Michael & I were blessed with lots of volunteer support over the last couple months. Extra hands are always very welcome, as it means we can do that much more! Here are some snippets of what we got up to:
With the support of extra volunteers we hosted an arts, crafts & games day during the December holidays. About 65 kids (including lots of new faces) got to bake crumpets, create a useful hanging wall pocket out of paper plates, and join in various new games. They really enjoyed this as the holidays can get rather long and boring! We plan on running such ‘fun days’ at least once during every holiday.
Paper plate crafts – cheap, fun & useful!
Baking crumpets (also known as pancakes/flapjacks – depending where you come from)
Lunch is a very social event
Lots of new games!
Many of these kids also joined us for our Saturday Bible Club, which has grown to about 60 kids every time. We are very fortunate to have had Lauren Ghent help us out these last few months, without extra help it really is very chaotic – especially with such a wide variety of ages attending. A reminder to how suddenly accidents happen: A girl of about 10 years sliced off the tip of her ring finger while helping us prepare apples for the snack at our last Bible Club. Fortunately she is okay, and there have been no serious repercussions. We have kept in touch with her parents regarding her well-being and also provided them with some medication and plasters.
The older group is great – very interactive.
All “king Josia’s” and they enjoyed “killing” Athaliah very much!
One of the highlights was upgrading the Jubilee Kidz Preschool – the first “upgrade” our side of town. Again we were fortunate to have a group of 13 volunteers get together and transform 3 dark, dirty rooms into bright, educational spaces. We gave the school a fresh coat of paint, did lots of small maintenance work, put up shelves, installed a ceiling, painted lots of educational murals, and were fortunate enough to be able to donate several chairs and other educational resources. The teachers were incredibly grateful and their huge smiles made a hard day’s labour worthwhile! We also received a donation of a jungle gym which we repaired and placed at the Jubilee Kidz Preschool. The teachers have reported that now the kids don’t want to go home in the afternoons, and they have had quite a few more kids joining the school since the upgrade.
Again seeing the “touch & teach” principle in that after the upgrade they asked us whether they could send some kids to the Bible Club – we now pick up 11 kids (as many as the bus allows) from that area as well.
Our bi-monthly games evenings are proving very popular – with a whopping 53 kids attending our most recent one! These evenings are quite hard on our voices (imagine 3 adults trying to speak over 53 over-excited kids) but on the whole everyone has a great time. We are trying to expose the kids to some new games every time, although “huddles” and “musical statues” still remain the firm favourites!
“Organized Chaos” at it’s best!
Littlies’ musical chairs
Another first was hosting the Gr R Theme Workshop, which has been a great success and in much demand at the Aphiwe Good News Centre. We had 7 attendees – ladies who had also attended the Crèche Course. Their feedback was very positive and we will be hosting these workshops once a month over the next year.
We are also implementing the Gr R Braingym (also a great success at Aphiwe) at the Tswelopele Good News Centre, and have 7 preschools that are sending their Gr R’s for this program. We try to limit the classes to 30 Gr R’s per session.
Testing hand dominance and practicing ball skills
The “Rain Game” which practices gross motor and language skills.
The goodbye circle
Our second crèche course is under way – we have 21 ladies attending. Some of these are ladies from the Aphiwe waiting list who decided to commute to Boksburg rather than wait until there was a spot available for them at Aphiwe.
We hosted a one-day “Learn to Read your Bible Effectively Seminar” on a Saturday and had 7 visitors attending – some of the crèche course ladies & some of the youth from the Saturday Bible Club. We plan to host these seminars at least once a month.
Hoping to be able to keep up the pace!
With love in Christ
Michael & Lilandi Furstenburg
“… overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.” Rom 8:37