out where it went wrong.  I am confused.  I am hurt.  I am so sad for her.  I remember one time early in our journey with her when Casey said that if we got to the end of this and she didn't choose a great life, he would be really upset.  I told him it wasn't up to us.  But we were talking about university, like what if she didn't try hard enough to go to university or to get a good job.  I just never thought it would end like this.  I have no idea how it's going to go on; it's all murky.  I can only hope at this point that she will allow us in her lives so we can love her, but I don't even know.  Tonight is her last night with us, and her cousin Minky will come spend the night, and we will have a youth event of watching a movie together.  This day seems  long.  And then on top of all of it, I was talking to one of my leaders at OV Methodist and she started asking me strange questions to only finally get out of her that people in our church are talking bad about me and suscpicious of me.  I know it's only a small group and can probably guess who, but it's just so hurtful.  All I have come to do is love and serve these people.  I am not perfect but I do not have a known agenda.  I just want to love.  Maybe I need to examine things a bit more, but it's just painful.  I always say, "hurt people will hurt people."  But it's much easier to say that when I'm trying to comfort someone else and not myself.

But then I woke up this morning and allowed God's  mercies to wash over me afresh.  I am far from perfect and on the journey too.  And in the midst of all this pain and judgement, trying to throw it back only feels dirty.  So I want to choose love instead.  I can't come from me, but from a deep, DEEP place within me where only God can be, I feel something rising.  I am just going to walk with my head held high and love.

God reminded me of HIS love and how, "We love because he first loved us." (-1 John 4:19).  I am loved.  I have nothing to hide, and I carry no shame.  I am not condemnded even though I am not perfect.  I am loved.  So I take that love and give it to others.

It reminded me of this quote from Mother Teresa:

"People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway.
If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway.
For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway."
Even in the midst of the darkness, all I can do is love anyway.  I don't say all this to sound super-spiritual, but just to say that from the depths of hurt and betrayal, God is there and He can create something new out of those ashes.  I wouldn't believe it unless I was experiencing it myself.

I will love anyway.


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Dinner with Friends

I follow the blog of a guy named Brad Lomenick, he's the director of Catalyst Conferences.  Last week he posed the question, "If you could invite 7 living people to dinner, whom you have never met, who would they be?"
It caused some fun discussion with Sarah during our holiday, so I thought I would share my list.
1. Nelson Mandela (it seems cliche', but dude is amazing.  Just saw "Invictus" again the other night and was amazed by him all over again.)
2. Dean Smith (my posed picture from basketball camp at 11 years old doesn't count as meeting him.)
3. Sir Alex Ferguson (the greatest manager of the greatest football club in the world.  I would learn so much in one dinner.)
4. Louie Giglio (it's possible I shook his hand once when living in West Palm, but I don't remember it, so it probably didn't happen.)
5. Kasey Keller (my favorite goalie ever, he has a nice first name, though it's spelled wrong, and has inspired the name of our son if we ever have one.)
6. Tina Fey (she's hilarious and will keep us laughing.)
7. Jimmy Fallon (he's here to make sure that Tina is on her A game!)

In case any of the above can't attend:
Alec Baldwin (he replaces Jimmy), Carrie Underwood (she could still be invited to provide entertainment), Justin Timberlake (he could host, provide entertainment, cook the food, what CAN'T the dude do?), Tim Howard (he's Keller's sub)

I think that's enough for my list.  Who would be at your Dinner for 8?  Share your list in the comments section!


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Life is Changing

Well once again I have a heart full of feelings and not sure how to express it all.  Going away last week was refreshing and renewing, but things with Ntokozo only worsened.  It's bad in so many ways, and I don't even want to go into the details.  However, while we were away, the clouds parted and it became clear that our time with her was finished.  It was killing me and not at all helping her either.  So today we got together with her family and the head of the ministry we are working with, laid out all that is happening now, and asked Ntokozo to tell us what she wanted at this point.  She said she wanted to move back home with her family.  We talked some more, and made a plan to move her this weekend.  I am a mix of emotions, but mostly just sad.  I have total peace, no regret, and no guilt.  We did all we could but she isn't ready at this point to move toward healing and wholeness.  That is the VERY short version of it, but we need major prayers over here.  My insides feel like they are in a knot.  Not sure what the coming days are going to look like.

