Testimonials

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Jennifer Allen.
From Maryland, Laurel, USA. Attend Our Oyster bay Project.
2017-08-11, 09:25
What can I say about Living Water Ministry? Three distinct pictures come to mind:
family + dreams, seeds + trees, and faith + gifts. These are things I saw and graciously, humbly received while I was fortunate enough to stay with this beautiful team for just six weeks. Six weeks. Such a short time, yet I soaked up every moment like a sponge. Morning by morning, strength came through singing, breathing in The Word, and speaking out Truth, for my mission field was everywhere I turned. Kitchens, beat-up fields, classrooms, cocoa dirt roads, and hospitals. Sprinkling trails of salt, we breathed Hope and Life into communities. And it all started with one child. One heart at a time, Love is shown, and seeds are planted. Deeply rooted, branches start to grow, and I see hearts forever changed. Relationships grow deep in personal faith, and disciples are formed.
It all started with one family. One dream: to see the surrounding community forever changed by the supernatural relational Love of Christ, and it is happening. It is happening today. It is not overnight. It is hard, emotionally investing work, but it is worth it. I see the lasting Love in just six weeks. Seeds are being planted, nurtured, and are growing into giant fruitful trees! I see the trees now. With heavenly eyes, I see them.
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. And the powerful faith in Oyster Bay, the pure childlike faith encouraged by this team produces the most amazing cherished gifts you can imagine. You will receive the most precious gifts, if you just have faith as small as a mustard seed. I received a gift on this trip as a direct result of faith, and I am forever grateful to my Father for this. He knew exactly what I needed, even before I asked, and He provided. He prepared me, gave me a safe place, and answered my request when I was ready to ask. He knew the exact time, place, and head space I needed to be in to ask Him for this gift. He knows all and is for our good, our best. And remember: if you ask your Father for a fish, He won’t give you a snake. Believe He will give you what you ask for in prayer, and He will do it.
These are just some of the things I have learned from Oyster Bay. If I were to tell you all of them, I would need to ask you to coffee.
Nakia Knepp
Im from Linn, Usa. Attended: Oyster bay Project.
2017-07-20, 09:29
Getting to South Africa and finally getting to meet everyone was exciting ! I wasn't actually sure what to expect when I arrived,but it was quite surprising to find out where we were staying, In a lovely 2nd floor apartment/ house at the beach. I got to share with my new friends (the other volunteers) what I did not see coming was when we were put in charge of planning lessons and activities for the kids . I knew I had some experience but I was currently in a very different situation than home. I did a whole lot of praying in my head and under my breath throughout the enter 6 weeks. I was challenged mentally and spiritually over the weeks and really grew in my faith alot. Sometimes even though I was frustrated at how some of the kids just didn't listen to what we were saying, I just had to remember in the long run this was all for the better of the kids. It was really a good time to practice patience, calm patience. The beautiful people and sunsets were always memorizing everyday. Singing and joking with everyone ....playing games, it was all amazing. And even though I got sort of homesick towards the end, it was still a great time and a good experience. South Africa is a special place. I'm so thankful for the time I spent with all the people there . It was truly a growing experience that I will always remember :)
Cowenda (Wendy) Wood
Im from Toledo, USA. I attended: Oyster bay Project.
2017-06-15, 17:53
Being used by God from March - June 2017, in His Kingdom Building with Oysterbay SA, was Awesome! I had the pleasure to work and be alongside with the amazing leadership of the team : Herman, Elmarie, Zani and Madeleine. And was treated not only as a team member, but family. I never felt that I was miles away from home, but that I was only on the other side of town doing service. Going to the Township and schools, being able to minister the Word of God, along with other positive life teaching, was not only a pleasure, but a blessing. I looked at the children as though they were my grandkids-so I enjoyed the loving, teaching and yes the disciplining ?. The younger and older kids even gave me the nickname : Madea (Tyler Perry's character). Not only was I able to share Jesus Christ love to many, but many shared His love with me. It truly was about developing relationships thru the Gospel. I've been doing mission's since 2002 and each time is rewarding, but this one was truly a blessing in relationship building. So I have plans and look forward to returning to Oysterbay SA, next year - for further Kingdom Building!
Thank You So Much Mandy for the Opportunity To Recommend Me To this amazing project.
Lots of Love and Blessings
Adam Roberts
Adam Roberts-Lexington USA. Attended Oyster bay Projects.
2017-05-01, 10:52
I got to spend 8 weeks volunteering with Oyster bay Ministry and it was an amazing experience. The only experience I’m not interested in re-living is the part of leaving the Ministry (a sad day). The head leaders of the Ministry, Zani and Madeleine immediately made me feel at home and a part of the ministry despite that I was their first volunteer. For me, there was no awkward “settling in” phase; we just hit the ground running. It’s common to hear people say things like “when I get back to reality…” while there on a mission or outreach like they are taking a break from their real lives. I understand that feeling and have felt it but this wasn’t like that. I was just getting to live my life in South Africa for a little while.
The majority of my time was spent getting to know a lot of amazing kids. I got to help at a Leadership camp, tutor in English and Math, play sports and games, do a whole lot of completely unexpected dancing, lead bible studies at a youth hostel, do in-home prayer visits and so many other things. I also spent time, at the picture-perfect farm the Ministry has been blessed with: Planting trees, making general improvements and relaxing. It was easy to find a rhythm from week to week but there was always someone new to meet or something new to do.
The Ministry challenged me to do things out of my comfort zone but I was surrounded by amazing leaders (and others) praying for me and encouraging me. I was able to grow in my faith and as a person. The team’s faith and willingness to trust and follow God in His vision for the ministry is inspiring. They are the best kind of people and helped me have the best experience possible. I went with an open mind and a willing heart and I think I was able to make a difference in some people’s lives; but I also think that I got more out of the experience and from the love I was shown by the kids and all the other people I came in contact with, than I could ever give back.
-Adam Roberts
Tracy Malone
Im from Medford, USA. Attended Oyster Bay Project.
2017-04-26, 20:43
What an amazing journey . My journey was in Oyster Bay, how I loved working with the children. It was such a blessing to be with the most loving caring God blessing group of people I have ever met. This being my first missionary trip I ONLY stayed for two weeks, not know I would be just getting started. Wished I have stayed longer. Please don't make the same mistake. Zani and Madeleine are the best. (alongside the head leaders) amazing people, May God continue to keep giving them the strength daily to do what they do. Two remarkable you ladies. No worries they were with me all the way. I now felt more then ever to complete my personal mission once I return. Finding a church that I can call home. Haha God works in mysterious ways. My physical therapist lead me to an awesome christian church . My second mission to become healthier , I'm down 15lb, all in prep for my next missionary journey. In closing my God continue to bless Mandy @www.volunteerinsouthafrica.co.uk, The ministry and leaders for all they do.
Chantal white.
Im from New York, USA. I attended the Game park Project.
2017-04-13, 14:10
I greatly enjoyed my time at the Game park within volunteer in south africa. I also loved the projects alongside the game park (the part time child care project) was very rewarding. The free weekend excursion around Port-elizabeth was also alot of fun.
Manuel Bärtschi
Im from Moosseedorf, Switzerland. Attended the Coffee bay Project.
2016-10-06, 22:26
I just wanted to take the opportunity to give you feedback on our trip to coffee bay we did :) hope that's alright with you!

