Thursday, July 23, 2009
The Life & Times of Louis & Amber - Lakeside Bible Club
The past two weeks we have hosted a team from Lakeside Fellowship in Polk City, IA. That partially accounts for the lack of posts on this site.
This team has been involved in a variety of ministries here at The Pines. One of those ministries, and possibly the biggest, was 5 days of Bible Club hosted here at The Pines during their first week.
In June, my brother and sister-in-law came through South Africa on their way to China. It just so happens that they are members at Lakeside, and their visit here coincided with the last week of the school term. The easiest way for us to spread the word about the Bible Club was passing out invitations at the school nearby, so we enlisted Joe & Angie to do that on the last day of school.
When the Lakeside team arrived they were all set to run the Bible Club, complete with games, crafts, Bible time, and a gospel message. This is the second year a team has held Bible Club at The Pines, and this year was much colder than last. The first day we had 32 kids, including The Pines kids. Last year our biggest turnout was 70-ish, so we decided to do some additional invites.
Monday afternoon after Bible Club we went to the nearest housing complexes and passed out sweets and invitations. Jonny Heisterkamp agreed to shave his head if we got more than 60 kids on any given day, and that was told to the kids to help encourage them to bring along some friends. On Tuesday morning we had 52 kids show up. Unfortunately, that was our peak for the week so Jonny still has his full head of hair.
Each day the Bible lesson for the older kids centered around “Rock Solid Faith”, with verses, crafts, and a journal to go along with it. On the last day we were back to 32 kids, probably due to the cold. As they were working on their journal one of the questions prompted them to ask themselves “Do I know that I’m going to Heaven?”
Two of the older boys, Modibedi and Ramalete, decided they didn’t know but were very concerned that they would go to Heaven. Kristen Heisterkamp was running their craft/journal time and they told her they wanted to talk about this but only with “Uncle Louie”. They brought the boys to me and together with Okuhle and Tankiso for language support, we sat down and began asking questions to make sure they understood what the gospel truly is.
It became clear after a brief conversation that they understood sin, and that their sin will lead to punishment. They also understood that Jesus Christ paid for our sins on the cross, allowing us to obtain eternal life. It was obvious that Modebedi in particular was a bit impatient with all these questions. He knew what he wanted to do and he wanted to get it done now, without any more waiting. He immediately knelt and prayed and Ramalete along with him. Two of their friends had accompanied them and they also prayed, but I wasn’t certain those two had a full understanding. Thankfully, God knows and we pray that all the decisions made that day were genuine.
After those 4 boys left, they found that another of their friends had arrived late. Zembe had attended every day, both this year and last, but on this day was a bit tardy. They went straight to him and told him what had happened and that he better listen too if he wants to go to Heaven. Okuhle pulled out a picture Bible that my mom had given here in December and flipped back and forth between the story of Jesus’ death and the future judgement. Many of The Pines kids were deeply involved in this outreach, from translation to sharing the gospel. We were thrilled to see them use some of their gifts and training in service for Christ.
They spent about 10 minutes talking to Zembe and he hung on every word. Once they finished he came right to me and asked if he too could be saved. After a brief conversation to make sure he understood he also prayed, asking for forgiveness for his sins. Two of the smaller boys had accompanied him, but again, it was unclear how much they understood.
As we were talking to Zembe, the first 2 boys had gone over to another friend, Lufefe. They were telling him that he also needed to make a decision for Christ. He said he didn’t want to, that he was ok with “going to Hell alone”. After Zembe prayed and went back outside, we were all sitting around praising God for what had happened. Lufefe came in at that point and said he had changed his mind. He too prayed. We trust that all these decisions were genuine and that God will continue to cause fruit to grow in their lives.
You may remember us asking for Bibles a few months back. We have since received several shipments from a variety of sources. Each of these boys received a new Bible, and instead of them walking back as on other days, we gave each a ride home in our car. This is so we would know where they lived and where we could follow up with them. We also invited them to church on Sunday. Sunday morning when Amber went by in our car 6 boys were waiting by the curb to come to church with us. This week we saw them on the way home from school and gave them a ride home. We reminded them about church on Sunday and they promised they would be there again.
With these boys and those coming from #7 as a result of the POG team’s outreach, we are now getting quite a crowd. Already we transport 24 Pines kids + housemothers + missionaries. Now we have an additional 12 or so people coming to church with us. A very good problem to have.
Praise God for His work, and for those teams who have given their time, money, and energy to serve here.
Posted by Louis O'Tool at 10:10 AM