Sunday, October 18, 2009

Kloeks at Home!!!

The best thing about living in a new place is sharing it with people who love you.

My parents came to visit during the school break for 15 days! It was so incredible!

The cool thing is that my family has some sort of connection because our last name is Dutch and there was a Dutch colony in South Africa in the 1600's before Britian came and took over.

So we have family in Africa! Yay!

My parents arrived in September after a long journey from America...they stopped in Amsterdam along the way with a screaming baby sitting behind them...and we were reunited in the beautiful country of South Africa!

My parents came in time to celebrate their wedding anniversary and celebrate we did! We found many beautiful, incredible places in Cape Town...discoveries that I surely would not have made without my parents!

One place in particular we discovered on the Eastern Cape was a restaurant named, "Kloeks at Home!" How ironic and completely hilarious to find a restaurant welcoming us "home" to Cape Town, South Africa. My parents and I stood laughing outside the door of the restaurant for what seemed like 10 minutes until we managed our way inside to introduce ourselves to our new family, Kloek!

The owner of the restaurant shared that her nickname growing up was Kloek because she was so motherly and Kloek means "the sound that a mother hen makes when she gathers her chicks."

We laughed with Kloek and stared in amazement as my father and her stood next to each other for a picture....they looked like they could have been related...

Wow! What an amazing surprise in a small town in the Eastern Cape of South Africa.

The best part of the trip came when my mother and father visited the orphanage that I had been working at...the little babies loved loved my father...One little one would run up to my father laughing hysterically until he picked her up. Another little boy cuddled up next to my father and didn't want to let go....

This was my favorite part....sharing my mission and passion with my family who had traveled so far and not knowing what to expect, they found beauty and joy that they did not know existed in South Africa.

Monday, August 10, 2009


Mona, the little one and a half year old in the picture to the right captured my heart the first day that I met her at the orphanage. She sat in a white onsie with pastel flowers that was too big for her. Her arms hung at her side, she seemed stuck and very despondent. I reached out to pick her up and immediately felt compassion for this little baby. I was told later that she was malnourished and neglected. She had never crawled or walked and she was one and a half.

I decided the first day I met her that I was going to teach her how to walk. We have been together every day since. She knows me and calls me Mami. Her face lights up when she sees me and she loves to make faces at me with her tongue.

At first, when I tried to teach her how to walk, she would sob because it was uncomfortable for her and new for her. I was thinking, I understand how you are feeling! I feel the same way being here in Africa! Here in Africa, I am surrounded by poverty like I have never seen. It can be overwhelming and I continually pray for God’s grace and joy in face of suffering.

As Mona and I continued to spend time together, I found that she would do things with me that she would not do with other people. She began to stand up for me while she would not do that with the occupational therapist. As she began to trust me, she allowed me to lead her in new ways.

I spent three amazing weeks at the orphanage and most of my time was spent with Mona! She has grown so much and she has such a great sense of humor! She makes me laugh every time that I am with her. And she is so excited every time I walk into the room.

It has been difficult to leave her as I moved on to my position with the School of Hope. I am very thankful for my position at this school. I am helping the social worker and counselor of the school to work with the students. This high school was started to meet the need of students who did not finish high school for various reasons and have no place to go. Many of the students dropped out, were kicked out, or struggled with drug addiction. A lot of the students are abandoned by their families. This school offers the students a second chance at their education and gives them hope for their futures.

We all need second chances for different areas of our lives and I am so thankful to be a part of the loving and gracious team that serves the school. All of the teachers and the principal have amazing faith and perseverance! They all have faith for the students and pray continually for God to meet all of their needs. And God does meet their needs in miraculous ways. Some days we don't know how we are going to feed the kids and God provides a way. And some days we don't have any money to pay for transport and it comes through in time....
I will continue to let you in as I get to know the students more!


The best things start small. Everything starts small. In fact, anything great starts small. The challenge becomes: Can we wait for the small to develop and become what it can be?

Entering the country of South Africa, I marveled as the mountains bowed down and met the waves of the ocean. As I drove from the airport with a bit of jet lag, I saw the acres upon acres of townships where multitudes of people live. The homes in a township consist of four walls of half-broken wood, dirt floor, and tin roofs.

Desperation arose in my heart as I thought: how do people live like this? And the question continues as I face the contrasting reality of human suffering amidst the beauty of the land. Africa has captured me in her struggle to be free.

As I have been learning in my community development class, poverty is multi-faceted. Part of my role is to help the people in impoverished communities to recover their true identity and true gifting so that they can break free from the cycle of poverty. Programs that create dependency on another person or system does not bring liberty for the people.

“If poverty is the absence of things, then the solution is to provide them. This often leads to the outsider becoming the development ‘Santa Claus,’ bringing all good things. The poor are seen as passive recipients, incomplete human beings we made complete and whole through our largess...we act as if God’s gifts were given to us and none to the poor. This attitude increases their poverty and tempts us to play god in the lives of the poor (Poverty and the Poor).”

