Sunday, April 13, 2008

Pepsi and Paloney Dates

Casey and some of the girl leaders

So, Holiday Club is over. We finished on Thursday. It was an interesting experience. I had to deal with my ‘American-ness’ early on as things probably weren’t going quite like “we would do them.” It’s an important thing to do learn that it’s not always best for the American to ride in on his Red, White, and Blue horse and save the day. Things need to be self-sustaining here, so if I had taken charged and changed things then it wouldn’t have helped the ministry in the long-term. My attitude needed to, and did, change. I really began to enjoy my time with the little kids and trying my best to mentor the teenagers as leaders.
That’s really what I can celebrate from the club. It seemed, in the end, that some growth happened in those girls. They served and led in some really important ways. I was really proud of them. And we developed quite a report with them. At the end of the day the girls would serve the kids their lunch. Steve (the Englishman), Stanton, and I would stay out of the way and eventually the girls would bring Pepsi and Paloney sandwiches (basically bologna) down to us. We’d all sit together. Talk about the day, fart (of course), laugh (not just at my farts), and have a great time. It was neat to see how that time developed and how it changed our relationships. By the end of the week the girls were really sad to see it end. They made Steve some well thought-out cards and had a hard time letting us leave.
I’m really excited to be going back there this week and starting to figure out how to take them to the next level of being leaders all the time and with the regular Kids Club. You can be praying for that process.
On Wednesday we took the whole group (7 years up) to the beach. One of the other branches (Masiphumelele) was also there with their kids, plus several other random camps, so it was total chaos. The water is freezing, so the kids would go in for a while till they couldn’t take it anymore and then they would come and bundle up under towels and blankets to get warm. Steve was, of course, in the ocean acting like a shark, while I roamed the beach playing soccer and talking to a guy from London wearing an “OBX” shirt. It was a great day! We didn’t lose a single kid either, at least not that we’ve heard of yet!
All my regular jobs are over now, so I have to be really self-motivated now. I have my final meeting with the different teams this week to talk about teen clubs, and then I’ll get working on writing that. I also want to spend some time pouring into different Life Skills Educators, so I’m going to be trying to meet with them. That’s so humbling, though. I’m so amazed at what they do and who they are that you feel like you don’t have anything worthwhile to teach them, but you trust just sharing your different experiences and taking the time to listen to their hearts will be very fruitful. Please keep praying for the writing of the Teen Club program and these relationships.

The hectic scene at the beach - look at all those kids!!

Our friend Steve from the UK playing in the water


Alicia Collins said...

I LOVE these pictures of ALL these children!!! They are having so much fun!! Good to hear you have found your way into what God has called you to do/learn and grow from. It may be that you won't even realize what all the impact is on you until you get back home to Raleigh. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experience.
I would love to love on these kids!
love you, Mother

Steve M said...

Casey and Sarah-
Paloney is NOTHING like bologna! My tastebuds could easily distinguish paloney vs. bologna...I think paloney contains meat from animals that are not permitted to be consumed in the US.

I love having the privilege to follow along your trip. Miss you guys and the kids! Say hi to Stanton for us.


P.S. - Thanks for the poo book - I am laughing myself silly