March 2, 2017

How Bags of Hope started

The Prayer of Jabez comes from the Bible. In 1 Chronicles 4:10, we read:  Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request.

For many years I prayed that prayer thinking that God would enlarge my territory by enlarging my school and making me rich. I believe this would be the end of the troubles I had in my life. I eventually stopped praying this prayer when it did not seem to be reaching God’s ears. Move on 6 years when I visited my old pastor and his wife in George.

We attended a party on Vic Beach outside George in Feb 2014. We sat on deck chairs on a perfectly manicured lawn and drank coffee and ate muffins as the sea rolled gently in. Wow it was an awesome morning. As we were leaving the birthday girl gave out a little sheet of paper with a list of goodies to fill a bag with that would be given to women in need. This was being run in the small town of George. My heart fluttered at the thought of running Bags of Hope in Joburg.

When I got back to Joburg I quietly asked several friends what they thought of the idea of starting this charity here……….the response was positive. I then spoke to my pastor who was blown away with the idea as he had just launched an ‘Own it’ board at church where the congregation were encouraged to take on a task and ‘own it’. He has since been our biggest champion and encourager.

May 2014 Slowly the first bags started arriving at my door. The name of a women’s shelter came to me from a distant memory, I googled Frieda Hartley shelter and that was the start. I needed 25 bags filled with goodies for the Frieda Hartley shelter so advertised to friends and family at the beginning of May 2014. Soon I had enough for all the ladies of that shelter and enough to start the next collection Karen, Lee, Aimee and Ash volunteered to come with me……and so the ‘Bag Angels’ were born.

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