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 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 


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 ( 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.