Newsletter - June 2022

June 16, 2022

Changing lives by sharing God’s love and hope with children in need

“I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”  Matthew 25:40


by Naomi Brink

Singing is an important part of life for the children and staff at Ya Bana Village. We sing to welcome visitors, to say thank you, to praise God and to use our voices to express our love.

Annalise du Plessis, a professional choirmaster started working with the choir a month ago. Lynnwood Dutch Reformed Church organized a special Sunday (Caritas Sunday) where all the outreach programs could showcase their work. We wanted to prepare something professional and extra special for the occasion. Annalise suggested Dona Nobis Pacem – Give Us Peace. This was quite a challenge for our children as they are used to and very good at naturally harmonizing. This song is simple and does not include harmony. But it requires absolute concentration and voice control. Our children learned this song in two weeks and gave a stunning performance at the church. It was amazing to see how our children pushed themselves to practice really hard, adapted to standing disciplined, and concentrated fully.

To make this performance extra special, our choir received their first, specially designed choir outfits. They looked and sounded like stars. This type of choir is something new for our children as they are used to performing traditional songs. But with the help of Annelise, the Ya Bana Village Choir proved they can expand their repertoire learning songs fit for any occasion. They will also be able to participate in national choir competitions and shows. And the exposure they gain will share the wonderful story of Ya Bana Village for the children. All the extra mural programs play an important role in our children's road to healing.  Ya Bana Village is a place where we not only love and care for our children, our task is to build their sense of self again. We want our children to become confident adults, able to partake in the joys of life: love, families and their talents.


by Jana & Paul Taulman

Left to right: Ya Bana child, Paul, George and Jana
“My husband, Paul, and I have just returned from visiting Ya Bana Village. I knew Becky Young when she made her first visit to South Africa and returned talking endlessly about a little girl with whom she had fallen in love. Through the years, Paul and I have been part of the evolving story of Ya Bana, and I can honestly say that it is more wonderful and more beautiful than anything I could have imagined.

As we turned onto the road where the Village is located, we really didn't know what to expect.  Potholes almost swallowed our car, and many times we came to a virtual stop as we navigated the holes, going from one side of the road to the other to make the ride as smooth as possible, dodging oncoming cars that were doing the same thing.  But as we drew closer to the Village, our driver, Papa George (who is the 'father' of the Village), turned to us and said, "Welcome home! Welcome home!" Just inside the gate were all the children and the house mothers singing a "Welcome Home" song, truly a moment I will always cherish. As they continued to sing, we gave fist bumps, handshakes, and finally hugs to both the children and the workers.  Their joy and excitement at our arrival was genuine...and humbling beyond description.

The village is laid out with an administration building (which contains a community hall and kitchen), nine houses for the children, a youth center, rondavel (guest house, where we stayed), a large Early Learning Center (with 166 students!), a small community store, and more - including three large and immaculate gardens, a soccer field and pig pen. The grounds are absolutely beautiful (well, maybe not the pigpen). The houses are different colors - red, blue, green, orange, etc.

Somehow, we spent more time in the orange house where the youngest children live. Seven children live in this house, ages 1-7, with only ONE house mother. All of them attend the preschool, except the one-year-old. We played with them and read to them.  Like my own grandchildren, they loved my watch and my phone. We watched the older children do homework at night, some in the houses and some outside with flashlights (it is late Fall there now, and completely dark by 6:15).  On Saturday afternoon we enjoyed a Brai (BBQ) under one of the trees, experiencing pap (pronounced 'pop') and gravy, which is similar to our grits. 

One of the many highlights was a visit to the Early Learning Center, where both children from Ya Bana, as well as the community, attend.  As a retired Wake County teacher, I could not have been more impressed, as the rooms were bright, cheery and well stocked with supplies. The expectations are high, and the children respond well to that. When we went into a classroom where some of the Ya Bana children attended, they wanted to show us what they were doing. They showed me where they sit, and their name on the table (just like children everywhere).  They are so proud of their work, what they are learning, and appreciative of everything they have.

My husband, who is a music minister, had a chance to work with their youth choir.  He has always loved African music -- the sounds, the rhythms, the pure joy and excitement of the music, and this was no different. He loved their enthusiasm, joy of singing, and their ability to respond to his suggestions as they were preparing for a concert at a church in Praetoria. 

