Thank you.

I often think in soundtracks. When a new thing happens in my life, a song will pop into my head – or I try to make one up. Unbeknownst to them, most people I know have a song, it’s one of the ways I try to remember their name on first meeting, e.g Jackie = “Jackie Wilson said” (Van Morrison), Helen = “Hey hey Helen” (Abba)… etc.

One of the songs that I’ve been singing over the last few weeks has been “Not by might”, by Robin Mark. A golden oldie. It’s probably a mixture of me loving that verse from Zechariah 4:6 “‘not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit’ says the Lord Almighty” & also a case of missing the dulcet tones of a Belfast worshiper. Either way, it has sung our kids to sleep over this last week. I love that I used to pelt this song out at home in Ireland & now in SA, my favourite line in the song still remains the same: “ flow through this land, til every man, praises your name once more”. That is my prayer for South Africa, as well as for the whole of Ireland. That as we move & step out of our comfort zones, He would forcefully advance His Kingdom & all would come to know Him.

Over these last weeks, we have (again) had many firsts. The art walls are starting to fill up in our home.



We had our first baby brought to us at Mihlali & then 2 brothers. We watched, overwhelmed as our own boys shared not only their space, but their toys, books & parents with these children. Thankfully our boys are in school every morning, which gives us 4 hours solely with our 3 Mihlali children.


When our boys come home, we then take it in turns to make sure we both get some one-to-one time with our own sons, so that they are not feeling overlooked. We are deeply proud of who our boys are & who they are becoming. Although the only information we have given them is that we live in a special house where children come “because they need God’s love”… they display a tremendous amount of love & compassion naturally, as the children come to be placed with us.

2014-03-21 10.40.25Things such as supervision, safety, protection, sanitation, food, healthcare, toys & bed space are all at best unfamiliar & at worst non-existent, in these beautiful ones lives. You can imagine the first 24 hours of these children arriving into our care can be unsettling for both the kids & our boys, so we generally have one of us with the new children to help them settle & the other with our own kids, whenever children arrive at first. Last week, we saw “why” these children need to be urgently removed from their home environments. I now understand that urgency more than ever before. These children do not require an organisation or institution, but a family. One where we know we will never be “Mum & Dad” but where the children can receive the love of God through people who love them, as “Uncle Richie”, “Aunty Kate”, “Joseph & Reuben” & “Aunty Thembu”.

DSCF1951Last week we saw kids come petrified, into our care. They were safer in the garden than in the house & so at one point I just sat on the grass & held my arms out to the most unsettled child, until they eventually felt safe enough to approach me. Eventually he came & sat silently on my lap, for what must have been around 10 minutes, but felt like hours. I prayed inwardly “let my arms be your arms Father, let him receive your love”. None of us have ever known a Father like Him & only He can pour in that perfect liquid love into our hearts, that we were created to receive. Eventually, this little body in my arms relaxed completely & I was able to make eye contact with him & tell him (through Thembu) that we loved him & were not going to hurt him. I told him we would never lay a finger on him to hurt him, and that in return we wanted him not to hurt any of us either. With Thembu to translate, he understood & (now exhausted), started to breathe deeply & began to trust us. Without Thembu (our assistant housemother),DSCF2032 these children would not have understood a word we said, as our Xhosa is patchy at best. So we are deeply grateful to Thembu for all the ways that she loves, mothers & cares for these children. She is like an extremely rare diamond & we value and treasure her so much! Thembu mothers the kids so naturally & I especially love that she always honours the children’s family & parents. She has a beautiful heart, not just for the child but also their entire family.

We had our first “sorry, but we can’t” conversation with a social worker this week regarding a 12 year old needing placed. I was amazed at how much easier God made this for me, as the call came on the day our 2 brothers arrived & I knew for sure it would have been unwise to bring a 12 year old child into the mix along with 2 new brothers. I felt peaceful about saying “no, sorry”, but also felt a strong resolve In my heart that one day we would have more than just 1 house & one day we would not have to say no. One day, there will be room for all children who have no other options, to be welcomed into families.

A wall in our prayer room

A wall in our prayer room

Eventually, we discovered why the children were so scared & we both prayed specifically into those areas whilst the boys were sleeping. The transformation we have seen, even in the last 48 hours, has been incredible. Medical problems have resolved because the children are receiving the love and care they need.

Our first volunteer comes out to visit on 13th of April & we are very excited to have Libby come join us for 10 days to see how we “run”… it’s going to be a lot of fun 🙂 I am expectant that every person who visits us here will leave with a vision of the honoured Christ, high & lifted up.. but also a clear vision for their own lives & redefinition of what it looks like to welcome vulnerable children into family. The Lord Himself speaks over every child: their worth, identity, value & His divine stronghold over their life. He gives them a new Spirit not of fear, but of love, power & a strong mind. (2 Timothy 1:7) Thank you God that you have overcome death! Thankyou that you are life in all it’s fullness! And thank you to you reading this, that you have enabled us to welcome them. We are deeply grateful.

