House of Wells (H.O.W), a Non-Profit Organisation registered in South Africa & the UK exists to restore hope and dignity, and release the potential, of children and youth particularly orphaned, abandoned and vulnerable children.
House of Wells Enrichment Centres Quarterly Newsletter (April to June 2020)
RESTORING HOPE, RELEASING POTENTIAL
With the utmost gratitude, we would like to appreciate every House of Wells partner for your continuous support. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and its ravaging economic impact around the world, your generous donations have continued, this has helped us to continue to minister both spiritually and physically to the children at House of Wells in Uganda, Kenya, Zimbabwe and South Africa.
We pray that adequate, timely and appropriate help will continually be available to you and your family, in Jesus' name. The Lord will perpetually make a way for you where there seems to be none. The mighty hand of the living God will keep you and your family safe and healthy in Jesus' name.
H.O.W QUARTERLY NEWSLETTER - April to June 2020
We thank God for His wisdom and divine direction that has made it possible for us to stay in touch with House of Wells children and to feed them physically and spiritually, during the lockdown.
Like most people around the world, we started the month of April at the highest level of lockdown in South Africa, Kenya, Uganda and Zimbabwe where H.O.W operates. Initially, everything came to a standstill, but we have gradually seen the hand of God upon the work that we do, despite the lockdown restrictions being in place. Our programme has now expanded into various communities, and we have been able to reach more children, as well as adults with the Gospel of Christ.
From April to June, we have been in touch with H.O.W children via calls and text messages; around 700 of them received food packs and we were able to provide lunch for 800 children every Monday & Wednesday.
SOUTH AFRICA WELFARE CALLS
Two weeks into the lockdown, we started to call the parents/guardians of H.O.W kids so that we can speak to the children and check on their wellbeing. The purpose of the telephone calls was not only to check their welfare, but also to remind them to stay true to their faith in God. We encouraged them to keep close to God by reading their bible & praying daily, and to never lose sight of who God says they are. The children and their Parents/Guardians were glad to hear from H.O.W. The parents appreciated the interest, care and love shown through our conversations and prayers with their children - they told our staff... "Thank you House of Wells for caring for our children"; "You are indeed family to us";"God bless you for the beautiful work you do".
FEEDACK FROM OUR PHONE CALLS
**Obediah (15) - She is using her time productively at home. She created her own "War Room"/prayer closet (based on the Movie titled: War Room). She enjoys spending time reading her Bible. **Junene, Geneve, Justin & Jadewin- They live with their Mum and their two younger siblings. Junene, the eldest, told us that the situation has not been the best at home, because their Mum had not been able to work during lockdown. Their Mum is grateful for the food pack we give to the children every month. **Roliesha (11) - His Mum thanked us for the food packs and for the soup & bread that we give to HOW children. She has been accompanying her son to hear the word of God every Monday and Wednesday at H.O.W. She said she now prays with her children using the scripture cards they bring home from H.O.W. **Lershay B's Grandmother told us Lershay misses the H.O.W classes so much. She said H.O.W is really a family to them by providing the weekly lunch and the monthly food packs during lockdown. **Geraldine (10) - Her Mum was excited to hear from H.O.W. She said "thank you House of Wells for showing interest and love towards my kids, you're really a caring organisation. Thank you also for the monthly food parcel, it goes a long way". **Mickayla (12) - Her Mum passed away few months ago, she has no Father and she is now staying with her Aunt. Her Aunt told us she could see that Mickayla is being loved and cared for at H.O.W, and she thanked H.O.W for all the prayers and love for Mickayla. **Mapitseng - is in Grade11 and preparing for her Matric exams next academic year. She told us that the lockdown has had a terrible impact on her, both with her studies and her parents losing their income. She was struggling to study at home due to her house being crowded, with everyone at home during the lockdown. We managed to develop a plan that is now helping her to study better.
