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

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

PORTA-BEC born in PORTA-liza-BEC



ThumbnailThe concept of a moveable BEC hit me early one morning in July and life has never been the same since!
With limited funds and human resources in a small ecclesia it seemed that there should still be a way to run a Bible Education Centre (BEC) without the expense and commitment of hiring a shop and running it on a full time basis. A 6m (20ft) container seemed to be the way to go with the added benefit of it being 99% theft-proof! Time will tell.


ThumbnailWith the dramatic rise in the price of steel in just the last 12 months, most firms are choosing to refurbish rather than replace, resulting in a dearth of suitable stock. From watching the swop columns and visiting firms that deal in 2nd hand containers it was apparent that prices range from R11k – R27k depending on quality: with much patience and time one can find cheaper. We were finally able to find one on tender at Telkom and after much prayer put in a price of R8100 plus VAT. Success! It was the best on offer and we secured it by R100! It is in pretty good condition and with the wonderful help of the P2P 2010 team managed to make it look very respectable. Pictures and paint, table and chairs and away we go!



The first choice was Kwadesi township where we already have 6 members and is very accessible from the main highway to Uitenhage. Bro Zwelakhe used his considerable charm on an ex-student who is now a city councilor for the area, and she gave written permission to put the container at a most prominent place near the main shopping centre and next to the police station. Maybe after time we will move it to another area in PE or if the project proves unsuccessful we can always sell it for more than we paid.


With so few members available to run it full time, a roster is being drawn up so that with the helpof those members in Kwadesi and a few from Port Elizabeth. we should be able tobe open at the busiest times of the week. Tables and chairs are then brought in and everything securely locked away.


We had our grand opening on Saturday 30th August with lots of invitations being given out and opening specials - cheap Bibles, balloons, BEC pens for all who sign up etc. 30 have registered for correspondence courses in the first few days and lots of preaching material has been given out. 

ThumbnailWe are so thankful to our Heavenly Father for all His blessings in this project; also the wonderful support of the 2010 COP Trust and P2P workers led by Big Ben Dailey the Ozzie cum S. African who leave plastered with orange BEC paint!Thumbnail


Michael J Floyd

Monday, September 1, 2008

The Love of God binds abled and disabled, young and old...

ThumbnailWhat do you get when you mix four groups of young people aged from 12 to 24 who have never met before and are different in terms of their background, education and physical condition? Lots of talk…..lots of laughter….and even more fun! 

Saturday 23rd September 2008 saw the first combined youth day held at the Lamontville Good News centre. This was the first activity in a new program for the centre in which activities are run for the community several times a week. These include youth days, kingdom youth soccer, reading improvement classes, Bible classes and life skills classes on topics from finance and being part of a committee to health and even arranging a funeral!  

On Saturday, we had youth attend from the Mariannhill ecclesia, Mason Lincoln School for disabled learners (better known as Happy’s school), Lamontville UCC and some younger youth from Lamontville who have been attending reading improvement classes run at the centre by Brother David White. What a wonderful opportunity to get youth from all areas together and enjoy a day of fun anThumbnaild fellowship! 

The day kicked off with some raucous games which included lots of animal noises…(quite a sight, and sound!) and some activities to get the youth mixing and meeting one another. Brother David White then lead the youth through the “Teen Commandments” (no, not a spelling mistake….10 instructions to help teenagers live Godly lives) and endeared the audience to him at the startling revelation that to count his age by turning around in circles was a challenge on the giddy scale!  

Then it was outside for some more games! The competition was stiff in a game where the youth had to find others who met certain criteria and have them autograph their page. “Liking peanut butter”, “having two brothers and sisters” and “wearing a blue shirt” had never been so important! It was a noisy mix of all four groups of youth as they battled to note down people’s names that they didn’t know, for extra points!  

ThumbnailThe great balloon popping game is always a favourite and this one got off to an early start as the balloons all started to explode prematurely! Even the many young people in wheelchairs participated, with balloons tied to their chairs – I was sure we were going to have some ankle casualties, but everyone became good at dodging! It was lovely to see that the winner of the game was a young disabled girl from Happy’s school, who to everyone’s astonishment showed great determination against Senzo, a young guy from Mariannhill, to take the title as if she had won gold in the Olympics! 

Brother Craig Blewett led an interesting session on the Olympics by paralleling the various aspects of sporting achievements to our walk in life to the kingdom. It was touching to think how many of these kids would have real empathy for the stories of struggle to overcome sickness and disadvantage.  

The classic South African snack: viennas on rolls! The youth then had the chance to enjoy some snacks and I was amazed at how well they were all mixing. In particular, the care taken by the youth for those in wheelchairs in terms of moving them around and ensuring they had enough to eat, was very touching. 

The event ended in the early afternoon, with the youth all hugging each other and waving happily – promising to see their new-found friends again. What a success! We hope and pray that all the youth days held at Lamontville are such wonderful experiences.  

Leah Egginton