Prayer Letter 09/03/14

Cathcart News and Prayer Letter…

Dear Friends,

It has been such a whirlwind this last 2 months! So much has happened it is hard to know where to start. It has been a very exciting time with seeing the start of Mihlali Children’s Haven and seeing God working amazingly in Greenbushes Township. However, there has also been a hefty dose of frustration as we continue to wait, to hear word on Mamosa.



We have finally opened the doors of Mihlali Children’s Haven. It has been a long road. On Thursday 6th March we welcomed a 14 month old girl into our care.

 She is settling exceptionally well & Joseph & Reuben are adapting well to sharing the house with her. Accepting the first child into Mihlali is a massive milestone for us. Everything we have done since moving into the house in December has been aiming toward this moment. We have been shifting our focus from only having paper work, maintenance and networking to think about, to providing 24 hour care for this little girl. Part of getting Mihlali registered with the Department of Social Development included us finding someone with a South African ID to work as a live-in caregiver for the children. We have met with a number of people about this position and unfortunately had two fall through. However we are excited to announce that as of the 10th March, we’ll have a wonderful lady called Thembu coming to work as a live-in caregiver. This is an exciting but tentative step as we do not need to get an “employee” who is only good at their job, but rather someone who will form a vital part of our Mihlali family.


There is a preschool in Greenbushes Township called Sunrise. Infinite Life Church, the church we attend in PE, has been partnering with Sunrise for a few years now. This has opened the door for us to partner with them too. Any donation we receive that is unsuitable or that we cannot use, we have sent to the preschool. On one of our trips to drop off a donation we had the privilege of seeing God healing a man with throat cancer. After receiving prayer the Samuel went to the doctors to receive more treatment. He was told they could not find any cancer to treat. In response to this and other healings, Infinite Life Church moved the service to Greenbushes, last Sunday. We were all amazed by what God did that day. We saw three people give their lives to Jesus, all the pain & stiffness for arthritis leave, & a lady who could not read her Bible due to poor eyesight able to read perfectly! We are still hearing back more and more stories of God’s amazing grace and glory poured out for transformation!


We are still in the process of trying to foster Mamosa with a view to adopt her in the longterm. We met Mamosa when she was 10 days old & she is now 6 months old. We have now given in all the paper work & can only wait & pray. Last news we heard was that the case had been passed on from the social worker that we were working with, to her manager. From there it has been passed onto the manager’s manager!! We are following up as best we can but just get told that we have to wait for an answer. The manager’s manager is currently looking at the law to see how to move forwards. Needless to say we are praying and appreciate everyone who has partnered with us so much for praying with us. The verse the Lord has given us throughout this whole process has been Exodus 14 verse 14: “The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still.” Still later in the story of Moses crossing the red sea, the Lord says to Moses: “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on.” We will continue to rest in the Lord, but we will also continue to push at this door, as we are certain that the Lord will make a way for us.The Cathcarts: 

As a family we have just had the huge blessing of having Granny Liz out to stay with us for a month. Liz blessed us hugely with getting the house ready to receive children & having her here really helped Joseph and Reuben settle into our new home and school. We are all excited to be finally looking after a child in Mihlali. Although the preparation we have been doing has been vital, there has always been a feeling of “but we’re not actually doing this thing yet“. Having Liz and welcoming the first child into Mihlali has made everything seem real. This is a dream come true for us. Please join us in praying that the other 5 children we have space for in our home, will arrive soon. And that Mamosa would be able to come home from Joburg soon too.

Thank you so much for your support. Without your support this dream could not have become a reality. When I look back at the last month & everything we have seen God do, His kingdom expanding, God receiving the honour and glory due to Him, I know that there is a great big “thankyou” from God to everyone who has had a part to play. Without all the support this could never have happened. Thankyou…

Richie, Kate, Joseph & Reuben. xxxx


Please pray:

  • For a miracle. That Mamosa would be placed in our family.
  • That God would give us all grace as we learn to live with Thembu, our live-in caregiver.
  • That God would bring more children to fill the empty spaces.
  • For provision so that we can open up all 6 beds.
  • For remaining donations of permanent cots, bedding etc.


We are thanking God:

  • For His huge faithfulness & mercy shown to us.
  • For Joseph & Reuben settling into school & life in our new home.
  • For our partner churches: In South Africa, Ireland & England.
  • For His provision of everything we need.
  • For the outpouring of His Spirit in Greenbushes
  • For the Social Workers & Department of Social Development in PE.
  • For other safe havens in this city serving these children.