Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Introducing P2P UK - London

Are you confident talking to college friends or work colleagues about what you believe?

Do you want to help change the lives of others?

Are you interested in getting involved in preaching locally, nationally and internationally?

Here's how: Come on a P2P course, such as P2P UK – London!

What is P2P UK - London?

Prepare to Preach (P2P) is an intensive course designed to prepare you to go out and preach both at home and abroad. In the past, P2P has been run in the USA and the UK as a week-long 'boot camp', with a follow-up trip to South Africa to put the theory into practice with the 2010 'Good News of the Kingdom of God' (GNOTKOG) Projects. This time, P2P UK is going to be run one day per month over 6 months, (as it has been previously run in Australia), commencing in January 2009. One of its target projects will still be South Africa and 2010 (have a look at this clip on one of the projects from P2P July in South Africa: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4V5TscQo824), however there will also be focus on preparation for other overseas destinations, including Sierra Leone and Eastern Europe and also preaching projects here in the UK.

The dates for P2P London are as follows: 17th Jan, 21st Feb, 21st Mar, 25th Apr, 23rd May, 27th June, 2009. When you book on, PLEASE ENSURE YOU CAN ATTEND ALL 6 OF THE SESSIONS, as they are intended to develop skills throughout the course. Overnight accommodation is available with Brethren and Sisters for those travelling from outside of London.

The cost of the full 6 day course is £50. There is funding available for any P2P graduates who travel on to South Africa following the course (or to any other preaching projects abroad) from various sources, such as the Williamsburg Christadelphian Foundation (WCF). However, we do also strongly recommend you seek sponsorship from your own Ecclesia, as your preaching skills will be a great asset to them too!

The main course leaders are Noel Greenwood (Bishops Stortford), Simon Dean (Bishops Stortford), plus various other specialist presenters.

For further information and/or booking forms, please contact Noel Greenwood (noel@gwd.ltd.uk, 07860283457), Jude Norcross (07854124085) or Esther Abson (07723045268) or e-mail: info@p2p-uk.co.uk

To register for the course, either send a booking form (see your ecclesial notice board or download one from the website http://prepare2preachuk.googlepages.com/) and cheque by post to Esther Abson: 9 Deerleap, Bretton, Peterborough. PE3 9YA. or e-mail your booking form to bookings@p2p-uk.co.uk and either post a cheque to the above or transfer electronically (contact Jude or Esther for details). Cheques should be made payable to 'P2P UK'.

We all look forward to seeing you in London for P2P! However, if you're interested but can't make it to the London course then fret not – there will be a second P2P UK run as an intensive week-long course 15th-22nd August 2009 in Torquay with a potential follow-up trip to South Africa in January 2010. Further details will follow in the New Year.

All these plans are subject to the Will of God.

God Bless!
Noel & Mary, Jude and Esther

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas at Lamontville Creche!

On the 6th of December, the long wait for many of the children at Lamontville Crèche was over. Today was their Christmas party and graduation day (for four of the students).

The day began with an early start for Rose (crèche teacher) and Busi (crèche cook), as they prepared the room and began to cook the scrumptious lunch.

Smartly dressed children began to arrive at 10:30am and were escorted into the back room to watch T.V while they waited for the rest of the children and parents to arrive.

Once all the parents had arrived and the children were ready the concert began, starting with the children dancing through the doors, into a room full of proud parents.

The concert began with the four children who were leaving the crèche, dancing the “Graduation Step”, followed by the rest of the children joining them to sing a few songs and recite some poems. They were very cute and needed no assistance in remembering any of the words.

Once the concert was finished each child was presented with a certificate of achievement for attending the crèche for the year.

A scrumptious lunch of curry and mixed salads followed by ice cream was served next, followed by some traditional Zulu dancing done by the children. This was met with great enthusiasm by the parents, as they cheered and clapped asking for dance after dance. The children were happy to comply.

The day ended with Christmas cake, presents and a few games of “pass the parcel” and musical statues for the children.

Amy McClure, Australia

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A hive of activity at Lamontville

Over the past few months the Lamontville Good News Centre (GNC) has been a hive of activity for both young and not so young alike! The Sunday school has a steady attendance of around 50 children, aged 2-12, and regular youth days, Kingdom Youth football sessions and reading classes have all ensured that the older youth are also well represented. The Good News Bible class and Sunday meetings are less well attended, but the commitment of those who do come is unquestionable!
The centre suffers from a lack of adult foot traffic coming through, as people are often only aware of its midweek function as a crèche. Weekly Saturday program activities, which offer the community key information on essential topics ranging from ‘how to manage credit’ to ‘dealing with HIV’, have begun to address this problem, making it a more inviting place for adults.

