Pictures of Factreton Leadership Camp:
Pictures of Stompneus Bay
Mission one: Stompneus Bay Holiday Club (25-30 March 2012)
I have been so blessed to have been part of what God is doing in His Kingdom in the small moments I have been involved in these last few weeks. Waking up in a little room with energized young leaders in an unfamiliar place way out on the West Coast, Stompneus Bay! Hearing music play from their cell phones reaching for their Bibles in search for some encouragement for Jesus to lead them; ministering to very poor and needy kids. Needy, yes, in the sense of physical stuff but as one leader said: “I stretched out my hand to help one of the kids in my group and three ran into my arms for a hug. “We had the awesome responsibility of sharing we love in a loveless and hopeless community! “One moment at a time!” That’s what I heard the Lord say as I led this group of leaders in a very challenging place. Picture this: Kids running to a small wooden church (probably built by missionaries, way back) through dusty, sandy streets in the cool sea breeze of the morning mist, barefooted with runny noses in search of some warmth in this day. So as the sun breaks through the clouds we gather on the little porch with no breakfast in our stomachs as we need to wait for the left overs from the five star hotel nearby so that we can have lunch later. So now some of us make sure the resources for the activities for the day are ready, some of us grab a soccer and rugby ball and run on to the dusty playground and with every throw a smile becomes brighter. Some of us are sitting on the wooded floor in the church chatting with them about how their evening went.
As I called them in every morning for our sing a long session, I felt goose bumps every time because God was letting me know: “Rico you are helping me in this small moment to raise up a new generation.” Our theme song was:” He made the stars to shine, He made the rolling sea, He made the Mountains high and He made me, and that is why I love Him for me He bled and died the Lord of all creation became a crucified.” The way the kids closed their eyes while singing the song and really experiencing the presence of God was, ai ai, so much to witness.
These kids were so hungry to learn the memory verses for the week. Every morning they sat with big wide eyes soaking in every moment and word to memorize. On one morning I was very surprised when I recapped the previous day’s verses and my daughter Sethe, who went with me on this mission, raised her hand to say Joshua 1 verse 9 in front of a hall full of kids. I was more nervous for her and just hoped she would not make a mistake because if she made a mistake I would have to do some serious counseling! She rose to her feet, said the verse with actions, and...If you are a parent you know what emotions I was going through. God often shows me in small moments through my kids that He appreciates what I am doing and kind of letting me see the fruits through my kids, Totally Awesome!
Group time on club took on many forms: from life skills under a tree, grade 4&5's behind the wooden church sitting on the dust and bricks they could find, to taking a stroll to the beach doing real beach missions on boulders and so on...the small ones running with Marie Biscuits and marshmallows sticking to their faces and playing with edible dough rolling on the wooden floor...Totally Amazing!
We spent more time than scheduled with the kids. When the club was officially done they would follow us to the place where we were sleeping. They would play in the street and wait for us to finish our lunch. One by one they would slip into the yard and pull one of us aside. Singing, hugging and chatting you could hear as you try to breathe on a chair hidden away in the dining room. The older teen girls came every evening for some singing and prayer times with one of our girl leaders. So we went to bed really late and got up really early! Totally exhausting!
The Parents evening was something else! The hall was packed; no empty chairs and some parents had to stand. The kids came with their prettiest dresses and neatest shirts for the boys. Girls were walking around that Friday afternoon with curlers in their hair. So in the evening they looked stunning! They could not wait to get to the stage and show their parents what they had learnt. The evening ended very emotionally. I kind of felt that every child should stand with their parents as we prayed for them. What I did not realize that some kids shared the same father but had different mothers. So the tears... and some got a hug for the first time from their dads...Eish!
As we left the community that Friday evening the road was lined with Kids. Parents stood at their gates and doors. As we drove they clapped and ran after the van. I glanced back in the van and all my leaders were in tears. I prayed and said: Lord Raise up a new generation!
Mission Two: Factreton Leadership Camp (13-15 April 2012)
Intense small moments are how I would describe this camp. This camp was organized for five primary schools in the Factreton and Kensington area. We took between 3 and 4 prefects from the school to experience the outdoors in Bain’s Kloof. We covered life skills lessons but the aim, I sense was to give these kids an opportunity to enjoy the camp and have lots of time to bond and hang out with their leaders.
We had very interesting meals like stokbrood on sticks that they had to pick up. I think it might have been the very first time these kids were eating under the stars. We had potjie kos the next day and ended off with Jaffels on the last day. The bonding that happens around meals is like so important.
How do we challenge them with the Gospel? I had a sense that we should give them small doses. So on the two mornings we focused on two verses and let the leaders take them into nature and share together what they thought the verse was saying. Then we had a session where they could share anything that happened in their lives up and until 7 years of age. The issues which came out were hectic! We spent time praying with them and letting them know that it is not their fault when adults made bad mistakes. I shared with them Jeremiah 29 verse 11. I came away from that session thinking: It is unfair for children to be carrying such heavy burdens. I prayed a sinner’s prayer and asked them to pray it in their hearts if they would like to accept Jesus as their Saviour.
We ended our camp with a similar session. The morning the leaders did a devotion about the lady and the alabaster jar. Then we gave the campers a chance to share what happened in their lives from 8 years old until now. After that each leader had a chance to wash their feet and give them words of affirmation.
That camp did not want to end. If you have been on many SU camps you would know what I mean. Such bonding took place and I had to almost drag them into the van that was taking them home.
It is so easy speaking to people when the moment is big. We plan for big moments and most times define ourselves in what happens in those moments. I have been challenged these last few weeks to notice God using me and speaking to me in those small moments when patience, kindness and self-control must be exercised and true love is shared.
Thank you for ministering with me. You may provide financial support or prayer but both are important and necessary to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ. If you would like to start supporting me here at SUWC you may contact me or my Support Co-Coordinator Tony Nzanzah on 021-686 8595 or firstname.lastname@example.org