I will never be the same again! Today has been an incredible experience. We started at the job site at 8 am. Kevin Anderson started us out with a great devotion . Then orders started – Hoppy is like the contractor, Frankie is the foreman and Kevin Pike is the site director. I am definitely a fish out of water in the construction realm. But, Kurt told me to go with him and place “block”. I started with an open wall and by day’s end I am in expert on “block,” “dunga (mortar),” lines, rubber mallets, framing a door, framing a window, lentils, chisel and metric measures! Kurt left to tend to his son so I was on my own for a while until Clint took a break from being the dunga mixer to help me. Believe it or not, I even helped build the scaffolding to get high off the ground to lay block. It was fun, but I am tired, DIRTY, but ready to move on for tomorrow!
I did take a few breaks. The wonderful church (Hoppy’s church) – Amalinda Baptist – made us sandwiches – ham, egg salad, avocado sandwiches and vegetable sandwiches. They also brought us tangerines and water bottles (the sanitary conditions at the site are horrible – we have been advised to ONLY drink bottled water brought to the site for fear of infections.
At the end of my day I decided to see what the children’s ministry was doing. They had over 35 children there today – WOW – for day one. I wanted to get pictures, but most of the children were no longer in the childcare area – they were just playing outside. Once the children saw I had a camera – all the children begged me to take “their” picture. I was surrounded and then more and more children came (some also from the attached daycare facility). I spent about 30 minutes taking pictures and then showing the children their pictures on the digital screen. Then, many of our team members came out to just play with the children. Trish Allen just sat down with the children and LOVED on them.
Kevin Anderson, filthy and dirty (he was duga mixed, transporter, block mover, scaffolding builder, block layer, block cutter – a jack of all trades), started playing chase with the children which they loved. The more he played, the more they gathered. One child even brought him a 9 month old to participate, so this young 20 year old self programmed bachelor – was holding a playing with a 9 mo old baby.
I met up with a little guy I have befriended – Adonti – he is a sweet 4 year old boy. He is fortunate to have parents that appear to have some source of income (they have a car – RARE in this community). They also send him to school. School here is “free” but requires fees ranging from 50 Rand to 500 Rand a month for their “free government education.” (that converts to about 5 to 50 dollars a month) Also for school you HAVE TO buy school uniforms where are requirements set by each principle and not the government. It is a corrupt system where teachers do not have to even show up for school or actually teach a certain subject. Some schools are better – in wealthy neighborhoods. Some are worse, the poorer onrd, are less likely to actually function. Where Adonti goes to school – is one of the poor systems – West Bank Elementary and he is in the 4th grade. He became attracted to me because he wants to become a doctor. I prayed with him and reminded him to stay in school and stay away from the evils he encounters here (drugs, alcohol, sex (there is a HIGH rate of HIV positive people which is devastating, not just this area, but the whole country) Pray for Adonti– I talked to him a little on what it means to be a doctor and what it takes and encouraged him to stay in school, stay off the streets and stay in church.
I also stayed for the evening service with Trish, Adam, Clint and Randall – and can I say WOW again! If you have never seen a sold out worship service to the Lord Jesus Christ, come along with us next year. They do it right!
Of course, the music was wonderful – sweet, loud, together, voice and drum only, angelic, beyond belief. The music went on – clapping, singing and some dancing – and then we came to part 3 for Lane. He was preaching on surrendering your life to Christ – living for him, not as the world wants you to live, but the truly abundant life you can live in Christ. Almost the whole church came up during the invitation. One woman just started singing I Surrender All (in English) – incredible voice. We kept singing, then humming the hymn and one woman started praying like I have never heard before – she was pleading for God, weeping for God – the Holy Spirit was working in that lady!
After that – the Amalinda Falls Soccer Club came up. Most of you may know that we were trying to collect soccer balls to take with us for the children. Bottom line is Kevin Anderson’s mom (THANK YOU) and one of my staff members (THANKS KELLY) – donated balls. Well the 12 -13;14-16; and 17-19 teams came forward to get the balls. We only had about 8 of the largest size, the remaining size 3 and 4 will need to go to the younger children’s non-leagues teams. I will not give all the details, but when they saw those balls they looked like 6 year olds on Christmas morning! They are a dedicated team. Usually at this age, culturally, the boys no longer go to church, but Eric has a ministry focused on changing that in these young men’s lives. The community only had enough money to buy one set of jersey’s for ALL THREE teams. After the 12 year olds play, they give the jerseys to the next team who then gives it to the next team – they wash them in between games! They had one ragged soccer ball. When those young men saw the balls it was like Christmas morning! After the service, the team huddles in the church yard, with all the balls in a pile and they just stared at them.
I look forward to seeing what God has to do tomorrow.