In October, we treated the footballers to an away match in Mariannhill, as part of the Kingdom Youth for Christ course. Some tempers were left a bit frayed, but the prospect of a possible return match in the New Year is eagerly anticipated! With the end of the year fast approaching, we wanted to reward the efforts and commitment of some of the other groups with a small treat or outing too.

The reading class, led by Christy Beyers and Hyacinth, took part in an inter-ecclesial concert followed by the classic treat of Happy meals at McDonald’s. The visit to Mitchell Park Zoo that followed was a clear highlight for many, as some had not seen so much as a rabbit before! On a subsequent evening they also had a chance to read aloud in front of their parents and each received a certificate and prize for their efforts throughout the year. The girls in this class deserve a special mention for the sheer scale of improvement in their reading, inclusiveness, friendliness and commitment to classes – even arriving early on occasion (unheard of in Africa!).

The crèche children and their parents turned out in force for the Lamontville GNC Christmas party (see separate blog...coming soon!) and we hope to see a good turn out from the Sunday school at a planned ‘popcorn and movies’ afternoon on 21st December.

Unfortunately, just over three weeks ago, there was a big fire in the community round the corner from the GNC. In total, 55 shacks were Whizz Kids United) and Rose (crèche teacher) immediately stepped in and opened up the GNC as a refuge centre for the neediest victims, where they would receive shelter and food. Local volunteers played a crucial role in cooking the large quantities of food donated by Christadelphians in and around Durban and the Red Cross. Further important donations of mattresses and clothing helped provide a little comfort to people who had lost everything.

Combined monthly youth days with Mariannhill have been a great success and the regular attendees were treated to a real spectacle, when Neville Blewett came and did his magic show. The fire victims all sat in and watched, which made for a packed house. A short talk comparing the miraculous healing of Paul with the magic of Neville ensured that everyone left with a Bible message.

Andrew (pictured on the left), a young guy who has been a regular at both Whizz Kids United and Kingdom Youth FC sessions and has also been coming on Sundays, is living proof that, in spite of the fire, ‘all things are working together for good’. He helped Marcus when he was needed, without being asked and translated the youth day talk into Zulu. We were so impressed that I went to see his mother and got permission for him to come with us on the recent youth study week in the Drakensberg mountains. He integrated very well with the Mariannhill youth and we even got a call from his mum saying how happy he was afterwards!

Thomas Ryder, UK

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Combined Sunday School Concert

After many weeks of planning and practice the day had finally arrived! At 9am on Sunday 30th of November Durban hall was filled with the noise of 80 excited Sunday School children. The day began with a payer and then all the Sunday Schools singing “We’ve got Good News of the Kingdom of God” together. It was such an awesome sight and sound.

Throughout the morning we were presented with the different Sunday Schools singing songs and reading verses from the bible.

Durban Sunday School was the first up singing a number of songs using a variety of instruments such as the guitar, piano and the clarinet.

Lamontville and Mariannhill were next, singing a couple of their favourite songs in Zulu and English. Their enthusiasm could be seen by the volume of their songs and the way they moved to the tune of the songs. There was a small competition between these two Sunday schools as they each tried to be the last with a song to sing – the groups got up one after the other to present completely unplanned songs!!

Westville Sunday School sung the well-known song “Talk Together” and were then joined by Mariannhill to sing “Jesus’ love is a bubbling over”

To end the concert, all the Sunday schools were invited up onto the stage to sing “Days of Elijah”. Once again this was an amazing experience to see and hear: these 80 Sunday School children, from four different areas, singing together!

After a prayer we all headed outside for some refreshments and chat with the kids, young people and the brothers and sisters.

Amy McClure, Australia

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

2010 and P2P activities result in wonderful growth in Youth Week numbers.

The Annual South African Christadelphian Youth week was held during the second week of December this year. It was wonderful to see the numbers increase from about 30 in the past to 62 young people this year. The main reason for the increase was due to the activities and work of the 2010 and P2P campaigns which resulted in the establishment of the Marianhill ecclesia. Twenty two of the young people from Marianhill attended the Youth Week and for the first time in 10 years we had to hire a bus to get the 40 odd young people from Durban to the camp.


