‘Running has changed my life forever,’ says talented LIV village teen

Brian, with his Two Oceans trail run medal.

The LIV-story started with a dream given to Tich Smith in 1997, to build a village for orphan and vulnerable children where they will have a roof over their heads, food to eat, a mother who loves them and where they will come to know God as their Father in heaven.

21 years later, LIV stands firmly and is going from strength to strength – all to the glory of God. Here, at the village in Cottonlands, KwaZulu-Natal, lives are being rescued and restored, leaders are being raised and stars are being released in many shapes and forms.

Over the past seven years many experts in their field, have joined the LIV family to share their knowledge and invest in the lives of the LIV children. One such person is Lindi Meyer – a triathlete with a passion to uplift children through running.

Lindi made the SA Triathlon Team for age groupers (this is the non-elite division) in 2011 and 2012, and was the female SA champ in 2017 for the age group 27-39. She joined LIV in 2014 and started a running club (LIV2Run) for all the kids and moms on the village.

“Running is a safe and healthy vehicle to create a space for people to experience God. It allows us to reach much more people and opens doors to redeem rural spaces for the Kingdom of Christ,” Lindi says.

At the moment LIV2Run operates just on the village but in the future the aim is to open the club up to surrounding communities.

Through LIV2Run, the children are exposed to Parkrun, cross country, trail running, road running and track athletics. Attention is also given to strength and conditioning as well as mental preparation and training for specific races or goals.

LIV Village, an inspiring village for orphans and vulnerable children, in Cottonlands, Verulam, KwaZulu-Natal.

Many success stories have already been written and even though they may not seem extreme to the outside world, at LIV we celebrate each and every small victory towards healing and restoration. Like the 7yr old boy who could barely run 100m without collapsing in exhaustion due to malnutrition and neglect, who finished his very first 5km fun run recently. These stories are worth celebrating.

Strong runner
Lindi keeps a very close eye on the children as they train to make sure she doesn’t miss out on any hidden talents. A while ago she spotted major potential in Brian, 17, an older boy who started running in 2015. Lindi saw that he is a strong runner who is able to start fast, maintain his speed and finish fast.

With the permission of LIV leadership, she started a one-on-one training programme with him, with the goal of racing at the Two Oceans 24km Trail in Cape Town. This programme commenced in January 2018 with the race taking place on March 30 2018.

Training took place on the village with runs down to the Hazelmere dam, Sugar Rush Park, Dolphins time trial in Salt Rock and racing at the various KZN Trail Races around KZN over the weekends.

KZN trail running are one of the many partners who come alongside LIV2Run and offer our development athletes free entries into all their events. City Logistics sponsored the LIV2Run club clothes and this has brought a tangible sense of belonging to the team.

Brian has natural talent. He is a born runner with a passion that is so visible whenever he is doing what he loves most. Lindi managed to get sponsors who donated the compulsory kit for the race, clothing and plane tickets to Cape Town.

Amazing job
Brian did an amazing job amidst very misty and wet conditions and finished 1
st in his age group and 43rd overall, in an amazing 2hrs 52mins 11sec.

Running has changed my life forever,” says a very reserved Brian with a big smile on his face. He is a gentle-hearted, humble young man who never ceases to thank the people who make it possible for him to chase after his dream; running for his country, competing in the Olympics and to, one day, be the founder of an elite sport brand.

“I run because I am inspired. I see people who are cripple or sick and still they run races, so why shouldn’t I? Running has taught me discipline and perseverance which are traits that are very useful in everyday life.”

Brian’s short-term goal is to become the best he can be. He uses faster runners to become faster by chasing them to increase his own speed. At the Deloitte Challenge in March 2018, he finished the 21km in 1hr 17mins 21sec and came first in his age group and 20th overall (out of 2 636 runners) and was the first junior at the Checkout half marathon at Kings Park very recently.

I have watched Brian grow from a teenager into a gentleman who knows who he is and Whose he is. Through intentional training and allowing him to explore his talent and see what he is capable of, LIV2Run has given him hope for a future.

“God is in the midst of everything we do at LIV and equipping and releasing these children into the world as confident individuals, is close to our Father’s heart,” says Lindi when she speaks about Brian.

It is always so amazing to see what intentional loving and a stable environment can do for children who have been through a lot. LIV creates such an environment and exists to launch new-generation Christian leaders into society.

More to come
ian is only one of the talented runners that are being mentored by Lindi at the moment. LIV2Run teaches the LIV-children discipline but there are some very exciting partnerships in the pipeline, which will open many doors for LIV2Run in the world of trail running.

