Tuesday, October 27, 2009


As the darkness slowly turned into light, the horror of the night before would become evident to all who passed the Umbilo river as the head of 22 year old K....... lay lifelessly on the river bank [her identity has to be confidential]Those who found the lost head were horrified because the body was nowhere to be found. Later the police found it 5kms from her body....

To all who knew her Karen was considered a vibrant , extroverted young girl who had everything to live for- that is before she met her boyfriend-turned-husband-turned pimp and on that fateful night turned to be her murderer. Soon after meeting her her asked her to be his girlfriend. Soon after that he sked her to marry him. She was a mixed race South African – a honey colored skin, a beautiful face and a superb figure. He was from Western Africa and needed to marry a South African to obtain permanent residence. His charm and abundant supply of cash caused her to agree.

But soon after marrying him she was told that their cash supply was low and that in order to eat, she had to start commercial sex work. At first it was difficult and humiliating, but she wanted to help the man she loved. She would do anything for him- in heaven or on earth ..... or even in hell. Eventually she was used to it. If she bought in a lot of cash she would be 'Number one' above the other sex workers who also worked for him. If she was lazy she would be badly beaten. Because of her honey colored skin and desirable figure she found it easy to be number one. For survival she learned to suffer degrading treatment and do degrading things for clients. She learned to steal credit cards for stupid, gullible men. She was even prepared to go to prison for her 'husband'. .... as long as she got that approval from her pimp.

But her life was short lived. Her husband became her murderer ...... but first the torture. She had to be made an example of. Sex workers in his control had to be terrified of disobeying him. They had to have a dread of him. They had to know that that to betray him or disappoint him was the shortest path to life termination. I say termination because sex workers are not human, they are tools to get money. They suffer humiliation, the pimp does not. They go to jail, the pimp does not. They carry the risks, the pimp does not. They suffer poverty, the pimp does not.

The evening she was battered to death started on its usual slow pace with all prostitutes falling over themselves to get clients just to please their pimps. There was  no limits to the measures girls would turn to just to aqcuire cash. Unfortunately for them some measures have consequences, and in the case of Karen those consequences proved to fatal. She was so desperate for her husband/pimp's approval that she often ended up stealing, conning and defrauding her clients. That night she made the mistake of stealing from the wrong Nigerian. With no hesitation from her pimp arrangements were made to kidnap, rape and torture her as punishment.

She was summoned into Room 2, a room infamous for it's broken bones, fractured skulls and nearly always smears of blood. Any girl told to go to room 2 is immediately gripped with terror. Urine spontaneously flows down her legs, a bodily reaction to intense fear. An anticipation of blows with the fist, feet, broomsticks and clubs. She hopes to be slapped with all the force a man can muster, but this is rare. She prays to God to help her, but experience tells her that it is the devil in control here. She has lived for the devil and she will be punished with satannic merciless evil. The man will usually beat her, kick her, punch her until he has no strength and no anger left.

When he starts his attack on a defenceless weak girl, it will start with anger and desire for punishment. But as he continues her screams, the begging for mercy, the promises to conform to his will have the opposite effect. Instead of causing him pity, the blood flowing and her helplessness arouses a perverted sadism- a lust for pain experienced by others and caused by him. Also a sense of power. He feels godlike. Her life is in his hands, her health is in his hands, the wholness of her bones is in his hands. He does what he wants to and no one can contradict him. He can kill her and is often tempted to. With each blow to her cowering body his intoxication of power rises and rises and rises. He will stop when his strength fails.

Even if she dies he may not stop because the lust of violence and power does not stop at the point of death. Kicking a dead but warm body still arouses the same passions. He will never be caught because no one will even think of betraying him. While the court case is pending all witnesses will be dead and the case will fall to the ground.

Karens beating lasted 3 hours, which is a relatively short time in drug standards. A series of powerful punches that would not shame mike tyson would pulp her body, then came the questions, accusations, judgments. Then more blows with whatever instrument came to mind. Then more questions and accusations and conclusions. Always the helpless girl was wrong, and he the judge was right. Always he was the benefactor, she the selfish user. Always he was kind but she abused his kindness. He would claim softness and she abused his softness. He helped her but she did not help him.

But this time the punishment was cut short. The blows were too hard. Perhaps her slim neck broke. Perhaps the skull was crushed by the fury of his boots. Perhaps she began bleeding inside and when thwere was no more blood her life switched off. Perhaps she prayed for death and death came suddenly. These words were screamed by him so that all in the house could hear him- and what he predicted was soon fulfilled.


