Monday, August 18, 2008

Goosebumps on goosebumps and Hearts shared

Some more blog-etts from P2P July/August.....

Something that really inspired me happened on a cold, misty day in the middle of a township, in a disadvantaged household. I was giving a class on Ruth on the Sunday morning, in a crowded back bedroom. The children were all crammed onto two little beds or sitting on the floor. We started making sandals as an activity to end the class with. All of a sudden someone started humming. After a while, everyone was singing “We glorify your name….sia kudumisa….”. Gradually more and more children from other Sunday school classes joined. When I looked up after cutting the cardboard, the room was chock-a-block with people of all ages, races and countries. It was hectic. I had goose bumps on top of my goose bumps. It was definitely a moment that we all wanted to last forever! 

Christy Beyers, South Africa  

While in Mariannhill, teaching the Kingdom Youth course, one of the children gave me his R10 to look after, which showed that he trusted me even though we had only been there for three days. Another of the children called me “teacher” which made the rest of the group laugh! Giving out the t-shirts to the children was also amazing. It was great to see the happiness on their faces and to see them all wearing them not only on the Friday, but the Sunday as well. 

Whilst waiting for food at Mariannhill, we all took groups of 15 kids and sat them in circles. I had to keep telling some of them to sit down, which they did straight away, but then some more would stand up and I would tell them to sit down. Eventually, it turned into a game, which they loved. It was amazing that such simple things as standing up and sitting down could make them so happy. 

Mark Whale, UK

While there are many moments from my time in Gauteng that stand out, two in particular come to mind. Each morning, Liezl, Lucas and I would drive into Tembisa township to pick up the children at Ubuhle orphanage. Over twenty of them live in a two-bedroom house. I spent each morning teaching English classes to the older ones while the rest went to the hall for a holiday club. Besides the eagerness of the children to learn, despite it being school holidays, my favourite moment came  once we began writing poetry.  

Often asking them to write me a poem for homework, many of them came in with three, four or five poems each. After class, the girls huddled around me, reading their work. Poems about living with aids, surviving abuse, poverty and hardship. But the poems were also filled with so much hope. They praised God for His care for them, spoke of the choices they had in responding to their circumstances and expressed gratitude for the small things in their lives. I thought to myself, if these children could express hope and faith even as they lived with such challenges, how much more should I be praising God for all I have? 

After class, Mpho and I drove back to Tembisa, squeezed together into the front seat of the van. In a quiet whisper, she continued to read me her poems and tell me her stories for the entire 30 minute drive. I couldn’t save her from a childhood in this place, but I could teach her that someone does care and wants to hear her story. 

Keren Robertson, US

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