As a church we have a mandate from God to take care of the poor. The question becomes, what does it mean to take care of the poor? Does it mean always providing for material lack in their lives? I don’t think so. I will continue to explore the topic of poverty as I work and live among the poor in South Africa. Thank you so much for your support and prayers! Love, Meg

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

silent tears

Opening her arms to me
Her mouth forms
The words
Coming so desperately
In her silence
An urgency
To know who
It may be
Is it any one?
I turn to leave
Yet I see as
She opens her
Arms to the next
To walk through
That door as her
Silent plea
Her tears speak
And her reaching arms shout
Aloud of her need
Her desperate plea

It has been said that a mother knows the cry of her baby. She can be surrounded by crying babies and can pick out the pitch and tone of her babies cry. I wonder how the baby knows his or her mother. Can the baby smell the scent of the mother? Or does the baby sense the mother by her appearance?

The babies at Thembacare don't have the opportunity to differentiate. Everyone is called Mami. Even the men who come in. Eugene came to play with the kids last week and Anavoyo called him Mami. How sad to hear these little babies crying out to mami when everyone yet no one is mami.

Every time I go over to Thembacare, the orphanage, the babies are crying and reaching out to be held. There is one baby, Anavoyo who cries silently. It takes a few minutes to realize that she is crying because she doesn't make any noises, the tears flow down her face.

My heart breaks when I hear these little ones crying and I wonder, how does God feel about these babies? How does His heart break for them?

How many orphans are there in the world? How many are orphaned emotionally and spiritually while physically they have parents? How many still are left completely abandoned?

Monday, June 22, 2009

South Africa!

“Fulfillment does not lie in comfort, ease, and following one’s inclinations, but precisely in allowing demand to be made upon you, in taking the harder path. Everything else turns out somehow boring, anyway. Only the man/woman who risks the fire, who recognizes a calling within himself/herself, a vocation, an ideal he/she must satisfy, who takes on real responsibility, will find fulfillment. As we have said it is not in taking, not on the path of comfort, that we become rich, but only in giving (Pope Benedict XVI).”

I want to be fulfilled. I want to see real change happen in my life and the lives of those around me. I believe that it is possible to see transformation in my life and in the lives of those around me. I have much hope that God is a transforming God and that my life will be involved in seeing lives changed for the better.

This past week, I started working at an orphanage and a school for at-risk youth. I will spend part of my time at the orphanage and part of my time at the School of Hope. Here is a picture of me holding two of the beautiful babies who are HIV positive and abandoned by their mothers.
At the School of Hope, students are coming from all different difficult home/growing up lives and poverty. These students are brilliant, lovely, and facing extremely stressful and traumatic upbringings. The students have the potential to do anything with their lives if they are able to overcome the obstacles and circumstances that they are facing to find their true identities and their gifting. As I continue my journey, you will be hearing and seeing more of the lives of these amazing students.

It can be overwhelming to face the complexity of their lives and problems on one hand and the simplicity of what can unravel the interweaving of problems. They have an interweaving of emotional, physical, and spiritual baggage. The most easily identified problem is the poverty that they are facing externally. However, the external poverty is mirrored and stems from the poverty that they face internally. The brokenness and poverty of growing up in broken homes, abuse, drug addiction, incest, and rape rips and destroys their souls and spirits. The simplicity of what can unravel them is love. Love covers a multitude of sins, love conquers death, and love is the antithesis of poverty and brokenness. I believe that in the anointing and power of the love of God, desperate places of peoples’ lives can be restored.

I believe that I will learn a lot and be challenged and transformed in my own life. I believe God will change certain mindsets and understandings that I have grown up with based upon my circumstances. God does not want anyone to live based off their circumstances. We are all called to live by faith and not by sight. I believe that I have in some ways relied so much on my circumstances that I have not understood or had faith that God is beyond anyone’s circumstance.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


Why mining for diamonds? Good question. You are very astute.

As I step out into this new venture, I believe that I will have the opportunity to discover beautiful and rare jewels in unexpected places. Yes, I believe that I will become the next billionaire. How you ask?

Well, I am going to to Africa where 50% of the worlds diamonds come I am sure I will encounter a lot of diamonds.

Also, I believe that I am called to discover and uncover the treasures that have been placed inside of people but may be buried underneath hurt, abuse, and lies. Armed with the truth, light, and love, I plan on going on the offense and recovering these gems. I am sure that I will find rubies, emeralds, and pearls along with many diamonds.

As I speak of in my profile, I am avidly interested in loving people until they melt. I am very excited for the opportunity to go over to South Africa to learn a new language of love in a culture very distinct from my own. I hope to be marked and changed by the beauty and the difference of lifestyle and thinking. I hope to learn, to grow deep with the people of Africa, and to find myself more and more.

I believe that I will. I believe that it is possible that my life can be changed and that other lives can be changed as well as I follow the leading, as I let my heart be drawn into love, and as I let go and let myself and others be free.

Thank you so much for your prayers, support, and encouragement as I step out into a new adventure and challenge! Come along for the ride as I blog, post pictures, and tell stories about the people who I meet and the experiences that surprise, change, and inspire me!

Watch this amazing Utube video about jewels appearing from heaven in this church! What an amazing miracle!

More to come on the other side of the world!