Young Hearts

After much planning at our youth group, we had collected as many toiletries as possible. On Saturday, the 29th of October, all 15 of us arrived at Malvern Children’s Home with what we had to offer.IMG-20180930-WA0012.jpg

As soon as we entered the hall, we began to unpack the things we had brought while the children were called in. What we didn’t know was that 137 children would enter the hall creating the greatest cacophony ever possible.IMG-20180930-WA0007.jpg Excitement filled the room as the atmosphere of expectation grew. As the chaos began to escalate, our youth leader, Theo Msomi, began to speak and all of them sat down to listen.IMG-20180930-WA0015

Hanging on Theo’s every word, they listened to his life’s testimony. He gave them the Gospel and told them about Jesus, calling anyone if they wanted to give their lives to Him. Many came forward to accept Jesus, others wanted prayer.IMG-20180930-WA0014.jpg

After that, we engaged with them and gave them the most valuable possession: Our time. They laughed and smiled with excitement and joy as we played games and socialised with them. IMG-20180930-WA0016

If you had the eyes to see beyond into the pain, you would have the heart to change things.

There are 137 children but they can only cater for 120. That means sometimes they don’t even have enough food to eat. Sometimes they don’t even have toiletries. 20 children are not going to school because they have already been rejected. The government only helps them to a certain degree and after that, they have to fend for themselves by relying on sponsors who are gradually diminishing. The question is: What is the Church doing?IMG-20180930-WA0008

 

I had a look at the dormitories they lived in. It’s like a flat with many apartments that they share. I could see that their lives are monotonous by repetition so when they came to the hall, they came with great expectations and maybe a question in mind: Will my life be changed after this? Or will it continue to be the same?

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It was strange for me because a random child approaches you and wants to sit on your lap. Or a girl sucking on a lollipop suddenly approaches you and gives you a hug. They want to be loved because they have not experienced it.

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The saddest thing that occurred there was when we were about to leave and all the children headed back to their dorms. I happen to notice a young girl who never lost grip of her Christmas hamper gift bag. She had stuff in it as she headed up the stairs. But the ruffling of the crowd tumbled into her and she was pushed against the wall, grazing her arm. Her gift bag fell to the ground bursting all its contents down the stairs. She crumbled to the floor crying as I looked at what was in her bag. It was toys shaped in form of grocery items that one would buy from Checkers. She had collected these things over time and it became of sentimental value to her. I tried helping her fill the gift bag once again with all the toys but the bag was broken and this girl wasn’t going anywhere until she had all her things with her. I decided to get a packet to put all her belongings in and when i had returned with it, she was attempting to use her t-shirt to carry all her things. We deposited all her things into the packet and only then did she get up and go to her room. I then realized something, when we suffer so much loss in our lives, we tend to hold onto whatever we have left…

My First Outreach

If I remember correctly, my first outreach took place the Easter weekend of the year 2012. We camped at a caravan park in Scottsburgh, a resort town south coast of South Africa. After school that Friday, we took our luggage that was packed the previous day and got to our Church where we were set to leave at 3pm. But of course, some people arrive late so we ended up leaving at 4pm. As soon as we arrived, i was already tired. However, our youth leaders had other plans. There was another youth group that were joining us on this trip, so we were playing games with them on the beach! At 8pm, here I was running around hoping it would be my last game! Finally, when it was all over, the youth leader of the other group decides to take out his guitar and start worshipping on the beach. I love worshipping God, don’t get me wrong, but I was tired and here we are singing and dancing to old classics at 10pm! The other youth were so energetic that I had to move out the way for their rapid movements. I eventually had enough as I was literally falling asleep, I had a shower and hit the sack. Strange thing though, the other youth group had fasted the entire week …..

Youth camp

Our youth group had many items that were rehearsed such as dance and skits so when we visited churches in Scottburgh, we had a schedule that fitted in well with the sermon that our youth leader had prepared. It was a pretty cool arrangement and this stunned the congregation. We then decided to visit a block of flats where speakers and sound were set up and they started to preach the Gospel. We were given tracts and told to go give them out and tell people about Jesus. I walked around handing out tracts as I made my way to the flats. I climbed the stairs as I made my way up along the floors and many accepted the tracts while some shook their heads in disregard.

I finally arrived to the last address at the very top. The door was open but the gate was closed. Not locked. A lady sat on the sofa.

“Jesus loves you ma’am” I stated as I stuck my hand through the gate holding out the tract. She didn’t respond. So I stuck the tract in the gate’s design and turned to leave and stopped when I heard ‘Pray for me’.

I turned back decided to go inside to pray for this old lady. I was praying like crazy! Thinking what could go wrong. At the beginning of the outreach, the youth leader gave us all a sinners prayer card that was laminated. I had stuck it in my Bible which i was carrying with at the time.

“Do you want to accept Jesus as your personal Saviour?” I asked the old lady who just nodded.

So I opened my Bible and told her to repeat after me, “Dear Lord Jesus….”

She nodded.

“You need to repeat after me.” I repeated.

She nodded.

“Dear Lord Jesus….”

She whined, almost like a puppy’s cry.

I was getting freaked out so I just blurted out the entire salvation prayer while I heard her whine the entire time. I got up to leave and she started to raise her hand and praise God. Worshipping Jesus right there. I looked at her as if she as crazy.

“I was mute and now I can speak….”

At first I couldn’t register what was happening, then it hit me….

She was whining because she couldn’t speak. I prayed for her and returned to where the rest of the youth had gathered. That old lady was one of the many souls that were saved that day….

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I woke up the next morning quite early. I sat on those benches that faced the rolling waves that washed up onto the beach. I took picture with my old Nokia that had a VGA camera. The cool breeze wafts through as I read my Bible, thinking, we can claim to say that we believe in this book but do we really? Why do we doubt? Why can’t we see whats happening all around us? Are we too busy with what’s happening with our own lives? Do you really believe that that theological degree you are planning to obtain one day is going to help you accomplish what God has planned for you today?