The Pines Christian Care Center is located in Welkom, South Africa, in the Matjhabeng region of the Free State. It is the area that is identified with the highest amount of HIV/AIDS with no sign of it abating.
With a donation of a large office complex and property from the Harmony Gold Company in the spring of 2005, David and Sally Seefried initiated their dream of beginning a compassion village for orphans in the Free State. The ministry of the The Pines Christian Care Center for Children was born out of Christian compassion that drives us to do what we can to alleviate the pain and suffering of the children and communities as a result of the AIDS pandemic.
The Pines is endeavoring to raise children in a Christian environment to be morally pure thus changing their life style so that they will live through the pandemic and make a lasting impact on Africa. Already a large portion of a generation has been lost to the AIDS pandemic. The Pines is stepping into the gap and saving these children from becoming a second lost generation.
The Pines Today
Written by Carol Kuehner
We serve a God who never changes, yet little stays the same for long at The Pines. How could it, with children developing continually, new children being added frequently, and volunteers coming and going as part of the ministry?
In December 2012, seven-year-old Esmeralda joined The Pines, bringing the total at that time to thirty children between eighteen months and sixteen years of age. “Esma” had lived for over two years in the hospital, unable to be discharged for lack of home or family. Now she has both, is surrounded by Christian love, and is beginning to learn God’s Word.
Esma had not been at The Pines long when a new housemother arrived. Housemothers are vital to The Pines, providing nurture and daily guidance to their children as each flat operates as a self-sufficient family. The “mama” demonstrates and teaches important life skills such as cooking and personal care, and may be the one who answers questions and imparts spiritual wisdom in a child’s native tongue.
There are now three full-time mamas, three part-time mamas, one relief mama, and one set of full-time houseparents as Papa Mpho provides a positive male model in the boys’ flat he oversees with his wife, Maggie. Mpho shares the responsibility of driving the bus to and from school and performs many important tasks throughout the week. Should you visit The Pines, he might even be the one to meet you at the airport in Johannesburg.
The Pines Brochure
downloadPhil and Alana Carmichael continue to serve alongside Sally Seefried, but they’ve been joined by Linda Wade, a nurse from the UK. Linda intended to stay for one year when she came in 2010, but the Lord intended otherwise. She now occupies her own flat at The Pines, keeping track of children’s clinic appointments and medications as well as caring for the sick or injured.
Under Phil Carmichael’s direction, boys at The Pines are growing up able to work on motors and properly use tools. They’re able (and willing) to help, again under Phil’s direction, as buildings continue to change. The original building has been outgrown and two new flats, which now house the boys, have been completed in what was the Time Office building of the Harmony Gold Company. There’s room for two more flats when funds become available.
Flowers add color in every direction at The Pines, but the most obvious outdoor change is a large “tunnel farm,” or greenhouse. Between it and the ever-expanding garden, we not only have fresh vegetables year-round, but some children are developing gardening skills as another step toward self-sufficiency.
Following the theft of the Quantum van in 2012, it became evident The Pines needed better security. Already the fence is changing as a result, with a new one already being installed near the vehicles, to be expanded as funds allow.
We praise the Lord for the people behind the ministry at The Pines. Visiting teams and volunteers were vital to the completion of the new flats. The daily provision of needs reflects the faithfulness of churches, Sunday Schools and individuals. Some children lack sponsors, but many are sponsored by individuals who donate $40 monthly toward their living expenses and/or $30 monthly so they can attend Dunamis Christian School.
Through His Word, our unchangeable God is changing lives at The Pines. Nine children who expressed interest and attended extra Bible classes gave public testimony of faith in Christ and were subsequently baptized. Pray with us for their growth in grace, that through them and others God will be exalted as The Pines offers hope to children whose lives seemed hopeless due to the AIDS pandemic.