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November 2015


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This year has gone past so quickly, and before we know it, Christmas is almost upon us.  This is a special time of love and giving, and magical for our children (and those of us who have never grown up!).  We have a few things planned which we will share with you a bit later in the newsletter.

We were very excited to have a number of our children qualify for the National Gymnastics Championships that were held at the end of September in Pretoria.  We were able to send Banele (known as Tim Tim) Magasela, who has received his KZN colours 3 years in a row.  He is a very talented gymnast, and deserved the honour of representing his province.  Helen & John Taylor hosted Timmy during his stay and took him to his competition.  It was also the first time, Tim Tim had flown on an aeroplane, been away from Tabitha on his own, and competed in a competition of this magnitude.  It is a tribute to his loving upbringing at Tabitha Ministries that he coped with all these new things, as if he had been doing it for years!  Mama Val at Tabitha has been nurturing Tim Tim’s gymnastic talent and played a big role in ensuring Tim Tim had everything he needed for the competition, ensuring all the arrangements were in order.  Helen & John were very proud foster parents at the competition, watching closely to ensure Timmy was coping with everything, as parents were not allowed in the exercise or competition areas.  Luckily, Tim Tim met up with a friend of his, who competes at the same level so they stuck together during the tournament.  In each of the 5 events, Timmy did really well – he scored from 7.4 to 8.9 – no mean feat in a competition where the best gymnasts came from all over South Africa to compete.  Everyone is so proud of Tim Tim, and are sure he will qualify for many more competitions.

We decided that it was important to showcase the very special people at Tabitha Ministries, who are part of the family and contribute to the successful team that we have.  Although everyone at Tabitha Ministries is awesome, each month we would like to highlight a few who have gone the extra mile, or who have unique talents – and honour them for these.

Thandeka Nquobo.  Gail Trollip, founder and director of Tabitha Ministries says this lady has a heart of gold, and has always shown incredible compassion for all of the children, but the babies in particular, seem to suit her loving care.  Thandeka has brought up almost every baby at Tabitha – caring, feeding and guiding each little one.  She is very quick to notice when anything is not as it should be and is very careful with each child’s routine – being meticulous and consistent in all her duties.  Thandeka is a mother of 5 of her old children.  Thandeka is also utilised as a ‘hospital mother’ and is exceptional in this regard.  She will go and sit next to the child in the hospital, feeding, bath and medicating and is always available to the doctors to update them on the child’s condition.
Thandeka is a mother of 5 of her own children.  She is a strong Christian and is very active in her community.  Jean Rossouw, of Tabitha, describes Thandeka as quiet, thoughtful, faithful, and Issy Malan added how kind she always is.

This month it is our famous gymnast, Tim Tim (Banele) Magasela. 
Timmy is 10 years old and has been doing gymnastics for approximately 4 years.  The High Bar is his the gymnastic discipline he enjoys most. 
These are some of his favourite things :
Colour : Red
Food :   Ribs
Activity : Basketball
BFF :  Cebo
Tim Tim said if he had the power to change anything in the world, it would be to give everyone in the world, enough food so they would never be hungry. (A BIBLE VERSE FOR HIM)
A gentle little boy, with a stunning smile.  His story is one of several of Tabitha’s triumphs.  Tim Tim arrived at Tabitha at the age of approximately 1 month old with his mother from the Sweetwaters community.  He had chicken pox, was very malnourished and sickly.  As he grew, he developed a problem with his legs– they were crooked, and his one foot was very turned in.  His paediatrician took him to see an orthopaedic specialist who wanted to operate on Tim’s legs, breaking and re-setting them.  His recommendation was to keep Tim Tim’s legs in plaster for an entire year, with the goal of strengthening them.  All at Tabitha were strongly opposed to this.  Everyone prayed for healing and faith.  It took several months – there was slow but sure progress, and the doctors saw improvement in his legs.  The little boy who wasn’t able to crawl, started crawling - whereas before used to drag himself around with his arms.  His legs were straightening and he started running on his tippy toes, even down the stairs.  Strength came with the help of lots of physiotherapy.  Val Downing took an interest in this very special boy and was very involved in his physical rehabilitation – she was guardian angel, helping every step of the way.  A volunteer offered to take a few children to the gym and Tim Time was one of those chosen.  Against all odds he immediately showed incredible promise.  The coaches recognised his talent and started mentoring him.  From the start Tim received gold medals for gymnastics.
Gail Trollip said “we never give up on a child and will do all within our means to realise their full potential”.

