The summer days here in Jeffreys Bay are long and hot, but not lazy… We are busy training our students to go out this year and impact the lives of many. There are 48 students making up 5 teams: Explore Africa, North Bound, Work your Way, Distant Islands and Hidden World. Each of these teams will spend this year traveling throughout different parts of the world, and the year begins with 8 weeks of training. We are currently at the end of week 3. It is extremely practical and hands on, and exposes the students to practical missions. They are already working in the townships doing Bible studies, praying for the sick, picking up
trash, doing “house” repairs, and sharing their faith with so many.
Last week we were in the bush away from flushing toilets and electricity. We camped in tents, prepared all meals on campfires, and bathing consisted of swimming in the river. This was meant to serve as a real intro to what lies ahead for their year. Part of the Bush consisted of 3 days of “Survivor” training. They didn’t have tents and had very little food, and it rained 2 of those nights – bless their hearts! But they made it, and that training has a way of bringing out the very best and very worst in people – which will happen all year long.
Emi came to visit me for 2 days in the bush and she loved it. She is just an outdoor girl. She LOVED sleeping in the tent, and hanging out with the “kids” as she refers to all the college-aged mission participants. She helped "supervise" some of the Survivor challenges in her little 2-year old bossy manner. I injured my back in the bush, so you can pray for me for complete recovery. I will be sleeping on the ground again for our upcoming two weeks in Transkei.
We are leaving in one week for a very rural region of South Africa called Transkei, where we will be working for two weeks. This will be the mission participants first cross-cultural experience and exposure to this kind of missions. Week 1 there will be in Coffee Bay (where we were last year) and will be a practical project working at a Christian School. The 5 teams will be taking responsibility for the projects onsite (e.g. new roof, new fence, painting buildings and playing games with the school kids.) We will all be pitching our tents and sleeping in the grass patch in front of the school, and we’ll be eating our meals with the school kids. The second week will be at a different location in Transkei working at a mission station. Much more practical outreach and serving the local community.
I love being part of the team responsible for training these future leaders. These young people really experience exposure to how the real world functions and they experience first-hand the extreme need and poverty around the world. What a privilege. Their challenge, for example, this week is for each mission participant to survive on $1.50 per person per day. This is how 2/3 of the people of the world live, so they are plunging in to see first hand how it feels.
Thank you again for all your prayers and support. We are so grateful for your partnership in this work!
I will send more pictures when I return from Transkei so you can see our work there. Please pray for me while I’m away training, and for Jodi and Emi who will hold down the fort in J-Bay, so Jodi can continue her work at Ithemba.
Blessings to all.
Marius (Jodi & Emi)