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Final update from South Africa

April 9, 2009

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Today was day four of the Girls Think Twice Programme: a.k.a. Galz Clubhouse. We’ve had anywhere from 9 to 16 girls participate, not including six amazing leaders. My favourite part about this week has been these six ladies. They have each participated in past programmes, and returned to lead for this week. The programme would not run without them.

The leaders have been here on time each day, most days arriving much earlier to help me out. They have given ideas, prepared food, led group discussions, cleaned, and in general made this week happen. Tomorrow, they are all arriving early to prepare for our final day. We’re making a large lunch for everyone as a party to celebrate making it through the week. And when I say “making it through”, I mean they really did survive!

Monday was all fun and games. Then came Tuesday. On Tuesday, we began by watching a Focus on the Family video about abstinence. Each girl left that day with a pillow on their tummy, looking pregnant. Not only did they walk/taxi home this way, but they took it one step further. Each girl went to the local shopping centre to “shop” and prepare for their baby. They learned how expensive caring for a child is, as well as endured stares and whispered comments about being pregnant at such a young age (13-19). Our lunch this day was a “cravings lunch” in which the girls ate strange sandwiches. I taught them my favorite prayer: “God, if I get it down, you keep it down” (thanks, Ashley).

Wednesday, the girls arrived with their pillow tummies, complaining of no sleep, but with positive attitudes (thank you, leaders!). I was entertained by one of the leaders, who showed up with a much larger tummy than she had left with the day before. Apparently, when she arrived home on Tuesday, her mother told her that her tummy was too small and made her use a larger pillow. The poor girl barely slept. Although I’ve never been pregnant, something tells me they still had it pretty easy, as I’m confident that a pillow is much lighter than a real baby!

The first task for Wednesday was to “give birth”, which just meant losing the pillow tummies, and meeting their babies. Each girl received a baby dolly, baby clothing, and a blanket. Our guest speaker this day was Jenny, a woman who runs a home for abandoned babies. She has cared for seventeen abandoned babies in her home, so she knows a thing or two about children. Each girl followed Jenny’s example to learn how to bathe a baby. Later, the girls completed birth certificates and went home with an assignment: follow a pre-made schedule. They had to do things such as wake up in the middle of the night to feed their baby. Once again, no sleep!

Today, Thursday, the girls showed up tired. The leaders came early to create goody bags for tomorrow. Each bag contains fun things such as an abstinence pledge, group photo, and an individual photo with each girl and her baby. We had a teaching moment when the Director, Pat Bayley, pointed out to the leaders that all of their baby dollies were at the Centre while we were busy with our project. The girls quickly learned that part of their responsibility as leaders is to be full participants in the programme. Since there was no one babysitting, their babies had been left alone for quite some time. A good lesson for them in leading.

I was today’s guest speaker, to teach the girls about spiked drinks. I spent about twenty minutes teaching the girls what a spiked drink was, the results of your drink being spiked, and how to protect yourself and your friends from being victims of spiked drinks. We followed the talk with group skits, so I’m hoping they’re remember what they’ve learned.

I’m really looking forward to tomorrow. Not because it’s the last day of the week and I’m completely exhausted, but because of tomorrow’s guest speaker. Jean is older than the rest of us here, with a vibrant personality. She has a lot of great knowledge and the youth love her. The previous GTTPs, Jean led a discussion on the reproductive system and how to give birth, in vivid descriptions. She will actually be on the ground showing the girls the birthing position. The girls learned so much and were hoping she would give her presentation again. I can’t wait to see their reactions when she surprises them tomorrow!

PRAYER:

Please pray for the final day of the GTTP, and especially the leaders. Two of the leaders are unable to finish the week as their Gran has fallen ill. Also, your prayers for more volunteers are slowly being met. This week there were so many volunteers that I wore myself out trying to come up with projects for them. It was nice that Pat and I were able to work as a team to make things happen, and one of our volunteers has turned out to be a huge help. In addition, this volunteer is still seeking out what she believes, so we’ve been able to have a couple of talks about what it looks like to follow Jesus.

Our largest prayer request is for an assistant for Pat. I’m concerned that when I leave, she will struggle with basic operations of the centre. However, the centre cannot afford an assistant. We have very little funding and the GTTP this week has used up a lot of it. Every morning this week I’ve been taking the leaders through the book of Phillipians, one chapter at a time. This morning we read a portion of Chapter 4, which includes “be anxious about nothing, but in everything make your requests known to the Lord”. Five days from now this short-term mission trip will be over and I’ll be on a plane to the United States. To further unknown. Not only am I anxious about returning, but I am anxious about leaving Pat with no assistant. Please pray for both.

Thank you for partnering with me in this. I look forward to seeing many of you soon.

Grace and Peace,

Kyla Nonjabulo (Joy)

Please pray:

  • Funding for the centre
  • Assistant for Pat
  • My last five days to be fruitful, and the unknowns when I return
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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Holly permalink
    April 9, 2009 3:44 pm

    kyla, you may have already done this, but can you post information about how to send funds to the centre? praying for your remaining time to be amazing and blessed.

  2. April 9, 2009 3:40 pm

    Girl. I can’t believe your time is almost up! I’ve enjoyed all of your updates. Hopefully I will be in Nasvhille again soon so we can catch up over lunch or something. praying for you! ~Danica

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