We really enjoyed our time in Coffee bay and we loved the location. The place was wonderful and Tanya and Roy were really nice! The pre-school was so sweet, we love the kids and had a good time with them.
Markus Hock
I am from Heilbronn, Germany. Attended Coffee bay Farm.
2016-09-09, 16:20
I had a great time at Coffee Bay during my stay in august 2016 and I want to say thank you to Roy and Tanya. To live in a round house like a Xhosa was very interesting. and to play together with the children of the preschool at morning was fun.Together with Tandy and sometimes with Yvonne we read stories of a children bible in english translated in Xhosa. At Coffee Bay I met there also two young men, Manuel and Lucas from switzerland. They enjoyed surfing and I liked to swim or hiking in the hills arround. The most beautiful hike I did was the walk to the whole in the wall.Regarding the future there will be church at Coffee Bay which is urgently needed. Volunteers with experience in building a communion or a church, providing bibles etc. are then very important to support the locals. I wish Mandy all the best for this project and will be happy if I can support her.
Michael Bassett
Im from Milano, Italy. Attended Coffee bay Project.
2015-12-07, 07:17
I would like to write to you about our experience in Coffee Bay!
First of all I want to say thank you for the opportunity to serve! I really appreciated the accommodation even if basic it had everything we needed and made for good times with many people. I hear you are getting an amazing volunteer house which is great news. We really enjoyed cooking and even having some people over for meals and learining how to make xchosa bread from Yvonne. I thought the location was beautiful and the neighbors were always helpful and they occasionally checked out how we were doing. Seemed like we were able to get at least a glimpse of the local life (part of what is intriguing in volunteer work).
I found Andrew (the Volunteer in ZA representative) to be such a sincere genuine Disciple of Christ! From being a leader and to being a great housemate and friend. We had great laughs also! He has deep faith in God and that God will further His work in Coffee Bay. I found that we found a quick agreement even while doing practical hands-on work in the childcare center or digging ahah! We always seemed to find good ways to do a lot with the limited budget. We plastered the school and painted murals on the walls :-). As far as the construction goes I hope the childcare center can receive roof maintenance soon so the leaks don't damage the walls and after also the plastering and painting of the outside would be wise.
I really appreciated and have great esteem of Yvonne who always went above and beyond in serving us and doing everything possible in the work or ministry, besides being a great asset with the language. To thank her we had an Italian meal in her honor the one night and she got so emotional as I think her children don't often give her attention except when in need. She proudly took us to her church on sunday and it was so incredible to see her and the other brothers and sisters worship God so beautifully with their voices. They were such an example to me. Mama Phylda was a great help and was so nice the whole time and it was great to pray and sing with her the one morning, she seems quite grounded in her faith and wise. I think she could be a great asset to the ministry. I had many mixed feelings instead about Thoby who seems to have countless skills but really seems to need the ministry money and not always does he seem to get the ministry goals (what a guy! He could be super fun and super complicated all at the same time). Andrew seems to have great patience with him and deal with the situation way better than I would.

