Hey guys, this is a bitter sweet post for me , as this marks the end of my journey with KineticIV. What an incredible journey it has been. I’m truly thankful for all opportunities that were given to me through The Message Trust SA |UK .These were indeed opportunities that only comes once in a life time. I believe that these experiences have helped shape me for the season that lies ahead.
I’ll be studying at an Institution called SAE (School of Audio Engineering) for a BA degree in Sound Production. I’ve always wanted to study sound production but due to the lack of tuition fees I wasn’t able to. Over these passed two months, God has truly shown that He has His hand over my life. I applied and got accepted within the space of a week. Shortly after that I received a bursary to cover my full tuition for the next 3 years. HOW CRAZY! I believe that this was God working out His plan for my life.
I believe that this is the right time, so as I move on to this next chapter in my life, I’ll continue to support Kinetic IV and help out where I can! Thank you guys for all the memories we had. I’m going to miss you all! Lots of love and all the best for what lies ahead! – Justin Lucas Barth
We are so excited for Justin and this new venture, and also sad to see him leave. We are grateful for the role he had played in this team and the relationship we’ve built with him over these few years.We hope that he will always remember that he is made for more and we pray for Gods abundant blessing over his life.
We are hard at work in studio , and preparing new sessions for our KIV Fam. 2017 is going to be amazing!!!
For me, there has always been something captivating about South Africa. Before my trip with The Message, I had visited the country on other occasions and had fallen in love with its people, its landscape, its heartbeat. So when I made the decision to spend three months volunteering with The Message – a charity I also love – in South Africa, I was expectant that I would see a great move of God happening. The trip exceeded my expectations!
The Message SA operates out of a little office space in a business park, which in no way parallels the scale of the charity’s vision. I was immediately welcomed in to the Message SA family as if I had been part of the team since it began. The Message in South Africa follows the pattern of The Message UK, with its unashamed focus on evangelism and the power of Christ to restore but adapted it to be relevant to the culture of Cape Town.
Gangsters to gentlemen
Prison ministry is a major focus here because of the powerful grip of gangsterism on South African society. I had the privilege of attending a session of the Message Entrepreneurial Program in Drakenstein Prison. This is led by Jennifer Belcher, a trained lawyer who has been completely captured by the need of the young inmates in South African prisons and spends her time training them to be entrepreneurs. In this class, the men were discussing their own business models and learning to think like CEOs – they were incredibly articulate and most of what they were talking about was way beyond my knowledge level! I was deeply impressed. Some of the men also stood up and shared about their past experiences and were treated by their inmates with encouragement and respect. There was such a feeling of unity within the room. When they led me around their cell, a small room where around 25 of them stayed, I noticed Bibles neatly tucked under pillows and Hillsong posters on the walls. You can imagine how different this must have been to their previous lives.
I was so happy to meet with the guys again for their graduation ceremony, which happens when they have successfully completed a year on the programme. This was such a joyous event, with plenty of family and friends present in the audience and many sweet old mamas tearing up at the sight of their sons in graduation robes. The most memorable moment for me was when all of the class held hands and sung at the top of their lungs, ‘My chains are gone, I’ve been set free…’ It was so powerful seeing young men who were in true physical bondage, jubilantly proclaiming the freedom they have found in Christ.
What I truly love about The Message is their desire to provide support for these young men once they have been released from prison. This is not only spiritual, but practical help. I became close friends with several of the ex-offender that now work under The Message running small enterprises. These include a clothing range, an ice cream company and a furniture business. It was eye-opening learning about their stories – not only the struggle of township life that led that many of them to make poor decisions, but the fact that some of them used to be South Africa’s most wanted men. I couldn’t connect the violent, dangerous men they told me they were to the softly-spoken gentlemen that I knew them to be. Every time I spoke to them, I felt so proud to be part of an organisation that offered men like this such a radical second chance.
Community up close
A third area that The Message focuses on is community transformation, known as Eden. To me, this was all about restoring hope to communities that had long felt forgotten about. I was part of leading a club called ‘Thursday is Girl’s Day’ where the young girls from the local area were invited to the Eden team leader’s house after school. Instead of wandering the streets or sitting alone in their run-down houses, they were able to find a safe haven to socialise, share their hopes and dreams and make rainbow cookies! This soon turned into a Bible study, which was actually what the girls were most excited about.
Eden also partners with a local church to deliver the most amazing feeding scheme for homeless women and their children, the majority of whom live in the most appalling conditions under a railway bridge. The women collect recycling all week and are then able to trade this in for points to spend on toiletries, clothes and food items. This system is especially effective, because it gives the women a sense of dignity as they have worked hard collecting items all week in order to earn points. It further enables them to choose what is most necessary for them at that particular time, rather than being handed a general package. Even though the actual day of points trading was noisy, messy and absolutely chaotic, it was one of my favourite things to be involved in. I loved seeing the delight and appreciation when these women found a little shirt that perfectly fit their child or their favourite flavour of soup was on offer that day.
