One of our enterprises at The Message Trust (The Soft Machine) were recently invited to a workshop held at Christel House High School in Cape Town. This invite was one which carved a significantexperience not only for business but for the students as they were given skills in building and running a successfulfood truck business.
FutureMe is a holistic, technology-enabled programme aimed at assisting high school learners to be work-ready when they leave school. The purpose of FutureMe is to assist young people in becoming more self-aware and confident; more aware and knowledgeable about subject, study and career choices and employment opportunities; and more prepared for, and effective in the working world. In this way, FutureMe intends to act as a bridge between youth and the working world. We are really passionate about addressing the youth unemployment crisis in South Africa, as well as the skills gaps in the working world.
We were there to share about The Soft Machine and the work we do as well as how these learners could empower themselves if they chose to take the path of running a food truck. The power in it all was the hunger for success we saw in the eyes of the young people at Christel House High school.
The most important part of the day was when MT shared his story with the students, many who are impacted daily by the negative cycle of gangsterism, crime and poverty. One of the grade 7 students said: “mam, just yesterday 6 of my friends became gangsters and now they want me to join too.” MT shared the realities of joining a gang and how this set him back for 13 years of his life. The students were eager to know how they can make a difference and where they could find help.
As we left Christel House High on the day we knew there is hope for our future and it lies in the hands of the young people in our country and it’s our duty to empower our youngsters and support their dreams. It’s the least we can do, but what’s more important is for any young person to know that you care.
Drakenstein Corrections Facility (DCS) was abuzz this past weekend as we came to the end of yet another fruitful year of the Message Enterprise program (MEP). The day had finally dawned for our students to be honored for all the hard work they put in throughout the year. This experience was momentous, as most of us had never worn an academic gown before, or even obtained any kind of qualification. It was so moving to see the excitement on the faces of the 1st year students as they were adorned with their gowns and handed their certificates. What was particularly poignant was that our families were invited to share in this special day, to witness their sons standing proudly in front of everyone, and be recognized for something so significant. Emotions were running high and joy was written on their faces as they saw their sons coming out in gowns……an amazing experience!
This reminded us why we do what we do. Seeing the smiles and the hope revived in the hearts of the parents was so fulfilling that words fail to adequately describe the impact it must have had on them. We are confident that the lives of these young men will never be the same again. The future looks promising and the world is full of opportunities for them.
In MEP these men are not only taught entrepreneurial skills. They are also equipped to become servant leaders in society, thus enabling them to return to their communities and become change agents and positive role models to their peers. This also helps prepare them for the working environment, and it is a real privilege to witness the change in these men. It energises and empowers us to do more; however, without you, none of what we hope to achieve will be possible.
We want to also take a moment to thank DCS for partnering with us, as well as all our contributors and supporters. Your support has helped save a young man’s life from a threatening lifestyle.
For two weeks in the heart of Cape Town, South Africa, 15 Christians who God called from different parts of the United States through Believers World Outreach, linked arms with The Message Trust in the work that God is doing through them.
During our time serving with The Message, they put together a wonderful programme whereby we were able to serve alongside their Eden teams in the communities of Nyanga, Woodstock, and Pelican Park. Through an optical clinic we conducted in these areas, nearly 700 people were provided with free eye examinations and spectacles. We also ran a vacation bible school where children heard the Gospel message. We had the opportunity to minister at youth events where some teens accepted Christ for the first time, while other re-dedicated their lives to Him to be the author of their story.
Lastly, we participated in a day at Drakenstein prison with the Message Enterprise Programme, witnessing how prisoners are being transformed into mighty men of God who will lead their generation. Their freedom has brought liberty in our own lives; and their hope for the future inspires us to similarly persevere in hope.
During the two weeks, we witnessed the deep growth of discipleship in these communities and within the prison walls. The Message Trust is impacting this generation of young people, which is not only helping to transform their country, but has also ignited a fire in our hearts to bring this impact back to the U.S.A.
This experience has been so powerful and has changed our hearts forever. Having seen it with our own eyes, we are convinced that there is an expansive work of God happening through The Message! Heaven’s doors are opening wide and many are running to His open arms. We are so honoured to be a part of God’s great work. Until next year my friends!
Over 450 people attended our third annual Vision Night banquet hosted at Jubilee Community Church. Through the amazing cooperation of the Department of Correctional Services, 21 students from our in-prison Message Enterprise Programme (MEP) were among the guests. Angus Buchan, our key note speaker, had been into the prison earlier that day and shared the Gospel with around 300 offenders, as well as spending some time with the MEP class. “When I look at these young men I have hope for the future of our country… they’ve got fire in their eyes!” he told the Vision Night guests.
