Where do I begin? I can hardly process the information myself let alone figure out how to share with you, but I will do my best.
Kids in South Africa are on summer break right now. So what I have been calling Holiday Bible Clubs are actually just Vacation Bible School for our American ears.
The Holiday Bible Clubs we did were in a community called Snake Park which is part of the bigger area of Soweto. Soweto is short for South West Township which was the area set aside for Black South Africans during Apartheid. This area of Snake Park originated as a Squatters camp and has grown into an area that has actual houses as well as the shacks that squatters put up for homes. A woman who I will call V lives in Snake Park with her mother and is using her home for a small church that Alan Locke is helping to start in this area. There are four adults that attend as well as their children. V is an inspiration in her faith as she works with the people of this area. I can’t begin to tell you how much I was touched by her call and dedication. Her life has certainly not been easy, but her purpose she told me was to help the people of her community. We used her yard to hold Bible Club all three days, and she translated for the younger children.
The first day I want to say we had about 70 kids. Honestly that part is kind of a blur, I know we had the most the first day went down the second and back up a bit the third…………… I think………
Anyway it was chaos. There was certainly a learning curve. I don’t think we could have planned much different, but we learned from what we did and didn’t do and did better the second day. Several of us went to the soccer field and played with the older kids. I use the term played very loosely as what I mostly did was watch as they kicked the ball between my legs. That and struggle to breathe. (I’m sure it was the elevation)….
The soccer field was obviously well used. Packed down and hard red dirt with broken glass scattered over much of it. Some of the kids played barefoot.
V worked very hard to get the kids there that she did. I know she wrote names down in a book to try and keep track of who was there and who wasn’t. We had Bible club the next two days much the same.
We did a lot of touring through the area looking at churches. (Again a term I will use loosely because not a lot of worshiping of Christ happened there) And I think we saw other white faces in Soweto only once at a tourist kind of area.
I didn’t take my camera on the first day. The Lockes had been robbed at gunpoint in this area so they were cautious about what we should and shouldn’t take in. I did take it every day after that. Most of the pictures I took of the area were from the car. I didn’t take my camera out as we prayer walked on the dirt paths through the shacks and I didn’t take any pictures inside peoples homes. It seemed to me to be very disrespectful to do so.
I did take lots of pictures after that. Can you imagine that? Me taking lots of pictures? I would love to post them, but I am having some trouble with my computer and I am afraid to download them from my camera just yet. We are heading out to get a new hard drive tonight, so my plan is to post some tomorrow.