Tag Archive: shane duffield


so i mini ranted on Facebook the other day a complete pot-kettle-black question about whether social networking has made many of us a lot more beggy

and i do mean ‘us’ because the other day a carefully subtle form of ‘advertising’ on someone’s status led to the complete surprise gift of two bottles of my favourite chocolate liquer, ‘Nachtmusiek’ [which reminds me, we are still working through those].

but i see people do it all the time – “Working home alone tonite and wouldn’t complain if someone brought a T-Bone steak dinner over” or “Ah the new iPhone 5 is happening – be fun if someone didn’t need their old iPhone 5 any more.”

it is a pretty safe practice, because at the very worst you end up with exactly what you had before [or some jerk writes a blog post about you!] but at the very best, you might just get lucky and find two bottles of… um i mean find that someone has been completely gracious and kind and totally surprises you with what you want.

i guess as a once off or an every-now-and-then it might be more harmless, but when people start using that space regularly for personal wish fulfilment advertising then i guess it feels a little needy… here’s looking at you brett fish anderson…

BUT then, looking at it from a different perspective, i absolutely LOVE the potential of the social networks when it comes to meeting legitimate needs and connecting resources and need.

one of my friends [well more friend of a friend] won a trip overseas with his band [including my friend Dreadlocked Mike] because of using Facebook as a voting platform.

just today i had a friend of mine working with underprivileged youth in an area reach out to me for help and i was able to connect him with another friend of mine working in the same area with the hope that between them there will be someone in the network who will be able to help out with the necessary mentoring.

Val and i have been given use of vehicles on so many occasions [back in South Africa and here in Oakland] when we needed them through people who had a spare one, or were able to give us theirs for a time, so generously jumping in and helping out.

same with cellphones  we had one phone and two sim cards and made an appeal online and now we have something like 5 phones and it became an embarrassment of riches.

help with removing a stain or a recipe? jump online and pose the question and call on the collective wisdom of your friends and their friends [if Uncle Google doesn’t sort you out first] but a tried and tested solution often beats something you randomly look up online and hope will work.

this is where, for me, social networking becomes so useful and exciting as a tool – raising prayer and support for issues like with what just happened in the Philippines – suddenly via Val’s dad who was going to be there and Eugene Cho who was Twittering about One Day’s Wages as one possible organisation that could help and a whole bunch of other avenues of how to get involved.

as with any tool, i guess it’s success and value lies in how well you use it – and so the challenge is up to us to use it for far more of the latter [helping people out in need and joining available resources to areas of lack]

i would LOVE to hear your opinion and thoughts on this and maybe even more importantly hear your stories… missing people being found, old friends being reunited, mass encouragement for someone who is struggling a bit, positive flash mobbing – these are all amazing ideas and ways of using the social networks for good, rather than me-vil.

In the meantime, as you ponder upon these things, if you could follow this link and go and vote for my super hardcore design for a Christmas sweater [complete with dinosaurs, abominable snowmen, dolphins and ninjas] the top 100 that get voted for will actually be made and that would be a lot of fun.


one imagines that once you are pregnant all goes well and a perfect offspring is born. that’s how i felt cos i’d had an easy 1st pregnancy and my daughter(Ro-anne) was perfect.

so when i was pregnant again i was soo shocked when i started bleeding, the doc told me to go to bed but nothing helped i lost the baby. i was devastated especially as i did not have a DnC but flushed my baby down the toilet. we are talking 30 yrs ago. also these things were not spoken about then and you had to muddle through by yourself.

the same story happened with the next baby.

praise God baby number 4 (Bronwyn)was full term and healthy.

again two more miscarriages. the hours of silent weeping in the middle of the night, blaming myself for doing something wrong. in the 3rd miscarriage i went to the doc and was lying on the examination bed, i was alone in the room and there was only one door which i could see. all of a sudden i felt a presence in the room, i calmed down and suddenly i felt that it didn’t matter why i lost the babies, God knew the full story and He is sovereign. the doc came and gave an ultra sound – i saw the baby in the middle of the womb but not attached, but this time i was comforted although i still cried. it was a peace that passes understanding.

another beautiful daughter arrived (Valerie)

after that i had 2 more miscarriages. the last 1 the baby had reached 4 months and we could all feel it moving and then it died, i had to have a DnC. i had a battle with myself cos i did not feel i had the emotional ability to face another miscarriage, but felt i could not leave my 3 daughters with such a negative view of pregnancies so i tried again. the baby went full term and was another beautiful daughter (Shana meaning Blessing) I felt that was an appropriate name considering the miscarriages.

how did i stay sane through all this? by the grace off God: he said my strength is sufficient for you. i go on without a shadow of doubt that i will see 6 children in heaven that i have not had the privilege of holding here. the 4 daughters i have have been an untold blessing to me. ‘all things work to the good of those who are called according to His purpose’. sandra.

when i have walked this road with people and they have had a stillbirth i have encouraged them to take a photo of the baby and hand and feet prints. they have all said it has helped them.

To God be the Glory Great things He Hath done.

[Sandra and Shane Duffield]

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