This month, we feature another star gymnast, Amanda Mthalane.
Amanda is a kind and gentle little girl, who is kind to everyone.  She does well at school and is also a good swimmer
Amanda is 8 years old and has been a gymnast for only 2 years, and has moved up the levels really quickly.  She has just been promoted to Level 3, and is doing very well.  She enjoys the Vaulting discipline most.
The following are some of her favourite things :
Colour : Blue
Food :  Pizza
Activity : Netball
BFF :  Anako
Amanda has echoed Tim Tim’s sentiments regarding being able to give everyone in the world all the food they need.
Isabel Malan said that it is incredible to see how a little girl who was so withdrawn and found it difficult to integrate with other children is starting to blossom and coming into her own right as a little person.  As a baby none of us ever thought that this quiet little person would be a child who is doing incredibly well at school and has the most beautiful smile and loves to be helpful to everybody. 

All our Tabitha ‘babies’ will be going to Grade RR next year.  We can’t believe they are growing up so quickly!

This is the heartfelt and very touching letter we received after donating shoes to some of the people living in Sweetwaters.  We were so pleased to be able to give this much-needed gift, and thank God for blessing us with the donation and making us grateful for things that we usually take for granted.

• Funding for the upkeep of Tabitha Ministries
• Health for children and staff
• School funding as 7 children have been accepted into Gateway Christian School for 2016
• Food for the Hope Centre and the Community Centre
• For God’s blessings upon Tabitha Ministries
• A safe and blessed Christmas and New Year to all at Tabitha, our Supporters, and all of our families.

School Funding – Several things are needed for the 7 children relocating to Gateway School next year and cash donations to cover things such as Stationery Bags (provided by school), school uniforms, school fees, etc. would be greatly appreciated.
Christmas Clothing – our children would be absolutely delighted to receive some new clothing for Christmas.  Our Tabitha Treasures range in age from 3 to 13.  Shoes are always welcomed, as our happy children play hard!  Cash donations, or vouchers for various shops would be so appreciated.
DVD Player – one of the items at Tabitha that gets used all the time.  Sadly, from playing so many movies after school and on weekends, the Boys’ DVD player has eventually decided to give up.
Old VHS Player (yes, we really mean it!) - We also have many old VHS movie cassettes and the kids love to watch any movies so if anyone still has a player, it would be great fully received.
Bicycles – any unwanted bicycles, old, new, slightly abused, pre-loved – we would be happy to take them off your hands.  A firm favourite with our kids, and we love that they get to expend some energy outdoors doing something as healthy as cycling.  We had a bicycle picnic outing last December, and would like to do the same again this year if we have enough bicycles.
PVC Swimming Pools – the kind that has a frame, if possible as it needs to be sturdy.  Unfortunately, we do not have a swimming pool, and the kids love to cool off in the water, especially in the holidays.  A few of our older kids go to swimming classes, but what a delight it would be for our younger ones to enjoy splashing about under strict supervision.
Jungle Gym – We at Tabitha, really encourage outdoor physical activities to build up the kids’ muscles and bones, and develop good coordination and motor skills.  It would be fantastic to have a larger, more challenging jungle gym to be able to do this. 
Volunteers – we are always looking for suitable volunteers with a passion and compassion for children – to help out at Tabitha in various ways.  Whether it be playing with the children, teaching them a new skill, assisting with lifts to and from activities, fund raising, donations, assisting with light duties at the Hope Centre.  Perhaps you know of people able to help with extra schooling subjects, people offering demonstrations for various activities, outings, contacts for sports coaching, hobbies, etc.  We would love to hear from you.  Please contact Gail Trollip if you are interested.

This is a first for Tabitha and we are so excited to be hosting a Christmas Market.  The purpose is to introduce the public to our wonderful children and caregivers, and to be able to see first-hand, the work that Tabitha does through God’s guidance.  The children will be hard at work making all sorts of goodies to sell so you can stock up on some of your Christmas stocking fillers.  Food and soft drinks will also be available, as well as a tea garden where you can enjoy delicious home baked treats under the trees. There will be a number of small, carnival type games, such as tossing rings over bottles to win prizes.  We will also have a jumping castle, popcorn and candy floss machines to make it even more festive and fun for the whole family.  Later that evening, we will be having Carols by Candlelight, where you can hear the angelic voices of our children joyfully singing a number of Christmas Carols.
Saturday, 5th December 2015 at Tabitha Ministries, 30 Doull Road, cnr. Abattoir Road, Pietermaritzburg, GPS Coordinates :  S29⁰36.705' / E30⁰21.715'  From 1 to 5 pm for the Christmas Market, Carols will be from 6 to 7 pm.  Entrance fee is any cash donation.  Please bring your own chair for the Carols!
We hope you will support our cause and enjoy some Christmas fun and festivities with your family.  Please contact: Gail Trollip on 083 597 2323 or Jean Rossouw on 076 894 9802 for more information.

We will be featuring a follow up article on little Sethiwe Malevu, truly one of God’s many miracles and an absolute joy to Tabitha Ministries. 

Be calm, patient and courteous on the roads this festive season – and stay safe

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