Category Archives: Uncategorized

13 Reasons Why….

…we will we survive.

“A good friend once said to me: “I can love you and still let you go”. So, Hannah, I love you and I let you go. I miss you and I hope that wherever you go next, you feel peace, you feel safe, in a way that you never did here. Wherever you go next. I hope you know that I love you” – Clay Jensen, 13 Reasons Why

It all started with Hannah Baker, 7 Tapes with 13 Reasons Why she did what she did…and the rest spiralled out of control culminating in 4 seasons of highs and lows, social issues and heavy emotion.

This series is an emotional rollercoaster, the first season is the most intense and came at a time when depression and teenage suicide was rife in the world and still is to this day…..the issues depicted in all 4 seasons are real, it may be dramatically played out but they are real, teenagers and adults alike go through these struggles on a daily basis.

What I learnt from this show is that in the end love will conquer all, the love of those around you is what helps you through the worst of times……we may not feel it at that exact moment but if we choose to live, face the demons inside our minds and accept the love from those who truly care for us we can endure the worst storms.

The series opens up various issues that need to be openly spoken about, it can be used as an educational tool to help those in need……

1. You Are Worthy

2. You Are Strong

3. You Are Beautiful

4. You Are a Winner

5. You Are a Survivor

6. You Are Free

8. You Are a Winner

9. You Are Amazing

10. You Are Magical

11. You are Powerful

12. Your Life Matters


I write this post in a time when the world is changing, this virus has opened us up to ourselves…brought us into isolation opening up our minds, it has led us to face our fears and it is so easy to slip into a dark space without the things that we used to keep us safe…..change is difficult but with change comes a new understanding and there may even be a higher purpose for this change….so continue to show up and embrace the love that is found in each new day….WE WILL SURVIVE!!!!

” ….Choose to live. ‘Cause even on the worst day, there are people who love you. There’s new music waiting for you to hear, some… something you haven’t seen before that will blow your mind in the best way. Even on the worst day, life is a pretty spectacular thing.”- Clay Jensen Graduation Speech

Who Am I?

A journey of self-discovery….

A journey of self-discovery, a journey of knowledge, an adventure but most all an experience of sharing and bridging gaps between different cultures.

I am Shaun Engel from South Africa; I am currently in Kendari, South East Sulawesi Indonesia. I have come to Indonesia as a volunteer in partnership with my home Church – The Moravian Church of South Africa and the Evangelical Mission in Solidarity (EMS).

The purpose of my stay here in Indonesia is to share experiences as well as learn more about the different cultures Indonesia has to offer, the main activity in which I will partake during my 6 month stay will be to teach English at Oikumene School and at an Orphanage in Lambuya.

I arrived in Indonesia on the 1st September 2017 after months of preparation I have finally arrived, to be honest the nerves only set in during the last month before I was to leave South Africa for 6 months (the longest I’ve been out of my home country). This is a journey that I feel I need to take and after almost a month I feel I have made the right choice as me being here can and will have a positive impact on both myself and the community of Kendari.

Currently we are 6 volunteers spread across Indonesia as part of the EMS program, 5 from Germany and 1 from South Africa. After a brief introduction in Bali where we learnt about what to expect while living in Indonesia as well as Bahasa Indonesia lessons, we were off to our various destinations to begin what is sure to be a memorable experience for all.

Picture 1

My first impressions of Kendari was that it definitely feels different to the hustle and bustle of Bali, less traffic, less tourists and also a similar sense of home even though I know there are differences.

I met my Mentor Mr Yakob Simpson and immediately felt at ease, he even invited me to call him brother that makes us family now. This sense of fellowship is expressed throughout Kendari as everyone that I have met thus far have been really friendly and accommodating. One week of orientation in Kendari where I stayed at the Synod Office of the Church of Gepsultra, here I learnt more about the Church structure as well as met with the Bishop Marthen Sambira where we finalized my schedule for the 6
months that I will be in Kendari.

