South Africa - Day 1

The bell for breakfast rang at 7:45am so we were up after just a few hours of sleep.  Let me explain about the bell...it rang for each meal time and departure.  It was funny because the first day, we were all johnny-on-the-spot and down there as soon as the bell rang.  Before long, we were dwindling in numbers.

Anyway, breakfast was at 7:45 and then we loaded up into 2 vans and headed to Living Hope headquarters to meet and train with the Life Skills Educators we'd be working with the following week. 
LSEs go into the schools to teach...well...life skills...such as hygiene, abstinence (HIV/AIDS is a very real problem in South Africa), etc.  While the kids are out of school, they conduct "holiday club" and each year, BBC brings a group to South Africa to assist with this particular holiday club which is VBS.

We started our meeting with a few worship songs led by team member, Taylor.  It was truly a heavenly experience heraing the voices joined together to praise ONE God.  I closed my eyes and just let the South African and American voices wash over me.  It brings tears to my eyes now and I remember it like it was yesterday.  But other times it seems like a lifetime ago.
After worship, we did some get-to-know-you games and then practiced the VBS songs that we would end up singing in our sleep later in the week.

At lunch time, we we broke for a braai (pronounced BRY) which is their name for a BBQ.  It was delicious and I think we all enjoyed it. 

After lunch, we broke up into groups for each township.  The LSEs work primarily in 5 townships and myself, Sarah and Matthew were going to be serving in Ocean View.  Each of us were assigned to help an LSE and I was to join Timmy with the storytime rotation.  For Ocean View, there were 4 rotations of 20 minutes each.  Timmy and I agreed since I was more comfortable relating to the younger ages, I would take the rotations of Pre-K/K, and 1st/2nd and he would take 3rd/4th and 5th/6th.  Little did I know God would push me even further outside my comfort zone with this, but more on that later.

After training was over, the LSEs left and our team got a tour of the Living Hope facility.  So much good comes from this awesome organization.  The work that God has done through John and Avril Thomas is unbelievable. 

After we finished at Living Hope, it was back tot he Team house.  Since we had a bit of time before dinner, several of us decided to take a walk down to the beach.  Yes, the Team House sits on the beach.  Because South Africa is just entering into their Spring season, the water was way too cold to get into, but the view is absolutely breathtaking. 

L-R: Matthew, Dustin, Jonah
 The dinner bell :) rang about 6:30 and we ate a fabulous homecooked meal made by sweet Nadine.  The food was always delicious and the desserts were even better!  Nadine actually has a cookbook coming out any day now.  Stay tuned for information about that. 

Mmmm...told you the food was good!
After dinner, we had a quick team meeting to go over some more general house rules adn our plans for the next day.  Stay tuned for pictures from our first day sightseeing in Cape Town.

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