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."  -Philippians 4:6-7

This scripture has been filling my mind and heart and grounding me in a peace that I have never experienced.  I know God is sovereign and I trust that He will continue to weave Himself through Ntokozo's life even when she won't open up to Him or anyone else.

Brokenhearted but full of hope,

Monday, April 25, 2011

Book Review- Poke the Box

This morning I finished "Poke the Box" by Seth Godin.  I actually got the book for free on my Kindle because I'm part of Godin's Domino Project.  (I would really encourage you to join the project so that you can get amazing content from Seth and other authors).
The book really challenges people to get out and start stuff.  To initiate.  To stop waiting for permission and just do it!  If you have any good, great, or potentially bad ideas, read this, because it will give you the confidence and guts to go for it.  Even if you fail!!
I was quite encouraged because our venture to start the Ubuntu Football Academy feels like a 'poke the box' moment.  Our success isn't guaranteed.  Nobody has agreed to sponsor us for millions of dollars for the next 20 years.  The players could all up and quit.  But we decided to not allow the questions & "what ifs" to stop us from persuing it.  We actually believed that we had to get started with what was in our hand (think Moses and his staff in Exodus or the boy with his loaves & fish in the Gospels) and that God would start moving.  Over time, the resources we need, and the boys' success would follow.
I'm really proud of us for starting.  But it doesn't stop now.  Each meeting we go to is a poking moment.  Each person we ask to sponsor us is a chance to poke.  Each new way we try to reach the boys is another chance to fail, but we must try.
What's the great idea you've been sitting on?  Who are you waiting on to give you permission?  Here it is, GO, START, TRY!  And if you need some more, read "Poke the Box."  It's short (less than 100 pages), easy to read, and inspiring.
Overall grade: A


Book Review- Submerge

Sarah already read this book and reviewed it about a month back, but I finished it about a week or so ago.  Here is her detailed review:
I just wanted to reiterate what a fantastic book it is.  If you have any interest in living missionally or wonder why we have decided to live in Ocean View, this book articulates it so well.  It was encouraging, challenging, and inspiring.
Check it out, for real!


Easter Praises!

Wow, what an Easter!  We are still recovering from a FULL day of celebrating with so many people we love on this Easter Sunday.  As Casey and I prayed last night before going to sleep, we both just were in awe of the community God has given us here; truly they are family.  Most people think it's CRAZY that we have two church families (we do too!), but it is compltely ordained that God would bring us into two different, diverse, and unique churches.  We started the morning with Ocean View Methodist and had a lovely time with our View family.  LOVE. MY. CHURCH.  Kyle preached an incredible sermon about how "the King has one more move" and we should ALWAYS hold out hope for God STILL to work because of the ressurection of Jesus Christ.  Shook me!  Then we traveled all the way in town for Hillsong Church Easter celebration and it was just perfectly beautiful.  So in love with this church family too and privileged to see God at work there!  THEN headed back to the South for a huge braii (BBQ) with a bunch of friends!  WOW, such a lovely time with our 'family' here - we really have incredible friends.  They are fun.  And make yummy food.  :)  Quick rest and then out to Ocean View Baptist for a big youth event called Xtreme Xplosion with about 250 pumped up View peeps.  It was a worship and hip-hop event - just crazy and fun.  So cool.  It was great to take a bunch of our youth there and see them just in awe of a crazy awesome church - and right here in Ocean View.  We love this community and how more and more it feels like home.  We love that we are so loved and supported here.  We love celebrating a RISEN Christ with these people and seeing that power at work more and more each day.

Happy Easter everyone!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Mumford and Sons - Roll Away Your Stone

Seriously. So great. Perfect for this day when grace is changing EVERYTHING.


