This morning we headed straight to Mountain View to set up the tents for testing day. Attendance started out slow, but picked up very quickly. We had stations set up for height/weight, blood pressure, blood sugar, and testing for TB and HIV/AIDS. In all, we probably had around 60-70 people show up. It all went off without a hitch!
There were two kids standing next to the table while we were cleaning up and after I picked up the juice container they started running their fingers along the table and then licking their fingers to get the juice off. There was one little girl named Mimi who would not smile at anyone or talk to anyone all week. By the end of the testing day today she was running around, laughing, yelling “Ante, Ante” to every lady and playing hide and seek under the table.
I saw a lady named Anthea in the testing line and asked her where her baby was. For those of you who have seen photos from my previous two trips, I have gotten a photo with this baby named Anica each year. She was at the day care and she asked if I would like to see her. She went to the “kritch” (daycare) to get her so I could see her and asked if I would like to take a photo with her. It is so amazing to watch these kids grow up.
In the evening we did a hygiene day for the parents of the kids. We had stations for foot washing, hand washing and massage, face washing, blood pressure, blood sugar, nail painting and crafts. The first lady that came through was a 60 year old lady. She told Michele how great it was and that in her entire life she had never had a facial, or had anyone care for her that way. And that she felt special.A couple of the support group leaders went through the line as well and loved it. One of them, Bernadette, started giggling as I was watchng her face. I asked her what was so funny and she said “never in a million years would I have imagined that Heather (me) would be washing MY face.” Justin even popped out with his facial skills, and did quite a good job from what I heard. I think that all of us were a bit nervous at first but by the end of the night we all decided that this was the best ministry of the entire trip. Watching these women be loved and pampered and showing them love and Jesus was just amazing. I personally was doing face washing and there was something so amazing about being so up close and personal with them. They would open their eyes and stare straight into mine. It was defintely a connection that was worth something.
Brenda and I spoke to Melissa (one of the life skill educators) about the crafts and asked if they were too hard for the kids. She said no, they weren’t too hard but that most kids wouldn’t even try because they have been told so many times that they can’t do anything. They get that both from home and from school. They can’t keep up with their grade 1, so they fall behind. And then when they get into grade 2 they are still trying to catch up from grade 1, and the same happens every year. By the time they get to grade 5 they drop out of school because they are so behind. The Life Skill Educators have gotten to the point where they have started speaking to the teachers to find out who is falling behind so that they can tutor these kids.
At the end of the evening we gave all of the parents and Living Hope staff goodie bags. There was a gentlemen who was working at the community center where we had the events this week and he was given a goodie bag. He was SO grateful and kept telling us thank you over and over.
We had a woman who told a team member that the only time she has had anything like this done is when Faith Promise comes there. It is cool to see that Faith Promise is making such an impact with these people so far away in the city of Cape Town, South Africa.