The other third of the camp was made up of young people from Gauteng who travelled to the lovely Drakensville holiday resort in a convoy of three cars. The week was thoroughly enjoyed by all and every day was jam-packed with a 15 minute “First thoughts” meditation first thing in the morning, three study classes (two in the morning and one at night), a Bible marking session, recreational activities like swimming, a hike, stalk the lantern, games night, DVD night, visit to a power station,” bolley ball” and soccer matches. Great food at meal times were thrown in for good measure and most nights everyone was happy to “hit the sack” as tired bodies got some well deserved sleep.


The lessons for the seniors were given by Bro. David White and myself while Leona and myself shared the lessons for the junior group. Bro. David handled lots of practical issues that impact on the young people today and gave good Biblical perspectives on a variety of issues whilst I focused on showing people how to study their Bibles. The junior group’s theme was on being spiritually sick and getting healed by Jesus.


As in the past it was intriguing to see how the young people got to know each other so well and start living together as an integrated family after the third day. Everyone had great fun in leaning about God’s word and participating in many activities. If the current growth continues we will have to split the youth week into two camps, one for Seniors and one for Juniors – what a nice “problem” to possibly have in the near future !


We frequently thank our heavenly Father for the way he has empowered us to preach the gospel to others and bring so many more young people into contact with His word and ways.


- Lucas Scheepers



Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Margate Makeover

On Monday 24 November 2008 at 12:30 pm, Dan, Leah and I arrived at Margate Good News Centre. We were greeted by Nelson and Alastair (brothers from the Margate ecclesia), with fruit juice, muffins and biscuits. After refreshing ourselves, we got down to work measuring, marking out areas and getting down on paper all we needed: Wood, sand, paving slabs, concrete curbs, fence posts and much more - all to be bought that afternoon! We only had two days plus Monday’s remaining daylight in which to complete our task.

With about two hours to go before nightfall, we all started digging away dirt to level the play area. Alastair and Manje removed the old paving slabs from the front of the BEC, in preparation for renovation. Dan, Leah, Nelson, and I (and even seven year old Eliezer!) tried our hands at digging, raking and clearing dirt. Night came quickly but we were all satisfied with our progress.

I was up at 5 am, anxious to get things moving; we only had two days to go! I emptied the storeroom of its contents, stacking everything in one corner of the BEC. Dan and Leah woke to the clatter of the crèche kids arriving for the day. The sand and paving material didn’t arrive at the promised time, so to fill time, Dan and I covered the top and side of the jungle gym, outlined the areas to be paved, boxed in and fenced. Then we worked on the shelving boards, marking and drilling holes, ready for installation in the crèche storeroom. With the threat of rain looming, we prayed God would give us a good day. He gave us a nice cool wind!

The sand finally came, much to the fascination of all the crèche kids, who had never seen a “skip truck” before. Armed with just one small wheelbarrow and two tiny buckets, we filled the area to be paved and the playground with all the sand in less than two hours!

With only a few loose ends to tie up, I worked on boxing in the sand, Leah did some computer work and Dan finished off the paving (ably assisted by Nelson, who, with hatchet in hand, hacked away any root that was in our way!).

Erecting the fence was made difficult by a huge rock in the path. Nelson and Dan attacked the rock with a hoe and a metal pole, prodding and prying. Suddenly the rock flew through the air, missing Nelson’s head by a hair! Tired after a long and hard day, Dan would not give up, so the shelves just had to go up too!

Hyacinth Linton-Harvey, Jamaica

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Getting into the mathematics of it all

I remember once hearing someone speak about the ratio of output to success with just getting people along to outreach/preaching initiatives held by ecclesias when using leafleting (a traditional method). It was 1000:1. In other words, for every 1000 leaflets distributed, 1 person would come along to whatever event they were being invited to.

Two weeks ago, we held a graduation for the students who had completed one or more of the four correspondence courses offered at the Durban Bible Education Centre. We had 55 visitors to Durban hall – that’s right, 55! Just over half of these were students and the others were family or friends who had come to see them graduate. There were about another 20 students who couldn’t make the graduation that day, but will come by the BEC to pick up their certificate.

The graduation started at 1pm with four of the Mariannhill youth (in the last picture) who had come along to help out leading some enthusiastic singing! After an introduction from Sister Mary (who works in the BEC most days) in Zulu, Brother Barry van Heerden did a short talk on the theme of “well done”. We all said “well done Madiba” to Nelson Mandela for reaching age 90 earlier this year, we were saying “well done” for graduating for their course…..but how much more important is it that we hear the words “well done” from Jesus when he comes back to earth to set up his kingdom?! The students were so engaged in the talk – I have rarely seen a group just so involved and interested in what they were listening to – you could tell that the message was really reaching them!

