Opportunity knocks and who are we to keep the door closed on opportunities, 9 June 2011. Lilandi and I took our kingdom kids group to Lory Park Zoo for their annual end of term Sunday School outing. We had great fun with the children as for some of them it was their first time at a zoo and as it was father’s day they had special exhibits like a 3 meter red tail boa and tiny leopard tortoise hatchlings. There we met Mark Kingsmill from Earth Beat Echo who work with animals and was looking for a charity he could adopt, we got talking and he invited us to come with him to a wolf sanctuary and we agreed.
October 2nd we rounded up 5 of our Kingdom Kids at 6am in the morning to take them to meet actual wolves at the Husky Romi Rescue and Wolf Sanctuary just outside of Reitz, Freestate. It was quite a drive to get there but it was worth it! This old cattle farm was converted into a home for 127 wolves and 66 huskies that were rescued from circus owners that mistreated these majestic animals, or from homes where people imported the wolves and just could not afford to keep them anymore. The kids were excited and scared at the same time - little did they know that they would be stroking and hugging a wolf by the end of the day. Mark taught the kids the 3 major differences between wolves and dogs and he helped them to overcome their fear of the wolves and by extension dogs.
After the lessons taught and learned we went to The Timber Wolf restaurant for some grub and good conversation.
It was such a great experience for all of us and its really great to see more of God’s creatures. And before you ask, a wolf can be deadly but it can also be a big, loving, overgrown puppy that just wants to be loved and cared for. Hugging a wolf is like hugging an 80kg teddy bear that likes to slobber J
In closing I would like to remind those of us who do own a pet, that we need to love and care for that animal as it is also one of God’s creations.
This year was our second International Family Bible Conference and as last year it was a great week of fellowship, spiritual growth, learning, strengthening of old friendships and making new ones.Bro. Stuart Walker from the UK led our main studies. His theme was “the superiority of Christ and the superiority of Faith” and he brought out many wonderful aspects whilst giving us all a better understanding of the book of Hebrews. It was very heart-warming at the end of the week when one of the ladies who attended the conference as a student, spontaneously came forward and thanks him for helping her to “at last” understand the letter to the Hebrew. She called him forward and gave him a big hug much to the delight of us all.
Other sessions were given as variety sessions and covered a wide range of interesting and intriguing topics. Lots of times in between sessions and over eating times conversations about the talks were overheard. We were particularly thankful that so many of our brethren and sisters from the new ecclesias in townships could make it to the conference this year. There was a wonderful embracing of cultures during the week and the singing of hymns and spiritual songs and English and Zulu was a wonderful experience of what the Bible means of being one in Jesus. The surroundings at the conference are stunning to say the least and reminds one daily of God’s awesome creation power. The mountains, green environment, blue skies and flora reminded us all the time of how wonderful the Kingdom is going to be when Jesus restores this world to the glorious earth God intended it to be.
We again incorporated a very unique feature into the Bible conference. One of the afternoons was set aside to go and do community outreach work at a children’s village for orphans near the bible conference venue. It was again, as last year, amazing to witness how much of a difference 100 brethren and sisters can make in a mere 4 hours to the lives of other people in need. More amazing was to experience again how much of a fellowship and bonding event it turns out to be. Amidst all the activity and work brothers and sister get to talk to each other and relationships are enhanced immensely. During our work there we chatted to some of the people about the Gospel and what it is that compels us to do this kind of work. As a result eight of the people at the village signed up for the Bible correspondence course! The community outreach has become one of the most cherished slots of our Bible conference and is SO spiritually rewarding as we get chance to put theory learnt at the school into practice straight away.
On the last day we had two baptisms and then breaking of bread meeting which brought the Bible conference to a perfect close. We all were sad to leave but our hearts we glowing warm with the knowledge that we all would meet again and that it could be in the Kingdom soon where we will, by God’s grace get the full experience of “all nations, and kindred’s, and people, and tongues, (standing)before the throne, and before the Lamb” together as one family in Jesus Christ.
