Wednesday, February 17, 2010

We Candu it

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.

Aiming for Candu, we got a little bit lost in the rural wilderness and without knowing a word of Xhosa we decided it was high-time that we prayed. Thankfully and amazingly God led us to a shepherd (of all people) to guide us to our first destination: Candu.

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!

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