With less than a week to go until the launch date, the Kempton Park missionary team had another all-day workday at the Aphiwe Good News Centre in Tembisa. Sis. Megan Sabo and Sis. Liezel Scheepers did a great job of painting a light brown section of the walls in the main room and bathrooms. Bro. Hendri Viljoen finished hanging more bathroom fixtures and completed his custom-built cabinets in the main classroom. Sis. Christy Beyers (visiting from Durban) and Llewellyn Scheepers painted a beautiful mural on the backyard wall behind the kitchen. Bro. Lucas Scheepers and I worked on the landscaping around the building removing leftover rubble, spreading gravel for the parking area, and cleaning the street which had inches of compacted dirt layered on it that had to be broken up and removed. Sis. Leona Scheepers was busy purchasing all the hundreds of items needed within the community center and also meeting with local community members to promote Aphiwe. The finishing touches are all falling into place for the launch next Thursday March 25th, God-willing!
Working outdoors around the building regularly puts us in contact with the thousands of people walking by on their way to and from the train station down the block, and it’s always enjoyable chatting with people throughout the day who want to know what the building is going to be used for. Today was one of the more unusual days in interacting with people, though. One car driving by was upset with the speed bump we had installed last week, and then, in contrast, a few minutes later another man walked up and thanked us for installing the speed bump (his 5-year-old daughter had been hit by a car on the same road last week and her leg was in a cast – the reason we installed the speed bump). I was asked to pose for a photo with one pedestrian (white people are a novelty in townships like Tembisa) and Lucas and I may have been proposed to by another lady (we’re still debating on exactly what she said). We regularly have people who ask us for work at the community centre and we politely explain that we’re all volunteers and that we don’t have any paid positions available. This explanation didn’t stop one young man from trying to take my shovel out of my hand to do my work for me and earn himself a job. We had an almost-comical, five-second tug-of-war match over the shovel. All of this while there was a chanting ritual going on in the house behind us offering sacrifices for their ancestors. It’s never boring spending a day in Tembisa!
The most exciting part is that we have a tremendous amount of interest from the feedback we’re receiving in starting bible classes there immediately once the Good News Centre is open. Out of all the various functions that will go on in the Good News Centre that are receiving positive interest from the community (life skills courses, crèche teachers' courses, etc.), it’s phenomenal to find that the bible classes are what people are the most excited about. It’s easy to envision an ecclesia forming in the new community centre in the future from all the positive response to bible teaching, God-willing.
Sis. Christy and Llewellyn in the beginning stages of painting a wall mural on the backyard fence.
Halfway through the painting process of Sis. Christy’s creative wall mural.
Sis. Liezl painting the main bathroom.
Sis. Megan painting a nice light brown border around the main classroom in the Aphiwe Good News Centre.
The main classroom at Aphiwe all finished with painting.
Bro. Hendri’s custom-built cabinets in the back of the main classroom.
Breaking up inches of compacted dirt with a pick on top of the street outside the Good News Centre.
Bro. Lucas raking the parking area across the street from the Aphiwe Good News Centre. Sweeping the streets just in front of the building alone became an all-day task in removing all of the compacted dirt and dust that is common in townships.
Recycled pavers from the construction site form a new entryway to the yard from the street.
Bro. Lucas and myself removing dirt from the street while children take the liberty of playing on Lucas’s trailer in the background.
In the glorious hope of Israel,
Bro. Jonathan Sabo - Kempton Park, South Africa Ecclesia
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