Astrid’s blog: Raydene’s story

September 2023

Now that Victory4All has been around for quite a while, we see more and more examples of changed lives of children who have attended one of our schools or programmes. Though some stories don’t end in a positive way, we thankfully hear a lot more wonderful testimonies about what Victory4All has meant for children and how it impacted their lives.

Raydene is one of these great examples. She was 13 years old when she was placed in Victory4All’s very first foster home, and she had known a lot of misery in her life. The foster home and especially the foster parents have given her hope. In this new family she was seen, heard and looked after. She was able to experience that her nightmares could be turned into beautiful dreams. Dreams of a life without fear and pain.

It’s not an easy process. The children who must be removed from their families, have experienced the most horrible things and are seriously traumatised. Many children who grow up in the townships live in terrible conditions and one can only imagine how bad the situation must be when Child Protection Services decides to remove a child from its circumstances.

Raydene shares her story in a beautiful video. Click here to watch her testimony.

In the video you can hear Raydene say that she wonders how many more horrible things would have happened to her if Victory4All had not built the foster homes. Despite all the difficulties we often run into in this part of the ministry, we keep our focus on all the good things that happen.

I have so much respect for the foster parents. It’s far from easy to run a household that is made up of traumatised children! And that is putting it mildly. And I also salute our own social workers, who mentor and support the parents and children and often have to deal with the court and different governmental departments.

A very kind family sponsored Raydene’s further education, the bible school and her studies to become a teacher. I have seen her grow into a strong, confident, wise and hardworking young woman, who is now teaching at King’s College! Isn’t that great? She, in return, wants to invest in children and give back what she received.

Every now and again the social workers will ask her to spend some time with the children who are currently living in the foster homes. Foster children often have a very low self-esteem and it’s hard for them to believe that they will someday make it in life. Raydene helps them to get a positive view on the future and encourages them to grab hold of every offered opportunity. She is the living example. That is what gives the children an anchor in the storms of life.

I also would like to give a big word of thanks to every person who is involved in investing in the foster children (we have 8 homes in which 6 children can be taken in). The parents and social workers can’t do it alone. There are a lot of volunteers involved who help with homework, donate clothing and food, sponsor school fees, organise outings, offer free therapy, etcetera.

Lots of people and organisations are involved in this wonderful ministry.

A huge THANK YOU to all of you!