Friday, July 9, 2010
Holiday Clubz rocked!
I want to share with you a letter from one of my volunteers. He grew so much at Holiday Club Season and I am also filling this page with Pictures from various clubz....
While most people will remember the months of June and July 2010, for the FIFA World Cup, for it’s unity amongst the people of this great country and all the excitement and hype around big games, for Spain showing up and playing some great football and England failing dismally once again!
I will remember these holidays as a time where God used me for his glory. Doing three holiday clubs back to back was a bit tiring and it took a lot out of me. Yet it was encouraging and challenging. It was a humbling experience and God always has a way of humbling the proud, hey? I also met a lot of new people through Holiday clubs, people who love God and really want to serve Him with such enthusiasm. It was a privilege to have worked with them all and to of been encouraged by them to keep on going!
I thought I would share with you some of my experiences this past three weeks and how I have grown closer to Him. I have learnt new things about myself and the people around me. I see and view things from a different angle now. My relationships with the people I work with have strengthened. The issue of leadership always fascinated me and especially now more so than ever as I have gone through a time where I struggled to lead others at times and other times I found it easy to lead others, but I continue to learn from my mistakes. Nehemiah was a great leader we learn about in the bible, and I have learnt so much about him and I shall share a bit about that later.
I begin with the first holiday club in Factreton which was by far my most challenging one, it was an SU club. I worked with my fellow team members, Cleo and Zach. Cleo managed the whole project, and I felt at ease as I knew things were going to run smoothly as she is a great organizer and quite resourceful too. To be honest before this club started I was not getting along with her at all. We were moaning at each other when we did not agree on some things. During this time while we were doing all the prep work for the club I was putting up a wall and thinking I did not need any help and I certainly did not want her help as I had lots of experience and I was confident in my ability. I was to be section leader for grade six and sevens. It was actually my first time in that role, the year before I just coordinated the games. I was actually a little nervous about it but I did not want to show any sign of weakness though. The training weekend quickly came upon us and the field worker who is our leader, Sedrico, told me to direct the training weekend, so I was excited I thought finally a chance to do what I like, draw up a schedule for the weekend and the week. On Saturday late afternoon we had our first section meeting times. I remember it clearly, I had no idea what I was doing so I just looked at the manual and I quickly looked at what need was needed in our section times. It was about 30 minutes in the meeting and Sedrico comes and sits down and says we need to change our thinking and be creative because it sounds boring with what we had so far. He just gave idea after idea on what we could do on each day relating to the theme. I was happy because now we had something to work with and the meeting went so much better and I actually felt a bit more ready and able to manage the team with confidence. I was privileged to have Randy Pillay lead the section with me, without him I would have struggled a bit especially during our section meetings as he could keep discussions going as he was more of a talker than I. When he missed some of our section meetings during the week I felt a little nervous as he provided a lot of energy into the meetings and he would help others to speak up. When he was in the our meetings I would feel comfortable in bringing the guys back into focus and just start the ball rolling on things we could do to fill up our section time and then I would just let him take over in terms of ideas and that. Monday morning hits and day 1 starts. Children started arriving at 8am already. We ended up starting at 9 but finished hall time a bit earlier than expected. I was a bit upset about that because we prepared for a certain time and now we had extra time. We went upstairs with about 30 grade six and sevens. I had to think on my feet on what we could do to waste time before actually starting with our program. And it was here we I started a habit of checking the time on my phone. I realized that I can be a bit of a stickler for time, and managing time is important to me. This was practice for my third holiday club, but more on that later. Day 1 went by pretty fast. But I needed a bit more help for day 2. As the rain did not help so we had to change our plan A, the Amazing race, to plan B. I asked for help, I swallowed my pride, I approached Cleo and I asked if she could sit in on our section meeting and help with some creativity because I lacked it. From there on we got on much better. Wednesday’s theme was God cares and this day stood out as one of my best days being involved with holiday clubs. We managed to organize before hand to visit the night shelter, an old age home and the police station. We made an arrangement with those people to bring the kids and the managers would give a small talk to them and give them a tour of the place. We started walking from the church to the night shelter and I was amazed at how well these kids behaved themselves when the lady was talking to them. From there we went to the park to practice the memory verse with them. Then we went to the old age home and we sang to the old people the memory verse and ‘Jesus loves me, this I know’. We handed out tissues to them and some of the ladies were singing with. It was quite a nice experience. Then brother, Randy shared something from the word. From there we went to the police station and someone shared a little about what they do in the community and then they gave us a tour of the cells. Then something that was totally unplanned they took all of us in the police vans and dropped us where they were having a planned march with the people in the community, I forgot that it was youth day, so we decided to join them. Some of our kids were holding placards. We were chanting ‘No to drugs, yes to Jesus’! What a great day I am sure the kids enjoyed themselves thoroughly. The next day was even better, the theme was God forgives and this was the day where you lead a child to Christ and challenge them. I made the decision of splitting the boys and the girls. With the boys it went pretty well. Using the parable of the lost son helps in getting a child to understand