Yebo Life's team started out as a mismatched group of people who had one thing in common—a desire to see South Africa restored to Jesus with hope, value, and self-worth. In 2016, however, things changed. You could say that they got, well, more serious (in a good way). The realization that God is actually using Yebo Life to support and develop local ministries in Cape Town hit us hard, and so, we grew, developed, and even retreated!
OUR 2016 TEAM PHOTO
This photo was taken of our team in the garden behind our office space. From left to right: Monique Coetzee, Fanus Spammer, Richard Harris, Tony Barwick, Julie Barwick, Ross Krabbe, and Catherine Krabbe.
In January 2016, Ross and Catherine Krabbe responded to God's calling on their lives and said "yes" to joining the Yebo Life team! They had met the Barwicks a few months prior while Tony and Julie were in the U.S. Just 10 months later, Ross and Catherine packed their bags and moved to Cape Town from Knoxville, TN!
A PAID STAFF
In March 2016, Yebo Life cut its very first payroll! Much thanks to Julie's work in the States, the Barwicks were able to free up fundraising dollars (that had previously covered their living expenses) to start paying their South African team members. Monique and Fanus became full-time staff, and Richard remained part-time.
Other team milestones in 2016
- We started a bi-monthly B-group and G-group to invest in our team as individual men and women. These gatherings alternated throughout the month with one-on-one work meetings with Tony and each team member.
- Richard attended the Courage training course in Muizenberg that taught attendees how to better reach youth males.
- Richard attended an eight-week Mission Shaped Ministries course at the Church of the Holy Spirit.
- We started hosting monthly team socials. We realized that we worked and served together—a lot, but that we hardly spent any fun, quality time together as a team.
- We had our first team retreat in August! This was an incredible time for mid-year reflection, planning, and rest.
- Tony got to spend two months in the U.S. building stateside relationships for Yebo Life.
- Richard drank 58 cups of Republic Coffee—in 33 days.
We say it all the time—without our supporters (and God), we'd be nowhere. We are beyond thankful for our growing tribe of prayer warriors and financial backers, and in 2016, we started thinking about ways we can better share our work in Cape Town with all of them. From social media to postcards to monthly donor updates, our heart is to effectively communicate (through words, visuals, and videos) what God is doing on the ground here.
We finished the year with a total of 10 faithful monthly givers. In total, these 10 individuals, couples, and churches contribute more than $1,600 per month to Yebo Life's operating budget. We are beyond, beyond, beyond thankful for these guys and gals, because the certainty of their donations really help us budget and forecast every single month. Thank you, legends!
You can signup to become a part of our 2017 monthly giving team by clicking here. Please note that the monthly recurring donation option is only available on a laptop or desktop computer.
STARS & STRIPES
Thanks to 12 other individuals, we raised an additional $1,650 in July from our Stars & Stripes fundraiser! We are so thankful for those who have helped make our annual fundraisers, like $15 on the 15th and Stars & Stripes, a huge success. Each of you helps give us a jumpstart to the year ($15 on the 15th in January) and a mid-year boost (Stars & Stripes in July). High five!
Aside from operations funding, Yebo Life also raises money to help its ministry partners with project needs. In 2016, our supporters provided 20 weeks of nutritious food to the soup kitchen, built a house for a family in need, funded a security gate for a church, helped provide school uniforms and supplies to more than 250 children, donated art supplies to keep the weekly craft ministry going, and more.... winning!
You can view a list of our current project needs here.
In 2016, Yebo Life raised more than $38,000 for operations + PROJECT funding.
From the bottom of our hearts, we send the hugest thank you to all of those who gave—monthly and one-time! Our costs have been covered entirely by generous private donors who have faithfully funded our salaries, rent, office space, supplies, professional services, and projects, allowing us to invest in many local ministries in Cape Town.
As our team grew in 2016, so did our organization. Everything moved fast, and some days, let's be real... we struggled to keep up! But by God's grace, the organization is still thriving, and we're all still alive and well.
In January 2016, Yebo Life was approved as a public benefit organization (PBO) in South Africa. This status is the equivalent of a 501(c)(3) in the U.S. and allows us to issue tax deductions to South African givers. A really big, huge thank you is due to our God-fearing leader, Tony Barwick, for making this one happen!
We moved into our first office space in February 2016! Previously, we met in Tony and Julie's living room for meetings and when we needed to do things like prepare crafts and sort clothing. (Those were the good ole days!) We eventually bought a team table and chairs, and voilá—magic is happening!
As we grew, we realized the need for branding that's more indicative of what we do. Tony and Julie worked with designers to create our new logo, then Julie designed a new website for us. We launched our new look in November 2016, and are still super stoked about it!
OTHER ORGANIZATION MILESTONES IN 2016
- We got a coffee pot and a refrigerator!
- We finally established our vision, mission, ministry model, goals, and action plan. (The biggest success of 2016, according to Julie.)
- We signed the lease for Safe Haven, our new house for missions teams!
OUR MINISTRY PARTNERS
We always say that our ministry partners are the real rockstars in what we do! These men and women are some of the most patient, loving, sacrificial people we know, and they represent Jesus—day in and day out—in how they live their lives. We are so, so, so thankful for each and every one of them and for what they've taught us in the last three years. Gerald, Colleen, Edwin, Angie, Ronald, Ivan, and Bronwyn, we have so much for you guys!
