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Mar 2019

Rezoning FAQ’s

By General News 2 Comments

At Door of Hope one of our repeated prayer requests is for the rezoning process at the Village. Chances are many of you know exactly what that means and can pray for the specific effects rezoning has on our building plans at the Village. But there may be a few of you who, like me, smile and nod when you hear the word rezoning, offering prayers that go something like: “God, I have no idea why this rezoning is such a big deal, but you do. Could you handle that please?”

If this is your prayer and you want to know more about what you are praying for, maybe this will help.

What is rezoning?
Certain parcels of land are zoned for specific purposes. If you want to use the land for a purpose other than the one for which it is zoned, you must go through a rezoning process to get permission.

What does rezoning entail?
Rezoning requires the completion of several assessment reports, such as an environmental impact assessment, traffic assessments, site development plans, and a whole lot more. These reports are conducted by various specialists and officials and need to be approved by several different governmental departments. They can often be quite subjective.

What does this mean for Door of Hope Village?
The landpurchased for Door of Hope Village is zoned as agricultural property. In order to see the vision for the village come to fruition, this land has to be rezoned from agricultural to institutional. Rezoning is a lengthy process with a lot of moving pieces and so, with permission, we began building according to agricultural zoning guidelines while the rezoning process was underway. We have recently been informed, however, that we shouldn’t necessarily have been given permission and our ability to continue doing construction at the village has been delayed.

How can I pray?
Please pray that our rezoning application is completed and granted quickly. Pray that those who are completing these assessments and reports will be able to see the hope and vision of the village and will do everything they can to help us make this dream a reality. Pray that these reports come back with as little impact as possible and that we will be cleared to begin building soon. Pray that those of us here at Door of Hope Village will not get discouraged and will persevere as we seek to be faithful to God’s call.

How can I help?
Consider making a donation to Door of Hope. This process is quite expensive, and we are relying on the generosity of our donors to help make this dream a reality. You can give online by clicking here.

Also, consider bringing a group to volunteer at the village. There is much to be done as we continue in our efforts to develop this land into a safe place for God’s children. For more information, email teams@doorofhope.co.za

But most importantly, please join us in prayer:

Lord, God of heaven,
You have given us this land and charged us to build a village for your children. Stir our spirits and move in our hearts that we might be inspired to join in your work at Door of Hope Village.

Jesus, Ruler of all,
The process has been stalled by the rezoning process and at times we feel frustrated and discouraged. But we know that you reign over all things and so we ask you to intervene so that we might begin building again.

Spirit of the Living God,
Move in the hearts of the specialists and officials as they make decisions about our property. Inspire them to act with urgency and to do everything they can to help make this process move smoothly and quickly. Grant our staff courage and persistence as we seek to remain faithful to your call.

Father, Son, & Spirit, Great Three-In-One,
May all this be accomplished so that your name will be glorified in all the earth. Amen.

“Do Lord, oh do Lord, oh do remember me”

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Tom and Barbara had no idea what they were getting themselves into. All they knew was that one of the pastors at their church had been dropping hints about going on an international mission trip to Door of Hope in South Africa for quite a while. Eventually, these hints transformed into a call from God and they signed up to travel with a team affiliated with the North Caroline Baptists on Mission. They arrived at Door of Hope in February on their first international mission trip—their first but probably not their last.

The work was harder than they expected, work made all the more difficult by an unusually rainy week, forcing this determined team to build a retaining wall in the rain and the mud. The rain, however, is not what they talked about when I asked them to share about their experience. Tom was quick to tell me he had no regrets in choosing to come on this trip. When I asked what he would share with someone who might consider coming to volunteer at Door of Hope Village, he responded, “It’s hard work, but it is so worthwhile. You’ll come back with so much more than what you’ve given.”

Tom and Barbara spent most of their two weeks in South Africa building a retaining wall out of cement blocks and laying concrete for a walkway outside the “Play and Learn Centre.” When the rain became too heavy to work in, the team moved inside the hall, sorting and rearranging donations to provide easier access to the items inside. Of course, their time in South Africa was not all work. The team enjoyed visiting the Lion and Safari Park and explored an outdoor market. They also attended worship at Berea Baptist Mission (where Door of Hope began) and toured two of the three baby houses, learning more about Door of Hope’s mission to save abandoned babies.

Barbara reflected on her experience seeing the baby box for the first time. “I’d heard about children being abandoned in a box,” she said, “but until you see it, you can’t grasp it.” She told me that her initial encounter with the box broke her heart, but she didn’t feel that way for long. One look in the children’s eyes and she realised how much life they have. She saw the way the aunties cared for the children and reflected, “This isn’t an orphanage. This is a home.”

Tom shared that the highlight of his trip didn’t come at the baby houses as it did for most of the team. For him, it was when he saw the toddlers playing at the “Play and Learn Centre” in the village. Tom’s heart was moved when he saw these happy, healthy children who, not long ago, were babies much like the ones he saw at the baby houses. The children at Door of Hope have the opportunity to grow and learn in a loving and safe environment. “They are getting a chance at life that they wouldn’t have gotten were it not for Door of Hope” he reflected.

As our conversation came to a close, I asked if there were any other meaningful moments that they wanted to share. Barbara told me a story. “A few days ago,” she began, “My daughter-in-law sent me a video of my five-year-old grandson singing the children’s song ‘Do Lord.’ And then I came out here and heard the kids singing the very same thing. Here my grandson was in a big formal church singing, ‘Do Lord, oh do Lord, oh do remember me’ with special hand motions. And the kids here were doing the exact same thing, hand motions and all. It fills you with hope.” Barbara ended our conversation by reflecting, with confidence, “This couldn’t take place if God wasn’t in it. This is an amazing mission that is taking place and we know God is behind it.”

Lord, we know that you never forget your children. We know that every child matters to you, but we are a forgetful people. As we sing with your youngest children, may we be reminded of a God who never forgets, and may we be inspired to join in your active work of remembering. Amen.