Posts Tagged ‘sozo’

 

Architects Drawings For New Education Centre

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

By Steve Morris

Yesterday these blurry first draft architect drawings hit my inbox!

This is an exciting first step in the build process. An architect based in Cape Town has offered their time for free to support the project which has been a massive blessing.

The educentre when built will provide space for between 120-140 young people from the Vrygrond and Lavender Hill townships in Cape Town to receive:

– 2 hours tutoring 4 nights a week.
– A meal at every session.
– Access to a professional social worker who will work with their family and school.
– A mentor.
– Access to a fully functional computer centre.
– Access to Saturday morning maths tuition.
– Access to excursions, short courses and career guidance in a range of professions.

Ultimately we hope these young people will complete their education, avoid joining gangs, make decisions not to abuse drugs and alcohol, get jobs, be able to lift themselves out of poverty and then go on to become leaders with a heart to serve their own communities.

HOW A £20 NOTE TURNED INTO £55,000 [PART 2]

Friday, August 2nd, 2013

I went to New Wine excited that we had decided the young people would be raising money for The Sozo Foundation Educentre build. They had raised up to £5,000 in the past. The new build would cost £40,000 so this would be a great start. I spoke to the young people about our commitment to the poor and rallied them to be a church of integrity, love and service to the poor. As they responded the Arch Bishop of Canterbury turned up. He led them in response. This alone felt pretty mad.

The next day I overslept a morning meeting and was called by Mark to see if I could join the meeting I had missed…slightly embarrassing. I was asked to speak in the main venue at the last-minute as another speaker had not been able to make it. Asked to do the same talk and armed with a day to prepare I headed off to pray with trusted friends and then proceeded to walk around site trying to think and clear my head. I visited the main venue to understand the space and was told there were 6,000 seats and people. It was then a quick sum came to me 6000 x £6 = £36,000. I was struck how rich we are. Just the change in our wallets at a conference could build the whole centre. I didn’t think I would mention it but wanted to make the point that we are some of the richest people walking the planet.

I woke up the next day and delivered my talk. Towards the end after I had mentioned how rich we were and that £6 could build the centre a lady came from what seemed the back and laid a £20 at my feet. I tried not to look and have no idea even today who she is or what she looks like. I realised quickly it was for the centre so said I would make sure it went to the youth offering. About 5 mins later as I was desperately trying to finish on time a queue of people has emerged laying notes on the stage. To be precise people gave £30,400 by the evening we had £34,000. The young people realising they could be the pivotal donors to actually build the centre then amassed £15,000. With subsequent individual donors coming on board from the conference we left at the end of the week with aprox £55,000.

I would love to say something profound and smart here but im still surprised it’s actually happened. Some people have described it as have I as a miracle, according to the Cambridge online dictionary that’s:

‘an unusual and mysterious event that is thought to have been caused by a god, or any very surprising and unexpected event’

So maybe it is but I would like to be convinced it wasn’t. It was just the church doing what it should always be known for doing: Serving the poor. Maybe its just a miracle because we have moved away from this being usual to unusual. In fact I love the fact the church did it. That’s the kind of church I want to be part of that believes this to be usual. I’m convinced many of my friends who don’t go to church would love this kind of church.

I spoke to the team in SA and just the day before someone had come home from Bethel Church in America had sat in the current education centre and prayed. As they prayed they prophesied and said they believed that God would provide every single penny for the new building. The next day he did.

We came home scratching our heads but really excited about how God had provided. We were then of course left wondering what that meant for our giving. The temptation in my heart was to now keep my money as we had done enough. We would give in another way or at another time. Then I read Ecclesiastes 5:4-5 and was convicted that we had made a vow to God to give. So on a weds evening I made a payment of the amount we had saved when I made the commitment. I put Caleb to sleep and in all honesty it felt fine…good in fact. I felt relieved. I had no savings but the satisfaction of knowing I had moved them at a great exchange rate. In truth I felt just for that moment that I had proved to myself that following Jesus was more important than my money. Indeed I was hardly struggling, my car sat comfortably in the drive, I had been to the gym and was about to watch Skysports, so no grandeur of great sacrifice please.

To then square a circle another ‘unusual and mysterious event’ happened. We had received an email two weeks previously from someone who had been at the talk and wanted to give us some money personally. He had asked for our bank details and the amount we gave. Having not heard from him for a while we thought he had moved on from this idea. On the Sat after the Wednesday having no clue we had given our savings away that week he decided to make a gift to us of 50% of what we had given away.

So The Sozo Foundation are now building an education centre, we have to date been given £55,000, we gave all our savings away and then got most back. Not bad from a £20.

For more information on The Sozo Foundation please go to:

http://thesozofoundation.org.za/

For more information on the New Wine Conference please go to:

http://www.new-wine.org/summer