As mentioned before my main task will be to teach English at Oikumene School, this is a new experience for me and one that I will take with both hands as an opportunity for growth. My initial experience is that the students are really excited to learn and are willing to engage in every activity given to them which makes my task a little easier. The challenge of coming up with exciting and innovative ways to teach is one that I will have to overcome.

My first month in Indonesia has been a mixed bag of emotions as well as gaining a few extra kilo’s but this is all because of the excellent hospitality received, I know there is a long way to go and many challenges to be faced but I have already overcome one and that is being here and enjoying each day.

picture 2


I am Shaun Engel from South Africa, ready to make a positive impact in the life of at least one person in
Kendari, Southeast Sulawesi.

Stay tuned for more as I document my experience…

Gracefully Broken

Today is a special day on the Moravian Calender for all youth, where the Young People lead the congregation in service for the Lord. It is a joyous celebration of song and dance, prayer, meditation and all praise to The Lord.

Psalm 27:7 Hear, O LORD, my voice when I call; be merciful and answer me.

Exaudi Sunday is an opportunity for the Future Leaders of our Church to showcase their talents and a platform for the youth to embrace the calling…..God has a plan for us all..

God will break you to position YOU
Break you to promote you
And break you to put you in your right place.. Gracefully Broken – Song by Tasha Cobbs

This year we are all experiencing church in a different way, I am happy that we have embraced the use of technology even amidst the regulations of lockdown we have brought the church into the home.

Thank You for handling us with grace
Just lift your worship right there in this moment All I have in these hands and multiply
God, all that I am and find my heart
On the altar again set me on fire, set me on fire
Take all I have in these hands and multiply – Gracefully Broken – Song by Tasha Cobbs

This afternoon saw the first collaborative Exaudi Service, 3 Districts came together sharing various talents in praising the Lord. We have been Gracefully Broken, The Lord took us by our hands and led us to this point, with His vision and guidance the team has produced an amazing video, all praises to The Almighty for handling us with Grace.

You want to tell Him right where you are (I surrender)Your power at work in me
(Oh) I’m broken gracefully
(Oh) I’m strong when I am weak
(Oh, ooh-oh) I will be free
(Oh, ooh-oh) Your power at work in me
(Oh, ooh-oh) I’m broken gracefully
(Oh, ooh-oh) I’m strong when I am weak
(Oh, ooh-oh) I will be free
(Oh, ooh-oh) Your power at work in me
(Oh, ooh-oh) I’m broken gracefully
(Oh, ooh-oh) I’m strong when I am weak
(Oh, ooh-oh) I will be free
(Oh, ooh-oh) Your power at work in me
(Oh, ooh-oh) I’m broken gracefully
(Oh, ooh-oh) I’m strong, I’m strong
(Oh, ooh-oh) I will be free, yeah
Oh ohHere I am, God
Arms wide open
I’m right here
Pouring out my life – Gracefully Broken – Song by Tasha Cobbs

The great thing about these videos are that they are available to view as much as you like, these are new memories being made and will be talked about for many years to come, we thank the team for taking up the initiative during these trying times and I pray that they get the continued support needed to keep it going.

To view the Exaudi service you can follow the link below: – MYN – MYUSA Working for my G/Algoa – MYUSA CTS – MYUSA AT  – Maitland Moravian

Hello Nurse!!!

Today we celebrate International Nurses Day, amidst the pandemic they are crucial in the fight for survival of our country.

From my personal experience when I was in hospital last year, a nurse has to endure the most, they have to keep you calm when you feeling uneasy, they are there to explain the gibberish you hear from Doctors in simple language. Often times we disrespect or look down on a nurse in our impatience to see a Doctor not knowing that it is the nurse’s duty to prepare us adequately in order for the Doctor to do his/her job efficiently to move onto the next patient swiftly.

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest accomplishment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” – Leo Buscaglia

Nurturing and caring this is one of the fundamental qualities these human beings possess.

Unselfishly giving their time and energy to keep us safe and comfortable.

Ready for any challenge in the workplace.