Vision Night provides The Message with an opportunity to share stories of what God is doing through the organisation, as well as show appreciation for our partners and supporters.
KineticIV kicked off the evening giving the audience a taste of how they share the Gospel with young people in schools and youth groups across the city. Following Uncle Angus’ inspirational address, Tim Tucker (Message SA CEO) shared about our goals to empower young people, equip the church, eradicate gangsterism and expand into Africa. “We want to see young people become role models, build strong Christian families, become constructive and positive citizens, and be empowered to shape the future.”
Chumani Ndzala gave insight into what this looks like in reality. He works in one of Message’s micro-enterprises – Gangstar Furniture. “My job reminds me of my life. I turn old wood into beautiful products… the things people cast off as rubbish, still have amazing potential. And that is what God has done with my life.”
The evening culminated in a powerful and emotional performance by the MEP students who led the guests in two worship songs. Many in the audience were in tears as they witnessed first-hand the transforming power of the Gospel in the lives of the young men.
Message UK CEO, Andy Hawthorne, closed the evening with a rousing challenge to support The Message and partner in raising up generations of urban heroes.
Meet the newest member of The Message Team Ruan Toua.
Ruan has been employed as our Gangstar Enterprises manager and will oversee all our Gangstar Apprentices and Employees at The Message.
We are excited to welcome him onto the team!
1. Ruan welcome to The Message Trust! Tell us a little about yourself and your family.
I have two amazing parents and a younger brother, and grew up in the northern suburbs, Parow. As a family we love camping and have been camping for as long as I can remember. I have always been very technically minded and love gadgets and building just about anything. I grew up in the NG church, and gained a lot of bible knowledge. I love spending my free time playing rugby or squash but mostly spending time in nature doing something that gets my adrenaline going!
The four values of The Message Trust are passion, church, innovation & community.
2.Tell us what you’re passionate about?
To be a Warrior for God. To grow His kingdom.
I have a massive heart for people and have always found people interesting, especially the uniqueness of every individual. I love working with people reaching out to others whether it’s in a group or as an individual. I have a strong background in teambuilding and love to watch the dynamics of a group. Teambuilding is my absolute passion, as I love games and seeing people have fun, learn and overcome obstacles.
I have a great passion for evangelism and outreach, as well as shepherding and developing others to be able to carry over what they have learned. I am involved in a number of ministries such as Straatwerk, Prison Ministry and CBMC (Christian Business Man Connection).
The Lord has laid on my heart to purse unity in South Africa through encouraging one another and mentorship. As the future of South Africa, our youth have a critical role to play in uniting our culturally diverse country. I believe that the diversity of our culture holds the potential of South Africa as our greatest asset. We have a lot of groups doing their own thing but we need to unite in God’s presence and fight the good fight together.
3.Tell us a bit about your church?
Urban Edge in Durbanville is my church community and spiritual anchor. The church has such a powerful vision which is “Connecting people to people and people to God”.
I am part of a Connect Group, and serve often. From the first moment, I have felt absolutely welcome at this church.
4.You mentioned you are from Panorama what does community mean to you?
I have moved around a lot which means that I have developed a broad perspective for community. My church is in Durbanville, Straatwerk is on the streets of Cape Town, CBMC is in Bellville and Kraaifontein, therefore community means “unity” for “the broad circles” I live in, to come together, to develop and thrive for the Kingdom of God. South Africa is my “Community” and I believe in the unity of this amazing country.
.The Message loves developing new innovative ways to reach youth – what was it that specifically attracted you to join The Message team?
Prison ministry; I wasn’t aware that The Message was working in the same prison that I was volunteering at, as a facilitator for the Alpha Coarse (at Drakenstein).
What stood out for me the most was Christ Centered Enterprise, incorporated with the goal of ‘Raising up generations of Urban Heroes’ by the joint effort of the 4 streams in The Message.
As an evangelist you often get faced with the question: “What happens when the Individual in prison gets saved? What type of support does someone that lives in poverty have that can help them grow to become the man that God wants him to be, rather than ‘back-sliding’ due to surrounding peoples influences and circumstances?”
A question that I asked myself so many times has been “What can I do to make a difference? What can I do to create more support for someone that comes out of prison or lives on the streets?”
One thing led to another, (“a chain of unexplainable coincidences”) and the Lord led me to The Message Trust, while I was doing prison ministry with Alpha.
6.If you could say one thing to the youth of South Africa what would you say?
You are the Future! No one can make a difference alone, but with God as our center and guide, together – “we can do this”!