The Gospel According to Jazz – Chapter II will take place on Saturday, October 4 at Word of Faith Christian Centre in Port Elizabeth.
The exciting line up this year includes returning main act, Mano and Ricochet as well as supporting acts such as the Fenlin Pitie Ensemble, the Lawrence Neff Trio, JESS vocal group and the NMMU ensemble, with many more interesting twists and surprises. The Jazz benefit, in aid of raising funds for Project Hope – a Northern Areas outreach initiative, was birthed with Genesis 12:2 in mind, which speaks about being blessed to be a blessing.
“Last year we saw close to 450 people at our first Jazz concert, in support of our children and to enjoy the treat of live Gospel Jazz,” shares event organizer Shaun Draai who managed to raise a considerable amount for Project Hope at the 2013 jazz event. “Our purpose is to be a blessing to the children of Project Hope and in doing so, change the destinies of a generation.”
For the past 14 years the Project Hope team has been equipping and assisting children in the Northern Areas through regular Bible study and life skills training as well as by providing basic necessities that so many take for granted.
“We believe that the key to empowered children is empowered families!” says passionate Madge Blignaut who, along with her team facilitate a weekly Sunday School Programme, annual Life Skills Camps, Family Enrichment Programmes and an Outreach Feeding Programme.
The non-profit organisation identifies and meets social and economic needs of children from 3 to 13 years old in the greater Helenvale, Bethelsdorp and Bloemendal areas.
“To meet these needs, we have built relationships with parents, teachers and social workers,” explains Blignaut. In addition to providing life skills development the team collects and distributes food, clothing, blankets and shoes for all ages, to assist the community at large.
“Project Hope is always ready to assist communities in crises. During 2013 we had mini floods and families were evacuated in the Bethelsdorp and Booysens Park communities. Project Hope was there to help feed, dress and rebuild families that were left destitute.”
Miracles and wonders
The organisation has seen many miracles unfold, as children are touched by the love of God through the Project Hope team who minister to them when they collect food. Leroy Swarts, 5 years old, is one of their miracle stories. He was born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome – a birth defect that is developed in the fetus in association with high levels of alcohol consumption during pregnancy. Volunteers noticed one day that Swarts’ older brother always brought an extra plate with him to the soup kitchen that is run by Bernie and Michelle de Bruyn in the Extension 36 area.
“Michelle asked him why he brings an extra plate, and he said it’s for his little brother who can’t eat or walk properly,” explains Blignaut. After some prompting, Leroy was brought to the soup kitchen the following week and was introduced to de Bruyn and her team. “When Leroy arrived for the first time, the effects of FAS were very evident. He was not even able to keep clothing on his body because he was sweating excessively,” said Blignaut, who explained that Swarts also had a disfigured wrist and a speech impediment. Michelle De Bruyn then started to not only physically feed him, but she prayed over Leroy daily and allowed the healing power of God to do the rest. “His wrist supernaturally healed and he was able to feed himself!” says Blignaut. “The excessive sweating stopped and he is now the biggest chatterbox!”
This is one of many success stories and Blignaut believes that many more families can experience the supernatural power of God through the continued support and financial giving from kind hearted donors. She says that Project Hope has a track record of successfully implementing life skills and Christian values and principles to more than 300 children a week through their programmes.
“Leroy’s destiny was changed through the love of God being poured out on a little boy by our faithful and passionate volunteers and your giving that makes it possible for us to go into these impoverished communities.”
If you would like to get involved with one of the Project Hope programmes, or if you would like more information, please contact Madge Blignaut at 084 517 9914 or 041 399 4400. She can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tickets to The Gospel According to Jazz – Chapter II concert, in aide of Project Hope, can be purchased from Shaun Draai. For more information contact 084 771 8412 or 041 399 4400