This time the chaos was at Tembisa Baptist Church, the second location I visit.
I tried the dramas. Without a translator it never would have worked. It was hard enough to make the children understand that I didn’t want a speech but a drama, and that I didn't care what language they used. No one got the idea of showing the plans needed to reach the goal of becoming a nurse or teacher or police. I had to talk about that after the presentations.
It took a lot more time than I expected. I kept telling myself, they are African; time doesn’t matter to them like it does to me. The first group showed a classroom. They made so much noise before the “teacher” arrived that one of the caregivers came over to tell them to be quiet and pay attention, and then stayed to watch the “teacher” give a lesson on creatures that live in the sea. That one was in English, but then, school is in English whether or not the students comprehend what is going on.
The other two groups used local languages (isiZulu?) Group 2 lined up colorful plastic pre-school chairs to make beds for patients in a hospital and one of the girls (who wants to be a nurse) went around taking temperatures, listening with an imaginary stethoscope and making notes on medical conditions.
The last group was the one that made me wish I had my camera, or better, a video recorder. Three “bad boys” attacked a group of students. The attack looked more like tickling than stealing, but everyone screamed and the “bad boys” ran away. Then several students made phones with extended thumbs and pinkies and called the “police.” The “police” came to the scene to find out what had happened and chased the “bad boys” to the playground. The best was when the head police dragged a boy out of the swinging barrel by his foot and brought him back to “jail.”
“BE very CAREful then HOW YOU LIVE—NOT as UNwise, BUT AS WISE, MAKing the MOST of EV’ry OPporTUnity. ePHEsians FIVE: FIFTEEN”
I think we need to talk more about bad choices that can keep you from reaching your dream. That part kind of got lost in the laughter. It’s hard to discuss without a local language, and talking at them isn’t good enough.
LeAnne Hardy has lived in six countries on four continents. Her books come out of her cross-cultural experiences and her passion to use story to convey spiritual truths in a form that will permeate lives.
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