South Africa-VBS

Finally, the day we had come halfway around the world for arrived.  It was VBS day 1.  I'll be honest, I had no idea what to expect.

Breakfast began at 6:45 so we could roll out at 7:30.  I was ready to help with the story and ready to sing some Saddle Ridge Ranch songs.  But whatever I had anticipated was not at all what I experienced.

The three of us arrived at the Ocean View Civic Center to meet with the LSEs and volunteers.  The first hour was uneventful and just busy with putting up posters and decorations.  Then came call out.  Call out is where the LSEs walk out into the township and basically encourage the children to come to holiday club.

I'll tell you right now.  I was terrified.  I had no idea what to expect.  Turns out, I had nothing to fear.  What I experienced was a very peaceful township.  The kids came out from everywhere and wanted to hold your hands, walk by your side and ask you all kinds of questions.
I felt a little like the pied piper with all these children following us down to the Civic Center.  The picture above was taken by my team mate, Sarah.  Most days we walked up to the outskirts of Ocean View to an area known as Mountain View. 

As the LSEs would arrive back with kids, they would play circle games.  To us, these would be games like Duck, Duck, Goose.  It was quite interesting to watch these kids play their African games.  I wish I could say I understood everything that went on, but I didn't.  But it was fun nevertheless.

I enjoyed watching the kids play their native games, however, my favorite part by far was the worship songs.  We of course did the normal VBS songs which have always touched me, but the songs these kids already knew were even more fun.  Hearing those kids singing, "Jesus is my Super Hero.  He's my star.  My best friend".  And these kids sang and danced like He is their best friend.  I jumped around and sang my heart out with the best of them.  I'm sure they thought I was some kind of crazy white American, but I didn't care.  I wanted to experience the ultimate joy they had.  I think I might have gotten a minor taste.

Monday's storytime was fine, but I will admit, the younger kids were tough.  There were 4 rotations and 3 of them were all happening in the same room.  So while I was trying to teach the kids the story, the day's memory verse, the theme, we were competing with noise from the song and dance rotation as well as the craft.  To give you a visual, this is what the room looked like...
So, at the end of day one, which I would consider a success, we decided I would do the older kids instead of the younger because the younger kids did not understand English as well.  (Incidentally, most everyone in Ocean View speaks both Afrikaans and English).  Come Tuesday morning, my LSE counterpart was MIA and so as if I wasn't out of my comfort zone enough, God pushed me even further.  To ease the distraction of craft and song/dance, they moved storytime outside and for 4 20-minute rotations, I told the stories of VBS.  By the end of the day, my voice was shot and I was hot.  And if that wasn't enough, God was going to push me even further in that I had to present the story on the day the plan of salvation was taught.  I was in some kind of a tizzy the night before.  But after talking with Danielle, my roomies and praying, I was as ready as I would ever be.

I wish I could tell you that I did great and kids came to know the Lord as a result, but I don't know that.  All I know is that I laid out the story the best I could in ways I hoped the kids understood and pray that God used me to somehow plant a seed.

By Friday, my LSE counterpart was back, so my voice got a rest and I was very ready!  All in all, the week was exhausting but amazing.  These are just a few of the sweet faces that touched my life.  And these are the faces that I watched touch my other team members' lives.  I can't explain how it happened, but I was blessed enough to witness lives changed.

After noon when the kids had gone home, we'd have a quick break and then it was time for Teen Club.  There were fewer teens than children, but listening to the LSEs teach these teens...HOLY COW.  Listening to them speak was like being back in youth group myself. These faces are the future of Cape Town.  And what a bright future it is!!

And this, my friends, is the team of LSEs and volunteers that rocked my world.  The poured their very lives into these children every day and continue to do so long after I've left their beautiful city.  I miss them and see their faces every time I close my eyes to pray.
I never dreamed I would fall in love with a group of people, a township of kids, a traveling team of 17 or a Team House of servants like I have.

The minute I close my eyes to pray or worship in song, I'm immediately transported back.  I can see the faces of Meaghan. Ashwyn. Tamaryn. Joy. Melissa. Clynton. Danielle. Tracey. Matthew. Jaina. Beth. Simone. Casey. Natasha.  And nameless others who crossed my path while thousands of miles away from home.  I can still hear their voices.

And tonight I pray that God continues to break my heart for a people that need Him.

No comments: