WCF WF Report – Feb to Mar 2010
Here is the final two-month report for Megan and I for our missionary trip to South Africa. There are 8 related high-res pictures available for download via this zip file link (17MB):
APHIWE GOOD NEWS CENTRE
The missionary work activity in the Kempton Park area of South Africa reached a crescendo in March with the launch of the new Aphiwe Good News Centre in the impoverished township of Tembisa (the word Aphiwe means “gift” in Sutu, the most common language in Tembisa). It was wonderful to see God’s visible hand in the realization of years of hard work by Lucas and Leona Scheepers, the full-time missionaries in Kempton Park, to finally have a community center for bible preaching in the township they’ve been working so hard in. The launch date itself of the Aphiwe Good News Centre happened to coincide with our return date to the U.S., so it was a bittersweet moment for us to see the climax of a lot of hard work on the same day we had to leave.
When the construction crew had finished remodeling the house into a community centre building, the preaching team was able to go in and complete the finishing touches: building shelving, painting, landscaping, stocking numerous supplies, and cleaning. Visiting P2P members from Durban helped install the grass and also painted beautiful murals on the front and back walls.
Situated across from the busy Tembisa train station, the Aphiwe Good News Centre is located in an ideal location, since thousands of people walk by it every day. There was already incredible interest from the community in having bible classes there, before the centre had even opened, so it is easy to envision an ecclesia forming there within months, if it is God’s will.
The new project formed by the Kempton Park preaching team, C.U.D.D.L.E. (Crèche Upgrades, Diligently Developing Little one’s Education) kicked into high gear as well in recent months. The project involves helping impoverished township crèches upgrade both their facility (often just wood shacks with tarp roofs) and also the education level for the children attending the crèches (in actuality, the crèches were many times just babysitters for the children).
The goal is to give a major facelift to the physical construction of the building as well as boosting the teaching level of the crèche which gives a bottom-up benefit to a poor, uneducated community. Kempton Park preaching team members, generally in groups of two, helped several crèches on a weekly basis operated by Zelda, Molly, Kalina, Gogo, and Sara. The volunteer help provided through the C.U.D.D.L.E. project never goes unnoticed by the crèche teachers, who many times become bible correspondence course students. In the case of those crèches helped in Tembisa, many of the teachers now want to come to the Aphiwe Good News Centre to attend bible classes taught by the missionaries there.
BIBLE EDUCATION CENTER
The Bible Education Center classes in Birchleigh North were also in full swing with a core group of about 6-7 students who attended regularly loaded with questions they wanted to know more about in the bible. Bro. Lucas and I took turns teaching three midweek classes on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, which sometimes ran up to 3 hours in length to answer all of the students’ questions. The inquisitive bible students wanted to know what scripture had to say about subjects like Lucifer, the satan in Job, God’s kingdom, tithing, and sacrifices for their ancestors. We were very blessed to be able to use the Committee Room in the Coen Scholtz Community Center free of charge. The community center is located directly next door to the Birchleigh North Mall where the Bible Education Center kiosk is located.
The most exciting news is that the intensive classes on doctrinal issues like this had begun to yield visible results. One student, named Paul, who had attended all of the BEC classes since the first day, began to realize that what his church had been teaching him was wrong and that he needed to come out of a system of false religion. He attended the Kempton Park ecclesia with us to check things out for himself and felt very comfortable there. He said that he would like to begin attending the meeting on a regular basis and also bring his wife and 3 children, so that was wonderful news! There are others attending the BEC classes who may also begin attending the local Christadelphian ecclesia and are beginning to understand that what they are being taught in their churches isn’t what the bible really says.
SATURDAY MORNING BIBLE CLUB
Megan and I helped develop the Saturday Morning Bible Club, which is held every other Saturday morning from 9:30 – 11am in the Delmore Gardens township at the “God is Love” crèche. About 50-60 teenagers on average would attend, and we taught them biblical lessons, played educational games, had fun activities, and gave them a snack and drink. The children were well-behaved, eager to learn, had a respect for God, and we found the older students had a solid bible foundation that we could build on.
Saturday Morning Bible Club – Megan Teaching
Saturday Morning Bible Club – Jonathan Holding Child
One of the numerous benefits of working with a cohesive, active preaching team in the Kempton Park area is that it gives Megan and I peace and comfort in knowing that the projects we’ve started and were working on will be carried forward by the hard-working, dedicated brothers and sisters who are there. It was such a blessing to be a small part of the work in the South Africa preaching efforts and we consider it to be some of the happiest times in our lives delivering God’s message to the wonderful people living there and being part of the Kempton Park ecclesia.