A Response to an Atheist

Last week I posted an article by Ricky Gervais entitled "Why I'm an Excellent Christian"
For me, the article was thought provoking and challenging.

Then this week, a thoughtful Christian response by Mike Cosper:

One of my favorite pieces of it is this:

In his abundant mercy, God looks upon the broken, the downtrodden, those crushed by the burdens of Satan, sin, and death, and provides scandalous mercy in Jesus Christ. That’s the starting place of the gospel, and the starting place of any conversation about what it means to be a Christian. Ricky Gervais looks at the Scriptures and sees only law, not grace, and responds with appeals to legal obedience.
There are critiques to Christianity, and on this beautiful and celebratory Easter Sunday, we should listen to all those who are outside of our party and thoughtfully enter into their conversation.  It is time.


Friday, April 22, 2011

Kieren and Likhona

Kieren and her buddy Likhona. He is helping her to learn how to ride her bicycle, but the fun quickly turns to tears...

Kieren NOT kicking the ball

Our yard on a typical afternoon. Lots of boys playing soccer. On this day we took our Kieren's soccer ball, but she refused to kick it and then just told everyone it was 'mine.' Okay...

Normal afternoon at the Prince home in OV

This is what our home is like many afternoons in the View. Love it.

Kieren and Her Buds

This is Kieren with a couple of her best buddies, Bailey and Lakhona Senekal. They are watching a cool South African video called 'Jungle Beat' and giving me some thoughts. I LOVE these kiddos.

My Cape Town - Iscream and Chocolate Stix

I'm trying to entice you guys to come visit us! We live in an amazing city, but Ocean View is the best part!! This video will inspire you and make your head bob a bit!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Kieren Playing in the Yard

OMG. Video of Kiers last week playing soccer in the yard.

Where we are staying there is unlimited internet. Get ready for many more videos...

Deep Breath

We are now on vacation at the beautiful Mosaic Lodge.  

I am taking many deep breaths. It feels GOOD.

This is where we are staying.

This is our view

And this

Yeah, if you live in CT you should come out here.  Check out here:
Mosaic Farm

I am happy.  We are happy.


Yep, that's me today.  Tired.  But hope is on the horizon because Casey and I are going out of TOWN today!  We are going to the gorgeous Mosaic Lodge that we visited last year and staying in one of the cottages with the American family that owns it.  Oh my gosh, I could just drink this day IN.  It is so refreshing and I am THIRSTY.

We have books, tv shows, comfy clothes, lots of food and snacks, and some parents that are ready to take 2048938jdi0 naps.

Granny is at home with an unsuspecting Kieren and very suspecting Ntokozo.  I have never been away for Kieren for more than a night (*TEAR*) so this will be hard for me (when did I become THAT mom??).  Granny is the best and Kieren loves her so it will be great.  Ntokozo is just mad but Granny doesn't mind and she is always respectful to Granny.  So the fridge is stocked and my girls will hopefully have a good few days.

It is Thursday, we are leaving NOW and coming back Saturday.  WHAT??

Please keep praying with us for Ntokozo, this is a story that is not finished by any means, but it is a bit of an emotional nightmare for me.  I reached some more breaking points this week, as I am just so hurt by her actions and responses towards me.  I have SO MANY great people around me to talk through this, so I really know she is not responding to me but all the hurt and pain inside her.  But wow, it SEEMS like she is just being hurtful to me.  Seriously, apart from Kieren's accident I have never been through anything so painful.  For sure.  So it's a good time to get away, be refreshed, be renewed by God, have FUN with Casey and remember who I am.  So good.  We are blessed.

TTYL (talk to you later!)


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Facinating Article

I love a good article.  I love a good article by a comedian.  I love a good article by a comedian who isn't a Christian talking about Christianity.  GOOD stuff.

