HOW TO LIVE A FULFILLED LIFE BY VOLUNTEERING

How to live a fulfilled life

Have you ever had that feeling of emptiness, worthlessness, kind of under the weather and wondering if what you are doing is meaning anything at all?

I know that I felt like that quite often until I have discovered what a blessing it is to be able to mean something to someone. I am not talking about what you are doing for your husband/wife or child, but what it feels like to make a real difference in someone’s life.

Do you know that you have the ability to change lives for the better?  When you do that, it pleases God tremendously. The Word of God says in James 1:27 “External religious worship (religion as it is expressed in outward acts) that is pure and unblemished in the sight of God the Father is this; to visit and help and care for orphans and widows in their affliction and need…”

The SAVF provides a wonderful platform for that. Anyone can, and everyone should become a volunteer.

You ask me WHY? I will tell you:

  • The more you give, the happier you will become. You can give anything, like your time, talents, professional help, materialistic things or money. Anything that you feel in your heart is needed, is welcome.
  • It will increase your self-confidence.
  • It will give you a sense of accomplishment and pride.
  • It will become part of your identity.

What can you gain from being a volunteer?

  • Tremendous personal growth.
  • Making a positive difference.
  • Meet new people.
  • Learn new skills.
  • Take on a challenge.
  • Have a lot of fun!

Did you know that being a volunteer has social benefits?

  • It improves mental and physical health.
  • It gives you better brain function.
  • It lowers risks for depression and anxiety.
  • It improves the immune system.
  • Benefits come quickly and have long-term effects.

How will you be able to grow personally?

  • learn industry-related skills;
  • learn how to work in a team;
  • you will learn strong leadership skills and set an example for others;
  • you will be able to have leadership opportunities;
  • learn problem solving and adaptability;
  • improve your communication skills;
  • learn how to plan and prioritise work;
  • also, learn sales skills;
  • learn to do time management;
  • get real world experience;
  • gain new perspective;
  • learn to explore more;
  • learn about the value of commitment;
  • improve your organizational skills;
  • learn to appreciate others and you will be appreciated as well;
  • receive a lot of respect from the community, other volunteers and the personnel of the SAVF;

Why is it important to be a volunteer?

  • You are changing lives and making a positive difference.
  • It is good for your health and wellbeing.
  • You can use it on your resume to demonstrate your commitment to the community and willingness to work.

I challenge you to live, experience, grow and be the change!

What does it mean to be a difference maker?

  • To be someone who has an impact or an effect.
  • To be one who brings about change.
  • It takes uniqueness to make a difference, so be unique.

Did you know that is a legal obligation for NPO managements to consist of volunteers? The community have to manage the NPO. Each service management has to have at least five volunteers (not personnel). The SAVF have 89 service managements and could even grow more. We are in desperate need of committed volunteers to help us with need in the community. The SAVF cannot function without volunteers. Everyone is welcome to join us, and if you have skills to learn us or guide us with, you will be invaluable to the organization.

Volunteers have been the roots of the SAVF. They are the people with heart. People’s people. They do invaluable work in areas of need together with the personnel of the SAVF. Without volunteers, the SAVF would not be able to provide for so many in need.

Volunteers…

We honour you,

We appreciate you,

WE NEED YOU.

Contact a facility near you www.savf.co.za

Dedré Delport – SAVF 2e Vice-president

SHADOW OF DEATH

The past few months Psalm 23 became a reality in my life.

Psalm 23:4 “Yes, though I walk through the (deep, sunless) valley of the shadow of death, I will fear or dread no evil, for You are with me; Your rod (to protect) and Your staff (to guide), they comfort me”.

My valley of the shadow of death started on 6 December 2017. I was admitted to hospital for a hysterectomy. Usually, I am not a scared person, but before this operation, I was literally shivering with fear. The last thing that I remember is that the hospital personnel took me to the theatre. Just before they gave me the aesthetics, I said; “Lord I give my spirit over in Your hands”.

People that visited me the next day told me that I was looking good, NO make-up, jokes and everything. I even prayed for some people. (Things I can’t remember at all).

Two later after I was transferred to another hospital’s ICU, where they found out that there was something wrong with my kidneys. They were also smaller than usual and didn’t function as they should. I needed 8 pints of blood and dialyses thereafter. I also had fluid in my lungs and had to get draining pipes to get rid of it. Furthermore, I had internal bleeding and my body went into septic shock. So I went back into theatre and had to go three days with an open wound before they could close me up again. I was very ill and a lot of people thought that I was going to die. Some people tell me that I was very swollen up and my skin looked yellow, even my eyes were yellow. Other people tell me that I was just a skeleton lying there. I have no idea what I looked like at which stage and most of these events I can’t remember. What I do know is that many people visited me and prayed for me.

