March 11, 2014

Cooking and Kitchens and Welcome Centers, Oh My!

In the midst of a normal Bossy To Do List, I turn the calendar and I feel all the feelings because today is the day, ya'll!  We are kicking off Phase 2 for the Maubane Community Center in South Africa. 

Our goal... it felt a little crazy... wild and giddy with the need for God to show up.  And oh how He loves to show up when we invite Him in and wait... holding our breath and acting brave in faith, even with upset stomachs and shaking knees... we waited!  And God and you... ya'll showed up! With open hands and hearts and wallets and together, all of our Little added up quick and we reached Phase 1 ahead of schedule. 

So now, we're moving on to what is next and that means we are out to raise funds to build a Kitchen and Welcome Center. I have written on this blog before about how our kitchen tends to be the gathering place in our home... how when we are broken, we pile on this floor... and when we are hungry, we find nourishment here (and we cook meals, too!)  In our tiny kitchen, we have all the items you would expect, but this space also serves as my office area and we have a little loveseat as well. I know very well how a kitchen gathers in... offers food and drink, hope and healing; how conversations at the table and in prayer circles begin while washing vegetables and chopping ingredients to be placed on stoves and in ovens.  As Moms, we spend a lot of time in the kitchen - before and after the meal has been served.

Nourishment comes through the kitchen in more ways than simply through food!

Lisa-Jo Baker posted today about this Phase as well, and here is part of what she is wondering about... what she is believing for:
"What if 1 blog community could build 1 South African community a safe place for sustainable food, child care, economic empowerment, job skills trainings, a gathering place for church, classrooms for HIV/Aids education, and a playground for their kids?
Because there’s a whole community of women who are raising more kids than just their own and still have all the same hopes, dreams and fears that we do."

This, from PureCharity:

"There's a community just north of Pretoria, South Africa, called Maubane. Home to about 150 adults and 250 orphans and vulnerable children.

For three years every Sunday they've been gathering for church on this vacant piece of land. For church and holidays, trainings, workshops and community celebrations.  Out here in the dust and the dirt is where they gather. Where they serve meals. Where they celebrate community events. Where they meet for trainings. 

The community has received permission from the local tribal council and government to build a community center on this land. 
Imagine a big community hall with kitchens and admin buildings, bathrooms and storage facilities, classrooms and training rooms and before and after school care spaces. 
Imagine a place that would provide shelter from the sun, the dirt and the dust to serve meals and practice hospitality... The kitchen and welcome center will be the first part of the entire community center, each additional part designed by the architect so that they can be added on building by building."

Be brave with us and give as big as these grins?

Oh... and just in case you need any added incentive to give... KraftyKash is generously offering these necklaces for sale:

$12 of every sale goes to help fund this project! So it's win-win for everyone! (I own a few of these myself and let me tell you - they are gorgeous and you will LOVE them!)  Check them out HERE.

Also... Lisa-Jo has another super talented friend, Cheri Norquay, and she is jumping on board to help out.  She is offering 50% of all sales in March to help us build a kitchen and the welcome center in the Maubane Community Center!  Check out her album HERE.

So today I am inviting you in once again.  I am opening the door and pouring a cup of coffee for you... partner with us... give what you can - every little bit makes a big difference!  I will be honest... I hesitate to ask for more in this space.  I know full well what a tight budget looks feels like!  We live paycheck to paycheck and I don't want you to feel pressure... but I do want to invite you in to be a part of this God thing that we are doing!  Even $5.00 adds up quick, and our goal of $40,000 is scary big... but our God is even bigger and I think He loves it when we lean in and trust Him and give what we can, believing that He can take our offering and make MUCH of it in the Kingdom of God... and in Maubane, South Africa!

Join us in prayer, and if you can, in sowing into the red dirt of Africa... building actual buildings, strengthening a community! Let's fall in love with the world next door!

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