Superheroes do not necessarily wear capes; we have come to learn that they wear scrubs and surgical masks.

Executing their tasks with efficiency and care in order to keep their patients healthy.

“Nurses are the hospitality of the hospital.” – Anonymous

Today and every day we salute the healthcare workers on the front-line who work tirelessly keeping us healthy, let us listen to their instructions and stay safe.

Are you Free or are you Dom?

Freedom, the word has taken on new meaning amidst the pandemic currently taking away our choices of free movement.

Right now we may feel frustrated, confused, depressed and a zillion other emotions all because our freedom was taken away from us.

Each day that passes feels like the previous, some of us may not be working during this time so we needing to find alternative ways to keep us busy.

Everytime we switch on the television or the radio we are anxious as the stats are read out or a new development is relayed to the people.

DOM – yes the pandemic has taken away our freedom but if we do not heed the call and adhere to the various measures put in place for our safety, WE ARE DOM!


As we celebrate Freedom Day in South Africa, 26 years commemorating those that fought for the freedom we enjoy today let us fight in a different way this year. Lets fight the urge to break the rules and adhere to the measures put in place because together just like the freedom fighters of old we can regain our FREEDOM and enjoy the life we use to.

O. R. Tambo

This quote is an extract from letters sent by Oliver Tambo to E. S. Reddy between 1964 and 1969. Reddy released the letters to the public in 1995.

“The fight for freedom must go on until it is won; until our country is free and happy and peaceful as part of the community of man, we cannot rest.”

Come Alive and Be Revived

The world is dealing with a new normal, as most of us are in lockdown, there is uncertainty and confusion but there is also HOPE, THERE IS ALWAYS HOPE!!!!!

Jeremiah 29:11 “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”

Moravian logo

As I write this post I am proud to be a Moravian, our church is based on a rich history and traditions that are instilled in us from a young age. There may be challenges in terms of generational gaps but during this pandemic we have learned to overcome and empower ourselves in different ways through the Glory of our Creator. The Lockdown has provided us with a different way to worship and a group of young Moravians have taken the time and effort to bring the Church to our homes.

MYN Logo- updated

The Moravian Youth Network (MYN) is a space where all can connect and have fellowship through the online space provided. I am excited for the Sunday service videos as you feel the spirit, they capture every element of our beloved Moravian Church so beautifully. Song, Prayer, The Daily Watchword, The Sermon and also a bietjie van ‘n skud yip the gees is brought in many different ways. I enjoy the way many different individuals are involved in bringing a piece of their talents into each video, we are a widespread community and everyone has something to offer, I thank this team for their encouragement for young and old to add to growth of this platform.


I wrote a post earlier in the year highlighting The Moravian Theme for the year from the scripture reading Mark 9:24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

The devil is a liar…

I think what we are going through is a test, a test of faith, a test of belief and as the boys father exclaimed so we must EXCLAIM!! “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

The changes that are occurring within our church through the use of technology is amazing, it not only brings more involvement from young people, which has always been an issue we have been working to overcome but it also adds another dimension to the way the older generation are embracing this change.

I started off this post saying that the world is dealing with a new normal, yes we are and I believe that as we embrace this new normal and we come out of this lockdown period we will continue to use these platforms to connect and interact to broaden our spectrum and grow in different aspects of our spirituality.

Moravian Church


We, as Moravians, commit ourselves to the Lordship of Jesus Christ as we strive to renew our spirituality, affirm our unity, and improve our stewardship.

Skin Deep

Lockdown but not locked out of reality….todays feature is another interview, this time I delve skin deep into the mind of a tattoo artist…Jean-Paul Gray – artist, ink-morphing, creative mind – owner of Grays Ink based in Kensington, Cape Town.

Getting inked is a personal decision and almost always has a story to it, trusting the artist is one of the main elements that is why I decided to give you a little glimpse into the workings of Jean-Paul Gray.

  • How long have you been in the tattoo industry?

I’ve been in the Industry for 5 years, this year.

