Sydney Priester is a champion in the impoverished community of Capricorn Park in Cape Town, South Africa. She hails from the United States but has had a dream ever since she was a young child to live in Africa; and now she's here, living that dream.
She runs an art therapy program for girls and women called Sisterhood, where the vision is to provide a safe space for females to come and express themselves as well as experience the love of Jesus. Capricorn Park is a very low income area where abuse, drugs, and prostitution are prevalent and so the space space created by Sisterhood is a breath of life-giving fresh air and is often life-changing for those who attend.
For Sydney, this isn’t work and she often quotes Mark Anthony who said, "If you love what you do you will never have to work a day in your life." That makes a lot of sense because Sydney is a passionate, full-time missionary who relies on people to generously give of their finances so that she can fulfill her God-given calling! This might seem like a small thing to some people, but the gesture of generosity has completely altered the trajectory of Sydney's life.
You never know what impact you're having!
"Sisterhood Moms" happens every Thursday morning. Sydney's been running this program for a year now, and honestly, she struggled to see tangible impact. She continually connected with the moms who attended—offering them a place to speak openly and honestly and gaining their trust and friendship. Many struggle with drug addiction. Many are being abused in their own homes. And many don't know Jesus as their Savior.
Starting this year, Sydney said she's begun to see some budding sprouts of impact.
The women are trusting her with the deep struggles they're facing. She's seeing their faith (or interest in having it) increase. She's seeing their confidence develop, even to the point of the ladies wanting to teach the weekly lesson. One of the mothers that has been struggling with drugs has even enrolled to study childhood education, which is SO exciting.
When you plant a seed, the roots grow down deep long before any part of the plant reaches the surface. Likewise, the impact your efforts have is often not seen for a long time... and in some cases, never.
But be assured that your generosity, your love, your prayers are having long-lasting effects on the receiver of your gift. Be encouraged that when you give of yourself, the fruit is great.