The Lord must of been speaking to all of us (or maybe just me) about the work that has been done and being done in Ext 23 and in SA. Our church here, Acts Community, spends one of every 6-8 weeks on a Sunday serving in some capacity or another. Yesterday we spent working at the church in Ext 23. This is our plant church from Acts Community. We also have a J-Life team working there this year. Dudu and Thabiso are still working there as pastors under the leadership of Acts Community, Vereeniging.
The work there was amazing! We continued to work on some plumbing/pipe issues and got that completed. The men mostly worked on that. The rest of the youth and women worked on clearing trash from the land beside the church property that has become a dumping ground. There is a fence around the church property so it is protected from that. Anyway, the kids and church members helped in the cleaning up and moving dirt to fill in the trench. The area looked much better and we are hoping that soon we will be able to acquire the property next to the church.
Lorna (John’s wife), Dudu, Grace, Jordan (John’s daughter), Chevonne and myself went to an orphanage along with a team of “guys” to work on the outside of the house. The orphanage is a regular house in Ext 23 that is lead by a lady named Grace. She is mother to 20 children. The church in Ext 23 is working with this orphanage to build on 2 rooms and have a long-term relationship. J-Life is also hoping to build a long-term relationship. Lorna, Chevonne and I went to meet and speak with Grace to establish this relationship. We are praying it works out. I spent some time playinjg and holding a little girl who is 5. She has AIDS. All she wanted was to be fed breakfast and to be held. The other kids just played and laughed. Grace and Jordan ran and played with the other little girls. It was great to see them all together. The kids from the orphanage go to school if they are of age. They get made fun of quite a bit, as you can imagine. It breaks my heart for them.
Later we were able to attend the service which again was wonderful and was great to hear Thabiso preach and worship together. AND, I at the end one of the older youth/young adults (hard to tell sometimes) came up to me and said, “I know you from somewhere.” I said to him that I had been around Ext 23 a lot and I didn’t know where he would know me from… We talked for a bit and come to find out…He finally asked me if I went to soccer with Thabiso! It was with the soccer team in 2006 when we went and played soccer in 07! Can you believe! I left praising God that there was at least one boy whose life had been changed and I had gotten to see it! So many times you go on short term missions and you don’t know, but yesterday I again met this boy face to face. I, of course, wanted to start crying. He was beautiful young man who loved God and whose life was changed because somebody decided to play soccer and show him the love of Jesus!
Crying now, I am praising God for all of you and the lives you lead everyday. Thanks for praying and giving all that you do! You are the reason we can stay and live life here. I am glad to be able to share with you.