In South Africa, just under 600 food packs have been given to House of Wells children between April and June. These were children who live within walking distance of our Centre Leaders' homes and could be easily reached without breaking the lockdown rules. For some children, we had to deliver the food packs to their homes, contact-free. The children were so happy to receive the food packs, some were quite emotional. It was indeed a blessing to them and their family, at such a time as this. A number of H.O.W children’s parents/guardians are unemployed, with some of these situations arising from lost jobs as a result of the pandemic, so the food packs were really helpful.
TESTIMONIES FROM FAMILIES
A letter from Luwade's grandmother - "Thank you very much H.O.W organisation. My name is Margie. I told Wendy that this food pack is a big blessing, I will divide it into 3 parts for the remaining weeks of this month. I am Luwade's Grandmother. His Mother walked out of his life when he was a baby, she just packed and left. His Father passed away when he was three years old and I have raised him since. He is now 11 years old and has attended H.O.W for 4 years now. I want to thank H.O.W that Luwade is part of your family. I thank God and also thank you Pst. Richard and Pst. Kemi". Libuhang- In April, when we started distributing Food Packs to H.O.W children, Libuhang (12) and her sister (10), from our Walmer Centre, were among the children who received food packs. Unknown to us, their Mother had passed away earlier that day, so in addition to the groceries we delivered to their house, it was timely that we were there to encourage them and pray for them, albeit from 2 meters away. Mario F - His Grandmother told us that our food packs always arrive just in time, every month. She said that in April, their cupboard was empty for days and they were very hungry, she prayed to God and there was a knock on the door, it was H.O.W with the food packs. Ethan B - His Grandmother, who is wheelchair-bound, couldn't thank H.O.W enough. She said they had been waiting for food parcels from the government but nothing came, instead God had sent H.O.W. Thandeka J- Her Mum said that it is the soup & bread, and food packs from H.O.W that has fed her family for 2 months. She lost her job in April, and therefore is very grateful for what H.O.W has done for her children.
SOUP & WORD - H.O.W's outreach to the community
In June, when the lockdown rules were relaxed to Level 3, God gave us another strategy. We designed a shorter version of our programme that could be done in an open space where we could also serve the children "take-home" lunch. In each Township, we began using parks, fields and other open spaces that are big enough for the children to spread out and maintain social distance. The short programme - We read a couple of scriptures to the children, prayed for them and encouraged them to study those scriptures when they get home. Scripture cards with the verse to memorise at home were then given to each child, their homework was to discuss and learn the memory verse as a family. The children were then served their soup and bread, to take home. All of this was done with the children following appropriate social distancing (standing 2 meters apart).
TESTIMONIES **We were surprised to see that some parents always accompanied older children to the fields, they told us that they too needed to hear the word of God and would like to receive prayer! **People who were passing/driving by stopped to ask if they could donate food and drink items for us to add to the soup and bread that we served the children. We have also received donations of personal hygiene/protective items such as masks and hand sanitisers. The programmes being in open spaces in the community has led to an increase in awareness of the work that H.O.W is doing. Glory to God. **One parent told us that there are a few soup kitchens in her community that feed children, but she likes the fact that H.O.W does not only give children soup and bread, we also feed them spiritually, as social welfare is a part of what we do. **Many parents said that their children have started to insist that they pray together and study the memory verse as a family. The Mother of a five-year-old girl told us that they do not usually pray as a family, but since her daughter started attending our Programme they had to pray and read the bible with her. **By the second week of our "New " programme, we were not only reaching H.O.W. children, but many other children and adults in the community, all of whom were happy to receive Jesus into their lives.
**STREET EVANGELISM**- The open space we use in Walmer is just outside the home of one of our Centre Leaders. Her neighbours were amazed by what we do for the children, that they always volunteer to help us with hygiene and safety for the children, and ensuring that social distance is maintained. As people passed by during the time of scripture reading and prayer, they would stop, bow their heads and the men removed their hats (in the Xhosa culture, men take their hats off for prayers as a sign of respect for God). Many people have now given their lives to Jesus. The enemy meant Covid-19 for evil, but the Gospel is spreading as a result of the new way we are running the House of Wells programme!
