Lighthouse Shines Joy into the Lives of South Africa Families

Ron Townsend & GLL kids

 

970299_614864335190262_1175523254_nBy Amy Townsend, ER Staff,                                                                                                                      Cape Town, South Africa

GLL kidFor a glimpse at the impact of God’s Little Lighthouse (GLL), just consider Gabriel and her four siblings. This daycare and school for young children in Fish Hoek, South Africa, has cared for each of these underprivileged youngsters since they were pre-school age. The oldest now attends university and two more are thriving at local schools in grades 6 and 11. Gabriel, the youngest, is similarly enjoying educational opportunities she wouldn’t have otherwise.

Thanks to the love and commitment of “Aunty Pam” and her late husband, Rob, GLL has engendered countless stories of youngsters rescued from poverty – native South Africans as well Zimbabwean, Congolese and Malawian immigrants.

The organization is one of more than a dozen overseen by ER partner ATAIM. It was launched some 26 years ago, when Rob and Aunty Pam took notice of the poverty and despair local children were suffering.

The couple desired to bring hope to these children. But never did they imagine the stories that would be told in their community about GLL – stories of hope where there was hopelessness, friendship where there was loneliness, and happiness where there was despair. Each story told not just of children who were blessed to have a spot in the preschool program, but of their families and communities as well.

Auntie PamWhen there is not enough food to feed the children at home or a family struggle to pay tuition, Aunty Pam finds a way to provide. When difficult circumstances abound in a child’s home life, she and her staff provide hugs. It is not unusual to be playing outside with the children and see a young gentleman or lady come looking for Aunty Pam. Many times they just want to spend some time in the place that provided food, safety and love during their early years. They never walk through the gate without a huge smile on their face, and they never leave without a hug.

One pair of local parents dropped their first child off at GLL 15 years ago. During the course of those years and a litany of life changes, GLL and Aunty Pam were the constant in their lives. When the couple became foster parents, they naturally turned to GLL for help.

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Today the mother says, “Besides my two biological sons and my nephew, Aunty Pam and her wonderful staff have helped us raise four other children. Now I have enrolled three more foster children in GLL. I look forward to another five years of happiness and support that we get from everyone at the school.”

It is no wonder GLL has a waiting list for the next school year. Love and compassion, the kind provided by Aunty Pam and her staff, are in high demand

Click here to learn more about GLL and ATAIM. 

970299_614864335190262_1175523254_nAmy and Ron Townsend work at God’s Little Lighthouse on loan from Extreme Response. The Townsends and their three daughters, Emily, Hannah and Sarah, recently moved to South Africa to help Extreme Response establish a regional presence. Click here to learn more about Extreme Response’s vision helping people in Africa.  Click here to learn more about our partners in South Africa, Kenya, and Malawi.

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