Saturday and Sunday Preaching and Social /Youth Ministry Activities
I’m pleased to say that some of our planned activities have now become reality.
Our Saturday and Sunday preaching and social/youth ministry activities are under way, and I am seeking an increased involvement from more of our members to add to a small but dedicated team.
My own feeling is that when we instruct friends for baptism there should be a built-in expectation that they will be involved in ecclesial activities. It should just be a matter of which activities they choose according to their talents. So often in the past we have hoped that they will become involved beyond Sundays and Bible Class attendance, without any plan to make it possible.
To encourage involvement, I recently circulated the information below to all members, and include it here in case it is thought to be of value to anyone reading this report.
Yeoville Saturday and Sunday Preaching and Social/Youth Activities Mar–Apr 2011
Because of work commitments, or lack of money for transport for the unemployed, help with midweek community preaching, youth and social activities are extremely limited. As leader of the preaching program I am encouraging as many members as possible to be involved at the weekend.
We would like to engage members and young people (14+) in the following activities:
- Literature stall in a local mall
- Literature stall on a local street corner
- Discussions/ church invites at the BEC gates
- Leaflet distribution to support
- Bible Courses
- Discussions at the BEC
- Seminar series
- Open Air Meetings
- Local Questionnaire Surveys to determine
- Church needs
- Community help
- Hopes and aspirations
- Outreach activities
- Hospital visits
- Helping at the local orphanage
- Community projects – practical help
- Social activities (particularly to encourage our young people to also join in the activities listed above): swimming, games, trips, picnics, brais
What we can achieve will be dependent on the number of willing volunteers, vehicle availability and finance.
If possible we would like to offer a choice of at least 2 activities for each session.
“ON SATURDAY AND SUNDAY AFTERNOONS I NEED TO SPEND TIME WITH MY FAMILY, FRIENDS , AND DO MY JOBS”
In the end, it’s all a matter of priorities:
Do we want the ecclesia to grow?
Do we want to get to know our young people better and help them grow in Christ?
Do we want to serve our community, both spiritually and practically?
We must be willing to make personal sacrifices. Jesus did for us. What are we prepared to give?
Family time is very important. However, there are ways we can link this into our ecclesial family.
Doing jobs is also important. But, do they have to be done between 1.30 and 4.00pm on a Saturday afternoon, or 12.00 to 2.30 pm on a Sunday afternoon? We can get up earlier or stay up later!
In the end, it’s all a matter of priorities.
You may not be able to help with the work every Saturday or Sunday.
You may be able to only offer one or the other.
You may only be able to help once a month.
If you are over 75, working or caring for the sick, we don’t expect you to help, except by your prayers.
Whatever time you can commit to these worthy causes will be greatly appreciated by our Yeoville ecclesia.
Please circle the dates on which you would be able to help, on the enclosed sheet, sign and return to Bro David.
I await responses with interest.
Friday Evening Spiritual Development Program
We started the program ten weeks ago and I am pleased with the progress made so far.
For rhe first two weeks we focussed on looking very carefully at selected passages of Scripture. Since then Bro Wilfred Alleyne has been coaching and developing our young brethren in their preparation and presentation of public talks. All four participants have made significant progress.
Over the coming weeks we shall be taking a holistic approach, covering the many aspects of Bible study, teaching, preaching, service, fellowship, commitment and spiritual growth.
Working at the Agape Orphanage
As part of our Youth Ministry, our older young people have volunteered to work after school one day a week at the Agape Orphanage, which is a short walk away from the BEC. The Ecclesial elders have been keen for our young people to offer a valuable service to people in need in our community. Five young people have made a commitment to this project, and the orphanage children look forward to their visits. Our youngsters help with homework, read to, and listen to the children read, play games and chat. Some lovely relationships are being developed.
WE plan to expand our community activities as opportunities arise.
