We arrived in George on December 14th. We are staying at the Out of Africa Missions (OAM) base. Once upon a time it had been a Bed & Breakfast. The front courtyard faces the mountains. There is a fountain/pond and beautiful flowering trees. The property is quite large, and there are several momma monkeys that live in the area and are known to rummage in the garbage. They are quite adorable looking (especially the little babies holding on) but I imagine they are a nuissance much like raccoons in Minnesota. We have been told not to go exploring in the tall grasses behind the property, as it is likely to encounter some large snakes. As I get the creepy crawlies thinking about that, I fondly think of my sister Christy, and pray for guardian angels to protect the property line.
Everyone is very tired. There are 14 of us traveling from the U.S. with YWAM, including our 3 children: Lola, 5, Violet, 3, and Liam, 1. There is a boarding house/dorm adjacent to the main house where we all sleep. Our family has a bedroom with a private bathroom. Space is definitely tight with a double bed, bunk beds, pack & play and sofa in the room, but it feels cozy. With wooden floors and running water, it is actually larger and much nicer than the shacks in the townships that house families larger than ours.
Day 1 (Thurs): Rest and explore a bit: there is a chocolate shop just down the road... known for truffles and nougats. The chocolate is made here and transported all over the world. It is yummy!
Day 2 (Fri): Weeding at the OAM base. Very good way to thank them for their hospitality. Then a couple hours in the late afternoon at the beach.
Day 3 (Sat): Walk to the market. Took a little longer than expected, so Lola got very tired out, but it was a beautiful walk. We had a wonderful conversation with a couple from Zimbabwe. Interesting to hear about the political tension there. The girls were able to pick some shiny rocks, and try African ice cream. Then we practiced dance I choreographed for team.
Day 4 (Sun): 3 hour church service... amazing singing, dancing and worship! Three languages spoken in the church: Africans, Kosa & English. Afternnon prep for skits and teachings for the week ahead.
Ministries for the week:
Kid Stop: A program for street kids that was started by Youth for Christ. They currently have a building and a day program for the kids, where they feed them 2 meals a day, have activities that are Christian based (songs, games etc. ) They also have a tutoring program to get the kids caught up to their grade level so they can be enrolled in school. They are waiting for staff and funding to launch the boarding house/orphanage phase of the project (the space is ready). So it is quite sad that for now the kids get turned out in the evening to be on their own. We are volunteering there to play with the kids, do skits etc. We will be feeding these kids Christmas dinner.
Options: a ministry which is to help pregnant teens and encourage them to keep their babies, offering christian counseling and practical baby items and food program. It also has a earned income program to help the teens with finding jobs or working at their boutique making cards, jewelry and sewing. We've only been there once so far, and we just helped weed their garden and sort donated clothes and help with some organization.
El Shaddai: minister at a rehab center for adults
Children's Hospital: Visit with the children and their families. Some clowning and praying.
Then back to Kidstop.