Watch this space! The journey for Brian (and a few other runners) has just started. Embark with us on it and be part of changing lives and releasing stars!

To find out more, please contact Lindi at run@liv-village.com.

From ‘cursed’ to called — Siphiwe Sibiya’s journey with Jesus

African Enterprise’s new mission setup coordinator, Siphiwe Sibiya.

In addition to appointing a new South African team leader, evangelism ministry African Enterprise has appointed Siphiwe Sibiya to fill the key post of setup coordinator. Siphiwe shares his story.

I was born in Ulundi (KwaZulu-Natal) in a small village called Mbangayiya and was the youngest of four children.

My mother was a domestic worker and my father a bricklayer who was addicted to alcohol. As a result of his addiction my father was never at home, unless he had run out of money.

I was born in the poorest of families and everybody in the community knew it! Because of this I was often beaten up and bullied.

If I wasn’t at school, I was playing soccer with my friends from morning to evening. We played for 5 cents which was good money for us in those days!

I used to go from school to Chicken Licken to eat the bones left over from other people’s meals, as there was never enough food at home.

Home was never a good place for me and I tried to stay away as much as possible. Life had no purpose at all. I saw myself as different from all the other kids and most of the time I wished I was born in a different family. It was terrible and very painful.

One day, out of the blue, my mother got sick and died. The following year my father also passed away. After the death of my parents our family broke apart even further, and we all went our separate ways.

Life of crime and drugs
My sisters went to live with their boyfriends and I committed myself to a life of crime, drugs and many other bad things.

Eventually the community grew so tired of me that they decided to kill me. But I managed to escape and I ran away to Mtubatuba where I worked for a very abusive taxi driver.

Even when I heard that my sisters were sick and eventually died the taxi man would not allow me to attend any of their funerals.

My harsh employer eventually also met a sad end and shot himself. This meant that once again I was alone in the world, and it was then when I met an Anglican priest who adopted me as his son.

In 2003 my life changed and I accepted Jesus as Lord and Saviour.

I had always felt like I was cursed, and that I was a mistake. Only Jesus was able to transform my mind and I began to realise that my life had purpose.

I went back to Ulundi to ask for the forgiveness of all those who I had wronged. Some laughed at me because they couldn’t even remember the incidents.

Calling into ministry
It was during my high school days when I felt God calling me into full-time ministry.

At first I didn’t like the idea because I wanted to study civil engineering but I eventually accepted this call.

After school I became an evangelist in the Anglican Church and after a time of service I went on to study theology in Pietermaritzburg at the Evangelical Seminary of Southern Africa (ESSA). That is where I heard about Stephen Lungu and African Enterprise — but it never crossed my mind that I would one day join the team!

In 2013 I was ordained as a priest in the Anglican Church and I served in several parishes until I felt the Lord calling me to join African Enterprise.

I am very passionate about preaching the good news of Jesus Christ because I was a slave and now I am free. Anyone can receive this freedom from Jesus.

I love Jesus with all my heart, which is why I want to serve Him and African Enterprise. African Enterprise provides a good platform to reach people throughout Africa with the love of Christ.

Find out more
If you would like to get in touch with us, partner with us or find out more please click here for more details. And if you would like to be added to our mailing list please send your details to aesa@ae.org.za.

Top chef inspires cullinary school graduates at LIV Village

Chef Luke Nair.

Stay passionate about food and be grateful for humble beginnings, chef Luke Nair, head chef at the renowned Oyster Box Hotel in Umhlanga, Durban, told graduates at the LIV Village Cullinary School graduation on Tuesday,

Nair continued to share his own story of growing up in a township and how he could relate to the 19 students who have just obtained their IHS-accredited professional cookery certificates after five months of theory and practical training in LIV’s state-of-the-art training kitchen and another six months of experiential training at restaurants and institutions in and around Durban.

LIV Village Cullinary School graduates.

Working hard and having a positive attitude opened doors for him to cook for the famous and elite and the LIV graduates could also reach such heights with dedication and commitment, NAIR said at the joyous event at which students, proudly dressed in their chef’s jackets, received their certificates with the biggest of cheers from their families.

The Christ-inspired LIV Village in Cottonlands is best known for looking after orphans and vulnerable children, but it also pursues a vision to uplift the local community through programs like the Culinary School.

Jesus Dome pastor Fred Roberts dies at age 85

Pastor Fred Roberts and his wife, Nellie celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary in 2014. (PHOTO: Highway Mail)

Pastor Fred Roberts passed away on Monday night, November 13, at his home in Hillcrest. Surrounded by his family he went peacefully into the arms of his Saviour. He was 85.

