The Housing Committee is one of the portfolios of BPC which is concerned with providing homeless people with a roof over their heads. These are destitute people who often are single mothers with multiple small children. One is continually surprised at the extreme poverty which we are confronted with in these situations.
We do not have rigid guidelines for who qualifies for a Wendy House. The work of BPC has spread in places like Delft, Sarepta, Bloekombos, etc and we accept applications from anyone. The applicant will get an application form from the Church office. They will be screened by either MES (Mould Empower Serve) or TASP (Tygerberg Association of Street People) which will serve as a reference. They provide copies of IDs, a copy of the rates statement of the proposed landlord as well as the landlord’s ID. The Housing Committee then does a site inspection at the proposed landlord’s home to see if the area for the Wendy House is suitable. This gives us an opportunity to meet the landlord and see if he / she realizes the extent of the commitment they are making to their new tenants.
We are also doing follow ups of the families we have placed to see how they are getting along and if any problems have arisen. The idea is to provide continual support for these families.
These experiences are also amazing as you encounter the goodwill and love that exists in these poverty-stricken areas. Remember that God is already there! We are moved by the Spirit to go and help and work with God. Just praying for God to intervene in other people’s lives and misery does not help. The Spirit does not move you to pray for people and then hope that someone else will intervene, the Spirit moves you to get up off your soft sofa and out into the cold and wet in time which would otherwise be your ‘me time’ to physically do something. That is the whole message of the Gospel. Get in line with the law of Christ and take the burden off your fellow human beings on your shoulders.
The Wendy House sizes can range from 3 X 6 metres to 2,5 X 4 metres according to the size of the space available. It is waterproofed on the inside and at installation is set about 15 cm off the ground. We are also trying to provide a few basics for the Wendy House recipients to allow them to make a home. Many of you have reacted to our call for house contents and we will be having to rent space to store what you have been donating. Take the time to spring clean your house and you will be amazed at what you will find in the form of clothes, bedding, kitchen utensils, etc. There are people who have nothing while we have two or three of many things, hording it for ‘our rainy day’ while there are ‘stormy days’ that are the everyday reality of many people’s lives.
Before leaving for England Bob Harrison was leading the Housing Committee. Bob and his team delivered many houses. We have done a follow up of many of those house recipients and the vast majority are still living there and are extremely happy with the major changes that this has brought to their lives. The love of Christ for us passed on to unknown people. We are in the process of delivering our tenth house this year and our funds are dwindling.
“Heavenly Father thank you for dealing compassionately with us. We struggle at times to see past the pressures that this world places on us, feeling that our own suffering is too overwhelming to even consider taking on the yolk of another. But we realize that through the finished work of Jesus at Calvary our sins are paid for and our place in eternal Heaven has been reserved. You have been so gracious with us. Holy Spirit please keep on moving BPC people to action. Allow us to do our little bit, not in any way trying to pay for our salvation, but to show our love for our fellow human beings / neighbours. In Jesus name Amen, Amen, Amen”
May Grace and Peace be with you all in abundance