Listen to Episode 7


What is dependency syndrome? When we've been taught that we can't do something, and we start to believe it. The wild part? It's almost never true. In this episode we hear from our staff expert Sheree Reece, and three partners from different places who are working to help empower folks. Listen to episode 7 to find out how Josue Andre in Haiti, Funnie Nkhoma in Malawi, and Rev. Siphiwe Madi in South Africa are working toward unique sustainable community solutions.


Funnie Nkhoma – Malawi – Vocational Program Coordinator 

  • Has a degree in Social Work from Catholic University, graduated in 2020. 
  • Began working for the Malawi United Methodist Church in Aug 2019 
  • When she was growing up, she wanted to be a mother as a full-time job – she thought you could get paid for it. 
  • She also faked sickness as a child, so she did not have to go to school simply because she heard the world was ending the next day due to an eclipse. 
  • Her goal is to have an excellent job that she enjoys doing, that she is happy in her life outside of her work and wants to make a positive impact in people’s lives.  

  • She wants to learn as much as she can until she can take on a leadership role. 
  • She would like to earn her PhD.

Rev Siphiwe Madi – South Africa – Pastor of West View Methodist Church  

Siphiwe is an Ordained Minister in the Methodist Church of Southern Africa.   

He has served Cross cultural congregations within the MCSA and is currently serving at West View Methodist Church in Centurion, a partner Church of the Church of the Resurrection.  

Siphiwe is married to Lwethu and they are blessed with two children, Esihle and Okuhle. 

Josue Andre – Haiti – Director of Grassroot Community Voices 

Bio coming soon!


Dependency vrs. Interdependency - The goal is to build a relationship. When we have relational capital we can have more open conversations about what works and what doesn't.

In the clip from Rev. Siphiwe he mentioned a time when he had to have a difficult conversation with us. He was referencing a time when we kept making suggestions, instead of asking questions. In order to have those hard conversations we had to have mutual trust within the relationship. To shake bad habits we have to have open communication and a healthy relationship.

As always thanks for listening!

Love, the podsquad

Listen to Episode 2


Get to know Rev. Siphiwe Madi & Rev. Ian France two Methodist Pastors from South Africa doing life transforming work side by side in their community. They work together in one of the most vulnerable communities near Johannesburg, Mooisplaas.  They come from two very different backgrounds and will help us unpack stereotypes and culture.  Learn a little bit more about South Africa, it's history, current intricacies, and two amazing men!

Reverend Siphiwe Madi

Rev Siphiwe Madi – South Africa – Pastor of West View Methodist Church  

Siphiwe is an Ordained Minister in the Methodist Church of Southern Africa.   

He has served Cross cultural congregations within the MCSA and is currently serving at West View Methodist Church in Centurion, a partner Church of the Church of the Resurrection.  

Siphiwe is married to Lwethu and they are blessed with two children, Esihle and Okuhle. 

Reverend Ian France

Reverend Ian France Pastor of West View Methodist Church  

Ian is an ordained minister (Elder in UMC terminology) in the Methodist Church of Southern Africa and has a relationship with Church of the Resurrection spanning over 2 decades. He has served congregations in England, Cape Town, Durban and is currently at West View Methodist Church in Centurion, South Africa. Ian is married to Holly, and they have 3 children. Ian enjoys the outdoors - camping, hiking and road running. 

Students at Ditshego (House of Laughter) Preschool

You can catch some sermons by Ian or Siphiwe here: 

You can learn more about the work Ian & Siphiwe do in their community here:  

Are you a church leader or volunteer? Learn more about Leadership Institute where Sheree & Siphiwe met for the first time. We would love to have you join us! Learn more here:  

Call to Action:

Are you interested in helping Refugees and Immigrants? Learn more about how you can engage in projects that help families who are new to our area get acclimated.

If you're in Kansas City here are a few opportunities that might be a good fit for you:

If you're not in Kansas City I would encourage you to look for local agencies in your area doing this work. Here are few national organizations to help get you started in your search!

Thank you for listening!

Our partners at Ditshego have been busy over this COVID season.  Between outreach with food parcels and connecting with the children, they have been a presence in the Mooiplaas community.   While 2020 only allowed Resurrection to help with funding, we look forward to returning and serving alongside the leaders there in 2021.  In the meantime, we have a beautiful story from one of the South African volunteers that serve at the preschool:

I've been praying for the Little Eagles to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit guiding them in prayer for nations and when it did happen, I missed it completely.

It was on Tuesday morning the 24th November 2020. and we were closing off after having prayed for the nation of Qatar when Pretty Sabeka, 11 years old, put up her hand. "Yes Pretty" I asked and she replied, "We pray Ethiopia."  "That's right Pretty, we prayed for Ethiopia last week." and that ended the conversation.

But the next morning, during my prayer time, the Holy Spirit took me back to that moment and I realised in a heart-stopping moment that I had blown it.  I had to find out what Pretty had meant when she said, "We pray Ethiopia'" 

It's a long story but suffice it to say, Pretty had wanted to tell me and eventually did get to say, "We pray more Ethiopia, not one time." 

I imagine we all know about the civil war that broke out only a few weeks ago in Ethiopia between the Tigray people and their government and this is what I believe the Holy Spirit had put in Pretty’s heart to pray about.

Yesterday, the 1st December 2020, with her hand on the World Wall map Pretty led the prayer for Ethiopia all on her own and in the language of her heart. Then the other 19 children were invited to come to the wall map and pray for Ethiopia as well.