A dream come true
I also got a chance to see a childhood dream come true and pretend I was part of the Message South Africa’s first mission band, Kinetic IV. I travelled with them to the rural community of Citrusdal to partner with Hebron Community Project. Here, I saw them perform to 250 unbelievably excited children at Paardekop Primary School and lead a three-hour creative programme. The next day, we opened the doors of Hebron’s community centre to the whole village. Tiny infants, high school kids and grandparents came from far and wide for the time of worship, dancing and prayer. I was able to anoint sweet old ladies with oil and pray for healing, despite my inability to speak a word of their language! After our trip, when reflecting on the impact of this mission to Citrasdal, Neil Hall, the Chairman of Hebron exclaimed, ‘The Valley will never be the same again!’ It was evident that the message of Christ had stirred hope and excitement in so many hearts that weekend, and the villagers felt united to one another in a way they had not experienced before.
A final memory for me that I feel is worth mentioning was taking on the Three Peaks Challenge. As The Message’s annual fundraiser, we challenged ourselves to climb the Three Peaks of Cape Town (Lion’s Head, Devil’s Peak and Table Mountain) in one day – which is an extremely physically exhausting task. There were around 60 of us that attempted at least one mountain and there was such an incredible team spirit present the whole time. I valued every minute because as I climbed, I was able to learn many people’s personal stories – whether ex-gangsters, the charity’s director or an international volunteer just like me. Everybody pushed themselves to their own limit and we raised much-needed funds in the process. Reaching the top of that last mountain was an experience I will never forget and reminded me that achievements worth having take time, effort and overcoming hurdles.
I am forever changed by my experiences with Message South Africa and I am certain that I will one day return to this country and the people that I love so deeply.
If you would like to do a short missions trip with the Message Trust or a one year internship, please email [email protected]
On the 22 of October 2015 Kinetic IV (KIV) were invited to perform at the prestigious annual “Cape Carols” at the Cape Town Parade. KIV performed alongside some of Cape Town’s hottest artists such as Jonathan Rubin, Grace Town, Swiff D, Tracey Carter , MC Sundae and many more.
The Team arrived on the parade and excitedly awaited their call for sound-check. The atmosphere was loaded with excitement and expectation from the crowd and the band was ready to end the year with a BIG BANG!
The show started at 5pm and at 6pm the band were introduced by CCFM presenter and Message Prison Leader, Preston Jongbloed. The team were excited to perform and deliver yet another electrifying performance in Cape Town.
KIV started their set with their hit song “More Than This” and the crowd responded enthusiastically. They continued to energize the crowd with the rest of their music and finished their performance with “Storm” which turned out be the crowd favourite.
After performing, the crowd cheered Kinetic IV as the band walked off stage. The team spent the rest of the evening backstage with the other performers and enjoyed the rest of the acts.
What an amazing way to finish 2015 at The Message Trust and for KineticIV as they shared songs of hope to over three thousand people.
We are looking forward to all God will do in and through KineticIV as they continue to perform in 2016, reaching out to young people in schools, prisons and churches across Cape Town.
The Message Team arrived in Citrusdal on Friday morning, 20 November, 2015. The team partnered and were hosted by Hebron Community Projects who work with schools and farms in the community. The Message had planned a youth outreach weekend aimed at impacting many young people who come from difficult backgrounds.
The weekend began with our team running a school outreach programme at Paardekop primary school. Our team was welcomed by over 250 excited children, who had heard about KineticIV and were excited to hear from the band.
Our team prepared and implemented a three hour creative schools programme for the school. This involved hosting a school talent show that included grades 1-6 showcasing their musical and dance talent.
One of the favourites was a young girl called ‘Eljure’ who sang a familiar South African song called “Hoor hoe raas die stilte” and had the whole crowd singing along!
Before KIV performed our team spent time getting to know the children, engaging them through creative ice- breakers, jokes and Gilead (KIV band member) teaching them the popular dance called “the whip and nae nae”.
KIV then gave the school a taste of what they could expect at the full concert on Saturday by performing two of their original sound tracks , ‘More Than This” and “Storm” – it was a joy to see the children going crazy and enjoying themselves!
On the Saturday more than 300 people showed up for the first Hebron Citrusdal concert. The audience included a mix of kids parents and grand parents, this was a massive breakthrough as the whole family was present. Generally, in farming communities families are engaged in heavy drinking, to witness families coming together and engaging in positive activities was significant.
When KIV were due to perform excitement filled the room as Neil (Chairperson of Hebron Community Projects) introduced the band and The Message Team. Meryl (KIV female vocalist) came up to introduce the team individually and got the children ready for the evenings events.
During the concert KIV delivered an electrifying performance that even got the grandparents to their feet! In between performances KIV band members Jabulani and Meryl shared their stories to encourage and uplift everyone in attendance.
After the KIV performance Shaun (Band Manager) shared his story of overcoming a life of drugs and alcohol abuse. After sharing his testimony, he made a call for prayer and twenty people made a response.
KineticIV concluded the evening with some crowd interaction, including dancing and singing and finished off with a final performance of the crowd favourite, “Storm”.
The team were commended for their performance and received positive feedback from both the Owners of the life centre and the community.
The team completed the weekend by leading a church service on Sunday morning. Meryl and Jabulani, along with the local church band led worship and one of our team members shared an inspiring message.
Neil Hall, chairperson of Hebron, and some of the church members took time during the service to motivate and encourage The Message to continue in their work amongst young people and promised to pray for the team.
If you would like to know more about KineticIV and are interested in your church or oganisation doing a schools outreach contact us on [email protected]