  • What made you decide to venture into this industry?

Art always use to be my thing, graffiti, painting, sketching and tattoos always interested me, since high school. So doing tattoos was like taking it to the next level and it stuck, it was no longer an interest, it became something I love to do.

  • What was your best piece and why?

The half lion, half eagle. I don’t have a best, I do have ones that I enjoy doing, like that one for example, took me about 30 – 45 mins but I enjoyed the session. Plus it looks cool.

  • If you could tattoo a celebrity who would it be and why? If they gave you free reign what would you tattoo on them?

I already did a tattoo on one of my favorite singers, from cape town. Her name is Crushanda Forbes, she was one of the Top 3 Idols SA finalists, I was so excited, because I’m a huge fan and I told her I was, she said, we friends now. I was like a little girl, (giggle). I didn’t ask her to pay, I did it cos I wanted too but she sang for me and I didn’t know how to handle myself – it was a great day! If she gave me free reign, I would do a lady portrait with some flowers, because it looks cool, (laughing), no actual reason, it just looks cool!

There you have it, a little insight into the mind of a local talent. If you are not afraid of a little sting check out his social media pages for updates and prices.

Facebook –

Instagram –

If you are interested in purchasing a digital voucher they are available and can be used once the lockdown is lifted. Let’s support our people, a little goes a long way.

Stay Safe.

Let it Bloom!!

Song of Songs 2:12
Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land

I decided, seeing that we are in lockdown why not add a local feature giving you a glimpse into the wonderful world of Fashion….once we get through this period and can leave our homes to smell the roses again, you are going to need something to wear right???

Nicole Reynolds has the magical touch to make you bloom on your wedding day and become the queen that you are meant to be….or spice up that date night with something spectacular to put that twinkle in your partners eye.

Nicole took the time out of her busy schedule to answer a couple of questions and share some of her experiences as motivation and encouragement to follow your dreams.

1. What made you decide to venture into this industry?

I’m one of those people who believe that some people are born to do certain things, be part of certain industries. For me, im the 3rd generation in my family to work in fashion. In other words, all of what I do came naturally from when I was a very little girl. By the age of 8, I knew fashion was what I would do in life. I knew because when working with fabric or making a garment or doing a design, I felt completely who I was supposed to be, at peace, no struggle or inner conflict, just complete joy and content. I still feel that way no matter what I’m making.

Undoubtedly one of my most daring bridal pieces, created for the stunning Candice Prinsloo for her big day. Candice chose this sexy body contouring mermaid piece with an Italian Tulle illusion lace bodice. Construction wise it was incredible. 90% of this piece was hand-sewn making it a complete labour of love. The fine detailing and dramatic composition along with the incredible person Candice, created this breath taking visage.

2. Who/What is your inspiration when it comes to fashion?

This is somewhat a loaded question as I’m inspired by various things at different moments. Things that inspire me to dream and create pieces in my mind are work of other designers and not necessarily fashion- at times art, architecture, jewelry etc. Sometimes entire collections, sometimes tiny details like the curve on a staircase or the way artists blend colours into each other. Photography is also a great inspiration at times. I love the female silhouette. I find it beautiful in every way, and I always felt that garment becomes what it should be once a person is inside it, so looking at images of that harmonious pairing, stunning garment brought to life by a beautiful silhouette, it’s very inspiring.
Furthermore… I enjoy garment construction. I love to sew and make patterns myself. It’s calming. But what inspires me to do it is the challenge. The challenge about whether the images in my head can be achieved. The challenge of whether my mathematical angles are correct to produce pieces the way I intend it to be. The challenge is ultimately with myself.

I remember the sound of the glass beads falling to the floor as I cut into this fabric. As well as the late nights I sat handstringing the beaded strands that draped her shoulders. This piece was amazing. It came together over 4 weeks and it brought so much joy to me as the heavy fabric perfectly hugged her body.