His ministry began in 1954 with his newly-wed wife Nellie. They were married for 63 years and been in the ministry for almost the same number of years.

During his ministry Fred Roberts pioneered churches and inspired many, many young men and women to accept the call of God to go into fulltime ministry.

Fred Roberts founded Durban Christian Centre in 1979 and built the iconic Jesus Dome on a hill overlooking the city.

On June 7, 2016 the Jesus Dome was destroyed by fire, but it could not rub out the legacy of a true general and gentleman of the faith.

Tens of thousands of lives in Africa and overseas have been touched by Fred and his darling wife who died to self to become servants of the Lord Jesus Christ and His saving grace.

The following is tribute by Ron Steele:

Tears of Gold
Many tears were shed when the sad news was received of Pastor Fred’s passing to glory.

But each tear was more precious than the Crown Jewels in the Tower of London

These tears brought grateful memories to the thousands of people around the world who encountered Jesus Christ after hearing Pastor Fred’s impassionate proclamation of the gospel.

Other precious tears recalled to thousands the healing power of God when Pastor Fred laid hands or anointed them with oil and said a simple prayer of faith.

And many wet eyes remind the many widows of the words of comfort they received from Pastor Fred when they stood in despair at the bedside of a departed loved one.

Many are the tears of joy for the many babies blessed and dedicated to the Lord by a beaming Pastor Fred.

Yes, the tears that stain our cheeks are precious because they speak of the love and passion of Pastor Fred. They are like a waterfall of grace for the multitudes whose lives were touched by a man dearly loved.

And don’t forget the many tears that Pastor Fred shed when confronted with the challenges of life and the responsibility of the ministry.

But those tears were wiped away when he was welcomed into the splendour of Heaven and beheld the matchless beauty of his Saviour Jesus.

Maritzburg pastor marries six couples after receiving vision from God

Six Scottsville couples tied the knot on Saturday (PHOTO:Daily Voice)

Originally published in Daily Voice
Pietermaritzburg pastor Tanelle Welft-Dixon, 43, said God asked her to marry people who have been “living in sin” or who couldn’t afford to wed.

The Scottsville couples all tied the knot last Saturday and had a joint reception afterwards.

The mass wedding was arranged in just three days, and everything was sponsored – from the clothing, rings and flowers to the two limousines who transported them to their paid for wedding reception.

In fact, while the pastor was marrying them, she received a call from a relative at a farm on Joostenbergvlakte, who offered to have the wedding photos taken there.

Pastor Tanelle, who hails from Durban, says she was just doing God’s work.

“Last week I had a vision from God, I saw white wedding tables. This was during my two-week campaign of ‘praying until something happens,’ she says.

“I asked God to reveal his plans to me, and the message was that I should marry those who have been living together, or who did not have money for a wedding.

Tanelle Welft-Dixon, 43 (PHOTO: Daily Voice)

“I announced this in church, and the couples came forth and admitted that they no longer wanted to live in sin.

One of the couples who has been living together for 35 years say they’d lost all hope of ever tying the knot.

A grateful Johanna Julius, 58, and her husband Clark, 55, say: “Ons het nooit kon droom dat ons so ‘n sprokiestroue sou he nie. Where would we have gotten the money to be spoilt like this in our old age?”

Willem Wence, 54, says he immediately asked his common-law wife Trui Diedericks, 47, for her hand in marriage after hearing pastor Tanelle’s sermon on shacking up.

“She immediately said yes, because we wanted what’s best for our children,” he says.

Blushing bride Amina de Vos said her biggest moment was when her husband Gerrit Corner belted out Whitney Houston’s hit song, The Greatest Love of All at the reception.

“He’s always been my greatest love,” she says.

Ballito pastor arrests alleged killer, then prays for him

Moments after this man reportedly slit his ex-girlfriend’s throat at the Ballito Junction yesterday, he was photographed as he was leaving the ablutions with his hands raised together as if to be handcuffed. One of the men who captured him is yelling for him to get down on the floor before tackling him. (PHOTO: North Coast Courier).

Originally published in The North Coast Courier

A Ballito pastor first arrested a man he had seen slit the throat of a woman – then prayed for him.

The pastor was shopping for a radio controlled car for his son on yesterday afternoon when he heard screams coming from the ladies bathroom on the top floor of the Ballito Junction shopping centre.

“Women were running out of the bathroom screaming. Another man and I rushed in and a woman pointed out the cubicle the screaming had come from. The guy who ran in with me pushed the door open and then stepped back in shock when he saw what was going on in there.

“A man stepped out of the cubicle brandishing a knife and as he was leaving he lashed back with the knife, slashing the throat of the woman in the stall with him.”

