I don't know if this is something anyone else has asked on this trip, but it's something I need to remind myself of every once in awhile. What we usually do in South Africa during the week is pretty simple: we meet at the church first thing in the morning, we go to the school, where we help out with the various classes there.
Partway through the day, we break for devotions with the mentors. It's a good part of the day and we've all learned some great things there. From there, we help with the school's after school program. We play with the kids, help with the lunch, do the dishes, dance with the kids, or help them with homework. Friday's are always a nice change when we don't have the after school program, so instead we visit the disability center down the road.
These kids are so cute! There's one boy who always asks for everyone's hat and glasses, and then proceeds to put them on and take them off for the next two hours. There's another who always came up to me and smashed my hands together a few times and would get the biggest smile if I said, "owie!" There was another who pulled himself up by my shorts and then let me walk him around, until he decided to fall backwards, when I'd have to find a soft place to lay his head!
Sometimes things happen to make the weeks go by super fast and other weeks have dragged by. We're entering into fall here and there have been several thunderstorms, which bring lots of rain and sometimes even hail! I think most of us enjoy those, as some of us list those as a highlight to the week! The kids always find a way to have fun in every situation. We had them taking shelter from the storm in the classrooms and they started singing, dancing, and playing games. But then it hits me like a pile of bricks: We're leaving for Lesotho next Saturday and Wednesday is our last day at the school.
That's when it pops in my head. Why am I here? What have I done? The school and the township of Olievenhoutbosch are both pretty much the same as they were when we arrived. But then I leave the class at the end of the day and the whole class gets up and hugs my teammate and I goodbye. I get the same hugs from the mentors.
And when the students find out that we're leaving next week, they start asking if we're ever coming back. The love I feel from the students and faculty at the school is amazing. It's then I remember why I'm here. I'm here to live, not just do. I'm here to form relationships with the people here. I'm here to understand the way they live, not try to impose a middle class American lifestyle on them. I am here because God called me to be here.