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Our story

This is a story of God’s Love, and it began 15 years ago with 2 women of different ages, cultures, and backgrounds, but one shared caring heart: Ella and Stephanie.

Ella, who worked as a domestic worker and babysitter in our home, told me about the poverty in her community. Children were desperately hungry, constantly knocking on her door, asking if she could give them a slice of bread to eat.  Some children had difficulty sleeping due to hunger pains.

At that stage I lived in Wellington for 10 years and was not aware of the poverty and hunger on the doorstep of our beautiful town. Ella opened my eyes with her gentle mother-heart.  She told me more of the hardships and hunger among so many children and how she herself can only help with a piece of dry bread! She also reminded me how good God is and that He will always provide.

It was a small start: We started to help the children that lived nearby Ella’s wooden shack – 23 children with runny noses and torn, dirty clothes.  At first, they only received food, but Ella with her background as a Sunday school teacher quickly took the opportunity to teach the children God’s Word.  Tables were built with old crates and wooden boards.  Now the children had space and the chance to draw pictures and do some arts and craft activities.

As the children’s numbers grew, so did the cooking pots! Small pots were replaced with large pots to be able to feed about 500 children. It was difficult circumstances, coping with a large group of starving children barely waiting their turn, and the financial costs involved.

We constantly had to remind ourselves what the Word of God say: “Be faithful in the little”. Ella and I kept on doing what He had put inside our hearts to do and kept on trusting, God will multiply and provide what is needed.

After a year our focus shifted to the children between the ages of 3 and 6 years. This age is the child’s forming years and if we can build a sound foundation, children have a better chance to be school ready.  To be able in helping them to have hope for a better future, and a better life, our goals shifted to more than just taking the hunger away.  

We had to teach and guide them to know and love the Word of God. The Word says: “One cannot live from bread alone, but by every Word that comes from the mouth of the Father. “

LOVE IS THE ANSWER: The love of God for each one of us, so it can overflow to others – God puts His LOVE in Ella’s and my hearts for the children of this community:  To nurture, guard, guide them. To love them by giving hugs, wipe runny noses, put a bandage on when it hurts, to laugh, to dance, and to teach.

Looking back after 15 years, we stand amazed by the goodness, grace, and faithfulness of God.

What began as something small grew into a full-time ministry: with 4 programs, 4 yearly projects, 13 staff and 42 volunteers – serving the children and community!

To God be the glory!

May His Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven!

Stephanie Henderson

Founder and CEO of Ma’s vir Wellington, South Africa