APU is here!

Being goofy while waiting to see if our after school Life Group will be canceled due to rain

Being goofy while waiting to see if our after school Life Group will be canceled due to rain

The Azusa Pacific students are here! And they’re great! (Which is why I haven’t been writing–I’ve been back at work 5-6 days per week again. And then there’s that whole clean the house thing, too.) I’ve written before why having 6 APU college students join us for their 4 week Community Engagement pratical course is so great. But I’ll tell you again:

The team joined in with the kids at running club-- lots and lots of laps and crunches...in the rain. But they did it all with a smile!

The team joined in with the kids at running club– lots and lots of laps and crunches…in the rain. But they did it all with a smile!

1. They are well prepared. I’m a full fledged Baba Francis Njoroge fan. The material he covers with these students, his personal experiences doing community development work all over the continent of Africa, and his humble, caring, loving heart means that if these students don’t go into their “service sites” with humility, grace, and asking amazing questions then… they are probably not breathing human beings.

2. It’s a small group. That means they can fit in really well with what iThemba does on a day-to-day basis, and we don’t have to create some special project for them. They are able to help out with what’s already going on, and through that, they can connect with the other staff at iThemba and be an encouragement to them.

Surviving running club!

Surviving running club!

3. They’re here for at least 3 weeks. Which means they get to form relationships. This group is going to the same creche every morning, and then helping with Life Groups in the afternoons. That means they are spending on average 36 solid hours with the creche teacher and the kids at her creche over their time with us. This is their last week here, and they know all the kids by name, they know their personalities, they know the creche teacher’s life story, what’s happening with her kids, and what her hopes for the creche are. They can pray with her when she has a migrane because they have a relationship with her. Of course, it would be amazing if they could be here for longer, but, you know, as short-term trips go this isn’t bad.

Wrapping tons of presents for the Christmas party this Saturday.

Wrapping tons of presents for the Christmas party this Saturday.

4. They’re American Christian college students. I know I  can sometimes be negetive about that group of individuals (since I was just one of them) but the good thing about that group is they’re usually…  enthusiastic, energetic, care about intentional community, a little goofy, up for an adventure, big-hearted, asking questions about The Meaning Of Life (and what God wants them to do with theirs)…. and those are all great things to be when you’re working with kids in Sweetwaters on a short-term trip. We definitly need all the energy and enthusiasm we can get– and it translates very well across the cultural and language barriers. We Sweetwater-ites like laughing and singing and dancing and having fun, too!

Just one more week until they head off to Cape Town, but take a minute and pray with me that God will use their time here with iThemba and in South Africa to challege them, speak to them, and prepare them for what he wants to do through them.

We still need 17 teens sponsored for teens camp! If you’re interested in donating, email samw(at)ithembaprojects.org.za

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