Things here in South Africa have been very busy since our last update, with nary a minute to spare to record the details. The guys from ISU have hit the work at Restoring Hope Village pretty hard, completing our first foundation last Tuesday. In fact, some of them have been putting in 24 hour days at the property. Before you think I’m exaggerating, let me explain.
With so many projects in the works, not a day goes by when we don’t have something valuable left around, whether it’s cement mixers or steel for foundations. Given the tendency of things here in South Africa to grow legs and walk away during the night it has been important for someone to keep an eye on these things. Two of the guys – Dusty and Micah – have taken it upon themselves to spend their nights sleeping in one of the containers. Usually they are joined by one or two other guys, although to hear the stories when they get back in the morning, I’m not sure how much “security value” they add to the premesis. I guess a potential criminal may observe the goings-on and think “those guys must be worse off than me…” and choose to pass. Who knows? If you want the details, you’ll have to ask the guys themselves.
Before I get too far sharing the events of our last week, I need to say something about this group. I remember being a college student not too many years ago. One always takes pause before hosting a group of 6 fraternity boys. You really don’t know what you’re going to get – although with this group we had a pretty good idea that they would be an asset to the ministry. With that said, we had no idea how much an asset they would be. God has brought us 6 young men who know how to work, who are willing to do whatever it takes no matter how difficult or tedious, and who know how to have fun while doing these things. If these guys are a representation of the future of our country, we are in good hands.
This is a group of young men that have taken it on themselves to serve God during their summer break when others are concerned about having fun, or about making money. They are serious about accomplishing tasks in front of them, serious about reaching out to the community, and serious about having some good, clean fun.
I will give you a quick synopsis of our last week. Check back later for more detail on each day:
Sunday – We attended a church in Thabong, where the guys got to observe a traditional South African worship service. The church was also a huge challenge to us.
Monday-We poured the first foundation, although not everything went as planned.
Tuesday-We finished the foundation, then made a set of bricks.
Wednesday-Amber, the kids, and I took my cousin Ben back to Johannesburg for his return flight to the US. Brian and the guys started digging the 2nd foundation.
Thursday-The guys and Brian finished digging the 2nd foundation and started laying steel. Amber and I went to Home Affairs where we received our new visa’s, allowing us to legally live in South Africa for two more years. I spent the rest of the day laid up in bed sick.
Friday-I took 3 of the guys and DJ and made a batch of bricks. Brian took 3 guys and Bridge and worked on finishing the steel and forming up the foundation. Once we were done with bricks we helped finish that up as well.
Saturday-The team went to a local market while Tex and I purchased food for an outreach. After the market the guys put together food parcels with a gospel pamphlet. In the afternoon we went to the dump, then to #7 Squatter Camp and delivered food parcels. DJ went along as our interpreter.
Remember to check back for more detail on each day.