3 Things We Have Learned from the Wildschutts

Gerald and Colleen in front of the church and preschool with the Barwicks

Gerald and Colleen Wildschutt serve as the co-founders of Brightly Beams Educare and the pastoral leadership for Christian Assemblies Church in Lavender Hill, a community in the Cape Flats of Cape Town. 

Gerald and Colleen run their ministries in a community where the everyday is not easy. People in the community try their hardest to live life, while being faced with extreme poverty and active gangsterism everywhere they look, not to mention the strong draw to drug abuse. 

Even though this is the reality that Gerald and Colleen live with, they have become a beacon of hope and a light in the darkness to the people around them. One of the means by which the Wildschutts have been impacting their community is by opening Brightly Beams Educare. They see it as a way of opening doors to the parents in the community, and when families are having domestic problems, their door is open for counsel. 

If you want to change the world, go home and love your family.
— Mother Teresa

The first thing we learned from Gerald and Colleen is how to be long suffering. They are a true example of this, as the core of their spirit is to serve others as the Lord served the world—not taking their own needs into account but looking to the needs of others before them. The couple always looks to the needs of their staff first and foremost. Everyday they sacrifice what they want for the needs of the children of Brightly Beams and for the people in the community that need their support.

This powerful community leadership team also believes in second chances. We have seen them handle many situations with the grace of the Lord—whether it be forgiving someone that has wronged them or employing someone who has been struggling to find work. They see the worth and value in the people of Lavender Hill. They believe in people's future potential and hold fast to the redemption of the Lord. 

Last but not least, we have learned how important relationship is. Before everything else, Gerald and Colleen value and respect their relationships with others. In our relationship with them, we have seen their respect, loyalty, and honesty play out, and we have become better for it. They have shown us that when you have open honest relationship with others, the world is opened to you... and your opportunities are limitless.

When we think of the lives the Wildschutts live and their open hearts, we can’t help but think of the story of the widow in Mark 12. Out of love for the Lord, she gave the last coin she had. Gerald and Colleen give out of the wealth of their hearts, and as a sweet aroma, give of their lives out of deep love for God.