When Olga and Lwazikazi got saved, they would never have guessed what they’d voluntarily do to Lwazikazi’s home
It was a cold August evening in Stone Hill, South Africa.
Dim light shone through the broken panes of arched windows of the old-fashioned church building as some members of the informal settlement left the shanties and lean-tos they called home.
Olga was among the residents who picked their way toward the center of Stone Hill, through the mud, sewage and garbage that collected in ruts on the dirt “streets” of the settlement.
The residents picked their way through the sewage that collects due to lack of drainage.
Stone Hill, South Africa, just a few miles outside Cape Town
Olga was on her way to a crusade being held that evening in the old church building surrounded by shanties.
Inside the dimly lit main room of the church, rows of plastic, outdoor chairs had been lined up facing the front, where a white overhead screen was hung.
Panels of the high ceiling were peeling back and some had even abandoned their long-held positions, leaving rafters exposed overhead.
Near the ceiling, three sets of too-large dark brown plastic blinds had once covered small, high windows, but now broken individual slats were flayed in every direction.
The painted burnt-umber colored walls were dark, making the room seem dim, but that hadn’t seemed to extinguish the spirits of those present.
Smiles and laughter emanated as beanie-clad heads bobbed with warm greetings for one another. Olga was silently glad she had come.
As the evening opened with worship, the crowd swayed and danced enthusiastically to the chanting, joyful praise.
American Ron Kronz, a friend of ITMI’s Charl van Wyk, was the crusade’s guest speaker.
“Because He loves you, he’s allowing things to happen that will bring you to Himself. Because it’s most valuable to come to Jesus than it is to be well.”
“It was one of those nights when one realizes their need for salvation,” Olga recounts, “and I knew I couldn’t save myself. I needed God in my life with all my heart and he knew that. I felt God’s love that night and gave my life to Christ completely.”
Lwazikazi grew up in a rural area of South Africa. When she moved to Stone Hill she was aware of the Bible and the God whose story it told.
“My understanding of the Bible then was poor,” Lwazikazi writes, “I didn’t know that I was lost until 2012 when I came to faith.”
For two years, Lwazikazi struggled with old habits.
“I kept going back to my old habits until 2014. That’s when I fully gave my life to Christ.”
Now, Lwazikazi’s prayer is that the Lord will use her for His glory. To begin to answer that prayer, the Lord used a young girl from Stone Hill in a bad situation.
At an early age, girls in Stone Hill and encouraged to get pregnant to demonstrate fertility.
At an early age, girls in Stone Hill are encouraged by their mother and pressured by their culture to get pregnant to demonstrate fertility. Throughout their child-bearing years, most will have children from multiple fathers.
A common family structure might look like two to three generations of women living in a tiny shack with their own children and possibly the children of their siblings or relatives.
Precious few from Stone Hill have been able to break through the barrier of completing 12th grade, so income opportunities are extremely limited and unstable for most families.
For generations, there have been virtually no examples of godly manhood in the settlement. Fathers rarely live with or become involved with their families permanently.
Instead, the male population might be better described as “passing through” the homes and families of their current girlfriend.
(Although, that's starting to change, due to godly men investing time in relationships with young men in Stone Hill.)
Physical and sexual abuse is common. When a living situation becomes untenable, young women are often turned out of their homes and become extremely vulnerable.
When Lwazikazi found out about a girl in the community who couldn’t go back to her home, she took the opportunity to demonstrate the Lord’s love and declare the Gospel.
She opened her home to the vulnerable young lady.
Instead of being at-risk for experiencing more pain and trauma, she was safe. And she learned about the Lord.
Because of Lwazikazi’s hospitality and sacrifice, a potentially awful situation was turned into a better situation for a girl in trouble.
Now, Lwazikazi’s home is a safe house with room for four girls and one toddler. She and Olga work together to provide this opportunity for girls in need.
They also use their experience to counsel girls who are in difficult situations in hopes of preventing the need for them to leave home.
But it isn’t easy. In fact, it’s heartbreaking and challenging. It forces them to depend on Jesus to walk with them every day.
In the 2 minute video below, see Lwazikazi and Olga’s safehouse for yourself. Listen as they pour out their hearts.
They’ll share why this ministry is difficult and the spiritual truths they have to remind each other of constantly in order to keep doing this outreach.
You’ll also discover how you can pray for them as they work as indigenous missionaries in the mission field of their own community.
Now, believers that weren’t in Stone Hill when this outreach started over a decade ago are joining the ranks of those declaring and demonstrating the Gospel.
They are doing so because they are being discipled and trained to live for Christ because of things made possible through the faithfulness of their supporters.
This movement is gaining momentum. God is doing great things. If you’re not involved yet, now is a great time to make an impact.
There’s still a lot to do and many to reach in Stone Hill.