I'll let you decide who took that young girls life, whose only crime in this world was that she fell inlove with the wrong guy, tried to please him with all she had within her and as gratitute for her efforts she died an excrutiatingly cruel death by the hands of her lover.... in room 2 of a certain house in a certain street in a certain suburb of Durban.

Monday, October 26, 2009


Grace Family Church of Umhlanga, Durban has been a tremendous help and encouragement to the HOUSE OF LIFE ministry. In this blog I wish to thank them and the CONTAINER MINISTRY for the help and encouragement they have been to this ministry.

Fig. 1. The empty Lounge of HOUSE OF LIFE, May 2009, now full of furniture

The first encouragemnt to us was when Pastor Mark van Straaten and Dudley Thomson came and prayed for the house when it was newly rented and totally empty.

Very soon the house began to fill up with fridges, stove, curtains, crockery, utensils, blankets etc. Many of those donors were from Grace Family Church in Umhlanga, Durban. Nearly everything needed for daily use has been provided for. This has been imensely encouraging to us.

Fig. 2. The HOUSE OF LIFE girls about to be baptised at Grace Family ChurchBold. Finished with the old life, they are born again and have started to live a new life, a transformed one.

Fig. 3. One of the HOUSE OF LIFE girls about to do the plunge! She is being baptised by Pastor Mark Straaten of Grace Family Church and one of the assistant Pastors.

The CONTAINER MINISTRY, one of the ministries of Grace Family Church, began to play a large part in the supply of foodstuffs and practical equipment for the house.

Sometimes the flour supplied by Container ministry is used to make cookies, and aresold at churches and the money raised used to help pay bills. The skill of cooking is one of the skills taught in the excellence program so that girls can earn money from home business when they leave the center.

Fig. 5. Dried vegetable mix from the CONTAINER MINISTRY in the inner city feeding program. The dried vegetables are used to make vegetable soup and a vegetable stew. Because they are dry, they can be preserved for several days even though the benefactor has no fridge or deep freeze. His storage cupboard may be a rock by the sea or a bush on the beach.

Fig. 6. A cold Thursday on the beachfront, Destitutes sleep on the beach because they cannot afford the shelter fees of 3 USD. Then they come at 3 pm to hear the preaching of the Word of God by Pastor Steve Blomefield and are given food for the day. The food is prepared by HOUSE OF LIFE women. It often includes food donated by the CONTAINER MINISTRY.

Some of them impoversished by the economic climate, others are prostitutes impoverished by pimps and sickness such as HIV and tuberculosis. Others are hobo's impoverished by alcoholism. First the Word of God is preached. Then the people prayed for, then they are fed. Many go back to their parents and families and leave their destitute and criminal lifestyle. Some join a church rehab program or a city rehab program. Some go into the women's rehabilitation program at HOUSE OF LIFE.

Mostly we would like to thank our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, for He is the one who is the compassionate one that fills people with love and compassion, who then act on behalf of Grace Family Church and the Container Ministry to give food, money and equipment to HOUSE OF LIFE, enabling us to feed the poor, clothe the poor, rehabilitate girls and teach them Christ.


In a previous rehab center where I [Pastor Steve Blomefield] worked in the 1980's, Jesus was preached but there was very little teaching on excellence. There was almost no equipping for secular work. As a result once they left the rehab center, they usually fell away. They then came back to the center again and again.

Fig 1. Pastor Steve Blomefield teaching in the inner city

But our model at HOUSE OF LIFE makes it clear that they have to learn excellence in whatever work they do. They have to grow in knowledge of the work they do and they have to grow in talent in what they do. While they are in the first three months rehab phase they are given tasks to do- the same task for a week. During the week they are expected to grow in excellence. In order to make it clear if they are doing work with excellence, all work is marked and a percentage given daily. This imparts a sense of excellence in all their work.

However, it does not stop there. They are also sent for training at a commercial college. They do the course and they do a test, getting a certificate. With this certificate they are able to get a job. One girl is doing a till operators course and there is a job waiting for her when she has finished. Another girl is about to start work as a secretary. With money she earns, she will pay for more courses and gain more knowledge for her work. Courses such as typing skills, computer skills, letter and report writing skills.

The girls are consulted and they are channeled into work that they find challenging and stimulating. Some like gardening. Some like cooking. Some computers. Some secretarial.

It is wonderful to see the growth of the ministry. From evangelism to church planting. From Church planting to rehab. From rehab to work skills. From work skills to living productive lives in the city.


