Monday, February 22, 2010
Posted by P2P Earth at 5:33 PM
Posted by P2P Earth at 5:32 PM
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Five of us volunteers (Tim, Ben, Roxy, Katie and Ellie) just went on a week-long road trip to visit our brothers and sisters in the Eastern Cape. It was an awesome experience.
Local brother and sister, Templeton and Dorothy gave us a warm welcome and they soon showed us what needed doing on site. The general maintenance list included: painting walls, fixing up the toilets, the showers and the electrics and giving the jungle gym a new lease of life. There were some simple fixes (namely: flipping a switch or changing a light bulb) which made us appear like superheroes in Templeton’s eyes. We couldn’t take all the glory so we came clean: no we didn’t rewire the whole electrics; we simply changed a light bulb etc. Nevertheless we were happy to help where we could.
Some of the highlights of our time in Candu included witnessing an epic rain and hail storm. Apparently Candu hasn’t seen rain like it in twenty years. Templeton was rejoicing as his prayers for water had been answered. The lightning continued throughout the distant valleys for hours following and we stood awestruck by God’s mighty power.
Another magic moment in Candu was talking to Siyanda (Templeton’s youngest son) about his wish to be baptised and follow Jesus. Praise God! We were so excited to hear this news that we wanted to plunge him in the rainwater there and then, but we had to hold-back as Siyanda wishes to wait to share his baptism with all of his friends at the Easter gathering soon God willing.
Finally, another memorable moment in Candu was being welcomed into the home of a family who were grieving the recent death of their young son. It was a very moving experience to share God’s hope with those that need it the most: the broken hearted. Templeton identified this as a great preaching opportunity, especially seeing as its Xhosa custom to provide comfort in the homes of the grieved. In an area which is rooted in the folklore of their ancestors, we pray that Templeton’s efforts to share the gospel of peace will touch hearts.
Next up, P.E. Brother Mike and Vanessa made us feel right at home and after some much needed post-Candu showering, we led a Bible class discussion on “thankfulness”.The conclusion: even in times of trial we can be thankful for life itself- Every breath is a gift from God!
We also enjoyed having some quality time with Luzoko, the only young brother in P.E who is largely responsible for the BEC. It was clear to see that P.E could really benefit from the power of prayer and the energies of more people (P2P volunteers and ecclesial members) to get things moving. The BEC is in an ideal location, bordering on a number of townships. The potential for outreach is huge.
After P.E, we roadtripped back to KwaZulu-Natal to meet with some more volunteers (Jude, Julie, Phil and Nay) plus those from Margate eccelsia. A good handful of people joined us on the edge of the Oribi Gorge, including our five Wild 5 friends, to sing praises and learn more about God. What breathtaking surroundings! Last up, we had a great praise and worship session the following morning with lots of people from the local settlement and our newfound friends from the Mugg and Bean restaurant. God is working so let’s continue to put things to prayer!
Posted by P2P Earth at 11:07 AM
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Posted by P2P Earth at 5:05 PM
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Posted by P2P Earth at 5:34 PM
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Wow! What a fortnight. We’ve had such an amazing time here, coming together from all over the world for one purpose: to learn more about our awesome God and share our hope with others. Allow me to introduce ourselves - We are “Team Ruth”(cue the Dad jokes “Are you Ruthless?” etc ): Steve and Jess Russell and Ben and Roxy Topham from Oz; Jude Norcross, Julie Machacek, Tim Morse and Ellie Bilton from the UK; Katie Schlageter from the States; Steve Le Duke from Canada and, of course, our honourary team members - Kwanda Mzulwlini and Christy Beyers from South Africa.
It all began at Mariannhill. The word was out that a Kingdom Youth Soccer match was about to begin and so we were soon bombarded with energetic kids from all over the township. We had fun running off some steam with them teaching some Bible principles: focus on the goal of the Kingdom, run with endurance and work together. Stumbling through the long grass our next project suddenly became clear: to blitz the playing field with weed whackers.
In typical African style we hired out some weed whackers with no health and safety guidance and started flogging the field barefoot and without ear or eye protection. Two days later, our ears were ringing and we were all grassed out. Thankfully, lots of people from the community took an interest in what was happening and reached for the rakes themselves to get amongst the grass. God blessed us with hard workers and opportunities to talk to new people about The Good News.
Next up, Happy’s. We foolishly told Happy we’d re-vamp all the bathrooms in the girls and boys dormitories in the space of a day, thinking that only a lick of paint was needed. Our hearts sank when we saw the true state of the bathrooms and thought about what the kids have to live with day in day out: mould, peeling plaster and the stench of urine. We soon realised that this was to become an epic project in need of some good financial backing (donations very welcome people!). Despite the setback, we had some good quality time painting, singing and dancing with the kids at Happy’s.
If in doubt, sing and dance. Wherever God guided us and whatever time we had to fill, songs and dance always saved the day . At both the Mariannill and Lamontville Holiday clubs (think 80 hyperactive kids battling over hotdogs) dancing really unified us. Similarly at Margate’s Praise and Worship evening, dancing served as an awesome ice-breaker with some people we’d only just met. God richly provided us with many people from the local area: namely, the local township and Oribi Gorge (Yes, The Extreme Five boys) so thankfully, all our billing and talking felt incredibly worthwhile.
Above all, the best thing about the whole P2P was gathering together at the end of each day to reflect upon our “magic moments”: times that made us laugh or things that touched our hearts and made us simply stand still in awe- “wow God” moments. It was a great team bonding exercise and it made us feel so thankful for all the experieces we'd shared together everyday.
One beautiful moment was seeing the faces of the kids at Happy’s light up as they watched the dolphins leap at uShaka aquarium and knowing that one day, by God’s grace, they will also be leaping and no longer bound to their wheelchairs and crutches. Another key moment was witnessing Steve Le Duke’s refreshingly uninhibited faith - going into places where many white South African wouldn’t dream of venturing (Durban taxis and shacks in townships). Finally, the opportunity to simply work together as one family; assembled by God. Who else could have brought together so many different people from different countries for one fortnight of crazy-beautiful life-changing stuff? God has made everything beautiful in it’s time and we just pray that He continues to guide us and bind us wherever we are.
Posted by P2P Earth at 3:55 PM
Saturday, February 6, 2010
Posted by P2P Earth at 9:07 PM