Then there was the certificate presentation, and we had the usual couple of students completely decked out in black gowns! When the last student was called up and they all stood together, they barely fitted on Durban hall’s stage at one time – incredible!!

Then it was time for afternoon tea and judging by the “locust” consumption style, it appeared the snacks were enjoyed by one and all. The students were all very happy and there were many promises of returning to Durban for Sunday mornings or Sunday afternoon first principle classes, now they knew how to get to the hall (and assuming also because it had been a non-confrontational and pleasant afternoon for them).

As we left later that afternoon, our spirits were soaring - the day just couldn’t have gone any better! How many leaflets would it have taken to result in 55 people, interested people, coming to an ecclesial hall had we used more traditional methods? 55,000! But that Saturday, we had 55 people willingly participating in the worship, singing, bible talk and fellowship over afternoon tea.

Why? Not because they simply received an invitation to come. It is because over varying lengths of time of contact with us through the Bible Education Centre, they have come to love and respect Mary who they see all the time and who has such care for their lives and their growth. They have also come to know and trust the other volunteers they see in at the BEC on a regular basis and they appreciate the courses and other services offered by the BEC. So what happens when we send out invitations to these people to come to an ecclesial hall for an activity? An instant audience of 55 listening ears – what a blessing!!

And the story does not stop at the end of that day. There were six new faces who had never visited Durban ecclesia present at the memorial meeting the very next morning and there were 18 students that Sunday afternoon at the first principle class. Absolute proof that God is continuing to call many people to Him in amazing ways , reaching out to people through the “touch and teach” principle shown to us so clearly by Jesus himself.

Leah Egginton, Australia

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Miracles happening over the hills and far away

This blog is dedicated to all the wonderful people who spent 5 days at Emakheni Primary (also known as Dumisani’s school) in July earlier this year. The school that you drive and drive over the hills to get to.....and then keep driving!

So you wondered what could be done in five days?

Were you amazed when we levelled an uneven area into a playing field, built a vegetable garden per class with the kid’s help and installed a jungle gym and sandpit for the students who had nothing to play with during break time? Did you think it was incredible that we built shelves in every classroom, we ran bible and life skills classes for each class every day and that the kids loved playing Kingdom Youth for Christ soccer on their new field? And were you touched when we participated in a concert and braai on the last day with grateful children, parents and teachers? Through Christ all things are possible!

And did you ever wonder during those “moments” whether it was all worth it?

When you were still digging the foundations for the jungle gym after 4 hours, when the “soil” for the vegetable garden looked a lot like chunks of rock and clay and when the kids kept pocketing the red and blue crayons when you were trying to teach them about life in England??

Well, a bunch of us volunteers returned to Dumisani’s school a few weeks ago as Liezl and Lilandi Scheepers were performing their 10 plagues puppet show extravaganza. As we drove up the hill to the school, the kids waved as they recognised the Good News of the Kingdom of God magnets on our cars! As we drove in the new entrance on the right side of the school (no longer do you have to brave the toilets just to drive into the premises), we noticed that grass had been planted on the playing field!

Kids were playing around the field, the sandpit was full of sand (which they had obviously taken care of) and there were trees planted here and there from an outreach day Westville ecclesia did a few months ago.

The kids were all over the jungle gym and the paint on the slide has actually come off due to constant use! The swings have to be secured up the top of the jungle gym when break time is over just so the children will eventually go to class!

But the vegetable garden was the most awesome thing. We thought we had cleared a large piece of land to build the 8 class gardens…..well, the school has extended the garden and it now runs all the way down to the fence in depth and right down to the toilet block in length – amazing! And that is not all……the soil was (wait for it!) producing vegetables in abundance – onions, carrot, cabbage, turnips, beetroot, you name it! They now have extra watering cans and long hoses to make care of the garden easier so they can sell the produce to the community and fundraise for the school. We left the garden with a bag full of vegetables grown out of that soil we thought would require a miracle to grow anything. And maybe it did require a miracle!

We chatted to Brother Dumisani and he explained how the locals are now keen to send their children to his school, due to the flow-on effect of P2P in terms of the locals perceiving that the school is helped and nurtured by others who care. And Sunday school courses are going to be run for the children to help them learn about God!

As the kids lined up to welcome us and we helped fit them ALL into one classroom to watch the puppet show, we could hear some of them singing “talk together, talk, talk together, talk together….all about the Lord”.

And we knew that God had been working in this small, rural school long after we left on the last day of P2P in July.

