Wednesday, July 28, 2010

June Newsletter

June in Cape Town has been fun! Vuvuzela’s have been blowing and National Pride has bloomed. The World Cup has brought this nation and this continent together.  You can’t help but get swept away in World Cup fever here.
School was out this month, so I have not been doing my weekly activities, but I have been involved in two ministries based on the World Cup; I did an Upward Soccer Clinic with the Church and I directed a Kids Club in Vrygund.  I also was involved in couple other activities as well. I went with the church Children’s Program to play putt-putt with some kids one afternoon as well, then I helped out in Vrygrund with some craft days.
This was my first time to be involved with Upward Sports, but I am really impressed with the program.  They have six stations set up to teach the kids different skills. You have 15 minutes at each station. Each station as two or three leaders, and then there are two or three leaders per group of kids. The kids will do three stations, and then they will get together as a group and have devotions and learn a Bible verse. At the end of each day the kids get a chance to earn iron-on stars for the shirt they got for the week. Each star is a different color and represents different Christ-like attributes.
The Camp went really well. There were three Churches involved and we had a great turn out of kids and leaders. The first day I almost became a Popsicle due to rain. I remember as a Kid I loved playing soccer in the rain. As an Adult it was still fun until I realized my hands were RED and COLD and my jeans were soaked to the point where I could have filled a 5 gallon bucket with water and they would have still been wet. Rudy, the director of the camp, decided to not cancel, despite the rain. We were the only Upward clinic in Cape Town that didn’t cancel on Monday. The next two days were considerably warmer and drier. The Kids had a great time, and my kids enjoyed telling me what stars they got that day and what they meant.  The final day I got to play soccer, not just coach. We put together a Parents and Leaders versus the Kids game. It was lots of fun. My legs hurt afterwards because I do not think I have used some of those muscles since College Intramural Soccer.
Grade 4 to 7 got to go to the Soccer Clinic, so we decided we needed to do something with the Grade R (kindergarten) to 3. We took them to play putt-putt that Friday. I was really excited about this because it was a childhood past time of mine when we would visit my grandmother at the beach. The putt-putt course is only two blocks from the church, so we walked the kids down to the course one Friday afternoon. There were three adults so we split the 12 kids into three groups. It was fun. The kids really seemed to enjoy the afternoon and the winner of each team got a ticket to come back. One of the girls told me one Sunday that she was using her ticket that afternoon with her sister and cousins.
The following week I directed “Treasure Island” Holiday Club in Vrygund. The point I wanted to get across was that Jesus is the Ultimate Treasure. I am praying that the kids understand that we are sinners but God loves us. I closed the week reading Romans 10:10-12 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame. For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” I wanted the kids to know that no matter who they are or - where they come from they are all special to God, and that as long as they have a personal relationship with him, the Ultimate Treasure they can be saved. I am eager to see what the Lord does in these kids’ lives. Pray that the children take to heart what they heard during Holiday Club and that there is a harvest from the week.
I know you are curious on how we entwined the World Cup with Treasure Island. It was fun! I picked my top four countries in the World Cup. We had Team Brazil, Team Spain, Team Italy, and Team England.  They competed all week against each other on behavior, Memory Verse, Singing and Group Games. In the end team, England blew every one out of the water with 57 points. They got a fun gift of Silly Bandz bracelets, candy and Pencils.
I was really nervous about not getting Volunteers to help out, but God provided. I had four MTW missionaries help and a friend from church. I was thankful that they willingly volunteered and jumped right in, not even blinking an eye at the tasks I gave them. The week went as smoothly as it could have, and the kids seemed to enjoy the week.
Greg and Carol, the directors of Joshua Children’s Ministry in Vrygrund, wanted to keep the kids busy during the holiday, so Carol and I organized some Craft days. It was lots of fun. I taught the Kids how to papier-mâché and then we painted the dried product the following week. I think fun was had by all.
Now that the Final has been played( One of my top four teams happen to WIN, just saying), school resumes, and the city can go back to its normal routine, as well as I to my daily schedule. I am excited to get back into my routine even though I really did enjoy the holiday and all of its activities.
I am thankful to my Heavenly Father for the success of this month; I give him all the Glory. I pray that hearts have been changed and seeds have been planted.
Please pray for:
1.      Pray for the Kids I have worked with during the holiday. Pray that God will work in their hearts and that they will want to receive the Ultimate Treasure
2.      Pray for all the Kids- that they will stay healthy and safe during the winter. It is getting close to freezing at night here, and most of the kids I work with do not have the best living conditions.
3.      Pray for the Country as they resume into normal life; people have had jobs for a long time due to the World Cup, but now that it is over, people will start to be laid off, which ultimately means crime will go up.
4.      Pray that God will direct my steps on what His will is for my future is as, now three months have flown by and I only have 9 more left here.