It is hard to say where exactly the RBC’s youth trip to Bavumeleni really began, but I am going to venture a guess that one beginning was the 2006 trip in which Alice Miller grasped the vision for helping the children of Bloekombos. Then again, it began in 2007 in their youth meetings as an idea and then Pastor Rick forged ahead to make it a reality. The church body came together and brought support in funds and prayer, seeking God’s blessing on what looked like a near impossible task to send 21 people into South Africa.
Wherever the beginning, the end was without measure, both from blessing the children at Bavumeleni to changing the hearts of our 15 young adults. This trip was unique in that there has never been the concentration of our loving on and connecting with the community children for such an extended time. In addition, many items of improvements were completed. A shelving system was purchased and erected in a storage area; a new doorway was put into Fenner’s portion of the bedroom so he does not have to interrupt his sisters to go in and out. Insulation was installed in many portions of the home to stop the wind; the kitchen was repainted as was the hallway with new baseboard installed. The horse fencing at Anathoth was scraped, brushed and repainted with two coats of paint and the container that SACM sent was scraped, primed and painted.
The weather some days was cold, rainy and blustery, but it didn’t stop any of our activities. Other days the sun came out and was still cold but it made good weather for the kids to play games in the streets. For those of you who remember the tent, we missed it, but not that much, the youth are very adaptable.
Our board meeting was a success in that Alice Miller and Pastor Rick Ackerman both accepted to serve on our South Africa Board. Much time was given to not waiting for the old tent property but to proceed with the two house properties to be torn down and the new building to be erected. They also had golf shirts made for us in yellow with red lettering. Leon made a presentation of a new building system available in Cape Town that could be erected within 30 days. The focus of the new building would shift a bit from feeding, but not entirely. There are several new feeding stations set up in Bloekombos that feed, but nothing else. We would concentrate on being a learning centre complete with PCs, a more extensive library, a cresche (child care centre) and children’s church.
Euphonia has blossomed in her walk with God, much in part thanks to Godfrey who is mentoring her and is her husband to be. He is a pastor in J’burg and comes down frequently to meet with her and while apart, they have daily Bible study via the computer. He is a gem. He showed me briefly before we left, plans drawn up of what the new building might be comprised of.
Primrose looks beautiful. She had on a sharp mustard colored two piece suit for Sunday service. She gave all the men a challenge on Father’s Day, including four of our young adults who would be future fathers. She and Victor are a dynamic duo. What a blessing he is and how he seems to have reenergized her ministry.
A great compliment was paid to our people, Euphonia said that they will forever change the structure of their children’s church learning time. They so loved the way it was presented by our youth that they wish to implement it full time. Steve Zimmerman promised to give them all the materials they need to make that happen.
Last but not least, our resident missionary, Marty Wallace is making such a difference to the whole community. Everyone said how much they appreciated his presence, his concern, his mercy and love. He has hit the road running and hasn’t stopped yet. I know our being there put a lot of pressure on him to drive the other van, to run errands for food, medicines and the like but we trust God that he can have some peace and some down time now that we are gone. He does a considerable job in helping at Anathoth as well and likewise, he has a comfortable bedroom to call his own (when people aren’t bothering him for this or that). He just needs a big “OFF DUTY” sign to hang on his door when he needs peace.
Rick did a great job of capturing the trip on video; I hope the DVD is made available to all who want one for you to really get the flavor of the trip we all experienced.
With thanks to you all.