RESTORING HANDS: NPO STATUS
We worked with Edwin and Angie Du Plooy of Restoring Hands to write and submit their application for nonprofit organization (NPO) status. In October 2016, we received word from the South African government that the application had been approved! This was a huge success for Restoring Hands, and the new platform is equipping them to do even more and better work in the Lavender Hill community. Watch the video above of the 2016 Restoring Hands Christmas Party!
CULTIVATING KINGDOM IN YOUR MINISTRY WORKSHOP
In November 2016, we hosted our first leadership development workshop for our ministry partners. The focus of the workshop was on "how we can consciously cultivate Kingdom in our ministries." As with any other job, the danger of feeling like our work has become mundane, purposeless, and routine is often looming! Jason Kennedy, the lead pastor of Antioch Community Church, was the keynote speaker, and 30+ people (including our ministry partners and their volunteers) were in attendance! We played games, had breakout discussions, and had a partner appreciation braai (BBQ) afterward at a local park.
FUTURE LIFE: GRANT APPLICATION
Ronald Abels of Future Life came to us in early 2016 and asked if we could help him write a grant application to receive funding for Future Talk's annual camp for Capricorn Primary School students. Since we'd already done some fundamental organization development work with Ronald, filling out the application was rather simple! Ronald, Tony, and Julie wrote and submitted the application in a single meeting, and in May, we found out that Future Life had been approved for a grant worth nearly $5,000! Watch the video above of the camp that happened as a result of receiving this funding.
OTHER ministry partner MILESTONES IN 2016
- We linked arms with a new ministry partner—Revelation Ministries—in October 2016!
- We built very deep friendships with each of our partners and many of their volunteers.
- Edwin and Angie of Restoring Hands had their first grandchild, and Tony and Julie were asked to be the godparents!
- Pastor Gerald and Colleen's (Christian Assemblies Church) youngest daughter, Melissa, got married!
- Angie went on a really awesome retreat for women in ministry.
- Sisterhood started and grew exponentially in Capricorn Park.
- The Cafda Sunday School was birthed.
- We celebrated the one year anniversary of the Restoring Hands craft ministry!
In addition to working alongside our ministry partners, our Yebo Life team does some other really cool work! At the end of the day, it all pieces together for the purpose of moving our vision forward. Other than being out in local communities, here are some of the things our team got up to in 2016!
It's really difficult to run a blossoming ministry and to develop it at the same time... we know firsthand! So early on, Julie recognized the need to help our ministry partners with the organizational development aspect of what they do. We're talking basics—like vision and mission statements, ministry models, and goals for the year. Tony and Julie were able to sit with the leaders of both Future Life and Restoring Hands in 2016 to help them better define what they do, and the outcomes included improved vision, clarity, a sense of pride/realization that God has entrusted them with a lot, and successful grant and NPO applications. Both Edwin and Ronald reported at the end of the year that these meetings were the most helpful thing we offered them in 2016.
Missions teams are not the focus of what we do, but boy, do we love them! Team Detroit (what Tony dubbed the group back in 2014) from Grace Christian Church in Sterling Heights, Michigan joined us in August 2016 for the third year in a row. The team was absolutely incredible, and they served their socks off for a week straight. They gave the Sunday morning message at Christian Assemblies, did a VBS at Brightly Beams, took all of the preschool children on a field trip, ran the craft ministry, served soup, did skits and gave their testimonies in the streets, and performed for the youth at Future Talk and Cross Life. They also got to have a lot of fun with our team and ministry partners! They went to Cape Point, saw Table Mountain, had a prayer and worship evening, and even went on a safari at a local game reserve.
Tony and Julie have hosted several Namesake Retreats in the past, but in October 2016, they offered the course for the first time in a workshop format. The decision to do this was based on our desire to meet the financial needs of many young adults in South Africa. Since the workshop didn't require overnight stays and meals, it was much more affordable! And while we love the retreat option, the workshop was a huge success! It was more concise, less overwhelming, and still very effective. We received incredible feedback from all of the young adults who attended and love watching what God's been doing in their lives ever since.
OTHER work MILESTONES IN 2016
- Richard and Ross organized a new wheelchair for Ridwaan, a physically disabled man who attends the Soup Kitchen every week.
- Monique and Tony had several meetings with other organization leaders to discuss the development of our early childhood development (ECD) work.
- Fanus captured photos and videos of nearly everything! We have him to thank for all of our great visuals and social media feeds.
- Catherine started the development of our donor relations department.
- Tony had meetings with potential new ministry partners.
2016 was our biggest year yet, and we are hoping to double our impact in 2017! Stay on board, buckle up and get ready for the adventure to come! Check out these numbers from our work with our ministry partners in 2016.
SERVED 156 Days at Brightly Beams
Thanks, Monique, for being our ECD rockstar! Your efforts at Brightly Beams have been so appreciated.
helped teach 104 Lessons at Future Talk
Richard, you were instrumental in the development of the curriculum for the Future Talk program!
helped COACH 52 SOCCER PRACTICES
Ross and Richard, your male presence at Future Stars has been so helpful and meaningful to the players!
Attended 6 church services at Christian Assemblies
helped children make 5,200+ crafts at the Soup Kitchen
Helped serve 7,800 bowls of soup at the Soup Kitchen
Supported 5 ministries that reach more than 1,000 local people every week in 2016
Held 44 team meetings
Had 78 one-on-one meetings with Tony (and sometimes Julie)
established new friendships with 2 more U.S. churches (we hope to see you guys in cape town in 2017!)