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Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Life & Times of Louis & Amber - Community Development

In December we took each of our kids back to their old neighborhoods to give them a chance to see old friends. Three of our boys come from a township called Phomolong. While things were pretty calm when we were there, Brian & Lois Niehoff, our co-workers, told us the last time they were there it was very unsettling. There were crowds of people gathered in the roads, and people were burning tires and blockading sections of streets, apparently in some sort of protest.

Brian & Lois have been in South Africa for almost 3 years, and have done much more traveling than we have. They have seen a few of the rough neighborhoods around the country. Brian in particular has seen his fair share of poverty. They said they have never felt the way they did that day. It can be a bit unnerving knowing the crime statistics, and knowing how common hi-jackings can be.

Anyway, all this to say that Phomolong is not the nicest place to be.

So this particular day we went out with the three boys to find their old home. My parents, Frank & Maggie, went along since they were visiting at the time. As we make the turn to enter the township, we see this building. For whatever reason, it struck us all as a bit ironic. From the first photo, I think it's clear that the building in question is a Community Development Center. The second photo reveals the irony. Apparently development doesn't extend to the roof.

If anyone reading this is in charge of a Community Development Committee, and you're looking to hire someone to head the project, check and see if they have Phomolong Community Development Coordinator on their resume. Because if they do, it may not be advisable to hire them. Just a suggestion.


  1. I actually worked on that committee. I never thought anyone would find out! Anyways, love you guys much and praying for you often...

    -Josh, Danielle, Marie & Tabitha

    p.s. the Boys State Tournament is 1 month away!

  2. Louis, let me tell you about poverty! Ha, good one, though cleverly disguised.