Monday, December 11, 2006

(anything but) Another Pleasant Valley Sunday

Well, this blog has become more of a memoir, but I'll continue the saga.

In some ways Sunday (Dec. 3) was a fairly typical for me: church, lunch with friends and spending money (only I usually include a nap in there too). But of course the difference is in the details.

Tagged along with the Extreme Response team to attend King of Kings church, a familiar spot by now. I sat with fellow BBC'er Ashley L. and a couple of the kids she is seldom seen without these days. Jeromy D. and Brian Barefoot (also of FFH) were working their new (temporary) roles as worship band members at K.O.K. In his sermon, Pastor John Thomas spoke about the dynamic power of God...and the stormy weather outside provided the sound effects as illustration. I asked him how he arranged for this; he didn't share.

After a cup of hot tea in the lobby, we were off to Masiphumelele Baptist Church. There were only a handful at the service when we got there, and unfortunately the choir was not "in formation" but the congregational singing was still strong and welcome to my ears. Pastor Phillip took the opportunity to show our group more opportunities to help (financially or otherwise) and while services continued, took our group on a quick "tour" of the currently closed clinic facilities in the back of the church building, and of the recently-paved area outside. The wind was chilly and no one seemed to linger out there for long.

After another 20 minutes or so, and long before the service was likely to be over (they can last awhile), we departed for the home of John and Avril Thomas. We were in the comfortable tour bus the team was using part of the time; definitely a nice change from being packed into the combies (a VW van and a Range Rover).

After a nice lunch (of very familiar dishes, whether for our sake I'm not sure, but very welcome), Pastor Thomas shared the story of Living Hope and an update on new developments. I've heard the history more than once but it seems I always hear something new; it's quite a story--definitely the makings of a great book. Avril shared that she is now coordinating the "prevention" efforts of Living Hope; this would include the children's clubs, adult support groups, etc. where they teach how to avoid contracting and spreading HIV/AIDS. I'm sure like most people she would just as soon have stayed in the role she was in, managing the Muizenberg shelter, but the nature of the ministry the Thomases have continued to pursue doesn't allow for much comfort.

At this point I definitely could have used a nap, but we were off to the bus to head for the waterfront. The weather outruled a trip to Table Mtn. so it was time to shop. I found a few things at the African Craft Market (like an indoor flea market in TN) and the music shop.

Eventually most of the group got back together for dinner and then everyone met up to board the bus back to the Team House, to compare bargains and prep for the next day.

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