How often does this life thing have you stumped?
How often do you stand in the place between disappointment and hope?
I have heard it said that in every disappointment there is an appointment.
I have heard it said that hope is a story waiting to happen.
I see hope in the story of a man.
His name is Lafras Moolman.
This man Lafras, is an avid listener to a niche market, very intimate radio station, Kingfisher FM in a small South African city called Port Elizabeth.
What amazes me is that the stations manager, Theunis Pienaar, took an interest in Lafras.
He took an interest in one person.
Lafras is 27 years old.
He is a quadriplegic.
He’s been living in a room at his moms home for years.
Listening to his radio.
Being a Facebook encourager.
Lafras is cheerful.
Lafras always sees the positive.
He has a motto, “Life is an Adventure waiting to happen!”
And let me tell you, the adventure has started.
Theunis noticed that Lafras responded via SMS to every move the radio station made.
He became interested in him.
Then came friendship.
Standing in the outside looking in, I have observed as Kingfisher FM has helped him to begin achieving a dream.
A dream to get out there on his own and start living a more independent life.
Now this nobel young man is strapped into a wheelchair – he can move a few fingers…
And he can move a whole lot of hearts.
I have watched as people have rallied to assist.
In the past month Lafras, the gentle man, has left the parental home.
Assisted by Theunis and a forward thinking man called Dawie Steyn he was granted space in Quad House, Newton Park, Port Elizabeth.
Quad House is a place of assisted living.
This is where a quadriplegic can live and run his or her life.
They have wheelchair ramps, special assistants and a german Shepard who loves … well, everyone!
As I visit Lafras I see a man beginning to own his space.
I am also seeing someone, who for the first time has to make a home.
Again, hope stepped in.
Carmel Wolf from Sherwood Garden Center brought him plants and a trellis.
She placed a huge palm in his room and I watched as local gardener Paul Ntshingana jovally gave of his time and planted the outdoor plants Carmel brought outside his window.
My two boys assisted, in-between play of course.
As Lafras sits at his desk he now has a view.
Hilda Beukes, a Bloemfontein artist painted a glorious forest scene for him, and couriered it down!
Rory Scholtz from Daltar Print and Copy on Buffelsfontein Rd, didn’t blink an eye and without even meeting Lafras cut the motto in vinyl for his wall.
“Life is an adventure waiting to happen!” now sits easy on his newly painted wall above his computer.
Kelly Niemandt from New Room Interiors on Main Rd Walmer opened her heart to this project.
She is generously making bedding, cushions, table covers and more.
My handyman dad, Errol Gertenbach (he gets involved in all my projects) took over the shelving, touched up and made brackets for the trellis donated by Carmel.
Through all of this Lafras is grateful and humble, friendly and easy to work with.
As I have observed the haste of individuals to make Lafras’s life a better place to be and to turn his room into a home; I realise that we can change our cities just one person at a time.
We don’t need to be hero’s who change the world.
We don’t need to influence and change the lives of 20, 50 or 100 in one go.
All it takes is the creative thought that we can do something small.
All it takes is the creative shift that our input, even a tiny effort, can improve the life of one person.
As we realise and act, the act is a step of faith.
That act is often a creative catalyst enabling others to act.
I have made a friend.
Lafras has given to me as much as I to him.
As I help and love and assist, I too am edified.
What can you offer to who right now?
This is me Tania Ahlfeldt and I am encouraging you to creatively act in one new way today.
Lafras’s adventure has started. His home is a work in progress.
I will keep you updated!