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Cumberland Presbyterian Church

Serving In South Africa
March 19, 2016
Community: Belhar
Staff: Aunica Sherwood

We made it!

by Aunica Buseman | March 20, 2016 10:51 PM

The team has safely made it to Cape Town! They had long flights, but were able to sleep, watch movies, and eat snacks in preparation for their jam packed week in South Africa. We made it to our Lodge where we'll be staying this week and everyone has received a power adapter from BJ and has begun to settle in to their rooms. It'll take a while for the team to adjust to the time difference, so prayers for energy tomorrow as we push through the jet lag would be awesome.
We made it!

A full, but exciting first day

by Aunica Buseman | March 21, 2016 8:18 PM

Today started off quick, but the team had a great attitude and a surprising amount of energy for their sleep deprivation. We met for breakfast at 8:15 and started talking through the VBS flow right off the bat. We're staying in a suburb of Cape Town called Vredekloof, and the church we are partnering with is in Belhar (another suburb about 20 minutes from our lodging) so we arrived around 9:45. The kids were already starting to trickle in and were excited to get started! We had around 90 kids today, and throughout the VBS time more and more kids continued to join us. I'm sure we'll have more and more as each day passes and the word spreads! We started off with some energizers and a rousing game of rock, paper, scissors. The kids had a blast! The bible story for the day was the creation story, and it was cool to hear the kids chattering their excitement. One little girl leaned over to Kaitlyn and whispered "God made the trees, birds, AND the snakes?" It's cool to see the children already getting energized about the bible stories! We broke into two groups (older and younger) for crafts and games. Today we made bible journals which, while a little more time intensive and complicated, will be something the children will really cherish. The team is doing a great job jumping in when they see a need without being asked. Late morning we began our construction project simultaneously, so a few of the guys helped to paint the church roof. It looks great and really has added a fresh aesthetic to the church building! Pastor Patrick was up on the roof with the guys, laughing and having a great time. The Pastor's wife, Claudia, helped make a traditional African barbecue called a Braai for the team alongside a few other women from the church. This consisted of three types of meat (sausage, chicken, and lamb), a Cajun pasta salad, a greens salad, garlic bread, and fruit salad and ice cream for dessert. It was awesome! We finished up some more painting and spent time picking up trash around the church yard in the afternoon. We had eaten a late lunch, so by the time we finished up it was around 5 pm. A few of the team members were wondering about snacks, so we headed to the mall to exchange money and make a trip to the local Pick 'n' Pay (basically a Walmart) to grab some snacks and bottles of juice for while we're at the hotel. We ate dinner at a restaurant called the Spur, which is essentially an Applebee's type chain restaurant here in South Africa. The team had a great time joking with the waiters and eating burgers. It's been a long and full day, but a good one! Everyone has had really great attitudes and has surprisingly been surviving the jet lag thus far. You can be praying for energy as the week continues.
A full, but exciting first day

Craft time

by Aunica Buseman | March 21, 2016 8:19 PM

Everyone pitched in to help the children thread the string to create the prayer journals. The kids had a great time sticking the stickers on and were really pleased with how they turned out.
Craft time

Games galore

by Aunica Buseman | March 21, 2016 8:21 PM

A handful of the team members jumped in and played outside with the kids. They played a variety of things including Frisbee, rugby, and soccer. The children love to run around and play, and the team surprisingly kept up with their high energy.
Games galore

Jet Lag? What's that?

by Aunica Buseman | March 22, 2016 8:59 PM

We started the day off with devotion time focusing on the unlikely, like Abraham and Sara when they found out in their old age that they would be blessed with a child. It really set the stage for the remainder of our ministry. VBS had around 120 children, and God's hand was really evident in each moment. We talked about Moses and the burning bush, and the kids got to glue construction paper to make their own burning bushes. I'm sure the group will continue to grow as the word spreads over the next two weeks! Today was the hardest day for jet lag, but the team didn't complain at all! They kept up good energy and ran around just as much as the kids did. It was really neat to see the team getting even more invested in the relationships they built yesterday. They've already begun to make a huge impact on these kids' lives. The younger kids got to play with the parachute, and they were giggling really loudly and had a blast! We had Hungry Lion for lunch, which is a food chain that serves fried chicken in South Africa, then went to visit with Lacey. She gave the team an overview of what she's been doing during her time here, and it was really cool to hear about all the opportunities she's had! Afterward, she accompanied us to Kirstenbosch, the national botanical garden to see all kinds of plants and trees that are native to South Africa. We changed for church and arrived just in time (after sitting in some heavy traffic) to eat Ostrich stew for dinner. It was delicious! Ostrich is a common protein to serve with meals here. Pastor has planned a series of "mini campaigns" (evening church services) this week, so we had our first one this evening. Patrick preached on John 3:16 and the universal gift God has given through His son. Lyndi was able to share with the church about the journey God has brought the team on to get to South Africa, and each of the team members introduced themselves. All in all, it was a really full but good day! We'e already been learning and growing so much and we're beginning to see the seeds being planted.
Jet Lag? What's that?

