Ocean View

Welcome New Volunteer Rachel!

We are excited to welcome our new volunteer Rachel Harpole to Ocean View!  She is here for just over 2 months working in Ocean View and with Ubuntu Football.  See some of her story here.   Maybe YOU should be our next volunteer!

"Hello everyone!  The thought process of coming to South Africa began about a year ago when I began teaching. I worked in a very diverse semi-inner city school where there was a lot of need, but not a lot that could be done as a teacher. I felt so helpless and I hated it. But the thought of going all the way to South Africa was still quite distant. Things became a little more real though when some of my friends came to Ocean View for a couple of months. This thought that I had in the back of my head began to creep up as more of a reality. In August, my summer began to wrap up and it was time for me to face the music. I was at an extremely pivotal moment where I had to choose what I was going to do in the upcoming year. I could continue working in the restaurant with all of my friends, having fun 24/7, and only having to be responsible and act like an adult about 10% of the time. I could seek out a teaching position and hope and pray it would be a better situation than my previous one. Or, I could take advantage of this flexible time in my life and go for something truly amazing and pursue this mere thought of serving in South Africa. I prayed that the Lord would make His plans evident to me and here I am! The entire process in preparing to come to South Africa was so much easier than I expected. That along with the love and support from family and friends only confirmed for me that this was God’s plan for me and I couldn’t wait to see what my time would be like once I got here.

Here in South Africa, in the afternoons, I go to help the Ubuntu boys with their homework, which is a learning experience for us all! It just goes to show that you really should listen to your teachers when they say, “You never know when you’re going to need to know this one day.” I also spend two days a week helping out at the Care Center. Mainly, I am an extra set of much needed hands, but the goal is to help the students learn how to function and behave in a classroom with routines and procedures. 

As I look ahead to my time here in Africa, my goals are to:

  • Grow in my faith and have a stronger, more passionate and intentional relationship with Jesus
  • Be humbled and grateful through serving others
  • Make a different in this community in whatever little way I may be able to
  • Learn about myself and how I can be the best version of me
  • … I know there is more to come that I can't even imagine yet!"


Dear Ocean View Vandals...

December 15, 2014

Dear vandals in Ocean View,

This past week, once again, you came into my home uninvited and unwelcome and have taken something that was not yours.  What you took was something given to us, or something we took a long time to purchase, or something important to us.  It doesn’t even matter what it was that you took, as the list of all that has been stolen while living here is too long to even compose.  What you took was just some-THING but it wasn’t yours to take.

I am tired of the stealing.  I am tired of the break-ins.  I am tired of wondering when the next theft will be.  I am tired of looking at people and wondering if it was him or her I am tired.

But I want you to know that even though you took something of mine, I am not the victim.  You are the victim.  My treasures are in heaven and you can never steal my salvation and my joy in Christ.  What is most important in my life is the love of my family, my heart given to Jesus Christ, the laughter that daily fills my home, the peace felt by those who enter my doors when they are invited.  By far the most important things in my home can only be felt but never taken.  I would invite you into my house or help you with whatever is hurting you, but you didn’t ask, you only came to take.

I want to say to you who continues to steal and deceive: stop degrading the value of your life. Stop degrading this community. Stop degrading yourself.  You are gifted and smart and strong and anything is possible in your life.  Stop seeing the world as so small that you must take things from others.  Stop living a life in the shadows.  Stop living a life that isn’t what God created for you.

Community of Ocean View it’s time.  It’s time to speak up.  It’s time to say something when you see something suspicious.  Tell your neighbor when their window is open.  Speak to your children about the value of their lives and how they degrade themselves when they steal.  Pray for the criminals of Ocean View as they have very broken hearts.  We must take back our community.

Pray for Ocean View and God’s Kingdom to come.

Listening in Ocean View

November 3, 2014

“Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.” – Proverbs 11:14 ESV


Fun and exciting new developments are happening in Ocean View.  We are recognizing a gap where God is asking us to step in and we are taking the plunge to love others.  We have been serving in the Ocean View High School over the past year running the Shine and Strength Courses that are written by Hillsong Church, teaching girls and boys of their inner worth and value through Biblical principals.  These courses have been hugely successful and really welcomed by the school and students.  However, we always left feeling there was MORE that needed to be done.  MORE that God wanted us to do.


