WCF Report – July/August 2010
P2P Training week:
At the beginning of August, South Africa held their first ever P2P training week. We had roughly thirty people attending; it was an even split of volunteers and local South Africans that are in some way involved in the preaching efforts. The classes were encouraging and helpful but the time spent in between sessions, while sharing fellowship was awesome. Personally I found the week on the whole really uplifting, and I’m really grateful I had the opportunity to attend!
Last year Lamontville Youth were not able to fundraise enough to get to the Braambos Bible Camp up in Johannesburg. It sprang up on us this year as it was moved forward two months because of the International Camp in September, and not much advance warning was given to fundraise. Nevertheless Mathew Collard managed to find enough families from the Cambridge Ecclesia to sponsor a child each, as well as help contribute to the petrol. It was a great camp. Very uplifting and very encouraging! Due to the dates being moved and the fact that most people are saving for the September Camp, not many people managed to attend. It was a small gathering and so there weren’t enough of each age group to break out into different classes. Everyone, teens and adults, sat in on all the talks. The youth seemed to really enjoy the talks, taking notes and chatting about the different Fruits of the Spirit during meal times! It was great to see their horizons widened as they met other youth from different areas of the country! When Sunday came and goodbyes were said, watching some of them reminded me of when I was younger and made me realise how much of my up bringing I took for granted. Because numbers for the camp was small it was being debated whether or not to cancel it for this year. If Cambrigde had not helped these youth get there, there might not have even been a Camp. So we are really thankful to them for their contributions.
The Youth with their mom’s and siblings before we set off.
The Youth in the first hour, very excited to arrive – not comprehending there’s still 5 hours of the car journey to go!
We have recently started another BEC God’s Master Plan Class every Saturday at the Durban hall. We now have a small team to run the class, which at the moment is Ben and Roxy Topham, Ellie Bilton and myself. Having a team helps spread the load of presenting the class, running the workshop section, providing and serving morning tea, transporting students, and general help and support where needed.
The first lesson of the GMP. One of the tables working on their questions.
The newly baptised class, held outside in the warmth of the winter sun.
English Class’s have grown enormously. They have not only expanded into the Mariannhill Good News Center but also to Clermont. We are running a child’s class as well as an adult’s class at the Clermont Center and both are going really well! Everyone who helps with them has been meeting occasionally to help put together a resource file. The plan is to capture past lessons and provide many ideas to future volunteers. The goal is to have a copy to be able to duplicate at the different areas of the country. It is just a great way to serve the community and the by product is that many of the children start attending either the Sunday school or the youth classes. It is a great way to introduce them to the center. God willing by the end of the year we will be providing a Teen English Class as well as an Adults English Class in the following areas, Lamontville, Mariannhill, Clermont, and possibly Johannesburg.
Earlier this year I painted an African sunset on one of the outside walls of the Aphiwe center in Johannesburg . A handful of the Creche teachers in the area have asked for murals to be painted at their crèches, and so I went up to Johannesburg for two weeks towards the end of August and stayed with the Scheepers. Apart from helping out where I could, I painted the murals for the teachers.
A God moment for me this month was coming back in the car from some where and asking the volunteers if any of them were keen to come with me to Lamontville to help paint the mural at the Creche. A newly baptised brother from Clermont was in the car, we were giving him a lift back to Westville. He was the first to answer me back, and his answer just caught me and made me think twice about my own attitude to serving God by helping others. He said, “I’m not busy this afternoon, I can come. I want to be an asset!” I am now striving to have this kind of attitude to everything my hands find to do!
The Lamontville mural still needs some finishing touches.
Every Wednesday we go to a local hospital and take the patients verses or biscuits or something small. Recently we have been going more regularly. About a month ago I met an elderly lady called Sandra. She is a diabetic and has just had one of her legs amputated. She doesn’t have any family and had no where to go. She was waiting for the social worker to find an old age home for her to go to. As a result of taking her verses and one time new shoes, and just being there consistently on a weekly basis, she is really keen to start the bible correspondence course. When she got the news from her social worker that she will be going into a home once her leg is healed she immediately ordered us to come visit her there and do the same to the elderly there, giving of our time and offering the bible correspondence course!
Another God moment for me this past month was riding in the wheel chair around the ward. Firstly it made me grateful for the healthy pair of legs God gave me and then secondly it helped me break down barriers with patients that have in the past not welcomed a chat. One of the ladies that has had her leg amputated, always used to frown at me, when I approached her. Often while making conversation she seemed to not understand. I always presumed it was a language problem, that I spoke English and she spoke isiZulu. After trying my hardest to wheel myself around the ward she started smiling and by the end of the evening we were friends. Sometimes we have to be fools for Christ!
Overall during these past two months; wheeling myself around a hospital ward in a wheel chair, being watched by a group of children while painting, teaching adults how to read and speak English, chatting and singing with the Lamontville Youth on a six hour drive to Camp, staying with the Scheepers for two weeks; it has just been really uplifting and rewarding!