Cartwheels in the Chaos
There are no words to express our gratitude.
The last two months (February and March) have been drastically eventful. From surprising provision to faith-filled arsenal prayers…we have been in a valley of an incredible army. Before today, we would have simply said that it has felt like we are in a “valley of dry bones.” We would also have added that we’ve witnessed the “valley of the shadow of death.”
The last time we wrote, we had just returned from Zambia and were quite drained, emotionally and physically, from helping to care for our Mother who had suffered a third stroke resulting in amnesia and loss of sight. Fast track two months since February, we have been meeting with our children, who attend the Beats and Books programs, 3 days a week, until last week when we met hostility.
As some of you who have visited us may know, we met in a small community hall in the heart of the township, measuring about 5 by 10 meters (16.4 by 32.8 feet.) This was graciously offered to us, for free, last year when we were in dire need of a bigger facility to host our after-school and music initiatives with the local children. It was a big move from meeting the 30-40 something kids in Gogo’s 3 by 3 square meter (9.8 by 9.8 square feet) little shack. Unfortunately, the complaints and opposition against us have intensified and we are unable to meet there. We are trusting that they will have a change in heart and see the value of what we bring to these children through the love of Christ. Pray they will afford this emergent generation a chance to re-write their future. How do you speak into the heart of an elderly person who chooses to see their social life above a child’s education? What about their basic need to play and their desire to make music? Imagine trying to stop a butterfly in its erratic flight…or closing a chirping baby birds’ beak. We are the voice for the children, but when our pleas seem unheard, we hold onto our hope in Christ. And with that hope, faith, that we will have the resources to purchase the building for the Library Dreams Project and Music Academy, which would secure a permanent meeting place for our children.
So, if it was such a whirlwind of a time, what is God trying to teach us?
Well, I have a new revelation on God’s mercy. As I look around at the horrific and potentially questionable events surrounding us and the fellow saints here, I see an army of God’s elect. I see those who have been called and chosen to live ordinary lives in extraordinary ways; to do common things uncommonly. The people opposing us are not wrong when they call our children rowdy and all sorts of names. They are not wrong because through eyes of limited vision, one can only see dry bones where what really awaits is a mighty army.
I believe in our children. Today, I miss the 8 year old who has been caught with a knife several times at our ministry. *Sipho has a learning disorder and never turns up without causing disorder, but when you take the time to listen to the cry of his wounded heart, he is starving for love and acceptance. These children fight with one another, hurling stones and grabbing each other’s shirts in threat. They are not a brood of vipers! They are little children – the church of today and the founding fathers of tomorrow’s world. If forsaken and forgotten, they have no hope but to walk in the broken footsteps of bloodshed, discrimination, and hostility. I am thankful that the Lord is re-writing this story, and we, you (yes, YOU dear one…reading at this very moment) are already the link with which their story is re-written. That’s the mercy of God. In the midst of this chaos, our hearts have been so at rest. Our spirits are calm. We are doing cartwheels to worship our King in the midst of this chaos.
This year, we felt strongly that we needed to stay in country (South Africa) to strengthen and oversee ministry hands-on even more. In the last 3 years, we had the privilege of being invited to minister and raise support in the US towards the purchase of a building to house the library and music academy for the children of Jeffrey’s Bay. We are currently brainstorming and believing for fresh support raising ideas as well as how to forge ahead with the Library Dreams Project. Please join us in prayer, will you?
*Name changed to protect child’s identity