Xanga Post Wednesday July 5, 2006

Greetings from South Africa, again.  Today was our third day of camp and things have been going pretty incredibly.  Yesterday we celebrated our Independence Day with the youth of Refilwe, the community project (including orphanage) where we are working.  We grilled hamburgers and hot dogs and they asked us questions about the U.S.  I'll have to give you all the full story of that later.

Also, yesterday, David, the guy who is in charge of the children at Refilwe, took one of them, Comfort, to the courts to be legally awarded to Refilwe's care.  He's the first.  That's right, of all the children who live at Refilwe and have so for years, Comfort is the first to be under their care in the eyes of the law.  It's incredible how different things work in the world, but how there are still those fulfilling our call to care for the poor and needy, widows and orphans, regardless of what the State may recognize.

During camp today we had a salvation emphasis.  So many of the students I work with, regardless of what we consider to be their Biblical illiteracy, are blessed with so much general knowledge about God that these kids don't have.  It was humbling to have to try to communicate to them the simple truths of the Gospel.  It definitely required me to sift through all of the details I have learned over the years of my theological study.  In the midst of recent discussions and debates I've been having with others and myself, it was so refreshing to just have to strengthen my own faith by allowing these students to express their's.  When they said they believed and prayed, I couldn't concern myself with just how much they understood and whether or not they had said or done the "right things."  I have to have faith that they have faith and that God honors that.  Faith and Knowledge certainly aren't mutually exclusive, but I was reminded today just how little one can end up having to do with the other.

There's much more to say.  A lot will have to happen in person.  But, here's some more pics.


Kids singing at our Celebration.


Drew storytelling at Celebration.


Our version of All Things to All People.


Family Groups


Recreation


These are the kids I pick up and drop off each day from a place called Mongophe.  That's right.  I've been driving.  And I've only driven on the American side of the road once, for about 100 yards before the African I was with reminded me.

The next two pictures are from a squatter camp where I also drop off some kids.  It's called Eskom.  We walked through it yesterday handing out hygiene kits.  Words can't describe it right now.


This is the house where I drop the kids off in Eskom.  A woman named Janette lives there.  She's also the worship leader for Wells of Salvation church where I preached.  She used to have a flat downtown, but the Lord told her to go and live among the people.  So she did, and she does.  The kids flock to her house during the day because it's a "safe place."  Pretty amazing.


This is the side of an outhouse on someone's lot.  I took a picture of it because of what was written on it.  It's talking about how it's been ten years since the end of apartheid, but things haven't changed that much for the people.  Sobering.

I'll end with the lyrics to a song the Mongophe kids taught me.  Enjoy!

Look at the mountain
Look at the sea
Take some time
And just look around

Oh Lord
Give me power
Give me strength
To just look around

If you think God
Is not there
Take some time
And just look around

He made the mountain
He made the sea
Take some time
And just look around

Oh Lord
Why should I pray
When I need
To just look around

Oh Lord
Give me power
Give me strength
To just look around

xangaChris Kinsley