WF Report – September-October, 2010
Time Is Short
It’s become all too apparent that we are coming to the end of our time here in South Africa. Even after extending our stay, it still seems like only a few weeks from now that we will be leaving. One of the primary reasons for extending our stay by three months was to finish off the music CD project. That said, there are at least another two major projects that need our attention in order for them not to end up half constructed by the time we leave. So I guess this report is going to focus on those projects and what loose ends still remain.
This is still far and away my most engaging and exciting project. In all honesty, this is perhaps the most worthwhile and demanding project I have undertaken. Having extended my stay in order to finish the CD and get it ready for Christmas, I’m really feeling the pressure. I have only Saturdays to record the choir collectively, and of them (Saturdays) there are a limited few. I now have fifteen tracks of material and hope to record a further two this coming Saturday in the hope that this will conclude our Saturday group recordings. After that has been accomplished, the fun really begins, since I will have all the material I need in order to start tailoring the final album. Some of the songs are comprised of over twenty separate tracks–all of which will need tweaking individually and then collectively in order to produce a final sound that is engaging and which is a true representation of the talent, time, effort and dedication of the choir–not to mention the power of God’s spirit, which will be experienced by all who allow themselves to be affected by the music and message.
I have begun to form incredibly strong bonds with most of the choir and it’s been a real gift to experience and notice the growing relationships between a former group of strangers. I’ve explained to them that I will not be around much longer and in fact I’ll be gone sooner than they think–it’s now up to them where they go from here. I’ve been so impressed by their attitude towards each other and to the choir as a whole. They all want to continue and try to progress further by giving a live performance. I want to be excited by this, all I can think about is the fact that time is ticking, and I need to put all my focus on the CD. Nevertheless, a performance is well within their capabilities, and may even be a better representation of their capabilities and passion in their efforts to create a joyful noise unto the LORD.
I never fail to be blown away by the hidden vocal talent here in South Africa. This week Ncami really shocked us all by providing us with a series of solos, which were full of energy and power; so much so, in fact, that Buhle (the regular soloist) said she felt “scared.”
I now feel less like the White guy that wants to make a CD and more like one of their mates who comes to pick them up for a great day of fun. To say I will miss these guys is an understatement. In the future, I can see myself listening back to all the out-takes over and over, reminiscing on what has been one of the most privileged few months of my life. It has truly been a gift; thank you LORD.
It doesn’t just stop with the music. A few months ago, I commissioned a local artist to come up with some work for the album cover. I have three different proposals for artwork, and I’m working towards finalizing a design. I foresee the CD being available online and in shops, so the cover is vital.
Clermont Church (ecclesia)
Scary and exciting…
Being a part of this new church is a truly remarkable experience. We’ve been forced to work out what a church really is and how it can and should be operating as part of a community. We are forwarding the Good News of God’s Kingdom by trying to manifest it, demonstrate it, and show that has to be interactive. In everything we do, we try to include the greater community. We have ten regular attendees who we are working closely with trying to show them “The Way.” We have such a responsibility towards our new family, and sometimes I have to remember that God is in control, and it’s him working with them; it’s his body not ours.
Undwedwe – Orphan Feeding
We are about to take another trip to Undwedwe in order to survey the site so that we can start work as soon as possible. We will finalize our plans after this impending visit, but are currently planning on a shelter that will operate as a kitchen in the morning and evening, and perhaps as a crèche during the day. The shelter will not only provide relief to the children who have lost their parental support, but also to those aged Gogo’s who have been trying to look after them. There is obviously a considerable amount of construction work to be done. We will have a better picture of the extent of the work and the function of the site after this visit.
Afri-Khono – Screen Printing
Ever since I got here, I’ve had people asking me for a job and now finally I’m in a position to bring some small relief to the problem of unemployment. We’ve come up with a four week, skills-based course, which will provide some basic art- and craft-making skills that could, eventually, lead to the development of an income for those who currently have none. The hope is that individuals will realize they can make money through self-employment. I’ve focused on screen printing, as it is a simple, but lucrative skill in South Africa, since every second person is wearing some kind of screen printed garment. At the end of the course, we will take all of the products to a local market where the artists will sell their handy-work. We hope that their efforts will be well-received, and inspire greater things.