Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Creating Lasting Memories

While going to a fast food restaurant might not be that exciting to us or even a place we would want to avoid eating, it’s a rare privilege and major treat to a child living in third-world impoverished conditions. As Megan and I saw the end of our missionary trip approaching, we wanted to spend some fun time with the children we’ve grown attached to through teaching in the Tembisa township crèches every week and create for them a lasting memory.

We took all 11 of the children from Sara’s crèche that we work with through the C.U.D.D.L.E. project (Crèche Upgrades, Diligently Developing Little one’s Education) to McDonald’s playground and to eat on Monday, which was a school holiday. As we’ve grown accustomed to working with the children in the classroom setting each week, it was such a joy to be able to spend time with them in a fun playground setting and watch them play and have a good time.

They were quite adorable to watch on the car ride over to Birchley, where the McDonald’s is located nearby our Bible Education Center. Since most of their families don’t own vehicles, the car ride itself was a different experience for many of them. They sat quietly in the back of our pick-up truck’s enclosed camper bed intently watching the other cars on the road around them through the windows. When we pulled into the McDonald’s parking lot and they could see the brightly-colored playground equipment they would get to use, the truck started shaking up and down from all of the excited energy.

Once they had begun playing in the McDonald’s playground, they weren’t content to let Megan and I simply stay on ground level and watch them from a distance. We were lead/dragged by the hand up into the playground tunnels and towers with them and down the slides along with the children.

In many ways, the children’s day-to-day environmental conditions in Tembisa can be quite rough and harsh. It was such a blessing to be able to let the children leave that environment, even for a few hours, and just play and be kids having fun on a playground and eating Happy Meals. While we set out to create a lasting memory for the children themselves, as Megan and I find ourselves recollecting often about that day, it’s not only the children who will be remembering the experience for a long time.

Your brother in Christ's service,
Jonathan Sabo - Kempton Park, South Africa Ecclesia

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