Leah Egginton, Australia

Resurrecting design & technology, kids in drama and seeing God work

Some more blogs from youth reminiscing about P2P in July/August 2008

The week at Happy’s boarding school for disabled children in the Umlazi township was a great opportunity to uncover some skills last seen during year 9 Design and Technology! I wasn’t as bad at drilling as my mum might expect and the kids were furnished with 30 new clothes rails – a big step towards not having to live out of suitcases anymore.

We closed each day with a short bible lesson and some songs, which sone of the kids loved so much, they made me write out the words for them. I was particularly touched to be called their “song writer” by one of the girls crowding around me in wheelchairs. We were greeted positively due to fond and lasting memories of January’s P2P team at the school and if their love of the blond P2Pers this time is anything to go by, any team should have no difficulty in building on the back of our efforts!

Tom Ryder, UK

During P2P, I was part of a group that ran a holiday club at Lamontville. We were a little worried on the first morning as there were not many children, but after walking down the street and advertising to some of the local children, we soon had 25 and each day had a lot more. We ran some Sunday school lessons and played soccer with the older boys. The highlight of this week was the open day where all the children we had during the week attended, plus extra and about 8 parents. The younger children who had been doing the craft activities performed a play on the parable of the sower, which we had been practising during the week. The older children were very helpful, narrating the story both in English and Zulu.

After the play was finished, the children, without any prompting from us, spontaneously began to sing some of the songs we had been teaching them other the week, such as Father Abraham, Shine etc. We finished up the day with a great feeling! It was an awesome experience to build up relationships with the Lamontville youth and I aim to continue to do so during my time spent over here in South Africa.

Amy McClure, Australia

How God Works

We visited Dumisani's school in a rural area 45 minutes from Durban to see what work we could help out with at the school, and decided to try to build a jungle gym and some shelves in the classroom. Several weeks passed and we were a few days from heading out there to start our work, but had been so busy with P2P we hadn't had time to even think about the jungle gym, let alone sort out plans or buy anything for it. Leah was starting to remind me more and more about getting things together.

We had to drop something off at Craig and Nicky's early Wednesday morning and as we were coming out of their driveway we bumped into Mahen going to work. We stopped to chat through the car windows and the first thing he said was "I have a job for you! I have this jungle gym that the girls don't use any more - can you come and pull it down and give it to someone who needs it more than we do?"; he then took off up the road.

I just sat there and looked at Leah and we thought how amazing the timing God uses in our live is - so precise it is incredible and the results he creates are better than we could imagine!

Dan Egginton, Australia

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Zuma get's baptized


…..Thulani Zuma, that is!Thumbnail

On Sunday 19 October 2008, there was yet another baptism at Mariannhill!! Twenty-nine year old Thulani has been consistently present at Mariannhill ecclesia since the start of the year – he is the best attending member, as he actually lives in the ecclesial hall as caretaker!! :o) Thulani’s enthusiasm for the things of God has been so wonderful to see and we were overjoyed to be part of his special day.  

ThumbnailThe baptism was held just prior to the memorial meeting in the house of Phinda and Sylvester, as the building work on the ecclesial hall has already begun. It was a joyous occasion and, as 30 people jostled in the over-crowded bathroom around the bath holding our new brother, the sound of the song “Never turning back” had never been sung with better acoustics! Thulani emerged from has baptism wearing Good News of the Kingdom of God t-shirt and beaming from ear to ear!  

Brother Ben Dailey gave an exhortation on love in the context of the parable of the Good Samaritan and focussed us on the love of God and Jesus towards all of us. No-one could hide the laughter when Thulani’s first memorial meeting nearly took a turn to disaster in a hilarious mistake where Brother Thulani was asked to give thanks for the emblems instead of Brother Dumisani! Luckily everyone realised and the error was hastily rectified….that would have definitely been throwing poor Thulani in the deep end! 

Sister Precious lead the congregation in a few more songs of praise to conclude our meeting, which was then followed by a time of fellowship over an ecclesial lunch courtesy of Sylvester, who still holds the title of one of the most fabulous cooks ever! 

ThumbnailSunday was also a big day for another reason – the long-awaited Mariannhill vs LamontvilleThumbnail soccer match was to be held! The Kingdom Youth for Christ course which teaches the gospel through soccer has been running at Lamontville for the past 5 weeks and this crew of about 20 young boys were keen to show their skills against the Mariannhill team made up of our youth and their friends. Team Mariannhill’s initial reaction that the Lamontville crew was “so much younger than them” was quickly forgotten, as Lamontville pulled ahead, 2-1!