3. How do you see the future for yourself in this industry?

I’m blessed enough to be working in both the Creation and Education of fashion. My business will be 7yrs old in June and it started out as a business that only created Bridal and eveningwear. I found a maximum amount of satisfaction while creating those pieces. My business still only caters to that market. I love weddings and luckily I doubt people will ever stop getting married.
I love how bridal and eveningwear is constantly evolving and the challenge keeps changing and the push towards beauty is ongoing.
Which is great for me as a creative and the business.

As for fashion education, I’m a lecturer at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. The university I attended as well. I found a level of joy in teaching students that I’ve never experienced in any other area in my life. It’s extremely rewarding. Having so many ideas and techniques and personalities in one space is an amazing experience. I hope to do it for many many years to come.

In all my years I didn’t think I would find it within myself to create menswear. Needless to say, I even surprised myself. This piece was created for the handsomely fabulous Sebastian Newman who knew exactly what he wanted when it came to a double breasted suit with fitted trouser and pewter button details. I loved how he brought it to life the second he put it on. He and the suit were an harmonious sight to behold.

There you have it, if there is one word to describe Nicole and her amazing work it would be “PERFECTION”…each piece is unique and she takes every effort, working tirelessly to make you look fabulous.

You are built not to shrink down to less but to blossom into more.

Oprah Winfrey

For more of her creations follow her Facebook Page –

Wakanda Forever

Last week I had the opportunity to attend the opening of AFRICA FASHION INTERNATIONAL (AFI) fashion week, a three day opportunity to celebrate the beauty of clothing and the accessories that go with them.

It was always going to be an interesting experience for me as I feel like my fashion sense comes from the Flintstones era yabba dabba doo….and my knowledge of Fashion Shows are limited to the Victoria Secret show (cmon I am a guy and we all at some point want to find out what her secret is).

I like the topics that were to be discussed at the Master Class sessions over the 3 day event, Fashion and Sustainability, Creatives Corner and Fashion and Technology. This gave the audience an opportunity to engage with experts in the field and tap into the knowledge creating a spotlight on our African talent.

This event is more than just fashion but an opportunity to address various issues affecting our country and the world, the opening show by Gavin Rajah joined forces with UNICEF in South Africa to highlight the scourge of violence against children in our country.

The designer market place offered the opportunity to view the process of how the models got their hair and make-up applied while browsing through some of the designer clothing and accessories on display.

Obviously most attendees are there for the fashion shows and they did not disappoint…

What is a Fashion Week without headlining acts, Ricky Rick and AKA closed the shows with some banging beats, unfortunately the Fashion Week was cut short due to the Carona Virus, the responsible call was made it an effort to curb the spread…let us continue to help where we can in an effort to minimize the effects of the virus on our beautiful country and the world.
AFI Fashion Week, aims to redesign Africa’s future by positioning African creatives as leaders in narrating African stories.

The Gin Journey

Today is World Compliment Day….and what better compliment for a Gin than Tonic….add a paar blare en berries, stukkie cucumber and ice then you have the perfect drink for a chilled summers day in Cape Town.

The annual Gin & Tonic Festival takes you on a local and international journey, the festival goer is spoilt for choice….even BEEFEATERS are welcome (That is an actual Gin brand). I feel like if my drink doesn’t look like a vegetarian’s dream then it won’t be lekker….so my Gin Journey leads me straight to something with lots of greenery added to it.

The Woodstock Gin Company ticked off all the boxes even the description mentioned grassy taste…..

The cool thing about festivals like this is that you get to see the barman in action, mixing your drink to perfection and you can engage with the makers not only are you receiving a great tasting drink but you’ll also learn something new…..oh and you’ll definitely feel abit tipsy afterwards.

Food trucks, Gin & Tonic, two different music stages and a perfect summers day what more do you need but to gather your friends and enjoy what this festival has to offer…..skut jou hare en drink jou blare.

I had an fun-filled Gin Journey discovering my taste…

All good things must come to an end so for now I am hopping on the hot-air balloon and Ginning my way through to a new month filled with great opportunities and blessings.