WF REPORT – SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER, 2010
Having received our formal P2P South Africa training in August, I had my first opportunity to be fully involved in a P2P project in September. There were many volunteers in town, some of them were committed to Johannesburg, some to Margate & Candu, some to Port Elizabeth and two teams to Durban. One of the two teams was fully committed to Happy’s school (totally amazing involvement with the youth there) and the team I had the privilege of working with was committed to the Clermont ecclesia. This is a new ecclesia that meets in a home of one of our sisters in Westville. There are several brothers and sisters who actually live in Clermont who make the foundation of that ecclesia, but still there has been a need to provide a good meeting place with a clean environment. The more inviting the surrounding area and the more services we offer for the local community through the week, the more attendance and growth we anticipate. The P2P project at Clermont was to make the house presentable, the yard cleaned and prepared for teaching and play areas for the kids, and to also establish english classes, community services and Bible studies for the community. Our final effort in the two weeks of projects was to have a “Grand Opening” Braai (barbecue) for the community.
God Moments of Note
We were digging out the smaller of two areas that needed to be leveled so that we could use the space. The second, and much larger space, was also hard-pack soil. We began discussing that we would need a backhoe. In the UK, this machine is referred to as a JCB, but in South Africa, the particular type of vehicle could be one of many brands (same in many countries). Where we were in Clermont is quite remote and none of us had even seen any heavy equipment in the area, ever, prior to this. As we were discussing the need for a JCB, Simon Palmers dad, who was standing nearby, said, “Guys, there’s a JCB parked in front of our house.” We all came around the house and sure enough, there it was. The driver had driven up the street and parked it right in front of the house that we were working on. We call this our “God Moment” because as we were discussing it, God provided what we asked for–even by name brand. Needless to say, we were stunned! We stopped immediately what we were doing and began singing hymns and thanking God for bringing the JCB to us. One other comment – we couldn’t afford the full price of a JCB, which had been part of our discussion. However, since we were doing community service, he gave us a significantly reduced cost for his services, and was also able to finish his work in about 1/2 of his committed estimate. Result? Under budget, ahead of time completion of the project to level the front yard. Amazing! Now when we observe God in our actions, we always ask if it is a JCB moment ;-D
- Little hands helping out
On our second day out, we were leveling the first space for the kids who we expect will be playing in the yard. It was long, hard and hot work, and with all of our might and endurance, we still weren’t making the progress we wanted. While I was digging, I looked behind me and noticed that the space had “suddenly” become amazingly level. Looking around I saw that we had collected about 12 kids who had picked up shovels, spaces, pitch forks etc, and had decided it looked fun to move dirt from one side of the yard to another. Understand, the oldest was under 10 years old, and the youngest was around 3 years old. As a result of these little ones “playing” in our construction site, we were able to finish the basic leveling job that evening. I just stood up and thought to myself…”Unbelievable”… We need God, but God doesn’t need us in the same way, does he? We were doing His will in an intentional way, but He accomplished more that day through His Little ones who thought they were just there to play…
2010 International Bible School
- WOW! Magnificent messages, fantastic fellowship, perfectly planned project, excellent environment, spiritual Spontaneity. WOW!
- One of my favorite messages – We all make a name for ourselves. In the way of God, we will all have a name that describes who we really are, so what name have we placed in front of ourselves to seek to inherit? I love El-i-jah (El is my God)…
- To be in the presence and welcome company of Brothers and Sisters from nearly every country where there are Christadelphians. So many countries, dialects and cultures, yet to have a common heart for a common goal…
- If Bible classes are the preparation for spiritual living, then the project to help a local Creche (preschool) was a practical application of Spiritual truth. There’s nothing quite like “doing” the truth to create an understanding of what the truth really is.
- The camp was such an amazing place to be. The handiwork of God at every turn, with lots of family close together to appreciate it with one another. The Drakensburg towering over us. A little rain and cool, but mostly gorgeous sunny weather…
- And lots of time together, just having the opportunity to “Be” in a restful place with those we Love and are learning to Love!
