In August 2007 at an inter-church worship event in Cape Town, a call was made for people to come forward and share if they felt God had called them to step out in faith in a particular area. Brendan Studti, a 23 year-old law student from Cape Town, had clearly been moved by God’s love for orphans and needy children. He felt God was calling him to put the money from his savings account down as a deposit for a home for such children.
After the meeting several other young people who felt a similar passion met with Brendan and a team was formed. The team created a trust – named uThando leNkosi (which means God’s love) – and began having regular prayer meetings seeking guidance from God. About a month later a house in southern Cape Town, due for auction the following week, began to catch people’s attention. It became clear, in a variety of ways, that this was the house God wanted them to buy. Their offer was accepted and the money in the uThando leNkosi account, from Brendan’s initial savings plus donations, was just enough to pay for the deposit and auction fees.
Following more prayer, the decision was made that rather than being a conventional children’s’ home, this house should provide a temporary place of safety where children could stay before being placed into foster care. Social services have stressed the great need for such places of safety, where children who have been removed from damaging situations can be placed at short notice. This is the step before finding themsuitable long-term foster homes. A large part of the work of uThando leNkosi is to create and monitor a network of foster care homes, predominantly from families in local churches.
Inspired by George Muller, who set up a series of orphanages for over 10,000 children in England in the early 20th century, no overt fundraising has been done for uThando leNkosi. Muller never once asked for resources or advertised his needs, but constantly trusted that God would provide – which He always did, sometimes in miraculous ways.