Have you ever hosted Bible Class in your home? Sure, but what if your home was only EIGHT feet wide and EIGHT feet long? AND you had to squeeze in 15 people with your double bed, couch, recliner chair, kitchen and all the rest of your personal belongings? This is Bible Class in Effingham Township.
About 1 year ago one Bro. Lucas from Durban was given the opportunity to “inherit” a home church from a close friend who was wanting to retire. The retiring preacher didn’t want his church to close just because he was retiring so he sought out a suitable replacement that loved God and knew his Bible. Bro. Lucas ended up being chosen to take over the responsibility of the Effingham Church. Bro. Lucas being a baptized Christadelphian of only 3 years wasn’t sure how to run a church, so he asked his local Durban Christadelphians to help him run the church. Bro. Lucas runs the service on Sundays and fieldworkers like myself run the Wednesday Night Bible Class.
These 15 dedicated Bible students meet in the aforementioned home of Priscilla. She is a lovely single lady who is raising her daughter in a very small home made of mostly discards found at the local rubbish heap. The walls are made of flattened milk cartons, strips of vinyl and crisscrossed with Coca-Cola signs found on the side of road. The roof is made of a scrap-metal with old tires thrown on top to hold it down. The inside of the house feels like one of those clown-cars where it’s comical to think so many people can fit inside such a small space. It would be the equivalent of hosting bible class in the space of your bathroom.
On my first night to teach class, Bro. Lucas handed me a microphone and said, “Here Rick, can you please speak into the microphone?” I looked at the size of the room and replied, “I think they’ll all be able to hear me just fine!” What I didn’t realize is that they broadcast their services over loudspeaker to the entire neighborhood! I wasn’t sure how many would show up to Bible Class, I assumed only a few as the size of the house was very small…but as the neighbors started arriving, I was just shocked that so many people were willing to squish, squeeze, and contort themselves to fit inside to hear Bible Class.
In typical South African fashion the power has gone out in 2 of the past 4 Wednesdays. We continue in the dark with cell phone flashlights and paraffin lamps that give me a headache and worry me about setting the place on fire.
We’ve been going through first principle teachings and the students are extremely faithful and dutifully take notes all class long. I’m thrilled to be part of spreading the Word in the Effingham Township and quickly this class has become my favorite project of the week.