Catching the Rhythm
It has been a little while since we last wrote, so we would love to bring you up to date on how things are flowing in our corner of the world.
The core team at Beats and Books has expanded over the past year. The Isaacson family moved from Brazil to South Africa last July to serve full-time with Beats and Books. Jonathan and Carla Isaacson are originally from Chile but served as missionaries for 7 years in Brazil. They have four children, Isabella, Christopher, Amaro and Mathias.
In March, Prima and Cornelius welcomed a second son, Yosefe Nathaniel, making them a family of four!
Grace Wong returned to Jeffrey’s Bay in May and is also serving full-time with us.
The “beats” at Beats and Books
We are encouraged to see the music department becoming more established. Grace coordinates this department, providing piano and violin lessons, scheduling practice times and conducting weekly ensemble rehearsals. Komatie, a local pastor, and Innocent give daily trumpet classes. Our aim is to have every one of our students learn music. Each student is assigned to a music theory group class with Cornelius. Recently, we were thrilled to receive permission from an Australian author, Anne Jakes, and her publisher to use their music theory curriculum free of charge.
In the last few months, we have shifted focus from daily group sessions to providing dedicated one-on-one lessons to students and making space for individual daily practice. Our purpose is to see the kids develop independence and equip them with skills in problem-solving and creativity. Practice requires quite a bit of self-discipline, and it’s been good to see students showing initiative and taking ownership of the process.
The students are becoming increasingly involved in the worship at Beats and Books. Cornelius is using this time to disciple the children in prayer, praise and spiritual warfare. We are now preparing to share in partnering churches and have exciting outreach plans for later this year.
Carla is currently the head of our literacy department. We have seen much progress in the establishment of our library. A number of shelves were donated from the library of a local church. Cataloging, labeling and shelving books is proving to be a mammoth task and Carla invested many hours in this along with help from visiting volunteers. Twice a week, the children check out new books through our borrowing system and we also have scheduled reading time.
At the end of the second school term, we held our inaugural spelling bee! The children worked hard to prepare. We were astounded as child after child bravely stood in front of the group to compete. The spelling bee was definitely a highlight and there was a surge of motivation in the children’s studies as a result.
Each afternoon, Jonathan receives students for Math tutoring. We are excited to see our Math department grow and provide much needed support to enable our kids to excel in their studies.
There are a number of individuals who serve regularly with us, including students from the Leadership Experience, a local pastor, Victory Gap Year students, our sister from a ministry called Living Waters. We also receive teams from YWAM and Adventures in Missions. It has been an encouragement to receive each of these groups! We would love prayers for vision and wisdom as we engage people in our program.
A glimpse of a typical afternoon
Each day, the kids are welcomed with a healthy snack, typically a glass of milk, fresh fruit, and a sandwich. On Fridays, a local mother often helps us prepare a hot meal for the children. This is followed by a supervised homework period and then singing and prayer. Cornelius leads the children in worship and teaches truths from the Bible along with practical life application.
After worship, the students scatter to different rooms to receive Math tutoring, literacy tutoring, music theory class, instrumental lessons and to practice their instruments. Various days feature Bible story time, dance, reading time, rehearsals and games.
Our current building has four rooms and a garage, and they are full to overflowing. We are dreaming of having dedicated classrooms, practice rooms, and a quiet space for the library. Please pray with us for a bigger building!
We are seeing positive changes of behaviour. Some particular children who were especially rowdy and agitated are becoming more peaceful and focused. Our desire is to challenge the students to step up to a higher standard and to celebrate them whenever they make progress. As we encourage them to have confidence in their ability to reach excellence, they become more self-motivated in their studies.
- Committed staff (Grace & Isaacsons)
- Regular short term volunteers (international & local teams)
- Lives surrendered to Christ at our July holiday program with an outreach team from Poetice. 139 children attended through the week.
- Funding from Butterfly Foundation (purchased a printer/stationary items & nutrition items)
- Music instruments recently gifted from friends in Australia and Poetice International
- Special permission to use the music theory curriculum, “Rhyme and Reason”
- The salvation of families and wisdom on how to minister to their needs
- Renewal of the Ngosas’ South African visas
- Personal financial support for all staff
- Bigger facility/property for Beats and Books
Thank you for joining us in these endeavors with your prayers and support. We love and value you all!