VBS fun

by Aunica Buseman | March 22, 2016 9:02 PM

Andrew ("Burt") had a great time during VBS playing with the kids. There were a group of them that chased him around the church yard for a LONG time, laughing as they went.
VBS fun

The Journey

by Aunica Buseman | March 22, 2016 9:03 PM

Lyndi was able to share with the church about the journey the team has been on to get to South Africa - from the intial "there's no way we'll be able to do that" to all of the fundraising and time that was put in to make this possible, we've already seen God SO evident in each and every moment of this trip.
The Journey

Another full day

by Annie Schoessler | March 23, 2016 9:24 PM

This morning, the team got up and did devotions, a little weary after a later night at the church, but ready to get back to see the friends they've made there - church members, community members, and kids. They headed over to the church and got started right away setting up VBS, knowing that they had had about 120 kids the previous day, so anticipating somewhere close to 150. In reality, nearly 200 children showed up to VBS today! The team taught the kids about Jesus and helped them with a few crafts with crosses and the Holy Week story. The kids are having a wonderful time with the group and feeling the love of Christ in a big way. They are also teaching our youth about rugby, and beating them pretty soundly in games while they're at it! This afternoon, there were a few teenagers from the church that were hanging out there, so we spent some time doing some crafts with them and talking with them. The team has been so good at being intentional with relationship-building, really caring to ask questions to those they are meeting and find out what it's like to live in Belhar. It's a difficult life in that community, one where everyone needs to know the hope of Christ for them and for their surroundings. We came back to the church for dinner, a traditional South African dish generally called "Potjies." In essence, it's basically like a Crock Pot meal, but these had lamb and vegetables in one, and the other was pork with tomatoes and potatoes. They were delicious! We then shared the evening service with the church, in which Cole shared about how God has been working in his life in bringing him on this trip! It was awesome. There was a guest preacher tonight named Gareth who preached about the unconditional love of God and that "there are no hopeless cases - only cases of hope." We are so grateful for the ways God has been faithful to us on this journey. He is teaching us and challenging us in new ways and causing us to open our eyes to the way He sees the world. Thank you so much for your prayers - they mean the world to us!
Another full day

Sing it out!

by Annie Schoessler | March 23, 2016 9:30 PM

The kids love to sing with us, always clamoring as much as possible to be up front with the team to demonstrate the actions!
Sing it out!

Final VBS & Ministry

by Aunica Buseman | March 24, 2016 9:00 PM

This morning we had the opportunity to visit a Juvenile Detention Center. We were able to come alongside a ministry called the Alpha program that invests in the men in the facility. We got to hear a few really strong testimonies telling of the great work this partnership has been able to do, and spent some time praying over the facility and the leaders of the ministry. Drakenstein is where Nelson Mandela was held after his time on Robben Island and before he was released, so we were able to walk along the road he walked on when he was granted freedom. We ate sack lunches on the bus (PB&J - classic!) and had our last day of the VBS. We had around 200 kids again, and we shared some more stories and were able to give them each a sack lunch at the end of the day. The team was grateful for one final day to love on those kids. Claudia and her team of awesome cooks made us fried fish, mashed potatoes with salsa, and bread for dinner followed by homemade cheesecake for dessert. We're definitely spoiled! BJ preached on Maunday Thursday and the meaning behind it, and what it means for us today as Jesus' final word to his disciples. They will know us by our love. Caleb sang "Garden" by Needtobreathe to start it out, and everyone was really touched. It's been a full but rewarding week so far!
Final VBS & Ministry

Fish!

by Aunica Buseman | March 24, 2016 9:03 PM

Enjoying Claudia's great cooking! We loved the fish fry, and even got to try pickled fish - a delicacy found only in Cape Town around Easter.
Fish!

Sharing a song

by Aunica Buseman | March 24, 2016 9:05 PM

Caleb sang Garden by Needtobreathe tonight in front of the church and they loved it!
Sharing a song

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Comments

Frances Baggett

March 25, 2016 11:06 PM

Have really enjoyed the updates and pictures this week. I'm sure you made a difference in their lives this week. Praying for safe travels home. May God bless you.

Carolyn amacher

March 25, 2016 2:52 AM

wonderful to see you all being the hands and feet of Christ in this far away place. Stay safe and have a safe flight home. We miss you all. Prayers and blessings to all.

Melody Harrison

March 24, 2016 4:03 PM

Still praying for energy and health! 200 children wow!

Sandra Holmes

March 24, 2016 1:18 PM

I know you are impacting the lives of these precious children. Have fun and know that hundreds of prayers are going up daily.

