Thursday, June 17, 2010

May 2010 Newsletter

My first few months here have flown by. I am entering June with the knowledge of How to get around the city, where to go for certain things and Where not to go at certain times! This is becoming a place I can call home!

Gods has graciously filled my scheduled! I am really excited with the work the Lord has blessed me with. I go one day a week to Athlone and work at Thembacare. Three days a week I go to Vrygund and Work with Joshua Childrens Mission. Once a week I go into Masiphumelele and teach bible. And once a week I help with Kids Club at Muzinberg Community Church.

Thembacare is a church run program. It started out as a Hospice for babies in the early 2000’s; but now that ARV’s have been introduced their survival rate for children as gone from a 20% to an 80%. Praise God. Now they are working with the Children to get them Healthy and get their motor skills better developed. I am playing with babies and working on basic motor skills like laying them on their stomachs and getting them to reach for things, or singing them songs, read books to them, letting them hold my hands while they learn to walk! It is lots of fun, even though I am sure in the course of the next 9 months I will lose one of baby! That will be hard. But God is working there. Thembacare not only works with the children, but they work with the child’s guardian. They are teaching them what foods to serve the child, and how to admister the childs medication. They are also helping transport the guardian and child to doctor appointments.

Three days a week I am going into Vrygund, doing an after school program. I am really enjoying this time. The Kids I work with are awesome and the Directors of the mission are sweet, dear people. I am in charge of their holiday Club (VBS) this year. I am excited about this opportunity but nervous. We are learning what “real Treasure” is. It is June 21-25. I also started a bible study for 9 of the older girls that come to the after school program. They were asking questions a few weeks ago, and God put it on my heart to teach these girls the truth of the gospel. We are doing a program by Samaritans purse. I think that it will be good for these girls. I really would love to get them to start thinking on their own and asking me more questions. I just pray for God’s blessing on this ministry opportunity.

I continue to teach at Ukanhyo School once a week in Masiphumelele. It has been a challenge for me. I have a hard time teaching to 6th graders who don’t really seem like they want to be there. It is the end of their school day so they are ready to go home and be done with school. Next semester I will be taking two 2nd grade classes in addition to my 6th graders. That will be good. I am much better with this age.

I am also helping out with Kids Club and Sunday School at Church. I have really enjoyed getting to know the Children at Muzinberg Community Church. They are a real Joy. They are eager to learn and are thirsty for knowledge.

I am thankful that my days are getting fuller and I am taking on more responsibilities with my Jobs. And I ask that you will pray for these children that I interact with on a daily basis. 
I want to share a song “Esther” by Sara Groves:
“I have a picture of Esther and David
She is a young bride and he is a soldier
They didn’t know then that David was dying
They wouldn’t have children
Alone with a life time, Africa called
She went for the first time, it grew in her heart
All of the children, all of those children
Now Esther has 2.4 million children
She writes us and asks us to pray for them all”

If you have not noticed you will find that my favorite Singer Songwriter is Sara Groves. She is simply amazing with the imagery she conveys in her songs. This particular song has meant a lot to me as of late. Africa did call and I don’t have children of my own, but I do have children. All those kids I have taught and are teaching in Sunday school in the States and here in South Africa, and all the other children I work with have become my children. My little sick kids in Thembcare dying of HIV/Aids, my kiddos in Vrygrund and Masiphumelele, who live a daily life I cannot fathom; they all have a special place in my heart. They all have different stories and I do ask as “Esther” asked: “Pray for them ALL”. Lift these dear souls up to the heavenly Father who cares about the Children and loves them all.

