Testimonies From George, South Africa!

Challenge & Revelation, Missions, Photography

Victoria Bay

Sedgefield Community

Photo Credit: Cori Bridgeford

Knysna, South Africa is a beautiful place and I’m privileged to have traveled there. While it has many accommodations much more like America’s it still has squatter camps. These were not just any type of squatter camps. Shacks built on hills overlooking the grand homes closer to the beach, the mist of the ocean waves visible from their very front door. In the three and a half months I’ve been doing ministry in squatter camps I had never seen a community so desperate for God. The very first house we visited that week, God did a miracle. We met three women, sitting outside the door and we told them about the crusade. When we asked if we could pray for them, they led us to their mother who couldn’t walk. A frail old woman, named Sarah, lay curled up in her bed, muttering a few words to her daughter which she would translate to us. It had been thirteen years since she had walked. Sarah was in a lot of pain and had many medications trying to take it away. “I believe in Jesus.” She told us, “I believe He can heal me.” Excitedly we prayed for her, expecting the God of the Impossible to do a great miracle.

When we finished praying we asked if she felt any different and she said some of the pain was gone. She walked from her bedroom to the sitting area – a walk she had not made in 7 years! Two days later we stopped by again and were able to get to know the daughter, Sophie, better. She told us of how she took care of her mother Sarah and her son who was deaf and had a type of autism. With no job, she trusted the Lord for everything she had. Selflessly laying down her own needs for those of others, the stress on her face was evident. We began to pour into her the strength the Lord has for her, sharing scripture after scripture, her countenance had changed from burdened to joyful by the time we left!

The last night I saw Sophie at the crusade with a little girl who had been with us since the crusade had started earlier that week. We all knew her well, seeing her and playing with her so often. “This one is a soup-kitchen child.” Sophie told me, “I gave her a piece of bread.. I have my own problems!” While this woman had compassion she seemed quite irritated, still holding the little girl. When I asked where her parents were she responded saying the father was dead and the mother had disappeared. “Is she staying with you?” I asked. “No!” “Where does she stay then?” I asked. Sophie continued to talk about the soup kitchen and all I could think about was how this four year old girl had no family and was apparently getting food from the soup kitchens.

There are children who have no homes. Who don’t know where their family is or where their next meal is going to come from. This trip not only made me grow into the faith God gave me for his healing but opened my eyes to see the deeper reality that these people live in every day. Please be praying for the seeds sown in our times of ministry and that the Lord would continue  to work on their hearts!


A Heart For the Lost, A Vision to Deliver

Life updates, Missions

Africa has really been on my heart (more than normal) this past month. I will be going on a long-term missions trip to South Africa in January to intern with Impact Africa for a year. I am so stoked!

When I visited a few months ago, the ministry time that I was involved in was more than I had had in my entire lifetime! We ministered to the people living in dilapidated shacks, walking on beaten paths with broken glass scattered along the dirt floor. These one-bedroom shacks were usually made out of tin, sometimes wood, mostly any scraps that could be found. They paid to live there. They would walk for miles to find a job so that they could eat that day. Yet in a place were tomorrow wasn’t guaranteed, they had such joy.

We ministered to the children living in the camps as well. Just being able to love on these kids and play with them was a tremendous blessing. These camps aren’t always safe, though. Many children who wander around the camp during the day are in danger of being assaulted, like one little girl I met while in South Africa. Her eleven year old neighbor had raped her and she was only 9 years old. One teen girl I talked with while in the camps was finishing high school and was the only one of her many friends that was not sexually active. “I don’t have a lot of friends anymore,” She tells me, “most of them just want to spend time with their boyfriends or are taking care of their children.” I nod as I listen to her. “I want to finish school and do something with my life.” She says. I immediately connect with her, Finally someone with a vision!

In the two weeks I spent there, I have enough stories to write for hours and tell you them all, and I wish I could! But what I’m writing about to you today is much bigger.

We all have places we want to go in life. Plans or dreams that inspire us to keep growing in our walk with God, motivation for the future. I have a dream. A vision God has put on my heart. I want to make an impact on South Africa. I want to spread the Love of God like a wildfire, I want to deliver these people from the cultural lies, dream killing situations, and destiny blocking mentalities. God has put this passion so deep into my heart, I can’t imagine being anywhere else.

Why I am I telling you this?

Because I need you to partner with this vision. It cost 16,000 dollars for a one-year internship. Many of the interns embarking on this trip have had a year to raise the funds, I only have a few short months! The funds will go toward housing, air fare, visa, and living expenses. Without partners who whole-heartedly believe in this mission and the people willing to support in prayer, this trip would be impossible. I believe prayer is the most influential asset in this ministry and I encourage you to be in prayer for salvations, miracles, and healings. Please also intercede that the Lord gives me words of wisdom, favor, protection, and to be in the right place at the right time.

In addition to accepting one-time donations, I’m also looking for monthly partners. Your gift(s) will be tax deductible, IF checks are written to Impact Africa. My name cannot be ANYWHERE on the check if you desire to receive tax credit. I will collect the checks and then send them to Impact Africa.

As a partner, I would like to offer you the opportunity to join with me in this ministry adventure. On the last trip, I wrote every day, sharing my favorite part of ministry, and pictures from that day. These will still be posted on here as well!! I had so many people telling me how the posts affected them and moved them, why not sow a seed into reaching the people of God that you may not necessarily be able to?! Your support in these last couple of months mean so much and I am absolutely psyched to be able to partner with you in this upcoming year, what a great way to start 2013!!

To mail checks send them to:

Impact Africa
PO Box 702511

Saint Cloud, FL 34770

**Include a slip of paper with the ID#IMEAB102 (this will notify them your funds will go to support my account for the internship)**

To give monthly:

-Go to the Impact Africa website

-Select Reoccurring Monthly Donation

-Write my name in the notes to specify your monthly support

If you need any more information, PLEASE email me at ashleybbridges(at)gmail.com . I look forward to hearing from you!