With so much going on this week it has been difficult to stop long enough to breathe, let alone write. But here it is, the first (of many) posts about our time here.
So much has taken place already it’s impossible to know where to start.
After an entire day of travelling it was a relief to be welcomed into such a warm environment. We were greeted with hugs, food, and showers, complete bliss after such a long journey. The in-country volunteers were so loving that, without knowing anyone, we were already family.
Sunday started bright and early with the sun streaming through our windows, the dawn chorus inviting us into the day. Breakfast was an interesting experience with a serving of fish fingers and a tomato sauce, apparently a favourite for some of our in country partners. After eating, we made our way to Glen Ridge International Church where, very similar to a Western service, we celebrated God with Hillsong style worship, and listened to a powerful message delivered by one of the members. During of which we also learned more about the Xenophobia crisis occurring in Durban at the moment.
The rest of the afternoon was enjoyed in the sunshine where we started to bond with our new team members.
Monday saw the start of a long week with the first, of several, 13 hour days devoted to our in-country training with Zoe-Life. We covered such topics as child development, sexual reproductive health, and health and safety. Despite being useful for our upcoming adventure, it gave us all a slight case of cabin fever, and many of us used any opportunity to do some exercise in the early mornings, and evenings. We all expect to be the fittest we’ve ever been by the end of our time here.
After a week of creating some strong friendships it was sad to say goodbye to some of the teams on Friday as they headed out to their individual projects. However this provided the few of us left to have an afternoon of leisure before we too left on Saturday. Sun, sea, and ice creams. Perfect.
From here on out everyone will be working on different projects, most of which focus on children and development. I have the distinct pleasure to be working with a fantastic team in Tugela Ferry, on the Khayelisha project. We are the furthest group from Durban but we consider ourselves the most fortunate as we get to see so much more of the country and offer our help in the second poorest area in the province.
We will keep you updated as much as we can, though unfortunately there is a serious lack of internet here, so it will probably be quite staggered.
We thank you so much for all support we’re receiving from the UK and the rest of South Africa, your prayers and thoughts are appreciated more than we can express.
Who are Zoe-Life?
Zoe-Life are a partner charity with Tearfund and have several projects located throughout South Africa. They are Christian organisation that focus mainly on child development and providing the necessities of life to those in need. They work throughout CDCs (creches), schools, orphanages, and many more. Their aim is to provide help at the root of problems rather than provide a temporary ‘quick fix’.
Despite living in close quarters for the past week, we are all still getting to know each other so it would be great if we can continue enjoying each other’s company.
Pray that we do our best work and help as many people as possible.
We would also like to encourage you to pray for the Xenophobia happening in this beautiful country. We heard of one camp that has over 14,000 refugees, living with one sink and two toilets. They also have no security at the moment so even within it there are some serious issues taking place. We also have a team in the inner city, so we pray that God keeps them safe and happy in the work they are doing.