Deuteronomy 4:39 Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the Lord is God in heaven above and on earth below. There is no other. Keep His decrees and commands, which I am giving you today, so that it may go well with you and your children after you and that you may live long in the land the Lord your God gives you for all time.
Another month has passed in a flash. There are so many positive things happening at the Ark that it is difficult to know where to start.
The last time I gave feedback we were facing some real challenges from the community ! Thankfully after handing these over to the Lord, humbling ourselves and just trying to carry on the best we could, things are looking so much better again. Sometimes you need to remember the verse above, take a step back and let the Lord deal with the problem.
Thank You Lord for all you provide and thank You for the change in attitude of the community. The place seems to be buzzing with excitement once more and we are being very well received which makes doing your work so much easier.
We really appreciate the Cradle of Hope and their ongoing support and advice. Thank you to all of you readers, supporting us and keeping us motivated with a comment here and there. Another thank you to those in the community that are reaching out, taking a leap of faith, committing resources and sharing their business ideas and needs.
Bright Star Hair Salon
Matthew 1: 9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star they were overjoyed.
Let us start with what has been the major focus for the month. The Bright Star hair salon.
This idea has been on my heart for a long time but once more we were looking for a committed community member to come and drive the business for us. Pastor Matthew, an extremely talented , reliable and enthusiastic individual offered to run with it but he already had a lot on his place with The Tarlton Livingstone Church, running the chicken project , being responsible for the brush cutter and assisting where possible with the farming at the land.
Then Esperanza approached us and offered to run the salon with assistance and oversight of pastor Matthew. As with most things at the Cradle the Lord gave us the nudge to proceed and so our focus shifted to this project.
Ed had been contacted by Jeanette Amy Prescott Budd from Cedar Lakes and offered a “”wendy-house”. We decided it would be an ideal start for the salon. My bakkie was out of commission so Ed kindly offered his. Despite my gross over exaggeration of the size of the trailer we somehow managed to fit the structure on the trailer and deliver it to the CradleArk.
We then returned for the roof. We were also blessed with the donation of a long tilting mirror.
Debbie immediately offered to help with a logo .
She and Ed then produced a price list after input from Matthew and Esperanza.
I felt like I should create a barbers pole. This did not make a lot of sense to me but it was in my mind and would not go away. This turned out to be a really a fun project and once more the tins of spray paint that were donated were used. (with addition of only one colour!)
(According to Wikipedia the origin of the pole colours was from the surgeons/barbers who performed blood letting (red) with leeches, tooth extraction (white) or just a shave (blue))
We are setting up solar driven clippers and hairdryer. Once the business is running successfully we potentially could consider expanding it into nail, eyelashes etc.
A leaking tank
The community Jojo tank sprung a leak. As one of three the impact on the community is quite severe and by the time we looked at it they had run out of water for a couple of days.
It was most likely because of an unstable and unsuitable base. Several suggestions as to how to patch it were made and we thank Lesedi Mnyakeni at Jojo for his assistance and input.
We managed to get inside and patch it with waterproof tape. However, it has subsequently developed another leak. We are investigating the possibility of moving the stand to the other side of the community. We will then buy a new Jojo .
A security gate
I finished welding and making pastor Matthews security gate. I have installed the gate and just adapting the receiver to fit.
Slowly but surely we are making progress in enhancing the Tarlton Livingstone Church. Working within an insulated truck back was a real pleasure in the heat. It was the coolest place around.
The field is looking good.
Samson has removed the large tree from the field . This is an incredible feat as it was not a small tree and was done with traditional simple tools.
The surviving avocado trees are looking healthy but it seems as though only two have survived through winter, being eaten by stray cattle and the challenges of watering them. We will try to source some replacements but in reality will be very grateful if we even can get one tree that starts producing fruit. What a business that will be!
Samson is unfortunately experiencing problems with the pump again and we will address this issue. We are close to planting time and with no rain in sight the drip irrigation will prove to be invaluable.
We must thank Edwin for the donation of another wheelbarrow. The timing is fantastic and it will be put to good use.
I have also welded up another gate for the field earmarked for the well enclosure using an old metal pallet as the basis. Thanks to our “hardware donor”who prefers to remain unnamed.
The chickens are doing very well except we now have a rat problem. The rats are creeping into the cage and killing and eating the baby chicks. Rat traps will not work as the chickens will interfere with any bait. Ed and I will venture out to try to deal with the rats on a selective and specific basis.
Growing signs of entrepeneurs
There are signs of entrepreneur-ship showing in the community and Anton is planning to sell vegetables bought from Samson on the side of the road. This is very exciting as both families will benefit from the set up. He will be selling raw vegetables.
Mamtsitsi and Ditketseng have set up a small food store and asked us for assistance. They plan on selling cooked meals. They also can benefit from Samsons produce and even from the eggs that Matthew is producing.
We are considering both glass bottle recycling/repurposing and possibly some pottery to be able to offer a more diversified product range as we already have Jesta established up the road in the food business. However, once more we can only make suggestions and share our knowledge but we wiil leave it to the business owner to take the necessary decisions.
The new plot
For those of you that haven’t yet seen the new plot I have included this picture. This is really planned to become the logistics centre of the Cradle of Hope.
Albertus is considering setting up the woodwork equipment donated by Stanley Black and Dekker at this site which is not far from the CradleArk and has full electricity.
Once more we invite any of you that would like to be involved either on an ad hoc basis or on a more permanent basis to come and join us. I can see that there is already a lot more pressure on my weekend time with my children’s sporting activities and this will only increase as they compete at different levels at different times. We need all the support we can get. The momentum is definitely increasing and there are multiple facets to run with.