WF Report – May 2010
4 months into my time here in SA, and wow these last 2 months have been fruitful!
Following on from my last report about ‘happys’ (the Maison Lincoln disabled school)…there has been great development! The eldest student, Nozipho who is 28 got baptized on the 9th May. Christadelphians have been visiting the school for 3 years now so it is so wonderful to witness the first baptism!
That Sunday was so full of joy! There were 3 baptisms! Brenda, Sine and Nozipho. Probably one of the most emotional baptisms I’ve ever been to! We arrived at happys at 8:30am to pick Nozipho and her friends up for the baptism. Nozipho was sitting at a desk alone writing the testimonial she would give at the baptism. This immediately brought tears to my eyes. Here was a lady, my friend who is totally dependant on others, unable to do anything by herself and she wants to give her life to the Lord.
I forgot to pray that morning for God’s help in making things run smoothly. There was meant to be a bus driver to drive the school’s minibus to the baptism, he wasn’t there. We were on a tight schedule and had 3 lots of other people to pick up too! The only staff member that was around happened to know someone who lived next to the school that had his number! She got it for us and we managed to get hold of the bus driver…he said he would be 30 minutes. We didn’t have 30 minutes! We told him we were at the school waiting and then he said he would be 5 minutes. 10 minutes later he did turn up. Him not turning up could have been a disaster! That was God saying HE IS in control of everything! It doesn’t matter how much you plan and you think everything is under control, in the end; it’s down to God.
12 students on the mini bus and 3 other pick ups later we finally made it back to the hall with 10 minutes to spare. Quite the accomplishment here in SA.
The baptisms, which were incorporated into the Sunday service, were just so beautiful! Brenda, Sine and Nozipho all gave testimonials about how the introduction to the truth changed their lives, very emotional! The baptisms were done outside which was just lush too, then we all shared a meal together.
Things are going well at Happy’s School. I organized an Italian day last Saturday, we all had moustaches painted on and we made pizza! It got very very messy… one boy who has learning difficulties enjoyed mashing up about 4 dough balls along with the cheese, tomato sauce and drool. He had good fun with it for about an hour.
Monday we took a group of them to the marine world. They had a great time! Its funny, I’ve been going to the school for 4 months now and there are some students which aren’t really bothered about you being there. Which is fair enough. There are a few which sit in groups on their beds braiding each other’s hair and don’t really want a conversation when I try and start one and they don’t get involved with the activities we organize. There is one girl who is extremely independent and very loud and abrupt. Months ago she wasn’t bothered about talking to me. But slowly as she could see I was sticking around she began to slowly become interested, she would peer over my shoulder if I was showing someone some pictures, or stick her head in the classroom if I was talking to her friends. Then last month she partook in one of the craft activities. The kids at the school LOVE photos. Like you wouldn’t believe, they beg you to take photos of them and print them out. On a couple of occasions I’ve printed one out of her and given it to her. She nods and walks away. She doesn’t smile much. But the marine world opened up a whole new level. It was as if they finally saw that we cared and that they can’t ignore us any longer because we are sticking around for them! The ones that sat on their bed braiding hair not wanting a conversation suddenly were coming up saying hi. Thulinsiwe, the very independent girl would not leave me alone all day! She was right behind me the whole day. Whenever there was an opportunity to rest she would always rest her elbow on my shoulder (she is unable to straighten her arm, I guess it must get quite tiring for her). But it was just so good to have gained more friends from the school that day. It was as if all barriers had been dropped! They were so full of thanks for taking them out for the day.
Lamontville & Mariannhill
This Saturday I am very excited about a jumble sale we are holding at the Lamontville good news centre. It’s a fundraising effort for an electric wheelchair for Nozipho, and a jumble sale in South Africa is crazy! The ladies go mad, the last time we did one, everything sold. There was nothing left! It was fantastic! Funds have also been raised back in England to buy 13 new wheelchairs for the school. Some of them are in an unthinkable state!
Last week we built a jungle gym at a random crèche in Mariannhill township. The whole time I wasn’t sure why we were doing it or how anyone had come into contact with the crèche to give us the go ahead with this. The whole team only found out we were doing this at 10pm the night before we were to do it. It was a bit crazy.
On the same plot of land there is a tiny wooden shed, a “tuck shop”. The man who owns this helped us out with building it. He couldn’t understand why we were doing this. The only reason we were doing it was because of God. We were trying to give some of Christ’s love back. The man was called Linda. We told him we had a church down the road and he said he would come on Sunday. Now over here in SA when you hand out a flyer EVERYBODY says they will come whether it’s handing a flyer out for church or for advertising the bible shop we have in town or whatever. The response is always “I’ll come” “I’ll be there”. But they never are, they never do. Linda tells us “He will come”.
But he did come! And he came the week after that! And he came the week after that too! The 30th May he was baptized! That was why we’d built a jungle gym in a random crèche!