GO Mamelodi Mamas

I'm down a Mama this year, but Lori's traveling with me in my heart. The new Mama to my duo is my neice Katie, who's coming with CSM for week 2.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Can't come up with a title....

Computer trainees showing off their certificates

Kim Thurston meets Julia, the recipient of their donated PC

Brook looks awfully at home with a baby on her back, African style

Today was another great day, although I’m fighting hard to stave off a cold, so I’m doing some quick blogging after dinner and heading straight to bed. I spent the morning training Pastor Titus’ wife Eleanor on email, which was great as she’s such a dear woman and so fun to be with. Internet is now working throughout the campus, and Scott Newberry has the internet phone installed and working in Pastor Titus’ office. Scott got 2 of the same Cisco phones donated, the $500 ones like we have at my work, so one is going in Pastor Titus’ office in Mamelodi and the other goes in Pastor Tim’s office in Cincinnati! It’s brilliant, they can now talk to each other for free, Titus has a Cincinnati phone number in Mamelodi, and calls to other land lines or cell lines are less that 2 cents a minute. That is fun geeky stuff!!

I spent the afternoon out in the township helping play with kids at the tent clinic setup by the medical team. It was so great to get off of campus and out to the township, and playing with kids is a real service to the health care workers, because the congregate in droves and need to be kept away from where patients are being seen. We visited a crèche (pre-school) right next to where they setup and it was one of the most precious yet heartbreaking thing you can imagine. There must have been 30 or more kids in a one room house with 2 very loving ladies watching over them. They are dropped off starting at 5 am, and may not be picked up until 7pm, but these dear ladies take such loving care of them. The postponed nap time slightly to let us play with them, taking pictures and showing them to the kids is a huge hit, so I have quite a few delightful photos, as you could see below! Getting them down for nap time was amazing, so I included a photo of that, they lay right up against each other, one child’s head at the next child’s feet, and so on until they are all laying down. Yet another reminder of the many things to be thankful for. But the ladies who care for them love God and do the absolute best they can in the circumstances, and we were able to leave some books, toys, and a ball for them to have.

Tomorrow is our last work day, and it is going to be heartbreaking to leave. I have watched our helper Themba truly blossom, filled with grateful awe of the way we have empowered him. He is putting my name as a reference on his CV (resume), and I really hope I can be of assistance to him going forward. Our other helpers have been a treat as well, Khensani, Alice, Salome, Jeaneth, and of course Billy. I’m grateful for email, and the access they’ll have at Charity & Faith, but it won’t be the same. I’ve also become awfully attached to a young man named Free who works at Charity & Faith caring for the property, along with Little Titus (who’s not so little, but needs to be differentiated from Pastor Titus! He was in Cincinnati and played a whopper of a game of whiffle ball in my backyard. One of the new houses being built is on the campus of Charity & Faith, and he will be moving into it as primary caretaker, a wonderful man as well). Free is 22, and he has been on his own since his mom died when he was 15. But he is a joyful man, full of grace, who I believe is a preacher at heart, the way he has expounded to me on several occasions with unbelievable depth of understanding of the grace of God and the complexity of life on this earth. I helped him learn to use email a day or so ago, and he has been so excited to be online, and catches on so quickly. He told me today he is going to try to build a computer from scratch, so we’ve been feeding parts to him as they come available. I have no doubt that one day he’ll email me from his very own computer, although he currently lives in a shack with no electricity so the crank flashlight and radio that someone gave him late last week are his current high tech toys.

We had a kinda tough day yesterday, as several things were stolen from the computer training room and from the business team seminar room. It’s a bit hard on us for the reality of the people we are trying to help stealing from us, but it is a stark reminder of the reality of the situation here. People are so desperate for survival that they use any means of getting things of value. Little Titus has been very patiently counseling us on how to better secure the training room when we have it full of people, and offering us grace for wanting to trust in an environment where that is so unfortunately not possible. He explained how many, or at least some, of the people who come asking for training are probably really just casing the place to come back later and take what they can. We need to all be praying very hard for their safety and security after we leave, as that is apparently when a lot of that will come to a head. That also makes me sad, that our coming to be a blessing to the community creates post-trip problems for the people left behind. Another grim reminder, but it fills me with determination to keep pressing ahead for change, knowing that it won’t come quickly, but I truly believe change is possible to better their circumstances. Especially since all things are possible with God, and these folks here are filled with love for our Father and Saviour.

So this may be my last posting from South Africa, we have our celebration at Charity & Faith tomorrow night, and then leave for the airport Friday morning for our 2pm flight. The CSM kids come back from camp tomorrow, and the big joke is that the 2 weekers and the CSM-ers fly home on the same flights, so all bets are off as to whether or not our flights ever make it!!



Blogger Dave Thurston said...

I just asked No. 4 to get up on my lap. She looked at the picture. I then clicked-it-larger.

She said: "Mommy . . . [snuggled next to Dad]. . . Mommy . . . Mama [little child chuckle].

Thanks much for the picture Carole. I feel quite lucky to be able to get such good updates. Kim looks like she is in her zone.

12:41 PM  
Blogger Mom said...

Carole hope you can leave with a peaceful feeling that things are better because you have been there.
In addition to that you are a better person for the experiences you have had in Mamelodi. Here's to safe travels for your journey home. Please tell Katie we are wishing her a shorter journey on the way home. We will be ready to do lots of listenining on your return. Love, mom

4:52 PM  
Blogger Mark & Kim said...

Hey Hey - taking good care of Katie - looks like you guys are having a great time - I love seeing the pics!! You're a blessing - no matter what continent you are on!!!!
Kim B.

6:46 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home