Sooo, just incase…

…you think all we do is play ๐Ÿ™‚

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This post will make sense if you read my post, “thats what friends are for.”

My last day in South Africa was on the 7th of April, I spent close to two months working with Heather and friends . Photos do a better job at describing everyday life so here is a collage ๐Ÿ˜€

This is only some of what I was involved in. Teaching a group of girls needlework with Paulette. Teaching Peaceful how to crochet. Evaluating how Peaceful, Jabulani, Melusi and Ben conduct AWANA( a christian childrens program) Attending a 4 day AWANA workshop. Watching from a safe distance as the men decide on whether to let a poisonus snake free or kill it. Uncle Johan dancing with the kids. Danielle chatting with the head of AWANA southern Africa.

As we serve we are always aware that our conduct, the manner in which we teach, encourage and reprimand is being closely watched by those we have decided to mentor, it is no small responsibility. The bible says one who decides to be a teacher should be aware that one will be held at a higher standard than those whom they are teaching.

Melusi, Jabulani, Peaceful, Ben. They stay at Heathers house Monday till Friday. As this is their gap year, Heather got the boys part time jobs as waiters but they are all involved in childrens work.

Melusi, Jabulani, Peaceful, Ben(not the volunteer). They stay at Heathers house Monday till Friday. As this is their gap year, Heather got the boys part-time jobs as waiters but they are all involved in childrens work.

If you have followed me for a while you know when it comes to work, I am either dealing mostly with children or teens. Of my time in South Africa, I really enjoyed getting to know and work with these 4. By far one on one mentoring is what I enjoy the most about being a social worker.ย  I had some amazing bible studies, intense political debates and profound moments sharing life stories. I hope and pray the best for their future and I will miss them.

In my next post I should have finally come up with the right words to describe why I am moving to Ontario Canada.

If you want to know more about Heathers’ organisation and are interested in doing some volunteer work either in South Africa, Uganda or Kenya, please check her website: http://hopeofafricayouth.com/

and so they came

hey friend, i think i told you a couple months back that some of my friends from the bible school i attended in the USA would be coming. well its hard to believe that they have been here for a little over two weeks now. it feels like they have always been here.

i love hearing calvins thoughts on american politics or the NBA(so funny at times), i love seeing trina busy making breakfast early in the morning without even asking me if she should,its almost as if she has always been here. i love that logan enjoys just hanging out with the guys on the construction site and trys real hard to speak portuguese and i love taylors humour, it is extremely dry and you never know when he is going to drop one on you:D

i know i have been negligent in writing to you of late, well its because i have been very busy and to be honest just didnt feel like writing at the end of the day, too hot,tired and bothered. its been great having my friends over as a team. the guys have been busy with construction and trina has been with me running a bible study for about 11 girls(we have been meeting them almost everyday now going on to the second week). from my perspective i think so far its been a great trip. what i appreciate most about them is their willingness to learn and adapt. i know the language barrier has been quite frustrating at times and also adapting to the very laid back attitude that pple have here, i am sure has been challenging at times. whereas they are used to being busy all the time we here put much more emphasis in taking the time to making and maintaining relationships, sometimes that means hanging out at the construction site not doing any work but chatting with the other young africans who are volunteering as well.

i have really enjoyed having trina as my partner with the girls discipleship group, its so important for me that things are taken real slow when teaching, its important that the girls understand exactly what is being taught. i also put a lot of emphasis on just hanging out with the girls hearing them talk and interact with each other without me saying anything. it gives me ย more insight on who they really are and trina has adapted so well to that. a lot of times americans find it hard to take things slow when they come here and after living in the states for a year i understand why and therefore appreciate even more her willingness to adapt in such a short time. the girls have also enjoyed her company, even with the language barrier they love inviting her to join them in games or they ask her to teach them english, which is quite hilarious. i am of the opinion she will make a great counsellor oneday:D

for me the whole point of having teams is not that i give them a “good time” but rather they find it in their hearts to be ready to learn what ever God has for them and also to have an open heart and mind to learn from someone from a completely different cultural background. i do hope in the very least thats what my friends will take out from their short stay in mozambique.

PLEASE do continue to keep them in your prayers.

Kids club 2011

friend, we had our annual kids club from the 12th till the 16th of December. the theme this year was “Jesus is my treasure.” here is a snippet of our super fun week. we had around 170 children, 150 where OVC (orphans and vulnerable children).

hopefully next time you will be here with us:D

p.s if you let your cursor hover over an image you will be able to read a description of the pictures.

let them go

antonio,alberto,momed.

i have known antonio,alberto and momed for 5 years now. they are all boys from poor single parent households and they all lost their dads when they where very young. when i started mentoring them, they where a group of 6 boys all between the ages 11-15.they where some of the worst mannered boys i have ever worked with, all of them didnt know how to respect girls(they where horrible towards females in general) but for some odd reason they tolerated me. they always enjoyed visiting me, when i asked them to do anything they where prompt to do it. these boys became my gardening boys. for two years they came everyday to my house and we worked together, two hours sometimes three hours a day maintaining a garden that had the capacity to feed up to 70 orphan children. we never had bible studies nor did i ever sit them down to teach them anything, we learned through conversations as we weeded the garden, planted vegetables and watered all the beautiful greens that we where growing.

at the end of two years, i started to see less and less of the boys until oneday no one came. it was very hard and very dissapointing for me to see them change, not for the better but for the worst, most stopped going to school, some of them got involved in drinking and they all seemed to have the natural ability to find the worst boys to hang out with. it was not what i had envisaged would happen after two years of mentoring. oneday i realised that there was nothing i could do but let them go completely. i had to tell myself that i had done my part they knew what was right and wrong BUT you cannot force anything on anyone, every one has a choice. sometimes peoples choices are pretty damn stupid if you ask me!for two years i just prayed for them with a sad heart, wondering how they where doing, always fearing the worst.

at the beginning of this year alberto came back, it seems he finally realised how stupid his actions had been and was more than ready to change his ways. eight months later momed was with us again, and a month ago antonio too. the gardening project is no longer running but these three boys(especially alberto) are active members of our church youth group. alberto is back in school and we are working in finding how we can help antonio. all three boys are eager to help our church reach out to the orphans in our community(which is beyond miraculous). every time i see them i want to pinch myself, i trully thought we had lost them, i thought my 2 years invested in their lives had been in vain BUT no, that was not the case…THEY CAME BACK ๐Ÿ™‚ i pray that the other three boys will also come back oneday.

friend, if you are involved in helping people change their lifestyles to become Jesus centered lives, you will agree with me that it is very very difficult work, mainly because what you are teaching is contrary to popular culture. there are no easy formulas to helping people, my part is to teach with TONNES of patience and love not to be easily offended and constantly learning to forgive at the drop of a hat. their part is to make the decision: will i stand up and be different from those around me or will i go with the flow?

…i wonder friend, do you like me struggle when to know “its time to let them go?”