As we were leaving for the airport, George pulled the car up to the rondavel to pick us up, and one of the boys simply began washing the car. The children at Ya Bana knew a very different life before coming there, and they are very proud and thankful for the things they have.  As we left, George showed us another world right outside the gate. He believes this is also a mission field for the Village and an opportunity to reach them for Christ. He believes he must show God in everything he does, and that is evident in his leadership at Ya Bana.  We were truly blessed, humbled and amazed by everything we saw at Ya Bana Village.”


This month we recognize Les and Heidi Soden and Carpenters for Christ for their amazing craftsmanship and generosity to Mabopane.

“Hi, I my name is Heidi and I have been a volunteer at the Mabopane Mission House for over 5 yrs. The outdoor garden section under the pergola is the area where I work. Because we receive lots of donations every week, there is always something new to be displayed for our shoppers.

My husband Les is also a volunteer and together we enjoy making various furniture/craft items out of scrap wood and old pallets. We have made various flower planters, potting benches, birdhouses and benches. All these items have been donated to the mission house. Our latest project was a flower cart. It was filled with donated perennials at our Spring plant sale. We appreciate the garden enthusiasts for making this perennial sale one of the best ever for the benefit of the beautiful Ya Bana children. Les and I both enjoy volunteer work and being able to support the Mabopane Foundation in this way. To anyone who may have never tried volunteering, we suggest trying it. There will always be a place for you to help.”
Thank you Les and Heidi for serving Mabopane in such a special way.

Carpenters for Christ, have once again blessed our ministry with their hard work and giftedness.
Here is our new Picnic Shelter where our volunteers can gather, rain or shine for meals together.
Thank you guys for ALL that you do for us!


A big shout out of thanks to everyone who participated in and volunteered at the 2022 Mabopane Foundation BBQ/Auction/Raffle. Over $42,000 was raised to support the kids in the Ya Bana Village!! 100% of the proceeds will be used to provide for the needs of the kids and to share the love of Jesus with them. This event took countless volunteer hours and so many generous individuals & businesses to make it a success. A complete list of participating businesses can be found on our website ( and on our Facebook page.


The Events Committee is gearing up to continue supporting our precious Ya Bana children with our 9th annual Mabopane Golf Tournament, at Lonnie Poole Golf Course on Monday, October 3. We hope to have a huge turnout in the number of teams participating and in generous sponsorships. Prayerfully consider being an event or a hole sponsor. Do you own or know a business that would be willing to sponsor a hole? Perhaps your Sunday School class or small group could go in together to sponsor a hole or register a team. Encourage your golfer friends to register a team. It will be a great day of fun on a beautiful course for this worthy cause!

Golfers can register now via our website at  Under the Player Registration for 2022 section, click on Register and Pay Online. 

The costs to participate:

  • Event Sponsor, includes a foursome: $1500
  • Foursome & Hole Sponsor: $850
  • Foursome: $550
  • Corporate or Individual Hole Sponsor: $350
  • Individual Player Registration: $150

You don't play golf, you say? There are other ways to support the tournament and make an impact for these children! Here is a list of our specific needs. Feel free to drop off or mail in your cash donations or gift cards marked “Golf Tournament” or contact Becky (919-818-3804):

  • Amazon $50 gift cards
  • Costco gift cards $50
  • Dicks Sporting Goods gift cards
  • Drive Shack, Raleigh gift cards
  • Titleist Pro V1 golf balls—2 dozen
  • Golf ball sleeves of 3 (144)
  • Golf tees (3-5 per bag, 144 bags)
  • Coke products: Must be Coke products per Lonnie Poole restrictions
  • 12 pack cans of Coke, Diet Coke, Coke Zero, Sprite, & Dasani Bottled Waters

We look forward to seeing how God will bless this tournament and we hope you will be a part of it!

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20-21, NIV)

ONGOING NEED: If you have used, empty and/or expired printer ink cartridges, please leave them on the donations table in the shed. By giving these to Staples to recycle, we are able to purchase our office supplies there free of charge.
3913 US Hwy 64W Apex, NC 27523
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