Always ready to copy good ideas, especially ones that originate with our dear COPT colleagues in Tembisa, we started our Saturday Bible Club in Gamalakhe township this week. The venue where we hold our youth club, in conjunction with Indumiso Group, is available to us the whole week – if only we had the time! But after a committee discussion it was felt that Sunday Schooling was something we could fit in – but not if it clashed with our Sunday School here in Margate – so Saturday Bible Club was born! It started with just 2 children at the start time but a walk round the block and some singing attracted a few more, so we reached a grand total of 11 who learnt about how the Son of God was born not in a fancy palace or hospital but in a cowshed! We all had fun and we know that the Almighty can work big things from small beginnings so we pray for his blessing on the Club in the coming months!
We had a donation of clothes from a school in Pretoria. They had
gathered together over 9 tons of clothes, shoes, blankets and towels.
We received about 50 bags which were packed in the back room of Aphiwe, there was so much stuff that it was about 2m high and 3m wide. We decided to host a games evening for our Aphiwe youth so that we would have 30 odd hands to help unpack all the clothes and pack them out on the tables for a jumble sale.
After playing some games with them and singing songs, we had the
children (30 – 35 of them) line up from the back room to the main hall and they started throwing the bags to one another in order to get all of them to the main hall. We had Hendri join in and throw far and hard and it caused chaos because now all the children were also seeing how hard they could throw one another with the bags. Once all the bags were in the main hall we had a massive pile which became the landing mat for some children who decided to jump on it. Hendri and Rachel also joined in the fun and jumped on the top of the pile.
The children started throwing bags on top of them and Rachel just disappeared beneath the clothes. We had to jump in and save her! We got everything in order and under control again and the children started packing out the bags on to the tables and some girls helped me clean the back room which was to be cleaned and organized for Lucas who was arriving in less than 5 minutes to host a business club!!!
We got the job done with a few seconds to spare.... In the process of
sorting out the clothes we had two girls, Annah and Thato, lose their jackets and a hat.... Now to try and find their clothes in between ALL the 1000's of clothes lying around was almost impossible. We couldn't find Thato's jacket but did however find Annah's hat the day of the jumble sale... lucky girl ...
The children could all choose 2 items of clothing which they could
have, this was to say thanks for helping us sort out the clothes, many
of them took ages to decide, so we started counting down on the
microphone we had set up... the closer we got to 5 seconds the
louder the girls would shriek to say they need more time!! Everyone
got their clothes at the end of the day and all of them got a food
parcel too. The next day we had many people from the community come and support the jumble sale, all the items were either R1 or R2. We had ladies buy 3 to 4 bags full of clothes and they would pay only R180... what a Bargain !!!
We managed to raise a good amount of money to subsidise 2 of our youth, 1 sister and 5 students from Aphiwe to attend the International Family Bible Conference. Lord willing there will be 2 of them who will be baptized at the camp too.
It was a day of special joy on Friday 7th October when Eric Mphalela and Mpho Mahlangu was baptised into the saving name of Jesus Christ. Eric and Mpho have been attending the Tuesday night Bible classes in Tembisa for over a year. They have also been part of the core group that meet together every Sunday in Tembisa and form part of the satellite ecclesia in Tembisa.
This all is really the long term result of the 2010 and now Ignite2020 preaching campaign that led to us doing community outreach work in Tembisa. The outreach work led to the establishment of a community centre that gave us a permanent presence as well as a venue to have Bible classes.
It has been a wonderful privilege to see Eric and Mpho grow in knowledge, understanding, wisdom and faith. Both Eric and Mpho managed to organize leave and funds to go to the International Family Bible Conference that was held from the 2nd to the 7th of October this month. They were interviewed by different brethren at the Bible Conference and each gave a good confession of their faith.
The setting for their baptisms was beautiful as the Bible Conference venue is situated in the Drankensberg. Those who attended had the privilege to witness the baptisms against the backdrop of majestic mountains and wonderful surroundings. We were all vividly reminded of God’s creation power in Genesis chapter one but also the new creation He has done in Eric and Mpho through Jesus his son.
We praise God for the growth in our ecclesias and pray that he will give us the strength and wisdom to walk together in unity and fruitfulness as a family in his son.
With abiding love from the Ignite2020 team in KMP.