Monday, April 19, 2010

Happy's Concert

So as a group project we put on a concert for the kids at Mason Lincoln Special school . We wanted to make it really special, like a nice evening out without having to leave the premises. God blessed it right away by answering our prayers. He kept the rain away! Supposedly a huge storm was going to hit during the concert. We said our prayers here and there asking God to keep it away to make it an enjoyable night for the kids. It sprinkled a bit in the morning, and it didn’t come back until nearly all of us were packed into the car. Thanks God!

We set up a full sound system with speakers, microphones, and an array of instruments. We had guitars, bass, a maraca, and even a harmonica in the mix! I don’t know if the kids knew what they were getting yet. We also had a great turn out of locals ready to support us and the kids. I need to add that the kids were happy to see us. We were greeted warmly and they said they were looking forward to the music. While we were getting things ready by checking the sound system and putting the snacks together this uproar of excitement came about. All of our attention was drawn trying to figure out what made the kids start screaming with enthusiasm, and who but David White appeared from around the corner. You would have thought Beyonce herself had shown up.

We started the concert with some classic Zulu praise songs. All the kids joined in with Siyabonga, Walk in the Light, and good old We Glorify Your Name and a few others. The kids loved the mic getting passed out into the crowd, and Ben was great at getting the kids up and dancing or even wheeling them center stage (literally).

Laura, Julie, and Phil led us instrumentally and vocally through some classic Christian songs. The rest of us did some back up vocals and crowd rousing. The response from the kids was incredible. They were especially excited when Mat picked up the bass. Their smiles, laughter and cheering during the night could keep you energized for days!

Our local supporters came in quite handy passing out some popcorn and drinks to the kids during a type of intermission. Our kids really got into it, even the big kids. Definitely witnessed Matt Blewett whipping out some dance moves while handing out the popcorn. Sometimes you’ve just got to let the music move you.

At this point in the concert we moved into popular songs and good radio classics to complete all the genres. You might say we took it a step too far with Naomi, Ellie, and Katie background dancing to Halo (if you want to learn the moves, I’m sure the video will be on facebook or youtube in the near future), but it just added to the atmosphere of the concert. By the end of the evening even David White “D Dubs” himself and Matt Blewett were on stage impressing all with their ‘dancing’.

We ended the evening with a second round of Walk in the Light by request. At this point the mic was passed between kids as they took turns singing praises to God. A big conga line was formed as we all proceeded to ‘walk’ (or wheel) in the light of God. I couldn’t humanly think of a better way to end that evening with the kids.

When we were packing up, the kids just kept asking when we were coming back. It was so cool to be able to tell them ‘You can join us next Friday for Bible class!’. The kids are really starting to see that we care. Thanks be to God for these fun ways to pass on His love!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Aphiwe community center - Launch

The Aphiwe community center was launched on the 25th of March. It was a great day and the culmination of 2 months of hard work by the builder and various other volunteers that was incredibly blessed by God. Once the builder finished all the modification work there were three weeks left during which volunteers (local and oversees) did a mountain of work which included general cleaning up, landscaping, rubble removal, laying instant lawn, painting, designing and painting two murals, cupboard installation and a multitude of little touch up tasks. there were four days in particular where specific work teams got stuck in for six hours at a go to get all the work done. It was all great fun and we never fell behind schedule. It was also amazing how God helped us with some problems that arose but they were sorted out very easily and quickly.
The P2P group that was involved included the following people : Jonathan and Megan Sabo; Liezl Scheepers; Hendri Viljoen; Christy Beyers; Mat Collard, Laura Iderdale, Phil Ashcroft, Naomi Midgley, Leona Scheepers, Llewellyn Scheepers. It was a very rewarding feeling once all was completed to look at the end result compared to what we began with. We all felt that it was a little miracle that went down when you consider how many factors had to fall into place for the new center to come into existence and that it happened in such a short space of time and within the budget!. We are also very exited about the interest in the centre by the local residents and the many of them that expressed a desire to attend the Bible study's we will provide there.
We plan to have the centre fully operational as from the 1st of May. There will be a lot of free education provided - this will include Bible education. The  center will also serve as the "HQ" for the CUDDLE project that has really grown huge in the last two months. It was great that the 5 crèche teachers that are very involved with the CUDDLE project could also attend the launch. We got the impression that the management team from Auto Page who attended the launch were very happy and surprised with the way the center turned out. There is a good chance that we will get continued involvement from Autopage in the future in the form of staff members volunteering to help with the maintenance and education the center will provide. During the launch four speeches were made by the following people respectively: Mr. James Rutherfoord (MD of Autopage); Mrs Tswalepello Mello (Health Inspector of the particular section of Tembisa in which the center falls); Mrs. Kalina Mazibuku (Head of the Tembisa crèche association) and myself (as representing the COP Trust.) It was the speeches made by Tswalepello and Kalina in particular that made us realize how much our work in the past has meant to the people of the area and how privileged we were to be God's instruments in this way. We all felt motivated to continue to do as much as we can for the community in the future.
The last part of the Aphiwe project that was finished was a beautiful mural on the back wall done by Christy Beyers and it quite aptly has the following text in the left bottom corner - "To God be the glory forever" - We all say a loud "AMEN!" to that.
Lucas Scheepers
On behalf of the 2010 team here in KMP