Soup From Heaven 2016
During August 2016, 16 of us from Yapton Free Church (including two from Holland) set off on mission to Cape Town South Africa. Ages ranged from 10 to 70+! We wanted to see for ourselves what the charity ‘Soup From Heaven’ was all about! The flight was 11 hours, 6,000 miles and each person was self-funded, no money from the charity paid for the trip.
The charity’s founder Veyanke Hodson from YFC has been annually visiting the city for 9 years during the summer holidays, and for the past 4 years has taken a team with her for around two weeks of this time.
‘Soup from Heaven’ is a family run charity in Cape Town and all the money goes directly to the projects on hand. There’s no rent or salaries to pay, as everyone works with us as volunteers and all donations go directly to those who need it most.
Our mission statement:
To feed the hungry, clothe the naked and show unconditional love and acceptance to the most needy people
The charity’s main focus has always been the soup kitchen which near one of the informal settlements on the outskirts of Cape Town. Our first visit there this year was on the Sunday to attend the weekly church service, and also to give breakfast and lunch to the congregation which consists of the men, women and children living rough in the area.
The team were right at home here with many of the girls helping with the Sunday school.
One of the latest projects to come under SFH’s wing is the support of a football club set up within the informal settlement of Kalkfontein. We visited the project on that same Sunday afternoon and the lads of the group had the chance to play football while the others chatted with the spectators. This created so many new bonds and was an exciting way of seeing love in action. For me this was my favourite part of the trip, playing football on what was effectively waste ground a akin to a beach with guys for whom this is their life, was an experience I’ll never forget.
Key thing Soup From Heaven does is to link people in Cape Town to work together. A group of guys who met to play pool now fund raise to help those less fortunate than themselves and have been linked with the football guy and are planning to source kit and boots for his teams.
We visited the Soup Kitchen on two occasions to hand out soup & bread and share God’s unconditional love to those who have no jobs and very little to eat.
One of the ladies from this community collects plastics to raise money for the charity that gives them soup! That’s when we felt totally humbled…
Meeting people who have almost nothing materially, their home is the equivalent of a table with blankets for a bed, no sanitation or food made us all appreciate how much we have and often don’t need. They were so grateful for the soup and fellowship we brought; it made you realise that life is not about things but the unconditional love of God.
Midweek saw us make our way to the Ray of Sunshine House another project supported by ‘Soup From Heaven’. The house is on a farm 45 minutes outside Cape Town. It is home to around 15 children aged 0-13 who have been given a home by Mamma Merle and a new lease of life. ‘Ray of Sunshine House’ is a refuge for babies and young children as well. The children are mostly brought to her by the police. Some babies are found in ditches, dustbins and public toilets. Others are found wandering around the streets or left at the docks having been abandoned. Merle, the ‘Mother’ runs the home with her family. They love the children unconditionally and look after them so well! This, for many of the team, was the highlight of the trip as they saw these kiddies are not orphans, but they have a home and parents who love them, and they all know who they are in Christ!
A few members of the team, including myself, stayed overnight to help with the repairs to the bore hole pump which supplies the house with water. We also helped to lay turf in the play area; money was raised for this by the children of Yapton Free Church. This home lives by faith and believes God will supply their needs… they have several stories to back this up, rent paid, food provided for supper; so they are believing in God for a new water system.
As well as visiting projects we support, we had some fun time too. A day safari to see the Big Five animals of S Africa – lion, elephant, cape buffalo, leopard, rhinoceros and ostrich, zebra and springbok too.
A trip to the top of Table Mountain in a cable car, an opportunity for some to overcome fears of height and small spaces! Well worth it for the spectacular views on both sides of the mountain.
Some of the food we tried proved interesting – the South Africans have a particularly sweet tooth so we were treated to the delights of Milk Tart and Koeksister, hard doughnuts drenched in syrup!
It’s been hard to put our experience into a few words, but hope this gives you a flavour of why we went and the wonderful people we met.