Gospel Girls encourages young women between the ages of 15-20 to grow spiritually through self-exploration, building relationships with each other, and the development of life skills such as effective communication, critical thinking, and decision making about personal values and future plans. This course uses Biblical principles to attempt to answer questions that the girls may have about issues in their lives while discussing friendship, self-esteem, romantic relationships, and their relationship with God.
This month, I have been working on establishing the Gospel Girls’ classes in Mariannhill, and continuing them in Lamontville. One day, we arrived at Lamontville to find only three girls who have always been regulars in the class. We started the class and a few minutes later three more girls walked in, followed by two more in another few minutes. By the time the class was in full swing our numbers had tripled. God has provided the growth in Lamontville, and the girls are enthusiastic about Gospel Girls. We now have two more girls who have become regular attendees.
The youth have been really excited about our “joint youth days” in which we get the teens from Lamontville, Mariannhill, and Westville together to have fun, learn about the Bible, and build solid friendships. Last week, we had a concert set up by Laura Iredale, a sister in the UK, that joined the two countries via skype. We took turns singing with a group of students in England. It was a great time for the youth, and we had a wonderful turn out from Westville to watch the show. We really enjoyed singing and praising God together.
We have been working on establishing a consistent Sunday school program for Mariannhill as well, and we have started two classes. I have been co-leading the older class with bro. Sam Turner. We first give the teens a chance to ask questions about the Bible. The first few weeks we would ask, “Do you have any questions about the Bible today?” and then wait in silence for a few minutes before going on to talk about whatever subject we had prepared. However, last week I asked for questions and each of the girls in the class took turn asking a question that they had prepared. We discussed prayer, the difference between Jesus and God, and the discussion continued from there.
One lesson I have learned here in South Africa is to wait patiently while acting steadfastly. Just showing up consistently each week is key to success here. God is providing the growth, and I now understand that it takes time for relationships to be established and trust to form. Just because people don’t show up for a little while doesn’t mean that they never will. Things tend to pick up as word spreads about them over time.
Lauren found some face paint in a shop one day and we decided to use it at our after school club in Claremont. It was a hit, and we have been using the face paint everywhere since. We started to take it to the mobile BEC and paint kids faces, while handing out invites to come to Sunday school.
The last month has been full of amazing opportunities to show God’s love.