South Africa: Week 1

Saturday – July 16, 2016

On the first full day of ministry, we went to Cosmo City Baptist Church to do a day camp for the kids. We had gone around the neighborhood the afternoon before and handed out flyers for the event. When the kids first started arriving, we began playing different games with them outside. Soccer was by far the most popular pick! After playing for a while, we went inside the church and began by singing songs. The kids really got into it! We then split up into groups of younger kids and older kids/teens. I was with the teenagers. The Gospel message was given to each group and then we broke into small groups. Me and my friend Annie had a group of four girls. We explained the Gospel and prayed with them. Three out of the four came to know Christ! Such a blessing on the first day! We were able to hang out with the kids for a few hours longer and invited them to come back to church the next day.

Sunday – July 17, 2016

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Cosmo City Baptist Church

For church we went back to Cosmo City Baptist Church. We were so blessed to see that MANY of the kids we had invited the day before had came back for the Sunday services. We were blessed by songs, a morning devotion, prayer, and the message given by the pastor of the church, Pastor John. Some of the Student Fusion participants, including myself, gave their testimonies in front of the congregation. Then, a lady from the church shared her testimony about how God had continued to be faithful to her and provide for her throughout the years. After church we were able to fellowship with the people from the church. The whole day was such a blessing!

Monday – July 18, 2016

WOLZA
WOLZA- photo by Noah Haneman

On this day, we ministered by working around the Word of Life campus in South Africa (WOLZA). We split up into different groups and tackled different tasks on the property. Some groups had to dig ditches, move rocks, chop wood, etc. each for a specific purpose in order to help with future ministry. My group was assigned to clear out and burn some brush in a wooded area for an upcoming youth event at WOLZA. It was awesome being able to help out the missionaries that live there, but also to help in order for them to be able to minister in different ways in the future.

Tuesday – July 19, 2016

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We began by splitting into two groups for ministry. My group went to Orient Hills Daycare which was located in the middle of an informal settlement. The kids were very slow to open up to us and a lot of them didn’t seem to speak much English. This was a drastic difference from what we had experienced with the children we had met thus far. We sang some songs, played games, and a message was given by a team member through an interpreter. They really started to open up when we began playing music and dancing with them… those kids LOVE to dance! I had a very special connection with one of the little girls there. Once she opened up to me, she wouldn’t let me go! We couldn’t verbally communicate due to the language barrier, but we were able to spend time together and show each other love which thankfully does not require any words. She sat in my lap and I sang to her and rocked her. We kept hugging each other and laughing. When we were getting ready to leave, I was holding her and she fell asleep in my arms. It was a very touching moment and even though I do not know her name, I will NEVER forget her. I will always pray for her and carry her in my heart. After that, we went around the settlement in small groups for door to door evangelism. We were able to talk to multiple people and reach them for Christ, which was an amazing feeling. One of the men we talked to really wanted a Bible of his own, so my friend was able to give him her New Testament. We take the access we have to the Word of God for granted so much…

Wednesday – July 20, 2016

On Wednesday, we were split again into our two groups for different ministries. Group 2 (my group) went to do a ministry at Queens High School. We introduced ourselves and then did the “human knot” as an icebreaker. We sang “How Great Is Our God” and then a message was shared. After the message we broke up into small groups in order to talk in further detail. Me and my friend Emily had a group of three girls. We were able to discuss the Gospel further with them and hang out with them for a few minutes. These kids choose to come to this ministry on Wednesdays during their lunch break, when they could be doing so many other things. It was very encouraging to see!

That afternoon, we stayed at the WOLZA property for a ministry that is held weekly for kids and teens.We had several game areas set up when the kids arrived. (I was helping with the duck duck goose area.) After games we all came together for music time. The kids all love the songs! For story time we split up into a younger group (grades 1-3) and an older group (grades 4-7). I stayed with the older group. A guy from our team gave the message to the older ones and a girl from our team gave the message to the younger ones through an interpreter. After the Gospel was shared, we all split up into small groups. I had a group of three sweet girls. We were able to talk about the message that was shared and then pray together! It was encouraging to know that this ministry pours into these kids weekly… it isn’t just a ‘one and done’ type of deal at all.

Thursday – July 21, 2016

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On this day, we spent the first half of the day sight seeing. We were able to go to the Apartheid Museum and then on a red bus tour through the city of Joburg. We learned a lot about the history of South Africa and it really made us think differently of the country we were in and the people we got to share Jesus with. Our eyes were definitely opened. The rest of the day we spent at an after school ministry in Zandspruit. We sang songs, played, gave the Gospel message, and broke up into small groups. We were able to hang out with them for a while and love on them. These kids jumped on you and wouldn’t let go! They were definitely some of the most loving kids we met. They were also so interested in hearing the Gospel and listening to what we had to say. When we were leaving, they didn’t want us to go. They asked if we were coming back the next week (which we were) and then they ran beside our car and some even held on while we were trying to leave. We couldn’t wait to get back to them the next week!

 

Friday – July 22, 2016 

On Friday, we went to a creche in the Lawley township. For this ministry, we did a Micro F1 set up, sang a lot of songs with the kids, and shared the Gospel. They had a pajama day that day and they all looked SO adorable dressed in their PJs. We had a blast getting to sing and dance with these kids, and they LOVED getting hugs and sitting with us. I had four or five in my lap almost the whole time! It was amazing to share the love of Jesus it such seemingly small ways.

This day really taught me something about how God was working in my own life. 1 John 4:19 says that “we love because He first loved us”… now don’t get me wrong, these kids are easy to love. With their constant hugs, smiles, dancing, singing, and laughter, you can’t help but to love them instantly. But,  it truly is amazing HOW MUCH you can love a stranger around the world who you barely know… how much more love the Father has for us and for these children. WOW! God is so good.

Saturday – July 23, 2016 IMG_2545

This day was filled with nonstop activity. We started the day with ministry at a church in Etwatwa. We held a daycamp of sorts for kids and teens. A few of us went around the neighborhood beforehand inviting people to come. It was awesome to see how many kids showed up almost immediately! We started the day with some songs we sang all together as one big group. Everyone got into the songs, from the youngest to the oldest. We then split up into two groups – kids and teens. I stayed with the teen group. We played some games and got to know each other some before heading into the church building for the message. After the message, we broke up into two groups, boys and girls. We were able to discuss the message that had been given and pray with the girls. What a blessing it was to hear these girls ask in depth questions about the Bible and to be able to spend time in prayer with them.

After we left the church, we headed out to go to a real life RUGBY GAME! It was pretty incredible to see my first rugby game, even though I had absolutely no idea what was going on. South Africa won… YAY! I absolutely loved this experience. It was like an American football game mixed with Quidditch mixed with going to the fair… just a whole lot of YES!

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