I have heard that Hilda and Sarah are doing great work with the children every day in the revped Childcare center and that really makes me happy! I hope this experience brings them closer to God.

After all these positives I will make a couple of suggestions which may be helpful to the ministry. Of course these are my thoughts and you or anyone is free to disagree. I think that the two types of experiences possible in Coffee Bay as a volunteer are:
- African living simple life and living in the community as we did (cheaper accomodations I would immagine even if you must organize your own meals)
- European/Vacationer living in nice accommodation that is far from all the key points of Coffee Bay (more expensive I immagine, no need for cooking however)

I find them both interesting but surely I think the locals we are to be serving would have seen us as even more of the rich foreigners than they already did. I believe that the type of volunteer work will be very different but I think the ones that want to come and live in a more simple way will tend to be the volunteers that have at heart the ministry more than enjoying a great vacation place.

In closing, my experience was great and I will continue to pray for the ministry and the many people I met.
Taylor Bankston
I am from Nederland, USA. Attended Mozambique Projects.
2015-02-05, 00:01
This has taken me a long time to get around to writing, but I still wanted to share my experience. This past summer I volunteered at the Mozambique project working at a girl's orphanage. This trip was absolutely AMAZING. The girl's are so loving and love all the attention you give them which was great for me because I could love on them all day. While I was there I got to help with so many things like going to the morning bible studies, helping get food ready and going to the market, which was one of my favorite things to do. Getting to learn about Mozambique was truly eye opening and my relationship with God was grew in ways I never expected. If you are looking for a rewarding mission trip this is a fantastic one to go on. Roy and Trish at the orphanage are absolutely fantastic and so welcoming. You can learn so much about having faith by spending time with them. I hope to one day visit again. Thanks to Mandy for giving me this opportunity and getting me there!
Rahel Hofstetter
I am from Uznach. Attended Cape town Surfing Project.
2014-11-25, 08:56
I must say it was I had a wonderful time in South Africa. I volunteered with the Surfing Project in Muizenberg, Cape Town and the Game Park Project near Port Elizabeth.

