Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Sweet Rowan

Sweet Sleep, South Africa, Post #1

It has been almost one month since I returned from my mission trip with Sweet Sleep to Cape Town, South Africa to build beds for some of the most vulnerable children there. I feel like I have had some time to process what I experienced and I now feel ready to share it with you. Many of you have been a part of this through giving financially or giving your time in prayer. I can tell you that nothing compares to being on a journey like this and experiencing it with all 5 senses, however I will try my best to take you to the places we went and introduce you to some people who I was fortunate enough to cross paths with. I invite you to come to South Africa with me over the next few blog posts and let yourselves fall in love with the people and the country. It's so easy to do!

Rowan and Me

First, I would like to introduce you to our very first bed recipient in South Africa. His name is Rowan and he kind of stole my heart. This said heart almost broke in two when he asked me and my team members to take him home with us. Rowan is 7 years old. We built a bunk bed in his home for him and his little brother Roland who is 2. When we arrived at this first home we were taken back by the small size and poor condition of the home. However, later, we worked in some other homes that made this one look very nice.

Little Bro, Roland, checking out my camera

Rowan's mother, Nicolette, took part in an 8 week parenting class through an organization called Open Door, which serves Cape Town much like the State Social Services Department does here. Open Door identified those children who were most vulnerable and invited their caregivers to take part in this class. Upon graduation of this program, caregivers were given Sweet Sleep beds for the children in their home. This class is so vital for people living in this area because it provides education to combat child abuse, drug abuse and other problems that plague Cape Town. The best part is, Open Door has already begun another class to help another group of children, Sweet Sleep is committed to providing beds again to the graduates of this program.

Nicolette at her first glimpse of the finished bunk bed for her boys

We built the bed in the morning while Rowan was at school but returned later that afternoon, once he had gotten a chance to see his bed. When we arrived he was sitting in his bed playing & so happy. My friend John got the chance to talk with Rowan a little about Jesus. We learned that sharing the gospel with a 7 year old requires a lot of patience. So. easily. distracted. Check out the video of our chat and pray for Rowan, Roland and Nicolette.

You can help other children like Rowan and Roland. Find out how. Go to www.sweetsleep.org Donate online, sign up to make Sweet Sleep your VBS mission focus, hold a youth Lock-in or Lock-out to benefit Sweet Sleep or do some Christmas shopping in the online Sweet Sleep store.


Anonymous said...

Great job! I'm ready to go back and see how everyone is doing!! Miss you! Alyson

Jen Gash said...

This is a good definition of the word: focused. And of joy. And of Superman. And of broken arms.