I also know that I was very close to death. So much so, that I could taste it. I was lying in this cold dark place, not scared at all, but very, very tired. Tired to fight to live… Everyday death teased me and I fought with all my might to live. I got so tired of my body, soul, and spirit and I could feel how the life was leaving me slowly but surely.

But God is faithful and something wonderful happened. The Holy Spirit spoke to me and said; “Is God not bigger than this?” So I spontaneously started to sing and praise God in tongues within my spirit. Immediately I shot out of my situation like a rocket. I shot out through the deep, deep waters, remembering all the air bubbles as I went up and up till I reached the top of the earth. There was life, sunlight, green grass and beautiful colourful flowers. And for the first time, I heard people praying and angels singing praises to God. Since that moment my situation started to turn around and I was improving.

If you consider everything then, I basically had 4 operations, spent 28 days in ICU and then 2 weeks in the general ward, before I went home. Since I was admitted to the hospital until I went home I lost 14kg and weighed 49kg. Recovery was a very big thing. I had to learn to eat, walk and look after myself again. A caretaker took care of me for six weeks since I wasn’t able to do anything for myself. I was so weak that I didn’t even have any energy to have a conversation. Recovery is a very slow process and not easy at all. But it is going better each day and I trust God for total healing. I thank Him every day for what He has done for me thus far.

Psalm 23:5-6 “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil, my cup runs over. Surely or only goodness, mercy and unfailing love shall follow me all the days of my life and through the length of my days the house of the Lord (and His presence) shall be my dwelling place”.

I’m looking forward to a wonderful future…

My heart overflows with thankfulness to every single person that prayed for me. To family, friends, people from Shalom (my congregation) and everyone in the SAVF, especially to my beautiful daughter and wonderful husband, who never gave up on me. If it wasn’t for the prayers of these people, I would not have lived today. The Scriptures teaches us in James 5:16(b) “The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available (dynamic in its working).

Jesus took the keys of death and the power over life and death is in God’s hands. He has the last word and He said I may live. To God the glory forever and ever…

Dedré Delport

076 301 0147

I feel new life

I feel new life
I feel new life; it’s dead in me
It’s me alone; instead of “we”
We had much fun, but now, it’s gone
I want to talk, but there is none.

Oh, when HE heard, he walked away
The fun is gone; why should he stay?
Mom shouted out: “You’re on your own!”
It’s like they all picked up a stone!

No one talked to me before
How could I know what is in store?
Who will I ask what it’s about?
How…will they get the baby out?

Every year 500 000 to a million babies are born from teenagers. Mothers sigh. Nurses get angry. Teachers sneer and young fathers run away. The result? Neglected babies, school dropouts, poverty, suicide, even worse parent-teenager relationships than before. It doesn’t help, does it?
Something has to be done. Our babies suffer most!
All our sighs, anger, humiliating looks, words and judgment only make things worse. We need to ask: “What do we do now?” This is a discussion parents should have with their teenage parents-to-be.
The best thing for a teenage parent in this challenging process is the support of his/her parents. Oh yes, parents have their own pain and struggle. This we need to unload with good friends or a counsellor who can listen and guide us into the best direction for the child’s sake. When we as parents are with our teen parent-to-be, we need to talk about the pregnancy, the baby’s development and care, our teen’s feelings and plans and the importance of school. Visits to the clinic can be much more meaningful with Mom joining her pregnant teenager.
Try to understand the challenges of going to school when teachers are often not supportive, but judgmental. Teenagers often drop out of school, because it became so difficult to face their peers and teachers whom they feel team up against them. Some girls try to commit suicide, because of the hopelessness of their lonely situation. Mom’s support can make the difference.
Nurses at clinics are key people to ensure that the unborn baby gets proper nutrition as well as a mother who understand how to take care of her baby. Guide the young parent and inform her well. Allow the young father to also get the much-needed information. It will encourage him to be involved, which will benefit the baby. His involvement can make a world of difference to our future generation.
Our schools and churches need to become the supportive and guiding bodies for young parents – rather than judging them and making them feel little and useless. A young mother feeling worthless finds it very hard to raise a child with good self-confidence.
Earlier this year we presented the Rebuilding Dreams programme to 900 teenage mothers and fathers in Gauteng. Pregnancy at a young age often means broken dreams of fun and joy, a white marriage, education or a good job. Some teenagers wanted to commit suicide, other thought of abortion. Teenagers found it difficult to talk to their parents and couldn’t face going back to school. We guided them to face their broken dreams, deal with it and start new – step by step. They learnt how to be involved fathers and mothers.
Many found joy, rebuilt relationships and made new plans. They found support in each other and in their group leaders, who became their mentors. They discovered teenage pregnancy is a sad, broken dream, but not the end of their lives. With the support of the community, especially their parents, they could rebuild their dreams.
Contact Erna Rheeder at SAVF FAMNET, erheeder@savf.co.za for more about “Rebuilding Dreams.”