Ricky Gervais, the British actor who starred in the first Office sitcom recently wrote an article called, "Why I am a Good Christian."  Challenging, funny, interesting stuff, and for me, thought provoking.  He says he is an atheist who is the best Christian he knows.  My favorite part was when he said:
"God or not, if I could change one thing for a better world, it would be for all mankind to adhere to this little gem: "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone." I assure you, no more stones would ever be thrown."
What do you think: challenging or offensive?

Read here:

Random Glimpses

Some recent glimpses (RANDOM!) into the Prince world...

Ubuntu was in the local paper, 'The Echo,' that highlights stories around our area, the Southern peninsula of Cape Town.  These boys think they are FAMOUS now! 

Dinner out with some friends on Saturday night, and Kieren sharing snacks with her buddies Lachona and Bailey.  These are a couple of her BESTIES!

The Ocean View peace march last week.  The group started out at the entrance of Ocean View with signs, police, and candle-lighting.  It was families all together and we walked through out community, adding people along the way.

 We then gathered at the Ocean View multipurpose center for a rally with various speakers and people in the community sharing.  This is my friend Rosanne sharing about why she LOVES Ocean View.  Beautiful stuff.  Then I was asked to speak in front of these beautiful people - such an honor!

Afterwards I hung out with some wanna-be gansta boys in the hallway.  Much more my scene...

Monday, April 18, 2011

Worst Youth Leaders EVER

Seriously.  The Prince family decided that 2011 was the year to SAVE THE WORLD, and we happened to forget that we are VERY LIMITED in every sense.  One of our big ideas was to start leading youth, and we REALLY prayed about this before jumping in, but WOW are we the WORST YOUTH LEADERS EVER!  Please don't post to this blog saying, "No Sarah!"  Just let me share.  And we seriously are.  It's not completely hopeless, but gosh are we bad.

So yeah, we have like 39jdk40u398 other things we do all week, and by the time it gets to Friday night (when they traditionally have youth group in the townships) we are FRIED!  This week at about 6pm Casey asked what we were doing for youth which started in an hour and I hadn't worked it out yet...  Yikes.  I DO believe that our presence and relationships that we have formed with these youth are priceless and I know that I LOVE my time with them.  But you would think after so many years of youth ministry we could get it together a bit more??

This week we had about 15 youth which actually is pretty good.  I gave a (ROUGH) talk to them about John 3 and then we took them to McDonalds for McFlurries!  So that counts for something, right?  

Honestly, we have a PLAN, we are partnering with an organization this year to train up some new leaders in our church for youth and I am VERY EXCITED about what is ahead, but we are just getting by for now.  THANKFULLY our group is very merciful and I think they know that we love being with them!

At the end of the day, we both wish we were doing more, but I wouldn't change this time with them for anything.  These kids are the first generation that has grown up in these township communities where chaos, drugs, violence, and pain are a norm.  God is real for them and they are in NEED, so I can't wait to see all that God does among us together. 

PRAYERS please!


Friday, April 15, 2011

Get Up

Another night with my women.  To anyone on the outside it was another ordinary night of meeting, reading God's word, sharing, crying, praying together.  To me and to the group, it was another SPECIAL and HOLY night together.  We are a family and we are a force.  I just love these women and I love that God brings us together week after week.  Honestly, if you long to work with the poor, if you long to make a difference, then just start showing up, and KEEP showing up.  And then show up some more.  That time, even as simple and mundane as it might seem is so blessed.  It adds up.  It means something because we are close now, we have a language, we come in the door ready to open up and lay down our stuff.  Gosh, it's just so beautiful.  These women are my heros and I love doing life with them week after week after week.  God is meeting us.


To see my notes from the talk 'Get Up,' click here, or look below.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Look. Listen. Love.

Last night was such a cool night.  I was honored to take part in the annual March for Peace organized by the Ocean View Police Forum.  It was a candlelit march through our community, ending with a peace rally. The event is to raise awareness about a group of people in our community who want to end the drugs, violence, and crime that seeks to destroy this place we love.  And for some incredible reason, I was asked to SPEAK at the rally this year!  I was already honored before it happened, but once I was there with these people I love so much, I was beyond grateful.  Here are some incredible leaders of our community of Ocean View and they wanted me to speak and inspire them.  Privilege.  It was a powerful event, and just reminded me that we are NOT helpless and we are NOT hopeless about Ocean View.  There is change and there is power in unity.  Beautiful stuff.  I LOVE OCEAN VIEW!

