A Brief Outline of OUR South African History
2007 – Arrive in Africa to serve in the township of Masiphumelele
- Kevin begins a basketball ministry, which turns into a house church
- Tonya falls pregnant and gets to be sick for nine months! Saving the world would have to wait.
- We get the great opportunity to come alongside Floyd McClung as he begins All Nations.
- Asher was born Sept. 2007, and Chesney starts Grade 1.
- Kevin continues discipling young men through basketball and house churches.
- YWAM short-term outreach teams start coming to Masi, which Kevin facilitates.
- Tonya establishes two women’s house churches in Masiphumelele, with Asher in tow, and assists in launching Baby Safe (an alternative to tragic "baby dumping". Our Baby Safe has led to many successful adoptions!)
- Tonya writes Traffick Proof, and Justice ACTS – a counter-human trafficking organization is born.
- Justice ACTs grows far faster than expected, expanding from prevention, to sex worker outreach, to investigation, to legislation, to media… etc. (Whew.)
- The first YWAM Masi Team is established with Kevin as the leader.
- The first person from Masiphumelele completes a Discipleship Training School and joins YWAM as a missionary.
- Justice ACTs rolls out a prevention campaign across the Nation of South Africa to combat human-trafficking in preparation for the 2010 World Cup. (And, get interviewed on ESPN... Go figure!)
- Justice Acts is invited to co-write proposed legislation which eventually is included in a comprehensive counter-human trafficking law for the nation which will create task forces and funding to fight human trafficking at a government level. (Tonya is basically working herself out of a job.)
- Kevin shoulders a larger part of our home life, but continues to pour into his key young men in Masi, watching them become leaders and missionaries, realizing he’s working himself out of a job too.
- A convert from “the island that must not be named” pitches up at our door saying he’s in need of asylum. Kevin’s focus shifts to refugees from unreached people groups and back to a beloved, “most difficult to evangelize” African island.
- The S-CAPE Home Safe House opens its doors to victims of human-trafficking and sexual exploitation under the leadership of the Justice Acts co-founder, Miryam Danam.
- Tonya goes to Uganda with Justice Acts colleague, Kimberly Brune, to assist an Albino woman seeking asylum. The woman was nearly killed by traffickers who wanted to sell her skeleton to witch doctors on the black market. (Yes, that’s all true.)
- Tonya begins to step back from leading Justice ACTs, while at the same time Asher is diagnosed with some significant developmental issues.
- Chesney is just awesome, excelling in everything… from dance, to singing, to drama and school.
- An “island which must not be named” house is purchased in Masi, full of asylum seekers Kevin is discipling.
- Kevin opens a shop in Masi to assist these refugees in becoming self-sustaining.
- The Jesus House is purchased in Masi, and more short-term teams flow through the township.
- Justice Acts International is fully established, led by Tonya’s colleagues, Kimberly and Oliver Brune… launching work in New Zealand, Thailand, and Moldova.
- Tonya shifts gears and begins working toward her Master’s in Spiritual Formation and Discipleship and strategizing Asher’s therapy.
- Chesney's dance teachers offer her scholarships so she can take classes 5 days per week. (We feel like her chauffeurs! )
- Kevin completed the first worship album, ever, sung in the local language of “the island which must not be named”, which was secretly distributed there and everywhere their dialect is spoken. He continues to disciple young African men and refugees.
- The first short-term team from our YWAM campus goes to “the island that must not be named”.
- Tonya is finding her way as founder, lending support to the ministries born out of Justice ACTs and adoring her studies.
- Asher has made astounding progress with various therapies… the push is still on.
- Chesney continues to be awesome. She’s 13!!
- Chesney begins high school and Asher, Kindergarten.
- Kevin leads worship for Nations to Nations in Cambodia.
- Kevin leads the first Sound of the Nations 8 week music camp with his African co-leaders, Billy and MJ… and a new team and ministry is born.
- Tonya continues with her Master’s, teaching, and supporting Justice ACTs and S-CAPE Home.
- Tonya goes to Malawi to train Traffick Proof presenters and teach on justice.
- Tonya graduates with a Masters in Christian Spiritual Formation and Discipleship!
- We take a 6-week outreach as a family to lead the Sound of the Nations music camp in Battambang, Cambodia!
- Kevin and co-leaders lead a Cape Town Sound of the Nations 6-week music camp and produce the first Sound of the Nations (student and staff) CD.
- One of our music camp students becomes the first woman from our township to complete a Discipleship Training School!
- Kevin's disciple from “the island that must be named” completes a DTS & joins YWAM staff to become the first missionary from his nation!
- Justice Acts International begins working in France, and S-Cape Home breaks ground on its new 4-bedroom extension.
- Asher takes up cricket, and we don’t know the rules. He also likes to be read science books for bedtime.
- Sound of the Nations leads a 3 week music camp in Kochi, India. Ches joins in as a student.
- Chesney does a 1 month dance outreach in Brazil!