I was able to grow in my relationship with God because of all that I experienced. It wasn't always pretty because of the very poor world the kids live in but it was so touching to see, experience first hand and to help wherever I could.

And Cape Town and it's surroundings, the Garden Route and in general South Africa is just an astonishing country. So diverse, such beautiful nature, such kind people.

You'll probably have a culture shock if you're from anywhere in the 'first world', but that's why you do it, right?! At least that is why I did it. It was amazing to experience this different world.
Najwa Khazal
I am from USA. Attended Port-elizabeth Projects.
2014-11-24, 20:18
Last year we were so blessed to be part of Volunteer in South Africa feeding program at Port Elizabeth. It was an exceptional experience for my family, especially my two children who are just 11 and 9 years old. It has been almost a year and they still miss the friends they made at the different centers and continue to be grateful for the love we received from the Church In Port-elizabeth that runs the projects and everyone we met during our trip. The trip was very organized and everyone we met did everything they can to make us feel welcome and maximize the benefit of our stay with daily visits to children centers. We have celebrated Christmas in the most memorable way with beautiful children and wonderful host family. We are so grateful and we will definitely be back. I truly recommend this experience to anyone with or without children. It was a life changing trip and we miss everyone there! We continue to pray for the children all over the world and we also pray for people like Mandy and her team for continuous inspiration and strength in developing and growing this organization that reaches out to the less fortunate children, not just during the holiday time but throughout the year.
God Bless,
Najwa, Emilio and Abi
Joko Leliveld
I am from montfoort, The netherlands. Attended the Game park and Cape town Projects.
2014-08-27, 20:27
I just want to send you an email, we had the best time in our lifes at the Game Park and the Cape town surfing Project.
The two projects were good organised.
We had so many experiences. The first week with the children and surfing was amazing. It's difficult to see how those children life, but at the same time it is wonderful to help them and make fun with them. The surfing was great, I really loved it.
The two weeks in the Game Park were fantastic. We went on safari almost everyday and we met a lot of people. The rangers learned us a lot about wildlife in SA and their lifes.

I just want to thank you for everything you have done for us Mandy Weschta and the Team.
I hope I can join some projects of volunteerinsouthafrica soon.

With love,

Joko
Chris Norbits, Springfield, IL
2014-08-07, 16:22
I went to the orphanage in Mozambique the week of 3/16/2014. I had a wonderful experience. The children were an absolute joy to be with and I loved spending my time with them. It was a blessing for me to have them in my life however brief it was. The children loved the attention of being held and having their pictures taken and then seeing their pictures. I have never seen children who have so little, yet be so happy and feel blessed with what they do have and that’s each other. My stay was very comfortable at the orphanage. I stayed in a small cottage with a bathroom and small kitchenette. I think about the children and the people I met. I would encourage anyone who wants to make a difference in the life of an orphaned child and let them know people care about them to visit the orphanage. I would highly recommend and encourage a stay in Maforga, Mozambique. Thank you, Mandy, Roy and Frank for making my experienced a blessed one and opening my eyes to a new world.
Carolyn Densmore
2014-06-28, 09:01
I have had a wonderful experience working with Volunteer in South Africa! I have been at the Port Elizabeth project, staying for two months and have been very happy with my experience! The hosts have been so welcoming to me and have taken very good care of me, as I am only 17. I felt very safe with this group and would definitely suggest it others! I have had such a wonderful learning experience while helping and exploring this beautiful country! Each project is unique and I would very much suggest the Port Elizabeth projects, greatly having to do with the team staff! You with definitely have a great experience if you do decide to come to South Africa for the adventure of a lifetime!
Nawja and Family from USA.
2014-05-12, 12:20
I cannot thank you enough for everything you have done for my kids and I during our trip. The experience was life changing to all of us and we owe it to everyone we met, at Church, where we stayed and the places we visited. My kids continue to share the experience with friends and family here in the United States. Abi prays for South Africa kids every night and continues to ask me when we are going back. Emilio is playing soccer now and the first day at practice, he said, "I wish my friends from South Africa can come and play here too!"