On the sidelines, the rest of the Lamontville team and the Mariannhill girls tried to out-do each other in volume, enthusiasm and Thumbnaildance moves as they urged their team on! It was great to see that two BEC contacts who live near Durban, Terrance and Paul (who are considering baptism) came along to witness Thulani’s commitment and also actively participated in the soccer game. Even members of the local community who live around the field came out to watch…and as always, there were the resident goats and a bull munching on the grass – plenty of spectators!  

At half-time, the score was 2-1 and both teams had urgent gatherings on either side of the Mariannhill field. When the ref (Brother David White) blew the whistle, it was on again! We all paused for a moment for Brother Phinda, who fell and injured his arm – he hobbled to the sidelines, disappointed that he could not finish the game. 

The excitement increased with Lamontville scoring again and then leading 4-2. However, team Mariannhill, lead by our new Brother Thulani, were not to be outdone! After two goals scored in about two minutes, the game ended in a draw, 4-4. 

There were handshakes all round before an exhausted Lamontville team left for home, looking forward to a return game to be played at their home ground. There were even suggestions of getting a trophy arranged, but we are a little scared this might induce some loss of life – there was certainly no lack of team spirit displayed! 

What a great day all round – Thulani joining the wonderful “team” of God….and an awesome afternoon of team sports with our brothers, sisters and friends.

Monday, October 27, 2008

I want to stop people getting sick - Mpuse (aged 3)


When I did a survey of some of the children involved in the 2010 project as part of working on the sponsorship/donation site, I had children aged from 3 to 24 fill in a questionnaire. Of course not all questions were relevant to all ages, but the younger children took some of the questions quite seriously. For example, when asked “what are your goals in life?” these were some of the answers from the younger children: 


Thapelo (aged 9): “to buy a car and stop crime in South Africa and buy clothes in my spare time when I'm not working” (quite a list of objectives!) 

Mpuse (aged 3): “to be a doctor and stop people from getting sick” (little Mpuse has been infected with HIV from her birth) 


These kids are so young, and have experienced the horrors of crime and sickness like some of us never will. And yet they still have that childlike innocence and when asked “where would you like to go for a day outing?” about half of the children replied “McDonalds”.  Something as trivial to us as the fast-food chain most of us try to avoid is the place many children in South Africa want to visit, as they have never experienced the pleasures of a Big Mac! 

For this reason, one of the things we try to do for the Sunday schools of the newer township ecclesias in South Africa is take the children on outings, often out of the township, where we can treat them to things they have only dreamed about! 


A few weeks ago, 18 children from the growing Mariannhill Sunday School were picked up and driven to the Pavilion shopping centre in Westville for a game of mini golf and a McDonalds lunch. As I watched the volunteers hoard the kids down the escalator, I was taken by how big the eyes of the children were as they took in everything around them! 


We doubted whether any of the children had ever played mini golf before, and 5 minutes into the first round, we were certain we had been right!!! As it was school holidays, there were many other children playing with parents, and my small group of two children and Sister Sylvester were overtaken numerous times! After a few close calls involving golf clubs and children’s heads, several dips in the water features and many missing golf balls, we all stood exhausted at the end of the first round!  

The children really opened up as time went on and they started to enjoy themselves. One of the youngest, quietest little girls was in my care, and went from hiding her face, to holding my hand in the seemingly short time spent around the mini golf course – these children are just so appreciative of our love and care for them! 


By the time all groups had finished the second round, we were all definitely ready for some lunch. We had kept the location of lunch quiet to surprise the children, and the looks on their faces was a wonderful reward! Happy meals all round for 18 children sent the McDonalds staff into a bit of a spin, but soon enough all the children were happily munching (as were we!) All the big smiles were soon covered with tomato sauce and soft serve ice-cream. Unlike other fast food lunches experienced with children in the past, not a crumb remained …..except for a few notorious McDonalds pickles (it seems these are universally controversial!)  

Many of the kids wanted to keep their happy meal boxes as a treasure, which was very sweet. They were a bit confused by the scary-looking toy (I think it was a Star Wars figure, which would mean very little to them!), but treasured this also just the same.  

The trip back out to Mariannhill was a quiet one – the children were exhausted from a big day. When we got back to the ecclesial hall, my family (who were visiting from Australia at the time), Dan and I were hanging around for another hour or so before our regular Mariannhill youth class, so we decided to wait at the ecclesial hall……and so did the kids – they just didn’t want to leave! They made a game out of some rope in the back of our car and played happily until the youth started to arrive, no doubt trying to make this special day for them last as long as possible. 

What a time the kingdom will be when all children, no matter their background, will experience love and joy in a way we can’t even comprehend!