Here are my notes from my talk titled "Look. Listen. Love."

Click here.

Ubuntu is Making News!

Ubuntu was featured today in the local paper, the False Bay Echo.  The picture is of the team at the recent Strandfontein soccer tournament and speaks about the goals and vision of the academy.  Exciting stuff!!

Meet Treswill

You need to go meet Treswill on the Ubuntu Blog, he's their 1st Paid Staff Person!

He's a legend, and you need to know him!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Making Plans

"In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps."  -Proverbs 16:9

As I was about the write this post this verse came into my mind.  I want to share about a meeting I had yesterday with our 'Ntokozo team' as I am going to now start calling us.  We have begun to meet with a group of women who all have a heart for Ntokozo and want to minister to her: the foster mom of Jacob, her son, and two of the women with Baby Safe, the ministry that found Ntokozo and brought her to us.  As things have gotten more tense in the past weeks, they decided to bring us together to make a plan on how we can together best care for Ntokozo.  We spoke about all the problems, the issues, possible solutions, and how we want to move forward.  We prayed and committed this girl and ourselves once again to the plan and vision the Lord has for her life.  We really believe God will make some movement in this week and  just want to see miraculous works that only He could do.

A couple things really hit me in our time.  One, Bethany, one of the women working with Ntokozo, was speaking so much life into the situation and sharing how much she believes God is going to do incredible things in Ntokozo and how we are not going to experience struggle and strife the WHOLE time we have her in our home.  It was like a refreshing drink and I was parched.  A great reminder that God wants Ntokozo to THRIVE in life, not just survive.  Also, she spoke about how thankful God is for our sacrifice and all the pain we have experienced for the sake of Christ.  She reminded us that it was all seen by God and beautiful in the eyes of Jesus.  Just great things to remember.

I am so grateful that we have a team of people believing and partnering with us in our hope to love and see healing in Ntokozo's life.  But the verse I began this post with reminds me that no matter how great our plans may be, God will be determining this path and all that is going to unfold.  We can't expect our own ways to come to fruition, but we can be expectant and hopeful believing HE WILL SHOW UP.  I know He will.

Sometimes God wants us to have faith where we cannot see and believe things into reality.  Where in your life are you praying in faith and risking even though it seems impossible?


An Inspiring Little Girl

You can be the change - this 10 year old girl was in her community!

Monday, April 11, 2011

It's a Time for BELIEVING Prayer!

It is a time for prayer.

Many of you have been following the story of Ntokozo in our lives, and have held your breath watching it unfold, terrified of what this damaged person might do in our loving and happy home.  Now as things are really unraveling with Ntokozo, many of you are living in this fear and can't bear to watch her hurt us and disrupt the things that God is doing in our ministry.

We want to say thank you for your intentions to love and support us as a family.  We know you desire to see our lives and ministry abundant and full of joy and success.  Thank you for the ways you have reached out during these difficult and challening times of taking Ntokozo into our home.

We appreciate your love, but feel it is now time to make VERY clear the vision we have for Ntokozo's life and invite you to be a part of it.  In NO way did we seek to be foster parents to a traumatized, Zulu, orphaned teen mom.  Who ever would??  

Well God would.  God saw this beautiful girl, so hurt and imprisioned in her pain and trauma and He decided to make a way out with His love.  And so He brought her to us.  We didn't seek it out, we didn't want it, and we continue to think we aren't good or loving enough to actually see this through.  But thankfully we aren't alone, and we have the power and strength of God within us. 

God has brought Ntokozo into our lives.  We don't know how our story with her will play out, but when we think about how long she will be with our family, we envision forever.  She is our daughter now.  We would never think of finding a new home for Kieren when trouble arises, and we have decided to see Ntokozo in the same way.  In our own strength, certainly we cannot carry out this vision.  But with God ALL THINGS are possible.

