“I’d like to pray for the child’s family that was shot the other day – he died this morning”
“I’d like to lift up my friend, he is going through stage four cancer – could you possibly head over and visit him?”
“I would like prayer for my kidneys, I know I have a problem, but don’t have the money to go and visit the doctor – I also don’t have time with the amount of time I am spending at school”
“Could we pray for Johan who is going to speak in Fish Hoek about trying to solve the gang problems”
“There are several community riots, that are directly related to the deaths of the two innocent people that were killed last week”
“Oh ladies is there anything else you would like us to pray for?”
Umm. No! My head is spinning with all the pain that has now surrounded me. All of my issues seem so miniature compared to yours.
There have been several deaths that we have heard about in just the past week. We have learned about countless cases of abuse – physically, mentally, sexually and emotionally. There are several people dealing with the past pain of being raped. The high school girls are struggling to figure out if their boy freinds forcing them to have sex with them is normal. These girls are later asking how to get abortions, if sex is suppose to hurt, if these weird bumps are normal.
My head is still spinning – then we are put into our first classroom with the preschoolers. Note I still can’t get over the fact that all of this pain is surrounding this community – much less surrounding the children. Jo and I start our first “exercise class”. We start with having the kids stand up and sit down without putting their hands on the ground,
“KIDS STOP IT”, BE QUIET!, MOVE OVER THERE!, DON’T BE SO LOUD!”
umm, okay lets continue… With arm stretches! Now lets wave our arms in circles! “Big circles, little circles, medium circles” Gosh my arms are starting to hurt at this point
“STOP HITTING EACHOTHER!, IF YOU KEEP BEING NAUGHTY I WILL SEND EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU INTO THE PRINCIPLES OFFICE”
“Okay next guys lets do the crab walk! Then we all start walking around on our hands and feet with our bellies to the air and we all start laughing, it is fun. Jo just watches how silly we are all being. But its not the normal fun – its almost forced fun.
We played some other games with the kids, but they were not very entertained, most of the day consisted of Jo and I trying to be fun and make exercise enjoyable but then other teachers would come in and tell us that the kids are walking all over us. That they are taking advantage of us, that we have to tell the kids to stop.
I don’t know when its okay for me to step in. I don’t know the boundaries, I don’t know how the kids normally act. This is all new, how I saw them today is my reality, if we need to treat them differently then tell me how they are suppose to act.
Recess time: Kids seriously gone wild. First, just take your self back to when you were in elementary, when you would have recess time. Remember when you would wrestle around with other kids? Or take them to “prison” or play tag. These little six years were throwing punches that I have never seen before. They were cursing at each other, starting up unnecessary fights – and I mean real fights with real punches and kids falling to the floor in pain. Boys crying on the dirt ground while the conqueror sticks his tongue out with a smirk on his face and gives the little boy crying on the floor the middle finger.
The amount of anger flowing through these kids that is so easily rustled out of them, is quite frankly scary. These kids go from crying, whining, to throwing punches. The kids grab each other inappropriately – grabbed my booty inappropriately. Push each other off the slide – honestly I could go on and on about how it was a slightly frightening experience today, but I am just praying that God would use my team as a light. That the kids would get attached to Jesus, that the kids would have a safe place to talk, play and enjoy their schooling. Jesus just use my group and I to show your unfailing love for them.
This is Soteria – where I will be working twice a week for the next nine weeks.
Honestly feeling a little overwhelmed, but am so excited to work with these lovely teachers and wonderful little crazy children!