Bible Education Centre - What you can do?

Jesus told us we are to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature”. And so the Bible Education Centres Thumbnail have developed…..reaching out  to the community in their environment, where they are and where they can hear the good news we have to share. Every week, hundreds of people walk throu  gh the doors of the five BECs scattered throughout South Africa and are encouraged and helped in their searc  h for the truth of the bible! 

Thumbnail The Durban Bible  Education Centre is situated in Mark Lane in Durban city and first opened its doors in August 2006. The still, small voice amongst the hustle and bustle of such a busy place, God is working in powerful and exciting ways at this BEC. Many people pass through to browse or purchase our ever-changing selection of cheap bibles and biblical stock, chat with the people manning the shop or sign up for one of the free bible correspondence courses on offer.   

Siste  r Mary who works at the BEC most days builds wonderful relationships with the numerous students completing correspondence courses, as they return to have papers marked, ask questions and continue their search for what God’s plan is for their lives. Student graduations held to celebrate the achievement of finishing our courses are festive occasions and ones of real joy shown by people who are touched by God’s word. It also serves as a wonderful opportunity to meet all our enthusiastic contacts who have completed courses and to share a bible message and enjoy a chat, tea and refreshments with them. Our next graduation is to be in November, God willing, when we will be joined by the largest number of graduates at such an event since the BEC began! 


Sister Mary (in the red) with some students at the most recent BEC graduation (Clement who was baptised earlier this year is in the yellow on the left of Mary) 

Each Friday at 1pm, a lunchtime bible class is run and a regular group of people take time out from their day to visit the BEC and study the bible with Brother David White. Free classes on topics such as marriage, HIV and other life skills are also run from time to time to assist the community and encourage people to visit the BEC.  

Every opportunity is presented to our BEC students to continue their studies of the bible (with one-on-one tuition if desired) and get involved in ecclesial activities. Sister Mary regularly directs students to join the Durban ecclesia for meetings and also to attend regular fortnightly classes on Sunday afternoons that are run at Durban as a forum for further learning for serious contacts. For example, on Sunday, two BEC students Terrence and Paul, who are considering baptism, joined us out at Mariannhill ecclesia to witness the baptism of brother Thulani. They had a great day seeing Thulani’s commitment, meeting the youth of both Mariannhill and Lamontville and even participating in a “friendly” (but fiercely competitive!) soccer match that afternoon!  

ThumbnailJ ust recently, we have welcomed Sister Emily into Durban ecclesia as she decided to commit her life to God as a result of her involvement in the BEC and Durban ecclesia. Sister Emily is just one of many people whose lives are being changed as a result of the work of the BECs. Every day, God is working through the BECs in Durban, Kempton Park, Margate, Yeoville and now the new centre at Port Elizabeth, to call people from our local community to be part of his family.  

So what can you do to help this great work? 

If you are in South Africa you can contact us and: 

  • Voluteer to join the pool of local people who work with Sister Mary at the BEC;
  • Let us know if you see good bible exhibitions or sales where we could purchase stock;
  • Volunteer to run life skills classes or bible classes at the BEC (any skill you have that you feel people in the community might be interested in is of great use!); or
  • Get involved with craft activities to create things that can be sold at the BEC to help make this charity-run project sustainable.

If you are in South Africa OR overseas, you can contact us and: 

  • Donate old bibles or biblical books so that these can be sold for a cheap price at the BEC (this is frequently requested as, although we keep our prices very cheap, many of our customers are very poor). If you are local, we can arrange to have these books up from your house or ecclesial hall and if you are overseas, postage or other arrangements can be made;
  • Donate towards or give suggestions as to ways we can obtain good first principles books for serious students that are perhaps too expensive for us to purchase through ordinary channels; or
  • Donate money to go towards the running of the BEC by going to www.gnotkog.org and easily setting up a regular monthly donation. No matter how small, your donation will greatly help in the ongoing maintenance and upkeep of the BECs and other 2010 projects.

Leah Egginton, Durban BEC Coordinator 

Email:    leah.egginton@gmail.com

Phone:   071 133 2206 (from overseas +2771 133 2206)

Postal address:  PO Box 374 Pavilion, Westville 3629, KwaZulu Natal, SA

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The most beautiful thing ever seen....and heard

The most beautiful thing ever seen

We took some of the kids from the (Ubhule Bizwe) orphanage on a 4 hour drive up to Hazyview – most of them had never been out of the township before so it was amazing for them to see the different environments. We stopped off for a short walk to a waterfall and watching their reactions to the waterfall was amazing. They all stood totally in awe of it and one of them said out loud to themselves “It’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen”. We visited Sis. Riah’s home in a rural township with all the kids from the orphanage and I heard singing coming from one of the rooms so I went to look inside and Christy (Beyers) had her Sunday school class braiding string to make sandals whilst singing song after song after song. They were loving it, it was such a beautiful thing to see.

