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7 De Laan

Since June 2014 we have been involved with a little township called 7 De Laan (pronounced 'sevenda laan', which means 7th Avenue in Afrikaans). This is the story of how the Lord led us there and what the vision is for this beautiful place...

In March 2014 it was time to ask ourselves what our next season in ministry will hold after handing over all responsibility for our previous project to the local community. We took a week to pray and God spoke clearly to us about a small, tucked away and extremely impoverished community somewhere in Cape Town with sandy roads, barely any infrastructures and a heap of socio-economic and spiritual challenges. With this detailed picture in mind we waited for God to show us where this special place would be.

Little did we know that we had been passing this gem, hidden between dunes, for many years on our way to Sibongile in Khayelitsha.

Two months after the prayer week Marco passed by a small collection of shacks, that he had been noticing for a while already. He drove in and just struck up a conversation with someone. Turns out it was Kathy, one of the community leaders, who welcomed Marco warmly and showed him around the little place, made up of two sandy dirt roads and around 70 scrap metal shacks. The people were open and friendly, some even asked Marco to pray for them. The condition of some of the homes and their inhabitants was really upsetting.

Some time later, Marco drove past again and saw a crisis management vehicle of the City of Cape Town parked in the community. In the midst of the cold winter a newborn had past away due to hypothermia. These horrible news and the family circumstances moved us deeply and we wrote one email. One email. No photos, just a few words and only to our German email recipients. Within a few days, thousands of Euros came in which we were able to use for blankets, plastic roof sheets and food. Our German home church almost exploded with compassion for this little place. This reaction was such a clear confirmation to us that it was this place God had been speaking about months before: 7 De Laan. And so it was clear what our next call in missions was: to bring God's love and transformation into the community of 7 De Laan.

Of course sustainable development is still our top priority, just as it was with Sibongile. We are very blessed to enjoy such openness with the community leaders of 7 De Laan. Maggy (middle) and Kathy (right) have been living there for many years and are the point persons for every problem. Together with these two, David (who also lives in 7 De Laan) and Sandy and her team from Destiny Changers - Difference Makers we have started a leadership team that aims at moving this little place forward. Besides them there are also Sandra, René, Sophia, Peter, Joan and many more who have a heart for the people and a willingness to offer their time.

Beyond Marco's daily and Justine's weekly visits in 7 De Laan, where we deepen relationships, listen and pray and where especially Marco does a lot of organisational things, we are all working towards a specific future goal. This field (above) is right at the entrance of 7 De Laan and we want to build a multi-purpose hall and preschool there. The young children of 7 De Laan are usually left to themselves which leads to a lot of violence, accidents and sicknesses and greatly inhibits their development. The preschool will be a huge stepping stone for them and Kathy, with her many years of experience as a preschool teacher, will head it up. The youth and adults also have many layered problems but there is no neutral place to sit and talk without interruption - and especially without extra ears listening in. There is also no way to hold seminars and workshops, like anti-drug meetings or parenting courses, without a sheltered gathering place. For this reason a counselling room will be added to the preschool and the preschool facility itself can be used for evening classes. The hall will also boast a fully equipped kitchen so the children can be provided with a hot meal every day. The government is on our side and we are waiting for a few more details to fall into place.

If you would like to stay tuned to what is happening in 7 De Laan, it is best to sign up for our regular {INSIDER}s and newsletters on the top right or like one of our posts on Facebook.