Have you ever sat under a pavilion in a park, or maybe sat in a parked car, when it just started to rain? (It doesn’t really matter where you were, the point is that you were stationary, and under some covering that makes a pitter-patter sound with each landing drop.) Initially, you can distinguish each and every little thud. Eventually the tempo picks up. On the right kind of Spring day, the rain crescendos to a rolling tympani—like someone throwing a bucket of marbles on a tin roof. I find that this powerfully simple happenchance circumstance (an everyday one if you have been living in Durban lately) is one of the few experiences that I am consciously aware of the fact that God is, quite literally, showering blessings all around me (Deut. 11:14). <I do not think it is a coincidence that Jesus’ return is related to this kind of moment (Psalm 72:6).>
This, happened today. Today was the first day of spring. A day of springing into the new year of pressing towards Kingdom of God, reaching out to do good works in the name of Jesus, and bringing about the spirit of the Kingdom now. Most of the programming is working with kids, teens, and youth the South African projects are largely linked to the school systems. Today was the first full day of running a mobile BEC at a health clinic, mentoring some high school youth, and starting back up a football club for orphans at a primary school.
We had arranged with the health clinic and mentoring liaison to make sure Maxwell (a Zulu brother who speaks Zulu) and I had an audience. But, over the last couple of days I had struggled getting ahold of the Christianenburg principal to make sure were going to have kids to kick a soccer ball around. So we went to Christianenberg on a whim that we would find a pack of kids rowdy for some afterschool sport. Walking down to the field (To call it a field is generous. By field I mean the school’s rubbish-filled dirt plain between a fence and storage shed), no kids were to be found. Maxwell and I hunted for someone who was in charge of the after school programming, but to no avail.
We resigned ourselves to kicking the ball around in the field to pass the time until we had to go mentor the township youth. Some curious passing girls stopped to watch me chase a ball into the school’s dump. With a couple short passes, we convinced them to stick around and play before having to walk home. Soon after, 3 small boys picking through the trash wanted to join. Within 15 minutes, we had 25 kids at our disposal to play a game! I was blown away!
We had them running warm-ups, drills and even had a competition to see whose team could dribble the ball down to the telephone poll and back the fastest. Maxwell and I taught them about one of the fruit of the spirit, self-control. We brainstormed how keeping control of the ball was a lot like self-control with homework, their relationships, and behavior. The kids walked away knowing that they can show God love by the way they behave and treat one another. After a lot of sweating in the African sun, we had the kids singing, cheering, chanting, and excited to come back next week for more football club. God’s plan is full of amazing surprises. Sometimes all you need to do is show up, and he will brings the rain.