“This weekend has been ripping at the seams with blessings. Friday night, Rachel, Naaman, and I led a games/songs evening at Aphiwe. Before we headed out, we piled about a dozen of the Kempton Park kids in the back of the Isuzu. We played some fun games such as wink (where one person is the “wink murderer” and tries to wink people in the circle to death without other people knowing), true/false (all of the kids thought Americans drive on the left side of the road), and huddles (call out a number and the kids have to form groups of that number or they’re out). We raised the roof singing some songs too, like “King of Kings”, “Jesus’ Love is Bubbling Over,” and “Stand Up and Shout it.” Due to sweets being rewarded for playing each game and more and more kids filtering in as we went, it was pure chaos by the end of the 2 hours. We drove some of the kids, who had walked to Aphiwe, home. Amongst the backseat laugher was Happy (12 years old) with her twin 4-year-old brothers (who had matching blue shorts and army green t-shirts). Happy usually walks to Aphiwe for Church on Sunday and other events throughout the week. I asked her how long it takes her to walk….she said about an hour and ten minutes if she’s cruising. She then told me that it takes her between 3 and a half and 4 hours to walk to Aphiwe with her brothers. I almost cried.
Saturday morning we lead Bible club at Tswelopele (we found out the night before we were going to lead it). We were late getting out of the Scheepers, picking up our Kempton kids, and arriving in Boksburg. I thought surely there wouldn’t be many kids at Tswelopele because we were a half an hour late (and it was raining extremely hard that morning). But as we rounded the last street corner in Boksburg, we saw the backs of about 3 dozen kids running down the road. We weren’t certain who the kids were, or what they were doing. Sure enough, they were all eagerly awaiting the familiar hum of the diesel COPTruck. We opened Bible club with a couple songs and a prayer. Naaman and I taught the older kids (roughly 8-15 years old) about Joseph in Potipher’s house and the Baker/Cupbearer’s dreams. They were all so interested; it was unbelievable! When we asked them why they thought Joseph was put in a dark/upsetting place for something he didn’t deserve, they had some great answers! Such as, “It’s because God only gives us trials he knows we can handle.” It was amazing, more and more kids trickled in up to the very end. Naaman and my class got up to 40ish kids.
Today we had the typical triple threat meeting at 8:30am in Kempton Park, 10:30am at Aphiwe, and 4:30pm in Pretoria with the Congolese. The Congolese meeting was quite special today. There were about double the number of brothers and sisters there since my first visit. About 20 of us were crammed in the 4th floor flat living room. Doug Mogg gave a great message about faith, stepping outside of the boat is the first step, and how we need to “fan into flame” the many gifts and resources God has given us (2 Tim 1:6). It was great to listen to Patrick translate Doug’s exhort into Swahili. Our intimate circle fellowship ended with the Congolese singing a song in Swahili. It started with Patrick beginning the song in a quiet resonate voice, and slowly but surely, all of the Congolese in the room joined in with beautiful harmony, call and responding, clapping, and swaying. Even us volunteers who couldn’t understand what they were singing went along with the powerful movement of the hymn. Being there was as though we were witnessing a warm spring sunrise, the sun’s rays raising the morning mist. Captivating. Spectacular. Wonderful. And Breath-taking.”
– Matt Drabenstott