By Carol Lyle

Sipping coffee before the Conference I was aware of the throng of happy purposeful people who were meeting and greeting each other with eager expectation for the time ahead. The Speakers were good, each with his / her own special contribution.

Tom Basson impressed us with his timely catch phrase: “making poverty personal.” It’s not just the responsibility of Government, all of us can do something about poverty.

Nigel, Trish and Hannah Bracken impressed us with their story of moving from Midrand to an apartment in Hillbrow, to stand in solidarity with those in extreme poverty. What a story of extreme courage and conviction of bringing hope to neighbours.

Wayne Taylor, one of the Pastors at Grace Church, brought a word in due season – Generosity, or good stewardship. I captured some of his other phrases too: “Generosity opens us to the sovereign works of God in our lives.” Generosity, “…puts money in its place.” “Generosity reflects our relationship with God.” He quoted (John Wesley): “Earn all you can, Save all you can, Give all you can.” What sound financial words in today’s times. Phil Bowyer’s video presentation of bouncing balls & a gorilla was very helpful in opening our eyes to our blind spots – our gorillas!!

Musa Njoko humbly impressed us all with the story of her life. An amazing lady! Musa was given three months to live when diagnosed with HIV Aids. She was very ill and very weak when she went into her wardrobe to cry out to God. Jesus met her there & said she wouldn’t die, but live and proclaim His grace to the nations. She ended her story by singing of the grace of God, that ushered in His Presence and left us all very quiet & tearful. The Soul Action / Grace Team had prepared a “wardrobe space” for the conference where we reflected on our own lives. I sat on a chair, overlooking the sea and the sky with the warm sun on my back and a cool breeze on my skin. Musa’s story had touched me deeply. Her story of God’s grace, and these quiet moments in the warm sunlight brought a comfort to me in a curious way.


Grapevine Impression, around the coffee table – where grapevine networking takes place at its best, I came to meet and speak with wonderful people doing wonderful work in their communities. I invited them to join my Care Africa movement, by handing out seed envelopes and extracted promises from them to plant Care Gardens. Planting a garden, working with good soil can hugely benefit those who are hurting, wounded or neglected. Besides the benefit of healing, planting a food garden will address the issue of hunger and nutrition – is that not the pivotal place of poverty alleviation? We all need to eat. I was impressed by a gleaning I got in conversations with some of Durban’s businessmen seemingly playing a strong silent role in helping various community projects. What a noble leap from Businessman to Community Builder – may their tribe increase!

This year’s Conference was a little smaller but more personal. “Just Live” means making poverty personal, and caring for others makes life a whole lot better for all concerned.

Thank you Soul Action, you all impressed us with an excellent conference this year. Well done.

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