- Thanks to the Bible school committee for coordinating such a wonderful Bible School, to the Scheepers for putting together the Creche project and to the many Brothers and Sisters who came from around the world to participate in this Bible School. Also, thank you to those who came and taught, many from far-afield! The classes were amazing!
2020 IGNITE project development
The 2010 by 2010 program has been an amazing experience for South Africa. However, the 2010 by 2010 program is coming to an end with the year itself. Going forward, however, we have the new program: IGNITE 2020.
We Praise God for making 2010 by 2010 amazing for South Africa, and we already anticipate that by the Power of God, IGNITE 2020 is going to be amazing all over the World!
One project that has really seen some serious attention and has met with true success is the Happy’s school for the disabled. These kids have substantial challenges. They are at various stages of physical handicap, have little or no family to help them out, and many have been abandoned altogether. These kids are no different than your children, or my children, but they only have each other to “get through it all.” Many of our volunteers have committed themselves to improving the circumstances and realities of the kids at the school, and have evaluated the children to see if they need wheelchairs above and beyond what the school provides. There are many contributors and instigators in Australia, the USA and the UK who have put in countless hours and uncounted efforts to raise funds for these children. Here, on the ground, Esther & Annie Abson and Naomi have been working to get the students in the wheelchairs that have been purchased through the contributions of many loving and dedicated Brothers and Sisters! I also have the privilege of being involved with these fine folk! The fruits of their labors over the last couple of months is the arrival of 14 new wheelchairs, including one electronic wheelchair to Nozipho on October 22nd. This is such a major improvement for these kids – it was amazing for us all to be able to be there with them when they received their wheelchairs. A God moment occurred on the 22nd, as we arrived and there was another group of people there to provide entertainment to the kids, and they changed their format when we arrived to help us announce the chairs being donated to the students, and to help promote what we were doing there…this was amazing and added so much to the excitement of the students as they were receiving their new chairs. The environment was really “Pumped up”!
All of the following have their origins in the Durban BEC Fundisi (Ministers) course
- All 5 of our students have completed the God’s Master Plan, and are going to progress to our next provided course, “Learn your Bible” which focuses more on the promises and covenants of the scriptures. I’m very excited to begin this set of classes, as this gives us an opportunity to really delve into Biblical teachings that are core to the Hope of Israel and the Kingdom of God on Earth and continued emphasis on God seeking to manifest His Glory over the entire Earth!
- God’s Master Plan, Instructor led courses
Ben & Roxy initiated instructor led courses using the God’s Master Plan powerpoints and have seen substantial success leading a class through the content, while allowing the students to work out the material in groups. The other volunteers, myself included, continue to contribute as class instructors. Currently, two full classes have completed, and a third is pending a start time in November.
- God’s Plan for the Future, instructor led courses
This is a followup course to the God’s Master Plan class, that David White created from scratch. This class teaches the sequence of events that will occur starting with the return of Jesus and ending with the Handing of all things over to our Father, so that “all is in all.” This is a basic course for beginning Bible students and is proving to be quite popular with our beginning Bible students. Several of the volunteers, myself included, are helping to teach the two instructor-led classes on Saturday. The first class is within four more classes to completion, and the second class has just begun.
- Hamba Ministries
I currently have 10 students who are actively working on God’s Master Plan, or who have progressed to the “Learn Your Bible” courses. Many of them are “hit and miss” on being able to discuss Bible Courses, but I see each of them at least once a week to maintain contact. The Bible School and P2P activities were definitely impacting the efforts, but I was extremely pleased to make contact with most of them once the Bible School was completed, and make sure they were continuing to progress in their studies. I’m blessed to have several new contacts who I anticipate will be starting the course in the near future, and I’m very excited with the progress that a couple of the students are showing – many of our students really “Get it” and are so excited to be able to understand what the Bible teaches!
