Ministry week is a time for learning for students and those they work with for the week. Third year student Sifiso from Durban, shared an account of his week.
Myself and Petter went to Scottsburg Trinity church in Durban. Holiday club was the reason for the invite and I had to be prepared to teach kids. The community were a loving people, in a small town. I was excited about working with kids because it is part of my ministry even in my placement at Sybrand Park church.
Our task began on Saturday with planning and shopping, On Sunday I was given the chance to lead the service which was awesome experience since am not used to doing this and the response from the congregation was encouraging.
We had a great number attend Holiday Club and each day they increased. I was given the boys group to teach. I was worried about their welcoming and reaction towards me because of my skin but I was amazed as they interacted throughout the session, although some were misbehaving just like all kids. Most of them were from Christian homes. I think, and believe, that when they become adults South Africa will be more united than our generation. My class was characterized by active guys who wanted to know things! I was called to up my game as they asked questions.
I learnt that kids are the same everywhere; they don’t take time to get to know someone like adults do. It is hard to work with them because they don’t have a long listening span so you need to adjust to their level and put things as simply as possible and above all they like playing, even in class session. When we met together for games as the whole church it was fantastic and that was the greatest moment of the day. The games were well organized and the children loved each and every game but at the end of all the sessions I was very tired.
In the evenings, for two days, I was teaching the youth. This work I always excel at because the youth are in my heart, everywhere I go always see the hope of the next generation, loving Christ faithfully if we can invest in them the true gospel. I had the privilege to explain the gospel and to interact with them. I found that what affects us in the townships is also their stumbling blocks; like peer pressure, sex before marriage, the perspective that Christ is not the answer to all problems, zealous about the future and wondering if they will make it to the top, as everyone dreams about being the prominent figure one day.
The team I worked with were great, consisting of youth members and senior members of the church. We always met after classes and reflect on the day and planning ahead which was very encouraging as we share our experiences of the day and try to solve difficulties that encountered during our sessions. The team ended up as one family as the week proceeded.
We spent the whole week staying with a family outside of town, on a farm. I was excited to experience farm life since I am from the township, but I founded it very boring and isolated. We went for hunting for two days which was not good for me. In the township we don’t hunt at all, only visit friends and go out so I was challenged to move out my comfort zone to learn a new skill. You have to be patient when hunting, which is my number one enemy because if things don’t happen, I easily get frustrated. So like the changing wind this experience took me in new directions and helped me experience other’s people lives and to be accommodating of another person’s culture. At the end of my visit two changes had taken place: the children changed my name from ‘Sifiso’ to ‘Espresso’ and from I went from ‘Preaching’ to ‘hunting’.
I learnt that ministry is not about preaching only but demands visions and dreams of what you want to achieve and then sticking to them. I also learnt that pulpit work is not enough for the preacher but that building healthy relationships makes a great family church. As I was teaching both the youth and kids, I found myself more involved in building bridges of friendships than teaching only, which was outstanding