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