We believe that God is going to restore and heal Ntokozo.  Only God can, but we believe God WILL.  We want you to know this so you will be BELEIVING with us.  We want to keep your vision to heaven and your hearts focused on healing and wholeness for Ntokozo, and nothing less.  We are thankful that you are 'protective' of us, but we are expecting a miracle in Ntokozo's life that only God could do.  Let's pray it into reality TOGETHER.

With great love and thankfulness to YOU who we could NEVER do this without!!
Casey and Sarah

“And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”  -2 Corinthians 3:18

“We think we have to change, grow and be good in order to be loved. But rather we are loved and we receive His grace so we can change, grow and be good.”  -John Powell

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Visions of Colour!

A beautiful day to be at Hillsong Church Cape Town!

The Colour opener - amazing!

Check out all these WOMEN all to worship God - 1000 women Friday and 1500 Saturday!

Our three women leading the way!  Bobbie Houston, the main host of Colour from Hillsong Australia, Lucinda Dooley, our incredible Hillsong Cape Town pastor, and Vera Kasevich, pastor of Hillsong Kiev.

A view of the stage and worship leaders - they were incredible!

The View women arriving at Colour, and we were escorted by volunteers to the auditorium.  EVERY WOMAN taking by the arm!  They were shouting from the bus, 'Where is MY boyfriend?!'  Hah!

Resting and eating during a break.

Colouring OUR World!


Day two of Hillsong Colour women's conference (one-day conference that was held on Friday and then another one on Saturday!).  We took 60 women from the View to the event yesterday and my head and heart are still spinning this morning.  Hillsong Cape Town is just amazing to us and they helped and loved us in EVERY way yesterday!  They fed us, checked on us, cheered for us, and taught us some incredible things about Jesus and God's kingdom.  This morning in our Methodist church service I spoke to the congregation about the conference and invited some women to share.  About four of them came up and tried to put into words something they learned and how they felt about the day.  I think they feel the same as I do.  It was incredible and overwhelming and there are too many words and none at all to really describe it.  God is real and alive.  I love my Ocean View women so much and am just grateful that God  brought me to this place.  I love living here, I love that they are my neighbors and friends, I love that we go to church together every weekend.  I love their laughter and fun, I love that they are crazy, I love watching them grow in Christ.  The conference was amazing, and we learned so much.  Overall though I think I was just proud.  I was proud to bring these 60 beautiful women and spend the day with them.  I am so proud to do life with them, and proud already for what more God has in store for us all.  It's going to be amazing.  

You know, this thing we are doing here, it's not extraordinary, it's actually very ordinary.  Wherever you are, with whatever church you are in, just get women together.  Meet together, read God's word together, love each other, pray and laugh and sing together.  Do life together.  Watch God grow in and among you.  Be inspired by one another.  And be proud.  It's that simple.  I love my simple life.


Saturday, April 9, 2011

COLOUR Your World!

(Yes, I did spell color as COLOUR - there are Australians over here running this crazy show with their new words!!)

The Hillsong international women's conference, 'Colour' has finally made its way to Africa beginning this weekend.  This is an incredible event started at the Hillsong Church in Sydney, Australia, and is now going to be here in Cape Town.  Our beautiful partnership with Hillsong Cape Town continues to grow, but they have really taken it to another level with this event!  The one-day conference was first slated just for today (Saturday) but then sold out and so they added another one-day event for Friday.  Casey signed me up for the conference in December 2010, but I never thought about brining my women - it's just a big and EXPENSIVE event!  Then I thought maybe some leaders could come, but the main pastor here, Lucinda Dooley, actually decided we should bring a whole GANG of these girls!  We got 60 tickets at reduced prices for Saturday, and then the women kept coming and still wanted to attend.  So then Hillsong worked out for a smaller group to also go on Friday, and so we already took one group yesterday.  It was fun because it was a group of girls that my missionary friend Julie Ostrand ministers to, and so I got to take them, and ALSO took some of my white girlfriends too!  We were a fun bunch!  It was just a beautiful, overwhelming, outstanding day.  The Ocean View ladies were BLOWN AWAY and one even paid herself and registered for NEXT YEAR'S conference!  We left last night exhausted but full of love and joy.  So great.

