Just got another note from our girls in J’Bay! Here is what they have to say about their time so far 🙂
Hello from Jeffrey’s Bay, South Africa. We have officially been here for three weeks and our lives have settled into something that neither of us expected but we love. The people have been so welcoming and friendly and we are learning more and more about their culture each and every day. Some cool things we have learned are that rhinos are afraid of fire, elephants get drunk from eating a fruit called amarula, it is important to greet the elders in the room first in the Xhosa culture, and it is always important to have lots of tea and coffee on hand for spur of the moment entertaining.
We were blessed to attend the Xhosa worship service at Ithemba this past Sunday. The authentic worship in that place was enough to bring us to tears. There was a lot of dancing, clapping, and praising the Father. We felt His presence among us and it was an amazing time to celebrate the love of the most high God. We were asked to stand in front of the congregation and introduce ourselves and then they formed a receiving line so that each member could greet us with a hug or a handshake.
Things at Ithemba have settled into a very pleasant routine and we are enjoying assisting the teachers with their classes as well as playing with the kids and showing them love. We are so excited about the new principal, Estee, and what she will be able to contribute to the way the school is currently running. Just today, we made a plan for the curriculum and for an assessment of each child. We feel that the assessment is crucial so that they can be placed into classes with other children that are on the same level academically. We have worked together to plan a structure that we think will benefit the kids and their educational experience at Ithemba.
The safe house looks wonderful! The roof is almost finished and they are already working on the electrical work and the plumbing. It still needs to be painted and such but we are so impressed with the work that is already done. I know that this house is going to bless the lives of so many children as they are able to find shelter, safety, and love. It stands as a silent reminder both of the desperation of many of these precious lives and also the hope that they can have for a brighter future.
We are looking forward to the joys and challenges that each new day will bring and we are so excited to have the other teams join us. Our driving is getting much better and we are not reduced to tears or panic each time we get behind the wheel. We are trying new foods and experiencing new things all the time and we send our love from J-Bay!!