Like all other institutions in Kenya, we are still not able to carry out our meetings like we used to. Below is a summary of what we have been able to do this quarter:- ** We continued to make our WEEKLY WELFARE CALLS to the children through their parents. ** We created an ACTIVITY BOOK for the children using the House of Wells lesson notes. It contains different bible stories and activities for each week. The activities include colouring pages, crosswords, puzzles, mazes, and quizzes all based on scriptures. The activities are written for three different age groups - 4-6 year-olds, 7-9 year-olds and 10-12 year-olds. We made the activities relevant to their ages and asked their parents to help us to ensure that the children completed their work. **In Kenya, people are now able to meet in groups of 15 maximum, providing social distancing and other recommended safety and hygiene procedures are still maintained. We have therefore been able to resume our FRIDAY YOUTH CLASSES, as there are less than 15 teenagers. ** Our volunteer team PRAYS FOR EACH OF THE CHILDREN every week.
With the Covid-19 pandemic ravaging communities, we bless God that He has preserved the nation of Uganda with no fatalities, so far. However, many families, and children especially have been affected with no food and other essentials. Many children in the community were surviving on only one meal a day, and some on no food at all. Thanks be to Jesus for the timely intervention of H.O.W with the food packs. About 40 families whose children come to H.O.W had food packs delivered to their doorsteps. TESTIMONIES **Mama Joan was very sick, and was planning to send her daughter to our Centre Leader's house for some food and charcoal to prepare a meal for her four children, three of whom attend H.O.W. That was the day we did the food distribution! She blessed God for an immediate answer to prayer. **Mama Nakaziba's seven children all attend H.O.W classes. She was very grateful to H.O.W "for looking after children at no cost to parents". **Mama Tracy had been struggling to feed her two children until God sent food packs through House of Wells. She said her hope in Jesus was rekindled.
We thank God that we were able to keep in touch with H.O.W children during the lockdown. We distributed 5kg bags of Mealie Meal (local staple food) to House of Wells children in the Mbizo area. Community leaders saw what we were doing and gave us tremendous support with hand sanitizers for the children. They also helped to manage a safe and orderly queue, making sure the children maintained social distance measures.
We have been delivering scripture cards and lesson notes to the children at the beginning of each week, and having a short quiz on those scriptures, the next time we distribute food or when we do the Welfare Calls. We have also dedicated one day each week specifically to pray for all House of Wells children. We thank God for the feedback and testimonies that we have received from their families.
THANK YOU PARTNERS On behalf of our Trustees, Staff and the children at our Enrichment Centres, we would like to express our gratitude to each and every one of you - every Individual, Organisation, Business and Church that partner with House of Wells (monthly or occasionally). You are a key part of the lives of numerous children that are being transformed by God, through House of Wells, across South Africa, Zimbabwe, Uganda and Kenya.
We appreciate every individual, church or organisation that sends donations for the children's daily meals and monthly groceries, for the purchase of school uniforms, for extra tuition classes for our Teenagers; for staff salaries; and for our flight tickets to and from the Mission stations - THANK YOU! May heaven bless and record your sacrifices and seeds sown into the lives of these children, in Jesus' name.
Churches partnering with HOUSE OF WELLS:- The Liberty Church London (UK); City Chapel London, The King's Family Centre (TKFC) U.K, RCCG Living Water Parish (UK), Trinity Chapel (UK), RCCG Bethel Parish,Chapel of Life (UK) and HARVEST Christian Church, Port Elizabeth - we are grateful for your assistance and support in various ways.
Organisations supporting HOUSE OF WELLS:-Rest Assured Property (UK); LPS Estates (UK); ShopFit Group (SA), VITAE London,Ambience Consult LTD (UK), Systemxnet Limited (UK), Vision Excel Ltd (UK) and Panacom Ltd (UK) - thank you so much for your consistent financial support, may God continue to bless your businesses.