So today (Saturday) I am here again with 60 of my View women and they are PUMPED about it.  We have been praying and planning for this for months, and these women are ready and expectant to receive from God.  I can't wait to share what happens with you.

Lots of love!

Ntokozo update

Whoa, just realized I hadn't posted again since my whine-fest on Wednesday!  Sorry to leave on a downer this week!  It's been a HECTIC week, but just wanted to give an update on the Prince world.  I am on my second round of antibiotics this week from an ear infection - what??  Kiers ALSO has an ear infection, but seems to be fine already with meds.  It's a BIG ministry week with my View ladies and a Hillsong conference (update coming) but things with Ntokozo are still moving.  Not sure what direction we are going, but there is movement!  I took Ntokozo to see a counselor on Thursday, and I have no idea how it went but I had a GREAT feeling about this woman.  It's going to be a journey just to get her to open up to someone, but I really believe this could be the fit.  She was FURIOUS at me for making her go but I know it's for the best.  Casey and I haven't gotten a free moment AT ALL with her so haven't been able to have a big conversation with her, but the ministry we partner with (and who brought us Ntokozo) came and spent some time with her Wednesday.  Their conversation also made her mad, but she is hearing more about the need for boundaries and how it's for her good.  All we can do is PRAY that she will trust us more and receive our love!  

I can say that for ME, the Hillsong conference yesterday was AMAZING.  I went in the morning with a broken and hurt heart about Ntokozo, but by the end of the day I was filled with love and compassion for her.  I WANT to love her, I want to be a physical expression of God's endless and faithful and abundant love.  I want to.  I definitely can NOT do it on my own strength, but with God "all things are possible!!"  I am renewed, softened, and even expectant.  God is good.

Thanks for all the love and prayers this week about Ntokozo, and please keep it coming!


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Ummm yeah.... words...

I feel the need to blog today about the only thing that is on my mind but I feel like I have no words and a million words all at the same time.  I am full of knots and sadness and confusion.  I have come to the end of something.  This time I am telling God and Casey 'I can't do this anymore' and I actually mean it.  Something is not working.  We have reached a breaking point with Ntokozo, and something has to change.

We have a teenager living in our home that is only a shadow of the girl we first met last November.  In November we saw a shy, beautiful, and gentle girl who had been a victim of horrible atrocities but was loving and willing to come into a new life with our family.  Now we have a teenage girl who only scowls, rolls her eyes, speaks shortly and rudely, hides in her room, and refuses to be a part of almost any family activity.  We try to engage her, speak with her, talk through whatever it is that we can figure out that MIGHT be bothering her, but she completely shuts down and won't even look or speak to us.  We knew this girl was traumatized, but I think we are seeing the depth of pain that we never imagined.  

We are a loving home, a fun home, a happy home.  We have dance parties, we tell jokes, we eat meals together, we work together, we talk about Jesus, love our neighbors and love our church.  Naively we assumed brining a hurt child into this environment would be positive and help her to move past the pain, but instead we have found our home to be a place where all her pain coming up for 'air' and pointed mostly at us.  It seems that Casey and I are the problem, the perpetrators, the bad ones.  I am dumbfounded and confused.  I am hurt.  Hurt personally, obviously just because we are rejected.  But more, WAY MORE, I am hurt that this beautiful girl won't accept out love, won't come into this place of trust, won't open her wounds up in a safe environment.  It is honestly one of the most painful things I have EVER been a part off.  Seriously.