The zeal of the children to pray was electrifying and had there not been a wall behind the World Map, they would have gone right through it. 

At this point I thank the Lord for Winner who has been assisting from the start.

She listened carefully to how the children were praying, the words they were using, and her response was, "These children know how to pray."

I kept hearing  the words Morena Jesu and knew they were talking to Lord Jesus.

Thanks to all the ladies who have been working with these children for a longer time than we have. I feel that Winner and I, on the 1st of December, have plucked the fruit of your labour.

Covid 19 and the lockdown did their best but our God is still on the throne and to Him goes all the glory.

Denise aka Teacher Granny

Our last day in South Africa we again woke up to animals roaming near our cabin at the game preserve.  What a way to start your day, by watching monkeys playing in the trees!  The humidity is so low here (<20%) that several of our group are having trouble with nosebleeds. It’s supposed to be sunny and 84 today which will be pleasant for our visit to Soweto and the Mandela house. 
Prior to this trip I honestly didn’t know much about South Africa or apartheid, so this day was full of history and shock at the events that took place here only a few years ago, in this far away land. From the highway, we saw many large modern buildings, as well as several encampments of people living in shacks much like Mooiplaas.  
The Soweto community is famous for having 2 Nobel Peace Prize winners who lived on the same street, Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu. But it is also famous for a masacre of students by police in 1976 when they marched in protest about their schools forcing them to learn “the language of the oppressors”, Africaans. As I understand it, this language is derived from the Dutch language as they were the first whites to settle here and, along with the British, ruled over the African people. The country is about 95% black and only 5% white, yet for many years whites had run the government. 
First we went to the Hector Pieterson Museum. He was a 12 year old boy who was shot on June 16, 1976 in the massacre. He was an innocent bystander, and not even part of the march. The media was very much controlled by the government and only 1 picture from that day was smuggled out of the country. It was of a young man carrying Hector Pieterson’s lifeless body with his tearful sister walking beside them.  This caused a great uprising around the world with other countries finally learning the struggles of the black in South Africa. Other countries stepped in and things began to slowly change in South Africa. That is how Hector Pieterson became known around the world.  The museum itself is full of pictures and videos going back into the 1940s and 50s showing the plight of black South Africans. Outside there is a memorial and an unfinished wall symbolizing the events of that fateful day.  There are bricks with names and dates of death listed carved in them of about 150 students who were killed. But reports say there could’ve been up to 600 killed on that date because so many of the children were undocumented or injured on that date, but died from infection later.  
 There were several people with small tables outside the museum selling hand carved African animals, beaded animals & jewelry,  woven baskets, etc. We stopped and some of us purchased momentos of the trip to bring back with us.  
Then we went the short distance to the Nelson Mandela house. This is where he and his family lived prior to his incarceration. Winnie Mandela continued to live there while he was in prison.   It is a small brick home which is now a museum. A guide told us the story of the Mandela family before we took the tour. He pointed out bullet holes in the walls where the police would shoot at the house while Winnie Mandela was living there as she carried on the fight for black freedom while he was incarcerated. 
We went to lunch just down the street at a buffet that included traditional pap, tripe, and chicken feet, as well as more western foods. Next door to the restaurant is the home of Desmond Tutu. It had a sign outside, but since a family lives there, we could not see much. We walked a bit further with our guide, Antionette, pointing out other areas of interest. There was lots of music with children & native dressed dancers in the street performing for tips. 
Then it was time to head to the airport.  After a little last minute shopping in the airport, we said a tearful goodbye to our team members from Russia & Ukraine. Our flights home and the lines for customs were long, but we finally made it to Kansas City with thoughts of seeing our families and sleeping in our own beds at the forefront of our minds and the people of South Africa forever etched on our hearts. 

 Today was our day at Mongena, which is a Safari Lodge about an hour away from Pretoria, South Africa. After the long week of work at the school, we were looking forward to the break. We had to get up very early as our jeep was ready to go at 6 AM. That is the best time to see the animals feeding. Our guide, Stian, (short for Christian) was wonderful as he knew all about the animals and trees and plants. He pointed out herds of impala, waterbuck and kudu as well as monkeys and hornbill, the bird from Lion King named Zazu. Then we saw the giraffes feeding off acacia trees, which have large thorns. Stian shut off the engine and we sat and watched the majestic creatures in awe. 
Along the dirt path we saw a pair of white Rhino. It was fascinating to watch them but also scary to get so close. We saw a hippopotamus lounging in the water as well as a crocodile. We saw wildebeests, warthogs,  nyala, and my personal favorite, kudu with their big ears. 
We saw elephants at a distance but could not get very good pictures. We stopped for coffee & tea along the trail and also to stretch our legs. 
 We returned back to the facility and had a wonderful buffet breakfast. Then we sat in the sun and enjoyed conversation amongst our group. We discussed our work at the school and any ideas for future teams. 
Then after a late lunch we went on another safari. This time the spotters had found a herd of elephants near the road. Stian cautioned us to be quiet as the matriarch of the herd was giving us careful watch. They had babies with them so were acting very protective. After some photos we continued on and the spotters reported lions. Stian carefully maneuvered the jeep through the brush to give us a good look at two female lions lounging in the bush. One in particular raised her head and looked at us and yawned a few times so we could see her mouth full of teeth.  They are truly majestic creatures.  Stian also took us to a fenced in area to see a male lion that they are getting ready to transfer to another game reserve they trade the males so that the offspring are pure and not inbred. 

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