- Tonya joins the Faculty Staff Team for the next Master’s in Christian Formation and Discipleship, using her skills of teaching, tutoring, editing for a new class of 21 ministry leaders and disciplers across the world. (She also enrolls in a year-long course on Girardian Mimetic Theory!)
- Chesney switches to homeschooling and finds herself much happier.
- Asher is formally diagnosed with ADHD, mildly on the spectrum and moderate hearing loss, and a VERY high I.Q.! He gets a hearing aid, meds, and his social and school life improve drastically. We take a deep breath.
- Justice Acts France is established and S-CAPE Home is growing their staff.
- Kevin and co-founders run a Sound of the Nations 6-month Discipleship Training School (DTS) with outreaches to Mauritius & Reunion Islands.
- Sound of the Nations also runs a month long music camp in Madagascar with S. African and Malagasy staff... along with the DTS outreach students. Ches leads a dance workshop, and Asher greets EVERYONE he sees in French and Malagasy.
- Tonya continues to staff the Masters degree program and has increasing opportunities to write, speak & teach.
- S-Cape home recruits new volunteers committed to creating a house for child victims of trafficking.
- Kevin and Tonya celebrate 25 years of marriage!!!!!!!
- Sound of the Nations runs their second DTS with outreaches in Brazil and Malawi.
- Sound of the Nations Band leads worship for the largest global YWAM gathering to date in Thailand.
- Tonya is flown to Australia to teach & is part of YWAM’s emerging Centre for Spiritual Formation. She’s also begins training to become an Enneagram practitioner.
- Tonya moves to the Founder’s Circle of the Safe House. Reports of Traffick Proof being used in various places across the globe continue. We estimate over 100,000 lives have been "Trafficked Proofed."
- Asher joins a young conservationist club and finds his groove.
- Chesney’s life-long best friend passes away, making this hardest year ever, for all of us. (He was such a large part of our home and lives.) Yet, she graduates high school and is awarded a 3-year professional dance training scholarship with JazzArt, South Africa's oldest contemporary dance company.
- Our disciple from the Island-That-Must-Not-Be-Named is recruited by WyCliffe and awarded a scholarship for a Master's in Bible Translation. His goal... to translate the entire New Testament into his tribal language!
- A 2nd disciple from Island-That-Must-Not-Be-Named completes his DTS and English as a 2nd language course. His plan is to come to Cape Town to continue intensive discipleship and training. Kevin also assists in rebuilding homes on the island that were destroyed by a cyclone.
- Tonya is on the leadership team of a 5 month training school on peacemaking and conflict resolution as academic advisor (and also teaching, leading contemplative experiences and a retreat.) She also continues her enneagram training and begins coaching, as well as leading a contemplative small group of young missionary leaders.
- Kevin and Tonya staff (not lead) a 6 month discipleship training school. Their heart is to walk alongside it's female African leader with the goal of seeing her succeed.
- Kevin steps in to oversee the Jesus House in Masiphumelele, as well as ministering to the staff of a children's tutoring program. His discipleship of young men from there continues.
- Justice Acts and the Traffic Proof have new life as a new leader steps in to continue the vision.
- Chesney begins her rigorous dance training program. (8 hours per day/5 days per week... and loves it.)
- Asher starts a private school and is like a new kid. He excels at math and basketball and makes a best friend. So many years of prayers are answered. Thank you to so many who are giving toward his tuition.
2020 - COVID 19 ARRIVED AND EVERYTHING CHANGED - South Africa faces a nation wide humanitarian crisis of hunger and our ministry focus shifts to feeding the poor....
- What began with food parcels for families, ended up becoming a network of soup kitchens run out of our Jesus House by us, other NGO's and in partnership with local heroes. At one point, together, we were feeding 5000 kids per week in Masiphumelele. The Soup Kitchen we personally oversaw, fed 300 children 4 days per week for the majority of the year. We also resourced a Mamma Edith, who cooked for 150 children 3x per week out of her own little home. As the lockdown lifted, that many soup kitchens were no longer needed. But, food parcels continue on to families, refugees, etc.
- We saw an actual miracle of God multiplying 5 food parcels into 6 when an unexpected refugee showed up during our organizing and distributing them! (We have the receipts to prove it! Look at pic below.)
- A fire raged through the poor section of Masi, leaving 4000+ folks homeless, including the families of 20 children in the Jesus House tutoring program. Kevin oversaw refurbishing their new shacks. $10,000 dollars was raised, mattresses, cook stoves, etc. were bought!
- Tonya was part of producing a 2 week webinar with 200 international participants on racial reconciliation and discipleship. One of our guest speakers is Dr. Martin Luther King's colleagues! She also began training to become a certified Spiritual Director (and continues enneagram training, coaching, and working with the Master's program).
- Kevin went to the The Island Which Must Not Be Named with our disciple "M" from there. They laid the relational ground work for a clean water project in 2021 for "M's" village.
- Chesney continued dance online for a portion of the year; important shows were canceled, necessary training was lost. But, she grew into an amazing vegan cook and produced some incredible dance videos.
- Asher grew soooo much! He now towers over Tonya and Chesney! And, we all agree digi-school is the worst.