that God loves them no matter what and that he wants a relationship with each of them as they are unique and special to Him. Randy and I had the privilege of leading three boys to Christ, the Lord had his hand on us and he gave us the right words to say without Him we could not of done this. Please pray with me as Randy is following up with these boys and is discipling them. On Thursday night, we had a whole lot of bread and what we did is we went down, five minutes away from the church, where we were staying, to a place where they call ‘the hole’. It’s a real poor standard of living to say the least. We went from house to house handing out bread. It made me realize that I need to do this kind of thing more. The bible continually tells us to do these things. Sometimes we have all the knowledge but don’t practically give or do things for others- love in action! What are you doing for those you love? On Friday night we had a parent’s evening, which we thought that hardly any parents would come. I was positive and I had a feeling God will bring the right parents, the ones needing church and been wanting to attend a church for some time. I remember Cleo and Shelva called all of us together and we just had a time of prayer on our own to ask God to make something happen, something that would be GOD possible. The next 20 minutes outside the church you could hear the children making a noise excited to see their leaders and to introduce their mommy and daddy to their leader as well as to show them the things they were doing every morning that week. The church started getting filled up, every child filled up the benches on the right and the adults filled up every bench on the left. The children singing with such joy put smiles on mom’s and dad’s faces. I am sure these kids brightened someone’s day, or someone might of needed a boost or just something to keep them going. I reckon something positive happened that night in the community. Randy shared something special and started something good which Sedrico ended off strongly with. We all know that our God is in the business of changing people’s lives and I am sure God is working. He definitely spoke to someone that night. So that was that first holiday club done, two to go.
That Sunday I stood up in church and shared a little about what I experienced that week. That was the first time I stood up and shared something and I think it helped to get people into praying for our holiday club which was going to be the following Monday. The next day I helped out at a holiday club in Vrygrond with Joshua Children’s Mission. Greg and Carol Karsten have a centre, which Greg built using three containers, for children with literacy problems. It was really nice to help them out during the week. I met a bunch of missionaries from America, Brazil and Tanzania. I was the youngest leader amongst them. It was really great working with them and getting to know them. Greg and Carol are such an inspiration to me and they will continue to be for years to come
Finally, the last holiday club I had done was at my church, Medway chapel. I had an even bigger responsibility of directing the program and being upfront, but luckily I had my good friend Steve with me sharing the responsibility. It was our job to string the day together with the theme of the day and all that. Starting with hall time we would recap on the day before and then introduce the theme for the day. Then we would split into sections and then do games and crafts. We would make sure things were running smoothly that we were on time and then we would wrap up at the end of the day. I really enjoyed keeping track of time and helping things run smoothly. This holiday club was very successful in a way that we were blessed with the amount of leaders we had. The whole church was involved in many different ways. There was a great sense of unity and as a church we are strengthened. We had leaders from our sister churches in the northern suburbs, ECF and Hebron. This created a culture much like the early church.
But it started with something which I think the Lord put on my heart way back in early April. Every year we have an Easter camp where the youth of the three churches come together for a week. And it is sad because that’s the only time we come together. I was chatting with my friend that this must change and then I got the idea that we should start a joint youth vibe once every two months, and this might help the youth in getting more involved in church things and keep them away from temptations like clubbing, drinking and smoking etc. Then I heard that my church wanted to do something for the June holidays so I suggested we do a holiday club because I had an SU holiday club manual on me and I told them that we could use the material. They were going to discuss their options at a ministry meeting later that week, where the elders and deacons discuss matters etc, so I asked if I could join them, they said sure. I remember I was on the SU Staff conference that day at Rocklands, but I managed to get a lift from Mr. Kosi to the station and I was chatting with him about this meeting, that I was going to talk to my church leadership on my idea and my holiday club is going to be a springboard, but I was nervous though speaking to guys that I look up to. This is why Nehemiah is my favorite character in the bible and a good role model when it comes to being a leader and setting an example and creating a vision and seeing it through. I just think of Nehemiah, just the king’s butler, he asked the king if he could go to Jerusalem and rebuild the wall and then told the King exactly what he needed and the King gave it to him. So the time came for me to speak up, I said to them what I wanted to see happen with the joint youth vibe but I said I want to have a holiday club and we need a place for 25 leaders to stay at during the club. Now we have not done this for years simply because there was not enough leaders, and we struggled to get leaders. I said to them I will get leaders from ECF and Hebron as I already had a few of my friends keen and they pretty much became my core leaders on this club. Basically, this holiday club was the springboard in doing more things together. After this holiday club I can say that the vision has been reached far beyond what I expected or anybody else. I am so excited with the new projects we shall undertake in the future. We having a committee meeting coming up soon and we are so excited to be serving God in this way. But it just takes one week of a holiday club to bring people together, to share in one common goal and just be unified in commitment to serving God and His church.
I could write so much more, but I think I am going to leave it here for now!
Thanking you for reading this