Charlotte Bondurant

March 24, 2016 12:37 PM

Checking the posts every morning makes my heart happy. Love seeing the fun your having, the native food your eating, the good being done for the children and all the happy faces:)

Carla Burden

March 24, 2016 1:59 AM

Love to see you all having a wonderful time with your ministry. It's great the kids are being exposed to new foods.

Ann Heflin

March 24, 2016 1:26 AM

Hope you have a wonderful week and a safe trip home. God bless each one of you.

Vickie Mathis

March 24, 2016 1:17 AM

Praying all is going well! Looks like you are having a good time. Hope you have safe trip back home.

Rachel Mathis

March 23, 2016 4:24 PM

Praying that all is going well and you all are having a great time! *B.J. thought I would let you know the Starbucks card came in handy this morning LOVE YOU

Jill Russell

March 23, 2016 12:57 PM

These updates make me shed a few tears... Happy tears... Love hearing the stories. Prayers for each day and each of you. Be the light.

Patrick Wilkerson

March 23, 2016 12:32 PM

These updates are awesome. I wish I could have gone with you. I can hear BJ singing Lion King songs the whole time. I hope there are so many blessings for the community and for the mission team. Keep up the good work!!!

J. Carmack

March 23, 2016 4:38 AM

You are all in my prayers as you share the Love of Christ in a far away place.

Karen Zarecor

March 23, 2016 1:42 AM

It sure sounds like you are off to a great start! You have some great stories of Jesus to share with the children, and they're going to love getting to know you! May you see glimpses of God in their faces.

Fayna Amacher Edens

March 22, 2016 11:20 PM

Andrew all these years of wrestling with Trey, Max, and Ethan are paying off for these precious children! Continue being the hands and feet of Christ. I can't wait to hear about your experiences there.

Michael Clark

March 22, 2016 5:50 PM

Hi all, Blessings from Tennessee as you work there. Enjoy and have a great time and be safe! Miss you all and see you all soon. Prayers your way! Michael

Denise Turner

March 22, 2016 10:59 AM

So happy you made it safe and everyone is having a wonderful time. It's awesome to see our children making a positive difference in others lives. Hope everyone of you have a awesome Experience!!

Bob Zimmerman

March 22, 2016 3:44 AM

So glad you arrived safely and had a great first day there. And a trip to a mall even. Have a great week.

Emily

March 22, 2016 2:25 AM

Thanks for being His hands and feet this week to those children. Making memories. Carlie Gaby you rock.

Frances Baggett

March 21, 2016 9:33 PM

Glad you arrived safely. From the pictures you seem to be having fun. Prayers each day for God's blessings on your mission and safety.

Renee' Shores

March 21, 2016 8:51 PM

Looks like you are having a good time! Praying for all of you while you are there. p.s. Tell Anna to hurry home!!

Carla Burden

March 21, 2016 3:59 PM

So glad everyone arrived safely! We are looking forward to seeing God's blessing as you progress forward. ??

Melody Harrison

March 21, 2016 3:43 PM

Thanks for the update. The team looks amazing after such a long flight! Prayers for energy and clear minds!

Judy Mann

March 21, 2016 3:32 PM

Glad to see you made it safely there. Stay safe, do good things and have a little fun along the way.

CHARLOTTE BONDURANT

March 21, 2016 2:19 PM

Everyone looking good. So glad you are there safe and sound. My thoughts and prayers are with you on this mission. Keep the posts and pictures coming:)

Sherry Taylor

March 21, 2016 1:40 PM

So glad you made it safely. Praying for you all! I know you will be a blessing to those you meet. And you will receive a blessing by serving others.

Leslie Creasman

March 21, 2016 1:11 PM

Glad to hear that you made it safely! Prayers for all!

Fayna Amacher Edens

March 21, 2016 3:18 AM

So good to know your are there and safe! Rest well! Keeping you in my prayers.

Sherry Taylor

March 21, 2016 12:57 AM

So glad you made it safely. Praying for you all! I know you will be a blessing to those you meet. And you will receive a blessing by serving others.

Beth Mathis

March 21, 2016 12:46 AM

So thankful you made it! Praying for all of you!!! May you be blessed and be a blessing this week!

Susan loman

March 20, 2016 11:49 PM

So glad you made it safely. Let us know when you see Lacey??

Melody Harrison

March 20, 2016 11:26 PM

Thanks for the update. The team looks amazing after such a long flight! Prayers for energy and clear minds!

Brian Baggett

March 20, 2016 9:14 PM

Praying for your mission trip. Do good things!!!!

Michael Clark

March 20, 2016 1:03 PM

Hey all, Hope you made it safely to South Africa. Have a blessed time and do great things. Your church had you in their prayers. Michael

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