Winter in the Western Cape is wet and cold! The wind howls and the rain is not really droplets, but a mist! But a mist that will get you soaked in two seconds. It is rather incredible! As I sit here and listen to the wind and rain beat against my window, I go back to Kenya in my mind and think about walking (more like wading) in and out Kibera. I am thankful that this is not the case here. But that doesn’t stop the fact that my Children are sleeping in this! The live in Shacks made of tin, some built on sand, some built on top or near a swamp. Water comes into their very small home where most likely their beds are on the floor. I remember my Kenya team praying for those in Kibera to stay dry and warm during that trip of rain. And Now I ask you to pray for these children here in Cape Town. Pray that they will not only stay warm and dry, but also stay healthy. Some of these kids already have poor immune systems because they have HIV, and have poor diets, so to stay healthy is hard. Keep them in your prayers! All of them! They are all God’s Children, and they have become my children!

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Night of the Vuvuzela

I was so thankful that I got to go to a game. When I finally accepted the call to go to South Africa I didn’t realize that I would be there during the World Cup. Once it clicked in my head I thought that it would be fun to go, but never imagined I would actually go to a Game.
One of my supporter’s daughters was studying at the University of Cape Town (UCT) this past semester. She purchased tickets thinking that she would still be here for the game. But she had to go home early to see her brother graduate and go to her Grandmothers Birthday Party.  She called me one night and asked if I wanted her ticket! Of Course I did. It was awesome of her to give it to me. I went on Opening night to the France vs. Uruguay game.
I ended up going over to the Mcginity’s house to watch South Africa vs. Mexico, and then Pamela, Lake and I headed to the stadium after the First game. The Mcginity’s had tickets as well. We left their house a little before 6, for an 8:30 game. We drove to UCT to park and hopped a Bus to the stadium.( You take two buses, One from UCT to the Civic center, then another one from the Civic center to the stadium)  As are bus was pulling out of UCT traffic was at a standstill, which made me concerned that we wouldn’t get to the stadium on time. But then the French team drove by! That was why traffic was stopped.  It was fun to be able to see their Bus! And to think that Henry was on that bus!
The Bus ride was fun! Enthusiastic fans shouting for their teams (some of which weren’t playing that night). Vuvuzela’s were blowing.  Some were even talking (Yelling is more like it) to the people on the street. I think the bus ride might have been one of the best parts of the night.
We got to the stadium park a little after 7. We followed the crowd to what we hoped was the entrance to the stadium. The closer we got the more jammed we became. I felt like a cow being herded in to a coral. It took a little over an hour to get 100 meters. Do you remember when you were a child and you were standing in the middle of a group of Adults. You can’t see anything except those around you. That is how I felt. I was surrounded and all I could see were people’s backs. Pamela finally made me get in front of her, because she kept loosing me.
There were interesting people in this Crowd.  Some of them I could smell the alcohol on them. Some were on the shoulders of friends, shouting for their favorite team; People blowing the Vuvuzela’s and singing the World Cup song.  And even some were dancing.
I finally got to me seat a few minutes before the National Athems were played.  The game itself wasn’t the most fun to watch. It was a little slow. But the atmosphere in the Stadium was great. I even thought that the Vuvuzela’s would drive me crazy, but actually inside they became like a white noise. And I was able to tune them out.  I tuned them out to the point of when the guy behind me would blow his I would jump because I wouldn’t be expecting it. 
I was sad at the beginning of the game because Henry was not starting. Henry is/was (he is getting older) one of the top strikers (center forward) in the Premier league. He plays for Arsenal. (I don’t really have a favorite team in Premier League. I use to cheer for Man U. But I can’t say I am fan anymore since I have really watched it in years.) But Henry came in the last 10 minutes of the game. I was excited to see him play. The game ended 0-0. 

Theirry Henry #12
Leaving the stadium was much like coming into the stadium. I was being herded out. The first bus station was so crowded that we decided we could walk the 2.5 k’s to the civic center faster than waiting on a bus. The walk was interesting; 10 thousand people walking in the same direction. It was hectic. We made it to the Civic center safely and we waited only about 10 minutes for a bus. We got back to the Mcginity’s at 12:30. It was a fun night that I won’t forget. I am thankful that God blessed me with the opportunity.