YFC staff and volunteers drove out of Knysna with a vision of being a blessing to the community of Willowdale (near Willowmore in the Karoo) during a week-long outreach, but came home feeling more blessed than them!
During all aspects of the trip we could see the hand of God as the Spirit moved in hearts of children and their parents. 40 students attend Willowdale Primary, a farm community school. Each day the Likhona Volunteers facilitated the Kings Kids holiday club programme while the teachers wrapped up their end of the year paperwork. The students also practiced songs and memory verses for a concert on the last day. Our hearts were warmed as we saw the pride on their family’s faces. Thanks to many of you, our partners, who made it possible for each child to receive a shoebox gift from Father Christmas. Caren said “I was so blessed when I rode in the back of a bakkie home with some of the kids from the school and they were singing the songs we taught them. Even if the words don’t mean something to them now, I know when they grow older God will use them in their lives.”
Back at the farms, the Options staff visited each workers family home, listening to their story and sharing the ‘reason for the season’ – the Hope that Jesus brings. 11 women made a decision to follow Christ through the love poured out through Ghila, Reggie, Shahida and Maureen.
Vivienne and Lilian also stayed on farms and taught the women to make jewellery and a fabric tied mat, giving them the gift of self-confidence that they can make something. “I have been transformed, and see myself differently through this opportunity to use my hands,” commented one grateful woman.
Saturday started off with a Parenting Workshop of 57 parents in attendance while the volunteers played games with their children. Just as the workshop ended load-shedding hit the farm. Nothing can stop God’s plan, as a generator was started up to power the movie Courageous for the Father’s Talk. A few of the men responded to the conviction of the Holy Spirit that they need to spend more time with their children.
The mothers were whisked away for a treat of pampering in the big house. 58 pair of hands and 58 feet were massaged and manicured, 29 faces were given beauty treatment. One lady commented to Leandi saying that “This is the first time that white hands have touched me with love!”
Some memorable time was spent each day knitting together the hearts of our staff during teambuilding activities. The one that left a bad taste in our mouth was the “bok-drolletjie spoeg kompetisie” a memory etched in their minds forever. Owen (our host), also gave us all the opportunity for target shooting with 4 of their game rifles.
Wrapping up the week was “church on the farm” with many of the families we ministered to. Two fathers stood up with their families to make a public commitment. As we said our “thank you’s” for the spoiling we received, Pat told us that she felt it was God’s plan for us to be spoiled in return for our service. I believe most of us came home 3 kg heavier from the excellent farm food, but not only our stomachs were full…
We are all grateful for the love the Father has lavished upon us and in awe of the love he lavished on others through us!