Here’s Isaac Muningo – one of our students that was met through my walks to the BEC…He is an amazing student! He has since started coming to the BEC and we are having an Ad-Hoc class in this picture.
- Daily Bible Studies
Bible studies are always enjoyable at the BEC, however, October has been truly special! I’m averaging about 4 ad-hoc students daily, and it is as if God is using the students to teach me His word. I’m loving my time in Genesis studies, as well as the questions I get on Trinity, Holy Spirit, Man’s Nature, Tithing, Fasting, Prosperity doctrines, and others. These seem to be the “Key” topics that I have studied in the last month. I have really seen the scripture come clear on these topics, and even though I already knew these from the Bible, it is amazing how much more I’ve seen the Bible affirm what we know on these topics. Not only that, but it is so rewarding when you have a student who “sees the light” on a topic. This is one of my favorite things. We currently have 3 regular students who show up multiple times each week with progressively substantial Bible Study requests. These individuals are all enrolled in one of our courses, and are getting seriously into their studies…fun fun fun!
- Sunday BEC Classes at the Durban Hall
Barry Van Heerdon is taking the lead on teaching basic Bible teachings to our baptized Brothers and Sisters who have originated (mostly) from the BEC. This class usually commands between 20 and 35 newer Brothers and Sisters, plus the friends they invite.
- Friday BEC Zulu Hymn Singing
Singing at the BEC has become an event of note in the surrounding area. I’ve spoken to people in the shops around us who are always asking about our next singing event. They truly love to see and hear our volunteers singing the hymns in Zulu! This always draws a crowd into the BEC that results in at least 20 (or more) new students. While we sing on Friday, it is interesting how every session is different in some way. Just before Bible School, in September, we had a cold and rainy day and we were singing out front. People seemed to be moving quickly to wherever they were going and had limited time to pay attention. We started singing “Walk in the Light (Hamba Ukukhanya)
Here we are singing “Jerusalem is the City, the City in the name of the Lord … I Want to be There” (hence the pointing of fingers 😉
Bible studies in Genesis have been amazing for me these last couple of months:
- Six times God shows us a progression from Darkness to Light, one for each day of the creation. At the beginning of the first day it was only dark, with no hope for light. The Sabbath appears to be only Light. The darkness was temporary, awaiting the introduction by God of the Light. The Light will be forever, once God perfects it in the Last day. Message to Man – No God, only darkness, Know God – our hope is Light forever.
- Each day of creation (1-6) shows a pattern of God making distinction between the spiritual or non-spiritual aspect in His creation. However, on Day 6, the creation is of land animals and Man in His Image. Though man is in God’s image, man must choose to be elevated which makes “spiritual”, or he will be placed with the animals. Only man has a choice to intentionally fulfill the purpose of his creation.
- I had a gentleman named Piet (Pete) come into the BEC who was very excited as he’d finished our first handout for God’s Master Plan. He asked, “the Bible is so difficult to understand, how do I escalate my understanding of it?” Like a momentary glimpse of clarity I realized, “Reading the Bible (by itself) isn’t the key. Praying to God for Wisdom, guidance and direction, then reading your Bible is the Key. Add to this the intent to apply what you learn when God reveals it, and finally give God the credit for all spiritual lessons and strength provided as a result, and you’ll have a good approach to spiritual development There was more in the study, but I keep getting God’s reminder that He has invited us to invite Him into everything we do (Prov 3:6). If we start with that and then follow His guidance we will be spiritually blessed in all we do.
- Practical lesson: Some of my most amazing Bible discoveries have been stumbled upon when teaching topics that are seemingly basic or simple. I’ll never be so “smart” or advanced in my studies that God will not be able to teach me new lessons from His Word so long as I continue to search for understanding!
Future events of interest to watch for…
- Tentative plan for BEC graduation to occur on December 4th
- Volunteer “Silent Retreat” for Nov 1st weekend
- More Hamba Ministries activities
- Begin inviting BEC students to help the volunteers with their regular Friday Zulu hymn singing in Durban