I seem to keep on saying it constantly ……. ‘time is flying’!   The last three months seemed to have disappeared somewhere.  I struggle to keep track through the distances travelled and even the wonderful people that crossed our paths the last few months.  After extensive training programs we received 50 amazing transformational agents from about just everywhere.  These amazing people shared skills you can only dream from.  We had attorneys, chartered accountants, business psychologists, doctors-to-be, teachers, theological students …. and so the list continues.  Everyone had one goal in mind – let’s be activators in transformation.

Many people ask me how do you transform a whole community – especially in an area which is difficult to penetrate!  The answer is not difficult at all – SHOW UP – PLAN -GET INTO ACTION – EXECUTE WELL.  Without boring you with too much detail ….. follow the stories through pictures …. which will give you a great indication how to start transformation in a village ….. hidden away.


STUCK! To sometimes get to true transformation …. you will get stuck – much like the group from Stellenbosch. Roads are difficult and after 3 000km’s of travels …… the inevitable happened. A few hours later ….. all was on track again to the base. 27 Happy and tired transformational agents …. ready to acculturate.


Getting up early in the morning was not a difficult test at all for the group of 27 young life changers. The sunrise was beautiful enough to get up for!


DAY 1: A short introduction on how to acculturate into a community and practice the Gospel of Presence. Many questions asked and clarity on how to serve and leave a lasting legacy!


The group arriving in the community for the first time ….. meeting everyone!


Transformation is a painfully slow process. Starting off with the pre-school. Color brings hope …… it cultivates dreams. The whole community was blessed by young caring people coloring in the village in a planned fashion.


Greeting the chief of the area first to respect his voice and ideas on how to best transform his village was the most important event of the tour. Without truly listening to the community and their heart and work WITH THEM to change their community all transformation will fail. This is the most important ingredient of a Gospel of Presence – respect and listen first.


HIGHLIGHT: Meeting Chief Picardo.


The transformation begins. Orphans and the economically challenged kids were served first by dressing kids with brand new clothing. No one was overlooked and I must admit at a stage it looked like the Bible story of the pieces of bread and the fish. The number of children and women who needed to be dressed seemed just to many for what we had. At the end ….. everyone was dressed. Just a small way of showing care. The community asked if their kids could receive at least one shirt …… and in the process got a full outfit!


Brand spanking new!


Chief Picardo – extatic to see change. He turned to me while he saw all the transformation and said: “Surely God has descended on our village today!!”


Caring means …… getting involved – touching – loving! If love is VERB ….. then we need to prove ourselves as so many people did.


Outreaches to the community in the night meant we could all connect much closer. The Jesus film movie may be old fashioned to many but it helped building relationships with everyone.


Serving in the church! A visit to the local Methodist church turned out amazing as two cultures met.


Getting into ACTION mode. The school in the beginning phase of transformation.


Learning from each other. The physical work is only part of changing a community. Interaction, learning and enjoying each other is just as important.


After painting the classroom and making it learner friendly …… every kid received their own color crayons to write their own names and draw their own life stories.


Upgrading the school’s playground! Colorful and fun all around.


Enjoying the new playground!


‘I can help too!’ Everybody was welcome to participate in make the school beautiful.


And then the hard work – meeting with the community hearing their hearts. Never ever in the village was any white man (mazungu) allowed to take kids out of the village for an educational experience. After speaking to the mothers and the community (and with a lot of help from the Chief) everyone agreed …. we could take their 100 kids to be helped. A true miracle.


Music and dance helped to overcome the huge cultural divide.


Even buying food was a different experience as the ‘cooking ladies’ explained.


Entertaining nearly 100 kids on the beach with games and sport was quite an event and has never been done in the village.


Pure joy!


The day with the children was a great success ….. and very tiring.


The various soccer teams enjoyed the refreshments!


The local girls just loved to say thank you ….. by carrying some of the visiting ladies around and singing to show their appreciation.