So here we are.  So many words, and no words to even get close to describing what I am feeling.  We just need prayers.  We need miracles.  We need Jesus.  Today, a ministry friend who has been working with Ntkozo is taking her out to talk this afternoon, and tonight Casey and I will be speaking with her to really lay it out - this attitude and anger cannot go on in our home.  Tomorrow (Thursday) we are planning on taking her to a counselor, but I don't even know if she will speak to a counselor at all.  I just don't know.  

I am going to stop talking now, but will you please pray?  I mean really, really pray.  Pray for Ntokozo not us.  We are okay, we have GREAT community and friends and are just praying and worshipping our great God who loves us.  But Ntokozo has completely isolated herself and needs wisdom, clarity, discernment, courage, to choose love.  Pray for her.


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I Love My Boys!

Just thought you might want to hear from the new 'mom' of Ubuntu Sports after such a great weekend.  All I can say, over and over, is 'I love these boys.'  I mean I have just totally fallen in love with them.  Did we think it would be any different?  Well actually, I kind of did.  Just hearing about these boys' backgrounds and the problems they are already getting themselves into, I just didn't know how close I would actually feel to them.  But after this weekend...whoa.

Kieren and I tried to make as many appearances as we could at games, and even came up to camp on Saturday night.  The cutest part of it all is that Kieren LOVES these boys and they are so sweet to her!  She cried when we had to leave to go home on Saturday night.  AND, the boy that is the most obsessed with her is Josh, our 'problem' child who has so many issues!  He is so sweet always going to talk and play with her.

The boys just had a blast together.  Taking them out of their difficult and stressful home environments made our hopes a reality as we watched these kids open up, laugh, play, and truly be themselves.  We saw terrified little boys at the first game against a BIG opponent and by the end of the tournament they really found their feet and confidence.  They are sweet boys, growing up in a fast and difficult world, and excited about the new opportunity opening up before them.  I feel so proud and connected to them - you all would LOVE to see what is going on with them!  They are coming alive!  This is really happening! 

Here are a few shots from my phone from the weekend:

The boys playing a game of cricket (the sport here that ALL kids know and love to play) in the evening before dinner

Uncle Michael with Kiers

Coach Casey and Coach Mike praying with the boys for dinner

The boys enjoying their dinner

With love from the PROUD Ubuntu mom,

Major UBUNTU update

Check it out at!

Monday, April 4, 2011

She's important!

This weekend Hillsong Cape Town is hosting the Colour Conference for women (  Sarah is taking 60 women from Ocean View to the conference on Saturday and another 15 or so on Friday!  And Hillsong is paying for their transportation and gave them a MAJOR discount!  It's so amazing to have their partnership.

Today they came to video her at our house talking about her work in Ocean View and the partnership we have with Hillsong.  It will be part of a larger video that will show during the conference.  So, I live with a super minor Christian celebrity!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Sunday Morning Easy Listening

An all-time favorite, Lauryn Hill singing 'The Conquering Lion."  So great

And from the new Hillsong United albumn 'Aftermath,' here is a reflection on the song 'Rythums of Grace.'   This song RULES and they kill it at church.

Friday, April 1, 2011

My Women

Yesterday was a DAY.  You know the kind.  It was just crazy and wild and we were running all around every minute.  Lots to do, lots getting done, and Kieren decided to potty-train herself in the evening.  What?  Her friends were doing it, so she decided no more diapers.  Great.  Peer pressure much??  Anyways, the night ended with my regular Thursday night Bible study with my women.  I came into the church and just had to exhale, there was so much on my mind.  I laid of what was on my mind down before the ladies.  A good friend and mentor dying of cancer, four toddlers running around my home, my own daughter peeing herself and freaking out, a foster daughter who hates us because we made her eat a potato, and it's just Thursday so I am tired.  Whew!  Luckily, I had already written my talk for the night :)  In John 4, Jesus meets the Samaritan woman by the well, a woman who is also burdened and burnt out.  They have a real and vulnerable exchange and something incredible happens when she receives the Living Water and is filled beyond what she ever could have expected.  Read notes below.  Oh, and PERFECT way to end the night.  I love my women so much.  They are treasures.


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