Sunday, 10 July 2011

A Challenging couple of Days...

Hi everyone back in the UK. Thanks for your support, thoughts and prayers.  Sorry that we have not been able to update the blog for a couple of days... we have not been able to get access to the internet, but have a dial up connection for a while now so hopefully we can do our best...

Saturday 9th July... We went to a village  called Senzokhuhle and helped to lead a sports/fun day for about 150 children, all of whom were classed as orphaned and/or vulnerable..  The Hands@work team had identified these children as being amongst the most needy in the community and it was good to get involved.... but with very little of the local language, it was quite a challenge.  But the children had a good time and our team were happy to do the sort of things we have come to get invol ved with.  The children were also fed at the end of the sports day and some of our team found it wuite hard to leave.

Sunday 10th July... and even more challenging day...
We went to a church in the local community today- which is forming links the the Hands@work charity... there was singing, dancing, prayers a warm welcome and a serom/talk (which was translated for us) we then had a cup of African tea at the end of the serivce... more than 2 hours after we arrived.

After a packed lunch we went for a guided walk up the local hill  "Legogote"  (meaning Lions Head)  all was going well for much of the walk, but we then  disturbed some  me local people who were having some kind of a ceremony and they were cross that we might take photos of this... of course we were not doing this, but it
was hard to explain this.  Eventually, we headed off quiclkly, and handed over our cameras as the only way we could prove we had not taken photos... we have been assured that we will get them back tomorrow...via other representatives of the Hands@work charity... hopefuuly we will.  It was quite scary, as the team was  abit split up at one point- but everyone kept calm and we all got back safely...

The team were fantastic... and everything you could hope they would be, calm, courageous and able to adapt to a very challenging situation.  We are so grateful to God that we are all safe and that no-one was hurt... and we don;t want to lose the feeling we had from the morning a the local community church and the welcome we received yesterday at the sports day... maybe all communities (here and at home) have a wide mix of people with very diffrenent fears and axieties and ways of doing things. 

This may sound calm now... we have had some time to settle and recover a little...but there were quite a few hugs and tears when we got back to base.

This was due to be one of our quieter days...but it didn't turn out that way.  However the coming days have activities which are in different parts of the area and we will be with more local people who are well known to Hands @ Work.

We have spoken by phone to all of the  parents and assured them that their sons & daughters are all well.

Hopefully we will be able to give a regular  update of some calmer days in the rest of the week.   This team are fantastic!!

Thanks for all your support and prayers.

God Bless,

Richard Westwood... Visit Leader