Naomi Midgley, UK

The most beautiful thing ever heard

On Tuesday 15th July, we held a concert in The Workshop amphitheatre in Durban to promote the Bible Education Centre. At first, the crowd appeared a bit hostile, shouting out “speak in Zulu” when I introduced our group (in English, obviously!). Tim Genders was confident that negative attention was better than none….at the time I wasn’t so sure, but I agree with him in hindsight! Besides, once we got the sound levels sorted and the music crew got into things, we realised the audience was enjoying the concert.

A few of us circulated through the crowd giving out info on the BEC and the Kingdom of God, as well as inviting people to some seminars to be held over the next few weeks of P2P. We had some great responses but the one that touched me was a man named Godfrey who was originally from Uganda. Although on that day, he was just one of the many people who watched our music and was given a leaflet and a little card about the Good News of the Kingdom of God, but God was working, and touching this man’s heart.

The next morning, the P2P group were working in the BEC and Godfrey came to the shop. He walked straight up to the counter with his Kingdom of God card. He held it up and said “I’ve been looking for the church that preaches truth for a long time. So many churches preach “salvation through Jesus”, or “Jesus saves you”, but none focus on the Kingdom of God like you did yesterday. When you read the Bible, you see that it is all Jesus talked about and this is the first time I’ve seen a church actually preaching about this good news. I want to know everything about you guys!”

With that startling introduction, Godfrey went on to spend all afternoon at the BEC – first at the seminar and then chatting to Dan, Tom and James. They soon discovered that he held beliefs very similar to the Christadelphians in many major areas! Godfrey asked for a summary of our basic beliefs and left the BEC with an armful of literature, contact details for the people he had met and the promise of visiting again soon.

Godfrey is now meeting regularly with Brother David White at the BEC once or twice a week to discuss first principle topics. He pops into the BEC regularly to greet us and has gone from stranger to such a promising contact in the space of several weeks!

What an awesome story…and all from playing some music in a public place. Whoever says “I cannot preach” and can play a musical instrument no longer has any excuse!! As part of the group busy struggling to make the concert work in the middle of a busy city, it was easy to forget that there was another power at play. Although I understand the theory in my head, it never ceases to amaze me when I see God working like this; using something so simple to call others to be part of His wonderful plan for the future.

Leah Egginton, Australia

EXCITING NEWS - We are pleased that the GNOTKOG website is now up (www.gnotkog.org). But even more exciting is that we have set up a system where you can donate to contribute to the many exciting projects spreading the Good News in South Africa. The monthly running costs of supporting a growing number of creches, youth centres, orphanages etc means we really do rely on your help. Even a small monthly donation of $5 can provide food for a child for nearly a month! It's simple, you can donate through Paypal or using your Credit Card.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Tales from the Townships - Lamontville goes to Westville

Younger children who live in poor black townships don't often have the opportunity of leaving their townships at nigh....especially with an old white man whom their parents had never met until they gave him permission to drive away with their daughters!
Why would parents take such a "risk"? All because the South African preaching project is based upon an important Bible principle of "Touch and Teach". Help people in a practical way, and they will believe in your sincerity, listen to what you have to say and trust you. What did James say? You can't say "Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled". We have an obligation to help when we see a need. Remember the Good Samaritan?

Although I had never met the paretns of these seven young ladies, the children had been coming to the Reading/Writing/Bible Study class I take in Lamontville for several weeks. The Westville Sunday School pupils were going to have an evening of Bible quizzes, games and food. It was an ideal opportunity for the young ones attending our Lamontville classes and Youth Group to meet with our Westville Sunday School children for the first time.

Three days before the event, I went to ask parental permission to take the girls. The first thing the parents said was "thank you for helping our children with their schooling". The next was "What time will you be bringing them home on Friday evening?" No problem getting permission to take them!
It was a great occasion. The Lamontville girls fitted in beautifully, being made welcome by our Westville Sunday School children. After consuming three pieces of pizza each (food can be short in the townships) they chatted animatedly in Zulu all the way home. They later received photographs of the evening which they all cherish. We hope to arrange more "get-togethers" so that our youngsters from the townships can feel part of a larger, loving family.

Does "Touch and Teach" work as a principle? It certainly does!

David White