Meet Anneline, a light in a dark place, a refuge in the spirit to many who feel defeated, a beacon of hope to those who have none and a gentle whisper of healing to the brokenhearted.
Earlier this year we got a group of people together and had a prophetic worship declaration in Bloekombos, a township on the outskirts of the Northern Suburbs of Cape Town. We arrived at the church building around 9am on Thursday morning, unloaded our instruments and children, and started worshiping. It was easy to focus on Jesus, because there was no one else there. Literally – there was no one in the building, except for the 6 people from our team, and my two kids. We had a fantastic time. God poured out His vision for the area, He flooded us with prophetic songs and spiritual strategy for the mission He had set out for us. About three hours into our meeting I opened my eyes and noticed this lady sitting to the one side of the hall. She was praying, pouring out her heart before her Father. She was fixed on intentionally worshiping her Saviour, and it was clear to see for all who were there. We ended the morning session by praying for her and hearing a bit of her testimony. The Lord healed her back right then and there and His joy in her heart was so tangible and undeniable. We also heard why she only arrived towards the end of the meeting and not at 9am as she had planned… There was a rainstorm the night before – a beautiful thing about the Cape winters. It was beautiful to me, because I lay in bed that night listening to the sound of the rushing water and strong winds. I loved it! The smell, the ice cold in the air, the warmth of the sheets and fluffy pillows and feather duvet around me. This lady had a very different perspective. You see, her little wooden house wasn’t waterproof. In fact, the wood was so damaged that she had to prop up her roof with a loose pole standing in the middle of her kitchen, just to keep the roof from collapsing in on her. But this night specifically, Anneline and her three kids were not able to sleep, because they had to clear out the water that had leaked in by using buckets and bowls and cups. Everything was wet. All their clothes, their beds, their blankets, everything. That’s why she was late. That’s why her three children were not able to attend school that morning – because they were up all hours of the night, dishing out the rain water that I so enjoyed listening to.
My mind was blown. Here was this lady, smiling from ear to ear. She had so much JOY. She was jumping and laughing and dancing because God just healed her back, she was apologizing for being so late, she was testifying of Gods goodness and faithfulness, and then – so by the way – as an afterthought she mentioned that her house was flooded. But she was our guide in the township as we went on our mission there, and she was the brightest light of us all. All day everyday while this declaration was running, she was involved and THERE. And smiling. And testifying. And spreading joy and love and peace and goodness and Jesus.
Fast forward a couple of months – We really wanted to help her out and fix up this house that was giving her problems. So Brown eyes and a friend of ours went to her house to go and check it out. It became quite clear that a quick fix would not be a very effective solution, as the damage was so extensive and even if we did our best to repair the issues that were most important at that time, there would most certainly be new important issues soon after. We got a new dream. We want to hand this light a key to a lighthouse. We decided to try and give her a brand new home altogether. The land that her house is built on is rented, and therefore she has permission to put any structure on her piece of rented property. We got a few quotes for nu-tec wendy houses that would more or less fit in the space she has, and we got so excited about seeing her in a brand new structure. A structure that doesn’t leak. A structure that has a roof that stays up by itself. A structure that she can call home. We contacted her to arrange a time to come and measure her little property, just to make sure we don’t ask for quotes for structures that won’t fit. So early one Saturday morning, Brown eyes and I packed our kids in the car and off we went to measure Anneline’s house.
We stopped across the tiny little street, and made our way through the maze of small houses and young children to where we know Anneline’s house is… only, there was nothing.
Just before 6 am that morning, Anneline awoke to a smoke filled house, and the cries of her children, the sound of her son trying to kick open the door of their house that was engulfed by flames. She managed to get her youngest little girl through the window, and her son broke the door open just in time and they were all able to escape with just a few minor burn wounds. No one knows what happened. No one saw what happened. And no one can give any explanation. But suddenly, there was no house to measure. There was nothing.
We spent a couple of hours there that morning, and we were blown away by a million small mercies. Mercies like the man a few houses away, that started cleaning the site as soon as it had cooled down enough to touch, and he worked all day, mostly by himself to clear the mess.
When we returned late afternoon with food and clothes and blankets, the property was clear and neat and COMPLETELY cleaned out – JUST because of this man’s diligence and hard work.
Small mercies like this light who invited us into her neighbors house (since she didn’t have one), and who through all of the trauma kept a magnificent smile on her face and peace in her heart and kindness in her words. People from all over the neighborhood came and went that morning – they all came to encourage her, and they all left with a smile on their face and a heart full of joy because of her.
A few weeks ago we got a couple of pictures from Anneline. Pictures of her current house, the one she built out of corrugated iron. The tiny little 1 room house that she shares with her three children. And it has her personality written all over it – she immediately made a little flower bed around the house, to spread the joy and love and content in her heart with those around her.
At the moment this house is a roof over her head. But it still leaks. It is tiny. Just because they all fit in doesn’t mean it is big enough for them. And it is still on our hearts to provide her with a new structure that is bigger, safer, waterproof and fire resistant. We have decided to spread the love, and spread the story of this amazing and inspiring lady, and pray that people will team up with us to provide the funds or donations to make this dream a reality. If you feel led to contribute in any way, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave a comment below with your contact details and we will contact you. Also please share this post far and wide, and let’s get as many people supporting the cause as possible. I will continue to update on the process as we go along, so please follow the blog to ensure that you get the updates as they happen. And please stand with us, financially and in prayer to care for this woman who always puts others needs ahead of her own. I strongly feel that enabling her will certainly not stop with her, but have a ripple effect on her entire community. Because that is who she is. That is the heart and character of the God she serves. Help us to present her with a pocket of beauty.