Monday, July 1, 2013

Today begins our next-to-last assignment for the trip: 2 simultaneous children’s Bible clubs under the sponsorship of Calvary Bible Baptist Church of Northpine, where Eric Graham is the pastor. His church, as you already know, has an outreach in the black township of Guguletu, where he wants to broaden his contacts through a Bible club. We’ll also hold one in Kraaifontein, in another black neighborhood.

We’re ready to go when the Grahams show up at 8:30. Katie will drive to Kraaifontein, and Joy will follow in her van. Eric will ride with me in the other van to Guguletu. The team will be evenly divided between the 2 locations.

We arrive at the Scout Hall in Guguletu a little after 9 and set up for the club, which starts at 9:30. At first there are only about 8 or 10 children, but by the time the serious stuff starts, we have between 80 and 85. We get a text from Katie that they have about 80 as well; later, we learn, their crowd swells to 130.

The weather is clear and cool but windy. Counterintuitively, we have games inside and crafts outside, and believe it or not, it really works pretty well. The kids pay pretty good attention during the Bible lesson, due mainly to the careful oversight of Sizwe, who grew up in Guguletu and was saved just about 3 years ago. Since then he’s taken off like a rocket, and this entire outreach, humanly speaking, is pretty much due to him. He helps by interpreting in Xhosa (that’s the tribal language with the clicks) when he thinks it’s needed, and his judgment in that regard is excellent.

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At 11:15 we send the kids home with a biscuit (a cookie) and the memory verse for tomorrow (John 3:16 in both English and Xhosa). They’ll get a piece of candy if they say it correctly.

On the way home we drop off Will at a mall to meet a missionary couple from his church; he’s going to spend the afternoon with them. Then we drop off Eric at home; then we have to get petrol; and then we have to get a few things for our scheduled PB&J lunch—namely, bread, peanut butter, and jelly. It’s after 1 by the time we get all that done and get back to the house. The other crew is waiting for us, and they fill us in over lunch. Apparently times were a lot tougher at Kraaifontein, with more kids, and most of them undisciplined. As a result, they got less done, and they’re a little frustrated. We’ll see how things go tomorrow.

There’s nothing official scheduled for the rest of the day, and I expect most of the team to take a nap. I’m planning to go back to the grocery store for a more thorough shopping trip, to fill the larder for the rest of our time here. To my surprise, 6 people want to go with me, mostly to buy personal snack items. Snacks are important to college kids.

After we get back, Joy, Keri and I get to work on supper, which is slated to be marinated chicken. By the time we eat at 7, we have 4 baking dishes of chicken, mashed potatoes (choice of with or without skins), gravy, a salad bar, and an appetizer of fried potato skins. Jason, one of the career guys from Bill Knipe’s church at Eindhoven, comes over to join us for the meal and some fellowship afterwards. He’s a sharp guy; we’re thinking of leaving one of the girls behind to be his wife, but we just haven’t decided which one yet.

We have one other thing planned. It’s Auria’s 19th birthday today. We joined the wait staff in singing to her at Mariner’s Wharf Saturday night, but we want to do something on her real birthday. So we’ve bought a couple of cakes—chocolate, and red velvet with cream cheese frosting—and 2 kinds of ice cream (chocolate and mango), and we spring them on her with a surprise party. She’s surprised, and we all get cake, so it’s a successful event. Doug and Cindy, we took good care of her.

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By the time we have devotions and get the dishes done, it’s 10 pm, and we head off to bed. We’ve been tired all the other weeks; there’s no sense in changing things now.


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Dan Olinger

Chair, Division of Bible in the BJU School of Religion.

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