The man, who the pastor described as well-dressed and in his 30s, is apparently the ex-boyfriend of the woman, 32, he attacked.

She was an employee of Turn ‘n Tender restaurant and had been sitting on a couch in the restaurant talking to another man – thought to be her current boyfriend – when her attacker saw her and followed her into the nearby toilets.

Immediately after the attack, the pastor quickly pushed the remaining women out of the bathroom and harm’s way.

“We were in the passageway for perhaps 30 seconds when he walked out, his hands raised as if to be handcuffed.

“I thought he would run but the other man with me yelled at him to get down on the floor. We both tackled him and put his hands behind his back. A crowd had started to gather and people started trying to kick him, shouting obscenities.”

Still horrified by what he had witnessed the pastor had to now protect his captive from a gathering crowd that was growing increasingly hostile.

With his knee in the man’s back to keep him down he told the Courier that he had been suddenly filled with “a strange compassion” for the man.

“I was reminded of Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s words with regards to the guy they called the Modimolle Monster. He asked people not to call the man a monster because irrespective of what he had done he was still a human being. That’s when I started to pray for him.

“When I had finished he turned around and thanked me. I asked him why he did this.

“He said to me that this woman had been his girlfriend for seven or eight years and had just broken up with him. They had a fight and he said he ‘just lost it’.

“That’s when I heard that the woman had passed away.”

The clearly traumatised pastor, who asked to remain anonymous, said he wanted it to be clear that he did not condone what the man had done in any way.

“I feel very deeply grieved for the woman and her family. I cannot imagine what they must be going through.”

The accused, 30, is in police custody and is due to make his first court appearance on Monday.

National March for Life raises awareness of rights of unborn

Pro-lifers participating in the recent NAL March for Life in Umhlanga, Durban.

About 800 people from all walks of life participated in the 2017 March for Life in Umhlanga, KwaZulu-Natal on October 1.

Shortly before the annual pro-life march in the vicinity of Gateway, several speakers delivered short, impactful speeches.

Pastor Rusty Thomas from Texas, USA, stated adamantly that abortion-on-demand is a holocaust that should be fought at all levels of society.

Pastor Xolani Klaas told the gathering how his mother resisted pressure to abort him after she returned to the Eastern Cape when she became pregnant after she was raped some 45 years ago while seeking work in Johannesburg. He said his grandmother advised the family not to abort him, saying he might have an important role to play in the future — possible even becoming the president. Today Klaas is a respected pastor and pro-life speaker.

Melissa Hertz from Cape Town told the marchers she had lived a hectic life as a young person. She became pregnant as a teenager and aborted the child. Later she settled, married and gave birth to three much-cherished children. She said she experienced post abortion syndrome (PAS) — a serious, long lasting, mental health problem as a result of her abortion.  ( View her testimony on Youtube: https://youtu.be/Yxi-iFTifx0)

The marchers, including children, teens and elderly people from different race and church backgrounds, walked 4km around the Gateway shopping mall.

Describing the event as a great success, the organisers, National Alliance for Life (NAL) said the annual march aimed to overcome passivity in society and to rally people, organisations and churches to demand the right of unborn persons to full protection of the law.

The annual march has succeeded in raising awareness over the years and each year saw more interest from organisations and the media, said the NAL.

Science has proved that life starts at fertilisation, with the very first cell containing all the information that makes the embryo a new, unique living human being, says an NAL press release about the march.

“The embryo is a person, containing all the genetic information about the hair and eye colour, the shoe size, how tall that person will be, whether they will be sportier or more academic or both, etc. It will always be the weakest and most vulnerable of society that are taken advantage of and that is also true for an unborn baby. No human being should have the right to decide on whether another’s life should be taken or not in order to solve a social problem. They are a special creation with a significant purpose that needs be respected,” says the NAL.

Durban Christian Centre tent flattened by gale

Clean-up crew members removing the flattened DCC tent this week.

The Durban Christian Centre must be on the devil’s hit list.

That’s the conclusion after the gale on Saturday that whipped through Durban and flattened the Jesus Tent, the temporary home of DCC.

This disaster comes 17 months after the Jesus Dome was destroyed by a fire that was caused by an electrical fault.

The tent was badly damaged and it has been decided not to use it again. Instead, senior Pastor John Torrens announced that services would be held in the church’s Life Centre hall.

When the main church building burnt down the Life Centre Hall was going to be used as the alternative venue. However, the free loan of the 2 000-seater tent by Pastor At Boshoff, of Bloemfontein CRC, made it possible to provide more accommodation for the services.