As for feedback to our trip, we really enjoyed having you with us the whole time. The attention and time you gave us helped ease the nerve of being in another country away from home. The place where we stayed was so clean and provided a safe home for my kids and I. We enjoyed every activity especially the feeding and playing with the kids at Sinethemba Centre. I recommend every family that visits you to participate in such experience of just being there for these kids, loving them and spending time with them.

I would like to do more so please let me know how else we can help. Hopefully next year we plan another visit but for now, if there is anything I can do from here, I will be more than happy to do my best.

Please pass our regards and appreciation to your family, friends and of course all the wonderful beautiful kids and care takers that we met.
Kari from Eden Prairie, MN, United States
2014-04-09, 12:55
I had an amazing and God-filled experience in Mozambique! It is a beautiful, tropic country! Hot and humid! But lovely! I learned that no matter what our expectations are, God gives us what HE wants for us to have or experience! And it is all for His Glory and for our good! Yes, it was a shock at first to witness the extreme poverty of a 3rd world country. It will remain in my heart forever. And when I asked God, "Why aren't you doing something about this? He answered, "I did do something...I created YOU!" It was a hard pill to swallow.

I didn't know exactly what I was to accomplish in Mozambique, but I knew I was being obedient to God. And while there, I got the joy of working and playing with the orphan girls mostly, with short visits to the other ministries. I will encourage anyone to go with an open heart and mind. Let God be in control of how you are to serve.

I know it's human to worry about the details, so here are just a few things I learned and/or recommendations:
- Must have a good flash light (no street lights, plus unpredictable electricity)
- Must have an umbrella or light raincoat with hood.
- Bring a water bottle.
- Wore my tennis shoes once, bring Crocks or good supportive sandals/slip-ons. Also bring indoor shoes/slip-ons (cement floors).
- There IS westernized grocery stores with westernized groceries - don't worry about food. Just have an open mind to a simpler menu than what you're used to.
- While I was there, an electric washer/dryer was not available (clothes line only).
- Stretchy cotton clothes are nice (no wrinkling, no ironing). Nylon athletic attire does not breathe as well. Bring a few clothes you don't mind ruining (i.e.,painting, maintenance, outdoor work)
- Girls: Skip the electric hair irons/curlers. Very high humidity just causes frizzy hair with wasted time in front of mirror. (Just my opinion) A hair dryer is good to bring with lots of pony tail binders.