Every sin you can think of , and most abuses possible, have been experienced by the girls at HOUSE OF LIFE. Pain so deep as to be impossible to empathise with is probably the norm, hidden in their hearts. Bondage to pimps based on sexual bondage, fear, loneliness, psychological mind control, drug control and others is also the norm.

This means that the staff of HOUSE OF LIFE have to have a depth of spirituality, a deep knowledge of the Word; and wisdom, knowledge and understanding in knowing how to counsel, discipline and lead the people. Mistakes are inevitable on the road to experiential knowledge. Every time you realise that the wisdom you had was not the right kind, because you do not produce the fruit you expected in a girl, and that you need a richer, deeper wisdom, you are tempted to sorrow, inadequacy, even guilt. However our humanity, while real, cannot be allowed to overshadow a greater reality- the girls still need encouragement, guidance, counsel, discipline and instruction.

Many policies and practices are immediately seen to be the right wisdom. Those that are obviously wrong are discarded. The model of the tree has proven itself time and time again. As soon as we get to know a girls we can see if her main problem is spiritual, moral, community or excellence. Immediately we teach, counsel, preach, encourage, exhort and discipline so as to build these qualities, grow them, encourage them, strengthen them.

We are extending the model of the tree by journaling. Every weekday the girls are doing their journal. Every day they are given their journals, they write them, answering four questions.

1. Have I Loved Jesus today? [Worship, time in the Word, prayer etc]
2. Today have I done what is right? [Practiced the righteousness of Jesus; obeyed God]
3. Today have I lived in community in THE HOUSE. [Not jealousy, resentment, anger, etc] 4. Today have I been diligent and learned excellence

Each day the journals are collected. each day they are examined and it is readily seen where counselling and encouragement is needed. Obviously nearly every day the girls fall short of the standard of the Word of God ....... and also the counsellors! All have sinned, all deserve the wrath of God ..... but all may receive the mercy of the Lord. This teaches not only the holiness of the Lord, but also the Grace and mercy of the lord. Not only these but also a daily reminder that excellence must be developed daily. Without excellence no work done will succeed.

Then the journals are collected and kept in security.

This is teaching the girls to learn to walk in the light as the lord does. They have been used to a lifestyle of hiding sin, hiding pain, hiding fear, hiding loneliness and confusion. Now these need to be bought to the light, confessed, cleansed and healed.

It is helping those who teach to 'itch where it scratches', or to accurately teach where the need of teaching is.

It is helping the staff to really know the kind of life these girls have lived, and to observe the miracle of changed lives. It is critical to know what the girls have been through, the way they lived. They way they lied. The way they survived. The way they were manipulated into offering themselves to slavery by pimps. The way they deceived clients into allowing them to steal from the client. The style of the beatings they received. ...... so that ministry can be shaped so as to meet the real and actual need.

The tree model and journalling is producing revival. The house is becoming a community of believers. Those who are not strong and being counselled and exhorted by other girls, instead of being tempted and discouraged. For a long time we battled with girls who deliberately dominated other girls, divided the unity in the house, discouraged each other etc. But now there is a change with godliness ruling in the house and true spirituality in their hearts.


HOUSE OF LIFE was empty in May, 2009, but now it is full.

There were no chairs, couches, cutery crockery, pots and pans, stive fridge, deep freeze. ...... Yahweh Jireh- The LORD has provided.

The Lord gave Pastor Steve Blomefield a prophecy that He wished to provide high quaslity things fora people abused, rejected and ignored by mainstream Christianity. From being called whores, prositututes, immoral, adulterers, liars, deceivers, thieves, perverts and any sin you can name, they have been sought for by Jesus. He came to seek and save the lost. He has found them

They were a people rejected, but now they are a people beloved by the Lord. They were blind, but can now see. They were deaf to the Word, but now they love the Word. They were a people in bondage to sin, pimps and drugs, but now they are children in the freedom of the spirit, with righteousness, peace and joy in the Spirit [Rom 14:17].

Now they are children of the King, their Father has provided them with a house to stay in, couches to sit in, tables to eat from and media equipment to learn from.

People are providing food, and people are drawing alongside to help create an organic vegetable garden. We have eaten onions, tomatoes, lettuce and spinnach from the garden, and more are bearing fruit.

The love of God, and the provision of God are not theory, they are there for the girls to see for themselves. They have seen it, touched it, held it and enjoyed it. God is gooooooood!

We are praying for donors who are willing to give regularly so we can plan a structured spending.
If you are willing, please phone us or email us. The information is in the heading.