The first quarter of 2019 has come and gone, and it was filled with a whirlwind of activities and many joys and challenges.
Tim has been introducing many changes at Scripture Union, and though change is always hard, most of the shifts have been welcomed. He is finding that as an “outsider” he has a fresh perspective and can see things that others may have missed.
Last month Botwana and eSwatini (formerly Swaziland) had a big celebration in Gabarone, Botswana to mark 50 years of Scripture Union in their countries. Tim and a few others from South Africa attended the events.
Scripture Union is very involved in training Sunday school leaders and holiday club leaders, and the first half of the year is particularly busy with these activities. Most holiday clubs (vacation Bible schools) are run over the winter school break in June, so churches are starting to gear up now for those events.
Tim will be making a trip to the U.S. in mid-April to do some networking and fundraising for S.U. He plans to be in Michigan, Virginia and North Carolina, so feel free to email him if you would like to connect. He will be there from April 9-22.
Mokone Primary & Barcelona Children’s Home
Lots of great things are happening at Mokone Primary this year. Friday Numeracy got off to a strong start in the first term, and we are seeing slow, but steady improvements. We have a wonderful group of faithful volunteers involved, which is a huge blessing.
If February we started the Indlela Bible Club that meets once a week after school. On average 30 children attend each week, and they are so eager to learn and hear about the amazing God who created them and loves them. We are looking forward to get-ting started again this week after a two week break.
High school starts in Grade 8 here, and a few of us decided to help
Grade 7 children with the application process this year. The deadline for ap-plications was March 15, and many of the schools have online applications. This presents a big barrier for children from communities like Langa where most families do not have a computer or even a smart phone. Education is one of the best ways to break out of the cycle of poverty, but a good education is far beyond the reach of the majority of families. This is a massive injustice. We were able to help a number of children apply to good high schools and also to apply for scholarships. We’re praying that they will be successful.
Over the two week break between terms 1 and 2 we ran a math program for Grade 7 students, which
was great fun.
This term we will be starting the Word-Works literacy program with Grade 3 children at Mokone. At Barcelona Children’s Home Pastor Julius and Irene continue providing amazing care for the 33 children at the home. Julius is having serious problems with his vision and is no longer able to drive. His attitude remains positive and his faith is as strong as ever. One of the boys, Owam, recently broke both of his legs jumping from a high place at his high school. Please pray for his complete recovery. He has always loved gymnastics and is very active.
At church we have been seeing God move in so many ways. Every week people are coming to faith, the congregation is slowly becoming more diverse, and people are taking steps of faith. We had our annual Weekend Away event the first weekend of March with over 200 people attending. It was a rich time of fellowship and learning together.
On February 17 the Langa Common Ground church officially launched. It was a great celebration. The church is experiencing some growing pains, but they have a faithful, committed core group. They are still searching for a permanent venue.
As a country one of the big challenges we’re currently facing is that the national power utility company, Eskom, is struggling to keep the lights on. In March we experienced 10 days of severe rolling blackouts, and there will prob-ably be more to come. For the average household this is an inconvenience, but for businesses this is disastrous. Some areas of Cape Town were experiencing power cuts during the peak lunch and dinner periods every day for 4 consecutive days. Restaurants cannot survive long when that’s happening.
As Easter approaches we are freshly reminded of the unfathomable love of Christ. We pray that we will all have a renewed appreciation of Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf and that this will spur us on to live lives worthy of his calling. The world is so broken, yet so beautiful. May we never lose heart or hope, and may we be bold in sharing his love with those around us.
Thank you so much for your partnership with us. The work we do is a team effort, and we couldn’t do it without the sup-port of many, both far and near. If you would like to know more about the things we’re involved in, please check out www.su.org.za, www.commongood.org.za, and www.commonground.co.za.
May you have a blessed Easter!