We started the morning off at the Living Hope offices for devotions with the Life Skill Educators. We went to Mountain View to go door to door with the second half of the folks to invite them to the testing day. While we were walking, Julie and I asked Marguerite if we could visit Eunice. Last year she was the lady I blogged about that had TB and had just gotten out of the Living Hope clinic. She had gotten down to 87 pounds and was very sick. This year, however, she was of normal weight and looked as happy and healthy as could be! Marguerite told her that we requested to visit her, and she could not stop smiling. She was such a beautiful lady. We also visited the home of a gentlemen who came right out and and told us that that he was Muslim, but then asked us to pray for him. We saw a few people who were doing drugs or had beer bottles in their hands, and as soon as they saw us coming they hid their stuff behind their backs.
We finished our “street” pretty quickly and went back to the home of Anti Annie where they do the support groups. We sat for about 45 minutes and another group joined us. We sat there and sang songs with each other. We are officially the Living Hope/Faith Promise Church Choir as of today.
After door to door we went back to Jack and Jill daycare to wait for the entire group to return and the pre-k children were in the play yard. I saw Mumfie sitting in the sand box by herself so I walked over and said her name through the fence. She looked up at me, a huge smile came over her face, and she crawled over to the fence to try and give me a kiss. She puckered those lips up! That baby is so sweet, I just want to stuff her in my suitcase and bring her home. That turned into about 10 little girls at the fence trying to give me kisses. I got air kissed on the cheek about 50 times. They thought it was hilarious when I made the mmwwwaaaaa noise.
We got into a circle to share stories and pray. One guy was obviously suffering from TB, so we took him to the clinic. We had another guy who gave his life to Christ right then! Allyson (one of the support group leaders) said that a lot of the folks didn’t want to talk to the Living Hope staff, they wanted to talk to US from Faith Promise. Everyone in the community was very open to speak with us, inviting us unto their homes, and asking us to pray for them. They know who Faith Promise is. They don’t necessarily know we are a church, but they remember Faith Promise and that we return every year and why we are there. We are the only church that goes into that community. Hearing these ladies tell us all of these things was such a blessing to us. You think, “I’m only here for a week, what kind of impact will that make?” But these ladies let us know and constantly reassured us that we are not forgotten. There were a few areas of the township that even the Living Hope staff were not allowed to enter, and this year they spoke to them! That is the work of God! We stopped and talked to a lady and she had a little girl that we assumed was her granddaughter. She told Marguerite that no, she was not her granddaughter. She was just taking the girl for a walk because at that moment the girl’s mother was in her home doing drugs.
For lunch we went to Boulder’s Beach and to see the penguins there. Then we were back to Ocean View for kids/teens club with the kids from Mountain View. We walked over to Mountain View to bring them over to the Community Center in Ocean View. I found Yolana, the little girl who is wearing my sunglasses in the pictures from previous years. I said hello to her and called her by name and she said “You know my name?” I told her yes, I know your name, and your mother and sister and I called them out to her. She went around for the rest of the time telling everyone “She remembers my name, and my sister’s name, and my mom’s name.” The kids really enjoyed everything! From the foot washing, to the face washing, to the hand washing. The thing they were really excited about was the warm water. The minute they put their feet into that water their faces would just light up. They loved it so much that a lot of them tried to come back and get in line for a second wash. How many children in the states do you know that would stand in line for 20 minutes to be washed? There was a kid at the face washing station, Marco, who sat in his chair with his head held back and eyes closed and just waited. He never moved, never opened his eyes. He just sat there waiting for that touch. The kids would touch their face after the washing to see how it felt. There was one teen boy who was sitting off to the side, not really talking to anyone. Jennifer kept trying to get him to come over to the hand washing station. Motioning for him. After awhile, he came over and put his hands in the water. She tried talking to him over and over, but he would never say a word. He finished and started to walk away and then returned and in a small voice said to her “Thank You.” There were several teens there that would tell you straight out what her ambitions were. One girl was named Jamie. She wants to be a lawyer. She is in 9th grade, and she was very sure of her ambitions. Another girl named Lazeem who told Jessica that she was the smartest kid in her class and she was very good at math. These kids WANT to go to school. They want to learn. Again, how many kids in the United States WANT to go to school? Just pray that kids like these two get a chance to get out of these townships and break the vicious cyle of poverty.
We spoke to Denise, who runs the Jack and Jill daycare, and she was giving us information about the new housing that is being built next to Mountain View. The residents of Mountain View have been promised for the past 26 year that they will get new housing soon. Now the government is saying that if they have a combined income of 3500 rand or more they are not going to qualify to move into the new homes…which is a total of $416.70. The combined amount for one family-per month. They are also saying that they will allow people from the other townships to move there as well. On land and into houses that the people of Mountain View have been promised. The people of Mountain View are now torn because they want to go, but they don’t want to go if others cannot. Please pray for Denise and her husband, as they are going to meetings on September 20 to lobby for the people of Mountain View. Our devotion this evening was from I Corinthians 15:58. “Always be outstanding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain.”