Cephora and Seniorine helping children with their homework
Bro Wilfred reading stories to a happy group
Food Distribution Program
Three times a week, brethren Pradeep, Stewart and Harrison travel some distance to two Woolworth stores to collect food for distribution on Sundays after meetings. Bro Leon and myself act as reserve collectors. Several of our young people have travelled to collect food so that they experience what it takes to have food available for the poor on Sundays. It also gives them a feeling of involvement in the community activities, and an increased awareness of the needs of the poor, and our care for them.
Cephora and Prisca collecting food from a Woolworth store
Homework Sessions at the BEC
Many of our members, their children and friends are refugees from the Congo, who came to South Africa with no, or very few, English skills. This makes school life extremely difficult as lessons are in English… unless they are learning Afrikaans or Zulu!
Bro Wilfred, a former Maths and Science teacher, and myself have been running these homework sessions 3 times a week after school on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. An average of 8–10 children attend regularly.
Of course, this has benefits far beyond helping with homework. It links our young people with the BEC, and they enjoy meeting friends. All of our homework group come to the BEC on Saturdays and Sundays for Bible lessons, so we feel it is unlikely that they will drift away to other churches. They have developed a strong sense of belonging, which we hope will eventually lead to their baptisms.
Bro Leon Shuker, a former teacher and school principal, has helped this week and our plan is for Bro Leon to take over from Bro Wilfred who, sadly , leaves for the UK this weekend.
Bro Wilfred and Bro Leon hard at work with the homework group
Operation Lost Sheep
This subject has been discussed at various times, but with no ecclesial plan. Individuals have worked independently to keep in touch with some of our absent members. We have now elected a ‘champion’, sis Joan Shuker , to co-ordinate this important work. She will involve members as appropriate and there will be an increased focus on this activity.
The Yeoville Creche
While this is run independently by Bro Martin Munyangai at the house linked to the BEC, there are positive links to the BEC and the ecclesia. We have given transport assistance when necessary for the children to enjoy field trips. We hope the crèche children will eventually become Sunday School scholars.
Creche children returning from a trip to MacDonalds
Saturday and Sunday Bible Lessons
About 25 children attend on Saturday mornings for Bible lessons followed by games, and 35- 40 children attend Sunday School. Saturday morning sessions are run by Bro Pradeep with help from several members. We have eight teachers involved with Sunday School, a big increase over last year. This increase is part of our plan to involve more members in a developing range of ecclesial activities.
Suggestions for a South African Educational Trust
In the next few years, several of our young people will be sitting their final school examinations. Because most of our member are poor, even if their children are bright and capable of university success, short of substantial grants, it is extremely unlikely that they will ever be able to study there.
This sad fact has major implications for our young people and their families. Instead of having the prospect of earning enough money to keep themselves and help their families, it is extremely likely they will have poorly paid jobs or be unemployed. Ecclesial welfare may well be required in some form over an extended period of time.
There could well be large organisations which may be prepared to help here, such as the United Nations (where bro Ron Hicks has connections), UNICEF, the Rockefeller, Carnegie, and Smithsonian Foundations. With positive marketing, could we not raise funds to help our young people from within the Brotherhood?
I would like us to think seriously about this issue, and then address the problems in a co-ordinated fashion. The South African Brotherhood, via its creative thinking and positive action, has a well-deserved worldwide reputation within the Brotherhood for care in the community, dynamic preaching activities and spiritual service.
I have a feeling that if thoughtfully presented, brethren and sisters worldwide would respond generously to such a worthy cause. Could charity begin at home, so that our young baptised members can look forward to a brighter personal future?
That’s all for this time, other than thanking God for His continuing blessing on our work, and stating that Bro Wilfred Alleyne has made a very valuable contribution to the work in the Yeoville, Kensington and Soweto ecclesias over the past two months. He is keen to return to South Africa at some future date, and I wholeheartedly support any financial scheme which will enable him to renew his efforts here on our behalf.
With love in Jesus