The hall that is now in use seats 1 100. Presently two morning services and a 5pm service are being held, but if required an additional morning service will be added.

Pastor John and his wife Joy were full of praise for the outstanding support of the congregation, who despite the wind and rain, rushed to the tent site on Saturday to offer help and to pray.

“We will remain in the hall now until the new Jesus Dome is built,” said Pastor John Torrens.

It is hoped that work will begin before the end of this year and that the new building could be completed by the end of 2018.

‘March for Life’ an opportunity for South Africans to stand together for life

March for Life (PHOTOl NAL file photo).

Never before has there been such a great need for pro-lifers to stand together regardless of their various affiliations, say the organisers of the National Alliance for Life (NAL) March for Life in Umhlanga Rocks, Durban, on Sunday October 1.

NAL Conference 2017
Since February 1997 more than 1.2-million babies have been killed in South Africa — by abortion — legally, say the NAL, an umbrella body for pro-life organisations in the country, which is also hosting a pro-life conference at Gateway Church, Mount Edgecombe, Durban on Saturday, September 30.

Presently approximately 80 000 legal abortions are performed annually. If the illegal abortions are added the statistics are overwhelming. The Department of Health in 2012 estimated that illegal abortions were 6.3 times more than legal abortions. This means that 503 000 illegal abortions need to be added to the yearly figures, which brings the annual abortions in South Africa to the devastating total of 583 000, say the NAL in a press release.

“This situation cannot be allowed to continue. There is a desperate need for all South Africans to do something!” says the press release.

The March for Life at 2.30pm (in order not to interfere with church services) starting opposite the fire station at Gateway, on the corner of Equinox Road and Zenith Drive, is an opportunity to take action and aims to:

1. inform most Christians in South Africa when life begins and what abortion really is
2. inspire millions of Christians to take a public stand against abortion
3. encourage mothers in crisis pregnancies not to abort their babies
4. persuade medical personnel in SA to exercise their united constitutional right of freedom of conscience
5. educate the voting public to vote on moral issues but especially on the abortion issue, as well as to make political parties aware of the importance voters attach to the abortion issue.

More information on the March for Life is available by calling the NAL office at 032 481 5550 / 5807 or Pastor Aaron at 083 976 1847.

The NAL Conference 2017 at Gateway Church will be from 8.30am to 1pm on Saturday September 30 and will feature speakers from various organisations and from the US talking on the topic of abortion. Tickets cost R200 per person and include refreshments and lunch.

For more information on the conference, call the NAL office at 032 481 5550 / 5807 or Erwin Schroeder at 082 331 0099.

Producer helping struggling schoolboy pursue his gospel music dreams

Siya performing his song ‘Great Are You God’.

Siya has suffered considerable loss, depression, physical deformity, and shame – but it has not stopped the Durban Grade 11 schoolboy from dreaming of becoming a gospel artist.

And now he is being given a chance to pursue his goal, thanks to an independent music producer with a God-given calling to help young people discover and develop their talents.

Ian Roberts, founder of GMG (God, Music, Glory) Records, first spotted Siya singing in a school audition. He believes Siya has an anointing to sing and he was so moved by his humility that he started a crowdfunding project on ThundaFund to help him record a gospel EP.

Siya, said he nearly didn’t enter the school audition because he was ashamed of his appearance. He has bowed legs as a result of a vitamin deficiency. He lost both his parents when he was very young and became severely depressed, and gained excessive weight. With the onset of bowed legs he experienced much pain and could not walk without help. Since being taken in by an aunt in Sydenham he lost much weight and can walk unaided.

He said he was glad he overcame his hesitation about entering the audition.

“Ian wanted to help me and saw something in me. He encouraged me to pursue my dream of being a musician through my praise and worship.

“Ian said that I must believe in myself and asked me to write any story about my life and my testimony and what I went through.That’s when I wrote the song Great Are You God which will feature on the upcoming EP,” he said.

Roberts said: “I felt sorry for him in his situation and his humility was what led me to help him.”

He said Siya just needed someone to believe in him. He wanted Siya to become an example to youth struggling or facing similar situations, showing that if God could do it for Siya he could do it for any of them.

He said they aimed to feature seven songs on the EP. The song Great Are You God was already recorded and is available on iTunes.

Siya said he wanted to inspire young people to believe that anything is possible through Christ.

Roberts endorsed Siya’s view, saying: “The youth don’t have to compromise or become like the world to be a success. Trust in the Lord.

“If you use your name for success, it will be short-lived. The greatest thing they [youth] can use their gift for, is for the glory of God. That benefit will outweigh temporary gain.

“Fame is an empty lie. Take what God has given you and use it for Gods glory.”