For many years, Mandlenkosi and his wife Noxolo had a burden for the children in the impoverished community of Msobomvu, which lies in the shadow of the industrial city of Butterworth. The children of Msobomvu live in shacks, in garbage dumps, and in the bushes. After years of praying, this couple received a vision from the Lord of a center where children could come to find safety and receive the basic needs to stay alive. Because the mission initially didn’t have the resources to fulfill this vision, the mission leaders continued to pray about it.
In 2006, the Lord sent Polly Purcilfull from the United States to the Transkei with the same vision. As Polly, Mandlenkosi, and Noxolo joined together in prayer, the Lord answered by providing the resources needed to develop the children’s center.
The mission finally opened the Grace Children’s Shelter (GCS) in 2008. Prior to its opening, GCS had to decide if the center would focus on quantity (reaching as many children as possible) or quality (providing high-level, multifaceted care). After a great deal of prayer, the leaders chose quality: the children’s center would provide healthy meals; teach hygiene, language, and primary education; and above all, share the Gospel of Christ.
In spite of limited resources, the GCS has continually grown. It is now an example of a children’s center that others attempt to emulate. GCS is a registered NGO, and it operates as a nonprofit entity. Although Kelly was instrumental in getting it established, it is currently under the direct supervision of Mandlenkosi.