Word on Westlake #2

 / VELOSHNI BAKER / EDIT

I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”

PSALM 91:2

This week at WUCT started on a low point, and it was like climbing a steep hill. Have you ever tried so hard to do your best but the challenges just kept creeping in? That’s how it was. Fortunately by the end of the week God sent us His angels to assist, and it was just amazing to see the host of helpful hands!

Monday started off with frustration in the air in Westlake – people were breaking Lockdown more often – drugs and alcohol were freely available. Youngsters were walking about with tik packets ready to sell to their victims, who were behaving aggressively, due to the withdrawal symptoms commonly seen in substance abusers. Police were called in regularly, but not quickly enough to nab the criminals.

We had a hiccup with our minibus on Wednesday. Fortunately our amazing carers (God bless them!) rose to the occasion. They stacked the food parcels onto two trolleys and made six trips into Westlake delivering food/soap parcels on foot! I am touched each day by the compassion and determination of our carers! 95% of our staff are women from Westlake whom we have trained and empowered. To witness them educating and empowering their neighbours is indeed proof of transformation.

The ‘Trolley Girls’

Food is becoming a volatile issue in the community. As a result some people have been harassing our staff. When we explain our rules and our mission not everyone understands (I don’t know where they get their ‘entitlement’). The good news is that most of the residents are appreciative of us feeding and caring for the sick, elderly and very needy people among them, and work with us.

The residents that join our programmes learn important life skills and receive information that empowers them. This then leads to transformation. Imagine if our model was accepted by all community members, then far more would be impacted and more lives will be transformed! Every cloud has a silver lining. Daily we see miracles in the vulnerable that we serve. Praise God!

Boy receives food Parcel

By the end of the week we had delivered 204 parcels! (444 in total from the week before). While we continue to offer food and care to the vulnerable on our programmes, whom we are very worried about, If we learn of other vulnerable or sickly people, they are added to our list. We do our best to serve where we can.

Food Parcel Contents

On Easter Sunday, our buildings were broken into and vandalised. We get robbed eight times a year, on average, but God has kept us safe. He is indeed Jehova Jireh, our provider!

To cope with our challenges, daily prayer is vital. The staff and I support each other in prayer throughout the day. God is our strength. I know He answers my prayer to protect the staff and myself and to supply our needs in times of adversity.

Right now He is answering through all of YOU… Yes, you are the incredible angels that save the day! Thank you for your support of donations, kindness, and the sacrifices you make in your lives to care for the needy. Some of you have started initiatives like mask making; others offer prayer (someone, even ’lock picking services’ – that was for a good cause)!

God has placed you in my life for a reason: to assist Westlake. And I thank you from the depths of my soul. May He protect you and prosper you, for it was you that helped us get this far! God loves you…and so do we!

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Veloshni Baker is the Acting General Manager of the Westlake United Churches Trust. Visit http://www.wuct.org.za for more information.