“The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.” -Proverbs 12:15 ESV


Over the past 9 weeks I have been overseeing two students from Azusa Pacific University in California who are here doing a study abroad program and needed an internship.  They volunteered in various places in Ocean View doing counseling, and OV High was their primary place to serve.  They met with a few students and counseled them but it showed us that SO MANY MORE are needing someone to listen to them.


“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;” -James 1:19 ESV


So we are making plans and moving ahead.  My ‘WE’ is myself, Chevonne Lawrence, the Ocean View Methodist Youth Pastor, and Hannah Ross, our volunteer from Raleigh,NC who is here working with us in the View.  We are setting up structures in the high school so we will regularly have ourselves and other counselors in the school meeting with students who are in need.  Students will be nominated by their teachers if they are showing problematic behaviors or signs, and they can also nominate themselves to speak with someone.  We will also be weekly encouraging the teachers at one of their faculty meetings in order to support and connect with them.  Furthermore, we will continue our Shine and Strength courses and even start to do MORE!  Lastly, we are setting up a room at the Methodist Church that will be a counseling room; safe and private for any who want to counsel those in needs.

Really exciting stuff.  This has been on my heart for years and now together with my team we are setting up structures to actually help those in need and let them know we are here for them.  I can’t wait to see how God works and can’t wait to share it with you!

It's Our Anniversary!

October 22, 2014

It’s anniversary time!  We are so happy to celebrate that we have been in SOUTH AFRICA serving for FIVE YEARS!  What the what?!?  But what we are most cheering about is that we have lived in the incredible Ocean View community for five years.


1. The noises.  There is always something happening.  Always someone in conversation.  Always a dog barking.  Always music playing.  Always someone sharing in someone else’s life.  I love that.  If I need to go write a sermon or focus on something I like to sit in a crowded coffee shop with lots of noises and action.  I dig lots of stuff going on and I dig Ocean View.

2. The food.  My people know how to eat and value food.  It is awesome.  It has always reminded me of my Mexican heritage (my Mom is Mexican-American) because people in Ocean View love to gather and share food together.  Another great thing about Ocean View is that while food is a value, there are many who do not have a meal to eat some days, including many vulnerable children.  What I see is that those who have are ALWAYS sharing with those who don’t and making sure children go to bed with a meal.  My friends are always sharing with those who are in need.  In addition, when there is something to celebrate it is done with FOOD.  People love to have gatherings for birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, accomplishments, holidays and anything else in between.

3. The laughter.  You know the Prince’s love some laughing and this is something that is really valued in the community of Ocean View.  Come to any meeting, dinner, gathering or even tea and you will eventually hear laughter.  Laugher is LOUD and done with the entire body.  I remember vividly seeing a stand-up comic we love named Trevor Noah with a group of friends and our friend Treswill was laughing so hard that he unintentionally was hitting the seat in front of his with his knees.  He didn’t even notice but the people in front of him did and kept looking back at him hoping he would stop.  I told him of his kicks and he changed his sitting position but continued to laugh WITH HIS ENTIRE BODY.  It was awesome.  And it’s normal.

4. THE COMPASSION.  You guys.  In Ocean View you SEE IT ALL.  Pain, suffering, abuse, gangsterism, addiction and just HURT.  You would think people would be so use to it that they don’t even notice it happening, and unfortunately that does happen at times.  But the norm in Ocean View is COMPASSION and response to those who are hurting and in pain.  I am frequently humbled when I hear about how my friends in Ocean View respond to hungry children at their doorstep or people who need to borrow money… again.  Compassion is deeply woven into the fabric of hearts here and it challenges me to be God’s compassionate hands and feet even more in this community I love.

  5. The LOVE.  People in Ocean View love FIERCELY.  They take care of their own family and they love really deeply.  The love of the people here in Ocean View has spilled into our lives and we will never be the same.  We see it most vividly in the way people here love our children.  They hug and kiss them spoil them beyond anything they deserve.  Even with Keller who struggles to interact with anyone because of his autism, he has LEARNED how to love people because of those who have loved him in Ocean View.  That is profound and true.  We are loved beyond our failures and weaknesses here and seen just as we are.  That is true love and we are so blessed to experience the love of Ocean View.

Happy anniversary Ocean View!  To MANY MORE!!