My involvement with the Mustard Seed really started many years ago, without me realising it or having any kind of vision. Although I studied life sciences, God opened doors for me to be involved in a job in what was then the RDP projects in Cape Town. Over the following years, through a combination of being involved in a church that was seeking to follow God in the area of multi-cultural community, my work, conversations with people, attending a number of events and hearing people’s stories, God began to shape my heart, thinking and theology around issues of restitution and injustice. I am still at the early stages of this journey, part of which is learning what the practical outworking of these issues is for me as a Christian, in my context. At least part of that outworking for me has been my involvement with Level Ground and the Mustard Seed, as it combines my interest and experience in housing, with restitution and justice issues.
Over the past 9 years, we have been in a process of trying to live out our faith in the area of restitution, justice and housing. Our desire has been to see those who are living in vulnerable situations, provided with access to a home, while providing a vehicle for restitution.
What this has looked like has had, and will continue to have various forms. On a very small scale, this has meant home ownership for two families and rental accommodation for a third family, all of whom were previously living in informal settlements or backyards.
Our dream going forward is to make a contribution to the affordable housing need in Cape Town, with a particular focus on the Salt River area – both because this is a community where we have relationship, and due to the pressure that is being exerted on the area by market forces, and the resultant negative impact on families who have been living in the area for many years, often for generations.
For now, however, our focus is on the ‘Mustard Seed’ house. This is a house in Salt River that we have purchased, and will soon be renovating for the creation of a home for vulnerable women in our community. The project is a collaboration between ourselves (Level Ground) who will be responsible for the building aspect, and the Jubilee Community Church’s Eden Team who will provide the care component of the ministry to the women living in the home. We are trusting that God will take this small step of faith and multiply it to be a blessing to the residents of the home, and to Salt River.
We would value prayer for wisdom for the team, God’s directing of us, finance for capital and renovation costs of the house, and for setting up of the care component of the ministry.
If you would like further information on who we are or the ’Mustard Seed’ home, you can take a look at our website www.levelground.org.za, or contact 072 310 8029.
By Gary Appleton