Tag Archives: autism

Help Bring Autism Therapy to South Africa

I know I’ve been doing a bit of promoting random causes lately, but I really wanted to share this and I think a handful of you readers might be interested in lending your support.

In the fall of 2000 after I graduated high school I went and did a Discipleship Training School at YWAM in Denver. Part of the program was a two month trip to Mauritania and Gambia in northwest Africa. I had the good pleasure of having two great leaders on that trip, James and Caz Collins, who brought along their new baby boy, Malachi, who I think was just a month or two old at the time. Their decision seemed like such a commitment and dedication to service to me at the time, and I know it had an impact on me and my family. I still have a picture of me holding Malachi during that trip:

Malachi and Me, January 2001
Malachi and Me, January 2001

Not really sure how to explain my feelings about it, but I feel like that moment had an impact on me and my desire to love and care for kids (my own and others). Fast forward to today. I still keep in touch with James and Caz, through email updates of their growing family and their dedicated ministry. They moved to back to South Africa last year and have been doing some incredible work there. They are such dedicated servants and loving parents, so when I received this email I felt the need to respond. Caz explains things well, so I’ll just include the email below:

As you know our oldest son, Malachi has Autism and while we lived in the USA he Was able to undergo the latest therapy, which together with prayer has enabled him to Mainstream at school and overcome the bulk of his disorder. When we moved back to South Africa last year I was stunned to find nobody in our state -and yet to find someone in the whole of South Africa- who is properly trained to continue the therapy he needs. So I became his therapist, drawing on the training workshops in Autism I attended while in the USA. I also started helping other families who have children with Autism but have nowhere to turn. I realise I need more training and Malachi needs more input, but this is not available in South Africa at this time.
So I had an idea:
I asked one of Malachi’s therapists from Colorado if she would come to South Africa to work with Malachi for 5 weeks and further train me. She said yes! The catch is it will cost us $3000- or R30 000 for air fares and accommodation. She won’t charge us for the therapy. As you know in YWAM we do not earn a salary, but our income is from the generous support of people who want to be part of our missionary work.
So would you pray about giving towards bringing Heather, Malachi’s therapist, to south Africa to help us.

I really want to help Malachi. Though unspoken, I feel like being a part of those first couple months of his life, I have a commitment to look out for him. You know, “it takes a village to raise a child.” Here is an opportunity for me to help, and you as well. And the impact is far reaching. Caz will be able to help other families, and Heather, the therapist, plans on speaking at schools and other opportunities while she is there sharing about the impact of autism and the therapy techniques available. It’s a great opportunity to spread the knowledge and therapy available to children with autism to an entire region. I’ve set up a donation page on Trying to Follow and I hope you’ll prayerfully consider making a donation. Thanks.

Send Heather to South Africa! (Find out more info at this donation page, including updates and total donation amount)

Or, simply donate here: