Since 2007, Ikhaya Le Themba has had the privilege of hosting Staff & Board member equipping times, Skills Development training, Holiday Clubs and Christmas parties on behalf of GoReefers for the Aussenkehr Child Care Centre.
In August this year Ian and Tess stopped off in Aussenkehr to arrange the December Outreach time. Early in October we started planning for the outreach and realised that it would be a wonderful opportunity to expose Ikhaya Le Themba’s new team members: Isabelle, Zama, Khanya and Ayanda to the “outreach” arm of ILT. They were keen to join us and immediately applied for their passports.
Our planning ended up with a concrete itinerary which we sent through together with the Holiday Club Lesson Plans to “Team Namibia” from My Family Church in Keetmanshoop. Paul and Nannie Basson joined us in 2015 and were keen to head up the Namibian Team.
Isabelle and Tess had the amazing task of doing all the shopping for the trip – we soon had a mountain of goodies for Ian to pack with our all our camping gear. The first miracle was fitting everything in the trailer and vehicle. Our team was punctual and we managed to hit the road by 07:00 on Thursday morning. We had a relaxed uneventful trip all the way to Aussenkehr, even the border crossing was quick – probably due to the signage on the H1 van.
Rachel and Kleophas welcomed us to the Aussenkehr Child Care Centre with big smiles. The children were waiting to help to offload all the supplies. The weekend overflowed with praise and worship, bible stories, memory verses, crafts and games. The children loved it!
Fellowship, planning, devotions and time of prayer were highlights on the trip, as hearts were knitted together.
The theme for the first day at the Holiday Club was the Armour of God. The children really enjoyed trying the armour on at one of the bases. The children had an opportunity to express their thanks as they made the GoReefers staff “thank you” cards. The morning of Holiday Club ended with juice and cake for the children and volunteers. Great excitement erupted when the bus arrived at the centre for the children to board, for their trip to Noordoewer Wimpy Bar. For most of the children, it was the first time they were leaving the farm, not to mention the first time to eat at a Wimpy Bar…
We loaded up all the presents and set off for Noordoewer in the intense midday heat. The Wimpy Bar team were excellent, they served milkshakes while the children were enjoying the “puzzle page” that they had provided for them. It was wonderful to see how much they enjoyed colouring in and solving their puzzles. The burgers followed - oh how delighted the children were to eat their first chicken burger.
Shane Divalizza from GoReefers handed out the Christmas presents. Each child received a bag with back to school kits, underwear, toiletries and special toys/items. It was a time of excited exploring as they dug into their bags to see what they had received. Wimpy also kindly gave each child a craft. And all too soon it was time for the children to climb on the bus to return to the centre.
We were also able to share our Urban Farming Skills with the 5 farmers. Once we had explained the theory, we moved out to the prepared tyres to plant beans, spinach, kale and tomato. Very exciting time as Ian provided each farmer with their own “watering can” made out of a 2 litre cool drink bottle. Once again there were many children who were listening and learning eager to help the team’s plant. It was very encouraging to see the gentleness and diligence of the farmers.
For us, it was time to say goodbye to our awesome Namibian friends Hendrik and Henriette and their three children.
We returned to the camp site to help Nannie, Paula, Armand and Paula pack up camp. Once again it was time to say “thank you and see you next year, God willing!”.
At daylight on Monday morning we were up early to break down camp. We left for the centre to say goodbye to everybody – for many of us, probably the most difficult thing we had to do. All too soon we were packed up and on our way back to Cape Town. We had another peaceful uneventful trip back arriving in Cape Town around 6pm.
This trip was life changing for all of us. What really stood out was the equipping of the saints for the works of the ministry. The weekend was filled with one on one ministry times both within and outside of the team. We all learnt a lot about God and His heart for His people. We came back feeling extremely emotional and super proud of our team and the way they had poured out love on children and people. We were shaken by the fact that the Orange River had dried up – the first time since 1974. And were grieved by a comment made by a teacher at the local school “The children from the centre are the privileged children in the community. They have 3 meals a day, running water to wash and do laundry, their school kits and uniforms are provided, they get help in the afternoon with their homework – the rest of the village children have only a fraction of this….”
Our hearts were stirred by the comments the children wrote in their thank you cards to GoReefers. Many of them expressed their love and appreciation for the team that served them so faithfully.
Our heartfelt thanks goes out to everyone who made this trip possible, we know that without your love, support and prayer it would not be possible.