My recommendation is to pack less for yourself, and throw in some extra items for the kids:
- flip flops!!
- skirts and tops
- under garments
- games and crafts
- bath soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste
Stephen DeAugustino
2014-02-18, 04:53
I had always heard good things about South Africa, and this sounded like a perfect opportunity to do some surfing at the very least. I wasn't entirely wrong; some of the most fun surf I've seen was waiting for me when I got off the plane, but the trip ended up being much more than I could have ever asked for.
It's hard to even pick a spot to start when bragging about this program. The main focus is obviously the children, and they are by far the stars of the show. Despite such heavy adversity, the children exhibit amazing qualities, ones that I often found myself admiring and wishing that I had more of myself. I truly thought that I'd be teaching the kids during my time there, but more times than not, I learned much more about myself when helping out at the outreach center. It's a truly humbling experience that I think every person should be a part of; I couldn't urge you enough. This is of course without even mentioning how good the children are at surfing. As good as they are as children, they are just as good as surfers. Jaw droppingly good.
The program isn't just all volunteering. It could easily stand alone as an outreach center. But the staff do an amazing job of sharing their love and knowledge of Cape Town and the country. I've never met anyone so passionate about where their from, and not only that, but also have such a drive to share it with those who have not seen it. Prior to coming to South Africa I was largely ignorant of the RSA. Not just in regards to its geography, but to its politics, culture and society. In just a weeks time with the program, I was able to see and experience things that I probably never would if I had some just to vacation in Cape Town.
And I guess that's my biggest point: South Africa is such a dynamic and beautiful country, on so many levels. There is too much diversity to try and gather an understanding of it simply though a tourist trip or vacation. If you really want to appreciate this country, you have to get your hands dirty. You have to dive right in, head first and mix it up with the people there. I promise, you won't regret it. I was barely there a week, and I can't even begin to thank them, and the rest of the Project crew enough for taking me in.
I wanted to take a big risk, and traveling alone to a country I knew nothing about, with people I didn't know was for sure one. But The Project sure was the reward I was looking for. Looking forward to coming back already, and I hope to see you guys on the beach!
Jonty
2014-01-30, 21:08
I loved my time at the Cape town surfing Project. What a Great place to visit and the project is impacting so many childrens lives. It was Great
David
2014-01-15, 01:09
I loved my time at Volunteer in South Africa's Projects and their Partnered Projects. This Organisation reaches out to Many People in the Community adding Hope into many Children's lives. I met some other Great People too (from all over the World).
Theresa
2014-01-09, 16:46
I really loved my time at Volunteer in South Africa. This is a well run Organisation with Great Projects.
Chantal
2013-12-11, 11:44
I had an amazing time at Volunteer in South Africa. The people are great and the projects that I attended were really impacting many poor people. The accommodation was Great. All in all I had an amazing stay
Katie Van Deventer
2013-11-12, 10:21
My time with volunteer in South Africa was little of what I expected and ALOT of what God wanted for my life, This was a huge blessing and a testament to the fact that the Lord will bless any intentions that are truly focused on Him. I had a great time with 2 of my best friends and grew very close with the project leaders. We were able to make a visible impact on the community and were called to be bold in our faith as we prayed for adults and children in the dilapidated townships. Before going on this trip, I was unsure how Soccer and Surfing with kids was going to minister to them, but I learned something very valuable there: that in order to lead a child to the truth of Christ, you must first prove that your intentions are pure and are coming out of a place of Love. You must earn their trust and spend time having fun with them in order for them to recognize Christ's spirit in you and begin to crave that same spirit for themselves and those around them. It has been a year since my trip to South Africa and I am still feeling the lasting effects of the work that the Lord did there, in me and in the communities. Thank you Mandy!

From Katie Van Deventer, from New Orleans, Louisiana, age 24
Koen Berkheij
2013-11-12, 10:18
I really enjoyed my time with Volunteer in South Africa. It was lots of fun helping out with different programs, such as soccer, swimming, surfing, but also in the morning at the daycare. The kids are great to work with and really appreciate what you're doing. Besides having a good time I also learned a lot about South Africa. I'm definitely coming some time.

From Koen Berkheij, Netherlands, Holland. AGE: 24
Aline Wolf
2013-11-12, 10:14
What an experience!

This trip filled with volunteering was a true eye-opener for me. I didn’t know how big the contradiction was between the rich and the poor. Beside that I saw and felt how important it is to give ‘love’. The kids in the Townships really want to absorb your love, because they (can’t) have it at home.
Working for Volunteer in South Africa was a very good choice. We had such a wonderful preparation time, especially because of the quick and warm email contact with Mandy. Once we arrived at the different locations everything was well organized. Personally I loved the sport-projects the most, it is such a joy to see how you can give the kids a goal for life, of course the child-care was very special and very needed too!

Love, Aline
From Aline Wolf, Netherlands, Holland. AGE: 27

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