Shoes For All
According to a study by Reuters, the average woman has 19 pairs of shoes. One woman has even been found to have 400 pairs, of which 300 were knee-high black boots! Perhaps we need to get out of our fancy stilettos and stand bare foot for a moment - as this is how thousands of children in our country daily live their lives. This is what a ministry couple, John and Barbara Doyle, in Cape Town have endeavoured to do through their project ‘Happy Happy Happy Feet’.
A ministry for families
John is an ordained Baptist minister and director of Cape Missions International, a non-profit public charity. Together with his best friend and wife, Barbara, they are serving the Lord fulltime. They specifically have a heart for home and family ministry, believing that at the beginning of creation, God intended all families to win the race and bring glory to His Name. In the late 90s, the enemy shot a fiery arrow at the Doyle’s marriage: he wanted to break the strength there was in John and Barbara’s union, for he knew that one may be overpowered, but that two can resist him (Eccl 4:12). John left home and the ministry and moved away from the Lord.
After living apart for over a year, their marriage was gloriously restored (“Is anything too hard for the Lord?” Gen 18:14). They started a new life and the Lord used their time of trial to prepare them for ministering to thousands on restoring family values and enriching the covenant relationship of marriage. From their own walk through their trials in marriage, John and Barbara authored two books: ‘Tale of Two Towers’ and ‘Measuring your Marriage’. They have now written a third book, ‘The Formula 1 Family’, on winning the race for marriage and family.
The ‘Happy Feet’ project
Together with a CD called ‘Me and My House’ (containing 11 tracks composed and performed by John and his daughter Jenni), ‘The Formula 1 Family’ is being sold to raise funds for a Godly purpose. For every book or CD purchased, Cape Missions International has committed to place a pair of strong, croc style shoes (suitable for children who have to live in South Africa’s informal settlements) on the feet of a child who needs it.
This project, called ‘Happy Happy Happy Feet Ministry’, is in memory of the Doyle’s daughter, Kim, who went to be with the Lord in 2009. She was part of the first of these missions and as she placed shoes on the bare feet of children, she prayed that they might “walk in the footsteps of Jesus for the rest of their lives.”
The name of the project was inspired by Kim’s final words on Facebook before she went to glory: “Happy, Happy, Happy.”
Resources to help your family
‘The Formula 1 Family’ (the book) and ‘Me and My House’ (the CD) share the formula for building a lasting family and home that can be used for God’s great works. According to John (and the Apostle Peter!), “(God’s) Divine power has given us everything we need for life and Godliness through our knowledge of Him” 1 Peter 1:1-11.
Faith is the Formula 1 vehicle that takes you on your journey with God. There are seven additions, however, to this vehicle:
- Virtue is the unleaded fuel that accelerates us to a closer walk with God
- Knowledge (the Bible) is the manual that gives us the info we need
- Self-control is the brake that is needed to make sure there are no accidents
- Perseverance are the tyres that keep us on the road – no matter its condition
- Godliness is the oil and water that flows through our engine (it is God’s Spirit – without Him we seize up!)
- Kindness is the seating allowing family to be comfortable and benefit from our journey with God
- Love is the high performance engine – the driving force and motive that God gives and demands from each member of His ‘Formula 1 Family’.
These seven additions to the ‘Formula 1’ vehicle of faith are also based on the first chapter of 1 Peter: “…make every effort to add to your faith virtue; and to virtue, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, Godliness; and to Godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.”
If you would like to partner with the Doyles through purchasing their books or arranging for them to speak at your conferences and events, they are available. The ‘Formula 1 Family’ is a handy resource for improving your inter-personal relationships and will bless your family with practical guidelines.
A call for partnership
If you would like to join the HHH Feet ministry in taking shoes to barefoot children, please contact the Doyles. They are open to working through local churches to reach others with the Love of Jesus. May we always be willing to exchange our shiny shoes for the worn out shoes of another.